What's going on in the writing world of Stephanie Summers? A lot of frustration, questioning, and finally what seems like a light at the end of the tunnel--in a nutshell.
I've been in a bit of a writing funk since I finished up Blowback, probably because I poured so much time and hard work into it that I tapped my mental resources for a bit. This isn't uncommon for me after finishing a book, but it can be a terrifying time when it happens because I tend to sit around and analyze why I can't write instead of writing. What's wrong with me? Have I used up all my good ideas? Am I completely tapped out? Will I ever be able to write another book? Luckily, I seem to be pulling myself out of all that and back into writing. My how I have missed it!
Some of you might have noticed not too long ago that I posted over on my Facebook page about how I was working on a vampire story, and while the idea is still brewing and the story has been set up, I'm sorry to say, that it's been shelved for the time being. I can't focus on it, though I feel like it will evolve into its own series soon enough. I know it sounds cliche when authors talk about how their characters speak to them and how they dictate the story, but it really is true. I can't force them if they just aren't there.
Listen, I struggled for weeks trying to write a story about Big. If you've read Blowback, you know who I mean, if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for? ;) Anyway, I had most of it plotted out in my mind, but when I sat down to write, he didn't speak to me and I'd stare at the screen. I have a possible sequel in mind for Jet, too, but I've got no focus when it comes to those stories. Same thing happened after the initial set up of the vamp story. I'm happy to report that finally, FINALLY, I have some characters talking to me, and I've plotted out four books in a new rock star series. I've decided to buckle down and get them written, with the hopes of releasing them about two months apart, starting sometime around September or October. I'll have a more concrete date once I get close to the editing phase.
I don't have a working title yet, but I can tell you a little about the band. If you've read Take Me Home, you might remember an encounter a certain Mister Ash London had with a guy pushing his music into his ears, literally, while he was on a date with Lila, the same one who opened the show later in the book that was signed to Ferrum's new record label. And if you haven't read Take Me Home, what are you waiting for? ;) Anyway, Evan Kelley, front man for Untamed Destruction (formerly known as Tiger's Den lol you'll get that reference if you read TMH) is who the first book is about. He's reeling from the loss of the band's original drummer and his best friend. I can't say much more than that at the moment, but there's a little taste for you. Three more books will follow, and as of right now, they'll be about Jameson Rhodes (guitarist), Kane King (bassist), and Jayson Stonewall (drummer)--not necessarily in that order and names at this point are subject to change. And I am happy to say that Ash London WILL be playing a somewhat sizable role at some point in the series, and he might make another cameo here or there. Hint: Anyone remember Lila's best friend, Paige? Can't say one way or the other, but she *might* just be the romantic interest for one of these guys. ;)
This shouldn't surprise anyone who has followed my books thus far because they all happen in the same universe, even The Willow Creek Vampires Series, though I doubt Ash or Jet Flanagan are aware there are vampires lurking about. Remy is certainly aware of Ferrum through Sabine's fascination with them. The band Ferrum has been mentioned in most of my non-Ferrum books. It only made sense to me to continue the tradition. You might be wondering why I didn't write a book for the other members in Ferrum, but it's quite simple. Matty already has Tori, and Dax has never spoken to me in a romantic way. If he ever decides to settle down, I'm sure he'll let me know his story.
Anyway, just wanted to let you all know what's been going on, and how excited I am to be focusing on a new series that I hope you'll enjoy. I'll try and keep you updated along the way with some sneak peeks and teasers. Until next time, take care!
The time has come for me to revamp my newsletter list. When I started it over two years ago, I only had Craving under my belt, so one all-inclusive list seemed like the way to go. I've since branched out from paranormal romance into contemporary and romantic suspense, and I realize those genres don't always have the same readers. In an effort to better serve my subscribers, I'm splitting my list into three targeted lists. You'll have the option to sign up for the paranormal romance list, the contemporary romance/romantic suspense list, or the all-inclusive list if you happen to want to hear about my new releases, regardless of the genre.
Aside from making it better for subscribers, I have another reason for this. Earlier this year I participated in a couple of big Kindle giveaways that were run by two different places that specialize in massive email lists and promoting authors/books to those subscribers. It seemed like a great idea at the time, give away a Kindle, grow my newsletter, reach more readers. Well, hindsight is always 20/20, right?
I've come to the realization that a lot of people who subscribe in those situations don't give a flying fuck about the author whose newsletter they're subscribing to. They just want to win that prize. I get it. Really, I do, and I'm not saying every subscriber is that way. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the one giveaway that was focused on paranormal romance readers probably did garner me subscribers who really were interested in my books. The other one that wasn't genre specific and certainly wasn't limited to romance? Probably not so much. I know I've gained readers from these promos, so they weren't a complete bust, and please don't think I don't want you if you signed up this way. That is not the case at all. I want every subscriber who genuinely wants to be here. I love you. Promise!
Anyway, the problem? Of those who didn't really want to be on the list and only signed up for a chance to win, many will simply forget they've signed up and click that the newsletter I send at a later time is spam instead of just unsubscribing. I've never once added a person to my email list who didn't physically sign up at an author signing I've attended, and the only other way to get on the list is to fill out the form yourself, so yeah, it stings a little when you see those spam reports, like I'm some Nigerian prince searching for his long lost relative to help in securing this billion dollars I have lying about. The places we authors use to store our lists and send out our newsletters like Mad Mimi, MailChimp, etc., don't like it when someone reports those emails as spam because it can get them into hot water legally on their end. The more times I'm flagged, the bigger the chance that I'll lose my whole list and lose the privilege to send out newsletters at all. Plus, it costs money to maintain these lists. Believe me, if you don't want to hear from me, I'd much rather you click unsubscribe because I'm essentially paying for a massive list of people who might not really want to hear from me in the first place.
In order to save myself a little money (because the bigger the list, the more money I have to pay to maintain it) and the headache of being flagged as spam, I'm changing things up. I am essentially nuking my subscriber list, so if you want to stay, you must subscribe again. Go up to the newsletter tab at the top of this page, and sign up for the list of your choosing. And thank you so much for understanding and cooperating with me on this. I've been contemplating this change for a few weeks now, and I finally decided to just go for it. I know I'll lose a lot of subscribers, but honestly, I'd rather have a smaller list of readers who want to hear from me than a massive list full of those who don't.