When I originally planned to drop these chapters, they were completely different. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a lot has happened the past few months, and I had to rewrite a lot of this book because it no longer felt appropriate. A lot of how a book is received often has to do with the social and political events that happen around the time a book is released. The Prison of Hearts was originally a very trial heavy book… and then a very famous trial happened. Very recently. And it just so happened that the Mad Hatter was in my trials and– Yeah. A lot had to be rewritten. Forgive me for that, but we’ve already got a poorly timed release coming up, so here we are.
Anyway, tasty little almost spoilery but not spoilery treats for the kids who do not follow my twitter. I tweeted out the following a week or so; a list of stuff that happens in Hearts now and memes. I’m so sorry.
Moving Right Along… Haldia and the Never Going to Be Great Release Timing. Also the Future of Whynne.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably realized something important about Haldia, something that has impacted the releases a lot because I haven’t wanted to touch political events with a stick for a very long time.
You’ve probably realized that the country of Haldia is a combination of Russian and Nordic folklore. And that Russia is a key player when it comes to developing Haldia’s lore.
At the time when Haldia began releasing, this wasn’t an issue and Russian folklore was the hot new thing in young adult… and then stuff happened. And kept happening. Over and over again. To the point where it was not looking good for my dreams of being a classy author. This is also why a bunch of traditional publishing houses have pulled dates for other Russian folklore based series, and we’ve seen that small renaissance die out. (It’s disappointing.)
From its inception, Haldia has always been rife with problems. Not in a tone or message way, just in an existing way.
It’s always been one of my favorite series, but it’s never had great timing or been a great time. A few earlier readers know that a lot of the reason why Alice ended up happening as a series before the end of Haldia was largely due to the fact that after being a much amped up release and me getting a great deal of preorders for the first book in Haldia, the first book was leaked prior to its release… and leaked badly.
To the point where when you searched for the series name, the top of the search engine was not goodreads or my amazon profile, but a pirated copy of the book. One that gave a lot of viruses and subsequently gifted me with a large financial lefthook that left Haldia in the red as a series until literally this month, due to the fact that a few dozen of the preorders for the first book in the series were canceled. I also still receive emails to this day about people obtaining Haldia through less than legal means and then ending up with a virus that I can not help them with because unfortunately, I am kindle exclusive and any books that you receive off of my amazon are outside of my control.
I’ve sent so many DMCA takedowns, guys.
It was the incident with Haldia that was the reason I moved to doing booksirens for ARCs and no longer personally send out ebook arcs to readers one by one. Since then, I’ve not had another leak of that proportion, by as of today, Haldia (as a series) is currently in the green by…. drumroll, people…
It’s a time.
Means to say, I wasn’t super motivated to write the end of Haldia or revisit the world of Whynne for a while, because while Whynne is one of my biggest universes, it is a little bit scarring to go from making a decent living off of one series to having a single first book that is so largely in the red. Like the Startlit Coast was fine, but… My god. The whole fiasco was a time, and it made it hard for me to want to keep creating content for Whynne.
I took a long break from it, started publishing Alice, and then eventually decided that yeah– we’re back to Whynne. Or at least we’re running Whynne co-current with another series for the time being because while I am happy to be paid at all for my books, I also do not want to starve.
So, with that in mind, the last Haldia book is in it’s final, final stages, we’ll be finishing up and releasing a few weeks after this Alice book, and yeah. The end of Haldia as a series…
And the beginning of a new one.
This last series is a lot more comedic in tone and will sort of set the scene for whether I continue doing stuff in Whynne. For obvious reasons, this is going to be a really weird release schedule, but, I love Whynne. That’s just it, I love Whynne, and this idea has always made me laugh, so…
We’re going to be looking through the lens of a a half human, half unseelie heroine who is part of a group of lower fae that work as crime for hire. They’ve been tasked with transporting a prisoner across the country of Whynne without knowing his true identity, and find that he is reluctant to cooperate with them as a result. There’s also kissing between prisoners, between friends, and just about everywhere.
We’ll get to see some cameos from some series regulars like Nikolas, Adam, and Camden as well as some more heavily featured previous players like Theo and Artur. More than that, you’re guaranteed to see Luka and Wren following a vary chaotic wedding (that may or may not be in Endless Ocean), and get a guest appearance from Mila and Finn as this ragtag group of unseelie trash makes its way across the country. Also someone’s blue. Like literally blue. And there’s some friends to lovers, enemies to lovers love triangle mess going on.
It’s absolute soap opera level trash. I’m so excited.
Also, this plot needs to happen if we’re ever going to get a Whynne serial. Which brings me to the next news item…
We’re getting a serial
No one wanted a serial, and I get it. I don’t really have a serial based audience, but I like the variety it will offer me, and the engagement as well. Plus, like, new readers and stuff. Gotta get those.
For a really long time after the whole Haldia fiasco, I was sort of in a funk and struggled to write at all, but I’ve recently realized that variety is the spice of life and the only way I’m going to keep managing to write a ton of big boy books for the girls, guys, and otherwise is if I let myself just do every awful idea that enters my head.
Enter the serial– which in many ways reminds me of fanfiction and will hopefully keep me going.
I’ve put a lot of thought into the topic of serials, and I did poll about it earlier, but I always struggled to come up with a way that would make the serial’s accessibility completely fair in my mind– because a lot of you guys really do rely on kindle unlimited or ARCs to read me, and I appreciate that!
In the end, what I ended up deciding was that while the serial would run on a schedule that will most likely be two chapters or so a week, people who opt into ARCs and help me eventually release this bad boy straight to Kindle Unlimited will be able to get the whole of the story early by a few weeks. Or at least that’s what I’m leaning towards, so overall I would say that’s a pretty good deal, especially because, all things considering this book will be way longer and likely priced a little higher as a result. Like we’re talking anywhere from fifty to 75 3,000-5,000 word chapters, which will bring the delivery cost up– but we get the benefit of having a really long soap opera structured kissing book.
Because boy I love soap operas.
I’m currently leaning towards doing a long serial in which the king’s fiancée has been contracted to kill him, which I feel will be great tension wise and also lead to a bunch of stupid things happening, but other great options for this project have been a idea that I’ve long had in the vault where a young woman is being trained to be the court poisoner as well as a few others. I’ll probably do a post deciding on what the serial will be about and then linking to it as well.
Depending on how other series do, we might revisit old worlds in serials as well, and it may be a really cool way to get more standalone novels from me that are of good length. I’m also considering this insanely long Jack Frost book I wrote a while back as a possibility for Kindle Vella, pending re-edits. I will have to follow the rules when it comes to re-releasing content that’s been put in Vella, but overall I’m regarding the platform as a potential tool for me to fool around on. Also I like that I can schedule things on it.
All Kindle Vella offerings from me will be New Adult with moderate spice and so far, I am planning them to operate as one book wonders with longer plots that will have so many twists and turns it will make your head explode. I’ll also be finding new ways to interact with you guys via the platform, since it will my first time having a chapter by chapter experience with readers.
We’re also getting some help.
That’s right, for the remainder of the summer and as I finish up a bunch of series, we’ll also be having a personal assistant coming in to run my newsletter and do more frequent posting on my social media. She won’t be running my blog, and I’ll still be providing some content for the newsletter; it’s just to give me a short break while I finish up series and figure out how I want the next part of my career to go.
She’s a dear friend of mine and an aspiring author as well, so we’ll be seeing an introduction from her in the newsletter after next.
This will be really nice in the end, as it will allow me the time to really focus in and get a bunch of books done this summer. It also will not impact the newsletter exclusive Brownie pictures at all. I have a whole catalog of them and continually send her new ones. Everyday. Even when she doesn’t want them.
This also gets us to sweet Dark Academia Magical University Enemies to Lovers bliss much quicker, so no complaints.
Look! It’s that sneak peek of the Prison of Hearts! My God!
Check out the Alice series on my amazon, guys, where they will eventually approve my preorder listing if I’m lucky, and you will be able to get all sorts of good books!