I’ve been debating about writing this post for a while. If you’ve ever read my Afterlife series, you’ll notice I still haven’t published the last book in the trio. I love paranormal romance, and I have since I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series over a decade ago. I still read it and still dream of all kinds of stories I could write in that world. It’s fun, challenging, and lets me get my interest in the demonic side of people onto paper.
I should insert here my decision to stop writing paranormal romance for the last few years doesn’t affect my desire to write it in the future. I have so many ideas how to end my Afterlife series, and so many more sprouting new series to get out of my head, but there are a few reasons why you haven’t seen any other paranormal stories from me. And some why you won’t see any soon.
This one is no one’s fault but my own. While I put a lot of hard work and promotion into my first paranormal title, Her Fallen Protector, the sales just weren’t there. I was still new to the publishing arena and didn’t really understand how much promotion I would be taking on, on my own.
Combine that with the fact paranormal romance is super competitive, and a lot PNR readers expect four or five books a year from their favorite authors, I just couldn’t make the cut at the time. I’ve just barely earned out my advance from my publisher four years later on that title (that wasn’t even a very big advance, guys), and I’ve only sold a handful of copies of the second in the series, His Seductive Target.
Because my sales were so low with the first book in the series, my publisher decided they wouldn’t be contracting the second (nope, I don’t hold that against them). I self-published that second book, but it never really took off. I was still learning, and here we are three years later, and I haven’t released the last book in the series because I can’t justify the time, energy, and money it would take to take another chance on the last installment of my PNR series.
This year alone, I have five romantic suspense books scheduled for release and five more on deck to write before the year is out. With my schedule of being able to work 1-2 hours a day, I have to put my contracted titles and future proposals (which actually make me money) before anything else, even if a book is calling my name to be written.
Last December I promised myself I would write the last installment in the Afterlife series (Isabel and Sorren’s book) and release it this October, but I simply don’t have the time. As much as I want and need closure on this series so I can possibly move on to bigger and better worlds, it’s just not going to happen anytime soon.
I’m Not Ready
There are some books that wait to be written, wait for the author to be brave enough, talented enough, thought out enough. The last book in the Afterlife series is one of these books for me.
I’ve actually sat down to write that book—a few times—but every time I think I’m ready, that I think I can give the series the ending it deserves, the romance Isabel and Sorren deserve, it slips away, or the doubt starts creeping back in. Putting aside low sales numbers and my packed schedule, I’ve come to the conclusion the book isn’t ready to be written just yet.
So I’ll keep it in the back of my mind. When I have the space in my schedule, I’ll open that file. At that point, it will honestly just be a passion project, something for me to enjoy writing and not care about whether it sells or if anyone out there is even going to read it.
Some day. Just not anytime soon.