I’ve been quite quiet of late, I know, so I thought I’d give a brief update. Things have been pretty hectic at work and in my personal life (nothing bad, so don’t worry), so I’ve had to curtail the time I’ve spent doing blogging. Yeah, okay, so I’ve just got a Playstation 3 as well but that’s to help me chill.
I’m still writing, in case you thought that’s what this post was all about. I’m trying to focus my efforts more and treat it more as a job. I’m 70% through the first draft of DYED IN THE WOOL, which is of course CULLEN book four. I’m pretty pleased with the progress so far – I had 155 scenes in my outline, which I’ve trimmed back to 147, but my previous scene average was roughly 1,000 words per scene, so I have been fearful I was writing a labyrinthine book that I’d not finish. Needless to say, I’ve kept the scenes quite tight and focused so that I can get through the draft. The second draft will probably be longer and I’ll need to add quite a bit of description, but the project management side of things is helping me get through this beast. I’ve still not got a fixed release date (though May/June seems likely) – I got myself into a bit of a bugger’s muddle with the last one, so I want to get it through the Alpha readers before I’ll commit to a publication date. Needless to say, I think it’s good – I’ll only know how good when I do the editing.
It’s the first I will have fully completed on the MacBook though, using my new technique from idea through to final draft. It’s been written in Scrivener and it had been pretty easy – a hell of a lot more easy than Word. The previous Scrivener project was FIRE IN THE BLOOD, but that was starting from a fixed point and editing, and then writing and editing. It’s definitely making me more productive and three full novels per year feels achievable without too much of a stretch.
Regular readers will know that I’ve got a standalone vampire thriller in the works – working title NAIL IN THE COFFIN, though I don’t want people to think that there are vampires in the universe of Cullen and Bain – that will be written and released between Cullens four and five. It’s all plotted out but I need to do a few admin-y things on it – basics like what’s my character’s name? What I’m struggling with is what to do after that – it will definitely be Cullen book five, so rest easy – but which of the many stories I could write, I need to decide. I’ve got three up my sleeve, and I think I’m moving away from the Christmas one (if only for this year) as there are a couple of stories I want to write which will be fresh when they come out. I’ll announce something in the next newsletter (another casualty of my busy-ness).
Finally, sales have been excellent since FIRE IN THE BLOOD came out and since I made GHOST IN THE MACHINE free. It’s clear that it’s really hard to make serious money out of ebooks now – by that, I mean it’s harder than publishing and setting the price to 99p – but my sales figures show that it’s possible to make a decent wedge out of it. Last week, I made the UK minimum wage (based on a thirty hour working week) for the second time in the last month – sadly it’s taxable. Maybe there is a future in this writing lark after all…
Oh, and I need to get further editions of FIRE out – it’s only on Kindle just now – but really the sales of non-Amazon channels is pretty crap. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s a widely held view.