My original plan was to release book 2 of the Heretic Doms Club series (working title, Terms of Service) in early February 2018. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll probably have to delay that release date.
After taking most of 2016 off, I was hesitant to commit to a four-book series. For better or worse, I talked myself into it. It seemed like a no-brainer, really. I had small starts already on books two and three. I had a rough outline for each of them. My only real concern was book four, which I hadn’t much thought about yet.
At this point, book four is the least of my worries!
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Book 1 of the Heretic Doms Club, One Man’s Trash, comes out in just two weeks. My original plan was to have the other books in the series released every three months. Seeing as how I finished the first draft of One Man’s Trash back in June or July, I figured that gave me plenty of time to wrap up Terms of Service time for February, and even get a good start on book 3 (Gray’s book, so far untitled) before the end of the year.
Seemed logical at the time.
What Went Wrong?
Unfortunately, there were several factors I failed to take into account when I decided on this release schedule. First, my October was much busier than usual. October is normally a really productive month for me, but this year, not so much. Granted, I wrote over 18k words last week at a writing retreat, but it couldn’t make up for the fact that the rest of the month was a bust.
Second, I didn’t account for the fact that these books are longer than my usual contemporaries. I usually publish three or four books per year, but most of those books fall below the 60k mark. My contemporaries especially tend to be short (with Between Sinners and Saints being the one exception.) (My genre mash-ups, on the other hand, always seem to come out long! Song of Oestend, Release, and their sequels are all over 100k.)
But, the Heretic Doms Club books seem to be exceptions to my norm in more ways than one. One Man’s Trash is around 110k. Terms of Service is currently sitting at about 56k, and it’s *maybe* halfway done. It’ll probably be well over 120k by the time it’s done.
It’s still possible, right?
Logic says I could bust my ass through November, NaNoWriMo style, and still get the first draft done by Dec 1. The problem is, for an early February release date, I’d basically have to start edits immediately, which I hate. I’d much rather take at least a month (maybe two) to find beta-readers and work on revisions. Now, *maybe* I could still make that work — revisions through December, into rushed edits by January, and then get that final version uploaded at the very last minute for an early February release — but man, that is really not how I like to work. At. All.
Besides, that all assumes the story is progressing nicely. And unfortunately, that brings us to the biggest thing of all I failed to consider: this story is a hot fucking mess. I’ve been wrestling with it for months now, and while I may have 56k words, I’m not sure they’re very good. I’ve been tempted more than once to ditch the entire thing and start over. The only reason I haven’t done it yet is that I still don’t know how to fix it.
I hate being wishy-washy. I really do. I hate breaking promises I’ve made to readers, and I hate failing at goals I’ve set for myself. Even now, writing this post, there’s a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that if I stop fucking around and just buckle down, I can make that release date as promised. Part of me really wants to get these books OUT.
But I just don’t think that’s realistic. When I look at what my family has planned for the next two months (HOLIDAYS are coming, for fuck sake!), I have to accept that finishing this book is a long-shot at best. And even if I managed to get this one wrapped up in time, I’d already be behind schedule for book three.
So maybe it’s better to say now, up-front, before book one even comes out, that these books won’t be released every three months as originally planned. Every six months is probably a far more realistic goal. I just have to hope readers are still interested in meeting the rest of the members of the Heretic Doms Club six months from now. (And six months after that, and six months after that.) I’m not even going to give a new release date. Terms of Service will be finished when it’s finished. That’s all I know. Once that happens, trust me, I’ll be shouting about it from the rooftops.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support. If you haven’t yet preordered One Man’s Trash, you can do that here.