Hey, Mind Readers! What’s Next?

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Mindspeak Series News | 5 comments

I’m working like crazy to finish up MINDSURGE and get it into your hands as early in October as possible!!

While you wait, let’s talk about what’s next.

1. What’s next for the Mindspeak series?

I posted on Facebook recently how MINDSURGE will most likely be the last novel in the Mindspeak series, making the trilogy from Lexi’s POV (Point of View) complete. However, there are more stories planned for the series from other characters’ POVs.

A. Kyle’s story (A Mindspeak novel, but a standalone)

I have a Mindspeak novel already in the works that tells Kyle’s story. This story begins sometime after the Mindspeak trilogy ends. I don’t want to spoil anything for readers who haven’t read Mindsiege, but Kyle’s story is filled with heartache, new-found love, and his own personal struggle with what to do with his special abilities. Kyle meets an innocent girl who unknowingly witnessed part of a deal between the IIA and men from South and Central America. The deal goes south, and Kyle’s new friend gets caught in the crossfire. He has no choice but to help her, but he’ll have to decide if the best way to help her is to leave her alone. The problem? He’s not sure he can leave her now that he’s fallen for her. (No, this is not an official blurb. I will labor over an official blurb for weeks. I came up with this one in about ten seconds.)

This story will be fine tuned and edited this fall and hopefully released early winter 2015.

B. A Mindspeak novel from Jonas’s POV (also a standalone novel, but from the Mindspeak world that occurs after the end of the Mindspeak trilogy)

This novel will also include the POV of another character from the Mindspeak series, but in the interest of not spoiling anything for those who haven’t read the complete trilogy (which is all of you), I’ll keep parts of this to myself. ;)

C. Other Mindspeak stories

I’m planning and brainstorming other stories (shorter stories like novellas or short stories) for readers who just can’t get enough of Lexi, Jack, Jonas, Kyle, Briana, Georgia, and Fred. This could include some short stories or novellas from Jack’s POV or a spinoff novel of a couple of other characters from the series that are not already mentioned above. Nothing else is planned at this time, but if you have an opinion, be sure to let me know.

The best way to make sure you don’t miss anything, whether it’s these stories or future novels in other series, is to:

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2. What’s next after the Mindspeak series?

I’m so glad you asked. While I’m thrilled to add some stories to the Mindspeak series, I’m over-the-top excited to write the next story that has been churning in the back of my mind. Let’s call this novel CLASSIFIED NOVEL PROJECT. My husband and I’ve been talking about the plot and characters of this next story for about a year now. If you have enjoyed the Mindspeak series, you’re gonna love this next novel/series. This novel will be written this winter and I hope to have it ready for release by summer 2015 (no promises at this time, but that is the plan).

What kinds of things can you expect from CLASSIFIED NOVEL PROJECT?

  1. A passionate love story with an intense roadblock that will threaten not only their love but their lives.
  2. Futuristic (but not that far-off) medical plot line. As you can see, I’m intrigued with the directions I believe medical research to be going. I like to take medical research a step further into the “What if they could do this?” and before I know it, I’ve put characters in the position to decide they’d be willing to step across moral lines if it meant saving a life.
  3. The same fast-paced romantic suspense and thrilling adventure I’ve tried to give you with the Mindspeak series.

I will be sure to tell you more about CLASSIFIED NOVEL PROJECT as soon as I have more to tell you. As always, the newsletter is the best way to make sure you hear book news and about new releases.

So, what interests you the most about the above projects?

Do you have any questions about any of the above projects? Be sure to let me know in the comments.

Additional side note: The cover to MINDSURGE will be released Monday, August 4th via the newsletter! It’s BEAU-TEE-FUL!!




Stop Reading Depressing Blog Posts

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Writing/Indie Life | 10 comments

I read a blog post last night that… well… kinda depressed me. After reading the post (“How to Respond to Alarming Changes” in the publishing industry), I felt deflated, had no energy for more editing, and wondered if some of my decisions I had made recently were the wrong ones. (I’ll be making an announcement of one of those HUGE decisions in a few weeks. :) )

But back to the article… In it, Agent Rachelle Gardner reacts to a couple of articles she read about falling royalties and declining advances for authors, merging publishers creating fewer to submit manuscripts to, and the general, growing setbacks in authors’ careers.

I have the utmost respect for the many agents and publishing professionals who are navigating the sometimes murky waters of the publishing industry these days. I can’t imagine what agents, editors, and especially authors who work and write inside the traditional walls of publishing must be facing and the utter fear of what their futures hold right now. If their futures are accurately portrayed in this post, then I would probably be analyzing my plans B, C, and D.

It’s my job and the job of anyone who wants to be published to know and understand just what is happening inside the industry we so badly want to be a part of. However, reading articles like this one can be like a rainstorm on the fire those two survivalists on “Naked and Afraid” finally built after four nights in sub-freezing temperatures.

In this post Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner says,

In the midst of these truths, writers may experience moments of disappointment and dejection. They might be anxious that a series of speed-bumps could signal the end of their writing career, sometimes before it has even started. Often they are questioning whether it’s time to give up. Some are sad, thinking their lifelong dream is dying. A few are wondering how they are going to pay the bills.”

Until I read this blog post, I hadn’t experienced a single moment of disappointment or dejection recently. Are things going perfectly for me? Absolutely not. Novel writing and publishing are HARD! Business, work, jobs are hard for everyone. Just because I love writing does not make the “job” part of it easy.

So, after I read the post, I took a step back and realized a couple of things.

1. Rachelle was anazlying a couple of articles she had read while keeping up with the industry. Those two articles, as well as her response to them, were all lamenting over changes to the industry and the outlook for the future of… TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING, not indie publishing.

2. Though one of the linked-to articles in Rachelle’s post tried to drag self-publishing into the mix of drastically-falling income for authors, I have not witnessed this of the indie authors I know. There are ups and downs to author earnings. That’s going to happen when you’re selling art and not earning a salary. Writers must plan for this. Also, more and more indie authors are quitting their day jobs every day to write more, not rejoining the work force thanks to falling royalties.

3. I have a business plan in place that plans for ups and downs in earnings. So, if earnings slow, I’m covered for now. I also know that the industry and the economy can shift at any moment. I might have to look to plan B or C, but as of now, and in contradiction to that article, I see a very bright and promising Golden Age yet to come in publishing for writers making sound business decisions and writing great books.

I think what depressed me the most about the blog post was the number of people in the comments who also sounded dejected and hopeless about their futures in publishing. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s a common attitude out there among writers who are waiting in the slush piles of traditional publishing that they aren’t meant to be paid for their hard work, that somehow this is simply the new reality that they must accept.

What???!!? No!!! This is NOT the new reality. The new reality is changing, and if the people you’re waiting on aren’t changing with it, move on to greener pastures.

In addition to the comments mentioned above, there were several other comments who agreed that the article was true and sad of the traditional market, but that they were witnessing the exact opposite in indie publishing. Authors Brandilyn Collins, who recently decided to go 100% indie, and Randy Ingermanson both had words of wisdom that spoke of a brighter future. So, if you dare to read the depressing article, be sure to read the more hopeful comments.

So, my first piece of advice is to stop reading blog posts like the one mentioned above that might throw you off your game. But if you ignore me and read such blog posts, as I did, make sure you arm yourself with another side—a more hopeful side—to the same tale. As my mom always told me, there’s always at least two sides to every story.


Pick Heather’s Brain #10: I’m Afraid of Indoor Swimming Pools and Things To Bring To a Signing

Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 in Video Blogs - Pick Heather's Brain | Comments Off

Happy Friday! I forgot to share this week’s video blog on Wednesday, so here it is!

I’m trying to answer reader questions once a week on my YouTube Channel. The questions can be about anything: books, writing, love, food, whatever. So be sure to send me questions.

Also, I’m nearing the very VERY end of Mindsurge, then I will turn around and self-edit it before I send it off to my fabulous editor.

So, keep the questions coming, and make sure you’ve signed up for the newsletter so that you’ll know exactly when Mindsurge releases.


Pick Heather’s Brain: How long do I give a book to hook me?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Video Blogs - Pick Heather's Brain | Comments Off

Each week I answer reader questions on my YouTube Channel. You can send me questions through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other way you can dream up. Or simply leave questions in the comments below.

This week, I talk about the following:

What’s my favorite recipe to make? How long do I give a book to hook me before I cast it aside from boredom? Do I have any other animals besides the cat that made an appearance in a previous video? Hint: @JennyTheGolden makes an appearance.