AND NOW, LET US DISCUSS THE MAXENCE BOOKS.
The TL;DR version is: It's going to be a while longer. I'm working on them. When I do publish them, the audiobooks will be published at the same time. And I think you'll like them. Max is almost as screwed up as Xan and as naughty under the surface as Wulf.
The rest of this is authorly sausage-making. If you don't want to know how the authoring works or it's not of interest to you, you can stop reading now.
If you're curious about all the machinations behind your favorite books, or if you're an author, too (a lot of my readers are authors. I'm kind of an “authors' author,” a rarified taste,) then pray, proceed.
Hello, my most favorite readers, the ones who are still reading.
I have a problem.
I let myself get too suckered into the publishing business, and I have gotten burned out. You see, there is an algorithm at Amazon that really helps you if you publish a book every month. This means that it shows your books to more people, and you reach more readers than if you don't.
So, I tried to do that.
After I wrote the 5 very strenuous Flicka books, I pumped out those 3 dragon shifter books. Don't get me wrong. They were fun, and I enjoyed getting all my SF&F proclivities out in one fell swoop. With those and some boxed sets that I dumped, I think I published 10 books in 12 months.
It was too much.
And now (secret), I've been writing in another genre with another pen name. People in my Facebook Reader Group have heard a little about it. (If you're on FB, come on by and hang out in my reader group! I talk to readers and answer questions in there. And we have silly fun, too.)
It's not romance, however. There are no naughty bits at all. I have had no excuse to listen to Bon Jovi for 4 months, now. That's so sad. I'm really looking forward to getting back to writing Max. I'm in the home stretch with those, and I won't put out any more of those until late 2020.
I have some scenes of Max's books written because his story is so compelling. He keeps talking in my head. I also just had the covers done. (Total tease below.) I want to write Max. I'm dying to write Max. I know the overall structure. I've got some pivotal scenes. I've got half of the first book written in my head.
There will probably be a prequel novella, and then 3 books.
But here's the thing: With the later Flicka books, the Dragon Clan books, and these other books, I've been just kind of hurling them toward Amazon and hoping they stick. I haven't had the time, attention, or energy to do real releases. That doesn't work.
So, with the Max books, I want to write them the right way and release them the right way. That includes having the audiobooks made and releasing them at the same time. That includes doing the multiple passes from editors to comb out all the commas that (ahem) may or may not be done with these other books that I'm just flinging into the Amazon sun. I've been abusing my editors (sorry, ladies, ? ) and messing with my process.
See, as a writer, I tend to write “deep.” I go into my books for hours at a time and work hard. I read dozens of books and research other background to make them feel real and to understand the characters better. In the Babylon Facebook reader group (link above), someone asked me about the gray tiles on Arthur's English manor house, Spencer House. So, I told them all about the gray tiles that were installed on many English manor houses because some doofus insisted that the Plague was caused by manor houses being built with red bricks a few centuries ago. I also told them how it was modeled on Althorp House, the estate of the Earls Spencer, the title of which is currently held by Diana's younger brother, Charles.
We've also discussed the book The Dirt, by Motley Crue and Neil Strauss, which inspired much of the chaos and dysfunction around Killer Valentine over those . . . 9 books, I think? That's a fantastic book.
And of course there was so much research about the English legal system that went into Casimir's story, a serious feat for a Yankee such as myself.
Anyway, what with family stuff (I have a high-maintenance kid, and my DH is not low maintenance, by any means,) and with trying to not die from a heart attack or autoimmune disease, lately, it's been fraught.
(If you're an author who suspects you're in burnout or that “something weird is going on,” and you need to “think about your process” because you just can't seem to look at the blank page, I highly recommend Becca Syme's Burnout videos, her Burnout book, and this Burnout book by Emily Nagoski. And then you can follow me down the rabbit hole into all of Becca Syme's classes. Come over the Dark Side. We have cookies. I'll be doing the October Strengths cohort.)
Anyway, that's what's going on with Max. I want them to be good. I want them to have the deep, special work that Wulf, Xan, Casimir, and Arthur got.
Flicka got that treatment, too. I can't slight Flicka's books, but I'd been writing them in my head for 3 years when I finally opened a file for her. (Yes, I knew from the last part of Wulf's book that she would end up with Dieter.) I already had hundreds of pages of notes for her before I started.
But Max is going to take some work. The first 2 books take place before the Flicka books end, and it's a while before he knows that his circumstances have changed. I've got some serious research to do.
And I need to reread Casimir's and Arthur's books. Yes, they will definitely be in there. As a matter of fact, they'll be in the prequel novella. And so might some other people.
So, if you want to keep up with me, come hang out in the Babylon reader group on Facebook or follow me at any of the links above. I probably will throw out a boxed set or two in the meantime. I will be releasing the audiobooks of Working Stiff, Stiff Drink, and Hard Liquor soon. For those of you who read French or German, rejoice! I'll have Wulf/Rae out in those languages soon, too.
And as for that secret project, probably in 2020, I'll figure out how to get that to you, probably as a limited release like I did for Angel of Death. I'm a reader, too. I get it. I hated it when my favorite authors cheated on me with some other pen name and didn't tell me.
(Oh, come on. Xan is Max's cousin and #3 in line, after Max. You knew he'd make appearances.)