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  • melissaolthoff4

Never Grow Up, Never Surrender!

Wait. . .that's not quite right. Hmm. Oh well, close enough LOL.

Recently, my publisher asked an excellent question - what do you want to be when you grow up? Now, I'm sure all of us in that meeting had a lot of smart-ass answers that popped into our brains (we are somewhat maturity-challenged as a group), but it was a serious question. What kind of writer do we want to be? Do we write for fun? Hobby? Profession? My answer to that is all of the above. I think this is the probably the coolest thing I've ever gotten to do, and I'm having a blast with it, so definitely fun. As a hobby? Well, this isn't my primary source of income. I have a day job I genuinely enjoy that pays the bills and supports my children's addiction to cheerios and video games. So technically, I suppose writing could be a hobby, or a side-hustle. Do I treat it as a professional commitment, respect deadlines, and try my best to improve my craft with every project - you bet I do. Do I hope to get to do this full time one day? Ha! What writer doesn't have that dream sitting somewhere in the back of their brain? Regardless, this will always be fun. . .even when it's hard, or stressful, or just plain infuriating because the characters/plot just won't do what I want. . .it will be fun. Okay, that actually kind of sounded more like a threat than a promise, but whatevs.

The other part of that question referred to what do we want to write. Military Scifi? Space Opera? Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic? As much as we want to say yes to all of the above, we do occasionally need to sleep. That means we as writers need to figure out what genres we enjoy writing in the most, what genres we're actually good at writing, hope to all the writing and coffee gods that those genres somewhat line up, and try to focus on building up our audience in those areas. . .rather than spreading ourselves too thin. At the end of the day, the publishing business is a BUSINESS, and it's not enough to just slap words on a page. I'm trying to get smarter on the business and marketing side, and figuring out what I want to be when I grow up is a great way to focus my efforts.

Fortunately, I kind of already have that figured out. Military Scifi is my bread and butter, so to speak. All of my Salvage Title Universe stories fit that category, whether we're talking Salvage Bunny or Space Hyenas. It's on the lighter side, and more character-focused rather than science or military heavy, but that's kind of Salvage in a nutshell anyways. Urban Fantasy, specifically Urban Fantasy Romance, is my first love and totally my jam. My upcoming Valkyries novels fit this category perfectly, and I'm hoping to expand my audience in that area. That's it. Those are my two areas. Basically guys, I write what I love to read.

Whew, that was way more words than I planned to write in the blog, but I tend to get a little carried away sometimes. How about some writing updates? Space Hyenas 3 is at 85K. That sounds like a lot, but it'll probably be 120K when we're done. On the plus side, we've reached the climatic space battle scenes. It's gonna be. . .wait for it. . .total pandemonium. Mwahahaha! Salvage Bunny 2 is with Kevin Steverson. In the meantime, I totally won't be waiting on the edge of my seat, nervous to hear what he thinks or anything. Nope, not me LOL. I also finished up a round of edits on my Valkyries novel. I sent it back to Marisa Wolf as a present, all wrapped up in shiny new paper, with bigger ribbons, and possibly a glitter bomb or two inside. You guys, I am SO freaking excited and ALL the nervous. Can't wait to hear what the head Valkyrie herself thinks of Athena and Sebastian's story. As a parting gift to you, how about some midjourney character art for Athena?

Next week, I'll show you how Sebastian turned out. It might explain some of the problems Athena has with him. . .don't look at me like that. Shadows May Fall is an Urban Fantasy ROMANCE novel hehehe. Until next time!

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