I’m Already Off Schedule

I’m already off schedule. (Go figure)

Am I surprised? Nah. I think the word is expected. I should’ve expected to get bumped off my own schedule. It was only a matter of time. So what happened? Well, the goal is to have the ARC of A Royal Pairing in Perish done in time for its February 17th date. Of course, that date is arbitrary (no one is banging down my door asking for it) so I can push it back if need be. But stiiillllllll. I wanted to keep to my schedule. And no, it’s not Yellowstone this time. It’s the actual writing.

I’d just finished going through In The Moment During, and can’t decide if I’m missing the last chapter/a bonus chapter/something. So, I started writing it…which led to outlining In The Moment After which NEEDS TO HAPPEN, but I’d designated this time (officially the start of this week) to focusing on A Royal Pairing in Perish since it’s releasing right around the corner. I still need to:

  • Implement final edits
  • Work on backmatter (info at the end of book)
  • Finish up my Reader Magnet (part of backmatter)
  • Set up pre-order for In The Moment During (part of back matter)

Things. There are so many things to be done. And this is just the writing part. Not to mention any kind of advertising for any of the series/learning to do Facebook ads which I’M STILL GOING TO LEARN.

All I need is more time. Anywhere we can buy that? (Please let me know if you know).

…Maybe I will push the ARC date back to 2.24. That would be a solid month prior to the book’s actual release, and again, no one is holding me to it. I’m holding myself to these deadlines, but I also don’t want to rush and provide a subpar product. That simply won’t do either.

There. I feel better having talked it out. Thank you guys – you’re the best! 😊

Other than writing-stuff, life is good. Appa is still acting weird. He’s had a few accidents in the house, and is now starting to shake like he’s got Parkinson’s. I have no idea what’s going on with him, but hopefully it corrects itself. Or the drugs we’re buying him corrects it. Something has to give.

Batman is doing well. He’s working on his own stuff and it seems to be making him happy. Which makes me happy.

Alright…seems to be everything I’ve got. Recap: I’m:

  • Already behind schedule
  • Will update schedule
  • Still going to crush this year

At the end of the day, I’m still going to write you stories. Top priority. Feel safe and loved knowing that.

Second newsletter goes out on Monday (still need to write that…) and then I’m back here next Wednesday. Have a lovely, lovely day, guys.

Make that week.

Actually, make it month.

Ah, screw it. Life.

Have a lovely, lovely life, guys.

😊

~LC

The Actual Writing

What do you do when you’re within a month of releasing the first thing in four years? Work on the second book of a different series, of course.

Y’all.

I feel like I can breathe now. The best part of being a writer? The writing. Lately, I’ve been bogged down with learning this platform and stressing about that one and trying to get the mechanics behind the scenes to work to make sure everything actually works and if you know me (or have stalked me for some time) you’ll know I’m not exactly tech-savvy, so it normally takes me longer than most. Other people can figure things out quickly but it takes a lot of staring and rereading on my part, along with a bunch of second guessing and overthinking mixed in with some anxiety and worry that I only get one shot and will fail at life if I don’t get it right the first time. So, yeah, it takes me a bit longer with technology than most.

But it’s all good because I’m finally at a place where I’m *mostly* prepped for ITMB’s release. Editing is done. ARCs are ready. Book tours, promos and review sites have been signed up for (though I need to do a bit more research on those…) but otherwise…a good portion of launching ITMB…is done.

Crazy to say it. Even crazy to know I’m not lying. Now, this is a book launch from practically a *noob, so I know I’m missing a bunch of stuff I probably should’ve done or be doing. But, it’s okay. I’ll figure it out. Plus, I’ve got four releases in 2023 so I’m sure I’ll get one of them right.

With all that said, I’m finally at a place where I can do the thing I really, really enjoy about this whole self-publishing thing. Any guesses? Yep—the actual writing. Since I’ve already written and had ARPIP edited, the next candidate would be In the Moment During, Novella 2 in The Coyote And The Coyote Companion Series. But I’ve already gone through that twice. I’ll probably comb through it another two times before I bring in my BETA readers (could be you! Check out how to become a VIP fan yet?) but for right now, I’m done with it. That means it’s onto the next story which is the second book in The Coyote And The Claw Series, set to release in September 2023. We ready for a name? Yeah, I think so too.

The Coyote And The Claw Series

A Royal Pairing in Perish – Releases March 24th 2023

A Return of Ghosts – Releases September 22nd

Name to be announced – Releases March 2024

So, there you go! A Return of Ghosts. It seems silly talking about it when you haven’t even read A Royal Pairing in Perish, which isn’t even the next thing releasing. Sometimes (most times) you have to be almost ten months ahead to get things done. But I got this.

Also—might be worth noting, but maybe not—I’ve decided I’m going to start doing bimonthly newsletters. That’s right. We’re talking the fifteenth and thirtieth of every month, so instead of a whopping twelve emails a year, you’ll be blessed with twenty-four of those fabulous little babies delivered right to your inbox. I know. The good news never ends around here. But this change is taking place in January 2023. Or next month. Haven’t really decided yet.

Thanks for sticking around for all the updates. I’ve been skimping on the ol’ blog and that’s just not right. But I should be good going forward except that the holidays are upon us so who knows. I certainly don’t, but I know what I’m doing in around nine to ten months. Crazy how that works.

Have a great week!

~ Lady Caitlin

*noob isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I definitely don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Just like a newbie at anything. But, we all start somewhere, right?

A Month.

So, I wrote a post last week…and definitely forgot to post it. STILL NOT DEAD. Just forgetful. But just so you know that I’m not sitting over here doing nothing. I am. I’m hustling and grinding behind the scenes and sometimes, things slip my mind…like posting that blog from last week. It was a short one. But, for reference:

A MONTH.

In The Moment Before releases a MONTH from today. A MONTH. I still can’t believe it. I wrote this back in July and I’m actually releasing it next month as the first story in the world of Perish, Florida. Never heard of it? Probably because it’s 1) not a real place and 2) you’re new to this blog because I’ve talked about writing Perish Florida since earlier this year, when I thought I would be publishing A Royal Pairing in Perish around June. But I wanted to do the launch right this time, so I put it on pause, researched the HELL out of self-publishing (again) and after a trip to Tampa, I discovered a new/side story that I wanted to write that ended up becoming the first story in this world and it’s releasing NEXT MONTH.

I still can’t get over it. I feel like I’ve done a thousand things to prepare, but I still feel like I have billion more to do and all I really want to do is to work on the next story in the series (the writing portion. So far working on this has been 60/40 writing vs business.) I feel like I’ve come a long way with setting up this launch. I’m trying new things and I’m definitely throwing a lot of money at it (reasonably) but I know it takes money to make money and so far, I’ve been pressing the publish button and that’s it. It’s time to do more. I am doing more.

To celebrate re-stablishing myself (establishing for the first time?) I’m passing the awesomeness to you! During the month of December, I’m putting my Better Than This series on sale, with the first book as free and the others at .99. It’s my thank you for being an awesome supporter of me, my work, and reading in general. We need more people like you 😉

And because, why not? Gotta feel comfortable pimping my stuff:

PRE-ORDER LINK

ARC FORM

I am proud of it after all 😊

~ LC

I Need Your Help (again)

Well, we’re Covid-free again.

The plan was to return to work last Wednesday from our failed attempt at vacationing. Except, due to excessive coughing, Batman tore a muscle in his lower back as I was on my way to work, and we ended up rushing him to the emergency room instead.

Fun times.

The fun continued at home when the pain meds (which helped in the hospital) ended up causing waves of nausea, and plummeting Batman into the dark ages of pain, annoyance, irritability, and discomfort. He tried a second pain reliever from the hospital with the same results. Dizziness and nausea. Batman just wasn’t feeling it for the last two weeks, and I got to say – I feel bad for the guy. We’re not in our twenties anymore (sadly) and things just aren’t bouncing back as quickly as they used to. I knew we’d get to a point in our lives where we might have to frequent hospitals, but I didn’t think it’d be in our thirties. (This is after a few back surgeries for Batman, other issues, and now this). I think Annie Potts said it best in Pretty in Pink – “Why can’t we start old and get young?”

Things are going pretty well. Except for the last two weeks of illness, life has been lovely. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot accomplished on my writing/publishing schedule with updating my bio (take a look if you if you care to), updating my back matter (new release info) on my current works, and I’ve even started working on the second book in my companion novella series. WHAT. I know. Already? Yep. This isn’t set to release until June 2023, but it’s always good to have the project started, am I right?

This is where I need your help on two fronts:

  1. Need Character name assistance
  2. Need BETA readers

For the first request, I’m in need of asshole names again. This time – four males. I have placeholder names that can definitely work, but I’m throwing it out in the universe. Did some prick wrong you in the past, and you want to immortalize them as an asshole in my book? Let’s do it. Send me your names and I’ll pick four of them (two main and two supporting) to use in In The Moment Before.

For the second request, who wants to BETA read for me?? (insert personalized compliment just for you).

Book details:

Title: In the Moment Before

Word count: 37,000

Genre/Trope: contemporary romance, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, hidden romance, bullying

Working Blurb:

Robin Drake hates Grayson Knight with a passion. After an embarrassing childhood prank, she’s kept him in the mortal-enemy category, avoiding the troublemaker and his bullying friends whenever possible. As the daughter of a police sergeant in a crime-ridden city, Robin knows she needs to set an example, so when an argument escalates, landing Robin and Grayson in detention, she’s forced to endure not only disappointment from her father, but two weeks with the boy she detests the most.

Assigned to assist the Homecoming Committee, Robin wants to get through her punishment as quickly as possible. But after an interaction with a sleazy basketball player—and an immediate rescue by Grayson—she sees the boy she’s always hated with new eyes. If things weren’t stressful enough, a secret, shared kiss sends everything scrambling, leaving Robin and Grayson to confront feelings that neither expected—or are prepared for.

If this sounds interesting or something you’d like to read, please let me know! I’m aiming to get this to the editor at the beginning of October, so I would need feedback mid September or so. 😊

How is life going with you? Any illnesses? Any upcoming vacations? Any people you want to immortalize in my characters? I’m curious to know all the things.

~ Lady Caitlin

I Used the Time Off Accordingly

We got covid again.

Actually, it was Batman. Batman got covid. He’s the one who brought the disease into our household this round, and just in time to cancel our Asheville trip. Literally the same week. That’s twice now this stupid virus has cost us fully booked trips to destinations we really want to visit. Champagne problems, I know, but I’m still allowed a brief time to wallow and rant and hate everything (and I did and I feel better now).

I cancelled our tour at the Biltmore Estate, which Batman and I were excited to visit. It’s some grand estate and the closest thing we’re getting to a castle until we fly across the pond in 2024. It’s also what Batman and I were using as a model for our own personal castle mansion when we make it big. Also, I heard there were multiple wineries and restaurants on the premises, so it definitely blows. I also cancelled our hop-on-hop-off tour, numerous dining reservations, and our stay at this vintage hotel with spacious rooms that looked wonderfully haunted. I guess Asheville wasn’t meant for us in 2022. It’s all good though; I used the time off accordingly.

Days off with Covid:

  • Finished third draft of ITMB
  • Finished August Newsletter (have you signed up?)
  • Worked on Marketing Plan for 2023 (there’s stuff on it!)
  • Cleaned up/organized personal documents on computer
  • Social Media Marketing Research

See?

I still got stuff done through the gross coughing through the runny nose and random splashes of laziness. Gotta say this round is way better than the one last year which, ironically, is right around when I left my previous job. Like leaving most of my jobs, my main concern was not with how I was going to pay my bills or what I would do next, but the excitement of having an initial few weeks off to write. Even though I had Covid, I was still pumping out the first real draft of ARPIP. A little more than a year later, I’m working on its companion series, the second book, publishing the first, and applying a marketing plan that 1) is better than no marketing plan and 2) actually might be a smart strategy. We’ll see.

Other than literally everything mentioned above, nothing much is going on. Just taking these at home covid tests until I can return to work. Until then, it’s working on the laptop in the other room while I cough uncomfortably loud, but I don’t have to worry about annoying any coworkers. It’s just Batman, Appa, and Regis, and it’s not like any of them are going to start something (I’d like to see a MOFO try.)

How are you? How is life? Have you caught the vid for the first, second, or third time? Able to get anything accomplished?

Either way, good for you, you little survivor!

Off to do more stuff. Why am I feeling so motivated lately?

**looks around with confusion**

**realizes it doesn’t matter**

Next week!

~ Lady Caitlin

The Amazing Publishing Schedule

I (sort of) have it figured out.

I’m always hesitant to say I know what I’m doing because that’s never the case, so I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing for the rest of the year and into next year in regards to writing & publishing.

Ready for this?

That new random thing I was writing: that’s nice a prequel/side story I’m releasing in December. DECEMBER THIS YEAR. Yeah. My original idea was to write a short story/novella, but “write it to market” so I’m still attracting readers on the side. The plan was to put it on serialized platforms to hopefully make some money and gain some followers until I’m ready to release ARPIP next year. But then it clicked—why not set this short story in the universe of TCATC? Make it an initial taste so it can generate interest beforehand, even if I’m not advertising the way I will with ARPIP.

YESSS.

Not only that—I’ll be releasing additional short stories between the major book releases to keep the side story going! It all makes sense now. It’s like I’ve been staring at one of those artsy pictures from the 90s with an image of a sailboat in the middle and you have to stare at it a while before actually seeing it. First, I didn’t know I was looking at an artsy picture from the 90s, so when everything clicked, it really CLICKED and I think I had a celebratory (or two) Angry Orchard.

To recap the amazing publishing schedule:

December 16th 2022 – release In The Moment Before, a companion novella set in the TCATC universe

March 24th 2023 – release A Royal Pairing in Perish

June 23rd 2023 – release short story (still to name)

September 22nd 2023 – release Book 2 (name to announce soon!)

December 15th – release short story (still to name)

March 2024 – release Book 3 (name to announce soon!)

Right? Look at it. All organized with dates and everything. I’m super excited, guys. Because whereas I LOVE my ARPIP characters, I also LOVE my ITMB characters and was slightly bummed they only got a novella in the universe. Weaving them back in with short stories is going to be so much fun and I’m already excited for next year!

Whoosh! Well those are all the writing updates I have. Oh, and that I’ll be back to sending out my newsletter again…which…may or may not have taken a short sabbatical May through July. But it’s returning in August, baby, along with even more updates pertaining to all upcoming releases. And I’ve got snippets for you too. So, if you want even more of a sneak peak, you’ll have to sign up for my newsletter. No way around it. #Sorrynotsorry.

Personal life-wise?

Batman and I are headed to Asheville next week! We’ve never been to the city, and have only stepped foot in the state once or twice, so we are very excited! Plus, we’ll be driving, so this is our first “road trip” in our fifteen-year relationship, and I’m excited to see if we’ll kill each other. But we’ll bring plenty of snacks and listen to good music so hopefully, that should be avoided. We’re going downtown to do some shopping, to the Biltmore estate for ideas on decorating our future castle-mansion, and to the Pinball museum (requested by Batman). Not sure of other activities, but hopefully we’ll get lost finding things to do—the best way to explore a city.

Be on the lookout for my August newsletter. Should be in your inbox on 8/15. You know, if you sign up. Here’s a nice little link for you.

nice little newsletter link

Go on. Click it. We’re all waiting.

Enjoy the week!

~ Lady Caitlin

The Master Plan

I figured it out.

Not, like, the secret to life—though, that’d be sweet—but what I’m doing with this random new thing I wrote. I thought it was some small story that popped up for distraction, but nothing is ever random or coincidental as I have come to learn in life—and neither is this. It’s suddenly become completely integral to the publishing plan I’m working on for the remainder of this year and over the course next year, but I can’t reveal anything now. Two reasons:

  1. I’m still working everything out
  2. I don’t want to jinx anything

Very legitimate reasons, I think. I’m not even sure I’m sharing the master plan next week. It might roll into mid-August just to be safe, but I’m already so excited to share.

Soon, guys. Very, very soon!

**taps fingertips excitedly**

Let’s see… Other than realizing my publishing plan for the next year or so, I’m also shifting gears toward my current/already-published-for-your-reading-needs books. I’m talking Better Than This and Arizal Wars. Arizal Wars will probably chill as is for now until it gets a facelift at some point. But Better Than This needs a scene or two *reworked and since I’m updating a new version anyway, I figure I might just update the covers too. I like them; I like that they are what I imagined, but…I don’t think they’re doing me any favors. People like pictures of people on books (apparently) and I guess some stray away from anything cartoonish. Whatever. I’m not taking it personally, but if there’s a better cover I could use for this series, especially one that will entice readers more: let’s do it.

I feel like a juggler right now. I’ve got to keep to my new publishing schedule—which shall be revealed in a future post!—as well as work on updating my books so I can get them to their correct platforms to then start promoting them on tiktok, which I still need to learn. Yeah. It’s all good. I can learn to be a master juggler with the best of them. (Random fact: I always thought jugglers were hot. Maybe I was just impressed with their magical multitasking skills. Who knew?)

Life is good. Batman and I have an Asheville trip coming up next month, and we’re throwing gross gobs of money at Disney for my birthday in September. It’ll probably be the last time we go for a while, but I still want to get on the Peter Pan ride. I haven’t been since I was a kid and every time we go, the ride has a miles-long wait. Screw Space Mountain. I’m headed straight to Fantasy Land for Peter Pan. I’ll push kids out of the way. I don’t care anymore.

What about you? Any plans coming up? It’s already the second half of the year, in case you haven’t panicked yet about Christmas. But it’s nice seeing the Halloween stuff.

I just love fall!

~ Lady Caitlin

No Regrets

So…I’ve been doing a major no-no when it comes to self-publishing. Any guesses? I’ll tell you since I—a self-publishing author—didn’t know myself. I have (and currently am) breaking the cardinal rule of NO GENRE HOPPING.

Woops…

Let’s see. I’ve got a Sci-fi (with romance) series, a Contemporary Romance series, and an Urban Fantasy Romance series that I’m currently working on, so…it’s not like I’ve been genre-hopping my entire self-publishing career, right? Oh wait. Yes, I have. Among several other things I’ve been doing incorrectly, I really shouldn’t have been jumping genres since it’s harder to build and retain an audience. Most of us like reading a certain genre/trope, and we depend on our authors to write only in that box.

HAHA again woops!

In my defense, I didn’t know what kind of author I wanted to be. What kind of stuff I wanted to write. So, I wrote whatever story came to me. And you know what? No regrets. I like what I wrote, and I definitely think it helped shape me to become the author I am today. Was this the smartest way to go about it? HAHA nope. But I want to tell the stories I want to tell, and I did that. And now, I know what I like to write and why. Just took a couple of genres to figure it out.

Will this upend my success? I mean…I hope I have fans who enjoy my stories regardless of the box it fits into, even though it includes the same elements all my stories do:

Romance? Check

Adventure? Check

Escaping something? Check, check, check

Can these three elements be considered a genre, because if so, I’m set. Or maybe I’m set with themes? I don’t know and I’m tired of thinking about it. I wouldn’t change what I did, and I’m honestly not sure what I’m going to do. I like writing across different genres, so maybe at some point, I’ll create pen names for each. Until then, a new release by C.G. Coppola will always be a surprise, but just know, it will ALWAYS CONTAIN romance, adventure, and the need to escape. Seems pretty dependable to me.

Non writing news:

We went out on a tikibar! If you’re not familiar with the concept, don’t feel bad. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and just discovered the service. Or, maybe the service is new? Either way, it’s a ninety-minute cruise in whatever city you live, normally around an historic or touristy location. Cooler and ice provided, but you bring your own food and drinks. Not too expensive and it’s just…fun. You can sit on the floor like me and stick your feet in the water—and subsequently scream when a glob of seaweed touches you—or you can walk around the tiki or sit on the barstool while they play island music. Honestly, I’d go again. But, only for the ninety minute cruise—got to remember there are zero bathrooms unless an unplanned stop at the sandbar is needed. Something to keep in mind.

There’s more non-writing news, but nothing much to note. I learned how to pronounce the word cognizant. Batman and I worked on it for a while, so I’ve got that going for me. Also: didn’t break the washing machine like I thought I did. I will remember not to overstuff it with towels next time so it doesn’t freak and keep resetting itself. Ah, life lessons.

Hope life is good in your neck of the woods. Also hope you’re seeing gas prices drop a smidge. It’s not a lot, but at this rate and with this record-high inflation, I’ll take what I can get.

~ Lady Caitlin

The Puzzle Solved

Earlier this year I signed up for a serialized fiction platform, Radish. Remember? I barely remember because it’s a platform that I rarely check. I’ve had the same 78 views since February with no comments, no subscribers, and no traction. I probably glance at the thing once or twice a month. Well, last week they emailed saying Better Than This would be featured as a free book on their Free-Book-Friday promotion. Okay, cool. Last time they highlighted BTT with a promotion…still sat at the same 78 views, no subscribers. No traction. No big deal.

Guess this one was different. I checked early Friday – still nothing. I checked Sunday morning and I had 8,900 views. WHAT. WWWWHHHHAAATTTT. Of all the combined platforms I’ve been on, this is the first one that’s pushed over 1,000 views. And in two days? WHAT. Also got me 60 new subscribers.

It’s weird because I didn’t actually do anything. Literally. I signed up for Radish at the beginning of the year, uploaded the series and kind of…waited. I applied for a previous promotion and it didn’t do crap. Now I know if people want to read my books, I should give them away. That, or apply for promos making them free. Aha, the puzzle solved.

It kinda jumpstarted me to get things going. I’ve already pushed back the release date of ARPIP until some point (when I can get my ducks in a row for a semi-successful launch / not have wandering ducks with the same lackluster launch) but it means updating my books with all new backmatter, revising prices, getting the newsletter going (…having more than 9 subscribers…) and working with other authors. Not to mention finish editing ARPIP and writing AROG.

I don’t know…something about seeing the 8,900 views was like having an angel pat me on the back saying. “See? You can do this. It’ll take some time and energy…but you can do this.”

Thanks, Angel.

How are you? Did you have a nice weekend? I had a lovely one with my mom, sister, nephew, and Batman. We explored the city, had many delicious meals, and even more drinks. It’s how I like celebrating a holiday. Other than that—and the increase of views/subscribers—everything is still the same. Still growing pretty new silver strands and Batman keeps reminding me I’m older. Because he’s evil. Because he thinks that makes me a cougar…even if he’s only six months behind me.

Anyway, all is well here. Better than well, actually – I got 8,900 views!!! This will probably be my highlight for the rest of the year, so apologizes if I refer to it often. But when good things happen, you got to celebrate, right?

Yeah, you do.

Cheers!

~ Lady Caitlin

The Inevitable Question

I missed last week.

I know. I know.

I told myself (and you, silently, in my head) that I wouldn’t miss another post unless there was a DIRE EMERGENCY kind of situation, because how long does it take to write a few-paragraphs-long post? The answer is not very long. At all. The thing—if you’re skilled at writing totally awesome posts like I am—only takes a little bit of time. Maybe an hour. Probably less. So, how can I not find one tiny (maybe less) hour in my day to write the weekly blog, right?

I know. I planned poorly and did not underestimate the amount of energy my day-job would suck out of me because missing last week’s post is inexcusable, especially since I had this great theme about how all the hair on my head is slowly starting to betray me, and turn unicorn-silver. It was more a cathartic post for me to come to terms with the fact that I’m getting a new hair color, but I realized something even more important, something about my newest book…

Brace yourself (or don’t)—

I’m pushing back the release date of A Royal Pairing in Perish.

*GASP*

I know. I know.

I didn’t want to do it either, but I need to. I’m just not ready or even close to releasing a book next month. Because yeah, I can literally go and ‘publish’ the thing, but I really want to do this differently. I want to really try this time, and I feel leaps and bounds behind where I should be for launch-day. I’m following my gut, and it’s saying I have good intentions, but my timing is off. Way off, which leads to the inevitable question:

When am I planning to release?

Great question! I’d love to answer that, but the jury is still out, and I’m not sure when those fools are returning. I’d like to say by the end of the year (and could still be the case) but I’m just not sure. I’m taking a big step back so I can do this smart and I know you guys will support me because 1) you normally do and 2) I only hear from like, three of you, and it’s all been supportive.

Thanks for taking it so well, guys. And thanks for the initial vent on all the unicorn-silvers coming through. They used to be buried in a sea of luscious brown, but now they’re sparkling like diamond, gossamer strands. Very much on the fence about dying them.

Thoughts?

On anything?

~ Lady Caitlin