On Writing Personal Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Update: Why I haven’t been publishing anything.

Dear Highly Valued Reader,

Since I wrapped up my Crystal series back in 2016, I’ve been promising a season 2. Alas, I got side-tracked by other ideas and other series.

But I knew it was time to start writing more Crystal books when snippets of banter between Alejandro and Max kept popping into my mind!!!

To make this happen, I decided to hibernate and focus on finishing the two series that I was midway through (Saints and Sinners & The Lincolns). I’ve been pretty quiet since I released Unholy Ground (Saints and Sinners 3) back in January. That’s because I’ve been doing just that: hibernating and writing NONSTOP.

Need proof? The books I’ve written so far this year are:

  1. Irredeemable (Saints and Sinners 4)
  2. Curveball (Saints and Sinners 5)
  3. Justice (Saints and Sinners 6)
  4. Untitled (The Lincolns 10) – Salem Lincoln (it isn’t really untitled but if I mention the title you’ll all guess what’s wrong with him 😃)
  5. The Magician (The Lincolns 11) – Xy Lincoln
  6. The Televangelist (The Lincolns 12) – Hades Lincoln
  7. The Red Robe (The Lincolns 13) – Jared Lincoln
  8. Prophecy (Crystal 10)
  9. Untitled (Crystal 11)
  10. Untitled (Crystal 12)

Currently writing: Untitled (Crystal 13)

Please note: all titles listed are tentative.

You may be wondering how I’ve managed to write that many books this year. Well, I’ve been writing like I’m on drugs. My husband has been sniffing my breath just to make sure I’m sober, ha ha. But guess what? I’m LOVING this level of productivity.

However, writing so fast is hard work. It means I have to plot books in intricate detail so that writing is mindless and I don’t have to stop to think. I have to have each scene outlined and I have to know exactly where the book is going. It also means that in my spare time I’m reading lots of other books as reading awesome literature keeps me fresh and sparks my own creativity. I’m also watching movies, reading books/listening to podcasts about story-structure and storytelling devices/techniques, and other things that only obsessed storytellers bother with.

It also means trying to edit and publish isn’t realistic 😭😭😭

I’ve been trying to edit ‘Untitled’ (Salem’s book) and I’m about 60% through the first edit (2 more rounds of editing to go) and it’s affecting my writing.

Image result for wonder womanI initially thought I’d be able to edit/publish while writing this fast but I always think I’m Wonder Woman. I’m not.

Besides being an author, I’m also supposed to be a wife and a mother to two kids that I should really spend time with. Also, praying and reading my bible are habits that I just have to keep up. I can’t negotiate on that. I’m waking up at 4am each morning as it is. (5.30am is the absolute latest I can allow) or I won’t get everything done that I need to.

Creativity takes time. But don’t feel sorry for me, guys. I’m enjoying this so much. It’s my calling and it energizes rather than drains me. My goal is to publish 100 books before age 40. I’m in my early thirties and decided in January, when I had my birthday, that I don’t have to let this drag out until I’m forty. I’m a motivational video/personal development junkie and I heard a quote that you should take your 10-year goal and see what you can do to achieve it in 6 months!!! I cannot hit book 100 in 6 months. But I could possibly hit it by this time next year. I’m currently writing my 57th book so 43 left. Woohoo!!! 💃💃💃

I gave myself this ‘100 books by 40’ goal because I currently have 180 books on my ‘to be written’ list. The thought of getting to the end of my life and not writing them all troubles me. But I’ve decided that if I can write 100 of them, that’ll be pretty cool.

Really Sorry…

Image result for pleadingSoo…I’m asking for your forgiveness if you’re one of the people who has emailed me this year to ask when my next book will be out and I told you it’ll be out in the summer. It won’t. At the moment I’m thinking it’ll be next year. But who knows, I could burn out within a few months and decide to stop writing and start editing/publishing, or I might stay focused and make it to book 100 by this time next year (that’s the target).

If you’re thinking that writing that many books in twelve months is crazy. It is. But it’s not as crazy as you think if you consider the fact that I’m dictating the books (not typing. Typing forty-something books before now has pretty much ruined my wrists). I’m also a full-time author so this is my ‘day job’. Also, none of these books will be the finished article by any stretch of the imagination. Each one of them is a very messy first draft that I will need to later mold into something readable, and they will each have to go through three rounds of editing (It’ll probably take me like five years to actually publish them all). I’m literally just blitzing out my first drafts since the mood to do so has taken me.

Stay in Touch

Image result for stay in touchAnyhow, I need your prayers. Also, I invite you to email me whenever you want and keep me accountable, check on my progress, ask me what book I’m currently writing and how it’s going. I will happily tell you.

If you’ve been dying to know what’s wrong with Salem, let me know and I’ll tell you. It isn’t really a spoiler as the book focuses more on how he gets his freedom, rather than on his problem.

If you’re not on my mailing list, whyever not? Sign up here so that you’ll know the minute I publish a new book. I honestly can’t wait to share all these books I’m writing with you!!!

You’re always on my mind as I write.

In closing, here’s a quick encouragement from me: If you have a goal. Go for it. Even if it means single-minded focus for a season. Even if other people don’t get it and think you’re obsessed (#DedicatedNotObsessed). If you have lots of goals and don’t know which one to focus on first, I encourage you to pick out the goal that will make it easier for you to achieve all your other goals and go after it with so much savage tenacity that people think you’re on drugs 😂😂😂

Thanks for listening and for patiently accepting that I won’t be publishing any books this year (😀😀😀). You’re the best.

Dayo xx

Crystal Series On Writing Upcoming Book , , , , , ,

Crystal Box Set on Sale/Writing Update

Crystal Box Set JPEGHi Guys,

The box set of the first three books in the Crystal Series just went on sale at 99 cents/pence. If you haven’t started the series yet this is your chance to try it at little cost to you.

By the way, I’m so grateful to all my readers because I released Allies (Crystal 4) last week and it hit number one in its category and stayed there for three days. I was over the moon. I felt like my name had changed to Karen Kingsbury or something. Right is the picture of when it had the cool bestseller tag on it on Amazon. It’s gone Allies no 1now, as it only says that while the book is number one. Not forever, sadly. The book needs reviews though so if you enjoyed it please do me a favour and review it. If you haven’t read it yet and would like a review copy email me at dayo.benson@ymail.com.

Anyway, I’m on a major high right now because I finished writing the final book of the Crystal Series, Legacy (Crystal 9), last week Wednesday. I’m so happy that the series is all written. Now, I have to do the hard work of editing, looking at structure, consistency of characterization throughout the series, etc. But I’m glad I decided to get all the books written before releasing them all, rather than writing them and releasing as I went along. Before I released Searchlight (Crystal 1) I had already written Surrender (Crystal 2) and Insurrection (Crystal 3). I would recommend this method to any writer. Get the whole series written before you publish the books. There were things I didn’t see coming, and because I have only published books 1-4 I can still go back and amend previous books. But if I had been publishing each book as I wrote them, it would have been almost disastrous. For a trilogy it won’t matter so much, but for a nine book series, it does matter.

cookiesI had white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies as a treat for finishing another book. Honestly, you need to get yourself down to Subway and try them. Life changing! They’re only nice if they’re fresh, though.

You can see that I am motivated by unhealthy goodies 🙂

I’m planning to write a few novellas to support the series and fill in some gaps, and I might also write a few books about Juda’s background, so when I finish those I will be well and truly done with Crystal and her comrades and I’ll get myself a nice big reward, like a meal out with my hubs or a spa day, or something. Maybe both 🙂

Anyway, for those of you who have already read Allies and are eagerly awaiting the next installment of the series, Delirium (Crystal 5) should be out in June. Sign up for my mailing list Here so that you’ll get an email as soon as it comes out. I’ll do a cover reveal soon.

Ciao for now x

Crystal Series On Writing Upcoming Book , , , , ,

Stay Calm/Smile Anyway

Hey guys,

I’ve been busting my butt to get Allies (Crystal 4) ready for publication on 1st of May, and guess what? It still hasn’t been returned by my editor. But you know what? I refuse to go into panic mode. In fact, I’m feeling pretty calm, and I’m smiling–although that may have something to do with the fact that I’m eating Duck Vermicelli from my favourite Chinese Restaurant.

I’m actually feeling all compassionate towards this editor. Who knows, she might have had some kind of tragedy, or she might be unwell, or she might just hate my book so much that she really can’t make herself read and edit it. I have been an editor myself, and sometimes still take on editing work so I know how hard it is, and how tedious it can be. So, honestly, I’m feeling compassionate.

Image result for not stressedAnd I’m not going to stress because if I miss the deadline, at least I’ll know never to tell people what my publication date is anymore.

When I get a book back from an editor, I go through each change they have made one at a time and review it, deciding whether to accept it or reject it. This is a painstaking process and takes a while. I then read the whole book. Doing these two things can easily take two weeks, but these days I limit myself to a week at most, and three days at least. I need the book back by tomorrow (Saturday). If I don’t get it tomorrow, only God knows when it’ll get published.

You know what, the more I think about this the more I’m glad I have my Duck Vermicelli to comfort me.

Please pray for my editor to respond.

Thanks xx