The Second Act

Oh, Summer.

There’s something about Summer that drives me crazy. Maybe it’s the 118 degree heat. Maybe it’s the dust storms. Maybe it’s the bugs that creep into my house and antagonize my cats. Maybe it’s that I was made for cold weather. (That’s when I typically hit peak writing form.)

I can listen to rain soundtracks all I want but nothing can take the place of the real deal. I’m ready for cooler days, rain, and longer nights. But time moves faster for no one. So, I’ll just have to wait.

I’m stuck in limbo right now, trying to write the next Opposition novel while still promoting the first one. Jo’s story was one that threw me for a loop. The story that came out in June isn’t the story that I set out to write. The first draft of Midnight was called The Opposition, and was told with alternating perspectives. What I ended up with was a massive book that could easily break someone’s foot, or trigger a small earthquake. So, Midnight was narrowed down to the heart of the story and told from Jo’s perspective. That’s sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

It wasn’t.

It was a tearful, caffiene-sponsored mess of ripping out scenes and character development, beloved puns and storylines. But I didn’t let things go to waste. As soon as I realized that The Opposition was a series, everything else was filed away for later use. Sometimes literally. My massive tome shrunk down to the inciting incident of the series, which was Jo’s mysterious rebirth and hunt for Jamie. After sectioning that story aside, I was able to fully develop everything that happens next. And frankly, I’m thrilled that I suffered through the deconstruction of The Opposition novel to create The Opposition series. I’ve honestly never been prouder of anything else I’ve written. Because, even though I’m writing about non-real-life things, this feels like the most honest story I could write at this point in my life.

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 1.53.28 PM

In order from bottom to top: The Opposition transforms into Midnight.

(There were more than three drafts. Much more. The other drafts remained as computer files. I try to not kill too many trees with my writing.)

*Minor Spoilers for Midnight. Jump to “Patreon” to avoid.*

Book two is not told from Jo’s perspective.

Now, don’t get upset. Let me explain.

Jo was the character doing things while everyone else sat around eating Chinese food, slowly getting suspicious of their predicament. Jo is still in the next book (quite a lot actually). Jo is still doing Jo things: causing disruptions, making bad puns, etc. She is just not the narrator of this story. And this leads to the delightful opportunity of describing Jo through others’ eyes.

For this next go-around, it’s Langdon who will be doing the describing.

Earlier this year, not even a week after I finished Midnight, I started on his story. I got about 60k before I stopped, threw out the entire thing (save for one paragraph*), and took a look at what went wrong.

I love Langdon, but like Jo says, he never does a single thing I tell him to do.**

The funny thing about when I get stuck on a story is that I never get stuck on plot; I get stuck on tone. While the plot of the next book is the same plot of that 60k I threw out, it’s a matter of finding the tone that feels authentic to Langdon/ Lanny/ Lan/ Peanut.

So, that’s what I’m working on now. Langdon’s story. He’s on speaking terms with me again, but the promo for Jo’s story is still tying me up, taking away time from writing. That, and other things.

Patreon

I’m restarting my Patreon account soon, within the next month. I’m finalizing the rewards, making sure that I have the goods to offer in return for support. If there’s anything you can think of that you would want/ would incite you to make a donation, press that contact button at the top right and send me your suggestion. I want to make this Patreon exciting for both sides.

Other Things

The winners of my Goodreads give away have been notified, and their prizes will be sent off in the next couple of days.

Over 1,300 people entered my give away!  That’s… a lot.

A lot.

I’m sitting in the same chair that I wrote the majority of Midnight in. I never thought I would one day publish it, much less say that 1,300 people clicked a button to try and win it.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to say that I can’t believe 1,300 people bought my book.

You know what’s hard?

Reviews.

Getting reviews is hard, my people. If you’ve read Midnight, please leave a review on Amazon, or some other site where it’s available.

Oh, and promotion. That’s harder. I don’t want to be the person screaming, “BUY MY BOOK” every time you log onto your social media accounts, but if I don’t tell people about my book, they won’t buy it, and suddenly I’m seventy-three years old, sitting in an office at a job I hate because I needed money to feed my cats and gave up on my dream.

Help me out and put your creative skills to good. Use the tag #midnighttheopposition on your posts. Bookstagram your copy with some fairy lights. Make Jo proud and take a picture of it next to some poutine, or make her really homesick and take a picture of it somewhere in Brooklyn. Make a tumblr post with your fancast or favorite quotes. Impress me, and I’ll send you a postcard with a clue.

Until Next Time

Let’s recap:

Stefani is tired of Summer.

But not tired of Summer’s Child.

Reviews. Posts. Recommendations.  Those warm my heart faster than a cup of coffee.

Be sure to keep an eye out for my Patreon account.

Later, alligators.

 

*It’s a really good paragraph, my dudes. You will be impressed.

** That was a snarky line I added in editing, while also busy writing the second book. I have no qualms about side-jabs at my own characters.

 

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