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I was not going to release any books this year, but...
By Marcia Carrington
Thank you very much, Jan, for the chance to discuss my experience this year with books and writing.
At the end of 2016, I was thinking about whether to release any new books in the New Year 2017. Over the course of three years, from 2014 to 2016, I had released 21 books. Breaking it down, in 2014 I released 7 books, 2015 brought 8 books, and in 2016 I did 6. While the vast majority of these were novelettes, some novellas, and to a lesser extent short stories. I felt that I needed a little break and that I would not be releasing any new books in 2017. Instead, I would write at my own pace and try to do some reading, which I had largely left to the side over the last few years. How quickly my defenses on this crumbled, though...
Around November 2016, my short story Alicia Day would not leave my thoughts alone. A personal wrestling match occurred; no, I would leave the story until 2018, no, I would release in 2017. This went on for a few weeks. In the end, I decided it was coming in 2017. While it needed a little editing, I knew I had to release it. Alicia Day arrived on screen in late March.
My next release, due in August 2017, was another book I was going to leave for 2018. Champagne Charlie came together so quickly from its initial draft in late 2016 that I decided this would be another story for 2017. A good example of resolutions falling apart and in record time...
In January, seeing that I had just two releases for 2017, I was feeling antsy. I had decided early on that a larger project I envisioned for 2017, Grayson's Dilemma, was one better suited for 2018, giving me longer time for editing, as it is a book I have wanted to write for a while. Instead, two other novelettes came zooming across to me, both appealing for very different reasons.
Amanda's Payback, due in October 2017, is an adult work that gave me the chance to take on more mature material and content than I had previously written.
Beautiful Beau Montague, a November 2017 release, goes into investigative territory which I have done before, but this time the person being searched for is a movie star who is either alive or dead.
Both, Amanda's Payback and Beautiful Beau Montague divert from my usual books as their romantic elements are much smaller than my books from other years.
Looking at my book experience for 2017, I have found that this year four books is just right for what I wish to achieve. It is enough to keep me going, but also allows for longer editing times, and hopefully, an even better product for readers. I think that we as writers are always seeking balance in whatever we do, and this can be difficult to maintain over time without realistic aspirations. To be able to write the number of books I have other years has come at the expense of other things for several reasons.
In the beginning when I first began releasing books in 2011, I was on Twitter every day, interacting as much as I could. After a year and a half, I found that I could do very little writing with this system. As I began to cut back my tweeting in mid-2013, I found that I could write better, and more. Coupled with the fact that my neck does not adapt well to staying in front of the computer for too many hours, I devoted most of my free time to writing and editing, and a smaller component to catching up on Twitter. It has worked out better for me, and as a result, I am happier than when I was doing the daily tweeting. Life is the sum of all our experiences and I have found that with writing, as with everything, you learn from your lessons and place yourself in a better position to adapt to your lifestyle, and how you feel at specific times in your life. My 2017 writing experience has highlighted certain points for me; there is no wrong but all rights, what works for you may not work for others, but that is what makes us all very different as writers but also as people.
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