So, it’s been a while since I made a blog post here. July, in fact. A lot has happened since then. So, first the good. I released the 5th book in the Demon’s Apprentice series, Prom Knight on March 25th. It’s doing well, hitting the top 100 on several charts on Amazon. It’s been a long time coming, and hopefully, the next one will show up sooner.
There was a reason for the delay. One piece of advice authors are constantly given is to take care of themselves physically. I learned the hard way how deeply connected mind and body can be. Over two and a half years or so of sitting at a desk and not exercising enough took a toll on my health, until I ended up with very high blood pressure and type II diabetes. It affected my ability to stay focused and write, and worst of all, it affected my state of mind. All of that put me in a position where I had to go back to having a day job again, even before I knew the extent of the damage the whole situation had done to my body.
The day everything changed, my legs hurt so bad I was in tears, and I could barely think straight. My manager sent me, not home, but to the ER. And I’m thankful she did. I had wounds on my legs that were not healing, my blood pressure was out of control, and my blood sugar was above the threshold for diabetes. I weighed over 330 pounds and I could barely walk more than 50 feet without having to sit down and rest.
My life changed in that moment, and for the better. I changed my diet, I started taking a medication for my blood sugar, and perhaps most importantly, I stopped drinking soda and sugary drinks. The difference wasn’t instantaneous, but it was quick. In under a month, I had lost ten pounds, and my body started to recover. I kept losing weight, and the sciatica from the extra weight cleared up. I had more energy, I started sleeping better and I could focus again. It was like a religious experience, as if a fog that had settled around me had lifted. (Also, Type II diabetes is not insulin dependent. It can be treated to the point where medication is no longer necessary, and it reverts to “prediabetes.” I intend to achieve that goal.)
After that, I was able to put in a thousand words daily, even with working a day job. I finished Prom Knight in a matter of weeks and I’ve lost a total of 30+ pounds since December. I can walk without pain, and I don’t have to stop and rest every few yards. It’s like I got a whole new body.
Finishing Prom Knight presented its own challenges. My cover artist, whom I had come to rely on, had schedule changes of her own, and wasn’t available. Let me tell you, when you work with a pro like Angela for a couple of years, having to find someone to step in for them is an anxiety-laden process. Angie knows my cover style (she designed it after all) and knows how to make it look amazing every time. I am also comfortable asking her for minor changes. All in all, it’s always easy working with her. Now, I was looking for someone who could do a cover for me and keep the same look for the series.
Enter Gerry Kissel. Gerry had done the cover for the second Zompoc Survivor book, Inferno. I knew what he was capable of, and most importantly, I knew him. If anyone could step in and stay true to Angie’s original design, it was Gerry. And even better, I ran into him again at a convention right before I finished Prom Knight. Someone was looking out for me, I’m sure. Gerry did a great job bringing the cover to life.
In early March, I also got some good news from my agent on a couple of fronts. The one I can mention is that there may be audiobooks coming soon. More news on that as I get it.
Prom Knight is doing well, and I’m working toward going full time again in a year or so. Until then, I have a plan and I’m following it. Life is good again, and I feel like I did back when I started this journey toward gainful unemployment as a writer. For everyone who is still along for the ride, thank you for sticking with me. I’m going to try to get back to posting regularly as I work toward once again being gainfully unemployed and writing for a living.