Important Information Regarding the ’90s Coming of Age series (Pictures of You & You Are Not Me)

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to figure out how I wanted to make this post and what I wanted to say and disclose. And for an equally long time I’ve put it off. Mainly because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone and I kept hoping for some kind of change that would make it unnecessary. But, truly, it’s been necessary from the get-go because that’s how publishing works.

When I made my initial projections regarding the release dates for We Can Be Good (Bk 3) and We Make It Real (Bk 4), I operated on a central assumption based in prior experience: that the first two books would pay for themselves. See, as long as I’ve been self-publishing I’ve never had a book not pay for the cost of creating it. I’ve had books earn more or less profit, but I’ve never failed to cover my expenses. So, when I set aside the money to publish the four book series, I went with $5,000, thinking that would be more than enough. I was wrong.

See, it’s a rule for me that each book carry itself. It becomes dangerous to my business for me to allow for a situation where Peter pays for Paul. At least during this stage of my career. Maybe when I have many more books out and a steady back catalog income coming in I could take that risk. But at this juncture, I just can’t. It would only take a few books that didn’t sell with a profit for me to have no capital to work with at all.

So, back to Pictures of You & You Are Not Me. They’ve been so well received by readers who took the leap and reviewers that it may come as a surprise for many to hear that they have barely covered even half of their expenses. I put $3,600 into those books (editing, covers, formatting, marketing) and as of the other morning they had earned $1,900. Not each, but both of them together.

Perhaps it’s crass to be giving you guys actual numbers, but I want you to understand that this isn’t a case of the books not earning enough to satisfy me. I never thought they’d make that much of a profit because they are a little out of the box. But rather these books just aren’t carrying their weight financially. This at a time when my day job is precarious and my book sales are down by 1/3 across the board last year.


Well, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get the rest of the ’90s Coming of Age story. I am DEFINITELY writing the next two books. What it does mean is that I need to bend my rules and allow for Peter to pay for Paul. But I need to do that on future books, not past ones. The plan has to change because the outcome didn’t work out the way I’d initially assumed it would. (Humbling? You bet!) I simply don’t have the leeway financially right now to take another $3,600 hit with the hopes it will pay off eventually. (And I do believe these books will pay off eventually! It may take time, but as a back catalog piece, they are going to be a good asset, in my opinion.)

It means that I have to publish at least one, if not two, books that make a decent profit so I can save up that $3,600 with the idea that it won’t be coming back to me quickly. I don’t know that my next releases will provide that profit. I have no idea, frankly, what will sell and what won’t. It’s always a bit of a mystery.

But here are a few things I do know:

  1. I love this series. I’ve been working on it off and on for fourteen years and I won’t let it go until it’s finished.
  2. I will not take fourteen years to finish the back half of it! LOL!
  3. I WILL put We Can Be Good out in 2017 for sure. If I can, I’ll also do We Make It Real, but I can’t know if it will be 2017 or 2018 at this point.

I want to apologize to everyone who is eagerly awaiting Peter’s next adventure. I am sad to know that I’m disappointing you and a little embarrassed to know that there is no way out of it. At this point, even if some crazy generous weirdo (LOL) were to fund the cost of the edits, etc, I’m so far down the path of trying to get this next unrelated release out that I’d need to do that first.

Again, I’m so sorry to let everyone down. I’m not giving up, though. I’m still enthusiastic af for the books and for Peter and for his story! I’m still invested 100% and that’s part of the reason I’m slowing the timing of releases down, too. Obviously, I could forgo editing, etc, to lower costs. But I can’t ask you guys to accept lower quality books for the last two. I’ve waited this long to put his story out, and I’m not going to send sub-par follow-ups into the world.

I hesitate to call ’90s Coming of Age series a failure, but this Winston Churchill quote does sum up how I feel about the future of the books. I refuse to lose enthusiasm for the books and I refuse to quit on them.

In the meantime, I’m serving up some hot, slow-burn omegaverse for my next release (hopefully in late Feb or early March). I hope you’ll join me for that wild ride! Sending love to all my readers out in the world! Every last one of you makes the difficulties worth it! Every review, every bit of feedback, every email and FB like and Twitter reply.

You make it real, you make it fun, and you make it worthwhile. ❤

ETA: At the urging of a reader, I’ve updated my Patreon site with some goals regarding audiobooks and getting these next two books released. You can become a patron (and access some extras!) by clicking here:


90’s Coming of Age Novel? You’re It, Baby.

So, here’s the thing. I’m not a monogamous writer. I’ve always got between eight and twelve works going at any particular time. Eventually, a time comes when I choose one to focus on and make it happen for real, for better or worse. The others drift along during that time, and I come back to them when I get the current favorite in the can. Sometimes that focus shifts back and forth for awhile, but eventually I do focus on one book until it is finished.

One book has been the book of my heart but also the book “least-likely-to” for quite a long time. Almost ten years in fact. At first, it was because there was simply no place to even begin to imagine submitting it to for publication. It’s a m/m coming of age novel featuring a lot of graphic sex. When I first started writing it, I was told time and again, “This would be a great Young Adult book if you took out most of the sex.” I was told, “This isn’t really publishable because it’s not a typical romance formula and people don’t want that.” I was told, “This is too long, no one wants to read a book this long.” I’ve been told many things over the years about this book by many, many, many people. Some of those people had incredibly helpful comments and the book is so much better for their input. Some other people’s comments mainly just stymied the book’s development because they led me to believe the book would never have a place in the world.

I still sometimes think this book won’t ever have a place in the world.

This brings us to my situation currently. Every year for the last three years I’ve gone to NYC to sit on my friend’s sofa in Brooklyn to work on 90s Coming of Age Novel for a week. Every year for the last three years, I’ve thought, “This is it! The final push! I can do this thing!” And every year the edits needed on the first half of the first draft have been extensive enough to preclude me ever getting to the second half of the first draft. (Yes, I have a completed first draft, but it needs work.) I’m finally incredibly and immensely satisified with the the first half of the book and am ready to focus on the second half.

Cue the Goodreads Love Has No Boundaries Event. I chose a prompt about a young man who has a history of being stalked by a stranger. I’d intended to write a short story for the event, but, holy smokes, it took off like wildfire and before I knew it, I had half a novel written. A novel I knew I’d have no way of finishing before the event deadline. So, I went back and wrote a short story set in the universe of the novel. It doesn’t fit the prompt exactly and that disappointed some people, but I knew I couldn’t get the book done in time. I didn’t want to return the prompt unfulfilled just because I knew there was no way I could get the novel done, so I compromised the best that I could. I’m happy to say that the prompter was satisfied, I believe.

All in all, I was very happy with how that story was received and people expressed a great deal of interest in the novel based on the prompt. That thrills me! The idea that there are a few people out there who are eagerly awaiting River’s full story really gets my heart going and makes me feel a bit verklempt! In the wake of this, I looked at 90s Coming of Age Novel and I said to it, “Baby, maybe you’ve got to wait a little longer. I think I need to write this book instead. It’s got an audience, you see, and we all know that the biggest problem with you is that…you don’t.”

So, I resigned myself to the fact that it still wasn’t 90s Coming of Age Novel’s time. It was apparently Stalker Universe’s time, and I told myself that I was okay with that. It was the smart move. It was the wise choice. It made the most sense. Why keep readers waiting? This was obviously the right decision to make. It still seems like the right decision to make.

But here’s the thing.

I can’t do it. I was driving back to the office after my lunch break and I felt like my heart was going to break. 90s Coming of Age Novel, Peter, Adam, Leslie, Daniel, Minty, Renee, and Barry were all just there looking at me with this betrayal on their face. They’ve been so patient, you see. They’ve let me take a really long time with them. They’ve waited while I had a baby and wrote nothing for three years. They’ve waited while I wrote fanfiction and they’ve waited while I wrote fairy tales and they’ve waited while I wrote half a post-apocalyptic novel, and while I wrote half of six other books, and four short stories, and, damn it, now I wanted them to wait again.


They sat there in my head staring at me, but you promised, and yeah. I can’t do it to them. I can’t go to NYC and work on Stalking Universe when I’ve asked them to wait so many years. I promised them at the beginning of the year that this was their year. I promised them that 2013 was it and they wouldn’t have to wait anymore. No more being patient. No more waiting for just one more thing to come before them.

So, okay, 90s Coming of Age Novel. Okay, baby, this is it. Next week, it’s me, you, and NYC again. Don’t fail me. I’m counting on you to come through for me. If I’m making this choice, you’ve got to play your part, too.

Let’s do this thing.