tl;dr – The next Carew book isn’t going to be released this year. The story’s simply not coming together yet, and it’s been a really rough year for writing.

It’s mid-October, well past the time that a new Alexis Carew book would typically be available for preorder and scheduled for a November release. For four years, that’s been the schedule, and it’s what I was expecting to keep up in the future, as well.

Best laid plans, and such …

The story’s just not coming together, partially because there are a lot of long-running threads that need updating or resolution. I could probably write a whole book that only did that, but it wouldn’t be a very exciting book when you got right down to it.

This is a problem with long-running series, and at six books we’re getting there. I recall a series I really love where Book X ended with the king being killed, then Book X+1 came along. Basically Book X+1 came along, at nearly 700 pages, and tied-up or pushed forward some long-running subplots, but as for the main storyline or any real story just for that book?

Hey, they killed the King, we should go get them.

That was the main plot of the 700 pages — moving from the dead king to starting an expedition of revenge.

I don’t want to put something like that out in the Carew series, and I don’t want to rush the story either. Privateer was a bit rushed, and, while many of you really liked it, many didn’t like it as much. So I’d rather put off the release and have something I really like and can be proud of, like I am of Queen’s Pardon, than put out something I’m not 100% happy with.

So at this time I have no projected release date for Alexis Carew #7, and I won’t be suggesting one until I’m reasonably sure it’ll happen.

2019 was a bad year on the writing front. Yes, there were releases — Smuggler, Running Start, and Running Scared all released — but those were all written over the course of 2017 and 2018. 2019 hasn’t seen the same productivity, for a variety of reasons. A lot of times, life happens and impacts the time and mindset required for writing.

The day job’s been a bear. I’m sure yours is too — that’s their nature, I suppose. Some early mornings and late nights involved, along with projects and co-workers that are … suboptimal. Again, that’s everybody’s life, to one degree or another, but it does weigh on the creative process.

There were some sad, difficult times as well.

This summer I had to say goodbye to the Big Bad Wolf.

She held on as long as she could, but it’s been a rough few years for her. She was attacked by another dog a few years ago and severely injured, then we found out she had diabetes, followed by cancer.

The cancer came in 2018 and they gave her six months, but she got a good eighteen, so that was good until the end.

Throw all the balls and give all the treats when you have the chance, folks, because there is nothing worse than seeing that pink syringe go and realize all the times you can never get back.

We had some issues with my wife’s service dog, as well.

Mr. Man developed an eye issue which required multiple surgeries and quite a bit of time in the cone of shame.

Good things happened, too, of course.

I signed separate deals with both Podium Publishing and Tantor Media for the audio rights to Spacer and Smuggler, and Running Start and Running Scared, respectively.

These will be out soon for those of you who prefer audio, and Tantor got Elizabeth for the Dark Runs series, so we’ll get to have her add Punjabi curses to the list of things I’ve made her do.

I also finished the hardcover formatting and setup for the Carew series.

These turned out really nice, and you can order them, autographed, directly from me.

A lot of things have settled down now. The day-job’s on a more reasonable schedule, and I’ve taken one more step toward ditching it completely and taking the leap to full-time writing.

That’s the last new Roadtrek Zion Ecotrek in the country right there.

Hymer, which owned Roadtrek, went out of business last year due to some financial irregularities at the executive level. They’ve since been bought by another company and warranties on existing stock are up in the air — not supported, but there’s some talk the new owners will start honoring them.

Due to the uncertainty I got a better deal than such a thing would normally go for.

So the full-time writing plan is one step closer. Pay this off and get some decent savings in the bank, then sell my current house (which is close to the dayjob) and buy a new one farther out, maybe with a decent bit of land.

The first trip in this beast is next weekend, so we’ll see how writing in it works out. I might do a series of posts on outfitting the thing and transitioning to write in it.

Anyway, that’s the status update. I know everyone’s going to be disappointed that Carew 7 isn’t coming next month, but hopefully you’ll think it was worth the wait when I do get it done.

Thanks for reading!