Anne O'Connell,  Audrey Brice,  book news,  books,  the writing life,  Updates,  writing orgs

The Raging Sea of the Writing Life

You’ve probably noticed that, for obvious reasons, I blog less when my schedule gets hectic. I suppose this is true for most folks. I thought I would take a moment to share what I’ve been doing and to say hi to everyone who follows the blog. I’m still here, just plugging away.

A few things happened this year that have been keeping me busy. The first is – I decided to finally sit down and draft out a real publishing schedule this year. While I’m still a month behind where I wanted to be, a month behind isn’t a bad place to be. The publishing schedule isn’t so rigid that I can’t bend it, but it’s also not so bendy that I’ll break it. I think I have a solid mix of flexibility and work. What IS kicking my ass is my volunteer time.  I took on a position with my writer’s group this year that has been keeping me a lot busier than I anticipated, and truthfully, while it has sucked up a lot of writing time and downtime, I can’t solely place all the blame on my volunteer work for why the publishing schedule is wonky. There are a lot of reasons. Needless to say, in 2019 I may just limit my volunteer schedule a bit. Stick to what I know I can handle and actually have time for.  That is probably one of my biggest challenges – taking on too much. I’ve been doing this for years, I know I do it, and I keep doing it. I need to sit back and figure out why I keep doing it. That’s the first step to fixing something, right? Acknowledging that one has a problem in the first place.

I feel like so far, most of 2018 has been spent editing. I was going for a nice balance of writing and editing, but really – I’ve mostly been editing. I have been working with a new editorial team since the beginning of the year, and so far – I am really enjoying my new editor. He goes deep and calls me on my lazy writing moments. He also makes me laugh as he does it, which is always a plus. An editor with a sense of humor when he tells you that your work lacks and you’re being lazy is priceless. For those of you reading this who are also writers — I imagine you’re nodding in agreement right about now.

I have been blowing off my critique group in recent months. Not on purpose, but because I just haven’t found the time. I even had the opportunity to join one that leans more toward the horror side of things, but haven’t gone for the same reason. I just can’t justify adding an hour of driving weekly, or monthly, to my schedule right now.  I was disappointed when I learned Ghost Town Writer’s Retreat was canceled. ::sigh::  Because I didn’t get in on the RMFW retreat this year, that was going to be my mini-writing vacation over the summer. Instead, it looks like I’ll be picking up The Arvada Book Fest instead, and doing some Camp Nanowrimo and NovelRama instead to pick up those writing to-do’s.  Still working on some exclusives for my newsletter subscribers for the year and I am hoping you’ll bear with me because I think what I have coming will be worth the wait.

Admittedly I’ve been slacking on non-fiction lately. Frank has been helping me answer email more and more. Sephira Alchemy orders are taking longer for me to get out, too.  I went through a period not long ago where I began to wonder why I was writing Daemonolatry books since I’ve hit on the major basics at this point. At the time I’d been writing on the Daemonolater’s Guide series, using each little booklet to answer the most common questions I get in my inbox. The whole point of that series was to clean out my email – and it has for the most part! Thankfully. But going forward I decided to finish a book I’ve been promising my newsletter subscribers and a compilation I promised my Patreon and newsletter supporters, and then move on to a few books that will make ME happy to write. It’s time I start writing things *I* am excited about again.

I’m also clearing out some series work.

Closing Projects (between now and 2020)

  • Gilded Lily – I do want to at least write Collaring Amy (Book Five) before letting it go. There are still a lot of loose ends in Amy and Eric’s story that need to be tied up. Both figuratively and literally.
  • OTS – I LOVE my OTS series, but every author knows when it’s time to end a series. Illuminated Darkness is the last novel and it comes out this summer. There will be a Thirteen Covens – OTS crossover. I have the cover already and it’s gorgeous. Join my Audrey Brice list to be one of the first groups of people to see it.  My street team and my Patreon team have already seen them. Some of them have even provided input.
  • Castle Sedgebrook – technically, the two existing Castle Sedgebrook books stand alone and don’t require any further books. I will be debating the fate of the third book (Her Demon Master) over the course of this year. That book may not manifest. I need to cut the projects that no longer serve me, and move on to those that do.
  • The Sorcerers’ Twilight series came to an end last month and it felt good to complete it and let go.
  • Saving Sarah May – this was originally written as a stand-alone, but my editors talked me into the idea of two more books. The reality is that while Kate and Emily’s stories are tempting, my heart just isn’t into it. This may be another series idea I cut loose and let go of.
  • Seven Lustful Sins – I have a few more stories to complete here, and it will be released as a compilation for Anne. Then I’m letting it go.

Letting go of these series wasn’t an easy decision, but sometimes you have to know when it’s best to move on. From this moment forward, I might be sticking to three book series’, except in the case of projects like Dalliances with Daemons, that I want to work on more in the coming years.

Ongoing Projects:

  • Thirteen Covens
  • Dalliances with Daemons (now with a co-author!)

New Projects

  • Djinn & Bourbon (3 books)
  • Wicked Ways (1 novella, possibly more if reader interest is there)

All of that said, I need to get back to editing. I have to finish those line edits on Falling From Grace. It goes into formatting next week. I hope you’re all having a great week and I hope to talk to you more in April!

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at

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