Ritual Dreams

Ritual Dreams will be written by the end of January as long as I can write 400 words a day. So far so good on it. I put 2,000 on it Monday night. It is scheduled to go to the editor in mid-February and release on April 1, 2019.

Pre-Orders are available (links below).

A few things to know about Ritual Dreams. It does involve ritualized sexual abuse, nothing that I get into details about though. Even I have my limits and severe mental illnesses beyond ASPD and BPD.

That paragraph above is part of the reason it has taken a year to write. I realized I needed to learn more about cults and broke out the research, even interviewing one of my readers who grew up in a cult (turns out I have 5 readers that were raised in cults, which is kind of unsettling).

The mental illness I picked was incredibly complicated to write, both from the perspective of the person that has it and as someone who didn’t have a ton of experience with it in real life. And since I did pick a mental illness as a complication of my killer, I had to get those parts right. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I hadn’t given the mental illness every bit of authenticity I could muster.

Every time I wrote one of the Killer’s Chapters, I had read and scrutinize it and then do it again a few days later. And then I had to find ways to discuss the illness without info dumping, which was exceptionally hard as there was a lot of information that needed to be included.

Of all the killers I have created, this one is the scariest and most sympathetic in my opinion. As Ace dealt with her own existential crisis of not being able to just label the killer a “bad guy,” I had to overcome some of my own demons. And I had to struggle to make Ace not feel sympathy towards the killer, since she is supposed to be incapable of such a complex emotion.

There were nights I went to bed and dreamed of the killer. There were days I stared at a killer’s chapter I had just written and agonized over whether it was “accurate enough.” Then there were other times, I just stared at the blinking cursor and wondered “what the hell was I thinking to tackle this?!”

But once the Lyrica was out of my system, the writing was so much easier. And so much more concise or as concise as any Cain novel ever is, she is rather wordy even in her thoughts.

Demonic Mystery Man

Whilst writing Flawless Dreams a strange man showed up.  He had no face.  He had no place, not in the story I was writing at the time.  However, I have often found that one part of my brain is different than the other and this makes strange things happen when I write.

I can’t speak for other writers, but for me, my stories play out like a movie in my head and I am just the conveyor of the story to others.  It works, most of the time.  Sometimes characters do things I don’t expect and no matter what I try, they won’t do what I want.  Pretty sure I’m not crazy, but there are moments I’m in doubt since I don’t feel like I’m in control of the storyline.

Que up the song Return of the Phantom Stranger and enter the demonic mystery man…

I knew who he was.  I have known of his existence since I started writing these stories nearly 20 years ago.  He wasn’t supposed to appear yet.  I hadn’t planned on him showing up for nearly five more books.

Yet, there he was.  Hunting in the shadows.  Repeatedly making appearances to screw with the characters and the plot of Flawless Dreams.

I deleted multiple chapters to get rid of him, but he kept worming his way back into the story.  Obviously, some part of my mind believes it is time to tell his story.

This left me with a bit of a problem.  As soon as I sent Flawless Dreams to K. Smith Proofs, his story began to form in my mind.  I wanted a break.  I spent so much time last year struggling to write and battling my own personal demons, that I didn’t want to deal with my characters’ demons.

But he refused to be ignored and by the end of the night, I was typing up the first chapter of a book I had not intended to release this year.

I spent the weekend out of town with friends and family.  Lola the Destroyer got to go and she had a great time.  But even though I was out of town, without my laptop, and without work on my mind, when I closed my eyes, he was there.

This is the part that makes most writers think they might be crazy.  How do you explain to someone, anyone, that you can’t control a character?  It’s a figment of our imagination.  It isn’t like it’s a real person with needs, wants, desires, and fears.  We should be in control, but sometimes, we just aren’t.  Even when I’m not pounding out words on my keyboard, they continue to exist in my mind.  Sometimes, they appear in my dreams, like the mystery man of Flawless has.  Sometimes, they just take over a thought and we get lost in our own imagination.

Anyway, the next book will not be Ritual Dreams as I had intended.  The mystery man demanded my attention and he got it.  This means that Demonic Dreams will release after Flawless Dreams.  I would apologize for this, but I think my readers will enjoy Demonic Dreams.  It will answer some questions they have about some key issues that haunt the D&R characters.

And I’m going to try to release it as fast as I can.  I know that after readers finish Flawless Dreams they will instantly want Demonic Dreams.  I’m already several chapters into it and the mystery man will have his story told.

 

Writing Progress Report

I’m going to try to do monthly-ish writing progress reports (they may happen every month or every 3 weeks or every 5 weeks, one just never knows with me).  This is where I’m at now:

  • Terrorific Tales has published in ebook form and the paperbacks are in progress.  Just waiting on the final edits from my editor.  It has one Amazon review…
  • Triggered Reality is with the editor.  I have her notes on Eric Clachan’s story and am now awaiting her notes on the other serial killer story in it.
  • Flawless Dreams is about half done and I suspect I will send it to the editor the first week of April.  I am planning May release.
  • Movement in the Shadows has one story done.  So far, it is making me broaden my writing horizons.
  • Death Demon Trilogy Book 1:  Legacies Awakened has six chapters done.  These are the continuation of the Brenna Strachan novels and will center on an adult Callie Strachan.
  • The next Dysfunctional Chronicle has begun to take shape in my head.
  • Ritual Dreams has a plot and a serial killer.  I’ll begin work on it pretty soon (after I finish Flawless Dreams).
  • The second Reality book doesn’t have a title, but will feature the character stories for Brent Timmons, aka the Tallahassee Terror, and Turkish Jack.

What Have I Been Doing?

I decided to give a progress update.  I’ve been juggling a lot of different projects and some are moving faster than others.  So, feel free to ignore this post if you don’t read my books.

  • The first round of edits on Fortified Dreams is complete.
  • I have 6 days to finish a Dysfunctional Chronicle which has been giving me fits.  I’m just not feeling funny right now.  I’m trying to work on that by re-reading Good Omens.  It is one of my favorite comedies.
  • I am beta reading for another author… Love the book so far, but haven’t had the time to dedicate to it that I had expected.  I feel bad about that.
  • Legacies Awakened – Book 1 in the Death Demon Trilogy finally found traction.  It is going to piss off a lot of Strachan fans, but it has been a great motivator for the series.
  • Flawless Dreams is started.  I have the first serial killer chapter written as well as the first few regular chapters.
  • Ritual Dreams also has the first serial killer chapter written.  Nothing more though.
  • I have been in a dark mood lately, I think that’s why Fortified fell out as well as it did.  I think that also explains Legacies Awakened finally coming to life.  And The Dysfunctional Beginning suffering from a lack of funniness, really, I want to have Nadine with a flame thrower solving most of the problems in her life and that just doesn’t work.
  • The new Facebook and Twitter banner has been completed.  I can never sing enough praises for Angela’s work.  Covered Creatively has been a god-send.  She just gets me and my writing.  It’s amazing that she can create art from adjectives.
  • I failed to get out swag, but it is coming!  I promise to have it done and in the mail no later than Tuesday.  My personal life has overwhelmed my writing life at the moment and I feel beaten down (which might be why I want to start killing off fictional characters, it’s stress relief).

Ok, more later.

Eight Serial Killers

Yesterday afternoon, while I waited for time to tick by and allow me to take another pill for my migraine, I thought about what would follow Fortified Dreams.  After all, I do need six Dreams books for 2017.

I came up with eight serial killers that will star in their own books and eight titles:

  • Ritual Dreams (technically, I already had this one, so it doesn’t count)
  • Purified Dreams
  • Molten Dreams
  • Innocent Dreams
  • Caustic Dreams
  • Flawless Dreams
  • Fallen Dreams
  • Soiled Dreams
  • Golden Dreams

I have no idea what order I will be releasing them in.  I just know that they are plotted, the killers developed, and titles chosen.  It’s a great start to next year!

Getting the Books Sorted

I’ve been writing like mad when Lola lets me.  I’m half way through Fortified Dreams, which will come out in 2016.  I’m not entirely sure what other book I’ll put out this year, but I’m working on several.

However, I’ve got a cover for one of my 2017 books already.  That’s right.  I have the cover for a book that won’t release until next year.  I’ve had an idea for a book for a while and just haven’t written it.  So, last night, instead of writing on Fortified, I began developing the basic plot for Ritual Dreams.

Here’s the hope for 2017:

6 Dreams novels (Ritual will be one of them, cover reveal to come at another time)

3 Death Demon Trilogy Novels (the Cassie Strachan series)

and 3 unknowns that might honestly turn out to contain one or more Dreams novels.

To do this is going to require some organization.  I’m going to have to do some serious plotting (especially the Death Demon Trilogy).  I can write a novel in a month, but I have to put my nose to grindstone to do it.

The interesting thing is that my readers will probably have multiple books available for pre-order at one time.  I’m hoping it doesn’t hurt me or my readers.  That’s a lot of books to buy next year and at $3.99 a book, well, if a reader bought every book, it would cost them $48 just on my books.  I know everyone reads other authors, so I hate to cut into everyone’s book buying budget.

However, I can’t charge much less than $3.99 a book considering the costs of publishing as an indie keep going up (I’m going to need 12 cover, need 12 books edited, need some books proofread, etc)… Which is part of the reason I’m trying to work ahead some… that it takes me about 3 months to get a book written and ready for publication.