First, behold the cover art for book 5, Shadowbound! I’m quite fond of this one, as it finally shows Miranda with some actual hips. You have no idea how tiresome it is to be asked over and over, “if you like fat people so much, why are your book covers all skinny women?”
Hint: The author doesn’t have nearly as much power in that area as you might think.
(In fact, while we’re at it, if your mental image of life as an author has anything to do with the show Castle, please know that that character has about as much in common with the average author as the White House chef has with a fry cook.)
At any rate, that leads me to my next announcement:
Ace has decided not to renew my contract, and so, Shadowbound will be the last Shadow World novel under their imprint. I won’t deny it broke my heart to hear the news. Traditional publishing has always been my dream, but we no longer live in a world where my dream is terribly relevant. The world has changed.
But what’s important is this: those of you who care about the Shadow World series needn’t fear. I fully intend to finish the entire series, and self-publish the remaining books. (I suspect there will be eight total but we’ll see.)
This works out well for you guys in that you will not have to wait an entire year between books – I don’t have a date for book 6 yet, but I know it won’t be as late as March 2015. In fact if it takes longer than six months to get book 6 out after book 5, I’ll be genuinely surprised.
I have experience publishing the Agency books in Kindle format, but beyond that self-pub is a new arena for me, so it’ll take some time and study to decide how best to proceed. I beg your patience as I figure out what the hell I’m doing. It’s kind of strange for a traditionally published author to suddenly “downgrade” to self-pub (quotation marks should be read as sarcasm, please), so I don’t have a lot of examples to follow.
In the meantime, I plan to get the remaining two Agency books ready for you, and Shadowbound will come out as scheduled in March 2014, paperback and all.
At some point, when I come up with a new series or novel idea, I will be seeking actual legal representation this time rather than believing I can effectively advocate for myself. But one way or another, this writergirl is not giving up. Writing is the one thing about me that has always, always made me proud; it’s the one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can do, and in fact kick ass at. It’s the one thing I always knew was mine – something I had to offer the world that gave me as much joy as it did others…at least when I did it right.
So if I had to give you advice, aspiring writers, it’s this: Do not give up. You may be writing NaNo your whole life and never go any farther, but if writing is truly in your blood, do it for that feeling you get – the feeling of finding exactly the right metaphor to wring tears from a stone, the feeling of a character finally stepping out into the light with her sword and fixing the crowd with a steel-eyed stare and “Any questions?” Write for those moments.
Forget about where it’s going, because the minute you start to compromise, the minute your story becomes about pleasing Jane Q Average American instead of yourself, tiny pieces of your creativity begin to die. Don’t let it. Hold your work close to your chest and nurture it until it’s time to nudge it off down the sidewalk to tottle over to the other newborn books and climb on the bus. Other kids will bully it, and it will come home crying, and one day it might get lost in the wrong neighborhood and get shot at by haters and trolls, but in the end, you know you had an amazing idea, and ideas, as V says, are bulletproof.
Anyway. I’ll have more information as it comes, but for the moment at least things are normal: Book 5 will be out on schedule and the changes won’t really begin until April 2014. So stay tuned, because there’s nowhere to go but up, and I’ll keep writing until they shut off my internet, after which I’ll go write at Starbucks.