In the past six years I’ve written eight books, and I’m currently working on the ninth. That number doesn’t include the four books I’ve stopped and abandoned for one reason or another, the main reason being my extremely short attention span. For the finished books, their titles and genres are as follows, in the order they were written:
Walking in Circles (YA) The History of Me (YA) Don’t Ask Why (YA) The Wedding Game (Contemp Romance) Love Gone Wild (Contemp Romance) Sway (NA) In Tune with Love (Contemp Romance) The End of the World (NA) Title not yet public (NA)
So far only three books have been published. Next year, four more will follow—two of which are complete and two others in varying stages of nowhere near complete.
But this is what I do.
So why am I telling you this?
Because I love to write. And because I hate to write. Because I need to write. And because I often wish I didn’t need to write. And this is how the cycle goes for me. Every single time. Each time I open up a blank document to start a new manuscript. Every time I begin a new chapter or sit in wide-eyed panic as I face the dreaded kissing scene/fight scene/turning point/end of the book.
I love it.
I hate it.
And as you can tell by my very inconsistent genres, my moods often flip back and forth.
Just like my real-life moods.
Sometimes I’m happy and feeling a bit on the snarky side (The Wedding Game, Love Gone Wild, In Tune with Love, Title not yet public). Sometimes I’m feeling a bit reflective (Walking in Circles, The History of Me). Sometimes I read a local newspaper headline and write a story about it (Don’t Ask Why). Sometimes I’m wondering what the world would be like if we could all just get along a little better (Sway). Sometimes I’m feeling a bit sad and trying to find the hope in life (The End of the World). And sometimes (always) I’m feeling a little scatterbrained (all the books I haven’t completed).
Again, why am I telling you this? Because in the writing world, there’s a little term often thrown around calling “branding.” Authors are often encouraged to find their brand (funny, serious, reflective, etc.) and stick to it. And that’s a good thing. A great thing actually, because it makes you very dependable to a reader who wants to know that if they spend hard-earned money on your book, they’ll enjoy it.
I’m just not very good at branding.
Kind of like a songwriter who has a plethora of subject matters on a single album, my books sort of follow the same format. I’m never sure what I’m going to write about next—whether it will be happy or sad or somewhere in between—but my hope is that whatever I write, I do it well. At least marginally so.
My next book, The End of the Word, (out Feb. 10) is a bit different than my other books. But I hope that’s okay, because sometimes I need different. A different place, a different mood, a different kind of story that will pull me in and show me something new. And that’s my hope for The End of the World. That you will be pulled in, and that no matter what mood you’re in when you read it, it will be a halfway pleasant way to escape for a few hours.
But in the meantime, I hope you’ll read Sway. Because that would make me really, really happy.