On a personal note:
My eyes have been bugging me quite a bit lately, so I’ve been making myself stay off the computer, my phone, and other electronic devices. I’ve been dealing with dry eye for years, and while the natural remedies work, the fact that I’m growing older means that the situation will get worse as time progresses. I have no qualms with getting older and the things that come with it, but I also believe in doing what I can to preserve what I have while I have it. I don’t like medications of any kind. I’ve seen too many people get dependent on medications. It’s as if once they get on them, they can’t get off because of severe side effects. I want to avoid that for myself if possible. I understand there’s a time and a place for medicine. My dad had schizophrenia. He needed medication to live a normal life. But I’m fortunate in that I currently don’t need anything. I’ve been able to manage things with a change in diet, everyday habits, and exercise over the years. God willing, that will continue.
So why am I bringing all of this up? My time on the internet hasn’t been that much to begin with, but it will have to be even less now. My priority is writing more books. That’s what I will focus on. I will come in to do blog posts, too, because I enjoy doing them. Also, it helps me sort out things I need to do with my stories or publishing them when I write out what’s going on in this blog. But my time online with other things is going to be less. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, except that uploading books to Radish is going to take longer and I won’t be on MeWe a lot. Thankfully, I have half of my books already on Radish by this point. I already take a while to respond to emails, so that will stay the same. It’s not that I don’t care about these things. I do. It’s just that if I am going to spend time writing, I have to sacrifice the other things.
I have done dictation, but the amount of time spent editing made this a horrendous experience, and though I did manage to speak the books out, I had a hard time “connecting” with the characters like I do when I type the story out. Those books are pretty much a blur in my mind, which is a shame because I didn’t really enjoy “writing” them. I prefer to spend my writing time enjoying the process of creating the story, and dictation doesn’t allow that for me. I think (and feel) best when I type.
Now for the stuff related to my books:
1. I might have to swap the release month for Heiress of Misfortune with Daisy’s Prince Charming.
At the moment, July is my target month to get one of these books out. I did have it set for Heiress of Misfortune since I’m farther along in this book, but the story line just keeps going. I do have an idea to shorten things, but the longer avenue is a lot more interesting to me, and if it’s more interesting to me, I’m guessing that will make it a better book. At the moment, I’m 56,000 words into this one. I’m not sure, but I think it’s going to need 70K+ words to complete it. I can’t do that and have it off to the editor by July, especially when I’m limited on how much time I can spend on the computer because of my eyes.
Daisy’s Prince Charming is turning into a shorter book than I expected. I’ll be hitting 42,000 in this one today, and there’s really only a couple more things that need to be done to wrap things up. This book doesn’t need to be over 50,000 words to be complete. Unless something pops up that requires me to be away from the computer for any length of time, I should be able to finish the first draft of this book well before the end of May, have the initial edits done, and send it to my editor by June 1.
I’ll keep you posted on how things play out with this situation.
2. I’m going to kill off a secondary character in the Marriage by Obligation Series.
(These books are not listed in any particular order except for Secret Admirer which is Book 1. I think this is what the order will be, but it could change. I’m not even sure if there will be a “The Duke’s Return” in the series. At the moment, I have a character I’m thinking will work here, but I need to write more to the series before I’m sure.)
Remember the trouble I’ve been having with knowing what to do with a certain duke who has been giving one of my poor characters grief? My original idea was to ship him off somewhere then bring him back. Then I thought I’d just kill him off because he serves no purpose as a main character. He’s turned out to be a character that isn’t all that interesting. I have no desire to work with him. But he serves a purpose to one of the heroines in this series, so I can’t just eliminate him from the series altogether. He has to show up in Secret Admirer.
I was thinking of going with a suicide, but that didn’t seem to fit. So I’m going to go with a murder. I know I’ve done a murder subplot before in other books, but there’s nothing else that works for what I want to happen in The Earl’s Jilted Bride. I’m not exactly sure how the murder subplot fits in with that book yet, but my instinct tells me it will fit. So this particular character will be murdered.
3. I’m looking into AI for audiobooks.
As it turns out Google Play has invited me (and some other authors) to give AI narration a try. Google Play also said I can use these audio files to upload to other places, and Kobo also happens to allow for AI narrated books. An author said Apple does, too, but I have to look into that to be sure it’s true.
For now, I’m looking into going with Google Play and get things started. This requires some time at the computer listening to the AI and adjusting the text to get things pronounced right. That’s more a time commitment than something difficult, but I am currently looking into someone who can go through these books and listen to AI for me. I have a couple of people in mind. I have to trust this person because this person will have access to my password over on Google Play. If I can’t find someone, then I will give a try myself, but it will slow down the process since my time on the computer is limited.
I think AI narration is going to help a lot of authors, and it will help readers who can’t read books due to eyesight issues. I know for me that I can’t read books anymore. I can’t read an ebook on my device or a paperback anymore. I have to listen to books. I’ve been using my Kindle for years to listen to books this way. Kindle has AI narration wrapped in with the text-to-speech feature on the device. You do get used to the AI voice. After a while, you don’t even notice it’s AI. I get that there are people who will “never” listen to AI narration because the human voice is way better. That’s fine. I’m not doing this for people like that. I’m doing this for people like me. And since it’s AI, it’s affordable, which means I can charge a better price. It’s a win for me, it’s a win for people on a budget, and it’s a win for people with eyesight problems.