It's been awhile, since I've posted anything here or on YouTube, and my Instagram feed has been full of a bunch of random pictures, and nothing really in depth for you guys at all.
And here's why.
Writing is hard. Life has taken some crazy turns, and writing, as a career, is even harder when life takes those turns. I write full-time, as many of you know. Partly that is due to my health, but partly because Harpercollins took a chance on me, and gave me two book deals that changed my entire life!
That means I'm at home (or traveling to events or schools), trying to get the words on the page in order to make something new. It's amazing, but after awhile, that's tough.
By "after awhile", I mean the fact that I have now completed both of my series with Harpercollins. THE MURDER COMPLEX ended when THE DEATH CODE (book 2) came out this May, and now I have finally turned in the final book of the BALANCE KEEPERS trilogy, and the 3rd and final book of that one comes out September 2017. ***cue brain exploding***
It's an incredible feeling! Literally, incredible, to know that I've finished up 5 books with my dream publishing house, and by September of next year, they will all be in stores and all said and done. It was SOOO hard to get here (120 rejection letters, 9 months on submission, tons of no-no-no-it's not for us-no-no-no, until finally, finally a YES!), and I am so proud of my journey.
But now, it's ending. At least, the journey that I know is ending. And here's where it gets a little complicated.
I have amazing fans, amazing readers, and I love you guys all so much, and now that my YA series is done, and my MG is nearly done, you have all been asking me the same question: What's next?!
The answer is...tough.
The answer is that sometimes, being a writer, even after being published, still means getting rejected.
I wrote the book of my heart, several months ago, before Christmas. It's called NEXUS, and it's a book that is YA, and dark, and fun, and differnet, and sort of like a mashup of scifi and fantasy, and wow, I love it. I love it so much that when I reread it in the dead of night, because I'm awake thinking about the characters and the story...I feel inspired to write all over again.
I come alive with that stupid, silly little book that stole my heart.
And then there's a YA fantasy book that's in the works, and I love that book so much too. I wrote the first draft right after THE MURDER COMPLEX sold (it was called RAVEN back then), and man, it sucked so bad..but I loved it. I really did, and now, I have a notebook full of ideas, and rewrites, and I can't wait to dive back in and fix it and make it shine. And then of course, there's a new Middle Grade book called GENESIS, that's been eating at my brain, full of fantasy and creatures and fun and a Sand Wolf and a really evil villain...
There are so many ideas, and so many opportunities, and so much hope and so much fear...
It's been since May, and NEXUS hasn't sold. For months, I've been sititng on hope. Hoping that it would sell, and I'd be able to do this awesome post saying "OH MY GOSH LOOK AT WHAT IS NEXT!" But now it's time to be open and honest, because you, my readers, deserve that truth. You've been asking, and I haven't answered.
I'll be brief in saying that my dream publisher passed on this new book. And that took a LONG time to get over. It wasn't because the book sucked. I think it's not half bad, actually :) It took SO long to get right, and wow, was it hard to get out of the MURDER COMPLEX world, and in to something entirely unique and new.
It's just because it wasn't meant to go to Harpercollins. God is guiding my career path, and Dude, I love you, but what are you doing up there? What direction are you pushing me to go?
I'm sure of that now, that I don't control my own fate, that God is guiding my hand and my path, and I trust him, I really truly do....
But I'm a human. I'm a creative human who gets anty and angsty and dramatic and depressed, and currently, NEXUS is out floating around in the world of submission, aimlessly trying to find a home. And please, little book, find that home, please.
My husband and I have struggled financially. We've just recently moved into the country with his family, into a house full of 9 crazy, lovely people, because as a writer (and a youth pastor's wife!), you don't make a ton of money if you aren't selling new books. See the issue here?
It's scary. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, because I'm not. I'm lucky to be living my dream. But I want to keep living it, and I want to keep signing books and inspiring other writers to strive, always, to reach their goals, and I want this career to last so bad that it hurts and it keeps me up at night, and some days, I find it hard to breathe wondering why isn't this happening? Why are my book deals over and done, and why can't I be good enough to keep pumping out books for my readers, and why and why and why and...
Today, I stop asking why.
Today, I tell myself that every writer has a journey. It's hard when that journey comes to a halt for a while, but I know in my heart it's not over.
Today, I promise you all that I won't quit.
Today, I become that 19-year-old girl again, who so desperately wanted to get published that she'd do anything. And she would never, never quit.
If this book doesn't sell (come on NEXUS, just sell!!) I'll write another. And if that book doesn't sell, I'll write another after it. I'll keep going, and someday, by God's good grace, I'll get another book out in the world! And dadgum, I'll make it good.
I don't know when it'll happen. I can hope, and dream, and pray that it'll be soon, (tomorrow? tonight?)...
But something will come, Readers. It will, because I won't quit if you won't, and when it does happen, when I finally get to sign my name on a publishing contract again, it's going to taste so sweet. I'm probably going to cry, and wonder why the heck it took so long, and I'm probably going to be super annoying on the internet, and heck, I could be 70 when it happens, old and gray and still trying to pump out stories with hopes that the world will want them.
But today, I have finally have an answer to your question.
Something. Something is next.
And I hope you guys will still be there, excited and ready, to join me when it comes.