My publishing plans for the next five years

Everyone has a five year plan, right? Just me? I like to have a few goals to work towards in the short and long term, to keep me on track.

After all, if you don’t know where you’re headed, you’ll never get there, but if you have a destination in mind you’ll eventually reach it, even if you take the scenic route.

Okay, enough of the driving metaphors. Here’s what you can expect to see from me in the next five years:

2022

January: The Solitary King, The Fair Chronicles #2

April: Baroness of Blood and Bone (Once Upon a Name anthology)

July: One Fair Eve (Enchanted Forests anthology)

December: The Fair War, The Fair Chronicles #3

2023

April: Twice Upon a Name anthology

July: Enchanted Flames anthology

2024

The Rose and the Serpent

April: Thrice Upon a Name anthology

July: Enchanted Anthologies (possibly Enchanted Winds)

2025

The first three books in a new prequel series to The Fair Chronicles, tentatively titled the Crowns of the Fair Saga:

A Crown of Thorns

A Crown of Embers

A Crown of Pearls

2026

The final two books in the Crowns of the Fair Saga (titles TBD)


So, there you have it! Which book are you most excited about?

I’m really looking forward to writing The Rose and the Serpent (historical fantasy set in Victorian England, for fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper) and plotting my next five book series, the Crowns of the Fair Saga! It’s going to be set a few decades after the creation of the Fair Realm, and follow the five children of Queen Oriana as they each marry into the Five Kingdoms and face the challenges and politics that come with royal life!

Lyndsey

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When to shelve your manuscript (and when to just take a break)

Does anyone else find it almost impossible to DNF a book?

What about you, writers, how hard is it to abandon a manuscript you’ve worked on for a long time, but know will never be ready for publishing? Or even, that you’ve simply fallen out of love with?

There’s this concept called the sunk cost fallacy, and I think a lot of us can identify with it. In a nutshell, it means you refuse to give up on something, even when it’s terrible or has come to its natural end, because you think the time and energy you put into it so far will have been wasted if you quit.

It’s used a lot to explain why people stay in relationships and jobs that no longer serve them or make them happy. But it also applies to your creative projects and WIPs.

So, how do you decide when it’s time to abandon your current novel and start working on something new?

Should you shelve your current WIP?

There are a few questions you could ask yourself to determine if it’s time to move on from that book you’ve been writing for years, or that hasn’t gotten any requests from agents or publishers:

  • Are you hoping to publish it one day, or are you just writing it for fun? (There’s nothing wrong with writing something you’re passionate about but have no intention of sharing, it’s good to have a comfort WIP you can turn to when you need a break)
  • Does it fit into a recognisable genre and have clear comparative titles?
  • Is the genre you’re writing in selling/popular right now? (If not, it doesn’t automatically mean you should abandon your WIP, trends come back around and it could be the next big thing!)
  • Have you had beta readers and editors look at it, and did they enjoy it?
  • Do you feel as though there’s still work to be done, revisions and edits that will make your story better? (If you feel like you’ve done everything you can and the story still isn’t working, it might be time to shelve the MS)
  • Do you enjoy working on your story? Do you fall asleep thinking about it and daydream your way through the work day, jotting down snippets of dialogue and ideas for plot twists? (Then it’s probably not quite time to abandon your story! Another round of betas might help you get closer to being publication ready)
  • Is there another idea or plot bunny that’s been nagging at your brain? (You’re not alone, we all get shiny new ideas, but if you give up on your current WIP every time you get a new plot bunny you’ll never finish a book, so make all the notes you want, and then get back to your WIP!)

We all hit road bumps in our writing journeys, and some days getting the words down is like pulling teeth, because writing is hard. It is hard. But we’re all in this together, even when writing feels lonely, there’s a whole community of us out here who you can reach out to for support and encouragement.

And even if you shelve an MS, that doesn’t mean you can’t take it back out months or even years later, dust it off, and get it ready for the world to read. We need your stories!

Lyndsey

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Interview: YA and NA fantasy author Bekah Berge

Happy Sunday friends, how was your week? I hope you’re taking the time to rest and recuperate before next week, you deserve to take it slow today and refill your cup, whether that’s reading a book, taking a nice, hot bath, going for a long walk, or playing your favourite music at full blast and dancing around your kitchen. (I’ll be doing all of those things, and going for a big roast dinner at the pub later, too!)

Today, I want to introduce you to an incredible woman who is not just a brilliant writer and a huge supporter of indie authors, she’s also a really inspiring human.

Meet Bekah Berge, author or Needlework and Sedendum, and one of the amazing authors I’m working with on Once Upon a Name!

Hi Bekah, thanks so much for joining me today! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi everyone, my name is Bekah Berge and I write YA and NA fantasy. When not writing, I am often found reading or trying out a new vegan recipe. I also have a rare chronic pain condition called CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) that can make life a little more complicated… 

YA fantasy is my favourite genre, and I love trying new recipes! I’ve seen your posts about CRPS on social media and it sounds like such a tough condition, I admire you so much for facing it head on and still going after your dreams! So, when did you start writing and what inspired you? 

I began writing a little over 10 years ago. I had been crafting stories in my head for years, but never thought of becoming a writer until one day when I decided to put my thoughts on a page. Over 400 pages later, I had my first book. It was awful with several plot holes, but I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to start writing another story. Now, over a decade later, I’ve written eight books and published four of them.  

Wow, eight books! You’re a total writing veteran. What would you say is your favourite book or genre?

My absolute favorite book of all time is Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey. I love reading fantasy, historical fiction, historical romance, rom coms, biographies, and a few classics. I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers, as well as anything set in or involving Egypt. 

Enemies to lovers gets me every single time. I haven’t read Brightly Burning but I’ll have to check it out! I love getting book recs from the authors I interview, they’re always the best. Can you tell us about your first published book?

My first published book was The Whisperings in the Shadows, which is part of the Shadow Series. It’s a fun series for me to write because my hero and villain are the same person. You’ll have to read it to learn more. 

Ooh, that sounds very intriguing! I can’t wait to read it. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings? 

For me, inspiration often comes in the form of music. Other times I’ll be inspired by a piece of poetry or (strangely) when I’m cleaning. People would be shocked by how many storylines have come to me while cleaning the kitchen.  

I get most of my ideas while doing mindless tasks like cleaning too, or out walking the dogs. Something about nature and no distractions, it’s my prime creative time. Are you a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

Plotter.

Me too, I need a good, strong outline to keep me on track while my mind wanders off on a tangent! What are you working on right now?

I’m working on two short stories going in two different anthologies, as well as a few other projects that I’m keeping close to my chest for now. 

Exciting! I can’t wait to read your story for Once Upon a Name, and to find out more about your upcoming WIPs! What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Figure out your “why” with the story. Why are you writing it? Why should readers care? Why is the character making that decision? Why does it drive the story forward? Once you know your “why” I think the story blossoms into something really magical for readers.  

That’s great advice, I definitely think motivation is really key to a story that grips readers and stays with them long after. So many books feel just slightly flat because the ‘why’ either isn’t there or isn’t credible enough.

Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Bekah! Before you go, how can we find out more about you and your books? 

Visit my website CRPSBookshelf.com to learn more about me and my books. I am also very active on Instagram and all four of my books are available on Amazon. 

Visit Bekah’s Website:  https://crpsbookshelf.com   

Sign up to Bekah’s Newsletter: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScKtpnIcpsNIV8gnvUfxHQAwK7VVj9RACEHdPbXaqrmIBNW2Q/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

Follow her on Instagram: https://instagram.com/Bekah.Berge

Like Bekah’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/crpsbookshelf   


Bekah is currently raising funds to help her with the cost of her treatment for CRPS at the prestigious Spero Clinic. If you suffer from a chronic pain condition or know someone who does, then you’ll know how challenging and debilitating it can be. If you can spare just a few dollars to help Bekah reach her fundraising goal, I know it will be so appreciated!

Click here to donate to Bekah’s GoFundMe

And, of course, you can buy Bekah’s books too! Her newest release, Needlework, is a dark fantasy about a music festival and two ambitious young musicians, with themes of mental health and overcoming traumatic experiences. It’s a slow burn romance filled with secrets and the looming threat of war, with fully-formed characters and beautiful, descriptive writing.

Click here to visit Bekah’s Amazon Author page

Once Upon a Name is still available to preorder for just 99c, and will be released in April 2022. Bekah’s story, Salty Sweet, follows Norenia Scarlettreasure as she enters into a cooking competition against some shifty and shady fairy creatures!

Preorder Once Upon a Name

Happy reading, folks!

Lyndsey x