Last week, I shared an exciting piece of news to kick off 2019: that my novels will be getting new covers this year! (If you missed it, you still have until the end of the month to help me with their design, and enter to win an e-book bundle! Click here!)
The good news doesn't stop there. 2019 has a lot in store for the little town of Aviario: including a new series name, a fresh new genre to call home, and most importantly, a new novel!
This is all a very, very big endeavor for me. When I started this blog back in 2014, I had no idea the amount of work I would have to put in beyond writing. At first, self-publishing was overwhelming: so much marketing, design, graphic work, and networking needed to be done on top of doing the actual novel writing that I was worried I had bitten off more than I could chew. For a little while, when life outside the pages and screens got particularly rough, it seemed like I had. But looking at my characters, and hearing the stories they still want me to tell, I know that I still have a lot more work ahead of me. More importantly, I know that it is work that I want to do, work which excites me and makes me come alive more than any I could do for a "living wage" paycheck at a cookie-cutter desk job.
So as soon as I finish cutting cookies, at the end of the day, I'm going to come home and keep up the real work. More than ever, the last few months have taught me the importance of creativity and imagination in surviving when the going gets tough: whether it is through enjoying the creative works of others as a reader, or through adding to that creative ocean so that others can find the room to dive in and immerse themselves in something that brings them joy of their own.
But in order to make sure that my creations get the best mileage possible, I need to really get a grip on the steering wheel that is marketing. Most of what I have done up to this point has been shaky and self-taught, but over the last year and a half, I've done a lot of reading, a lot of research, and had some long, wonderful conversations with women who run their own businesses or pursued their dream careers, and love what they do for a living. They've taught me so much, and this is the year I'm putting it all into action. My work is going to get what the folks in "the biz" call a brand refresh. Some might call it a fresh coat of paint. I think of it a bit like that one scene in The Mask, when Jim Carrey's titular character bursts into the garage of some swindling mechanics, holding an oversized muffler in each hand: "Hold on to yer lug nuts, it's tiiiiime for an overhaul!" Why? Well, mostly because I'm a child of the 90s, a self-proclaimed dork, and my brain goes to the closest available pop culture reference as often as possible. But there's another reason, too, and that reason is road metaphors.
The road that takes me - and my creations - through this year is going to be winding, tricky, and under a great deal of construction. It's also going to be a lot of fun, as all the best long road trips are. I hope you'll join me along the way.
As always, I welcome your thoughts! Tell me about a journey you hope to take this year ... it can be a convention you're looking forward to, or a more abstract journey to be more compassionate, or even a journey of the imagination. Where's your personal passport taking you?
Dear Friends of Aviario,
I have been resisting this decision tooth and nail for longer than I'd probably like to admit. I know it's been a long time since my last blog post, and a while since I've been on my social media platforms, as well. Life outside of Aviario has been difficult, and as much as I had hoped to be able to balance being an author with my current struggles, it has fallen by the wayside. I owe it to myself and to all of you to step back, to address the things which are currently causing me stress and strain, and to focus completely on them. I have managed to write about half of the first draft of Adjustments, but my previous first drafts were all completed by this point in the year. Trust me when I say: this one is too good and too important to turn into a rush job. "A book a year" was a promise I made to myself, first and foremost, and while there's a little rush that comes with being that prolific, it's not worth sacrificing the quality of something I hold so dear ... or the possibility of burning myself out.
I haven't decided how long this hiatus will last ... perhaps, at least, through the summer. Quite a few things that are causing me strain and exhaustion are beyond my control, and I need to dig deep and find the sort of patience and resilience required to weather them. I appreciate the messages of concern and support I've received from some of you over the last month or so, and want to apologize for my "radio silence". There have been days when just thinking about how long I've been away has made me anxious: that spiral of avoidance stops now. I miss all my Twitter and Instagram friends, and I promise you, I'll check in when I can.
To those I've received book review requests or proof copies from: I do still completely intend to review your books! Part of my time away will be spent preparing for my return, and this includes reading and writing those reviews. I will be emailing you all separately for personal, private conversations. The same goes for anyone I may have scheduled guest blog posts with.
I know that in the culture of the internet, we expect things to come quickly, at a constant, breakneck pace. We click, we scan, we move on. But books are different animals: meant to be savored. I need to treat their creative process in much the same vein, especially this time around. I have complete faith and trust that this break will, in the long run, bring us all closer together, not create a rift of absence. In the meantime, be well, read good indie books, support one another, and - hmm - maybe reread the first three Aviario novels? This one ties them all together. You might want to refresh your memory ... wink, wink.
Until next time, I remain your fond concierge,
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