2016 Book Forecast…

Hey guys!

So I’ve been reflecting on last year’s releases, trying to figure out what worked in terms of sales, what didn’t, and where I need to go from here. Last year’s plans for 2016 will have to shift a little, as I expected.

Here’s how it’s looking so far:

Series Works

Stirling Falls

AK-GimmeShelter-webReaders still like series! I still get regular interest in Stirling Falls books with periodic sales on Wild Horses and Sympathy for the Devil, so I am seriously looking at trying to get Gimmer Shelter written later this year. It’s going to require some research, so I’ll be looking into that later this month, and whether or not I can get that hands-on research in–and when–will decide when that book will be written. Maybe a fall release? I hope?

I also really want to do a second book about Tash and Devin from Sympathy Called the Devil. The premise involves Tash investigating the murder of someone close to her while Devin tries to reintegrate with a town who believed for years he was a serial killer. Also, there will be ropes and whips and nipple clamps, because of course there will. It’ll be called Paint it Black to go with my Rolling Stones theme, but that’s all I know for now and likely won’t get around to it until 2017 if I write it at all.

Guaranteed this year: Gimme Shelter is likely in the fall.

 

Midsummer Suspense

GoldAlso, the future of the Midsummer Suspense Tales series… I never know what to expect with these books; Cinders did well, but there was a gap that year with illnesses and family emergencies, and I only had one book out. With that momentum destroyed, it was a climb last year back up again. Beauty and Snow did okay, so I went ahead and released Beast…and to my immense surprise, readers seem to have dug it and sales, while not huge, have been steady the past couple of months.

Also, in talking with a writer friend about the series, I ended up deciding to extend it from six books to nine. Admittedly, I love doing fairy tales, and if readers continue buying them, I’ll keep writing them. I’ll be shuffling things around a little, and hope to continue writing them for the rest of this year and next, although because they’re standalone, if it seems like interest is petering out I can comfortably stop writing them.

Guaranteed this year: Gold, which I’m halfway through and will come out May 27, and likely Lost toward the end of the year.

 

Cats & Conjure

AlleyCat-KindletThese books…continue to not do well. Stray Cat Strut was my poorest selling release of last year. Alley Cat is up for pre-order. Right now pre-order numbers sit at…eleven copies. Yeah, ouch.

Addie and Erik’s story spans six novellas total. Three are out, one is coming soon, and there are two more planned that will be written, but I’ll have to see when I can squeeze it in. I promise I won’t leave regular readers hanging but appreciate understanding about the financial perils of writing and releasing these stories.

Guaranteed this year: Alley Cat on March 4. Hopefully Cat’s in the Cradle toward the fall but no promises.

 

Standalone

I was a little disappointed with The Book of Love‘s performance last year, both because it was super fun to write and because I genuinely thought it would be a book people would like with the humor and burned out romance writer premise. It keeps trucking along, though, and I’m looking at my list of other standalones I wanted to write.

One was I Who Have Nothing, which was originally supposed to be out with a publisher in 2013. It was delayed because it wasn’t done and then because I left my publisher. I still regularly get interest in it but the news is the same: the book has undergone extensive rewrites and still isn’t ready.

Guaranteed this year: If I release a non-series book this year, it’ll be this one, as I’m halfway through it, but I thought that last year so it’s by no means definite.

 

New Worlds

For a couple of years now, I’ve had a new romantic suspense series on my mind following the same couple for 3-4 books called Fox and Manning. The first is still in development and something I’m debating, but the thing I come back to is starting another series only to decide to retire from publishing.

Sales are never steady–anyone in publishing knows to never expect otherwise–but it’s a lot of time and money invested and I’m not sure if I can keep doing it. This tweet from last week?

Not an exaggeration. I’ve got a note to look over sales numbers vs expenses in the fall to see.

It’s reality and it’s not fun, but here we are; if it happens, I don’t want anyone to be surprised, which is why I’ve mentioned it. I won’t start a new series (especially not with a HFN ending on the first book) unless I’m sure I’m going to finish it because I love my supporters and wouldn’t leave them hanging. Fox and Manning will debut next year at the earliest if I decide to continue publishing as Asha King.

I’m also toying with some m/m ideas at the encouragement of a friend; if I pursue it, those works will be romantic suspense and written as Ashe Kingston. And will likely involve hot cowboys–I think Stirling Falls could use some m/m lovin’. This will be something I revisit toward the end of 2016 to see if I think it’ll be actually viable or not–investing in a new genre and new pen name is risky to say the least.

Guaranteed this year: Nada.

 

So…that’s what this year is looking like. I have a handy page devoted to 2016 releases that I’ll keep updated throughout the year. I hope this answers any reader questions that might be coming up about what-book-is-coming-when and, if not, just leave a comment here and I’ll try to answer.

 

Happy reading!

XO Asha

“Where is the next Circle of Friends book?” & Reader Questions

I think the number one search term that brings readers to my blog is “Still in Love with You” Asha King.

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? came out in May, Wild Horses was in June, and Broken Heart‘s sequel was due out last July.

Then that thing happened where I got grumpy and didn’t write for a while.

I tried to get back on the proverbial horse, I did. We’d aimed for Still in Love with You to come out in August. Then September. I mean, it’s a 16-17K word novella–it shouldn’t be that difficult to write, should it?

But I didn’t write a word for four months.

I don’t mean to harp on anything, folks. I know that 95% of the people reading this wouldn’t dream of pirating a book (which, as a friend once said, stealing from a writer is like stealing from a homeless person–we make so little money, it’s a terrible thing to do). And I don’t particularly want to even be talking about this, but I feel bad every time I see someone looking for a book that was promised but isn’t out yet. This is the reality I can’t help and it’s just one of the consequences of these things; every time I look at that doc, I just associate it with a particularly awful time in my writing life.

I also realized I much, much prefer romantic suspense to straight contemporary romance. I’m not as comfortable writing a non life-or-death conflict, and while many readers object to shorter novellas, I honestly have trouble trying to drag out relationship-based conflict when everyone just having a grownup conversation will suffice. It’s a great genre but I think I’m better at writing suspense.

So as it stands, Still in Love with You is still contracted, still in progress, and will still hopefully be released a few months from now. It’s just not the project I’m focusing on at this moment. I’d like to get some other work out there, both romantic suspense and a paranormal romance I’ve been plotting for a while.

What am I working on? Still plugging away at I Who Have Nothing, which I hope to finish by the end of the month and then see if my editor likes it, and afterward I’ll try to jump into Sympathy for the Devil–I’m pursuing some longer projects at the moment, which all take more time. I also signed an audiobook contract for Wild Horses so I might have news on that front soon.

But, lesson learned, I’m not going to give any projected dates or publicly mention deadlines, as anything can happen.

As always, thank you so much for reading and I hope you can join me for what I have planned for the new year.

-Asha

What I’m Working On: I WHO HAVE NOTHING

I’m actually working on a few things, but here’s a taste of what I’m hoping to bring you in the new year…

I Who Have Nothing

A man bent on revenge…


Darren Dallas watched his father die
at the hands of his corrupt business partner five years ago. He left law school,
gave up the life he was building, and descended into an underworld where drugs
and prostitution run rampant, struggling to survive as he seeks to bring his
father’s killer to justice. He’s had many close calls, but none as bad as when
he’s almost made by his target after following him into a nightclub and stands
face to face with a loaded gun wielded by a murderer.

A woman with a
secret…

Contemporary blues singer Ella Lockwood enjoys the local
club scene, with loyal fans following her show to show but able to fly under the
radar and enjoy her privacy. She never expected to see high school sweetheart
Darren Dallas again—not after she abruptly broke his heart several years ago,
and certainly not now in the club where she performs while a notorious thug
threatens to kill him.

Ella rescues her old flame with a lie, one that
throws them together and tangles her in the dangerous web he now lives in. Worse
still, the sparks are still there between them, and their rising desire is a
fire that threatens to consume them if Darren’s quest—and Ella’s past—doesn’t
kill them first.

This is to be a standalone contemporary romantic suspense. I LOVE working in this genre, actually–I like straight contemporary, but I found when I was writing the end of WILD HORSES that I really get a lot of joy out of that element of danger. Besides this, I’m looking forward to planning SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL for that very reason (yay, serial killer!)

 

Here’s a taste of what’s to come in the new book…

Darren stepped outside and raised his hood; the rain had picked up in
just the short time he’d been in the club, going from a mist to a drizzle, and from
there he anticipated a downpour. And he focused on that, on the feel of rain
hitting his face and pelting the top of his hood, because he was too numb to
think.

That was Helen Lockwood—Ella, Montanez had called her. It had
been years—seven or so, at least—since he’d seen her last but behind the long
hair, dangling earrings, and makeup, it was the same girl he knew as a teen.

Or thought he knew.

Heels clacked on the cement behind him in a rush and a moment later, six
feet outside the club, he felt her hand wrap around his arm.

“Oh,” she said, her volume loud as she caught up, “honey, you didn’t
have to go looking for a taxi. We can walk.”

She tightened her grip, nearly jerking him to a halt. He slowed then
came to a stop with a heavy sigh, staring straight ahead instead of at her.

“What the hell are you doing?” she whispered as she leaned close. “Do
you know who you were talking to?”

“None of your business.” Sure, he’d tried to move in too soon—tried to
grab an opportunity and been caught. Montanez might’ve recognized him
eventually. Marco most definitely was a problem.

But he wasn’t going to admit that to her.

“Listen to me…” She shifted to his side and grasped his jacket lapels,
drawing him closer. “Two weeks ago, Andrews beat a man into unconsciousness
outside the Blue Horizon after it closed. And the witnesses mysteriously forgot
everything they saw. You don’t mess—”

He stiffened and tried to pull back, but she held him tight.

“Damn it, Darren, look.” Her eyes flickered to the side pointedly
and she raised one of her brows.

Darren focused on his peripheral vision and saw the figure she
indicated: Marco Andrews stood outside the club, watching their conversation.

Her face was scant inches below his now, close enough he could smell her
spicy perfume. “If they think I was lying, they’ll question why I was
lying.”

He nearly snapped a comment about how he didn’t ask her to get
involved, but as he stared down at her, he swallowed back the words.

Helen—Ella—gazed up at him from under the hood of her black
pleather jacket. Her expressive brown eyes were wide, almost hopeful, and
definitely concerned. She hadn’t changed much, still with thick black lashes that
looked almost unreal, large lips he remembered, with a pang, how good it felt
to kiss.

For a moment the numbness cracked and with it everything pierced him
again—the fear, the guilt, and now the near-painful love he’d felt for her so
long ago. He shoved it back down again but memory remained, like staring into a
bright light and seeing lingering spots when plunged into darkness again.

The sight of her tore at him and his first instinct was to take off and
disappear into the night of rain and strangers around them. Staying, even if
only briefly, would lead to words—conversations he didn’t want to get into,
long-held arguments he didn’t want to have. Helen Lockwood had once broken his
heart and no matter the intervening years or a changed name, that’s who she
would always be to him.

But for now, he owed her thanks, and wouldn’t put her at further risk.
The charade could go on a short while longer.

Darren raised his arm and slipped it over her shoulder, drawing her to
him, and they walked through the thickening downpour.