Tim and I seem to be in the same boat this week.
So, Book 2 (Blood of the Demon) has been turned in to my editor, which means that I now have nothing else under contract, and I’m in a strange period of limbo since I’m a debut author with no track record as yet. With the economy as unsteady as it is, my agent and I can’t try to sell any more books in the Demon series until everyone gets some idea of how well Mark of the Demon is going to sell.
Which puts me in a bit of a quandary as far as what to work on next. Here are my options:
–I could go ahead start on the third book in the series, thus giving myself a nice head start on my deadline (which could be good considering I made my last deadline by mere hours.) However, writing the next book in a series on spec could be a stupendous waste of time if it turns out that MotD doesn’t sell well enough for my publisher to be willing to buy more in the series. As Tim said, writing a sequel on spec is a whole other level of folly.
–I could start another book entirely–again, on spec. Though, again, since Bantam holds the option on my next urban fantasy, we’d still have to wait for sales figures on MotD before we can try to sell them anything. Plus, the way my noncompete clause is written, I can’t sell anything under the name Diana Rowland to anyone else until after Blood of the Demon is published (Feb 2010.)
–I could go back to work on the crime thriller–which would be written under a different name, thus getting around the issue of the noncompete clause. However, I lost a lot of love for the thriller, and would need to do a lot of revamping of the entire concept to get that love back. (I have to face facts–I like writing supernatural/paranormal/skiffy stuff. The straight crime thriller had me bored. Not good.) And, again, I’d be writing this completely on spec.
–Or I could simply work up proposals for the next few books in the Demon series and have them ready to go in July/August. The obvious problem with this is that it won’t take me three months to write up the proposals, leaving me nothing to work on, which puts me right back at square one.
Essentially, I think it boils down to where I have two choices: Write the proposals, and then do nothing until I have something under contract. Or write something on spec.
I think we can all agree that the “do nothing” option is not a viable one. (Yes, there will be those who say that I can work on short fiction, etc. But, honestly? I really don’t like writing short fiction!) So, we’re back to writing something on spec. The choices there are: the next book in the Demon series, another urban fantasy entirely, or the crime thriller. The smartest choice would probably be the crime thriller, for a variety of reasons.
But here’s where I’ll make the more foolish choice out of love and faith. I really love writing the Demon series. It’s fun and challenging, and I absolutely adore the characters.
So, I think I’m going to cling to my faith that MotD will sell well enough that I won’t be wasting the next few months on Book 3.
Love and faith always wins in the end, right? Right?