I'm waiting for my editor to return my manuscript for Spellbound. It's been a quiet time for me. This reflective time has permitted me to focus on my future as an author. When I first started writing, I only had one book in mind. That book turned to a series then a fourth book and a fifth--now, my 6th is being edited for publication. Eventually, I gave myself a cut off number of books. Ten. I'm allowing myself ten Romance books while deciding if it's worth it to continue. Well, it's worth it because writing has become a big part of my life. I've always thought in images and dialogue. And writing them down makes me feel less…manic.
But with a 10 book cap, I've been wondering what book 7, 8, 9 and 10 will be. For this year's NaNoWriMo, I started a new series. The book will be a mystery. Literally, I'm being mysterious about this series because I'm so passionate about the storyline, and it will have a mystery (an erotic whodunit?). It will carry over three books, specifically following the heroine through 3 books in which she solves a mystery. Hopefully, all the books I've read this year that are mysteries and thrillers will help me write them. I hope to complete the series by May 2017. I will release them one at a time. The problem with staggered releases are the readers who don't read series until they're complete. Many readers have been burned by writers who can't complete a series on the reader's timeline, and they won't stand for it. I've been there as a reader. Heck, I'm the same with my favorite TV shows, bingeing on them when the season is done--Oh my, God, TV has some great shows: Pitch, Better Things, This is Us, Younger, and How To Get Away With Murder. I digress. Books 7, 8, and 9 are planned and somewhat outlined, so what about 10?
Number 10 may be my last book. I'm not sure I have the mental fortitude to write an 11, 12--to infinity--and not have a reason to continue writing. Sales are low. Not just for me, but for a lot of authors. It's worse for "invisible" authors (like me) because we've don't have a large audience. I have some faithful readers who reach out and interact with me. So I'd like to write for them. Yet, number ten may not be a Romance as I'd planned. I'm thinking of a completely different genre. Something like romance, but literary. Specifically, Magical Realism. If you'd ever read Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, then you know the type of book I'm interested in writing. And it won't be under Rosemary Rey.
Using a new pen name means a whole new world to create. Honestly, I'm too lazy to start from scratch. I've never told my family and friends my pen name or book titles because I wanted organic sales. I didn't want the pressure that comes from failure. So, I'm trying to decide if Book #10, under my legal name, should be shared with my family, but not my present readers. Decisions…decisions. Regardless of my decision, I'm treating my writing as a hobby--one that requires my financial investment but no expectation of a financial return. At some point, I may earn money to reinvest in the business, but for now, I'm going to follow my passion and write. Write to my heart's content and hope that I make others equally content with my stories.