2019 Update – A Career in Transition

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. It’s been a long time since I’ve published anything, at least under my name. There are reasons for that. Many long and boring reasons that I won’t burden you with. What matters is that I’m still here, still writing and that I have various projects in the works:

I’m currently working on a co-authored book which right now is confidential until it is finished, as any decision to publish will be made then. There are reasons for this, but again, they’re complicated and kind of boring to talk about. All I can say is that the book is a techno-thriller. Should it be published, it will likely be in 2020. I’m approximately a third of the way into it right now and fully expect the first draft to be completed in the next few months. As soon as I can, I will happily share more details.

In addition to the co-authoring, I’m working on sample chapters and outlines for two sci-fi/techno-thriller books. These are going to a publisher. Nothing with these is set in stone, and, given the nature of the publishing industry, there is more of a chance that they won’t get published than they will. And that’s okay. That’s just the speculative nature of the business. One of the novels is an apocalyptic sci-fi story, while the other is a contemporary thriller with a spec-fic twist in the mould of someone like Blake Crouch. Should the publisher reject both, there is a small chance I’ll complete and publish at least one of them in 2020. Maybe both. I’d hate to say anything definitive right now.

Finally, the other project that has occupied most of my time this year is an urban fantasy series. I’ve already written a prequel novella/short-novel and outlined 10 potential volumes. I’m about a quarter of the way through the first novel. I initially began to talk about this project on my Facebook page, but have since deleted those posts for two reasons. 1: the co-author project has taken priority and 2: I’m finding it difficult to decide whether to publish those under my name or use a pseudonym.

The issue is not one of association; rather a marketing consideration. Given how Amazon and its algorithm generally works, in addition to human buying habits and branding psychology, it’s quite difficult and potentially damaging to market books across multiple genres under a single name. The tone of these genres is very much in opposition. Where my SF/Thriller books are gritty and serious, the Urban Fantasy project is comedic and irreverent.

My existing audience is also a consideration. How many of those who have read my previous books will be happy if I start publishing something wildly different? I’m sure a chunk of readers won’t mind and will happily come along for the ride, but given how different the Urban Fantasy project is, I suspect most won’t be interested. If I used a new name specifically for this, I wouldn’t have those concerns. On the flip side, writing under different names over the years has led to burn-out and split attention. I’d rather not do it, but the commercial considerations will likely dictate things because I write for a living, and it would be nice to keep the roof over my head and the bills paid.

That said, I’ll figure it out eventually. What is clear to me now is that due to various health issues, both mental and physical, and the speculative nature of these new projects, 2019 will be the first year since 2010 that I will not publish something. It has been a source of great frustration as I’ve struggled to regain my previous levels of productivity, clarity of thought, and direction. I had seriously hoped to get back on the horse this year and make up for lost time. However, I’ve spent most of the year spinning my wheels and have suffered from a lack of momentum. Now that I’m working on these new projects, things are taking a turn for the better.

Despite the lost time at the beginning of the year, there are at least four things I’m passionate about and working on, so even though my productivity over the last couple of years has been worse than a potato famine, the next year or two should, all things being equal, see a return to a higher frequency of releases. Whether that is via a publisher, with another author, or solo, I’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, know that I am writing and working and will eventually have something new to share in the near future.

And lastly, I’ve listened to a number of you via email and Facebook and will endeavour to post here more often to let you know about what I’m working on, the progress of my books, and more concrete things when I’m able to talk about them.

Thanks for reading!
CFB.