Last time I posted here, I suggested that I might publish Jesse stories in the spring, and obviously that did not happen and it probably won’t happen this year at all.
It’s largely an economic decision. While there are a very few (discerning! and beloved!) readers who are passionate about the GQ books, it’s just not very many people at all, and I am extremely unlikely to make back even my relatively modest costs if I put out a Jesse book as a proper book with a cover. I still plan to finish the Jesse stories, and hope that perhaps something else I write might sell well enough to subsidize their publication.
Of course, to sell anything else, I have to publish it. I’ve written an insane amount since the last of the GQ books, but I don’t know when, if or how I’ll put any of it out.
I have a contemporary finished, a fantasy book finished, and am actively working on about 10 things that are more finished than not, with at least that many just at the idea stage with notes and outlines and sometimes a scene or two. The contemporary will never be published, but I’d like to put out the fantasy book at some point. It’s about a new god who messes up his first day on the job and his efforts to redeem himself. My husband, who is not otherwise a reader of m/m books, loved it, which might mean it has wide appeal, but might also mean my husband is the only person who will like it.
Some of the stories I’ve worked on recently: a contemporary about a man hiding his sex worker past from his boyfriend. A merman love story set in a fictional Maine town in the 60s. A forced marriage/cross-dressing story taking place in an alternative 1930s with a dictator’s son and a prince/ss. There’s a story I really love that’s set in a world informed by magic, but none of the main characters are magic users (though one is more or less made of magic). However, despite my love of the story, I suspect it could disappoint people because it’s not about someone’s magical destiny.
Other stories include a supernatural horror/romance about identity, a story about a man falling in love with a charismatic guy whose mental illness causes problems for them both, and a story about a genderqueer person that I’ve been working on in some form for about 15 years now that’s maybe 90% done. Of course, I’ve decided I need to retool that story entirely, so it’s actually 0% done despite having 175K already written.
Of note, I’ve been working on the genderqueer idea for so long that the label I use to identify him has needed to change several times since I began; at the beginning, he was a transgenderist. There are a lot more gender/orientation labels now than we had 15 years ago, and I’m honestly not 100% sure if “genderqueer” is exactly right or if I should strive to be more granular. FWIW, the character himself spends zero time thinking about such things.
It probably goes without saying that all these books either are or will become “too long” by m/m genre standards by the time I’m done with them, though the new god book is very short by my estimation at 112K. If I am ever known for anything, it will be tl;dr.
Will it sell enough to at least pay for its own cover art? is the question I have to ask myself about everything, and the answer is usually no. Realistically, no. I mean, there are maybe 17 of you and you can only buy so many books. But I’ll have to take a chance with one of these stories eventually, and there’s always a chance it might appeal to a wider audience than the GQ books.
I dunno. I’ll figure something out. I do really appreciate that people remain interested in my work and hope to have something out sooner rather than later.