It’s a tricky thing, being a writer. As you know, this is still my ‘side’ job (I work full time with my husband in our professional photography studio - I’m the Photoshop gal) so any writing is stolen usually late at night when my body is tired but my brain is soaring. Ivy 2 was already written by spring 2016 when Ivy 1 was launched by a small publisher. As soon as it was released, I knew I had made a mistake and I spent the better part of the summer regretting my decision. In my angst, I put aside Snow (then called Bones in the Year of the Dragon), and wrote Dragon of Ash & Stars, an ode to bad decisions and life's habitual despair.
By August I'd released Dragon and I was in a better mood, eager and ready to pick Snow back up where I had left it. I had also decided to call it Snow instead of Bones because the Snow figure prominently in the story, and the Bones are just coming into it by the end. I was very excited and had started work on an amazing cover that featured Ursa this time. Then in September, I got my rights back to Ivy and everything changed.
Dragon was rocketing up the charts, I was approached by Podium Publishing regarding an audiobook, and Ivy was taking off under my own direction and marketing. I became the media director for ThunderCon (a local fan convention) and began travelling to speaking engagements and running seminars and writing workshops in the region. And yes, I still had my day job.
It’s not easy juggling all of this and I’ve realized that I can’t just whip off the ending for Snow, because, like GRRM, I’m not just writing one book. I’m also simultaneously plotting out the end game, outlining the next 2 novels so that readers don’t end up with a Hunger Games/Divergent finale of ‘Whaaa? That was lame…’ I need to give myself the time to write it well and deeply, and to set up the next books in the series for my readers, for the characters and for the story. Ivy 2 is written and ready to go, complete with cover, so why sit on it while I wait for Snow? I would always be divided and not do either of them justice. It doesn’t make sense so I think that’s my decision. Ivy 2 should hit the shelves sometime in late April/early May.
Once that’s done, my plate is cleared and my brain is free to finish up Snow without interruption but also, like GRRM, I can’t give a date. Jumping into and out of the worlds I have created is an all-consuming process – it demands most of my brainspace so one world at a time is I think all I can handle. Ivy’s world will dominate for a little while in my media posts and promotions, but rest assured, the work will still be going in the Upper Kingdom as all the Empires prepare themselves for war.
And perhaps, for a short span of time, my poor brain will find some peace. So, without further ado, I present the cover for Cold Stone & Ivy 2: The Crown Prince! Ta Dah!