So, first off, I am writing, but I’m not working on the story I thought I would. I started off this week ready to work on Sandy Morrison and the Pixie Prohibition, and I got about 500 words in on a new chapter when fellow author and all around cool chica Katey Hawthorne posted this image to her Tumblr. I was mesmerized by the fallen angel’s intense gaze, and I must have stared at it for half the morning. Two days later, I’m still amazed by how much talent it took to make an image so close to perfect.
Then the muse said “HEY! You’ve read two fallen angel stories, and you know you could come up with something better.” So I said, “Well…maybe, but we were working on Sandy’s book.” And the muse said, “NO! We need to work on this fallen angel story!” I said, “Are you sure I can’t just put it in the queue for later?” She says in a growly and quite frankly scary voice, “NO! WE WILL DO A FALLEN ANGEL STORY NOW!”
So…I’m working on a fallen angel story. And so far, I rather like it. The main character Rosalinda Fernandez is deviating from the cookie-cutter YA heroine early on, and fallen angel Gabriel isn’t a bad boy so much as a good guy who doesn’t have much luck with the law. Like the angel equivalent of a good cop who got kicked off the force for a procedural complaint and became a private investigator instead.
Rosalinda has had sex all of one time, and the guy she trusted told everyone she’s easy. So at the start of the story, she’s turning down yet another drop dead handsome hunk who only wants to get into her pants. So when she meets Gabriel, his angelic looks might make her heart go pitter patter, but she doesn’t trust him any more than the rest of the guys at her school.
As for Gabriel, being a fallen angel on Earth still leaves him subject to angelic law, and angels, fallen or not, are not allowed to mingle with Rosalinda’s people. Failure to follow this law will mean the archangel Michael will kill Gabriel and cast him into hell, where Lucifer will be only too happy to torment him for eternity. So, no pressure on Gabriel not to fall in love with Rosalinda. Pity he already has.
I’m liking the story because it has a great mystery for a central plot, a good romantic subplot, and it’s going to create conflict without Gabriel having to act like a stalking/bullying douche. And so Rosalinda doesn’t have to play the stereotypical YA virgin falling for the first abusive boy she meets. (Some of you might like that, but I’m not so convinced on the hawtness of the trope.)
This leads me to a thought I had after writing the first chapter. I was munching dinner with hubby when I realized that if 10% of my Twitter followers bought one of my books on opening day, that would still be 120 sales. But the trick to getting the desired fraction lies in finding the right book with the right pitch, and many of my stories have been challenging, to say the least. I know my stuff hasn’t appealed to casual readers, and I’ve been pushing my muse for something that had better odds of appealing to mainstream fantasy fans.
So here’s this story that I can get excited by, and that will still fit into mainstream values without making my muse anti-social. The romantic couple is straight. There’s no sex “on camera,” and the story won’t revolve around the couple making googoo eyes all the time. (Fair warning: there will still be a few googoo eyes moments. Cause I likes that.) Lastly, the introduction is much faster than my usual introspective “slow coaster hill,” and all this means the book should be more appealing to casual readers in many genres. So, in theory, this could be my first chance to get that 10% fraction of my followers.
To accomplish this, I’ll begin promoting the book well before launch day, and I really want to drum up some enthusiastic readers who can’t wait to try this. I’d like to find the people who like The Lesser of Two Evils, Blind Rage, and The Sole Survivors’ Club. So if you read and liked those, I’d appreciate it if you would tell your friend that I’ve got a new book coming out next year about angels, and it’s a YA mystery that will break a few rules without getting squicky.
For my final unrelated topic in this update, I need to talk about book prices. Many of you probably know we’re about to go through another shift of prices, and the trend is actually toward bringing up the price. I have not had any complaints about the royalties I get paid at my current prices. I do not need to raise them, but I see some readers saying that they would now avoid a book with a $1.99-$2.99 price tag because it says “cheap and desperate for attention.”
My current price range is $1.99 for novelettes, $2.99 for novellas, $3.99 for older novels, $4.99 for new books, and $5.99-$6.99 for omnibuses. If I opted to raise my prices, my new range would be $3.99-$7.99 with those last two brackets again reserved for multi-title omnibus editions. I’ve been asking on twitter if this feels like a fair range. So far, I’ve only had one answer. I suppose I’ll keep asking for a few days, and based on the feedback, a price increase may be coming. Just FYI.
I’ve got an editing job for the glass web site coming up, so the next two weeks, my writing output is likely to dip. But at least this time, it’s going down because I’m taking paid work, and the pay is FANTASTIC.
So, that’s the writing update. Oh, in other news, I bought Sound Shapes for the Vita, and I’m loving it quite a lot. So expect a positive review sometime soon. And that’s it for me, time to wander off for dinner and then read a book or two by other lovely and creative people.