SOME of you may already be aware of the tortuous route that my first two novels took from manuscript to publication–twice. I wrote my first novel, Winds of Evil, during the whirlwind November, 2002 challenge called National Novel Writing Month, and edited the 300+ pages in December before sending it out to a publishing startup from California. To my delight, they chose to publish my novel.
The following year, I submitted Armageddon Strain to this same company, and again they expressed keen interest, not only in the book but also in any subsequent novels I might be planning. By the summer of 2005, to my surprise, Winds of Evil and Armageddon Strain been published not once, but twice, by the startup company and by a partnership between that company and a well-known, established Christian house.
Sadly, sales did not match expectations, and by 2006, both companies had declined interest in any books meant to follow in the Laodicea series. They did, however, plan to retain rights to the already published books, Winds of Evil and Armageddon Strain. Needless to say, I was dismayed if not emotionally crushed.
Without rights to the first two books I knew that no other publishing house would even consider taking on either series, but I tried to slog through writing the sequels, because so many wonderful readers had written to me, asking about the follow-up works. As such, Derek and I self-published Signs and Wonders as book 2 of “The Laodicea Chronicles” in 2008.
Now, 4 years later, I have to confess that I simply cannot continue working on these books. They have become like a slow poison in my soul. I hate saying this, because the characters of both Armageddon Strain and “The Laodicea Chronicles” are near and dear to my heart. I’m delighted that so many of you have also grown to love them. That’s why these words are so hard to write, but I simply must do so.
For the past weeks and months, I have tried again and again to finish the final edit on Doctrines of Demons (book 3), but each time I read through the manuscript, I actually become physically ill. This has happened to me over and over during these past few years–each time I try to finish it, I get sick. It’s finally dawned on me, why.
I sometimes cry while working on the books, and my stomach churns, doing acrobatic somersaults–not at all pleasant, I can assure you.
Without getting into details, the breakup with the publishers was painful, but losing rights to the first books was like losing custody of my own babies. I find it hard to continue story lines that someone else lays claim to; which–I think–is why working on the sequels brings me such emotional and even physical pain. Many of you have asked why it’s taking me so long to release the remaining books–now you know why.
I don’t bear any ill will toward my former publishers. They took me on on as an unknown and treated me well. They had every right to choose not to publish the sequels, and since they printed thousands of copies, I can understand why they would retain the rights. I’m not questioning it, I am simply doing the best I can with the situation.
Since it’s so hard for me to write the remaining novels, I am simply walking away from the series.
For those of you who have hung in there with Katy Adamson and Joshua Carpenter, trust me when I tell you that my planned conclusion was in their favor. All would have ended well. Eden, Indiana would have endured many hardships, but the Lord and His children would have triumphed in the end.
Thank you for loving these fictional children of mine and following their exploits as they strove against the evils in Eden, Indiana. Thank you for encouraging me and believing in my writing. Please, forgive me for walking away from the earlier works, but I simply cannot continue.
I leave Eden, Indiana behind but I will soon set my writer’s feet in a new town to find new characters. I’ve no doubt that there, you and I together will discover many dark and sinister plots behind closed doors, underneath slippery stones, and inside old, illuminated families’ closets.
By the time you read this, I will have deleted the files for the Laodicea sequels. and started work on a brand new fiction series.
Here’s to starting from scratch. I love you all.
To take such a momentous decision is not easy. and I can tell it was very hard for you but sometimes walking away is what we must do. especially as there would be no clear way to continue onwards without the rights. I can can only wish you well with your next series. and put me down for a copy of it (I’ll pay postage) or make sure to publish it on kindle ( have you looked into self publication on kindle btw?) take care *HUG* and be well.
Deleting the files is a drastic thing to do! Print them out, and leave in a lock-box to be discovered long after you go meet our maker, so one day, someone can find them and bring them back to life!
I look forward to reading any fiction you decide to write, Sharon. Bless you for the courage to see what was going on, and to decide to start fresh.
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