I’m so pleased to share the cover for the final book in The Wolves of Kanta series!
Writing and releasing this series over the past year in a rapid-release format has been an incredible experience. At times it was so inspiring to have such a regular release schedule, and at other times it was terrifying. When I first started this journey, the only full-length book I had indie published was The Impostor and Other Dark Tales. It was definitely a bumpy road to start, but I slowly got into a pattern and a routine. I started with republishing The She-Wolf of Kanta with additional scenes and, over the past year, added an additional four books under my belt.
Next week, The Howl of Kanta will release, making the full number of full-length books I’ve written ten.
I won’t lie, since I finished reviewing the edits and uploaded all the files for Howl of Kanta, I’ve been antsy. It’s weird to not have an already planned book to be working on, a plot laid out before me to write, or an already decided character journey to explore. It’s strange to think about creating a new world with new characters, but it’s something I’ve also wanted to do for a few months now. For now, I’m giving myself the time and space to think and reflect before I dive into my next project. I’ve already got an idea of what that will be, but I want to make sure my palette is fully cleansed before I tackle a very different world.
Moving forward, I’ll probably slow down to a two books a year release schedule. It was very difficult balancing this while also working full-time and trying to maintain any kind of a social life. I have a huge amount of respect for people who can manage this at this pace for years at a time, or who even manage to publish a book a month. I’m in absolute awe. But I’ve tried it now and learned it’s a little too fast-paced for me. I like having a little more downtime, at least at this stage of my life.
Overall I’m extremely proud of this series and this world. I can’t wait to find out what people think of the final book and I look forward to the surprise at the end and where that might lead next.
If you haven’t already, pre-order your copy of The Howl of Kanta below, or begin with the book that started it all: The She-Wolf of Kanta. Enter a world filled with mad scientists, vicious hunters, and werewolves.
It’s a new year, a new decade, and here I am starting on book three of my Stolen trilogy, the first series of books I’ve written. As I ease back into the world and the characters that give this series so much life, I realize how very different it has been for me to write each book. I thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve learned in this month’s Author Toolbox Blog Hop.
This hop is made up of a bunch of authors all sharing advice and experiences to help out other authors. I’m always thrilled to be part of this, and I hope you’ll take the time to go check out some of the other author blogs!
Book one (Stolen – now available) had its own challenges, as I explained way back in 2013 when I struggled with drafting it. It sometimes baffles me when I look back on that post at how much I’ve learned since then, and how much more refined my writing has become. Somehow it was easy for me then to talk about how books ought to end, how stories ought to progress, and how characters ought to evolve. It’s really different when the blank page is staring at you and you realize that you’re the only one who can create those things and finish the story. When the stakes are higher you suddenly understand why writing series is so difficult.
Book two (Broken – coming April 7th) had its own set of problems. I thought I had handled all the loose ends in book one quite well. I thought the sequel would just continue the story, but then details came up during writing like they do, and I couldn’t remember a character’s eye color or the color of their hair. Where was that scar again? What was that background? I have the utmost respect for people who have written ten and twenty books in a series because I think I might need to write a reference book just for myself to keep track of all the details. Needless to say, it was a learning experience–though the end product was so very worth it.
Now here I am, finally on book three (Chosen – coming soon), and I have once again a whole new challenge. All those parts and pieces I dripped in those early books now have their calling. All those last minute scenes I want to include need to be written. And this is the last call for character development. It’s honestly daunting but also thrilling at the same time. As a pantser, I too want to see how these characters get to where I want them to be. I’m looking forward to wrapping up this series and preparing for new projects, but I’m also worried about the finality of this tale coming to a close. Of course I can write spin-offs and extended universes, but this will be the end of the main story for these characters that I’ve molded and directed for eight years. I want to do the right thing for them.
This will certainly not be the last series I write, I’ve already started gathering inspiration for the next one, but I’ve learned a lot during this time and wanted to share some of my takeaways with other authors who are starting their first series. Hopefully my experiences help you!
Lessons Learned from Writing 2/3 Books in my Trilogy
Use a comprehensive writing system like Scrivener if you can, or make really organized folders.
I know, I talk about Scrivener a lot, but being able to keep all of my writing in a single file has been so helpful to keep things straight.
Take the time to make those character sheets.
You’ll miss them so much if you forget to make one for your background character in book 2. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…
Know generally where each book should start and end.
I know, it’s hard to do for us pantsers, but having a general cut-off point will help in pacing. Especially for the middle child if you’re writing a trilogy.
When in doubt, make a map.
I’ve made maps for the inside of buildings so I can make sure I can describe it properly. Just draw it out and take a picture of it to put it into your writing system so you can reference it later.
If possible, take breaks in between books.
I know for a fact this just isn’t possible for so many authors. Taking time off from a project or a world or series means it’ll take longer to get back into it again. However getting away from the world (if you can) will help enrich it. Remember to replenish that creative well!
Experimentation is of course the best teacher with these things. I’ll have to report back in a few years on whether it got easier with the next series. I would love to write very long series, but I can’t quite do it yet. I think I need to “level up” my author skills a bit more first.
I’ll probably come back and add onto this list at some point. I’m sure I’m missing some things, but I hope this helps. There’s a seemingly endless supply of advice on how to write books out there, but not so much is focused specifically on series. Hopefully this helps bridge that gap.
Have you considered writing a series? Why or why not? Any advice for those who have completed one?