It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .
. . . it was the time between contracts.
That’s right, folks, I am at present the writerly equivalent of unemployed. Aside from the copy-edits and page proofs for With Fate Conspire, I have no contractual obligation to a publisher. Which means it’s time to go rooting through the brain and figure out what I’m going to try and sell.
It’s a fun time because, dude! New ideas! Shiny! Four years of Onyx Court means four years’ worth of creative backlog, all kinds of characters and concepts that have been stewing away in my subconscious. Some that used to look all sparkly and keen have now faded, but others have arisen to take their place. Just off the top of my head, I can think of twenty-two books in six series that I would be willing and able to do next, plus some stand-alones. So I am living in a time of wondrous possibility, where anything could happen . . .
. . . or nothing. This is also the time where I chew off my fingernails, wondering if my sales figures are good enough, whether the ideas are commercial enough, second-guessing what would be the best thing to do next from a career point of view. Self-doubt creeps in, because right now I have no safety net, and the publishing industry is not exactly in good health. I don’t think I’m likely to find myself sans new contract, but it’s taken writers by surprise before, and what if I’m one of them?
And, of course, the worst part is that it’s slow. I have to polish up a proposal, send it to my agent, get her feedback, maybe polish it some more, then wait for her to submit it. After that, it might take weeks or even months to achieve resolution. Hence this icon.
You may be seeing more of it in the days to come.