Well, it's almost officially autumn again. I love this time of year. Autumn means long nights, foggy mornings, and cooler weather. It's kids returning to school, sweaters pulled out of the closet, colors changing, the smell of fermenting wine drifting through the valleys of northern California.
Summer is always just a little too hot for me, even when it's not terrible, and the shorter days and cool breezes of fall are perfect. Not to mention the colors. I love taking long drives this time of year, soaking in the incredible blazing colors of deciduous trees and grapevines.
This is also the time of year when I usually start publishing my new novels. This year won't be terribly different, although I may be a little behind schedule. Here's my situation:
So far this year I've written two and a half novels. The third should be done in a week or so (at least the first draft anyway). I've already started on the fourth, but I'll have to go back and pick up where I left off after I'm done with number three. On the downside, none of these books are ready to publish. I've given the first two rough edits, and I've had some feedback. The first two will get minor rewrites. The third and fourth will have some sitting time before I return to them. In other words, I don't have publication dates yet, but I'll post them as soon as I have a better idea. For now, I intend to publish at least two new books by Christmas.
So what's coming out? Well, Hank Mossberg #4 is on the way, and so is Iron Horse #2. I also hope to launch two brand new series this winter, but they are mystery/thriller novels and will be published under Jeramy Gates. If everything else falls into place, I will publish at least two fantasy novels and two mysteries per year, for the next few years. This will allow me to keep up with the stories my fans seem to enjoy most, and start building my mystery genre platform. Depending on my personal situation and my energy levels, I may publish more.
I have ideas for a novels, both stand-alones and series books, but I must use my time wisely. I have three children and I still work part-time doing property inspections for the company that used to be my full-time career. (This doesn't represent much income, but it provides nice opportunities to get out of the house and enjoy long drives through the wine country. Naturally, I also use this time to brainstorm books I've been working on, and since I'm getting paid to do so, I have been reluctant to let this part-time job go.) I also have to be careful to avoid burnout. If I push myself in any one direction too hard, I'm much more likely to abandon a project, so I have to pace myself. This is different for everyone, of course. I have found that four novels per year is fairly comfortable for me, and I don't have to worry too much about feeling exhausted by my writing.
So, that's the plan. This time around, I may even get to make my books available for pre-order! Here's one thing you can count on: As the shadows lengthen and the landscape explodes in a fiery display of crimson and gold, I will be diligently working to bring new stories to my readers, and doing my best to make them even better than the stories that have come before. Here's to a great year!