My Muses Running Amuck

For those wondering, yes I’m still writing. Is my release schedule wonky? Yes, that is true too.

The muses have not been particularly kind when it comes to progressing through the Legacy Series, and I believe that’s partly due to the nature of the project along with unreasonable self-goals. As you know, I aimed to release a new novella every month. On paper, and given my track record, this was doable. Totally doable. But I didn’t account for the human factor in that equation, and it’s turning into an “every two months” sort of schedule, which would have given me some breathing room between novellas… if November hadn’t happened.

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For those of you who are involved in the writing community, or have friends who are writers, you might have heard of this thing called National Novel Writing Month. It’s both a painful and an exciting time for writers and authors everywhere. It’s the one time of the year we encourage one another and push ourselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s when we can pull out book ideas from the dusty attics of our minds, brush them off, and breathe some life into the characters we’ve wanted to meet for some time. It’s also a chance to revisit old projects and finally knock them out of the park – as I will explain in a moment. The idea is that 50k words is a little over half a novel (or a little longer novella), so if we keep on track to write about 1.5k words every day, we can have an entire novel written before the closing of the year. I think there’s an additional challenge for editing the novel in January, but I’m not 100% on that.

In 2015 and 2016, I “won” NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with my novels Passions and Silver Screen (respectively) which I have since published. Silver Screen has been made into an audiobook, and Passions has gone on to be backed by Kingston Publishing, which will also have an audiobook format available within the coming months (super stoked about that). I took 2017 off because I was working hard in my Legacy Series and didn’t think I could devote the time and effort to writing a novel alongside that.

However, 2018 is a new year and I decided to jump on the bandwagon, now that I have a huge NaNo community to participate with on social media. I made a lot of author/writer friends in the last two years. With the completion of The Outlaw, book #11 in the Legacy Series, I thought I’d return to another series I had started, but never finished. You might have seen little snippets from my Bewitching Brews Series posted here in the blog. The first novel, Bewitching Fire, is finished and just needs some editing before publication, but I had been sitting on it for about a year in hopes that a traditional publisher would take it. They didn’t, and with Halloween on my mind, I decided that I’ll be self-publishing the series next October. Be on the lookout for it! So, for NaNo, I was going to go ahead and get the second book written to get that ball rolling… The muses had another plan.
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The Rose was the first book I had ever written and finished, topping at about 250k words (I had no social life as a sophomore in high school). I was so freaking proud of that book… And then I pulled it out from the files to read it 8 years later… Nope. It needed work. So, about a year and a half ago, I decided that I’d take on the monumental task of re-writing it, as I had done for Clouds and Escape (other books written in high school that have been published). The project became a little too much and I abandoned it in favor of other things… And like I said, November happened with NaNo and the muses… It was just a confusing time.

I picked The Rose back up and heavily modified the previously re-worked plot outline. I edited through the re-written 9 chapters from the other year and hit the ground running, sprinting for the 50k goal starting November 2nd… 11-13Well, I made that goal yesterday. In that time, The Rose has now been split into a duet (two book series), and the new storyline looks nothing like the original. But, this is a good thing. It’s better plotted, better written, the characters and their motivations finally make sense, and it’s been an incredibly satisfying process.

But, I’m going to rewind for a second and reiterate what I just said. I wrote 50,000 words in less than two weeks. 12 days to be exact… Let that settle for a second. It took me over two months to write The Outlaw, a 67k word historical paranormal western, but it only took me 12 days to write a contemporary romance. Now, I’m going to keep going and see how far this burst of inspiration will take me, but DANG! How did that happen? Who spiked my coffee? Why is The Rose so different from The Outlaw? Both books have characters I adore and have known for years (Ben Myers is the star werewolf in The Outlaw, and Belle Clearwater might as well be my twin).
Herkulaneischer_Meister_002-901x891Maybe it has more to do with the content. In a contemporary romance, I don’t have to watch my language so much. What I mean by that is I can use as much modern slang to get my point across. Whereas in a historical series like The Legacies, I have to be careful about words. I can’t say “his body felt electrified” before the discovery of electricity. Stuff like that.

Either way, The Rose’s partner in the duet, The Lion, is well on its way to being completed. Once it is, edits will be conducted, a release plan put into motion, and you might get to read it by this summer!
What does this mean for The Legacy Series? Not a lot. As soon as I’m done with The Lion, I’ll be heading on to #12 in the series, The Deviants and I’ll finally get to write about my homeboy, Logan. Release date for The Outlaw is pending due to delays with the editing that are not within my control, but it’ll be out before Christmas for sure.

What’s on the horizon? Long term, like I said, Bewitching Brews will be coming next year around October or September. The three books in that series will be conducted in a rapid release, so hold onto your broomsticks when it hits! The Legacy Series, along with audio releases will still be coming as quickly as I can get through them.
The-Future-of-MarketingBeyond that, there are other series and projects like The Vigilante Series (featuring John Croxen’s four sons in New York), The Wolf Sanctuary Series (which takes place in a completely different werewolf mechanics universe than I’ve done up to this point), and several independent books like Ghosts of the Moon (sort of linked with Silver Screen) and many more.

HOWEVER, things change. Plans fall through. That human factor keeps rearing its ugly head. SO, let everything I say be written in pencil with an eraser hovering over each word. Unless you see that preorder pop up on Amazon, take everything I say with a grain of skepticism.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy my birthday month, keep punching out these words, and look forward to a trip to another Civil War battlefield to close out NaNo.

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About Sheritta Bitikofer

Sheritta Bitikofer is an author of eclectic tastes. When she's not writing her next paranormal or urban fantasy novel, she can be found volunteering at her local animal shelter, shooting archery at a medieval reenactment event, doing Zumba, watching a historical documentary, or having coffee with her husband at their favorite café. A wife and fur-mama to two rescue dogs, she makes time to write engaging and moving stories about shifters, vampires, and magic that enthrall readers from cover to cover.
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