Hello, blog! It has been a minute, eh?
Honestly, I really don't know how to structure this blog in the right way. What I really want to talk about is writing, but there has been such a lack of it that I really have nothing to report.
If you've been keeping up with my news, I had my last release at the tail end of September with the wrap up of "Rise of the Spell Thief," a foray into fantasy. And in October, I was happily jumping in to my next WIP when life got turned on its head. Covid cases began to rise here, which caused my children to be out of school and learning via remote learning for the remainder of 2020. So, for five days a week, my work got pushed to the back burner while I was coordinating 4 children's daily school schedules, trying to keep my house in order and my sanity intact.
Well, that all came crashing down on me in December. I have battled depression before, but it always seemed to come with a massive trigger or life change. But this time, it snuck up on me. I didn't realize that I was in a bad place until I couldn't force myself out of bed. I hadn't written in weeks, hadn't enjoyed anything for longer than that, and just laid there, crying. I called my doctor, who was amazing and got me in immediately. I've restarted my depression medication and have slowly started coming out of the fog. Now that I've been on my medicine for a while, I look back and cannot fathom how I was functioning in such a dark place. And I am so thankful for my pcp, who really went above and beyond when taking care of me when I was at my lowest.
Well, it's 2021 now. My kids will be heading back to school tomorrow (much to my worry, since Covid wasn't cured with a new year on the calendar, but it is what it is) and life will be taking it a little easier on me. And I think I am finally, FINALLY in a good headspace to begin working again. I have been working here and there, writing on my WIP, brainstorming new stories, and even working on a pen name in a different genre as a way to inspire myself. Looking back, I am not happy with the writing that I did for "Escort Quest" when I was in the middle of the worst of the depression, so I think I will start by rewriting the whole thing. Not scraping my previous work, but doing a full rewrite to see if I can pull it together a bit better.
2021 is the year that I take it easy on myself. Ever since 2017 when JH and I started writing the first book of Ruins of Rimnir, I have been pushing to publish faster and better each time. I feel like my storytelling has grown, but my pushing for quick releases was not always the smartest idea. I feel like I could have put out better, higher quality work with more time dedicated to each book.
So, in 2021, I am hoping to get "Escort Quest" published in the middle of the year. Right now, I would love to aim for May/June for the release of our follow up book, but I am treating that goal as flexible. I want Austin's story to really shine, as JH is planning on tapping into his personal side as we write a character who struggles with ADHD, just as JH does. I want to do right by Austin and put out an amazing story, one that was crafted with love and time. No rushed releases here, not anymore. I am not playing that game.
In time, as 2021 progresses, I think I will be spending time working on our back list. Specifically, I want to do some edits on the Legends of Xavalon series. That trilogy is the one that suffered the most from our rapid release schedule of last year, and it could use a little TLC. My goal for the rest of 2021 is to pull that series, rework it to tighten the story, and rerelease with new covers and some new marketing. The story was so fun to write, and creating a game with 9 levels to conquer was a challenge that JH and I rose up to. I wish that more eyes had seen the stories, and my goal is to get it out there for more folks to see.
Other than that, 2021 is going to be a "go with the flow" year. I have other story ideas, ones that I would love to get on paper, but my mental and physical health comes first. My family comes first. And I never want to put myself in a bad place again just to keep writing.
But I'm still going to keep writing. Always writing. I was born to tell stories. And I plan to always tell them.
2021 is going to be a good year.
Milly McAdams is the head writer of the pair!