I wrote “The End” to Blood, Oil, and Love on May 18, and sent it out to beta readers starting on the 30th, after the first editing pass. I thought I was going to get it out in June. Yes, I know that men make plans and G-d laughs, but… I was optimistic!
While I waited for beta feedback, especially from the geologists, I resurrected the project I’d abandoned a little while before starting this one back in Nov. 2020. And it was not going well. It was not going well at all. And I told my friends I wanted to print it out, set it on fire, and abandon it. And write a shopping expedition about something utterly fluffy, like trying to find the perfect pair of shoes.
6 days after the initial round to betas, I was indeed writing a shopping expedition as a satire of common romance and science fiction tropes. And it exploded. Both the shopping expedition, and the wordcount… I ended up putting the edits on Blood, Oil, and Love on hold because I couldn’t hold two stories in my head at the same time. Especially when Twitch and Lizzes are in both of them, but aren’t the viewpoint characters in the second. (Trying to do both led to sloppy POV issues and name confusion.)
While writing the second novel, I tried to sneak in a class on Amazon Ads… and yet another story came alive, so I dropped the class, wrote the short, sent it to the anthology editor, and then got back to the novel, finishing A Perfect Day (With Explosions)* on August 16th.
Which left me with one novel with a bunch of beta reader feedback to deal with, and one to send out to betas. And I’d started to use Jutoh, a new software package, to avoid some formatting issues I’d gotten before. Due to that and other things, Calmer Half decided now was the time to finally put out the edits and print editions on Shattered Under Midnight and Going Ballistic, using the new software.
So then I had 2 books to go back and do second-edition edits on, and two books with beta reader feedback coming in, and a cover artist waiting patiently for feedback, and…
And we finally just tackled it one book at a time. The edits and print editions are out for Shattered Under Midnight, fixing a couple spelling issues and a few minor things I wasn’t happy with, because I always felt I rushed that release. Now that they’re done, whether or not the public ever notices or cares, I’m happier. It’s laid to rest an old “I really should have” regret. Yay for indie, that I can do that!
Then we got the edits and print edition for Going Ballistic out, fixing mainly the spelling issues for blonde/blond, and one point where spellcheck changed something misspelled to decent instead of descent, and I didn’t catch it. I hope I didn’t introduce too many new spelling errors, but I’m resigned to it.
And then, it was finally time to get Blood, Oil, and Love out the door. The working title was, at that point, still Like Blood For Oil. Calmer Half intensely disliked it, no matter that I was mocking the utterly malicious lie and the protestors who used it. I figure, no point in antagonizing my readers, so we changed it. (Especially no point in antagonizing the one who does my copyediting and formatting! Can you imagine the hell that is being very good at proper English, and being married to an American dyslexic? I love him so much, and am grateful!)
Funny thing, though: I am a believer in the Oxford Comma. I always have been, long before I married Calmer Half and started picking up his phrases. So the title was Blood, Oil, and Love. Calmer Half, when going through the draft and changing out all my British spellings and non-American phrases he could catch, also stripped the Oxford comma out of the title as he published it. So the cover art shows it with oxford comma, but the title is without. Publisher wins!
Unfortunately, I kinda committed to putting A Perfect Day (With Explosions) out a month from Blood, Oil, and Love. Which means the clock is ticking down now to get the blurb written for that, and print formatting done so the cover artist can finally get the print cover done, and…
When this is all over, I know I should be checking my sales, and arranging promotion. But I think I’m just going to sleep for a week.
All I have to do is ignore the story tickling at the back of my brain. I’m not starting on anything else until I have this out the door. No! I don’t want to multitask and have overlapping stories anymore!
Yeah, we know how that’s going to work. Anyone figured out how to feed their muse ritalin?
*This is the working title. The finished product won’t have parentheses, no matter how I like them, because on Amazon, parentheses indicate series titles. Le Sigh. Hand. Staple. Forehead. Tradition of working titles needing alteration continuing, check.