Despite the weather bouncing like a rubber ball in a fast-paced game of jacks, I’ve been having an exceptionally strong week in terms of writing. I’ve been able to knock out several episodes of All Maid Up, and I’ve finished at least one chapter of Thicker Than Blood every day this week. My word count in just seven days is higher than the last three months combined, so it’s safe to say that the article I read on being weird has got me back in the groove.
I’m working on a couple of side projects for petty cash, and coming up in the next month or so, my editor will be launching an Indiegogo campaign for Roll the Bones, book three in the Peter the Wolf series. I’m arranging the goodies that Tara gives out as incentives, but she’s setting up the campaign so she can collect all the funds for her diligent efforts. Even if we meet the goal and get her a decent editing fee, I’m still cutting her in for 10% of sales, just like I have for the first two books. But as I think I’ve said before, sales haven’t been high enough to pay her properly for all the work she’s done. Which is not to say sales have been terrible. They’re just not enough to properly pay my editor what she deserves for all her work in the last few months.
I’ll be honest and admit I’m nervous about this campaign. Neither the fate of the book nor the series hangs on its success, but I do want to give Tara more money to help her care for her toddler and pay some bills. No, I’m nervous because I don’t know if I can convince enough people to donate to make the whole effort worth all the work Tara’s put into the books, and into the campaign itself. I’ve had friends online who ran campaigns for their books and hit their goals within two days of starting, and then I’ve seen others run a campaign for a full month and only make a quarter of their goal. Add to this my history of weak promotions and weaker reception to said promotions, and I’m feeling more nervous about this than I ever have submitting my work with publishers. Cause really, if you get a rejection from a publisher, there’s always someone else to go to. If you can’t get a project funded from the readers, there’s not many options left.
Either way, the series will get finished, and despite the shaky initial reception to the first book, I’m still proud of Peter and his growth over the series from an angry child blaming others for his problems into a young adult who is beginning to overcome the hurdles created by his abusive parents. It’s not easy to deal with topics of sexual abuse and recovery, and I know some people feel I’ve gone too far in detailing Peter’s sexual addiction, or that I shouldn’t have written about the topic in a fantasy setting. But I’ve also talked to readers of the first two books who understood that my intention was to highlight an all too common problem through the eyes of a victim who was at risk of falling through the holes in society’s safety net. So whatever happens with the next two books, I know there will be some readers who can relate to Peter and his problems, even if they are sometimes uncomfortable with the mistakes he makes during the course of his story.
It’s easy to write a character who everyone likes and can readily identify with. But I wanted to make someone complex, someone whose story is supposed to make readers feel conflicted about following along. I wanted to make a story where there aren’t easy answers that can be overcome with a plot device, and where the point isn’t for the main character to save the world, or even a city. As I reach the conclusion of book four, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goals, and I think readers who make the risky investment in Peter will find the conclusion logical and satisfying, even if the series isn’t tied up with a happily ever after ending.
It still remains to be seen if the series will grow beyond the small handful of readers into a proper fandom, but either way, I’m happy with Peter’s story, and I’m thankful to everyone who bought the first two books and didn’t ask for a refund. I appreciate those of you who took the risk, and I thank you for your continued support. When we launch the Indiegogo campaign, I hope you’ll donate to Tara and get the book from her, and I’d like to ask you to bug your friends about donating too. Frankly, me, Tara, and Peter need all the help we can get, and I’m not too proud to beg.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to writing, or the muse is going to drive me nuts with her constant yammering.