Walla Walla Ding Dong

Two points if you can guess what that title is a reference to.

So Qorth is going to be free tomorrow for five days! Woot!

These will be my last rantings before I take a nice vacation.

I still plan to check my email occasionally, though. Rest assured. Also, if you are from the paranormal club on Goodreads and wanted to promote me for your chance at the draw, your best bet is to send me a private message and I will get back to you. Same applies to anyone who wants an ARC.

All that being said, I’mma share a secret with you.

So yes. I’m really going to take a vacation from the internet. I’ve been abstaining from talking to people this past weekend and I already find myself more productive. I actually wound up working on Book 3 in A Time of Darkness, and I finally feel like the story is coming together.

I realized as I was working on it that Owllwin is actually one of my favorite characters from the series so far and that I had accidentally replicated him in a new character (perhaps I missed him). So I spent some time today trying to make this new character a little less like Owllwin and more like someone actually, you know, new.  Though to be honest, I still have a long way to go in that regard. This new character still echoes Owllwin in a lot of ways, but at least he’s not in love with Cricket. He also thinks she’s completely insane, and instead of putting her on a pedestal, he regularly challenges her beliefs. I’d love to have the two of them get into a huge argument later in the book. Arguments always reveal who we truly are.

I’ve also been thinking of forming this sort of “tradition” where someone dies at the end of each novel in the series. Not because I like grimdark fiction (I don’t really) but because people have already died at the end of the first two novels. It just seems like a fun goal to shoot for while writing the rest of the books (five more planned).

So yeah. I’mma be gone from the net. My goal is to disappear for a week and focus only on writing my books and nothing else. I’ll probably still check my email, because I know there are some people I’ve contacted who need to hear from me.

So here’s my big secret.

There’s this song that I love called Drive by Incubus, and it’s basically about being so afraid of failure that you let fear drive you, to the point that you might give up trying be “one of the high” — or in other words, one of the people you so admire.

I don’t have a gift with words. I know that. And so I often let the fear drive me. I let it almost stop me from at least trying to become better one day at the thing that I love.

Basically, I keep thinking about how Qorth is going on free promotion and how I doubt anyone will download it or give a crap (and yes, I’ve done everything I can to promote, including getting it featured on book websites and pointing reviewers toward it). The only successful free promotion I ever ran was Tales of Talithia, and that was only successful because people can’t resist free porn.  Sadly, I only got one review out of it — out of the hundreds of people who downloaded it, yes.

Also, romance novels have such a bad wrap that I feel like people see the word “romance” and cringe from Qorth. Especially if they think something is a paranormal romance (oh god).

The other thing that nags me is: would Qorth even be worth the download anyway??? Are people justified in having zero interest in it? I don’t know. I only know that I enjoyed writing it, and maybe at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

But if I want any sort of success — even a small one — I have to find a readership. That is, a group of people willing to read my books because they actually love them. It’s quite easy to do if you know where you target audience lurks and how to reach them, but I can’t seem to find queer women or forums with queer women that aren’t shut off from the universe for fear of trolling and perverts or else just a bunch of real-life friends who don’t welcome outsiders . . .

I managed to build a readership once years ago by going to a forum where my target audience lurked. I wasn’t trying to build a readership, I just hung out with people, talked to them, and posted stories. For a while, I had a following, a healthy blend of actual people who liked reading my crap and trolls who attempted (and failed) to troll me because I was popular.

Being branded “self-published” obviously makes it much harder to find readers. I dunno. It’s just that I go to different book blogs and forums, and it feels like everywhere I go, there are people telling me to go away. They don’t like self-published authors. Or they don’t want to read stories with queer people — even if there’s no sex! And they certainly don’t want to read about brown people — heaven forbid!

We can make up shit about aliens and dragons and magic, we can romanticize rape and genocide, but queer people in a story? Oh god, no!

Let me stop before I dig myself into a conversation I don’t want. In fact, I’m turning the comments off on this. I am very unhappy right now and don’t feel like dealing with people being jerks toward me.

That’s that, and see you all in a week. (Hell, maybe longer)