Tag Archive | writing a series

Keeping Busy during the Pandemic

Hi everyone,
It’s been so very long since I posted. I don’t know about you, but when the world seemed to close up in March, it was as if a part of my brain closed off, too. It seemed all I could do was try to keep my family safe and happy, keep my job from combusting, and simply put one foot in front of the other.

Open Water Swimming

As the weeks went by, my kids came home from college and online classes began, I told myself I needed to set some goals, get active and keep myself busy. I had to get back to life. So, I decided I was going to finish THE JOURNEY BACK, Book #6 in the Kelsey Porter series, train for triathlon races as if they were still happening, and lose 20 lbs. Ok, I know I don’t quite need to lose that much weight, but some of the Pandemic carb load would have been nice to take off.

While I didn’t lose 20 lbs, I did lose 6, which allowed me BACK into a pair of jeans I’ve not worn in quite some time, I published THE JOURNEY BACK to great fanfare and I started Open Water Swimming at the local beach (on the bay side, not the ocean – no sharks for me!). (all social distancing in effect) In fact, this very weekend I swam my first one mile mock race in under 40 minutes. And it was raining. And there were waves going over my head. I won’t lie, I’d been scared to do that race, but I did it. The nice part was there were kayakers and paddleboarders watching us, so I felt relatively safe. I’m a “face my fears” type of person for sure. Next? A 10K run… we shall see!

Now, for those who have read the first 5 books in the Kelsey Porter thriller series, THE JOURNEY BACK will allow you a peek into Kelsey’s teen years. If you are invested in this character, I guarantee you that you will enjoy this. But, trust me – don’t read this until you’ve read the first 5 books. Too many spoilers.

I’ll start posting more, I promise. So tell me, what have you been doing this summer to keep busy? I’d love to hear.

The Stress of Writing Book #3 in a Series

Porter Montage (1)So, here you are. You wrote your first book in a series and put it out to the world. It’s something you’re excited about, you have a new main hero you think people will love and you have all these characters you want to bring to the world. When I wrote THE HUNT FOR XANADU, I was so nervous. I felt like this was my standout novel. Something I wanted to be smart, interesting and mainstream. I had the same self doubts like everyone else. Was it any good? Would people buy into this fantastical thriller steeped in Buddhist Spiritual mysteries or would I thoroughly embarrass myself?

Thankfully, it was well received. People liked my super smart and fearless Kelsey Porter, her cop boyfriend Desmond and wanted to see more of her brother, Ari. So when I wrote Book #2 in the series, I wanted to up the ante on all of them. But I had some doubts. Would it be as well received as book #1? Did I totally mess up the series with all my fantastical ideas? Was my premise just too crazy? With all the twists, was I trying to be too smart? I didn’t know, but I got the guts and put THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB out to the world just two months ago and people are starting to read it and react to it. Thankfully, they like it so far, (SQUEE!) reviews are coming in and fingers crossed I get more in soon.

So now I’ve started Book #3 in the series and suddenly I realize this is serious. People who have bought into Book #1 and Book #2 are people LIKE ME, who want to read the next book in the series NOW! I’ve already had multiple people ask me when the next book is being released! (gulp) I know what it means to get involved in a favorite series. I can’t get enough of them and wait with bated breath for the next one to come out.

So is this what’s happening now with my books? Can I say I’m getting fans? That is suddenly a lot of pressure and I’m stuck on chapter 5, hoping that I don’t screw this up. I have a wonderful book development editor I work with named Denise Vitola, and I throw things her way all the time. She listened to my ideas and the vague outline for the book and thought they were sound, but had a sage piece of advice that was so important it made me take a step back. You see, this Kelsey Porter series is a “thriller with fantastical aspects,” but I’m a writer who tends to “write fantasy with thriller aspects.” I need to make sure that I soundly keep this book thriller so that I don’t lose my thriller fans, while still being true to the story’s fantastical aspects. But she had another wise piece of advice to help allay my fears. You see, if I’ve gotten readers through Book #1 and Book #2, and they want to read book #3, then it’s pretty certain they’ve already bought into my premise. I just need to keep it real and deliver with the next book.

So for everyone that has read Book #1 and Book #2 of the Kelsey Porter series, thank you so much. I love hearing from you and I love seeing the reviews more than you know. Those reviews help me in so many ways, (even if they are only a line or two). They help with ads and promotions for some sites that won’t let you advertise until you have a certain amount of reviews. Not to mention, it’s great for me to actually hear from readers what they think.

So, Book #3 is 27 pages along so far. I have an idea of what I want to happen and where I want it to go, but no idea how I’m getting there yet. But I’m working on it. When I get immersed in writing a book, the story lives with me and now this one is always in the back of my mind. I may not be physically writing at times, but little scenarios constantly play in my head and I roleplay if scenes work or not. So don’t worry, I’m thinking about Kelsey all the time. I think about Ari, Josh and some other characters that will be new to the series. And yes, you’ll find out what Ari is up to… and I assure you, it’s no good. Well, I guess that depends on what you consider “no good.” 😉

On a final note, while I plow away on Book #3 I’ve also been working on other things. If you were fans of my horror tale, THE MANNEQUINS, I’ve just completed a horror anthology and it is at a beta reader right now. It’s going to be called RICKET ROW and is a collection of creepy psychological horror tales I’ve written over the years. Look for that in early June if all goes well. And lastly, I updated my web page, again. Love to hear what you think of it, so please check it out at http://www.elysesalpeter.com