You’ve read Before the Wreckage and came out of From the Wreckage, but what comes next? What comes after the wreckage?
I wish I could tell you.
I’m not sure if this is the case for all authors, but after a new release, I suffer from what I call “creative burnout.” After pouring my heart and soul into the 95k or so words building my novel, I usually feel as if there are no more words existing in the English language that I haven’t already used. Or that I have zero clue how to put them together in any kind of original way at all. This would be the depressive phase. The one where I’ve lost all my talents and have seemingly forgotten what the hell I’m doing.
This time around, this part of the journey was coupled with the start of my 13th year of teaching and the beginning of first grade for my twins. Paired with some medical “stuff” over the summer – let’s just say my low point was exasperated quite a bit.
Despite the challenges, I took it all in stride. I was thrilled to release From the Wreckage and I was so humbled that so many readers fell in love with David and Grace.
Then there’s also the upside of the depressive phase – the manic phase. This is the time (again, not sure if this is true for all authors) where I feel like I want to write ALL THE WORDS! The possibilities are endless because I’ve just accomplished something monumental – I wrote a book. Another book. My 11th work of new material, plus countless other box sets and anthologies.
You know that scene in Titanic where Jack is standing at the bow of the ship, screaming, “I’m king of the world”? That’s this phase. I can and will do anything and everything. During this time, I announced that I would write the follow up to On Solid Ground, a second book in the Repaired series (feature Gabe and Zan), and I even toyed with a second book as a follow up to Let Love Live. I was struck with a million new ideas, but my brain couldn’t focus on a single one.
And then when readers started messaging me asking when they would get a novel for Jade and Ian (in From the Wreckage) the feeling of paralysis became overwhelming.
Like so many other authors, I work full-time outside of my writing career. And like so many other authors, I also have a family. As all of this smashed together with all the highs and lows of a new release, my brain essentially turned into mush.
So while I would love to bring you all those follow ups, I have to be honest here: I haven’t written in about two months. I’ve stopped and started a bunch of times, but there’s no denying that my heart is not 100% dedicated to any of those stories. I want to be. I want to write them so badly, but no matter how hard I try, it’s not happening. And with everything single book I’ve ever written, I’ve learned that if I have to force something, it’s going to come out shitty. And that’s the last thing I want.
There may come a day when I write more of Dax and Beck, or when Gabe and Zan get their own story. My heart and my head want to give Conner and Dylan a family of their own, but for right now, I have to put all those stories on the back burner.
And as far as Jade and Ian go – there was never a plan to give them their own book. While I absolutely adore From the Wreckage, I can’t go back to that world. My heart broke writing that book and I somehow managed to put it all back together. While I love Jade and Ian, their story is as complete as it’s going to get.
So then you may be wondering what’s the point of this? What are you trying to tell us?
You’ll get more books from me; I promise. But there’s no way in hell I can keep up with the pace of some other authors, and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to keep up with the pace I’ve managed in the last two and half years.
The publishing world is very different than what it was when I started and learning to navigate the new waters is almost as exhausting as writing the novel itself. While I’ve loved everything I’ve ever written, I have to find my passion again to make sure that I love all the things I write in the future.
So while I can’t promise you the next title or the next release date – I can promise you this:
You will see more from me. I don’t know if it will be a MM or a MF. If it’ll be part of an existing series, or something new entirely. But I can tell you this – it will be something that I love with every ounce of the blood, sweat, and tears I’ve poured into it.