New Series and Where We Are
The Catalyst, of course, is out in ebook now. There is a slight delay on the print release while I figure out a problem with the text file I sent to my printer. Factoring in time to fix that, approve the proof copy, and get my boxes of books here, those who won a signed print copy of The Catalyst probably still have a month wait ahead of you. I apologize for the inconvenience, it just is what it is. (In the future I probably won’t give out signed copies of anything until I actually have signed copies in my hands so people won’t have to wait a million years.)
Life Cycle is currently with the betas. I should hear back in about a couple of weeks then I’ll be doing another round of edits and sending it on to my copyeditor. Life Cycle is book 4 in the series and should be out in ebook by sometime August if we stay on schedule. (Barring any major problems in the editing stage.)
Right now I’m writing another Kitty book that I’ve had in the planning phases for awhile. The reason I’m not working on Hadrian and Angeline’s book yet for the Pretverse is that it needs to percolate more. I don’t know exactly where I’m going with it, yet. I need to do some planning/research.
While I’m writing the Kitty book, I’m going to be working on Hadrian and Angeline book plans as well as planning a second Zoe series. When I first started the Zoe Winters pen name I figured I would make the Pretverse so large a world that I could write in it indefinitely, but… I’ve learned and grown a lot as a writer since I started and I’d like the opportunity to start a series with a really strong first book.
It’s frustrating because The Catalyst and most likely Life Cycle are much stronger books than Blood Lust or Save My Soul, but BL and SMS come first in the series, so I have to be able to hook readers in with those in order to have much success with later books, so sometimes it feels like spinning my wheels. It’s not that I think BL and SMS are “bad”, I don’t think that, but they aren’t as strong as later stuff, which is just a natural progression for a writer. If I waited until I was perfect, I STILL wouldn’t have published anything.
Ten years from now the stuff I’m writing right now that I think is my “best work” will hopefully make me cringe. I say hopefully because being able to see the seams of your own work equals growth, and I’m not content with mediocrity. I want to be a GREAT writer. I’m not saying I want to be a “literary classic” or a “great” in that context. I’m saying I want people to say: “Damn, that girl can WRITE.” And I want them to say it in mass quantities.
I think the wisest move for my career going forward would be to start a second series. I’ll finish the Preternaturals series of course, but I’ll also be working on this other series simultaneously. The Preternaturals may have as many as 10 books in it, or as few as 7 or 8. I don’t know exactly yet. When I’m making my Hadrian and Angeline plans I intend to figure out how to wrap up the Pretverse when it’s time. (which doesn’t mean I’ll never revisit the world, only that it would be “closed for now”)
I can’t talk any details about the second Zoe series yet, but I will lay it all out when the first book comes out. I can tell you that it will be a series of short-tightly plotted books in the 50k range, but that there will be a lot of books. I can tell you it will be urban fantasy instead of paranormal romance. It’s not that I don’t like romance, I just don’t like the boxes I have to stay in sometimes. Like for example… when I wrote The Catalyst, there was some stuff I REALLY wanted to do with Jane… it would have IMO helped her grow as a character a lot more… but… I couldn’t do it because it would break a romance rule and would piss off my readers. Had I been writing urban fantasy, it would have been allowed.
So while there WILL be a romantic subplot of the kind often involved in urban fantasy, it won’t be the main thrust of the plot. I’ll get to focus on meatier issues than who is sleeping with whom. (yes, there will probably be a triangle… I know I typically hate triangles but that’s because who I want never gets the girl (Damon, Eric, Spike)… you can bet who I want is getting the girl this time. And maybe that’s an excellent reason for me to write a triangle.)
I’m really excited about this series.
So here is the production schedule/plan right now:
NOW: Writing Big Sky for Kitty and planning the next Preternaturals books and the new series.
After Big Sky, I may finish up a kitty novella I’ve got partly done. That won’t take long while continuing to plan the other Zoe stuff.
After THAT… I’ll write Hadrian and Angeline’s book. I’m anxious to get that one out because it wraps up Dark Mercy and I think will help Dark Mercy sell since they’ll feed off each other and a lot of romance readers just don’t like to read a cliff hanger.
After Hadrian and Angeline’s book I’ll be writing the first book in the new series.
And that’s as far as I’ve got planned. I also have plans to write a YA trilogy but… I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing with that. So I have a LOT of stuff to write. Good thing some of you think I’m “prolific”.