...and I take my whisky neat.
I am undertaking to revise most of my paperbacks, as I work on the project of reformatting them as e-books. So far, KDP has refused to let me make new covers for two of my paperbacks!
About The Green Boy, it says that the cover creator cannot communicate with my computer. I have no idea why, because it can communicate with my computer about Mere Mortals' Magic (for which I am also changing the paperback cover). The agent said they would put the tech team to work on this problem, and will contact me again when they figure something out. Uh huh.
About The Flower Bride, it says that my back cover copy doesn't fit inside the box on their cover template, and that I should go back and fix it. Well, tell ya' what, Kindle. I have it set to auto-fit, so how 'bout you go back and fix it, eh? (The agent, after taking me through the litany of Things to Try, declared this situation "weird.")
My to-do list also includes making loglines and synopses for my novels, so that eventually, I can maybe put them up on InkTip, a site where producers look for screenplays, and sometimes for books to adapt as screenplays. Loglines are pretty easy, but the synopses are hard! I've done six out of the fifteen on my list. (One of which I forgot to write down, so I haven't done the logline yet, but it'll be easy.)
I expect some interruption there, because as I go through the books to do the synopses, I see things that need correcting, so off I go, editing some more, which of course, leads me back to KDP and then I can't redo the covers.
But, in the meantime - of course! - while I'm trudging through this huge to-do list - which includes a couple-three books that I haven't even gone through the first paperback proof of yet - more ideas are occurring to me, and at least I know that no, I won't remember, and yes, I do have to write them down.
One of these isn't really intrusive, because I've been sort of back-burner thinking about it for maybe 10 years, and it didn't take very long to jot down the bare bones that finally occurred to me. (I sure do wish that titles would occur to me at the same time, but no, they don't.) The other one, though ....
So, got a minute? Twelve-fifteen years ago, I had the idea for Mere Mortals' Magic. Originally, there were going to be five "mere mortals" and five Oldeveni - that's pronounced olda-ven-eye, by the way, and they're the ones from the Otherworld, and they were gonna work together to thwart the evil plot, right? Well, I soon realized that two of the five humans were kinda superfluous, and didn't really belong in the story. But to get them to go quietly, I had to promise them I'd put them in a story of their own one day. I did put them in a weird little story, but that was really just to keep 'em quiet for another little while. (I don't remember off-hand if I used the story anywhere; I remember writing it, but I can't find the book I might have put it in, so ....)
Well, this morning, I'm innocently taking a shower - I mean, I'm not even singing or anything! - and one of these characters, Rosemily Biggs, starts noodging me.
"Rosemily. What?" I say.
"I want you to write my story," she says. "Our story. Nick's and mine."
"I don't have one for you yet." I find it is best to be honest with my characters ....
"We have an idea."
"You've talked to Nick?" Nick Hunter is the other character. He's sorta like Steve Irwin, without the Aussie accent, and she's small, delicate-looking, easily taken for sweet and innocent.
"Yes," she says. "I've talked to Nick, and he wants you to write this too."
"Well, I don't have a story for you," I reiterate.
"We have one. Get out of the shower and sit down at the keyboard and I will tell you the story."
Now, I was all set to get back to my stand-off with Kindle Direct, but instead, I sit down, and Rosemily tells me this long, involved story - it ends up being 2200-plus words, and that's just jotting down her notes. To be fair, that's a pretty detailed run-down of the first book, and much shorter notes about the next two. Apparently they figured they should get one book for every five years they waited for me to write about them.
Both of these ideas, sets of ideas, whatever - both of them are riffing off Mere Mortals' Magic. The one I've been noodling around with for a while is one of the main character's daughters deciding to go back to Oldeven, where she has what sounds like it might be a fairly comic adventure, but part of it could get serious. This character, Molly, is just off a failed romance, so she's not sure what's gonna happen. (The failure was that the guy she loved, the guy who was literally minutes away from proposing to her at Pastiche, a restaurant here in town where a couple in another of my books got engaged, was interrupted by the Feds arresting him because he was already married. Twice. And not divorced at all.
So she's ready for a change of scenery, big-time, and decides to go back to Oldeven for a while. She doesn't want to tell her mother she's going, because her mother's still coping with PTSD from her adventures there, in Mere Mortals Magic', but her father says she has to tell her mother .... So that's how that one starts, and then - the thought occurred to me exactly this way, "Well, of course, it has to be a case of mistaken identity." And I do have some notion about how that might unfold, but I don't have it written out in anywhere near as much detail as Rosemily gave me for her and Nick's story. Then again, Rosemily hasn't just found out her true love is a bigamist, so ....
These are my current frustrations, and though the problems with KDP have inspired some very blue language, the truth is I am grateful to have these problems, because they are writing problems, and having writing problems means I am a writer, which I have always wanted to be. I hope you can see your current frustrations in a similar light. Remember, you got this!