Hello! (Hang on, this is gonna be a long post, but there’s lots of big stuff so read on…)
Well. It’s February. 2013. Where did last year go? Me, I’m just happy to be here and I don’t say that lightly. We had a crazy end of the year – or, actually, start of the new year. On New Year’s Day we had a fire in the house.
First off, let me assure you that we’re all okay and that there was no permanent damage done. My husband was able to put it out right after it started. But, it was a close call, one of those twisty twist of fate type of things.
IF it had happened at night, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here right now. None of us would. The electrician who came after told us we ought to buy a lottery ticket because if the fire had gone on for 2 minutes more it would have hit the main circuit box (or whatever that thingy is called) and the whole house would have gone, likely taking us with it. Our smoke alarm hadn’t even gone off before my husband got the fire out. Yay, hero hubby!
IF it had happened on a normal non-holiday Monday, none of us would have been home and we would have come back to the charred remains of everything we own. I have no idea what we would have done. All our family is in the US.
But here I am. I don’t want to make too much of it as everything did turn out as well as it possibly could have, but I do feel like it was a reminder of how short and fragile life is. And a reminder to move on and get going and get moving and get…doing!
So, that said, lemme tell you what else is going on and what my plans are for this year. Last year was a bit of a wash, writing-wise (other than the release of Cat Girl’s Day Off). I had health issues (nausea! migraines! oh my!), we moved house, and…well, life. I won’t bore you with details. I did finish a book last year (Ask Me), happily.
And I also wrote quite a bit on Mina #3, which I know many of you are waiting for news on. So…I’ve got good news and bad news on that.
Bad news first. Brace yourselves. I’ve tossed the greater portion of what I wrote on book 3 last year. Before you scream at me, please know that I haven’t done that lightly. For various reasons, it was best to do so. It just wasn’t doing Mina justice. It wasn’t the story I needed to tell or how I needed to tell it. It just wasn’t right. Sometimes those things happen. Horrible and frustrating, I know — and not just for me, but for you.
Okay. Whew. Still here? Now for the good news.
Starting this week on Friday, February 8th, I will be releasing via my newsletter the first four chapters of the book (disclaimer: obviously, these haven’t been copy edited…). At the end, there will be two or three choices and instructions for subscribers to vote on the next course of action for Mina and/or other characters to take. Kind of a Choose Your Own Adventure kind of thing (remember those?).
I will then be taking your votes and writing the next chapter or chapters. In two weeks time, the additional chapter or chapters will be sent out to newsletter subscribers with another vote to make on story direction. And so on.
VERY IMPORTANT: I manage my newsletter through Vertical Response. After you sign up, they will auto-generate a verification email. YOU MUST RESPOND to this to get the newsletter. If you have issues with this, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward it to them. Thanks!
Here are the answers to what I anticipate will be the frequently asked questions about this:
Why every two weeks? Why not tomorrow??
I have other writing commitments that I have to keep. And, besides, I have to allow some time for the votes to be made & tallied and then I have to write it in between those other commitments. I’m hoping I can keep the two-week schedule but I’ll be honest…if I hit a deadline, this will be the thing that, by necessity, slips.
You’re seriously going to write what we tell you to?
Um, yep. That said, I’m not allowing write-in votes so there aren’t going to be any “Mina meets an alien, falls in love, and moves to Mars” plot lines going on. I’ll give you two or three possible directions that you can vote on. I’ve already taken into consideration the feedback people have given to questions I previously posted.
Is this really free?
Yep. However, you have to be a newsletter subscriber to get the chapters sent to you. When the entire thing is done, I’ll get it all nicely formatted, have a cover image made, perhaps a spot of editing…and put it up as an eBook (Kindle, Nook, etc.) and possibly also as a “real” physical book as well (depending on interest) and everyone will have an opportunity to purchase it if they like in it’s final form.
Is there anything I can do to support this?
Absolutely! 1) Tell everyone you know about it and get them to sign up too, if they want to read the story. 2) Vote as early as you can, so I can get started writing as soon as I can. 3) I’d love it if you buy a copy of any of my current books out for sale (especially Cat Girl’s Day Off). Any sales do help.
What do I need to do now?
If you haven’t already, go sign up for the newsletter RIGHT NOW. If you’re coming into this late and you want to get the past chapters, e-mail me and I’ll send everything to date to you (if there wind up being a ton of requests for this, I’ll figure out a better system).
Are there any catches?
Potentially, yes. While I’m not expecting mass floods of people signing up for my newsletter to get the third Sucks to Be Me book, I’m also not going to keep writing it if there’s only like 10 people reading it (and yes, I can tell how many people open up newsletter emails…ah, the wonders of the Internet!). As much as I’d love those 10 people for following the story, I’ve got lots of other things I could be working on. So, please do spread the word. Share! Tweet! Shout it from the roof tops!
Oh, and by the way…frequent voters may see their names used in the story for characters…