Talk a bit about the Purple Morrow and where the sequel is in process.
The idea for The Purple Morrow started a few years back when I wanted to explore themes related to loss, redemption, and moving forward. The story of a man unable to deal with the past while being thrown into a crisis demanding that he settle things and move on seemed a good place to start.
The Purple Morrow started very simply; I’d intended it to be a solo book. But as the story developed and the characters matured, I knew the full tale had to be explored. The world of Marathana blossomed, becoming multi-cultural, each people group following their own cultural or religious beliefs. Magic and spirituality are also firmly rooted in this world and play essential roles in determining which side–good or evil–will prevail. I had a full-fledged trilogy on my hands.
At the moment, Wolf’s Bane, the sequel is is scheduled for release February 23! I’m really excited about its release, as I’ve been wrestling with this book for a while. It was hard! The scale and scope of the story is larger than Morrow. This book takes the reader deeper into the conflict developing across Marathana, introduces the reader to new players and people groups, and drastically raises the stakes. Questions of identity, and individual choice versus the greater good are explored. Jeru struggles to take difficult steps forward in his destiny while Kelen fights a new evil dogging his every move, all of it leading to a devastating end. It was the biggest challenge yet, but I am thrilled with the result.
Why did you choose to leave your publisher and go independent?
In honest truth, there were a few reasons. First, I didn’t like dealing with the limits. I like to be in control, and having to go through someone else to organize a giveaway or set up a coupon, or upload the book to other distribution platforms, for example, were major problems. Second, I didn’t like not knowing exactly how many sales I was making. I am sure they were honest, but money is money and when it comes to that, I want to see the details, real time. Third, I had to buy my own books to sell. Now to be fair, this is how I sold the most books and made the most money, BUT producing paperbacks and shipping them over the border (I live in Canada) was expensive. I only ordered one shipment because the second time around the cost of production had gone up. At that point, I said, “This is crazy. I can’t even afford to produce my own books!” Fourth, splitting sales with a publisher whom I had already paid to produce the book when I was essentially doing all my own marketing and publicity was another big issue for me. So I decided enough was enough. I’d learn to produce my own books to the best of my ability and manage the whole shebang myself. Voilà!
Talk a bit about your experience with going independent.
See all that bravado up above? That got me to the point of getting out of the contract with the publisher and to produce an ebook and print version of Morrow (the latter is not yet available), but it didn’t prepare me for the burden of carrying the whole thing by myself. Yes it was good to be in control, but it was also frighteningly discouraging to suddenly be aware that sales might not be as swift as I had hoped/thought (maybe ignorance IS bliss). I was faced with the reality that in order to sell I had to get my act together more now than ever. It was a taste of reality I hadn’t been ready for.
Also, getting books into stores (brick and mortar) is harder without a publisher backing you. So that is also something to be aware of, for those who are looking to see their books in a storefront or something.
That being said, for the time being, I don’t think I would want it any other way. I like the flexibility to write the books I want to write, without having to conform to an editor or publisher’s expectation of what will sell. I used to be stressed out that, without a publisher, I wouldn’t be taken seriously or that I wasn’t a legitimate writer. But through this experience, and others, I’ve come to realize that I like who I am as a writer, and that the stories I tell best are those that come from me. My voice and style are unique to me, as are the ideas and themes I choose to explore. Some people will ‘get’ me and some won’t. That’s okay. I might never be famous or see my books sell tons of copies, but for those who do enjoy my books and stories, I can rest in the knowledge that, for the hours they came along for the ride, we connected. Maybe even had a few thrills and shared some laughs, too. And maybe, when they put the book down, they’ll want to see what’s in store for them in the next one. :) What more can a writer ask for?
Whatever else you would like to add.
I love chatting with readers, so if you’ve enjoyed reading about my writing journey, I’d love to hear from you. My contact links are below. Oh, and my blog is open to featuring writers of all levels who are trying to get themselves ‘out there’, so drop me a line if that’s you. It’s been said that writing is a lonely art, but it doesn’t have to be. We are a community, so let’s connect! :)
Book links, author links, all that good stuff.
Amazon Author Profile