Reaching The End – Would I Go On?

Skull and quillWith the revisions on Flight Blade, the Compact Universe is drawing to a close. For now. The question is what comes next?

Well, I don’t know. I’ve revived my crime fiction to make it easier to sell Holland Bay, so that’s going to require more attention going forward. One of the reasons I dropped it was that it was getting too difficult to maintain two bylines at the same time. I even went as far as to take the books out of print because certain indie writers kept badgering me about not putting enough effort into it. My realization that time is a finite thing and writing/publishing can only take up so much space clashed with the can-do “authorpreneur” attitude of most indie writers. “Well, you’re just not trying hard enough!”

I have a day job. Now, I have a family. And I really don’t want to spend all my time in my office. I’d like to spend more than I do right now, but not all of my spare time. But Holland Bay got a serious look last fall in New York. I’d be stupid not to revive crime fiction. But if it hits…

Am I really going to have time to carry on a series that has mushroomed? Already, most of the advice that spawned it is out of date, and I’ve farmed the publishing of the books out to a very small press. I don’t have to spend time on the covers or editing because someone else does that.

So will there be more from the Compact Universe?

Well, shopping to agents and large publishers is a crap shoot. I can’t count on Holland Bay making it. At some point, I may send it someplace interesting where it can get a little bit of attention and retire from crime fiction again. I just don’t have the energy to bang my head against the wall anymore, something a lot of people didn’t understand the last time I dropped crime. But if it sells, a publisher is going to want – and has a right to expect – me to give my time and attention to that. So until this funds a life as a full-time novelist, that’s what’s going to happen. That said, while we’re waiting, I am planning a prequel trilogy to the Compact Universe to be shopped to agents, New York, and any notable larger small presses.

Right now, everything is being driven by the creative aspect. But I’m not getting any younger. And there’s much more I want to do with my life than toss out books that few people will read. Sure, I need to do better at promotion, but at some point, I may decide I’ve told all the stories I want to tell.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve read some brilliant authors who probably should have reached that conclusion years ago.