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January 2023 updates: Release day, audiobooks, & life.

Didn't 2022 just start a few months ago? How is it already 2023—never mind the end of January?

The last half of 2022 was rough. I dealt with ending a toxic friendship and trying to find my equilibrium again.

Then my husky passed away. From Sunday to Thursday afternoon, she went from the happy, energetic forever-puppy, to listless and quiet.

Losing that little dog broke my heart. She was too young, and I didn't get have enough time with her. There are still days I find it hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I will never get to kiss her head or open my arms and have her run over to me for a hug, (she loved hugs) or look up to find her watching me from the room across the hall, or have her use my leg as a pillow in front of the AC in the middle of summer, again.

For a while, I was tempted to cancel the preorder for The Vampire Crown because I wasn't sure if I could deliver the book to readers in a way I knew it needs to be.

Either way, I knew I needed time... time I knew didn't have if I was going to bring the release day forward as planned.

I thought about what path to take for the rest of November. Canceling would give me all the time I needed, but it would also mean languishing for who knew how long. Because it turns out that precious ball of fluff was a huge part of maintaining my daily schedule as well as her brother, Tedward's day.

But I also couldn't throw myself back into it and still hit the early deadline I'd been aiming for—hitting the retailer deadline as it stood also looked like a good way to drive me deeper into burnout than I had been at the peak of it.

The climb out has been long and slow and painful and frustrating... and I have hated every minute of it. Yet, forcing myself not to "push, push, push!"* all the time—which is part of how I ended up in burnout to begin with.

So I took a look at the calendar and asked myself: Instead of bringing the release day forward, would I be able to do everything I needed in a healthy and balanced way, and still have the time I needed if I pushed it from April to May? At the time, I wasn't 100% sure, even with four different schedules mapped out. But I knew I didn't want to—not —try.

I never expected it to be easy, but I wasn't prepared for it to be as hard as it was, either. I realized I was getting to a place that felt way too negative. So around the beginning of the month, I put all my social media apps on my phone in a folder and muted notifications. And let me tell you, it has allowed me to find focus and creativity again. I'll eventually return and eventually post again, but I am not setting any deadlines for myself beyond TVD5's release day.

The Vampire Crown will release May 25th. And not a day earlier or later.

Despite the reasons for the delay and everything else, I don't think this book would have become what it needed to be on any other schedule or timeline.

My hope is that when you all get it in your hands and read it, you feel that the conclusion to this series was worth the wait.

As for the TVD audiobooks...

I had planned on having books 3 and 4 done long before now. However, that obviously didn't happen. There are reasons, personal and writing process/my vision for this series related that I will not be going into at this time.

Here are the important bits that you need to know:

  • Yes, all five books will be in audio format at the earliest possible opportunity.

  • No, I do not have an idea of when that will be, nor will I be setting any deadlines for it to happen for the foreseeable future.

It's not that I don't want to.

It's because I am not willing to burn out again for any reason.

Burnout is hell, especially when it's laden with overwhelm and accompanied by depression.

And no one and nothing is worth that.

I promise, that I will announce it here, there, and everywhere the moment I can get to them again and offer you dates and progress status. Until then, I appreciate your endless patience. Your love for this series is what is keeping me going.

This is getting longer than expected, so with that, I will end the updates here.

Rest assured, everything will happen in time. But for now, I am focusing on getting book five ready to go for release day and rediscovering my love and excitement for writing. Everything else will come later.

*see Twilight Zone episode "A Stop at Willoughby" to know how I hear this. The husbutt and I love to quote random lines from that show. :3


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