Wednesday, 8 January 2014

"When genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot"

DH Lawrence

I love that quote. I think it might be my quote for 2014.

And it is 2014, so I guess some of you might be wondering what I was up to in 2013, because I certainly wasn't up to very much writing. The short answer is, I really lost my passion for writing last year. The reasons are myriad: I started a small business which took off and smashed my expectations. I poured a lot of my creativity into perfume-making and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of it, but it is time-consuming and did impact my writing. I'm aiming to find a balance between the two this year.

But perfume-making aside, when I did try to write I wasn't happy with what I was writing. For most of 2013 I was still coming to terms with losing my dad, and that affected my writing on a level I hadn't anticipated - the novel I was working on when he passed away (the third Ethan Banning book) was not a happy novel. I didn't want to write unhappy stuff in the wake of Dad dying, but nothing else I tried held my attention either.

So in the end I just stopped trying. I did of course have the Urban Wolf series republished, and I did start a fourth book in that series called Black Dog, which I hope to continue with this year. I've been delighted and humbled by the response to the series' relaunch (WOLF STRAP is still riding high in the ARe lesbian charts, nine months after its release; SILVER KISS was an Amazon bestseller; all three books in the series are ARe bestsellers), and will be forever grateful to Evernight Publishing for giving Ayla and Shannon a new home.

But honestly, in 2013, writing wasn't fun for me and it didn't call to me. I've gone through periods before where I haven't written, but last year I would say I was simply disenchanted with the whole process. Changes in the industry, frustrations with past choices, a sense that I was trying to put myself into a box I didn't actually fit in...It all added up, and combined with grief and a general sense of futility regarding my writing career, I just...stopped. I considered stopping permanently, in fact, which is why you're reading this on a brand new blog and not my old one - I deleted the old one.

But deep down inside, I didn't want to stop writing. It's just too big a part of who I am and how I work. So I knew I had to get back in the saddle, but I also knew I had to be clear and focused going forward. I started and abandoned so many projects last year, it was just adding to my unhappiness and leaving me certain that I couldn't write anymore, that I'd lost whatever spark it is that makes writers tell stories. So going into 2014, I've decided to get back to basics.

What I love, and where my heart is, is grim and gritty urban fantasy. Whilst I love reading paranormal romance and enjoy writing it, it isn't my passion and I don't feel my voice is authentic in those stories. So I won't be writing anymore.

I have three projects I plan to work on this year. The first and most important to me is the Ethan Banning series. I did start to post chapters of Undertow (book 2) at my old blog last year, but obviously that fell by the wayside as I dealt with depression and lack of enthusiasm. Now I want to get Undertow published and will more than likely be self-publishing it. More on that as it develops. I may or may not do a long blog on the subject of DEMONIZED, AFTERLIFE, and why I don't promote them anymore in the near future. But Undertow will definitely be released into the wild in 2014, and I plan to continue the series until I've ground Ethan into a fine pulp.

Project Two is the Urban Wolf series. I have about 8k written of Black Dog, and whilst it's certainly not the best stuff I've ever written, the seeds of a good story are there. So I'll be getting stuck back into that and carrying on with Ayla and Shannon's adventures.

Project Three is to revisit my first ever urban fantasy world. This is down the list because I need to do a lot of thinking and planning - I came up with this world and the characters when I was in my teens, and it's all very dated and cliched now. But it was my first love and it's got so much potential, I feel I owe it to Young Me to start over and fulfill that potential.

So that brings us up to date. Hopefully I'll get back into a regular blogging schedule as I get back into a regular writing schedule. Stay tuned for more ramblings, lots of guest posts from awesome authors, and news about Undertow. Happy New Year! Time to turn over a new leaf.


  1. I get this on so many levels. The industry BS, the "I wish I was commercial but damn it I don't think I am," the maybe I shouldn't do this's more than enough to put the brakes on passion. But I'm happy it sounds like you're finding yourself and your passion again!

    Good luck with writing in 2014 :)

    1. "I wish I was commercial but damn it I don't think I am,"

      Yes! Exactly this. I think if I had a penny for every time I had that conversation with my fiance in 2013, I could quit my day job.

  2. I understand this completely. I never want to be pigeon holed into being one kind of writer because I never know what story will call to me next. That's part of the reason why I went from releasing a YA story to releasing one that is very much not YA. :P

    I've also had my writing affected by my mood. 2012 saw me doing very little writing. 2013 I got back in the saddle, and then this year I have SO MUCH PLANNED. This, for me, is going to be the year of writing. And dog walking :P

    1. I'm pretty sure you're going to have an awesome year!