Essay–Mind The Order
I have a ton of writing to do. And by ton, I mean reams and reams and reams of stories before I finish the series known as Garaaga’s Children. Considering it starts in pre-history and continues on through history until it meets the modern era, it’s a very large undertaking. But I have a question to answer.
Since the success of The Black and the fact Shadowpublications.com is (re)releasing Legends of Garaaga next month, I have to make some decisions regarding my writing schedule. First off, yes, I’m still working on the paraquel to The Black. That’s the first priority. Second priority? Hmm… Good question.
I have three other novels in various stages of completion. Three. That’s a larger number than it seems. Why? From a marketing/sales point of view, I have to decide which book is more likely to bring in readers and pay for itself. “Pay for itself?” you ask? Yes. In other words, break even on editing, artwork, and layout. Breaking even is always the first goal. Anything after that is gravy. And yet…
If the book only pays for itself, I essentially wrote it for free. I did all the work for free. Not exactly the best business model if I never get paid, especially if I want to make this my full time job.
Let me be clear: all of these books will be finished. All of these stories will be written. The only question is what I need to do to make them successful. The Black has demonstrated I CAN write something that sells. It has, in fact, performed far beyond my expectations. In a way, it might even help pay for these other stories I want to write but seem far less popular.
Last year, I wanted to spend 2015 writing Crusaders of Garaaga. Now? I’m not so sure. As I said, GC takes place over millennia. But what I’ve noticed from quite a few of the fiendlings is that the modern stories are more popular. Two Balticons ago, I read a story called “Marker” that takes place in the 90s and features “Nigel” from Tattoo. The story is goddamned creepy and horrifying and folks loved it.
Was it because the writing was better? Probably not. Was it because it had Nigel in it? Perhaps. But I think it was because the story was easily accessible. When folks don’t have to keep history in their heads, it’s perhaps easier to focus on the tale and what’s going on.
I don’t know that for a fact. I’m just guessing.
Another thing I keep hearing? “When are you bringing back Tony Downs?” Ah, yes. There’s the rub.
Some of you have guessed how Tony Downs will intersect with my other series. You’ve sent me texts, emails, and private comments regarding that issue. And many of you want to see it come to fruition. Are those books more marketable? A telepath in today’s society? An “urban fantasy” series done Cooley style without the romantic bullshit present in the others of the same genre?
I don’t know. Once I am past the current book, I can make those decisions. But the great part of GC is that although the stories intersect, cross, and build upon one another, there’s absolutely no reason to write them in any specific order. Other than, of course, the fear of confusing my readers.
The great, wise, and talented Scott Pond came up with a plan for this particular outcome. Can’t thank him enough for it either. It’s given me the courage to consider madness. Writing Crusaders will more than likely take six to eight months of my life. The research required to make it happen is both daunting and enticing. In other words, I’m really itching to write the tale. But I need to pay the bills too.
As it is, The Black royalty checks will more than likely be used to fund the other series which I can’t seem to sell to anyone. Why? Because, dammit, those are MY books and I’m going to write them. If y’all like them, great. If not? Well, I did.
But like I said, there is a monetary issue to consider now. And I hate to bow to economic realities, but my business has to turn a profit. And profit means one step closer to “the dream.”
So, yes, I have choices to make. As we close in on Halloween, I’m hearing those voices in my head more than ever. Closet Treats is selling more copies than it has in two years. Something is happening. And I need to figure out how to jump on it before it escapes. This is the year I hit the charts. Next year, I need to hit it again three more times. The only question is how to do it and what will do it. When I figure that out, you’ll be first to know.