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April Writing Update

--By Kirsten Weiss

There's a lot going on right now--Legacy of the Witch launches April 30th, a full-color paperback edition of Legacy is available for pre-order on Barnes & Noble, and my direct sales shop (for the US and Canada only) is slowly expanding.

I've already blathered quite a bit here about Legacy of the Witch--my witch mystery/metaphysical fiction book with the UnTarot app. What I don't think I've mentioned is that this series is about transitions, the threshholds we're all faced with at some time in our lives. Middle age can be a big one. Things change. Our bodies change. Kids leave the nest. We may get divorced or face personal losses. And many of us find ourselves questioning our past and wondering about our future. That's what this series is about. The women in it are all middle aged. They're all facing threshhold moments where they have to decide who they want to be and how they want to live.

I don't think these moments are exclusive to middle age. Graduating from college, losing a job, and even moving can be threshhold moments. I've gone through two major threshhold moments in the last five years. They were rough, but I think I managed to come out of them better and stronger. My heroines will too. If you haven't seen the trailer for the book, I hope it gives a decent sense that this is more than your usual witch mystery.

I'm more than halfway through with the first draft of Shadow of the Witch, the sequel to Legacy. This book's a little more personal and has to do with my musings around luck after my sister's death last February. I promise not to get too morbid. But writing this metaphysical mystery has helped me work some things out. For you Riga Hayworth fans, the book is set at Lake Tahoe and she's a major character in the story.

Next, I'll start writing a Tea and Tarot novella set at Thanksgiving. That will come out in late October, I think. It's part of a group project with a bunch of very funny mystery writers. We're all writing Thanksgiving cozy-mystery novellas and will be promoting them together. I plan to follow it up with a full-length Tea and Tarot novel. I have a lot of ideas for that one.

Moving on, let me tell you about my "direct sales" shop.

Audible pisses me off. The royalties are 40% if you're exclusive with them and 20% if you're not. But creating an audio book is not cheap--not if you want to hire a voice actor (which I do--I'm still resisting AI). Some authors have massive audio sales and do great. Others struggle to recover the costs. So I decided to start selling my audio books direct from my website.

The first three audio books in the Tea and Tarot series will be available sometime in May for US and Canadian buyers, and when you buy from my shop, you'll also receive printable PDFs with the recipes in the backs of the books. I was advised not to bother having the narrator, Sandra Murphy (she's amazing) read the recipes, because who wants recipe dictation? But I liked the idea of printable recipes, that when the Tea and Tarot ebooks are available on the shop, I'll include them as well.

But, since I invested in direct sales, it seemed silly not to also offer my ebooks. Right now the only ebooks available are in my Mystery School series, but more are coming.

I know buying direct isn't as easy as buying from, say, Amazon. So to make things more interesting, I'm including exclusive extras for my ebooks on my direct site as well. For example, I've created printable Halloween-themed UnTarot cards to go along with the prequel to my Mystery School series, Harvest of the Witch.

Again, for now, this shop is for US and Canadian readers only until I have the bandwidth to deal with VAT.

This writing year feels very slow. I'm still dealing with a lot of tough distractions in the fall-out from my sister's car accident, and I'm still playing whack-a-mole with the identity thieves impersonating her and her husband. But I'm writing again, and happy to be back in my imaginary worlds! 😂

I'm also taking a class in microfiction next month, so prepare yourselves for some very, very, very short stories! And I've signed up with a video coach in an attempt to uplevel my paltry video skills, so watch for more and higher-quality videos from me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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