As I sit here, staring at this blank sheet of paper, I’m trying to figure out how to explain myself without sounding as though I’m a little kooky. Then again, I probably am, so it doesn’t really matter. Hopefully, you can bear with me because I think this is gonna get a little wordy. 😉
Until last night, I’d watched a couple of reruns, but I decided to start the show from the first season and in the very first episode, I connected with the author, Richard Castle, who is played by Nathan Fillion (who is totally hot, by the way). Anyway, in the show, he was asked why he killed off his most popular character. He said that the character had grown stale, that he knew everything he was going to do, when he would do it, etc, and writing the books had started to feel like work to him. I understood what he meant.
Not the stale part. I’m not at that stage in my career. My characters are in no way stale for me, however, just like most things in life, something new and exciting comes around and you want to gravitate toward that. Yep, when it comes to writing, that happens to me a lot. However, I did understand the part where he said it felt like work to him. Writing comes naturally for me, I love to do it and I spend a LOT of hours writing because I get lost in the stories as much as when I read books. I don’t want it to feel like work. At that point, I would fear how the story would go. I want it to come naturally, not be forced.
And that is one thing I love: I have the opportunity to write the story that comes to me. Sure, each year (twice a year, actually), I sit down with my long list of books that I’ve set out to write and try and map out which ones I want to focus on. I don’t hold myself to a rigid deadline for the stories because I never know whether or not they’ll flow for me, but I do have a list so that I’m prepared to focus on them. I break them out, aiming to publish at least one book in each series each year. Does that always work out? No.
Now, let me tell you why I do this. There are two reasons…
One, I’m the type who needs a plan. Even if it’s flexible, I still need a plan. My list is long (at the moment, I have 100 future titles listed out). Crazy, right? Some in the current series that I have published, some for future series, some standalones. When I come up with an idea for future books, I take notes, write down details about the characters (age, height, type of car they drive, favorite song) so I can get to know them better.
And two, having a plan helps me to prepare for the upcoming books. I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters, chatting with them in my head, thinking about them all day, every day. Doesn’t mean I intend to start working on them in the near future, but it allows me to get to know the characters as time goes on.
So why does it seem like I’m jumping around sometimes?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes there are a set of characters that come rushing up on me, screaming and waving their arms, shooting off fireworks all in an effort to get my attention, to let me know their story needs to be told NOW.
Those are the times that my well thought out plan gets tucked into a drawer to be reviewed at a later date. Sometimes it isn’t convenient because I might be working on a book I’ve been wanting to get out there for a while, but I can’t ignore it. So, I stop what I’m working on and I write it. That has happened to me with a few books – A Million Tiny Pieces, Beautifully Brutal, and the Unhinged series are the ones that come to mind right now.
It has also happened to me again recently.
I know what you’re thinking…
“What the hell, Nicole! Seriously? Another series?”
Okay, before you yell at me, hear me out.
I completely understand that there are people waiting for the next Club Destiny book and I promise, I’ve tried to dedicate my time to Dylan and Sara, but I absolutely refuse to force the story because it isn’t fair to you, the reader, or the characters. I’ve only done that one time and I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again. And right now, their story is starting to feel forced to me—40,000 words into it—so I’ve put it on hold. Again.
I know there are some of you waiting patiently for the next Lambert sister book, or the last two books in the Devil’s Bend series to be completed. I get it. I really, really do. If you want to know the truth, I’m waiting, too. I have asked them to chat with me, but right now, they’re not. Unfortunately, I can’t make them.
And now that Alluring Indulgence is finished, there are a lot of you waiting for the kick-off of the Coyote Ridge series. That one’s a little different because of contract obligations related to Alluring Indulgence. Since that series is traditionally published, I can’t simply publish the book because I want to. I have a contract and a timeline I have to abide by. So, I promise, you’ll be getting Coyote Ridge soon, just know that I’m not deliberately pushing it off.
Yes, this year I introduced you to Sniper 1 Security, Southern Boy Mafia, and Devil’s Playground. S1S and SBM both have two books out this year, so I’m very happy with the progress of those series. You’ll definitely have more next year as well. Those characters are fresh and new for me.
Now, I’m not gonna show you my list of upcoming books and/or series because you’ll definitely think I’ve lost my mind, but know there are additional series that one day will come to fruition (some of them even have books that I’ve started writing). I’m always being introduced to new characters, but I have to tell them to wait their turn.
And I’m sure some of you are wondering why I gravitate toward writing series. Most of the time, I start out intending to write a standalone, but then there is another character (or several more) who I fall in love with and want to know their story as well. Also, I tend to read more series than standalones because I enjoy the way the story continues to be told, integrating the characters from the past. Everyone is different, that’s just how it works for me.
What’s your point, Nicole?
Yeah, okay. My point is… I have a new series that’ll be coming out this year.
Wait! Stop right there!
Yes, it’s true. This is a series that has been in the works for many, many months. I had started writing the first book early this year but stopped because of the Southern Boy Mafia series. I never stopped thinking about, but when the characters went silent, I decided to sit on it for a while. Let me just say, they aren’t silent anymore.
What’s it about?
Well, this one is a m/m series. Four books in total – each is a standalone, full-length novel. The title of the series is… Pier 70.
I have absolutely fallen madly in love with each one of these men.
They are funny and alpha and sweet and sexy and… yeah. I’m totally in love.
Now, I can’t give you a lot of details just yet because where’s the fun in that? However, I can tell you that the first book, which is nearly 60% complete at this point will be coming this year. I will be updating my website in a few days to include more information, as well as the writing progress. And I promise, as soon as I have a firm release date, there will be preorders and, of course, some snippets in the weekly Hot Sheet.
With that said…
I hope you aren’t wanting to do this…
But this would be okay…
And I hope that some of this made sense to you. I get a lot of questions from readers about future books in the existing series and I assure you, I’m always trying to chat with those characters, encouraging them to step forward so their story can be told, but I think they are shy. Or maybe they’re ornery. Who knows?
Well, those are my ramblings for today! Hope you have a great weekend!