I’ve published another book! This is the first in my gay contemporary romance series, and it’s about Charlie, who has been in both previous books, and Max Jones – heir to the Fairyland theme park.
Writing this book, it was the first time that I had a character just take hold of the story and run off in his own direction. Max totally ignored my plans for the story beats and did his own thing, and consequences be damned! It was a lot of fun, if frustrating. I’ve had characters talk to me before, but I’ve never had any rebel quite so hard as Max did.
I’m very fond of both of these boys, and I got to introduce some fun new side characters as well. Plus we see a cameo of a fan favourite little girl from Rival Princes…
Here’s the blurb:
The recipe is simple: Charlie cooks an amazing meal Charlie impresses heir to the theme park Max Jones Charlie gets a promotion and a dash of control over his kitchen
But the perfect recipe becomes unpalatable with one wrong ingredient and Max Jones is not behaving how Charlie expected…
Max is meant to inherit the entire Fairyland theme park but he just wants to party, have fun and bed as many people as possible. That is, until he meets Charlie and falls for him so hard he can’t even finish the delicious meal.
Charlie doesn’t have time for clubs or helicopter flights over the city, but Max is accustomed to getting what he wants, and he wants Charlie.
Featuring one part Billionaire, one part sensible chef, six cups of attraction, a generous dose of snark and a freshly prepared Happy Ever After.
In all my research about how to make money from writing, I’ve learned the term ‘rapid release‘. This term just means, don’t make readers wait an age for your next book. Put them out regularly so people can get momentum from reading one, then the next, then the next.
I figured I could do that, since I had three manuscripts already drafted* which are all in the same series and are interconnected. I had the start of the fourth book started and ideas percolating for more.
(*Careful readers will notice I said drafted and not ‘ready’)
Here’s where I risked failing: too short a time between books.
Or rather, too short a time to edit. I’m a fast editor when I have the time and the right frame of mind. And giving myself just three and a half weeks would have been fine if that had been the only thing going on in my life. As it was I went to Rarotonga for eleven days in that time, and in Rarotonga wifi is rare and expensive. We had enough to be online maybe five minutes a day, and downloading large files of edits on Google docs wasn’t an option.
Obviously it wasn’t all just on me either, my editor has a life and other demands on her which means she can’t just hand over pages when I want them – and I wouldn’t expect her to! She’s a great communicator, and we managed time frames just fine. It was just tight.
What it meant was, as soon as I got back from Rarotonga (July 17th) I treated editing as my full time job. I’d already done 50ish pages of the manuscript, so it was 130ish pages I had to get through, and my deadline was July 23rd, which was the last possible day I can upload to Amazon and not mess up the pre-order.
A tight time frame to be sure, but doable. Just not without stress. But I love my editor, she makes her corrections and notes clear and easy to understand, she gets what I’m going for, she cares about my characters and she inserts teaching moments in her comments. Seriously, it’s brilliant.
So sitting down and committing myself to editing full time was easy enough for two days until…
I got a cold.
Let me tell you the last time I had a cold… it was probably this time last year. I have largely been outside office spaces, and resting well and avoiding sickness making places, and this means I just haven’t caught colds. When you haven’t had a cold for a while, getting a cold makes you extra pathetic. Well, maybe it just does that to me.
So I was in that weird space where making myself a hot drink seems too hard, and I’m crying so hard over the new Queer Eye episodes that I can’t breathe through my nose, and my eyes hurt from behind and I’m still focusing everything I have on editing.
Oh, also I had to do a full day shift at zinefest… where I needed to be bubbly and interact with people and hold my own head up.
The good news is I got the editing done, and I’m confident that the story of Cody, the sarcastic and mischievious security guard, and Dean, the manic pixie dream boy who runs a roller coaster, is a good one. They’re sweet and funny and there’s some darkness and some triumph, and there’s two recipes in back in case anyone was curious…
and Monday was entirely spent on formatting and checking ISBNs and Anna going through and re-formatting all the text conversations by hand because you have to have those in san serif but Vellum the formatting software doesn’t handle that automatically…
But it’s all done. It’s uploaded, and as soon as I get the paperback cover from my cover artist, the paperback will be available as well and I can’t wait for people to read it!
So my lesson is that rapid release is all well and good, but maybe be further along in the process than I was before you set up your pre-orders. Life gets in the way, and bodies are fragile. But having a good system of people around you is absolutely invaluable.
So, in conclusion, I’ve set the release date for book three to 21st of September, so instead of one month I have two months to edit and update and format and do all the things to get it ready to launch.