So, it’s been almost two months since my last blog update. I know. Ask me how long some people have been waiting for responses to emails they’ve sent to me.
My dear friend Depression has been visiting this summer, and hasn’t wanted to leave. For the last several months, it’s been increasingly difficult to make myself do anything unless it has an actual deadline attached to it. Mostly I’ve been doing escapist stuff and avoiding talking to people (if you’re one of those people in question, I beg you not to take it personally, as I’m avoiding everyone. It’s not just you.) The avoidance is probably for the best, actually. When I tend to get this bad, I will often go off the rails and behave badly and lash out at people and it’s not pretty. It also, however, has not helped me get a whole heck of a lot done.
So, what have I been doing?
In order of what you’re going to see released, I have two projects approaching completion.
The first will be coming out just in time for GRL, and is a box set with a bunch of other authors whose company I’m incredibly thrilled to be in.
My story is titled The Houseboy: Initiation, and is nothing short of pure, unadulterated erotica. Seriously. There are a lot of stories where I go for “smut with substance” and there is a lot happening behind the sexytiems. This…is not one of those times. It’s Daddy kink. It’s BDSM. It’s age difference, virginity kink, gangbang, objectification, semi-public sex, exhibitionism, and God only knows what else. In many ways, it’s what Strain would have been without the angst and the fuck-or-die element driving the plot. If that sounds like your cuppa, I’ll be sharing an excerpt in my next post. 🙂
Of course, my depression means my inner critic is being particularly loud, and I’m convinced the story is awful and has no place in the bundle and blah blah blah, but hopefully it will go over well. The bundle is up for pre-order if you would like go that route, and here are the links:
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
No, you’re not imagining things, Yes, we really are offering you 300K of original stories by some of your favorite authors for only 99 cents. Jump on this. Seriously.
The next project in the works will be coming out in December. I’ve already shared some about it, but in case you missed it, this is my first attempt at an honest-to-God mystery. (Yes, I went to the plotty place.) This is also the same book you might have heard me refer to in other places as Third Wave. I also went to a surprisingly low-smut place with this one. I’m not sure if I was proud or appalled at how sparse the content and kink warnings were when I was filling out the information for the product page at Riptide. PvP will be out in December and is available for pre-order from Riptide. Right now we’re in the middle of edits and I imagine review copies will be going out in the next month or so.
Now, what else have I been working on? Well, a great deal of my new-word productivity this summer has been spent on Bane. What Bane is, I’m hesitant to say, because it keeps changing on me. It started as a prequel to Strain, set about ten years before the events of Strain. It was the story of high-end escort Nico and Zach Houtman, the disowned elder son and brother of Father Maurice and Jacob in Strain, and how their actions and the actions of those around them led to the activation of Project Juggernaut and the plague that wiped out most of humanity.
And then I discovered that Darius, Rhys, Xolani and the rest of the Delta Company gang wanted in on some of the plot threads that developed as a result of those pre-plague events, it became a sequel to Strain with portions that jumped back in time (via extended flashback-like sections) to before the plague. So it was sort of going to be a prequel-within-a-sequel, if that makes sense?
But then, as I brainstormed a few plot points with Chris, the editorial assistant at Riptide, I realized I probably have too much content for just one book. Nothing is set in stone yet, but it is looking like it might be two books–the original prequel I envisioned, and then a sequel which will take the events of the prequel and bring them together with the characters from Strain. Right now the whole project is still being called Bane, though I imagine at some point there is going to be another title involved.
So, what does this mean? Well, I’m really excited about Zach and Nico’s story, especially since I get to delve into a lot of the politics and build the world and events that resulted in the plague, but for those of you who were fans of Strain, I’m sure the big news here is that yes, Darius and Rhys WILL be back. It was actually pretty amazing from a writing standpoint. I was stuck writing some stuff with Zach and Nico, so I decided to switch over and start working on a new scene with Darius and Rhys, and I swear, everything just fell into place. They came back to me so easily and naturally, and it just felt so right, and once I started working on them, everything else started to take shape and make sense. So I’m hoping to have the first draft of this two-book manuscript done in another month or two, and then hopefully Riptide and I will have more information for all of you.
And don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten that Geoff and Robin from Saugatuck Summer, or Matt and Chris from The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, are still supposed to get their own books. Those are just on the back burner for now because Bane is consuming my brain. And for those of you who are looking forward to PvP, you might like a heads-up that Niles’s twin brother Jordan will also be getting his own book, and also I may be dipping my toe into the f/f pool and giving Rosie, Niles’s boss and best friend, her story as well. In fact, she’s poking me in the back of the brain pretty hard and demanding it, and you just don’t say no to Rosie. It doesn’t happen.
Next month, I’ll be up in Seattle at Gay Romance NW 2014, and then in October, of course, I’ll be at GRL2014 in Chicago. I was not one of the lucky few who got an author spot, so I’ll be attending as a reader, but I will be at the Riptide table for the book signings, and I’ll be around, so you’ll get a chance to see me.
So there’s a lot in the hopper right now, the big issue is just overcoming the urge for avoidance and escapism that is part and parcel of being depressed. I’ll be trying to dig my way through my email and message backlog, so hang tight if you’re waiting to hear from me. Hopefully it will get easier the more I work on it. But for those of you are are still reading at this point, especially those of you who deal with chronic depression, what do you do to overcome it when you get in that place where you just want to avoid anything and everyone and not deal with it all?
7 responses to “The summer in review (or: “where the heck have you been, Amelia?”)”
Regarding your final question, I’m not sure I’ve got a good answer, but one thing I do is make a rule that as soon as I realize I’m avoiding something, I make myself do it right then. Even if it is the middle of the night. If that works only one out of five times, that’s an improvement. I’m sorry to hear you’re depressed. I’ve been floundering, too. It sucks. *big hugs*
*hugs* Thank you. I’ve been trying to make baby steps back into interacting with people on social media. Haven’t quite been able to dig myself out of the email backlog, yet. I’m hoping things will get better after school begins for the kidlet next week and I’m no longer going into each task thinking it’s futile because I’m just going to be interrupted anyway.
I don’t know if you’re getting this or not, but when I went through a chronic depression stage a few months back, literally on the brink of killing myself, I constantly imagined the people that I love in my head. Like my sister and my dad. I also envisaged beautiful, everyday things like flowers growing at the edge of the riverbanks, tree tops standing in the sunlight … Silly things like that. And then one day, as I was lying in bed inwardly delegating all of my belongings and books to loved ones, I suddenly noticed my finger prints and marvelled, again, how every things can be so beautiful and intrinsic if you focus purely on them, and not on whatever it is that’s making you feel down.
I suddenly began to see myself in a different life, and appreciated that I was alive and breathing with clothes on my back and food in my stomach.
That’s honestly what I did. So my advice would be: focus on something beautiful and focus only on that.
Forget everything else. Forget all the bad stuff … For a moment, let it all just slip away and focus on what makes you happy 🙂
Also, cannot wait for BANE. I read Strain for the first time at the start of the year. When I was done I was like “hmmm … What to do kid?” Then I literally flicked back to the beginning and reread it. And again. I have NEVER done that before or since.
Sent from my iPhone
Oh, Wow. Thank you so very much. I am definitely trying. Hopefully the fact that I’m getting to the point where I can’t procrastinate on a lot of stuff much longer will also help get me on task.
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I battle depression. What I do when I start to disconnect is workout really hard. I have to force myself, I have to make the time without kids, but the natural endorphins boost my mood, and help my energy levels. I try to workout about 4 days a week. The forced social environment helps as well.
Thank you. Unfortunately there are physical impediments to me taking that approach, but it’s a good strategy.