Did you hear the screeching of brakes? Possibly the squealing of tires? Well if you did, you either live in Historic Northeast where such things are common (all those men with small penises who are desperately trying to compensate), or perhaps you can hear my brain grinding away.
Big thanks to Joanna Penn, podcaster extraordinaire from The Creative Penn, who finally brought home a reality I had been trying to ignore.
She mentioned an article written by Mark Chandler in The Bookseller that said, "The crisis also appears to be having an effect on the kind of books people want to read, with the survey showing little interest dystopian fiction or titles relating to the pandemic."
And as often happens when I listen to Joanna's podcast, it was just the piece of information given and received at just the right moment. I needed to change and pivot in my position.
Here I have been working on G581 sequels. The reason why? It was the oldest unfinished story I had hanging around my neck. A big ole albatross that was starting to stink of unfinished dreams and fantasies.
I've been of the "get the stuff you've put off way too long done" kind of gal for a while now. And G581 just seemed like the logical choice.
Now, I know that one report on dystopian novels losing traction is just that, one report. But I've also had quite a few people say, "Ooh, G581 sounds interesting, but not right now, not in the middle of COVID." I've heard it at least half a dozen times in the past couple of months.
And it is that, combined with ample proof in sales (or lack thereof) that made me stop in the middle of a housecleaning today and realize I had to change gears. And I had to do it NOW.
Look at it this way - why do people pick up a work of fiction? They do it to escape into another world. And when our current world is virus this, and virus that, and pandemic, pandemic, PANDEMIC everywhere we turn, do we really want to read more of it? That's not an escape, not at all, that's reality! The focus will change, folks will return to the genre, heck some haven't left at all, but from a marketing standpoint it makes sense to pivot and focus on romance instead.
So I'm going to take the next week to do what I would have done in a few more months. Sit down and carefully plot out the next six books in the Benton Security Services series and get to writing them now. G581 will wait. COVID will pass, but it won't be for a while, possibly more than a year. And honestly, there is no reason to wait on putting forth the sequels to Hired Gun.
I've never been more grateful to be a cross-genre author than I am now!
And speaking of Hired Gun, check out the new cover! Does it sizzle? I hope it does.