For the last month I've been quietly spreading the word that the fifth (and, hopefully, the last) book in the Kingston Raine series, 'the Lost Angel', will not be out this year. So, it's time to announce it officially. It might not even be out next year either.
I had planned on releasing another book this year as well. It's a horror story that I've already begun to caution people about because really bad things happen to undeserving people. I know that's common in horror stories and that bad things happening is kinda the point, but these are really bad things. That ain't gonna be out this year either.
If you're a reader who wonders why the hell author's embark on a series and then can't complete them on time, and you're pulling out your hair thinking, 'Well, just write more and faster, this is your job, damn it,' then you're a lot like me. After all, George RR Martin has been taking his sweet ass time with the final book and that won't be out this year either. Surely by now he knows exactly where the story is going and what needs to happen to get it moving along.
The worst part is that the Lost Angel is pretty much finished. People have begun to read it and have sent back some of their notes. The feedback seems to be, 'you're burnt out and it shows.' That's not really a good way to end a series. It reads like a stand up comic is just reciting his jokes instead of performing them.
I don't have writer's block. I'm just burnt out from being around the same characters for years. The book is almost twice the size as the first one. I spent the entirety of the first draft working full time for someone else doing weird shifts and not spending enough time writing. During that time the apartment I was renting was up for sale and there were three months of twice-weekly inspections when no one came except for the sales agent. That kind of disruption isn't great for a writer. Then I moved house (I got tired of inspections) so I became the inspectee! (The spell checker tells me 'inspectee' is not a word. It probably isn't, but you know exactly what I mean, right?) A month of me inspecting properties and then moving things back and forth, then setting up a new office so that it feels comfortable spending hours a day in there … life just got in the way.
So I'm shelving the book for a year. Maybe more. I need to recharge. I had originally planned on publishing it in November 2014, so to be here a year later and it still isn't ready eats away at me. Earlier this year I thought it might be possible to publish this book in June and another book around about now, but good old Kingston managed to take up so much of my time that the final draft to the horror story just kept getting pushed back. I've had to shelve that one for a few months as well. Why shelve a new story? Because it feels like I've done nothing but editing for the last couple of years. I need to write something fresh, from scratch, and recharge before going over an old project and finding out why I fell in love with it when I first wrote the story.
So that's the update. It might take me another six months to get something off my hard drive and into the real world.
By the way, I just finished reading The Martian. I actually stayed up until 4 in the morning to finish it.