It’s taken a lot longer than it should have to write this post, and I think the main reason for that is because I was having a very difficult time owning up to the fact that I was in what we’ll call a ‘funk’ with regards to the second book in the Shadowlands series. This ‘funk’ set in last year, before I announced the release date of the book; and instead of taking measures to deal with it at the time, I decided to push myself even harder by announcing a release date. My theory was that by having a solid deadline to work towards I would have no choice but to ‘snap out of it’ and write like the wind. Obviously, that didn’t happen. If anything the added pressure just made the situation worse, increasing my stress and anxiety to the point where I was no longer enjoying my work.
For the past several months, it seems as though everything I write is absolute rubbish. It’s as though I’m writing just to get words down—and that’s just not the point of telling a good story. I’ve become disconnected from the story and the characters and it’s been both frustrating and upsetting because these are my creations—I should be able to connect with them without even trying.
After months of keeping all of this to myself and basically sticking my head in the sand and hoping it would just pass in time for me to whip up an awesome sequel, I FINALLY admitted to myself and out loud to a couple of friends that I was struggling and that there was no way the next book would be out by its scheduled May release date. And you would not believe the weight that was lifted once I actually acknowledged all of this.
After a couple of conversations with friends and some much-needed advice from my former writing mentor I came to the decision to put the Shadowlands series on hold for the time being.
What does that mean?
Well, first of all, I want to make it clear that I am not giving up on this series altogether. I’ve already put a ton of work into it and I absolutely love this story, this world, and these characters—I honestly can’t wait to tell the rest of the story and share it with readers. But as I’ve already stated, right now I’m just not in the right head space to be focusing primarily on this particular story. So, while I will still be working on the Shadowlands series throughout the rest of this year and likely into next year, it won’t be my main focus anymore. I’ll be working on it when I want to be working on it, which always makes for better writing.
If you’ve noticed that I’m talking about the Shadowlands series and not just Into the Dark (book two) it’s because I’ve decided to tackle the three remaining books in the series as one big project. I’m hoping that by doing some work on book three and even book four I might shake off some of the book two funk. I also think it would be a great idea to release all three remaining books close together.
I know there are people who have read the first book who will be disappointed about the extended wait for the next instalment—all I can say is I appreciate your support in reading Out of the Shadows and I apologise for what has been a completely unforseen roadblock. I also hope you’ll understand that I want to make this series as good as it could possibly be and if I were to put out something in a couple of months you’d likely be disappointed.
So what am I working on now if not Shadowlands?
I have a wide array of WIPs that I will be working on this year. My focus at the moment is building my non-fiction humour platform, but I am also working on a dystopian SF set in Melbourne (think The Bone Season meets Tomorrow When the War Began) and am finally getting back to a Time Travel book I’ve had on the back burner for about eighteen months now. It might be a little while before you see either of these stories published—I’ve learned from the Shadowlands series that it is best to wait until the full series is complete/close to complete before publishing anything, so that’s what I’ll be doing with these ones.
So 2018 might be a bit of a quiet year for me in terms of publishing, but it’ll be a pretty hectic writing year and I hope to have some new books published next year!
Thanks so much for your understanding, and a special thank you to Jose, Alex and Kate for their support and advice.