Happy New Year! I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year. Mine was pretty quiet, but that’s how I wanted it. It’s been a long six months or so, adjusting to a new demanding day job and finishing my second full-length novel. I was also working on a novella for Christmas release, but that plan didn’t quite come off.
Before Searching for Steven was launched in June, I released a novella called Raving About Rhys. Set in the same fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, it’s set before Steven although the books can be read in either order.
Rhys tells the story of Callie Derbyshire – a minor character from Steven -and how she meets the man she marries at the beginning of Steven (Rhys). It works well as a stand alone story and, although it finishes at a perfect point, I started to think about a follow-up with another novella. This would continue to explore the relationship between Callie and Rhys, but it would also focus on Ruby, a fascinating resident at the care home where Callie works. She was a character I loved developing and she’s someone who readers have clearly warmed to as she’s mentioned a lot during reviews.
The plan was to launch the novella by the middle of November but, as I’d barely put fingers to keyboard by then, that wasn’t going to happen! I put myself under quite a lot of pressure in mid-late November to try and work on it ready for an early November release, but I got an unexpected opportunity to take on some additional work through a very part-time job I have and, financially, it was too good an opportunity to turn down. A week or so of intensive preparation for this on evenings meant that I couldn’t work on the novella and, ultimately, I made the decision that I needed to put my plan on the back burner as I simply wasn’t going to have the time to write it. I didn’t want to rush to write it and end up putting out something that was sub-standard. Better to wait and get it right.
The plan is still to release another novella following on from Raving About Rhys … just not yet. I need to decide whether I release it at some point between my second and third full-length novels (Getting Over Gary is out on 3rd March but available for pre-order now and the as-yet-untitled book 3 is out in late summer) or whether I make it a Christmas 2016 novella. I need to make this decision sooner rather than later because, of course, a Christmas release means the novella needs to be set at Christmas which will mean different timescales and different events to a none-Christmas release. Hmm.
At the moment, though, my priority is book 3. I’d written a lot of it, but I’d originally written it from three points of view. Then I’d started re-writing it from two POVs. Getting Over Gary was originally written from two POVs and, after a good chat with my publisher and a couple of trusted beta readers, I changed it to one POV just like Steven. Book 3 needs to follow suit so I need to do some significant work on it. It shouldn’t take too long, though, as the bones of the story are there; I just need to add some meat to some of them and remove others.
One of the main reasons I want to release the novella is as an experiment in indie publishing. I have a publishing deal for the trilogy with So Vain Books and I released Rhys through the same publisher as it made sense to do so. At some point this year, I’ll need to make a decision as to what I do next. Do I:
- Stick with my existing publisher (if they still want me, that is!)
- Look for a different publisher
- Look for an agent
- Go indie?
There are pros and cons with each option and I’m sure I’ll explore these in a future blog post. Releasing a novella myself will give me the chance to experience an indie release, it will show versatility on my writing CV, and it will give the hubby an opportunity to experience the process too. He’s a self-employed typesetter and he laid out the pages for Winter Tales: Stories to Warm Your Heart, the anthology of feel-good stories released by The Write Romantics last winter (and still available this year if you click on the title). He’d like to add indie publishing support to his services and this would give him a great opportunity to demonstrate success at this.
But, for now, it’s back to book 3…