Aug 142014

ShirleyHolmesIt has been a while since my last post and a lot of things have happened since then, mostly to do with the writing of my fiction series.

In May I had finished writing the first two novellas in the series, which had the combined word count of 70,000 words. Both books went through the ‘beta reading stage’ and in June were on the brink of being send to my editor.
Something was wrong, though. Even though the beta readers were mostly positive, I felt that both books could be much better. The plot, the characters, it felt like everything was only 80% there.

After some soul-searching during my holiday, I came to the conclusion that the books simply weren’t at the publishing stage yet. Then a brainstorming session with my developmental editor Eva, confirmed what I deep down already knew. I wanted to start from scratch. Change the concept, find the right genre to write in and rewrite both books.

This might sound crazy, specially keeping in mind I had already written 70,000 words, but my decision felt right. I want to publish the best possible product and simply have to be patient and wait until I am there. No use publishing a book that is only 80% right.

The facts are now as follows:

  • My series will now be a cosy mystery series, revolving around two main characters, Jacob Hicks (neighbourhood warden and amateur sleuth) and Paddy the Rat (keen observer of human behaviour).
  • It might well be that the length of the books turn out more than novella length, although I have no idea about that yet.
  • I want to publish the first three books close together somewhere next year, most likely the autumn.
  • I have also decided that the series will be published under my penname ‘Annie Appleton’, about which more in another post.

I have a good feeling about the changes, even though it means that my readers will have to wait longer for a new book to come out. I hope they will find it worth waiting for!

Go to Jacob Hick Mysteries for more info about the new series.


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  4 Responses to “Starting from Scratch”


    Sounds good. I can hardly wait. Good luck, Annie Appleton!!


      Thank you, Yvonne! I never realised that plotting a murder could be so much fun! :)


    That’s very courageous of you Maria and very professional. It might help to write a few short stories in between, just to redirect your mind. KDP is now allowing pre-ordering of books, so when you have a date, this might help. I often think a build up before each book can lead to more sales. Don’t forget, there are no rules (despite popular opinion). If it feels right, chances are it is right.
    Good luck with the series.


      Thanks, Des!
      You are right in saying that there are no rules. We indeed have to do what feels right. And although making this change was not an easy decision, it does feel right.
      The KDP pre-order thing is a very interesting development, but of course as I’m now expecting to publish next year, it is much too early for me to use it. I will keep an eye out, though to see how it pans out for other indies.
      I hope your books are coming along nicely!

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