Finishing a Series. Finally.
I started writing the first Common Law book on February 8, 2014 (yes, my records are that precise, thank you for asking). That means it was almost three years from the time I started writing to the time the series was published. I’m a fast writer—three years is unheard of for me, and the time frame took its toll.
The books in the Common Law series aren’t super-long, but there are four of them, so it’s a lot of words total. And it was important to me that I get them all written before we started publishing—I’ve been caught in the past, wanting to make changes for later books and not being able to because the earlier books were already published. So over two hundred thousand words had to be written before I got any feedback.
Honestly, I think it’s longest I’ve ever gone, and it’s longer than I’m really comfortable with. Not because I’m insecure about my writing (I’m insecure about that whether I’m getting feedback or not!). But just because there’s a certain energy I can pick up from readers, some enthusiasm for the characters that helps keep me enthusiastic, and I didn’t have that, here.
Not that I didn’t still believe in Jericho and Wade, and didn’t keep wanting to tell their story. No, it stayed really important to me that I finish this project. But it was difficult to actually make myself sit down and write it.
Maybe there are two kinds of inspiration, at least for me. There’s the deeper, internal interest that I can supply myself, and there’s the lighter, external interest that comes from other people. The thing is, the deeper interest can be satisfied without ever writing down a word—I can sit around and daydream about those characters and work it all out that way, and my interest will be totally satisfied. Taking the trouble to write things down and make sure I’m being at least somewhat coherent and realistic and not letting the characters turn into total fantasy, going through the frustration of editing and polishing and fussing over the details? That’s only necessary when I’m writing stories for other people. So if I have to do over two hundred thousand words of writing without getting any reward from the people I’m writing for? Not easy, at least for me.
I’ve got a self-published NA series (Shelter series) that I’ve been working on for the last year-and-a-half or so, and it feels like it’s dragging out, but I’ve been publishing the books as I go with that one so it really hasn’t been as difficult, even though the individual books are longer than the Common Law books. I started writing Feral, the first book of that series, on September 14, 2015, and the book was on the virtual shelves on December 5 of the same year. Less than three months—that’s the kind of time frame that makes things easy for me!
That said, I think there are things I would have changed about the earlier books in that series if I’d had the luxury of being able to go back and fiddle with them. I think writing all the Common Law books without publishing them has allowed me to add more foreshadowing and more series-long ribbons of character development. They’re better books because of the way I wrote them. But, damn… am I ever glad they’re finished!
How about you guys? Does the sense of satisfaction from finishing a big project make up for the pain, or would you rather tackle smaller chunks of work at a time?
About Home Fires
Trouble comes to Mosely, Montana, from the outside world. When the residents of Mosely are left on their own, they can make things work. Sure, there’s always been a militia operating up in the hills, but they were small-scale—just survivalists doing their thing—until organizers came in from out of state. Now Jericho Crewe and the rest of the sheriff’s department are facing down a heavily armed band of fanatics, and the feds are busy elsewhere.
The odds are hopeless, but Jericho swore an oath to serve and protect the citizens of Mosely. He won’t walk away from that, even if Wade Granger’s begging him to run away somewhere and finally be together the way they always should have been.
But this time, it’s Jericho who refuses to leave Mosely, even if staying kills him.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/home-fires
About the Common Law series
Jericho Crewe escaped from Mosely, Montana, when he was seventeen and built a new life for himself, first as a Marine, then as an LA police officer. Fifteen years later, he’s back, and everything is just as confusing as it was before he left.
Especially Wade Granger. Wade’s still a rebel, still a criminal, and still dangerously fascinating. As Jericho digs deeper into the town’s underbelly, he has to decide whether Wade’s the worst the town has to offer, or the only part of Mosely worth saving.
Get all four books from Riptide Publishing! Common Law series
About Kate Sherwood
Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!
Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!
Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?
Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.
After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.
To celebrate the release of all four books in the Common Law series, we’re giving away one four-tour-wide GRAND PRIZE of $100 in Riptide credit! Enter at each stop on each tour (once they go live) to maximize your chances to win! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Home Fires tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!