The past month has gone by in a blink. It's very similar to what our spring was here. We had about a week of nice spring weather and temperatures before Mother Nature turned up the heat. It's set to be over 100 here in Minnesota for the next several days. I plan to walk my boys in the mornings and spend the rest of the days inside since the heat index will be through the roof. I try not to complain too much since I hate cold weather. I’ve been spending as much time as I can outside with the dogs and watching my favorite kids play baseball and softball. Playoffs started at the end of May and I always make it a point to get to as many games as I can while they’re still in it. When time allows, I try to get out on the lake and do some fishing with my Dad. Needless to say, the time moves by a lot faster than I’d prefer, but I love keeping busy.
What’s been on your summer party plate? Any fun trips planned? Any big purchases you’re hoping to make? I’m still searching for the perfect house to buy. I’ve had a few that have caught my eye, but nothing has jumped out in such a way that I’ve gone ‘Yup, this is the one I have to buy’. I’m taking that as a sign that the perfect house for me is still out there and that I just need to be patient. It’s certainly not one of my stronger qualities, especially since I really like having a solid plan in place with it comes to my living situation and finances, but I’m learning to roll with it. Keep rolling on with this post to find out the latest book updates!
I don’t know if I’ve ever noted it in previous blogs, but I actually have four jobs outside of writing, which take up a lot of my time. My full-time job is working for my local county as a payroll technician. It’s the standard 9-5, but I really love the work and my co-workers. They give me a lot of memorable moments that will eventually find their way into my books. I also work with our county probation department after hours to assist in testing drug offenders as part of their contract with the courts to rehabilitate themselves without serving time. It’s a rewarding side job that allows me to utilize my sociology degree more than I had been after graduating from college. It ends up taking up over half the month when all the days that I do it are compiled, but it's certainly worth it. I really enjoy helping these women get their lives back on track.
I also help out the local auction house that my best friend works for when they need help for live and onsite auctions. The spring and summer are their busiest times so I find at least a day of my week going toward that work as well. And last but not least, I do contract work outside of all of this that totals up to an additional 40 hours on top of my full-time job and the other two side ones. I figured I’d actually outline this in a blog so that it brings a little more insight into why it takes me a little longer to complete my books. I don’t keep to a set writing schedule because of those jobs. Lately, I’ve been trying to set a weekly goal of just getting some words down because committing to a set hour word count isn’t really possible right now with everything else I’m juggling. It's something I'm trying to put more focus on so that I can get back into a groove with my words and characters.
I received Taming J back from Monica at the beginning of June. I’ve slowly been working through the edits while trying to write. I hope working on it again will help motivate me to keep trucking along with Saving Us so that I can complete the first draft within the next couple of months. I honestly don’t know if that will happen, especially since it took over three months to get Taming J back from the first round of editing and it will need at least one more run through from Monica before it’s ready to be published. As I’ve been saying all year, my hope is that I will be able to release them at the end of the year or right away at the beginning of 2023. I will also admit that my health and stress level have factored into half the year passing by without much progress on Saving Us. I have put more of a focus on overall health than writing and I hope that I’ll feel inspired to really crank out the words soon.
As noted in previous blogs, I’ve been battling with ACX since January to get the problems with the audio scripts sorted out and it still hasn’t been fully resolved for all of the books. When Complicated and Concealed were put back out for narrators to audition for, their scripts encountered the same issues that the Someday Series had with them. On top of that issue, not all of the auditions I’ve received are available for me to listen to as well. It’s unfortunate because there are some that I received last year that I really want to listen to again and reach out to the individual to see if there is still interest in narrating Complicated or Concealed. While I wait for both situations to resolve, I have been in correspondence with a narrator who really loved the Someday Series and is still interested in narrating them. I’m waiting for her to resubmit her auditions to me to listen to again and am hopeful we can work out a deal on at least one of the books. I am hoping to get some offers on the table with firm deadlines for all five books done by the end of the year with firm completion dates put in place so I can do a proper marketing push for them. Conflicted didn’t get the push it deserved because of all of the issues that happened with Kodi. Let’s all cross our fingers that whoever I pick will be willing to accept my offers and can stick to the timeframes set forth in the contract. If I learned anything with Kodi, it’s that I definitely need to be more assertive and put my foot down when my kindness and flexibility are being taken advantage of, which unfortunately happens a lot. I don’t think this will happen with the narrators in the running, but you never know. Live and learn!
I’ll be at the Mall of America in Minnesota on August 6th for the Royal Readers Event. I’ll be unveiling a new banner and some posters for each series that have never been seen before so I really do hope to see you there! You can learn more about the event here → https://www.royaltouchphotography.com/event.
Be sure to check out the online store. There are some fun bundles that are specific to the characters. You can also get signed copies of all the books in paperback and hardcover from there along with a lot of other goodies! I also recommend jumping into my group or heading to my author page on occasion. I have been doing more giveaways in both spots that offer new swag packages that you can purchase on the store as well. If you don’t want to buy, it’s a great chance to win some pretty cool stuff.
On a final note, I am still looking for a place to live. This is not only a necessity, but needs to happen before the snow flies again. Unfortunately, the housing market has been on the downslide and the mortgage rates aren’t ideal. That is feeding into what kind of houses go up on the market and the asking prices for them. Many of the houses I’ve been interested in have had offers put in on them before I could even blink. I’m not joking when I say that many of the houses in my price range in my area will go up one day and have offers put on them within two to three days. It’s keeping me on my toes as I search for the perfect home, but it’s also brought on additional stress that impacts the whole writing process and have made it very difficult for me to focus on my characters. Once I have a home and close on it, I know that I will not be nearly as stressed out and be in a better mindset to work on Saving Us. Because this is the final book for ALL of these characters and could be the very last one I do overall, I want to do it right and give the characters I created all those years ago the ending they deserve and have more than earned. As always, thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully I have some exciting news to offer next month!