As I work to finish the final book in the Liminal Sky series, I’ve been giving some thought to the question in today’s title – what’s next for me as a writer?
I’ve done far more than I ever thought possible in this whole writing and publishing thing:
- Sold more than 20 stories (shorts, novellas and novels).
- Written not one but two series, to critical acclaim (and am wrapping up the last book now)
- Had a few certified Amazon bestsellers (albeit in smaller categories)
- Published my own works
In the four years since I published my first short story with Dreamspinner, I’ve come so far from the naive author wannabe I was back then.
I still haven’t found the magical formula to actually make a living at this endeavor, or even a quarter of a living.
I know, I know, publishing is not a high-paying field, few actually strike it rich, and sci fi, especially gay sci fi, is not a high profile genre. I’ve had novels that I spent six months of my life on that have netted me less than $200.
It’s all part of the long game I discussed last week.
But don’t worry – this is NOT going to be one of those woe-is-me author posts where I gnash my teeth and scream “Why???” and threaten to leave the whole thing behind. I went into this writing business with my eyes wide open, and I know my odds of just writing for a living are quite long.
I write, first and foremost, because I need to. I am happiest when I am telling tales, and it feeds me when my fans enjoy them.
What this post is about is where I want to go next.
With both “Liminal Sky” and the “Oberon Cycle” wrapping up in the next few months, I suddenly have a patch of clear sky opening up before me, a blank page on which to project something new. I have nothing else committed to anyone, and can take a little while to think about what I want to write next.
I have a few thoughts on the matter – I might try my hand at something sci fi that’s a bit more mainstream, though still with queer characters. That’s a part of my soul I am not giving up easily. I might return to River City for another go, to see what has happened to my favorite characters since we last left them. Or I might do something else entirely.
My dear friend Angel Martinez suggested I look at what has worked best for me in the past, and do more of that. It’s sound advice. So far, my Oberon Cycle has sold the most, and I did love writing it. But I want to be careful not to run it into the ground with repeated sequels.
Another friend urged me to do something new, to look at the state of the sci fi world and how stories are told and try to break the mold.
I haven’t decided yet which direction to go. But whatever it is, it will have to be one which feeds my soul, which stirs my desire to create something fresh and new and exciting.
While I am not (yet) making a living at this writing gig, I realize what a privilege it is to be able to write at all. To have the ability, the gift, the publisher, and the fans who believe in what I do. And I am thankful for all of you who read my work and this column.
Whatever direction I go in next, I hope you will come along with me too!
To my writer friends – what have you done when suddenly faced with an open schedule? When you wrapped up a series or finished a writing commitment? How did you choose what to do next?