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Sunday, March 7, 2021

To the Skies!

I've mentioned a couple of times over the past months that the first publisher I worked with has shut down, all the rights to my books have reverted back to me, and I had to figure out what to do with them. I took my planned writing break following the completion of A Flame Among the Stars, but then it was time to decide what to start next. As always, I had a number of ideas to choose from, but one possibility called to me the loudest: I wanted to finish off the Skies series.

To recap: Searching the Skies was my very first published book, featuring Commander Geneva Greyson and her attempts to balance her career goals with her family life, along with having to choose between two men who show a romantic interest in her. (Spoiler alert! She chooses both, and the three of them live happily ever after.) As this was my first major writing project that wasn't fanfic, I didn't really think too far ahead beyond "can I get something published?" I don't even remember what made me want to write a sequel, but I did, and it came out a year and a half after the first one. I did have plans to write a third book and had a pretty solid outline for it, but for a whole long list of reasons, it never happened.

So, here we are. Before starting the shiny new book, I wanted to go through and edit the first two. I'd skimmed through them back when the rights first reverted back to me, and I knew I had some work to do. As I wrote in a previous post, Searching the Skies was...ARGH. Ergh. Bleh. I guess if nothing else, it's nice to be able to say I've so obviously improved as a writer? Some of it was downright painful to reread, to the point where I almost want to track down everyone who read it and apologize to them. Honestly, there were points where I considered scrapping the whole thing, but if this were easy, everyone would do it, right?

I believed a good story lay hidden in there somewhere and slogged through to the end. Next up: Defying the Skies. While not flawless, I'm pleased to report this one held up considerably better. Sure, there were some errors that had been missed the first time around, and a few instances of lazy writing and awkward phrasing, but there were a few points that made me say "oh, damn, there's some really good shit in here". Us writers are often known for doubting ourselves, so those moments where the opposite happens are quite nice, I must say.

Okay, so the first two books are edited. Time to start the third! I started a new file two nights ago and I'm easing back into writing these characters I first created almost ten (!!!) years ago. But wait, there's more! As I said, I'd outlined the third book (and even titled it!), and it had a clear beginning, middle, and end...but then I realized that the ending I'd planned wasn't the most satisfactory, especially considering the series as a whole and comparing it to the previous two. I mean, it's an ending, in that it concludes the story the book tells, but I don't think I can leave off there. To make a long story short, I've decided this trilogy is now going to be five books long, and everything will be finished off with a pretty little bow on top by the end.

It sounds like a lot, and I definitely have my work cut out for me. I also have to decide on the best route for publication, and while I have some ideas/strategies, I need to get a bit more actual writing done first. For now, though, this is what I want to focus on, and I'm looking to more fun, sexy space adventures. Because I firmly believe the world can always use more of those.

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