I’ve been dreading writing this post. So, I’m just going to rip off the bad news quick like a band-aid: the release date for Wicked Bite, the second Night Rebel novel featuring Ian and Veritas, has been pushed back from July 30th to January 28, 2020.
Ouch. Saying that hurt as much as I knew it would.
Short version of why Wicked Bite got pushed back: I’m not done writing it yet, and my publisher (any traditional publisher) requires several months at least to process a book after it’s turned in. It’s not just a matter of releasing Wicked Bite as soon as it’s gone through edits. My publisher has a lot of other books in their queue, so they had to find an opening. This required considerable juggling and I’m very grateful to them. Contractually, Avon could’ve waited until 2021 to release Wicked Bite, so they really hustled to get it into readers’ hands by slotting it in January 2020.
Why aren’t you done writing it yet, Jeaniene?
Another short answer for those who don’t want details: there was something wrong with it.
Long answer for those of you who do want details:
It takes me about nine to eleven months to write a book. Yes, other authors can do it much faster, but I can’t, and I am in continual denial about this. That’s why, after I turned in Shades of Wicked last year, I told my publisher I would have Wicked Bite done in six to eight months. Thus, they scheduled my July 30th release date.
Sigh. It almost worked. It would have been a tight turnaround time revisions-wise, but it was doable. However, as I was writing Wicked Bite, something kept feeling…off. I couldn’t put my finger on what. I kept combing through the pages trying to find the problem, and rewriting when I thought I had found it, but still, that “off” feeling persisted. It was so frustrating. Ever spent several minutes searching your pantry for an item you knew was there, but you just couldn’t seem to see it? That’s what it felt like, multiplied by months.
Eventually – much like when I yell to my husband “Where’s the ketchup? I know it’s in here!” and he comes over to look – I asked for help. In this case, I asked BFF and fellow author Ilona Andrews. I sent her everything I’d written and asked her to please find what was wrong.
Much like when my husband points to the ketchup bottle on the same shelf I’d been repeatedly searching, it didn’t take Ilona long. Also, much like that ketchup bottle, as soon as it was pointed out, I could suddenly see it, too. But unlike the “Here it is!” relief with the ketchup bottle, this wasn’t a quick fix. What was wrong with the book would require an extensive re-write.
Reader, I cried. My “turn in or else” deadline was too close to do that and keep my July 30th release date. I could either keep writing as fast as I could and HOPE I had time to fix it during my quick-turnaround revisions, or I could stop writing to revise it, which meant losing my summer release date, losing the money that came along with it (half my advance is held up until after publication) and disappointing all the readers who already thought July 30th was too far away.
Okay, I might have cried a lot. Poor Ilona. She’d only done what I asked her to do. She’d even stopped working on her own book to do it, and how did I thank her? Hiccup tears.
Anyway, after I hung up with Ilona, I thought about what to do. It didn’t take long. I’ve always told readers I couldn’t promise that they’d like my books, but I could promise that my books represented my best effort. I’m not breaking that promise now. I’d much rather have readers mad at me for a publication delay than mad at me for knowingly giving them a sub-par book.
So, I stopped writing and revised. It took a while, but now, I’m going forward without that horrible “something is wrong” feeling. I can’t tell you what a difference that makes. Please know that I am sorry for the release date being pushed back. I really am. But I’m not sorry that I’m going to give you a better book because of it. After all, I didn’t start writing just to push out books as fast as I could. I did it to share the characters and stories inside me. They deserve my best effort and so do you, readers. Always.
Hugs, apologies, and hugs again,