Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Final Lilith book is finished and I'm taking a break. :)

I finished drafting the 7th and final book in the Lilith Mercury series this past Saturday. So, why am I just now blogging about it? Because my wrists hurt like hell. In fact, I'm going to make this post brief so I don't further aggravate them as they are recovering well.

The 6th book in the series, The Bleeding Heart, is still scheduled for release in October. Amazon can sometimes put things out early or a few hours later than intended, depending on when it is approved after being uploaded. But, I'm shooting for October 1, 2014.

After Dark, the 7th book, is scheduled for release January 2015. I had to write the last 20,000 words of this one with pen and paper because it hurt too much to type.

My plan is to take a few months off, and finish typing the end of the book in September. ;) After that, I'm going to let it sit until December. Why? So that I can look at it with fresh eyes and be sure it is everything it needs to be before it goes out in January. This is the end of the series, and I don't want to leave anything out.

In the meantime, I'm not typing anything except a few brief messages in email or on Facebook. :) If I feel like my wrists are doing REALLY well, I might blog again in a week or so.

This is the first break I've had between books in just over 4 years. I think I more than deserve it. Of course, that doesn't mean I get to sit on my ass. I just won't be writing. LOL

Here is a link to my Amazon Author Page Tracey H. Kitts.

If you click "like" in the upper right corner, you will get an email alert every time I publish a new book. That way, you won't miss anything.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why I do this, and my current goals

It's no secret, I've been under a lot of stress. For those who just read my blog or occasionally see a Facebook post and detect anger, you're not wrong. LOL But, it's not about stupid reviews, or sales data, or even a heavy workload. Although, some of those things might be the trigger, they are not the root cause.

I'll try to sum it up without over-sharing or looking like a whiner. My stress levels have been extremely high for about 6 straight years. We've had several deaths in the family, along with other issues. About the time I got my first publishing contract, I lost my job to budget cuts. Honestly, it was one of the worst jobs I'd ever had, highly stressful, but it paid the bills. I was able to briefly find other employment, but lost 3 more jobs due to budget cuts. Needless to say, this took a toll on me emotionally and financially. It put a strain on every aspect of my life.

Writing was my dream, but that dream quickly became a must. I had to sink or swim. There was no in-between. So, I wrote like hell. Don't get me wrong, I didn't churn out books just for money. Hell, I only recently started making enough to live on.

I wrote what was in my heart. I poured pieces of my soul onto the paper and I sold it off, bit by bit.

I've put in many long days and nights and more hours of advertising and promo than I could ever add up. It is damn hard to make a living as a writer. I had to do it, as there were no other job options in the rural area where I live. But I had an advantage. This wasn't just for money. This was what I WANTED. It's who I am and what I am meant to be. So, I've worked my ass off.

It wasn't difficult for me to get my first contract. I didn't struggle with a pile of rejection letters. However, I did struggle to get my books in front of readers who would enjoy them. That has been my biggest challenge.

All that work did not begin to pay off until October 2013, when I finally made the Amazon Best Sellers list and began to reach a larger audience.

For the first time, I was connecting with people on a huge scale. My vampire menage collection is still in the top 20 in Dark Fantasy, and spent a whole month at #1. I am thrilled with this. :)

The unfortunate downside is, that creates a lot of pressure to hurry up and put out another book. LOL Yes, it's a downside that I'll gladly live with. I'll take earning a decent living for my hard work ANY DAY over nearly being homeless, working my ass off, and not getting paid.

The biggest challenge I'm facing at the moment is that my wrists are totally worn out from all the writing. I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome or anything serious. This is more of an issue of overuse. Like, consecutively writing about 4,000 words a day for months and months without a break. The most I've rested between books for the past 4 years is probably 2 weeks. I'm exhausted. I'm also typing this very, very slowly so as not to further aggravate my hurting wrists.

Currently, I have 3 things on my "To Do" list. 1. Finish After Dark. (That's the 7th Lilith Mercury book.) 2. Take time off. 3. Read some books. LOL Really, that's it. Simplicity helps me.

Since it hurts so much to type, I'm writing out the end of After Dark by hand. The book will still be out by it's scheduled release in January 2015.

So, if you see a post that seems as though I've flipped my wig, just consider that I'm really, really tired and I'm probably taking things too seriously at the moment.

I appreciate my loyal readers very much, and just wanted to give everyone an update.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I have reached my limit

That's right. I've reached my limit on crazy, self-righteous lunatics and their rude comments to me personally and about my books.

Why would they ever think it is appropriate to insult me on a personal level? If you don't like the book FINE. The book is a product. I am the creator of the product. Insult the book if you must, but leave me out of it.

What provoked this rant? I just had some idiot complaining about my menage collection AGAIN. This is someone else who is offended by the leading lady having multiple lovers. Are you freaking kidding me?! The book has MENAGE in the title. There is a warning label that says MENAGE. There is also a woman with TWO MEN featured on the cover. This collection is clearly marketed for what it is. I didn't lie about anything, nor did I try to hide what the content truly is. IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY MULTIPLE PARTNERS DO NOT READ A MENAGE NOVEL.

People know from the beginning what content they find offensive. If they buy a book anyway, KNOWING that it contains offensive-to-them content, they have no right to complain. They are the ones who chose to go there. It's not like I tracked them down and shoved it in their face. But what do they do if they don't like it? Oh, they track ME down and shove it in MY face!

I just had someone say that I needed to team up with someone who has a moral compass. Oh, and they spelled moral wrong. Seriously? You do realize that these stories are FICTION, right? I'm not writing about myself!

I GET SO PISSED OFF WHEN PEOPLE ASSUME I AM WRITING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS. Do they make the same assumption when someone writes about an axe murderer?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a threeway with Dracula and two werewolves scheduled at lunch today.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sex is not evil

I am continuously amazed by how many people are offended by sex. It's been around as long as we have. Ever since people first arrived on the scene, they've been doing it. So, why after all this time are people still offended by sex? Your guess is as good as mine.

Here's the thing that gets to me. The violence in my books is much more graphic in many cases than the sex. Yet in 6 1/2 years of being published, only ONE person has ever mentioned the violence. Still, that wasn't really a complaint. She simply mentioned that it might offended more sensitive readers. No one minds that heads are ripped off, hearts torn out, people are shot, dismembered, you name it. No one cares about any of that, just whatever you do DON'T HAVE SEX. That is crossing the line. Ha. Ha. Ha.

You've got to be kidding me!

But, this isn't just about my books. I've also noticed this disturbing (and stupid) trend in discussions about popular television shows. I'll use Game of Thrones as an example, because I like that show. No spoilers, I swear, but I will discuss season 3 in general and give a few examples without names.

The main complaint that I hear about Game of Thrones is that there is too much sex and nudity. Seriously? That is what bothers people? Children are murdered, people are gored and tortured in various ways. In season three, one person was horribly mutilated and left alive to deal with the aftermath. Not to mention the big slaughter scene that blew up the internet for about a week. The slaughter scene is the only exception I can think of, where people actually complained about violence.

I'm not saying that we should all be outraged by violence. I'm simply saying that it's ridiculous to watch someone get brutally murdered and then say, "Oh, how could they put boobies in this?!"

That's so stupid it's laughable. Besides that, the show comes with a content warning. At least, it did where I purchased my copy. My books also come with a content warning. And for the thousandth time, THEY ARE NOT FULL OF SEX. Just because a book has sex in it, does not make it erotica. If the entire book is about sex, THEN it is erotica. Most books DO have sex in them, they just don't always describe it as fully as the rest of the story. I choose to describe it, people ignore the warning label, and are offended.

Having sex in the story doesn't make it porn or smut either. Do all the rated R movies get a porn label for having a sex scene or two in them? No, of course not. They get a "Rated R for sexual content" label.

Yes, this has turned into a rant. It's just so ridiculous! I could understand if it was rape. That is horrible and offensive on so many levels. But consensual sex between adults who care about each other, THAT is what offends people? What about when the villain got his heart torn out and bled to death? No takers huh?

That's just wrong. If you don't want to read a book that has sex in it, then don't. People know what offends them and what doesn't. When something is clearly labeled, why go there? Personally, I don't want to watch anything with rape or childbirth in it. If a movie is labeled for rape, I will not watch it. If it even remotely sounds like it's going to have a horrible birth scene in it, I won't watch that either. That way, I'm not offended. It's that simple!

CORRECTION: In season 3, TWO people were horribly mutilated and left alive to deal with the aftermath. ;)