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Boy, I’m doing a lot this month

Mrgh. In a rough chronological order, this is what I would like to achieve in January:

  1. Finish, edit, and publish Shifter Woods: Claw
  2. Compile and publish the Esposito County Shifters omnibus edition
  3. Write a short story set in one of my series for my Patreon (right now I’m leaning towards Louisa, Henry, Fyodora, and Callum getting into trouble in Egypt. Because that would be fun.)
  4. Launch my Patreon with said short story
  5. Finish, edit, and publish Crystal Blade (Paladins of Crystal 2)
  6. Start Crystal Reflection (Paladins of Crystal 3)
  7. Start High Tide (Olympic Cove 5)
  8. Put together the outline for To Love a Wild Swan (Hidden Empire 3)
  9. Start recording video for the Sekrit Project (more on that in March or so)
  10. Start recording Shadow of the Swan as an audiobook

Yeah, I know, it’s a lot. But I need to ramp up from what I achieved in 2022, and that means more books published and more income streams established (I’m putting off the Shopify store until February when I can focus on it).

I also need to come up with some rewards for hitting these milestones, ideally ones that aren’t expensive. Must muse on that some more…


I have a subfolder folder on my email inbox that’s called Varia. It’s where I put the email that I want to keep for some reason but doesn’t fit anywhere else. It’s why I’m titling this blog post Varia, because it contains stuff that’s important to me but doesn’t really fit anywhere else. So without further ado:

I have to do the taxes today. And by do the taxes, I mean collate all the numbers that we then submit to our accountant (yes, we have an accountant. What with Ramón’s former 1099 contractor status and me with my multiple streams of income, I’d much rather pay a professional to find any tax breaks we may be eligible for than swear my way through TurboTax, plus their fee is a write-off on next year’s taxes). It’s a task I never look forward to and always feel immensely relieved about once it’s done. Writing this blog post is a way of putting it off for another couple of minutes, but once I hit Publish it’s time to take the laptop upstairs and do battle with the paperwork.

WRT The Slap: it’s a complicated situation that contains many layers to parse, some of which I am not qualified to do so because I am not Black. So I’ll leave that to people better suited to do so. Nonetheless, I’m happy that Will Smith won his Oscar.

I’m struggling to find joy in writing. I don’t know if this is due to the pandemic, the fact that I’m still having problems with Crystal Shard (I really wish I could jump to Crystal Blade, but that’s simply not an option), various hormonal problems that are still plaguing me, or what. But when I think about my schedule for the rest of the year it’s not bringing any pleasure. Rather, I can’t help but think that I’m rushing through time without stopping to enjoy anything and I’m going to regret it at the end. I need to find some way to pause and find some happy moments.

To that end, I’ve just learned that Florence + The Machine will be touring North America this summer and one appearance will be in Irving. Seeing as I use a lot of F+TM tracks in my writing soundtracks I think I’m going to get tickets for Ramón and myself, especially since I’ve already pre-ordered Dance Fever and I’m loving the three tracks that have been released (“My Love” is especially delicious).

I just finished bingeing Bridgerton S2, and while I may catch flack for this I think it was better than the book (the MacGuffin that led to the marriage was period-appropriate, yes, but still awfully contrived. Plus there had already been a hasty marriage to avoid scandal in Book 1 so something different would have been nice).

I need to vacuum the living room, but JJ is asleep and I don’t want to disturb him because he’s twenty years old and has earned his rest. Maybe later when he’s up and eating.

Okay, that’s it for me. Time to head off and wrassle with the taxes. Think good thoughts for me, please.

The joys of December, she said darkly

For other people, normal people who don’t have other people in their heads forcing them to write down their stories, December can be fraught. There are holidays to prepare for, gifts to buy, houses to clean, families to deal with, and all the other joys that come with a massive communally celebrated event.

For writers, we get all that plus deadlines. For instance, as of tonight I have officially pulled the trigger on the pre-orders for The Crimson and the Black (Hidden Empire Book 2), with a release date of January 25, 2022, and Crystal Shard (Paladins of Crystal Book 1) with a release date of March 15, 2022). Are the books finished? Ho ho ho—you must be jesting.

But it is a truth universally acknowledged that Nicola works best with deadlines, otherwise she’ll faff about and waste time reading social media or watching Netflix. And it’s not like this is totally impossible or I’m starting from zero. Crimson is about 1/3rd finished—if I light a fire under my butt I should be able to get the rest of it knocked out by New Year’s Eve, and the editor stands ready to take acceptance of it on January 7th after I do a fast edit. I will also be working on Shard (which is about 2/15ths finished by comparison) in parallel, but that doesn’t have to be ready until mid-February so I can focus on Crimson as necessary.

As I’ll be rapid releasing the Paladins of Crystal books starting in March with Crystal Shard, I’ll be starting Crystal Blade as soon as Crimson is done. The plan is to work on two books at the same time with the focus on the next one to be released in order to meet the release schedule:

  • March 2022: Crystal Shard
  • April 2022: Crystal Blade
  • May 2022: Crystal Reflection
  • June 2022: Crystal Citadel
  • July 2022: Crystal Empress

Barring death or something bad happening to my hands, I should just about be able to pull it off. And then I’m taking August off because phoo. My writing schedule for the rest of the year will depend on what’s selling best which at the moment are the Two Thrones, Hidden Empire, and Pacifica Rising series. If that’s still the case in August, I may do Mage of Fire, To Love a Wild Swan, and Uncertainty Principle to round out 2022. And yes, I can hear the shrieks of outrage from Olympic Cove fans who are waiting patiently for the last two books in the series. All I can say right now is that I have to work on what’s profitable—if sales of Cross Current pick up, I’ll do those books instead.

But—if Paladins of Crystal does as well as I think it can, I have two related series that I can start working on in September and start off with a January 2023 rapid release schedule. My goal right now is to make $50K in income by the time 20Booksto50k 2022 starts in Vegas, and this is how I’m going to do it.

*touches fingertips together* That being said, I need help from you. I’ve found some places that advertise reverse harem romances and I’m contacting them, but if you know of any reviewers, bloggers, sites, et al that specialize in RH, please please PLEASE point me towards them. I’m going to stack promos around the release of Crystal Shard, but I want the RH fandom to be aware well before then that the book is coming out and the other four in the series will follow quickly.

So, yeah, December is gonna be a busy month for me. But I feel good about this—I have solid outlines, I know my characters well, and I’m going to do my damnedest to write some amazing romances. Let’s get ‘er done.