This blog post is really a “thinking out loud” type of post. The best way for me to figure things out when I’m sorting through ideas is to discuss it in a blog. Being a writer, I think it’s easiest for me to wade through things when I write them down. I’ve found talking about it helps somewhat, but writing it is much more effective.
Over the years, I’ve gotten questions about whether or not I ever plan to write certain books. Maybe it’s because we’re heading into a new year, but that topic has been on my mind lately. Unfortunately, time is a limited resource. At the rate I write, I average 9 books a year. That might sound like a lot. The truth is, however, it’s not. I currently have about 20 books on my To Write List, and I’m only able to work on 3 of those right now. I think 3 is my limit. I’ve tried to do 4 at a time, and it’s not feasible. Maybe once all of my kids are out of the house, I can do 4, but as long as they’re living at home, 3 is it.
Here is my list at the moment:
What is already finished…
1. Make Believe Bride (Marriage by Fate: Book 3) is already uploaded and on pre-order for March 24.
2. The Marriage Contract (Marriage by Fairytale: Book 1) is with my editing team. This is estimated for an April release.
What I’m currently working on…
1. The Perfect Wife (Misled Mail Order Brides Series: Book 3) has just begun. I’m currently on Chapter 4. Natalie hasn’t found out Mark had lied to Tony and Velma yet, but she’s going to soon. I know she’s not going to be happy with him, but honestly, I don’t know HOW mad she’s going to be. That’s up to the character. (I gave up long ago trying to tell my characters what to do or how to feel.) The publishing month is either June or July. I’m hoping for June.
2. I just started the first scene in The Perfect Duke (Marriage by Fate: Book 4). I can’t say much without spoiling Make Believe Bride (Book 3), so I’ll keep it there for now. The publishing month is probably going to be July or August. I’m hoping for July.
3. One Enchanted Evening (Marriage by Fairytale: Book 2) will be started later this week. Again, I can’t say anything without spoiling stuff from Book 1 in this series. I expect this one to be out either late August or September.
So that leads me with what books I’m looking to write for the rest of this year…
Obviously, the first order of business will be finishing up the series I’ve already started.
1. I’m hoping to write Annabelle Larson’s romance in Book 4 of the Misled Mail Order Brides Series, even though she’s not going to be a mail order bride). Originally, I was planning on a trilogy, which is why I had three women come into Omaha to be mail-order bride. Annabelle is Tony and Mark’s younger sister, and since she fits into this series starting with Book 2 (The Rejected Groom), this series would be a good place to put her story. So this would put me in the September – October range for publishing.
2. I don’t know if I’ll be doing a Book 5 for the Marriage by Fate Series, but if I do, I’d like to make this Miss Duff’s book. Who is Miss Duff? Remember in Married In Haste when Lady Eloise convinced a new member of Ladies of Grace to ditch the gentleman she wanted because he didn’t have a prestigious enough title for her? Well, she did ditch him. And now she wants him back. However, I don’t know if it would work well for this series, or if I should bump her to a new one. This would probably be in the October – November range. If I learned nothing else from last year, it’s that publishing anything in December is like watching a boat sink as soon as it sets sail. It’s always best to wait until January. I think people are just too busy in December, so it makes for a bad month to release a book (at least for indie authors.)
So I guess for this year, I’ll probably publish 8 books instead of 9. That’s not bad considering they’re all going to be full-length novels.
When I started this blog post, I thought I was going to be able to start a new series at some point this year, but I don’t know if that will be the case unless Miss Duff starts a new one, but if she did, I don’t know if I’d write it right away. I have a feeling she will be in Book 5, but I don’t want to say for 100% until I know for sure.
I’d like to get another book out under my pen name. I don’t know if that’s possible or not. We’ll see.
I will attempt one novella this year…
I know a couple of you want another Dave and Mary Larson story, but I’ve also gotten feedback from people saying, “No, not another book featuring them.” So that’s why this one keeps getting pushed aside. If I can make this between 20-30K words, I’d probably do it. So I’m working on some ideas. I know going in that this is going to be one of those niche books, but I do like the idea of writing it because I love Dave and Mary and because I personally know the people who want to read another story. So I’m going to try it. No promises though. If I notice it’s getting too involved, I’ll cut it.
A look further than this year…
Now we’re looking into my 5 Year Plan
1. Someone asked if I’m going to write more Larson books, and the answer is yes. After I finish with Richard and Amanda Larson’s children, I want to write about Tom and Jessica Larson’s four girls. Remember that story I started called Mail Order Husband that I had planned to make the start of the Fort Benton Series? Well, I decided I’m going to slip this book into the Larson family instead. So this will start a series featuring Tom and Jessica’s daughters.
At the moment, I don’t have ideas for the other Larson kids, so that’s why I’m going to Tom and Jessica. Something tells me Tom is going to make a fun father-in-law for four very lucky heroes.
2. I want to go back in time in the Regency Collection back to the very first series I wrote, which is Marriage by Scandal. Anyone remember Lord Roderick, Lord Edon, Mr. Christopher Robinson, and Lord Clement? Yeah, I’m going that far back.
Over the years, I’ve gotten requests to write Lilly’s story. Lilly was Lady Roderick’s sister. (Lady Roderick is Claire.) Lilly almost married Lord Hedwrett, but Claire and Christopher managed to convince her not to do it. So Lilly didn’t, and I’ve been thinking it would be nice to finally write her story. Her story would start a new series.
Some have also asked for Lord Pennella’s story. I don’t know if I can. I don’t know if he’s redeemable or not.
3. I’d like to finish the Montana Collection. Shane’s book is due out at some point, and unfortunately, I have so many other projects, it keeps getting pushed back. But this is in my plan.
4. I do plan to do the rewrite of the series Stephannie Beman and I started with The Stagecoach Bride. I got almost 20,000 words into the rewrite of that book (The Outlaw’s Bride). Then I stopped because I realized I couldn’t do 4 books at a time without driving myself crazy. Since this book is going to be free, I need to be on better financial footing before I can finish it. So it’s on hold. Afterwards, I will write the other books in this series.
5. I also plan to rewrite His Brother’s Wife that Stephannie and I had started (but never published). We got about halfway into it when we couldn’t figure out where to go next, so we had put it on hold. Since Stephannie decided she didn’t want to write romances anymore, I bought the rights to that book (and The Stagecoach Bride and the series) from her so that I could continue them.
6. Hugh and Vivian (from Her Heart’s Desire, which is Sally Larson’s book) will get a story at some point. I’m waiting for the right time and the right plot.
7. I’ve gotten questions about writing Billy’s story. Billy made his appearance in An Unlikely Place For Love. I rarely ever hear anything about that book, but when I do, it’s usually followed with a “Will you do a story on Billy?” I’m currently listening through my books on my Kindle a little each night when I go to bed. I’m doing this to refresh my memory on characters, what’s happened, etc. When I get to An Unlikely Place For Love, I will try to mark the timeline of when this book takes place and where it might link to other books I’ve done. I’d like to pair him up with someone in the Larson family. I think one of those characters would be a good match. My mind needs to incubate on this one.
There are other story ideas and characters who will pop up as I continue writing. I used to think that I’d run out of ideas, but it seems the more I write, the more ideas I get. So there will be more added to this list as time goes on. I’ve rambled on long enough.