lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Working on the Masterpiece November 7, 2019

I’ve been writing for a while now. With around twenty books under my belt, I’ve been through the full range of author emotions.

From the overwhelming fear that everyone is going to hate your work, to the imposter syndrome when people say your work is great, I thought I had done it all.

Apparently not.

I’ve been working on my new Ena of Ilbrea series. It’s a project I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but when I was working with my traditional publishers, I didn’t have the freedom. And when I went Indie in January, I didn’t have time.

But I’ve finally gone through rereleasing my whole backlist, and I’m diving headfirst into Ena’s world. And I’m really proud of it.

Not just like I love the characters and want readers to love them, too. Not like I’m pretty sure I came up with a clever concept that readers can escape into. Like I am damn proud of the whole package, and I’m like 95% sure people are going to fall in love with the series.

I think that and then I get a little terrified that I’m wrong and people are going to hate it. But then I work on editing the series some more and I’m like, “Nope, this is great.”

Is this what it feels like to create a masterpiece? Is this what is feels like to set yourself up for a massive fail?

I don’t honestly know. I’m just going to enjoy the feeling while it lasts and plug away at planning an awesome book release for book one in the series, Wrath and Wing.

 

The End of the Story August 26, 2019

It is the end of a long and rocky era. The final book in The Tethering series has been published!

The amount of work it took to get The Tethering series from the first scribbles in a notebook to four published books was…painfully monumental.

Though, I will have to say, seeing the charts as The Tethering goes out to thousands of readers definitely makes the tears worthwhile.

The Tethering by Megan O'Russell

When I started writing The Tethering, I was literally writing in a notebook. I was super pleased if I could scrawl out a few pages a day. I would write the scene I wanted to write instead of forcing myself to go in chronological order. I had no idea that head hopping was a thing, let alone a problem. I didn’t know that being an indie author was an option. And I didn’t know if anyone besides my husband and my mother would ever want to read anything I had written.

Now over 60,000 people have downloaded my books.

That is completely insane to me.

I love writing. I love hanging out with my characters and my keyboard. I love being a part of the author community, which is so genuinely supportive it’s a little insane sometimes.

I won’t lie and say it’s all sunshine and roses. The husband and I have had to make a lot of hard choices to fit the massive amount of work my career as an author brings into our lives. I work, like, fourteen hours a day most of the time, and things that I really like to do (like blogging here) have fallen by the wayside.

Building a dream takes a lot of work, and I’m in it for the long haul. From the scribbled notebooks to answering emails from readers, things have changed a lot. But at the heart of it all, and whatever the format may be, I love storytelling. And that is exactly how I have the privilege of spending my time.

 

Worth the Work July 26, 2019

This year has been a lot.

It started with separating from both of my publishers, which was a really tough thing to deal with. But being on my own gave me the push I needed to dive into Indie Author life.

And I dove in deep. These are the proofs of all the books I’ve published/republished so far in 2019.

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I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep. I actually haven’t been doing much of anything but working. All the working.

But this past Tuesday, book three in The Tethering series, The Dragon Unbound, was released. Readers have been waiting for this book for four years. The amount of time I spent in college, people have been waiting for this book. (more…)

 

Voices from the Void March 20, 2019

Writing can be a very lonely pursuit. Even though I’m in constant contact with other authors, editors, cover artists. Answering emails, messaging on Twitter, responding to Facebook posts. It still sort of feels like your tossing your baby into the void.

It takes me between 1-3 months to write a book. That’s just the actual typing the word count portion of the process. The planning beforehand and editing after take a whole lot longer. Take all that time and multiply it by the number of books in a series. All those hours of plotting, writing, polishing, then you just toss this book baby out into the cold cruel world of the internet and hope its wings are strong enough to fly.

But even if the book is doing well, there’s still this constant fear of the void.

Now that I’ve gone Indie, I can see the download numbers for Girl of Glass. I can track the daily data down to what country the downloads are coming from. Thousands of people have downloaded Girl of Glass since its release less than a month ago. Like…multiple thousands.

But I don’t know if any of them have actually read the book. I don’t know if they’ve fallen in love with Nola’s giant heart. I don’t know if they think Jeremy or Kieran is a better match for her. I just don’t know!

And it’s maddening. (more…)

 

Lessons I Wish I’d Learned February 15, 2019

I can sew on a button. I can almost manage to do my taxes on my own. I’ve consistently worked in my chosen field since leaving college. There are areas I’m lacking that could improve if I really wanted to put the effort into learning.

Like how to change a tire. How to cook. How to clean up the desktop of my computer so I can actually find files when I need them.

But there are some topics in which the information is so spread out across so many different resources, it’s hard to figure out what the actual best practice is.

Let’s look at it at a base level. If you’re going on a trip to Disney World and you want to know what the best order to ride the rides is in order to avoid the worst of the lines: If you Google it, you’re going to get twelve different answers. Of course, if there were one definitive answer, it would be out of date as soon as everyone read the list and started flocking to the same places in the same order. (more…)

 

The Trouble with Taxes January 25, 2019

I have never claimed to be the best at adulting. There are several areas of basic skills that I’ve never mastered. I’m a hazard in the kitchen, I don’t know anything about cars, and the only way I know to fix household appliances is to call a repairman.

I am, however, used to being smart enough to understand things. My brain is currently failing me.

For the past several years, I’ve done taxes for the husband and me. Not exactly the most glamorous chore, but I liked getting everything done. Each year, things got a bit tougher. We started getting 1099s, we had more specialty acting deductions. But I muddled through, with a ton of help from the husband, who was tasked with tracking receipts.

Then I arrived at this year’s taxes. I knew the code had changed, so I started doing a bit of research… and fell down a black hole of doom. Most of the tax write offs actors used to have—classes, show makeup, dance shoes—were gone. I had figured that much out just by listening to my fellows freak out about how to pay for everything if it wasn’t going to be a write off. But then I got stuck on one simple question, how does standard meal allowance, or M&IE (federal meals and incidental expense) work now? (more…)

 

A New Beginning December 14, 2018

I have the unfortunate duty of announcing that the Girl of Glass series is going on a temporary hiatus.

I found out this week that the publisher for the Girl of Glass series will be shuttering its doors. The eBooks for Girl of Glass and Boy of Blood have already been pulled from retailers. On the plus side, the publisher seems to be handling the closure in a responsible manner. I have been promised a reversion of rights letter.

With that document, I will have the ability to re-release Girl of Glass on my own. Rather than shop the series out to new publishers, a process that could delay the continuation of the series for years, I have chosen to take the project into my own hands.

If all the paperwork goes well, Girl of Glass and Boy of Blood will be back in circulation this spring with book three in the series, Night of Never, coming out this summer.

I’m looking forward to this exciting new adventure in publishing, and I hope you will join me as Nola ventures back out into the world.

Thank you as ever for your support.

P.S. Don’t forget to hang on to your old copies of Girl of Glass. Those covers will not be reprinted, so who knows? The books could be collectors’ items someday.