Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Switching Gears Between Projects

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, my beloved

by Kristen

Couple of fun announcements first: Please check out my new author website and follow me on Tumblr! I WILL Tumbl for you. Please get the 80s music reference. Please.

It’s well documented that I’m a blonde. It’s more than just a hair color, sometimes, it’s a state of mind. When Kathie Lee and Hoda retire, I would hope someone will have the good sense to hire Julie and I to replace them. Who better to take over day drinking and inappropriate behavior on network TV than The Undead Duo? I dare you to find a better pair. And then please let us all go out drinking together. I’ve already got my role on this new TV show all set up: the bimbo sidekick. Sometimes I can be the funny one, sometimes the serious one, sometimes the smart one, but god damn, I make a great bimbo.

Bimbos get distracted easily. Never have I found this to be more true than when I try to juggle multiple projects. I’m starting to feel like one of those tired old mammas who yells at you for whatever sin you’ve committed but then calls you by the dog’s name.

Of course, you know NIGHT MOVES is out, so I’m doing promo for that. People are asking questions about Melanie, Ryder, and the rest of the characters and I have to think of them in ways I might have not considered before. It’s awesome to see my creations through other people’s eyes.

I just finished up a book that is vampire free. It’s in the hands of beta readers now, and I anxiously await their opinions. Notice I’m not telling you anything about this book? I feel like there’s just too much right now, and I’m even getting confused. I’m a big believer in keeping it simple. You’ll know everything about it all in due time.

Now that the book that shall not be named is done for now, I’m diving into final edits on WE OWN THE NIGHT. I’m psyched about this, because I miss Callie and Tristan. This book has been done since December, and this is the longest I’ve been away from these characters since I created them. Getting back into Callie’s head space is refreshing, a little shocking (if you’ve met Callie, you know how she rolls) and a little like welcoming home a long lost friend. She’s just met Melanie and Ryder at the point I’m working on now, it’s a Night Songs reunion.

Editing is stressful! When I draft, there’s no pressure to make things perfect because there’s always going to be another draft, revision, a chance to improve. But this is the round of work with the spit and the shine. This is the one you’re all going to see. It’s got to be 100%. I also have to consider the best interests of the book when making changes. Julie is my editor, which is a blessing because 1. she knows these characters inside and out 2. if this book sucks, she will pay for it dearly in buying me alcohol to mask the pain and 3. we get to discuss the edits as she applies them. That’s a luxury not many people get. Sometimes, Julie will be like WTF about a scene, and I can talk her through it. It doesn’t mean we leave it like that. If Julie didn’t understand it, neither will you, but we can make the absolute right edit that is true to what I’m thinking and what she understands. It makes me much more confident about making changes to the manuscript.

I had a hard time walking away from WE OWN THE NIGHT when I finished it, because it closed the door on this story. With SEASONS IN THE SUN, it’s technically the fourth book with these characters and this story line. Callie and Tristan didn’t want to say goodbye, either. I wonder how it will be to pass it in and really come to THE END. I didn’t close the door completely on these characters, so they might make another appearance sometime in some form. I haven’t decided yet.

I do want to continue The Night Songs Collection. My original idea was to have it as a universe instead of straight line story, with characters that might connect in different points in their lives. Kind of what Sherrilyn Kenyon does, but my way, because I don’t like to follow rules ever.

So there will be more books. Book 4, which will have new characters but is in The Night Songs world, will be coming to you this fall. This will be my first totally self published project, and holy shit, am I nervous. Julie is editing in now. I’ve got an amazing cover artist working on the art for it. I’ve got the formatter lined up. Everything is pretty much ready to go. Once I’m done with WE OWN THE NIGHT, I move straight into edits on this one.

See why I’m not throwing around titles? It gets confusing, fast. I took the “keep writing” thing to heart. Now I’m finishing up these projects, letting a few of them come down the pipeline so I can breathe and not work on four books at once.

Then….who knows?

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