One big perk of self-publishing?
While I wait to hear from my publisher about a possible new traditional book deal, I can continue writing. I've written three books while waiting. THREE BOOKS. In the old days, I'd just wait. And wait. And wait. But now I can be productive in what used to be unproductive downtime. Of course this means I NEVER have downtime, which is EXHAUSTING.
My newest self-published title is He's Come Undone (release date approximately March 1). This is another New Adult contemporary romance set in the world of what I think I’m going to call City of Lakes. If anybody has a better name for this series, let me know! There's of course the whole come thing, because all books will have come in the title, but come is also a sex word, so it doesn't seem a good idea even though it would be the obvious choice.
Come As You Are and He's Come Undone take place in the same location, same year, same month, same days. Characters in both books visit the same areas of Minneapolis, work in the same cafes, drink lattes in the same coffee shops, go to the same movie theaters, and walk down the same streets.
Why I’m reluctant to call it a series:
In He's Come Undone and Come as You Are there's no character crossover although a main character in He's Come Undone bemoans the fact that the Kurt Cobain class is full (because Molly from Come As You Are took the final seat), and another character in He's Come Undone gets a job at Bad Waitress (where Molly works/worked.)
If He's Come Undone does well and I continue with the books, I envision some scenes in which characters from the third book interact with characters from the first and second books – IN THE SAME TIME SPACE. Because the books will ALL TAKE PLACE IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER OF THE SAME MONTH AND YEAR. So readers who want more of Molly and Ian will be able to experience them through other characters.
What I've done differently with He's Come Undone.
I listen to readers. I don't know if listening is a good thing or a bad thing, but a lot of readers felt Come As You Are didn’t have a satisfying ending. It had an HEA ending, but I didn't go into details of that HEA. So I kept that complaint in mind when writing HCU. Another comment readers made? They wanted more hero time, so I've given Julian, the hero of HCU, more and longer POV scenes. Last thing? He's Come Undone is sexier (this was simply my idea. Ha!). I could also add that listening to readers is another perk of self-publishing. I can watch sales in real time (thus knowing which books are selling and which aren't), I can read the feedback, and I can adjust quickly and accordingly.
And here I must also confess that Come As You Are was an experiment in a genre I knew little about. The book was probably written too quickly because, quite frankly, I didn't think it would sell. Was I ever wrong.
I like He's Come Undone and think a traditional publisher would snatch it up. I briefly thought about submitting it, but when I realize it wouldn't be released for a year or more… Just don't want to wait, and don't want readers to have to wait. (That waiting thing again!)
I came up with this plot last summer, wrote it down, and just couldn't let it go. I really wanted to write it.
Blurb for He's Come Undone
Penniless and behind on rent, college student and once famous child actress Ellie Barlow takes on the role of a lifetime when she's hired by a group of young women to break the heart of the campus player who cruelly dumped them.
Transformed from slob slacker to jaw-dropping beauty, Ellie is dressed, styled, bleached and waxed, her chunky glasses exchanged for violet contacts. Along with physical prepping, she's coached on Julian's obsessions, which include long-distance running, Doctor Who, and J.D. Salinger.
In no time, Julian is in pursuit of his custom-made next victim, but when Ellie goes off script and begins to fall for her target the newest broken heart in this risky game could be her own.
City of Lakes
New Adult contemporary romances set in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Come As You Are
He's Come Undone