By Kristy McCaffrey
I must admit up front that I don’t usually share my writing goals/schedule for the year. It’s not that I don’t have them, it’s just that in the past I’ve often failed to meet these objectives, and I naturally like to keep my disappointment in myself to myself. But it occurred to me that maybe some of you might like to know what my plans are for the year, so I will swallow my trepidation and lay it all out. I can’t guarantee that each endeavor will reach fruition, but I will certainly try. My New Year’s resolution is to have a more structured writing schedule; fingers crossed that this will lead to the completion of more projects.
My biggest obstacle is/has been the wrestling matches I often have with the creative process. And fear. Most of you have never seen a first draft. Neither had I until I wrote my first one years ago. They can be terrifying things to behold, filled with bad prose, plot holes, and idiotic characters who say idiotic things. Editing fixes all of this, but each project must enter this realm, and there is still a part of me that will sometimes avoid a story (aka procrastinate) because a niggling voice will whisper, “You’re never going to get this to work.” That’s my other resolution this year: to forge ahead despite the fear.
So, here’s my 2018 schedule. I have an ambitious goal, which is to launch a new series in a new genre. The Pathway Series—contemporary adventure romances—will encompass full-length novels (and eventually tie-in novellas). I’m releasing Book 1 on February 26 (My husband’s birthday!! Happy birthday, honey!!). DEEP BLUE features Dr. Grace Mann as she attempts to freedive with great white sharks in Baja Mexico. Underwater filmmaker Alec Galloway is along to film a documentary about her. Despite my usual writerly insecurities, I had such fun developing this. If you like sexy, suspenseful stories that touch on relevant issues (the conservation of sharks), then I think you’ll enjoy this one. There will also be a tie-in novella, DEEP BLUE: AUSTRALIA (an additional adventure starring Grace and Alec), available exclusively at no cost to my newsletter subscribers.
The second Pathway novel, COLD HORIZON, should be out in the summer of 2018. It will follow Ty Galloway (Alec’s brother) as he attempts to summit the second highest mountain in the world—K2. On his team is Lindsey Coulson, a climber who is reentering the world of high-altitude climbing after a tragic accident. Because I had initially planned COLD HORIZON as Book 1, it’s already 2/3rds complete. But once I started mapping the series (there will be many books), I decided to write Alec and Grace’s story first. If all goes well, I’m shooting for a July release for CH.
I’ll be working on the third Pathway novel later in the year, ANCIENT WINDS. I really hope I can publish it by the end of 2018, but I’ll have to see how the writing progresses. This one will feature Brynn Galloway (Alec and Ty’s sister), an anthropologist who travels to Bolivia to locate a mysterious artifact. She’ll need the help of mercenary and all-around rogue Tristan Magee. (I’ve long wanted to write an Indiana Jones-themed novel, and this will finally be my chance.) I only have a bare outline for this story, so I’m not sure how long it will take to flesh out the details. I like to think I can fast track my writing, but that’s never been the case for me. It always seems that if I apply too much pressure to my creative well, it dries up quickly, flowing like molasses rather than a raging river. I may have to disappear come September to work on this one.
I didn’t want to completely abandon my western readers, so I’ve got a few small projects in the works. I’m in the process of sketching out a long novella in my Wings series featuring all the couples (except Molly Rose and Jake). I’d started working on this last year and couldn’t get it going, but I have plans to work more diligently on it in 2018. It’s tentatively titled THE SONGBIRD. Anticipated release date unknown at this point.
I’ve also wanted to write the third short novella in my Crow series. If you’ve read the first two (The Crow and the Coyote and The Crow and the Bear), then you might remember bounty hunter Kit Boggs, brother to Jack and Callum. The working title is A Whisper of Crows. If I can get it to my publisher by April, then you should have that one by Halloween.
And finally, I’ll be working once again on a contemporary cowboy anthology. This one will be Christmas-themed (so will be released some time in the fall) and will include the group of ladies I worked with in 2017 on A COWBOY TO KEEP, which featured my story Blue Sage. I’m currently throwing around ideas in my head for this long novella. More to come, so stay tuned.
There you have it—my schedule for 2018. It’s ambitious since I’ve never been a fast writer, but I’m ever hopeful that inspiration will visit me daily. Nah, I’m just kidding. Writing is a lot of work and the most important avenue to success has always been one thing—to consistently write every day.
I want to give a shout-out to my readers—you guys are so awesome, and I appreciate all your encouragement and support.
Now, it’s time to shoo self-doubt out the door and get to work. And I wish the same for each and every one of you.