If you're like me and perpetually forget to check out the blogs you love on the individual websites (let's be honest, I forget to post, too!), you might be using the BlogLovin app to follow them. And now you can follow our blog on there, too!
Since I'm new to this whole blog thing still (what's an RSS feed??), definitely let me know in the comments if there's another blog network/app that I should join and add our posts to. Anything we can do to facilitate getting our news and info to you guys, we're on board with.
Wow, 2015 has already been so crazy, and so much has changed in our plans for the books, that I wanted to update everyone!
So we started off the year with releasing Platinum Prey. With a formatting issue that wasn't immediately resolved because we were visiting my family for the holidays, Platinum Prey didn't come out until Jan. 1, five days late. The upswing of this? We get to count it as a 2015 release!
As soon as we got back from our holiday, it was full steam ahead on Inescapable! Because I know for a fact that not all readers picked up Exiled, because it wasn't from Talia's POV, when I started writing Inescapable, I felt like I needed to recap what happened. For those who did read it, everything was completely different on Talia's end of things, and the struggles that both Erik and Penny are going through because of the Created drug needed to be discussed, since they do play a pivotal part in what is to come. Of course, I ended up writing about 40,000 words (almost 200 pages!) to cover everything as succinctly as possible before I could even get in to the meat of Inescapable's story.
And then I freaked out a little. I mean, that was half the book, almost. If I continued on with everything that I have planned for Inescapable, it would be a 600 page book, minimum. And what if people who read Exiled hated this, because they already know what happens, and don't really care to get Talia and Erik's POV on it all? What if everyone just wanted us to jump in to the action? On the other hand, what if I scrapped it, and then lots of people were confused, because they didn't understand what had been happening from Talia's POV, and what was going on with Erik?
So we discussed this for hours, over the span of days, and finally decided that there was only one thing to do: Write all of that and release it, but not as Inescapable. That was the birth of Unforgettable. It's called number 4.5 for two reasons: Because we didn't want to confuse everyone, since we've announcing book 5 is Inescapable, but also to make it a little side detour, if those who've read Exiled don't feel the need to take the jaunt. Obviously reading this will make things in Inescapable much clearer, and ensure that everyone is caught up on Talia's world and all of her new struggles, but it's also not *necessary*.
I will say this- it breaks my heart a little to go this way, just because I was thrilled to *finally* be getting Inescapable out, but I also didn't want to put out something that either confused people who didn't read Exiled, or felt redundant to those who had. Originally, Unforgettable was just going to be a short novel that came out on Valentine's Day (there's a lot of ship love in it!), but of course that never happens with these books :) Somehow there's always so much story to tell that it turned in to a full-length novel, coming in at around 350 pages.
As disappointing as this may be to many of you, who have been loyally waiting for Inescapable for just over a year, I hope you'll enjoy a little silver lining- as I was writing and developing this book, I realized that there is still SO much story left to complete Talia's journey, where I see it all going. So yes, if you haven't heard- there will be at least one more book after Inescapable, probably two. I know some readers may balk and see this as us milking our most popular series, but I assure you that couldn't be further from the truth. As a writer, I do want that satisfaction of finally completing a series! But I do feel like everything that is happening in the Talented world deserves to be told in full, instead of just cutting it off for the sake of releasing the final book. I think you'll understand more once you read Unforgettable, and hope you'll agree! There is still so much left to tell <3 For the blurb, cover, and preorder links, click here. (Did you know that pre-ordering your favorite authors' books does a TON of good stuff for them? True Story.)
With that, obviously my release schedule is way off track for this year. As a writer, I feel like I have to let the stories take me where they will, whatever the consequences. As a business woman trying to do this all on my own, so that I *can* let the stories guide me, it makes me very nervous to have to push things all around again. But after spending the last two months writing and editing Unforgettable (my fastest book start-to-finish!), it's simply something that has to happen.
So Unforgettable comes out March 3. As soon as that finishes, I have to focus on BEA and BookCon for a couple of months. A LOT goes into it, but I'm also hoping to write a draft of the first book in the Syndicate series to have with me there, to talk to some agents about it. By no means am I planning on traditionally publishing this series, since I think it would be really really difficult to give up so much control over my work, but we do want to explore our options. The good news is that, unless somehow someone gives us an insane offer on it, this book that I am SO excited about will be released this summer! While I don't want to start another series with so many in the works, we really do want to get some feedback on it during BEA and check out any options we might have.
Then, post-BEA, we're trying to decide what to jump in to next: either Inescapable, or Vacant Voices. Whichever one happens, the other will be the next :) We like to allow ourselves enough time to do the stories justice, so we don't want to guarantee anything, but it is our hope that we will also release Sacrifice at the end of the year. It's crazy how quickly a year goes by when planning it out in terms of book releases! If we are somehow able to get all of those in, it will be by far our most prolific year yet. I know that some indie authors are able to write and release a book in a month, and I am so impressed by that, but the fact is that we marinate a lot, and build storylines and layers as we write, as things comes to us, so I don't ever want to sacrifice quality for quantity (NOT saying that those authors do- just that we would need to). The Inescapable sequel will then be coming out at the beginning of 2016 (we definitely don't ever want more than six months to pass again w/o a Talented release).
So here are my questions for you- answer them in the comments, and someone will receive a signed book of their choice!!
- Which book do you want to see this summer: Inescapable or Vacant Voices??
- I'm posting the synopsis for the Syndicate series below- pitch an idea for a title!!
Can't wait to see what you guys say! And definitely chime in with your thoughts on everything else- I love getting feedback, and definitely value the opinions of all of my readers. That's one of the best things about being an indie- I can let you guys steer where we go! As always, thank you for your support and unending loyalty <3
xoxo, Sophie Davis
The Syndicate, book one:
In a future where time travel has been outlawed, a black market exists for anyone with the money, connections, and nerve to request items from days past. As a Runner for one of the underground syndicates that now controls the timewaves, Stassi 5623 has seen it all: the fall of Rome, the rise of Hitler, the end of democracy, the establishment of time tourism, and the devastating consequences of it. Stassi’s job is to seamlessly slip through the past, in search of items of value to the syndicate's clientele.
Despite the generous pay and lavish lifestyle that comes with being a Runner, Stassi had her own reasons for joining the syndicate. Like many of the kids raised in work camps, Stassi’s memories of her parents and their warm, happy home are vague, faint at best. For her, traveling through the past is the only way to uncover their identities. With only an ancestral locket to guide her, Stassi chases its origins through centuries and generations, praying it will lead to her parents.
If Stassi does manage to find them, will she have the strength to return to a present in which they don't exist? Or will she risk tearing the fabric of time to time to ensure a future in which they do?
Quick 2014 Recap and 2015 Plans (including Inescapable, Vacant Voices, BEA and BookCon, Platinum Prey Release, and the first-ever look at my upcoming book, the first in The Syndicate series: Daughter of Time)
Basically, you don't want to miss this!
~We know this is a long blog post, so feel free to scroll down for the Cliff's Notes, and also a chance to win autographed paperbacks of the whole Blind Barriers series!~
Once upon a time, way back in Summer 2013, we sat down one night and started talking about how cool it would be to write a mystery/thriller. The convo went a little something like this (just to clarify- this is not myself speaking to a voice in my head. "Sophie Davis" is a duo. You knew that, right?? Yes, our names went perfectly together!)
Sophie: You know what I've always wanted to write?
Sophie: A mystery/thriller book. Wouldn't that be totally awesome?
Davis: OMG. Me, too! It would be a lot of fun.
Sophie: Excellent. What should it be about?
Davis: Um, well, I dunno. A chick that disappears maybe.
Sophie: Okay. Where does she go?
Davis: Well that's the mystery, isn't it? Duh
From this deep and intellectual conversation, somehow, Blind Barriers was born.
After figuring out the storyline, with all of its layers and happenings, it was apparent this wasn't going to all fit in to one book. At least, not one that was any normal length. So, our next conundrum was whether to release the book as a stand alone, single novel, with a word count in the 400K range (think all four Talented novels put together). Or as a trilogy. Or in an interesting new, emerging format. That conversation went something like this:
Sophie: So, how are we going to do this? With everything that happens, it would be one SUPER long novel...
Davis: I dunno. I mean, we could do it as three. Like a trilogy or whatever.
Sophie 1: Okay. Well, how should we divide up the story? Do you think there will be natural breaks?
Sophie: WAIT! I have a totally awesome idea.
Sophie: Let's do it as a serial series. We could put out a short installment every month.
Davis: Done! I love it. Let's do the damn thing.
Well, as some of you know, that 'totally awesome idea' didn't pan out so well. For a number of reasons:
1- You guys aren't big fans of the length
2- You also don't like that the serials just end, without solving the mystery in 75 pages.
3- Life made it entirely impossible to put out one edition every month. In fact, it's been 12 months and we've put out three (for one reason or another, we've had to do two books in the middle of trying to do these...but you know you're glad Created and Exiled are out!)
SO, moving forward, we will not be releasing short installments for the Blind Barriers books. Instead, we will be releasing two more books total. Each will be approximately the length of Blind Barriers Collection One i.e. Blind Barriers, Courting Chaos, and Fragile Facade combined. The next release will pick up exactly where the BB Collection One/Fragile Facade ended and continue with the same format: alternating sections from Lark's and Raven's POVs.
Our next discussion, re: the cover of Blind Barriers Collection One:
Davis: Dude. I'm on Netgalley and a bunch of people are giving the Blind Barriers Collection One cover a thumb's down.
Sophie: I'm guessing a thumb's down is bad, huh?
Davis: It's like the opposite of a thumbs up. Or liking something on facebook.
Sophie: Got it. Well that sucks.
Davis: I know, right? I really love that cover. I dunno what to do.
Sophie: So do I.
Davis: But it's probably better that the readers love it, huh?
Sophie: I dunno. Do you want people to buy the book?
Davis: Are you seriously asking me that?
Sophie: Then we'll have to change the cover.
From there, we (Sophie Davis) found ourselves in a quandry over what to name the books now that we were only releasing two more. We had picked out 9 titles originally since there was suppossed to be 9 serial editions. Instead of just picking our two favorite from the remaining six, unused titles, we randomly decided that Misery, Misery and Whisper, Whisper were WAY cooler and that we wanted to use them. BUT the problem with that was....
Davis: I'm not sure about switching the title format for the second two books.
Sophie: Why not? And isn't it the same format. Two words?
Davis: I dunno. I like stuff to match. And no. Blind Barriers is alliteration. Misery Misery is a repetiton.
Sophie: I love alliteration.
Davis: Me, too. But right now we're talking about repeating a word. So, quick, think up a word that sounds cool being repeated. Preferably one that starts with a letter before M.
Davis: Like Liar, Liar.
Sophie: You mean that Jim Carey movie?
Davis: Exactly. That's why we aren't using Liar, Liar. I'm just giving you an example.
Sophie: Got it. Problem. Isn't changing the title going to confuse people?
Davis: Yeah. I'm not sure how to handle that. I don't want people to buy not-Liar, Liar if they already have Blind Barriers Coll. One.
Sophie: I KNOW! We should write a blog post it. That way it won't be confusing.
Davis: You're so smart.
Yes, as you can tell, we never did come up with a title during this conversation. In fact, we're having a really hard time coming up with one. But the moment we decide, we'll let you know. With a blog post, of course.
But at least now you all know that we decided to change the format, cover, and title of the Blind Barriers Collection One. The only thing we know about the title is that it won't be Blind Barriers, though the Trilogy will still bear that name. But we very much wanted the books to all have repetitious titles, as opposed to having one with alliteration (Blind Barriers) and two with repetition (Misery, Misery & Whisper, Whisper).
~So, here are the Cliff's Notes of this blog post:
1. Blind Barriers, the Serial Series is out.
2. Blind Barriers, the Trilogy is in.
3. Blind Barriers Collection One, which includes Blind Barriers, Courting Chaos, and Fragile Facade is about to become TBD, TBD (Blind Barriers Book 1).
4. The second book in the Blind Barriers series will be Misery, Misery (Blind Barriers Trilogy, Book 2).
5. The third and final book in the Blind Barriers series will be Whisper, Whisper (Blind Barriers Trilogy, Book 3).
6. We need your help to decide on the first title!!
If you have suggestions for the title, please comment below! Be sure it sounds good (say it out loud) when repeated.
~If we use the title you come up with, we will send you an autographed paperback of it once it has the new cover and title, PLUS autographed copies of the other two paperbacks in the trilogy once they come out!
~If we don't use it, we still really really appreciate your trying to help us, and you'll get an autographed version of the ebook once it has the new title and cover!**
Feel free to give us several good options! Remember, it's a mystery, so it should be something with some intrigue, etc. The book is about a girl who has gone missing, and another girl who is searching for her. (Ideally we would call it Gone, Gone, but don't want people to think we're ripping off Gone Girl).
Check back soon for updates and the announcement of the actual title!
Happy Reading and Lots of Love,
Sophie and Davis <3
**Autographed ebooks will only be sent to those who suggest comments before we announce the new title! So get to work on your suggestions ASAP!
I don't have a lot of free time these days to read. Which is a shame because for as long as I can remember, I have loved reading--traveling to new worlds, getting lost in other people's lives, catching a glimpse of a time centuries before I was born or decades after I die. There is nothing more exciting to me than opening a brand new book and starting a new journey. Meeting new characters. Discovering new places. The race to the end of the book because I just can't wait to find out how it all ends. These are the reasons that, even though I am not reading as much, I still buy a TON of books. My TBR pile is like the leaning tower of Pisa.
Oddly, when I do get some down time, however, I find that I never go to that enormous TBR pile anymore. No, instead, I reach for my comfort books. The ones that I've read so many times that I can recite entire passages from memory. The ones that I've spilled coffee on. The ones that Phi Phi has chewed the corners of because I fell asleep holding the book instead of her (she's my poodle). The ones where the characters feel like real friends that make you want to laugh, cry, and, at times, throw them across the room. The ones where you want to ask the author why he/she dressed his/her main character in a blue dress in that obscure scene when you, the reader, really feel as though the character is a green dress sort of girl. Not a blue dress sort of girl, as they, the author and creator of said character, implied by putting them in the blue dress.
For me, these are usually books I REALLY enjoy, but, strangely, not my absolute favorites of all time--with one or two exceptions. Yes, I have a lot of all-time favorites. For a long time I have wondered why this is. Why is it that The Parable of the Sower is my favorite book ever, yet I've only read it once? As where, there are some that I read over and over and over and over again that I only sort of like. I won't name names. But I'll say this: There is a certain, long-running series with a female investigator that while I LOVED the first couple of books, the last like 20 have only been so-so. Still, I have read each one at least 12 times.
Is it because, like with an overplayed song on the radio, I am afraid that I will wear out the book's appeal by reading it too many times? Is it because I'm worried that if I read it too many times and too closely that I'll discover even the tiniest flaw in the plot or invent one that doesn't exist?
I don't know. But I promise if I ever figure it out, I'll let y'all know.
I am the same way with television shows and movies. I have my go-to shows that every so often I start at the beginning and binge watch all twenty-two episodes of all eight episodes. I'll even stay up all night watching these shows that I've seen multiple times--why, you ask? I couldn't tell you. I know how they end. I know who dies, gets married, has a scandalous affair with her English teacher, etc.
For those of you who follow us on Social Media you may have already figured this out--that our new book releases are all cursed.
Laugh if you like, which you should. But it's true. Every planned release we've had, starting with Pawn in April 2013, has been accompanied by something unfortunate. Three weeks before the Pawn release, I cracked one of my wisdom teeth. Because we were in the finishing stages of revisions, and I am great at ignoring things I don't want to deal with, I didn't go to the dentist right away. Fast-forward to two weeks before the Pawn release. From ignoring the pain in my face, I developed a raging infection that necessitated the immediate removal of all four of my wisdom teeth. The oral surgeon of course gave me pain medication that I ultimately couldn't stomach, and, well, let's just say I still can't drink peach tea or eat applesauce because without getting queasy.
The Created release, initially slated for June/July of 2013, coincided with learning that my father's cancer had spread to his heart. His health declined rapidly in the following weeks, until he eventually lost his nearly three year battle with the disease in August 2013. As a result, I was not in the right frame of mind to finish and/or revise Created and the release had to be pushed to November.
When we originally came up with the idea for Blind Barriers and decided to write it as a serial series, we thought that it would be no problem to release an installment every 4-6 weeks. And it wouldn't have been had the above-mentioned incidents not occurred. Then, when we finally came within days of being ready to release Courting Chaos, I found out that I needed emergency surgery. I ended up finishing Courting Chaos while recovering at a hotel near the hospital.
The next installment, Fragile Facade, should have been released in February 2014. One of our dogs, Humphrey, fell ill. After several hurried days of vet visits and tough decisions, he passed away, nearly seven years to the day after becoming a part of our little family.
Our most recent release, Exiled, has been by far the most cursed of them all. From an unplanned surgery, to our little man, Charlie the Pomeranian, battling one illness after another, until he ultimately lost his fight and went to join Humphrey in the big doggie park in the sky. Suffice it to say, the last year has been one of the hardest, most trying times in our lives.
Why am I telling you these sad tales of woe, you ask?
To let you know why we are unlikely to announce release dates in advance in the future. We plan to keep all of you, the readers, as up-to-date and in-the-know as possible with respect to our progress on the next book in each series. BUT we will not be announcing a firm release date until all revisions, proofreading, copyediting, etc. are complete. We apologize for those of you who like to mark your calendars--we do, too!--but we feel that it is best. And yes, for those of you wondering, we are extremely superstitious people ;-)
Hey all my lovies,
You're probably wondering where Exiled is. It's on my laptop, just pages away from being finished. Sadly, it's at exactly the same point it was eight days ago.
As some of you know, I had surgery two weeks ago. It went pretty well, and I was able to work on Exiled while recovering at a hotel by the hospital. But a couple weeks before I went in, my dog was pretty sick with pneumonia. After five days in an oxygen tent, he came home and was quickly back to his happy, funny, normal self, to my great relief. I'm sure you have all seen the pics of him, the little toy Pomeranian, and know how much I absolutely love and adore him.
The day after I got home from the hotel, I had to take him to the emergency vet, but he was much better afterwards. The next day he had four seizures. The day after, he died in my arms on our way back to the vet. It was the hardest thing I've ever personally been through, after eight years with my sweet little guy.
Some of you also know that we'd been planning a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate my thirtieth birthday. It was the last thing I wanted to do four days after losing him, but- after a lot of convincing from my family and Tabs- I got on the plane on Sat, and came out west for a relaxing and fun celebration. And of course, they were right. It has been a great distraction, tho I think of him constantly.
All of this is to say that yes, Exiled is coming, but sometimes the rest of life overwhelms the writing part. I am going to enjoy the pool, the tigers and dolphins, zip lining over the old strip, flying little people bartenders, and of course the craps tables for a few days. Then, I'll be finishing the last bit of the book. I'm sorry it's another delay in the release, but I promise, it's coming. I know we should plan several extra months in the timeline, to account for stuff like this, but I don't want to hold on to a book when I'm finished with it- I want to share it with you guys! We'll figure it out as we all move forward together in this crazy world of indie publishing.
Thank you all for the love and support you all always show. And thank you guys so much for the bday wishes!! I've been so overwhelmed by all of the sweet messages and thoughts today. I love you guys, you're the best!!