It’s release day, y’all!!
Unquickened is LIVE at all links!
(I thought about inserting all of my favorite celebration GIFs, but I didn’t want to give y’all seizures.)
Raise your hand if you thought this day would never come.
It’s been a rough slog with this book, and I still don’t know how I feel about it. I want to be happy and excited and celebratory about releasing it, but…
It’s me we’re talking about here. I don’t do “happy” very well.
And releasing this book has stirred up all the feels.
So because I’m not a normal writer who can just be happy to release a book and tell people that they should go buy it, I have to be honest and real about what letting go of this book feels like. Maybe that does mean I’m a “normal” writer, if there is such a thing, and maybe I’m just more honest than others? I don’t know. I just know that when I read articles or take courses or watch videos about how to release a book, I cannot share the optimism or excitement that the purveyors of that information have. Maybe optimism just isn’t in my nature.
In any case, if you don’t want to read my ruminations about publishing Unquickened, feel free to just go back to the book page and order the book in some form. I hope you enjoy it.
If you want to read all the feels, proceed at your own risk. You’ve been warned.
My Fifth Child
I have been thinking a lot about my emotions around releasing these books, and I’ve come to the conclusion that writing and publishing The Taurin Chronicles is maybe a little too entwined with raising my children. I started these books in earnest in 2009; my children were 10, 8, 6, and 4 at the time. The ideas had been rolling around in my head for a few years before, but they didn’t really start until after my youngest child was born. I think it’s fair to say that this series is my fifth child.
Now, today, my children are 23, 21, 19, and 17. When I think about releasing these adult and young adult children into the wide, cruel world, I look back and see all the mini-releases–the first days of school, the first milestone events–and all the last times, too. From the moment that umbilical cord is cut, these little creatures get further and further and further away. They sleep in their own beds, crawl, walk, go to school, make new friends, drive, go to college or into the military or find jobs, move out, marry, and form their own units…
And all the while, you still feel this connection…
Don’t get me wrong. It’s good for them to grow up and move out and form their own lives. I certainly don’t want to infantalize my kids and suggest they should stay at home forever. That wouldn’t be good for any of us.
But the release is hard. And it doesn’t get any easier.
And I’m finding that as I release each book in this series, it’s a little harder every time.
A Brief Review
Ravenmarked was relatively easy, all things considered. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And then I got an agent, and she suggested a lot of edits, and I made those and republished, and then I crashed and burned for a few years.
When I came back, my threes of fans were waiting patiently, hoping to get another book. So I took a deep breath and got back to Bloodbonded, and finally published it.
Of course, I published Bloodbonded during the worst year of my life–2016. That was the year so many things in my personal world fell apart. And after 2016, there just wasn’t a lot of will to write. Unquickened was drafted, but I just couldn’t bring myself to work on it. Everything hurt, and it was easy to be too busy to write. Being busy helped me avoid the demons.
I didn’t intend to go back to writing fiction. I thought I might just leave the first two novels and the novellas out there and let them lie. If anything, I thought maybe “someday” I’d go back to the series and finish Unquickened, but I was in no rush.
In 2017, people started approaching me about commercial writing and ghostwriting again, and I started to dip a toe back into that world. A friend of mine had another friend who needed a writer and editor, and she introduced us. That collaboration got me writing again, but it was more than that. Connie is a therapist, and she became a friend, and while we never talked about my specific demons or circumstances, her natural ability to connect was a balm to my spirit and soul. Slowly, the Muse started to return.
Of course, I was still busy. I was doing school runs, and I started taking on more commercial work, and there were other family obligations, and on and on. And then 2020, and then a move, and I’m really good at finding excuses not to write and edit and promote and publish.
But eventually, one runs out of excuses, and the Muse is insistent when the story must be told, and so…
At last, Unquickened is ready.
Or ready enough.
And as I take a deep breath and face one of these mini-releases, I’ll admit: I’m a little verklempt.
The Next Chapter… Or Phase… Or Whatever
Releasing Unquickened is a little bit like the first time I let a 16-year-old newly licensed driver take my car to go somewhere alone. I feel like I’m holding my breath, waiting for an inevitable call that something is horribly wrong, even though it’s likely that no such thing will happen, but I’ll still hold my breath for a while until I’m used to the idea that a person who once grew inside my body is now operating a ton or more of metal, plastic, and glass powered by flammable materials.
I’m saying it’s a stretch. That’s all. A stretch opportunity.
But the thing about Unquickened is it’s just book three of five, so once it pulls back into the metaphorical driveway, it’s going to be living here a bit longer while I prepare for the next mini-release. I guess Soultainted will be the equivalent of a kid graduating from high school, maybe? And maybe Wisdomkept is finally toasting that fifth child with a little wine or beer or a margarita on its 21st birthday.
Maybe that’s a good way to look at all of this. Maybe by the time I publish Wisdomkept, I’ll feel more like celebrating. It’ll genuinely be the end of an era–the end of a series that has consumed much of my thinking for the past many years.
Maybe by then, I’ll have more confidence in my writing abilities, or more capacity to market and promote without it sucking my will to live, or more assurance that this story is one worth telling.
Or maybe I’ll just be so glad it’s over that I’ll feel like I’ve earned a margarita. Or two.
I guess time will tell. In my experience, the years from driver’s license to alcohol-legal are quite a mixed bag. I’m only on the other side of that 21st birthday with the first two kids, so the jury’s still out on the younger two… er, three.
This is probably not a very “traditional” blog post for a book launch day, but I feel like maybe my threes of fans don’t come here for the normal, traditional author thing.
Let me just say finally that however ambivalent I feel about my writing and these stories, I am forever, eternally grateful for the patience, support, friendship, and readership you all offer me. On this Thanksgiving week, I am reminded once again that I am blessed beyond measure in a million different ways, and you are all included in those blessings.
So with that… Happy Thanksgiving, thank you for everything, and I hope you enjoy Unquickened!