I am sick. Horrible, winter cold sick. I can barely keep my eyes open, fighting the urge to go to sleep and have been like that for the last few days. I haven't been this ill for a long time.
BUT, I am still awake because right at this moment Another Chance is the number one contemporary romance title on iBooks UK and number fourteen overall. This is so crazy, and exciting!
While I am working on the next book, I also thought that winter would be a good opportunity to go through my back catalogue, and tidy up anything that was missed back when I pressed the publish button. It would be a quiet time of year with not being able to go out and about with the bad weather, I thought, and I know that prior to Taking Chances, there was space for improvement. Though, I'm finding that sometimes, it doesn't matter how many pairs of eyes you have on something, little things still slip through.
It really doesn't seem so quiet right now. The beauty of e-books however, is that it's easy to fix those little things that bug us. I have a much stronger team of people helping me now than I did even six months ago, and going forward things will be even better!
When I started my self-publishing journey, I had no idea how amazing it would be. Eighteen months in, I have had the bitter disappointment of failure, the highs of success, and found some truly wonderful, caring, kind people along the way. I have been truly blessed.
And now, I'm going back to sleep. :)
Once I pressed publish on Taking Chances, I felt a bit lost. Saying goodbye to characters I loved so much was harder than I thought it would be, even though I had the privilege to write two books with them in.
The challenge I face with Taking Chances was turning characters I made small mentions of in Another Chance into something bigger.
It was a random thought near the end of Another Chance to put Ethan and Lauren together. We didn't know much about Ethan, and just a little more about Lauren, but it felt right to give them a happy ending.
Of course at that stage, I didn't know I'd end up writing their love story, and I had this idea about Lauren's struggles with alcohol in the back of my head that you just glimpse at first. Taking Chances gave me the opportunity to explore it.
Writing that book was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I experienced Mark's death from a different perspective (it was hard enough the first time, and I felt Lauren's pain as she was tormented by the thing she'd come to rely on.
Lauren became more special to me than I ever thought she would, and I am so grateful to have created her, and to have nurtured her. She deserved nothing but the best.
So, now I turn my sights on my project I started when Taking Chances was being edited. I'm aiming for an August release, but in the meantime I have some new covers to reveal for the Hot for the Boss series, and they are very steamy!
All this has distracted me of course from finishing off Loving the Rake, but I plan on that being done by the end of the year. I might even free up November to take part in NaNoWriMo again and write another one!
Please, if you read Taking Chances or any of my other books, I would really appreciate it if you leave a review. They help me and they help the books.
I also love hearing from readers, so email me, message me, come and find me on Facebook or Twitter. One day I'll even work out Google Plus! :D
Taking Chances is now live on iBooks (in some countries), Amazon, and on All Romance books.
I have updated links on the Taking Chances book page!
I did roll out an update to iBooks when the final proofreading and formatting was done, but that is still in progress. If you have received a copy of the Taking Chances pre-order, this is not the final book and the update will come through when it's processed.
To be honest, I feel quite sad today. Writing about Lauren, Ethan, Cassie, Patrick, and Sophie again was so enjoyable. I love them all and I am sorry to say goodbye. There is however, no more story left to tell.
Onto the next thing now, and when I solidify where I'm going with it, I'll update everybody!
I know I keep saying thank you to everyone, but I really mean it. From the bottom of my heart.
The reaction to Another Chance has been overwhelming, and I have said over and over again how grateful I am. Because I am.
I wrote Cassie's story for me, and it means a lot to me. If other people enjoy it, then I'm glad it's found a home in their hearts.
Today, Another Chance passed 5000 sales. That is huge and I never expected at this stage to hit a figure like that with one book.
So thank you yet again. I'll be working hard on Lauren's story now, and am going to work out the title and release date soon. I want to do her justice too; she has her own set of issues and her own happy ending to find.
Today I made a big change to the website. I wanted a clean, crisp look and the redesign leaves room for more content. Hopefully it's more tidy. :)
I hope everyone has had a good new year. Another Chance stayed at number one on iTunes Australia until this morning, and right now is still in the top three.
The last few days have been amazing, and I'm working on the follow up now. Lauren is a complex character, and I'm loving getting into her head.
I already said thank you on my Facebook page, but I can't express my gratitude enough for those who have bought my books, liked my Facebook page, followed on twitter, visited my website. You're all awesome.
2013 was a huge learning curve, and things will only get better from now on. I've tentatively approached a new editor, as I want to make sure what the readers get is the best I can possibly deliver and at times I have been disappointed at falling short in that regard.
It's a matter of finding the right people to work with, and I know I'm on the right track.
Other than Lauren's story, I still have Loving the Rake to complete. As my NaNoWriMo book, it's completed, but still needs editing and some corrections made. The basic plot will remain the same, and Robert and Eleanor will get their Happy Ever After.
I don't know how likely I am to write any more novellas, I like the longer size book and have an idea of what to do after Lauren's story and Loving the Rake. I'll be sticking to writing what I know, and continuing to try to write about regular people with regular problems.
As I think I've said before, while Another Chance is not autobiographical, I wrote about things that meant something to me. There are scenes in the book that did happen, just not quite in the way that I've written them. I knew people would struggle a bit with the birth scene, but I had a similar experience in a hospital where another friend had the last minute dash to the hospital.
Real life can be so much more interesting than fantasy. I'm not knocking anything else, as I love to get lost in a good story, whatever it's about.
For now, I'll be getting Lauren's story done (I'll be glad when I come up with a name for it) and clearing my backlog. 2014 is quickly shaping up to be as busy as 2013!
A couple of days ago, my sales for Another Chance on Apple started going up randomly. I do not know what caused it, but I watched my book climb the top paid list in romance before following its progress on the overall store list in Australia.
Yesterday, as I celebrated my birthday Another Chance claimed the number one spot on the Australian iTunes store.
To say I'm excited is an understatement. For my story about a New Zealand girl, set in New Zealand to be successful in Australia is overwhelming. My Grandmother was Australian, and it's our nearest neighbour so it feels extra special that's where the book is doing well.
I am so very happy, and extremely grateful. A huge thank you to everyone who has purchased my book, it has made this now 40 year old mother very proud.
Another Chance was a real labour of love, a very personal book to me. I also want to give special mention to Sarah at Sprinkles On Top Studios for designing that beautiful cover. It's been a big part of the books success.
On other platforms it's selling well too, and I will end the year on a high. I guess it's time to get back to writing, Lauren is bugging me. ;)
This year has been amazing. When I look back on when I started this journey, I thought I knew was I was doing. It's clear that I only scratched the surface.
As I've learned, and evolved, my books have done the same. I'm not saying that they're perfect, but Another Chance is light years away from The Sultan's Bride.
My goal in the next year is to keep writing entertaining stories that people will like, and that I like writing. Every so often I get inspired, and when I do I make notes. There are seven items in the folder, so next year is shaping up to be busy.
Over Christmas I hope to clean up Loving the Rake, and get stuck into Lauren's story. I've also sworn to myself that I'll finish The Accidental Sultan as well, the sequel to The Sultan's Bride. That's been a work in progress since I finished the first one!
The other thing I'm doing is going through those first books to tidy them up, reformatting them in the same style as the newer books. So, I'll be busy but it will be worth it. The readers are worth the effort.
I have been blessed, finding amazing people who have supported me this year. It has been overwhelming at times, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I hope that everyone has an amazing Christmas (or break if you don't celebrate Christmas) and a fantastic New Year!
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...