Project Updates for July 2020

Header with a typewriter and journal: Monthly Writing Updates

Hey, productive peeps and super schedulers. It’s time for my monthly project update. These list-y posts help me stay on track, and they provide a realistic look at the work of an independent author.

Novels

Power Play – Woot! I’ve wrapped up my story edits, and I’m soooooo happy with the results. Power Play is a big, emotionally complex spy story full of powerful women, it’s the centerpiece of my Emerald City Spies trilogy, and it has multiple POV characters. It’s also the book that I set aside for a whole year, because I was struggling with how to approach it. Some projects kick my ass, and this was one of them, but it turned out great. Next up comes the housekeeping stuff: line edits, comma checks, proofreading, and so on.

Cruise Cozies  – I’ve started the first draft of Ellie Tappet #4. As soon as I send Power Play off to beta readers, I’ll drop my boot on the gas pedal.

Kat Voyzey – After getting some good (and passionate!) feedback on my next book title, I’ve sent off the details to my cover designer, and the ball is rolling.

Short Stories

The Happiest Place – After dragging my feet for months because I don’t know what to do with short stories I’ve decided to publish the Happiest Place on Amazon. P’s preparing the eBook file, and unless I come up with a better idea, you’ll be able to get my short stories on Amazon for a buck or two. Yeah, I know I could start sending them off to magazines, and perhaps someday I’ll do that, but the whole notion of filling out forms and maintaining lists of where I’ve sent things, and trying to match my work to specific markets and their fiddly requirements, and dealing with contracts…. Ugh.

I’d rather spend that time writing more books.

Business Projects

More KU Books: I’ve moved the Kat Voyzey series into Kindle Unlimited for a 90 day trial run. If it does well, I’ll leave it there for a while. If not, I’ll take it back wide. Call me a filthy capitalist if you must! I’ll let the market decide.

International Metadata: Did you know that the Kindle Store uses different book categories for different countries? Until recently, I didn’t. Shout out to Canada for having a category called simply: MURDER.

β€œOh, what kind of books do I write? MURDER books.” Ha.

I’m working through the process of getting my books into the correct categories for international markets. It’s a bit of a chore, but worth doing.

Newsletter/Blog Improvements: I’m tweaking my blog and newsletter. My casual blog posts won’t disappear, I’m still going to be me, but I’m cranking my professionalism up a notch. On the blog, I’ll be adding reader-focused posts, things that I hope bookish people will find fun and useful. (Like my recent post about mystery genres.) And in my newsletter, I’m raising the ante on reader appreciation, by including things like bonus scenes, discounts, and an occasional giveaway.

Personal Projects

Jogging: P & I have been jogging, and it’s been surprisingly great. I’m impressed by how a 30 minute easy jog/walk can improve my mood for the rest of the day. It’s almost as good as coffee. ALMOST, I said.

Books & Movies: I found some good Westerns! (To those who sent recommendations: thanks!) I loved True Grit (both the book and the newer movie), both P & I got a kick out of the Longmire series on Netflix. The Longmire books are solid too. I powered through Cormac MacCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, enjoying the beautiful language along the way. Although, to be honest, not much happened in that book, and I prefer it when things happen.

Next up, I’ll be delving into the world of modern space opera (think Firefly), so if you have any book recommendations along those lines I’d love to hear it. I’m already well acquainted with The Expanse series, Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow, Tanya Huff’s Peacekeeper Series, Murderbot, and most of John Scalzi’s work. I’m particularly interested in space opera with an ensemble-type crew.

That’s the latest! Whatever your projects are, I wish you the best with them. And to my readers in the northern hemisphere: grab some summer while you can!

PS: Keep washing those paws!