At the beginning of the year, as I’ve done for the last couple of years, I’ve detailed my “to do” list for the year. All the books to be written, edited, released etc. You can read the original post for 2019 here.
Green is for ‘done’, orange is for ‘in the process of happening’, and red is for ‘not bloody happening’.
End of year catch up!
A lot has happened this year.
I had this blog migrated over from Blogger.
I finished writing one book, wrote another, and released both in the Porn Star Brother’s series.
Wrote and released stories under T.K. Wrathbone, and realised, that I just cannot continue to write and release at the levels I am as it’s worn me out.
So, here’s my end of year catch up on my 2019 plans…
(1) Under Tiara King I have these planned…
– 1.1 – see whether it will be worthwhile updating my two paperbacks, How To Be A Jewel Diva and Closet Confidential.
– 1.2 – I added style sheets to the interiors in 2018, which will also be given away for free as a download on my style website when people sign up to an email list once I get it done. I will re-release under my own imprint, but it’s a matter of whether I have time, and if I can get the damn newsletter/sign up happening.
– 2.1 – I still want to get my jewellery back into its own website. Selling has been on hold for the last few years due to money, time and energy. I’m still looking for wordpress templates that would suit the type of website look I want, but with everything else going on, this won’t happen for some time.
—– Both of these are on hold still. I did re-upload Closet Confidential and Jewel Divas with updated back matter in e-book format at Amazon, and Closet did get a new cover for the e-book and the paperback cover was done this month, but that was it for the year.
(2) Under T.K. Wrathbone I have these planned…
– 1.1 – The paperback version of last year’s stories is done and will be released in March 2019
– 2.1 – Get three stories written up, typed up, edited, and out along with an anthology, and do the e-covers.
– 2.2 – Release all four in October for Halloween.
– 2.3 – Get the paperback version done ready for release next year.
ALL OF THE ABOVE DONE!
– 3 – Overhaul the website and give it a front page.
(3) Under L.J. Diva I have these planned…
– 1.1 – Put the next book, DeLuca through several rounds of editing
– 1.2 – Get it to my editor this month, and then edit some more.
– 1.3 – Get the cover finished, and release it as an e-book in March.
– 1.4 – Then comes the paperback interior and cover for release in September.
– 2.1 – Get the next book in the series, Spiros & Jenny, written in March
– 2.2 – Type it up through the year and put it through 3-4 rounds of editing.
– 2.3 – Send it off to my editor at some point in July or August.
– 2.4 – Release it in September as an e-book along with the paperback of DeLuca.
– 2.5 – Then comes the paperback interior and cover for a 2020 release.
DONE, DONE, DONE!
– 3 – Start on the Porn Star Brothers Short Story Collection. At least get them written, and then they can be typed up through the months and edited. I’m hoping to release them as boxed sets through 2020, that way I can write 10-40 pages per story, and not 40 pages per story, so they will get done quicker.
– 4 – I still want to re-release my four standalone novels. The covers are nearly done, and I’ve nearly finished the interiors. All they will need is for the paperbacks to be proofed before release. Hopefully that will be by June, as that is my deadline for getting all four novels out to the public.
—– Spiros & Jenny was written in May and June but done and dusted and released. So was the paperback for DeLuca.
—– So far the short story collection hasn’t even been started. As I stated mid-year, I realised while trying to get Spenny written that I’m kinda over this series, and more to the point, having a six month deadline for releases. With the Wrathbone stories, and Porn Star stories vying for attention, something had to give. I’m looking toward ending the series next year with a short story collection based on the Stefan kids and how the rest of them met their partners. More than likely out in September to complete the five years this series will have taken by then. Never say never, maybe one day I’ll finally write the rest of the stories that were intended, but I’m going to require the freedom to get into them without deadlines looming over my head. So maybe in a couple of years.
As we come to the end of 2019, I’ve begun to realise just how far we’ve come since 2009. The eleven years since I’ve been blogging, ten since I’ve been on other social media sites, phones, the internet, how we process every scrap of data we see as it scrolls past out eyes. And for me, I’ve become exhausted.
Exhausted by the internet, although I still think it’s fantastic. Social Media, although it’s awesome for following your favourite band, actor, muso, etc, and running a business in general. But it’s wearing me out. Has done for quite some time which is why I take December and January off blogging and being online for the majority of the time.
It’s refreshing. Gives you time to do other things, read, potter around, watch movies. Also gives you time to get blog posts ready for the next year. But in thinking back over the years, I’ve come to see how much I’ve done, yet how little I’ve accomplished. It all depends on the grand scheme of things and how they go for an individual. For me, they’ve leapt ahead, but gone nowhere.
In 2006 I wrote my first novel under my first nom de plume.
In 2008 I started setting up my jewellery business.
In 2009 I started two blogs and a website.
In 2013 I started writing under my real name.
In 2015 I started writing under T.K. Wrathbone and put my jewellery on hold due to health issues and caring for my mother.
In 2017 I set up my own publishing house to accommodate all three names.
I never imagined then, in 2006 with that first novel, that thirteen years later, I’d be 4 novellas, 9 novels, 41 short stories, and 11 non-fic books down the track, with most being written across 2016-2017.
Technology has come so far it has allowed me to do this, and to blog about it as I went.
But times have changed, and I’m now thirteen years older. Physically, my schedule has worn me out. Mentally, I’m exhausted, but I refuse to stop until I’m fifty for L.J. Diva, and fifty-three for T.K. Wrathbone. So, I have a few more years to go yet.
Because of my exhaustion, I’m cutting back on blogging even more. No longer will I be blogging here weekly as I’ve done for many a year, but it will now be a once a month catch up newsletter style post. A quick blog to let y’all know what I’m doing or about to do. I’ll still do the yearly writing plan and catch ups, I’ll still do the book premiere blog posts, but I’ll be blogging more over at my style site, Jewel Divas Style, so I only have a one stop shop for blogging. Movie and Book reviews will be over there, legal and copyright issues will be over there, unless they are so important I put them here too.
But in general, a monthly post will be the way to go. That will give me more time to plan books, write them, and get them typed up without a publishing schedule. The more relaxed vibe from back in the early days when I wrote a novel two years apart. Although, it won’t be two years apart now.
I have exciting new ideas for novels, and will write what comes in the next couple of years. I will then type them all up, edit them all, and plan a publishing schedule. It will not be the same as the one I’ve had for Porn Stars, a six monthly plan that wore me out.
I want writing to be fun again. Standalone novels fun. And that’s what I’m going back to. In order to do that, I need the time, so cutting back on blogging is the way to go and then I’ll blog in bulk when the books come out.
So, until then, I bid you adieu until next year when I come back with my yearly writing plan for 2020. My god, 2020, where did the time go?
As we come to the end of 2019 and eleven years online, I’m looking at how far I’ve come in writing and publishing and have noticed some rather significant things.
In March 2014 I wrote the blog post – “It’s that time again when I get that cold stabby feeling before I self-publish”.
I think it’s a mix of things like fear, what if it’s not ready, what if I do something wrong, what if I’ve missed something, what if it’s rejected, is it ready yet? I’m not sure what it would be called, but it’s a weird cold feeling that flashes in and out of my chest, almost like fear, I guess. But then what am I scared of? Scared it’s not perfect. Scared it’s not properly formatted. Scared it won’t be good enough.
A cold stabby feeling I haven’t felt in probably five years now. Later in 2014 I released one novel and three non-fiction books, so I was pumping them out and didn’t feel it. Definitely didn’t feel it in 2015, only a year after writing that post. Why? Probably because I released another non-fiction book and also started releasing children’s stories. I was uploading so many things it was ridiculous, so no stabby feeling.
For all you writers out there just beginning, it does get easier when it comes to releasing.
If you’ve edited it to within an inch of its life and had others edit it, then it’s good enough to release. Stop worrying about it. Stop worrying whether you’re good enough, whether the cover’s good enough, stop stressing, stop with the anxiety, see it as a step in the business of publishing and get it done. It does get easier, and becomes second nature. See it as any other job, it needs to be done.
And talking about older blog posts, here’s a few more of interest.
I wrote this blog post in 2011 – “I’m taking control of my own publishing future!” How I wasn’t going to let getting told no, no, no by publishing houses stop me from writing and being an author. Definitely a ground breaker, that one.
In 2012 I wrote – “Do writers get stage fright? I think I’ve got it!” I was prepping a new book and was taking my time, or was I procrastinating due to terrors?
2013’s – “Is self-publishing your e-book different to being picked up by an e-book publishing company?” No, it actually isn’t because we all do the same thing. So why leave it up to someone else when you can do it yourself?
2014’s – “What it takes to be an author and actually release a book” This was me letting you all know about what I’d gone through trying to get it all done. It’s so much easier today, just five years down the road.
“Writing an e-book in thirty days is not possible if you want a well thought out informative book” If you want a decent book and can’t pay staff to do everything else for you, then it’s going to take longer than one month.
““real publishers” aren’t the only “real” real ones anymore” I had read a blog post of someone who said their book has been picked up by a “real publisher”.
To me this is insulting. Newbie authors really shouldn’t be dismissive of self-publishing. Many self-pubbed authors have gotten big book and movie deals out of self-publishing. And by the way, can’t even remember who the hell that blogger was.
“The Success Files: Why Print On Demand books are better” Better for the environment. Nuff said!
“The Success Files: Hitting the Publish Button” Title says it all!
“The ironic full circle of traditional publishing to self-publishing.” How I was now being sold in stores owned by a publisher who turned me down. Ironic!
As I look back on these years here, it’s been fun, funny, and downright bitchy at times. And while I haven’t loved every minute, week, month, or year of it, I will still be popping in on the last of the month to let y’all know what I’ve been up to, and, of course, releasing my books and doing lots of book posts.
See you all in 2020.
I’ve mentioned in my half yearly catch up, and will mention it again in the full yearly catch up, but will go a little more in depth here about what I’m doing with the series.
When I started writing Carlos, way back in 2016, I knew there would be a trilogy. Carlos, Pedro and Tomas. But then the conclusion to the story ended up being the fourth instalment of that series.
Once I was editing them, I had thoughts about a second book, and then a third. But I had to put them out of my mind as I had other books under my real name to get typed up and done.
Come October that year, I sat down and out they came. While writing, my mind would jump around and jump ahead to future storylines and potential books.
One book was a novella that would come between book three and four, or Love Never Dies and Stefan. It’s set five years after LND in 1987, but by the time I had spent three weeks crying while writing LND, I knew that it would not be written at that time. I knew that the storyline wasn’t really going to benefit the story arc in general, and so, I put the idea aside and moved on to Stefan. Although, I did have an idea for three short stories in one, all five years apart, but again, the storylines would be too similar to warrant writing them.
I also had ideas for short stories of characters from each book. So five from Carlos, five from Pedro, and five from Tomas. That idea grew to another five from the series as it grew, and then another five.
Finally, I had twenty-five stories to write and I was already exhausted.
And so I decided to cut them down from forty pages each to ten to forty and release each lot as a boxed set. But that idea has waned, and so the novella, and the short stories, were put on hold.
I’m not saying forever, but for now. I’m hoping, sometime in the future, that I will get back to them. But I feel I need to put distance between us and get this series done in the best way possible. And that’s by releasing five short stories based on the rest of the grandkids and how they met their partners.
At the end of DeLuca, you meet Luca, married to Alena, and Maria, engaged and about to be married to Antonio. In Spiros & Jenny you get to know them along with Marcus, who’s married to Alexis, and Davina who’s married to Dom. At this point Danté is still single, but in the collection that will finish off in September of next year, you will get a look into the past to when the others met and married, and a look into the future to when Danté meets the woman he marries, Michelline. You will also learn where the family stands at that time and how they have evolved.
Come March, I’m hoping, there will be hard cover versions in case laminate and dust jackets to buy, and maybe paperback large print, but don’t hold your breath on those as it would make the books way too long and way too big. The paperback of Spiros & Jenny will also be released in March, along with the dust jacket hard cover, fingers crossed.
And that will be the end of the Porn Star Brothers series. For now, I’m hoping. I do have my fingers crossed for the future, maybe a couple of years into it, that I will get back to writing about the other characters as they are different to the main family. I need new faces to write about, or old stories to tell that are completely different to the current ones. Something fresh to excite me.
I need to step out of the family and take a break. Cut the apron strings and let them go out into the big wide world to fend for themselves. After all, I AM Jenny Stephanopoulos.
The right of L.J. Diva to be identified as the author of her work has been asserted. The author greatly appreciates you taking the time to read her work. Please consider leaving a review wherever you bought the book, or tell your friends about it to help us spread the word.
2020 AND BEYOND ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, L.J. DIVA.
Requests to publish work from these books should be sent to: authors (at) royalstarpublishing.com.au