Hi folks, Leah again. ^_^
This is probably the most you’ve heard from me (ever!) but I think it’s important to let you know what I’m doing and why. I can talk to you frankly when I’m like this and I hope it doesn’t break any fourth walls or change how you feel about what I do here.
This blog began as an experiment. You probably know that if you’re a long time reader. If not, then now you do. It was a way for me to chat about Silk Over Razor Blades and the journey it was taking me on. Since becoming a mother and loosing my traditional job, my new job is writing. Publishing. It’s a mad dream that I still, sometimes, can’t believe is real. I have to pinch myself over and over just to make sure I’m not going to wake up in my dingy little bedsit with damp walls, knowing I need to go off and work for a financial company that’s slowly sucking my soul away.
Anyway… the blog has evolved. My writing has evolved. My ideas and comfort zones have radically shifted to accommodate all these wonderful plots I have zipping around my head and they manifest in the forms of Ileandra Young and Raven ShadowHawk.
Each of these pen names of mine has a presence on this blog far more real than mine. And that’s fine. But what I’m learning more and more is that I want to share what these pen names are giving me. The stories I write aren’t just for me any more. I have a strong (and strengthening) desire to share them with the world, and while I adore all you wonderful, talented, kind and friendly followers, the majority of you are people like me: writers.
I need to start reach out to readers and finding ways to bring them into the fold and, after weeks (and I’m not kidding, literally, weeks) I’ve figured out how I want to do that.
The Future (Blogging and Websites)
This blog will continue as it has been.Clearly I’m saying something you like, otherwise you wouldn’t keep coming back. So I’ll keep saying it. 🙂 I’ll continue to share my experiences and aspirations through the voices of Ileandra and Raven and post every Monday and Thursday.
But for the readers out there, for the folk who just want the stories and less of the how, when, why and UUUUURGH! of how I got there, I have something else. Ileandra and Raven have solo websites that also run through WordPress. They were intended to be static, drop in sites that eventually directed people here. However, changes in EU VAT laws mean that I can no longer realistically afford (in any sense) to sell books through those sites. So I want to write something there for free instead. Weekly/fortnightly/monthly instalments that will later go on to be ebooks and/or physical books for purchase.
I’ve touched briefly on things like Raven’s Diary and characters like Michael Garran and Diavian Hatara. The time has come to give these characters the life I’ve been thinking of.
I’m going to spend the first few weeks of the year getting ahead with writing stories for the solo websites. Serials which I plan to publish on a weekly/fortnightly basis. One for Raven (erotica), one for Ileandra (fantasy). As and when these serials get to a suitable point, I will release ebook versions of the stories through Amazon (and possibly Smashwords) to make them easier to read.
There is a catch though.
Ileandra and Raven have talked about their plans and they weren’t kidding; we want to do all of those things. But it will be difficult to do those things as well as these serials, so they will double up as the newsletter gifts too. Subscribers to Ileandra’s newsletter or Raven’s newsletter will get their stories in monthly chunks, keeping them ahead of those who only read the blogs. They will get to help me plan where stories go and offer suggestions for plot/character/setting development. It will be an interactive exchange between me and subscribers, the results of which will then be posted to the solo sites.
So, you know what I’m going to say, right? If you want to be hot up on what’s happening in those stories, that will not feature on this blog, you’ll need to subscribe to the relevant newsletter or solo website.
When that feature kicks off, posts will go live on Saturday mornings (GMT) meaning that there will no longer be Saturday posts on this blog. These plans are ambitious enough, I just don’t think I could realistically keep up with those too. Though of course if there are reasons to do bonus blogs, I will post those just as ever I have.
You know I’ve got a lot on. The Joined Up Writing Podcast, my (sporadic) work with Creative Frontiers and Caladria’s digital fantasy magazine Fab Fables are all ‘fringe’ projects that keep me on my toes.
Well that stuff isn’t going to stop. I also plan to talk about them a bit more (as me) so you guys can share those experiences too. I’m sure some of it will be of interest to you and I would love for you to become involved. There is certainly space to do that with the JUWPodcast since we’re always looking for guests and interviewees and some of you are already working with me and the team at Caladria to produce stories for Fab Fables.
It’s relevant and more of the sorts of things I’ve previously had to gloss over slightly because they didn’t come under the fantasy or erotica banner.
This whole post has been a mega, long winded way of me saying that this blog will now focus more on the background of writing (the process, the editing, the experiences, the learning, the guest posts, the analysis) while the solo websites will focus more on the creative side (actual stories, character interviews, book reviews).
I think that should go a long way towards ensuring that everything is fresh and interesting and easy to find for the people who want specific things.
Phew! *wipes brow* I need a cup of tea!