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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

projects & platforms


Ever since I finished writing Bound and Determined back in March 2022, after three long, grueling years of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, there was no blood, but there were tears), I’ve been drifting rather aimlessly. I’d intended to write Something Bright and Beautiful, but I ended up writing a novella for Springtime in Surrey. Once that was finished, I wrote about two chapters and ended up getting distracted by The Forsaken—my first-ever finished novel revamped into one of my favorite projects to date—until I decided to write a short story for Of Storm & Sea. Six months after said short story was due, I’m still not finished and I keep getting distracted by rewriting Held Captive.

I see now why I never let myself story-hop, because once I start, I can’t stop. 😅 I’ve got to commit to a singular project, lest nothing get done at all.

So I’ve decided to write this post to (1) keep me accountable, (2) update everyone on my various WIPs, and (3) explain my intentions for my author platform.

In the midst of all my non-writing, I’ve had plenty of time and mental energy to reevaluate the direction I’m going in platform-wise. I’ve already re-designed my website (although I guarantee I’ll be making a few more tweaks as time goes on), and in doing that, I’ve realized I need to start over. Take it from the top.

You see, when I started building my platform, I had zero clue what I was doing. I just plunged into the waters of the literary world with two already-published books and a Goodreads page. I kinda pieced this lil’ corner of the Internet together bit by bit, with a lot of trial and error and no vision or goals. Just like how I first started writing and publishing. Let’s just say I pants everything.

So now that I’m going to rewrite and republish Held Captive (and Prisoner at Heart and Bound and Determined…but all in due time), I have decided to restart everything. I want to reestablish my author platform and reinsert myself into the virtual world of books. In a way, I’m remaking myself—not who I am, but how I present myself online and how I’m perceived by my audience. Y’all’ve probably noticed a lot of that happening already in terms of my brand, but my main objective now is rebuilding my backlist.

A backlist an author’s previously-published books. Not new releases they’re launching, but books that have been out for several years and are still popular and worth promoting—without all the effort and cost of new release promotion. And my backlist is a mess. All I have available to market and sell is the Daughters of the Seven Seas series that I started publishing at age 13 and plan on republishing. So there is no sense in me trying to sell books I’m about to take off the market and rewrite.

I could try and promote my short stories or my devotional—but the shorts aren’t really worth paying for, and I wanna rewrite/republish my devo too. So basically, I’m backlistless. I honestly want to remove all my books from Amazon, but I don’t want to do that until I have something new to publish.

Hence why I need to rebuild my backlist. Before I re-release Held Captive, I want to have viable platform. And that begins with a good, sellable book that showcases my style and what I offer readers.

Enter WIP #1: The Forsaken.

TF is the new version of my very first finished book, Beyond the Inner Storm. When I noticed a bunch of lighthouse books being published last year, I decided to come up with one of my own—and promptly realized I have a whole series of lighthouse stories wasting away on my computer. I honestly still love the concept behind Beyond the Inner Storm, so I took the good elements, dumped the bad, and refashioned it into The Forsaken. And, y’all. I love this story so much. 😭 I feel like it captures the essence of who I am as a writer, the things I love, and what is found in all of my stories (more or less). From enemies-to-lovers to nautical vibes to mental health from a biblical perspective, it’s got all of my trademarks. But at the same time, it’s simple. Trendy. Marketable. I personally feel like I’ve got a built-in readership between y’all—my current followers/readers—and the historical romance audience out there who this story caters to (while still being unique).*

*Disclaimer: I could be totally wrong about this, so we’ll see.

Plus, it’s shaping up to be pretty short. Around 40k-60k. A shorter novel will be easier to sell and draw in readers with, than a 208k-word epic. 🤭

I want TF to be the first book on my backlist, my next release, and the book that reaches new readers and introduces them to ✨moi✨.

That said, I also want a similar book with the same goals that is free and can be used as an incentive to draw in new subscribers/followers.

Cue WIP #2 and #3: Where the Sky Meets the Sea and These Raging Waters.

I originally intended to write a novella called These Raging Waters and use it as a newsletter freebie/incentive. But now I’ve started developing a mini-course for the newsletter, so I may not actually need it. That said, I’m also working on Where the Sky Meets the Sea for Of Storm & Sea anthology—and it’s looking like it may be longer than the maximum length. Plus, I already have so many stories and poems in the collection, and I’m still not done with mine yet…so what I may do is use WtSMtS as my freebie story (or $0.99 story if I decide to put it on Amazon).

I may end up finishing it in time and it could turn out to be shorter than I think, in which case I’ll include it in the anthology. If so, I’ll write These Raging Waters.

Both of these stories also include those Me things that make them perfect to induct new followers into my readership and prepare them for my magnum opus…

WIP #4: Held Captive.

Ahh, the story of my heart. 🥰 Not gonna lie, I wanna write this first, but that kinda throws off this whole plan I got here. Part of me wants to just work on multiple stories at one time, but my brain don’t work like that. I gotta commit to one thing at a time, or nothing will get done. 😅

But yeah. This is The Book, the one that I want to be my main release, after having built a bit of a backlist and readership. I also want to be able to set aside as much time as I can to polish it and make sure it gets the best release possible, so my backlist will hopefully sustain me (not necessarily financially, although that would be cool) during the process of preparing HC for publication.


the timeline


Ideally, I would like to finish The Forsaken and Where the Sky Meets the Sea this year. Then I’d work on Held Captive 2025-2026. After HC, I don’t know. I may go straight into Prisoner at Heart, or I may write a sequel to The Forsaken, or I may write Something Bright & Beautiful. It all depends on where the Lord leads me.

So, the timeline would look something like this:

  • Summer 2024: Where the Sky Meets the Sea is written

  • Winter 2024: The Forsaken is written

  • Winter/Spring 2025: WtSMtS is published in Of Storm & Sea

  • Spring/Summer 2025: The Forsaken is published

  • Spring/Summer 2025: Held Captive is written

  • Fall/Winter 2026 or Spring 2027: Held Captive is published

The crazy thing is, I originally wanted Held Captive published this year in honor of its fifth anniversary back in March. Obviously that didn’t happen. 😂 So I don’t expect this timeline to be accurate either, but we’ll see!


other projects


Like I mentioned, there’s also Something Bright & Beautiful. I definitely want to write this (and rewrite Daylight, or potentially incorporate it into SB&B itself), but that may be later than expected. It was intended to be my 2024 release, but…I’m not even three chapters in, so…😅

Some other projects on my mind are:

  • Lady of Vengeance (short novel with Wild Blue Wonder Press’ multi-author project)

  • With Fear & Trembling (rewrite)

  • A Touch from Jesus (devotional)

  • A devotional/study on Psalm 37

These mainly depend on my time and what I feel like doing. Lady of Vengeance needs to be written by 2025 or sometime in 2025, and I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to do that alongside my other writing projects + publishing several books with Sky’s the Limit Press. But it may work out. Who knows! 🤷‍♀

 

So…all of that to say, that’s more or less what's next for me. I just wanted to share some of the changes I've been making and what's been on my mind writing-wise. Plus I feel like I owe everyone an update on my writing, since I haven't been doing much of it (updating and writing) + I keep hopping between projects and leaving all my alpha readers floundering. (I'm so sorry, guys. 😔)

And maybe this'll encourage you to be open to change and reevaluation. There's always room for growth and improvement, and if you're feeling the need to shift things around in some way, that's good! Don't be afraid to try something new or redo something old.

Also, if you're interested in establishing or reestablishing your author platform, I'd love to share what I've been learning! Let me know if y'all would be interested in a post or two about that. (And if you'd like some one-on-one coaching, I do have a marketing coaching package. Just sayin'.)


Which project are you most excited for? Should I share more about These Raging Waters?
and my story for OS&S?









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14 comentários


Emma Thrasher
01 de jul.

This is very exciting, Grace! I'm eager to read... well, basically all of it. :P And I'd love to hear more about any of these projects, unless that would take time away from you actually writing them. There are too many things to do in life, sometimes.

Curtir
Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
03 de jul.
Respondendo a

Aww, thank you, Emma! That is true, but I'll definitely share more!

Curtir

Andrea Renee Cox
29 de jun.

So happy you're making these changes, Grace! Sounds like it'll help you have surer footing moving forward. So proud of you!

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
30 de jun.
Respondendo a

Thank you, Andrea!! I certainly hope so! :D

Curtir

Iona Barton
26 de jun.

Way to go on all the work and care you are putting into this, Gracie! I know all the re-thinking stuff can be a tricky lil' thing but I am SO happy for you and all the exciting things you're embarking on! Your new projects sound A-ma-zing and YES PLEASE for more about These Raging Waters!!! xD

Praying you would find and feel God's love and guidance and special insights every step of the way <3

Curtir
Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
27 de jun.
Respondendo a

Thanks, Iona!! Aww, I appreciate that!! You got it, girl! 😉


Thank you so much!!! 🥰💕

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Jessica Brown
25 de jun.

Eeep, this makes me so excited 😆🥰 And strangly enough, it's also giving me writing motivation 😝

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
27 de jun.
Respondendo a

Yay!!! 🥳😂

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Lily Keith
25 de jun.

My brain don't work that way either; I need to focus on one thing at a time, so I feel ya lol. By the way, I'd love to hear about what you're learning about branding etc!

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
27 de jun.
Respondendo a

Haha, glad I'm not the only one! Awesome!! I'll get a post together soon! :D

Curtir

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