FOUR Books in a Month??
Somewhere around December first of 2015, I began to wonder why I was feeling so harried. And finally it came to me. Without ever intending to get myself into such a fix, I had actually worked on four different books in November. My advice to writers? Don’t do it. The experience was mind-boggling. In fact, I’m still suffering from shock as I write this, half-way through December. Here’s how it happened:
I was happily finishing and editing my latest Regency Gothic, The Welshman’s Bride, when word came that Rebel Princess, Book 1 in my new SyFy series, Blue Moon Rising, had been accepted by Kindle Scout. This sent me into a frenzy of reading the fine print in my contract, inquiring about what I had to do next, getting permission to add my other books to the end notes, and creating said end notes. Naturally, selling Book 1 inspired me to look at Book 2, which is finished, but I just had to read it again because I had a sneaking suspicion it needed more than a little revision. This, of course, ended in a complete rewrite of the last two chapters. And right in the middle of that, Book 3 insisted on being born. The words simply refused to stay in my head until the other projects were complete.
Alas, I soon discovered I had visualized the start of Book 3 in the wrong place. It absolutely had to overlap Book 2. Which meant a scene in Book 2 needed to be rewritten to match the expanded scene from a different point of view in Book 3. Aargh! Thus, four books in one month.
Seriously, writers, do not do this. It messes with the head. Two books, maybe. As authors approach the end of a book, I think most of us allow thoughts of the next one to intrude. But four books at once ends in Confusion Rampant. In my case, the head-leaping from Wales in 1818 to a rebellion in the distant future, then back. Over and over again.
Did The Welshman’s Bride survive this cavalier treatment? I can only hope so. By the time you read this blog, it should be available on Amazon, Smashwords, and other online venues. Will you find the rebellion in space popping up in Wales? Perhaps a spaceship hovering over the rugged Welsh scenery? I can only hope not. But who knows? After the November I had, anything is possible.
So what about my poor Regency Gothic that nearly got swamped by three SyFy books? For those who might wonder what I mean by Regency Gothic, that’s a name I invented for a first-person Gothic novel set in the Regency period. (Most classic Gothic novels have Victorian or Contemporary settings. For example, the masterpieces of the genre by Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. They are almost all based on women alone and threatened, with their husbands or gentlemen friends as the chief suspect. You might call them tales of murder and suspense, with Gothic atmosphere.)
In my Regency Gothics I tend to create heroines who are far from perfect. In The Welshman’s Bride I’ve taken this a step further, presenting a heroine who stumbles from one disastrous situation to the next. If you like your heroines noble, self-sacrificing, cheerful, and flexible about subjects such as a husband’s mistress, then you may not like Jocelyn Hawley Maddox. If, however, you like to read about heroines who have human faults, then she’s just the girl for you. Here’s a peek at The Welshman’s Bride.
Although it seems likely she is being married for the magnificence of her dowry, Jocelyn Hawley accepts an offer of marriage from a Welshman. And quickly discovers she is as unprepared for marriage as she is for her new family—a mother-in-law who insists on living in Wales’ Medieval past and a sister-in-law who seems to be trying to get rid of her. Jocelyn is also plagued by the problem of her husband’s mistress and a series of disastrous incidents—some potentially lethal—that dog her footsteps. As she grows more alienated from her husband, who barks at her to “grow up,” she finds herself the classic stranger in a strange land. Where it appears someone is trying to kill her.
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Thank you for joining me today. Whether as an author or as part of your daily life, I hope my cautionary tale will keep you from doing—as the old saying goes—“biting off more than you chew”!
Blair Bancroft, Longwood, Florida, December 2015