Where the hell have I been?
If you’ve been wondering, I didn’t die in a horrific accident or get swept away by a tornado (though living in San Francisco often feels like Oz to this Kansas girl). The radio silence that befell this poor, neglected blog was caused by a much more sinister force – graduate school.
In January 2018, I began my Master of Liberal Arts in Creative Writing & Literature through the Harvard University Extension School. As anyone who’s been in grad school can tell you, it’s a huge time suck. More importantly, it takes a great deal of energy. Especially for someone like me, who is still working a full-time job and trying to be a good wife/cat mother/daughter/friend to all the people I love.
A LOT of things had to go for me to maintain my sanity during the first year of grad school, and unfortunately, regular blog updates was one of them. If you subscribe to my email list or follow me on social media, you’ll notice those have suffered too. I’m truly sorry for failing to share all this with you as it happened, and I’ve sorely missed interacting with you all online.
So, if grad school is such a drag, why am I pursuing a Master’s degree?
Long story short, I want to be a better writer. Devoting this time to improving my craft has been immensely helpful, and I’ve grown so much as a writer over the last year. Also, this degree will give me the qualifications to expand into editing, coaching, and other writing-related services. If all goes to plan, I will graduate in May 2021, joining Elle Woods as a Harvard alumnus.
What else happened in 2018?
Personally, I’m still living in the San Francisco area with Daniel (my husband) and our beloved kitties. Over the last year, we’ve played tour guide to friends and family, taken trips to new places in the U.S. and Europe, and made great friends here in the Bay Area. Daniel has also continued working toward his Ph.D., which he should finish in 2022.
From a writing standpoint (which is what you’re here for, right?), while I focused mostly on school work, 2018 was an introspective year. I thought a lot about what I want for my future as a writer and independent publisher (and as a person). I won’t bore you with the intricacies of my thought and emotional processes (that’s why I have Daniel), but suffice to say, becoming a full-time author remains my long-term goal. But I’ve realized that I need to make some changes to achieve that goal – both from a business perspective and a personal perspective.
So, what happens next?
I’m starting fresh. Well, as fresh as I can without creating a pen name. (Because, let’s face it, I want to claim all the glory and missteps of this publishing adventure for myself.)
Moving forward, I’m planning to write novels in the paranormal and urban fantasy genres. Think Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina, etc. What you probably can’t know from my previous writing is that these are my favorite genres to consume, whether I’m reading a book, binging a TV show, or playing video games. They’re also the genres in which I have most of my writing ideas.
Writing steampunk for the Desertera series has been a fun experiment, but I honestly can’t see myself continuing in that genre. I know enough to create my own world, but not enough to connect with real steampunk fans. While I appreciate the genre and adore the aesthetics of steampunk (Can’t corsets please come back in style?), it isn’t my true calling as a creative and is better served by writers far more scientifically and historically inclined than I am.
That being said, I do intend to finish the Desertera series. There’s one, maybe two, books needed to complete that story. When I’m ready to give Desertera the time and attention it deserves, it will be finished. I love these characters too much to short-shift them, and with more writing experience under my belt, I plan to end the story right. Currently, I’m not sure when that will be, but you all will be the first to know.
As part of this ‘relaunch’ into fantasy, I’m also going to be building a new website, starting a new email list, and revamping my social media accounts. Beyond my personal writing updates, I won’t be “writing about writing” on these platforms. They’ll be focused on my new books, of course, but also on topics related to them (think tarot card readings, things to see in Salem, Massachusetts, monsters from different cultures, etc.).
If that sounds good to you, keep reading …
Want to join me on this new adventure?
Here’s what you can do to stay connected with me throughout this transition and into the next phase of my writing journey:
Watch this website
I’ll post another update when the new website is live. It will be under the same URL (www.katemcolby.com), and this website will revert to the free WordPress URL (www.katemcolby.wordpress.com). This blog will stay up for a while to help readers find the new site, but it will not remain permanently active.
Sign up for my email list at https://katemcolby.com/newsletter/
When I’m ready to start sending regular emails again, I’ll notify everyone on the “original” list and give you the option to sign up for the “new” list. The emails will include the most personal updates from me, but again, they will not contain writing advice, tips, etc.
Connect with me on social media
While my social media accounts are getting a facelift, my usernames are staying 100% the same. I use Facebook and Instagram the most, but I do occasionally participate in the #writingcommunity on Twitter (the one place I might still “write about writing”), post visual inspiration on Pinterest, and log my reading activities on Goodreads.
Follow me on Amazon
By following me on Amazon, Bookbub, or other retail or reader sites with author pages, you will be notified ONLY when I have a new release. So, if you’re not a big internet user or just want to know when that final Desertera book comes out, that’s your easiest move.
Thank you for making my writing journey fun and inspiring so far.
It’s been a joy connecting with you, and if you’re into monsters, magic, and spooky adventures, I hope you’ll join me for the next phase. If that’s not your vibe, I totally get it. (After all, this blog has been mainly for writers and my new site won’t be.) I’d still love to stay connected to talk about writing, so never hesitate to reach out via email or social media.