So let's have a chat.

I have been putting off addressing this, because, well to be honest, I never thought it would be necessary. And I truly, deeply, madly love you all. I am so blessed by and grateful for anyone who picks up one of my books and tries it out- even if they end up hating it. I'm just thankful for the opportunity.

My readers mean the world to me and if you have not gotten that impression from me than I apologize. But the truth is, I thank God for you every day.

I never expected to have "Readers" or "Fans" in any long term capacity, so the fact that I do, honestly blows my mind.

When I started self-publishing I actually hoped for $50 in sales a month. For me, at the time, that would have made a difference for my family. Do you know what I mean? That would have paid ONE bill. And that was HUGE for me.

So fast forward two years to where I get emails and daily messages and comments on whatever I post... I mean that is INCREDIBLE to me. And I am just so thankful for that and for you.

Now, I'm not trying to butter you up. But I do want those facts foremost in your mind. Because whatever I say next, I want to be taken out of love and a place where I want you to understand me. Please don't read into anything I'm saying or purposefully take it in a negative way. That is not my intention.

But this needs to be addressed. And for a while I have been silent because I don't want to come off like I have a bag full of excuses or that I'm stringing you along or that I'm just talking to hear myself talk. I feel like I've done a lot of apologizing too, and I don't want to get into that habit. While there are some things that require me to apologize and I will- hopefully- always be cognizant enough to know when. There are other times when I'm making a professional decision that is in the best interest of everyone.

So. Lets talk Release Dates.

I get it. You're mad about Sunburst and The Relentless Warrior and the general shuffling around of release dates. And you might even be mad that I've taken on so many projects.

If I was in your shoes, I'd probably be pissed too.

But I'm not. I'm on the other side. And I want to explain the other side to you. Hopefully I can give you some perspective to WHY these particular books have been moved around so much and why you don't have them in your hands. Do I expect you to be less frustrated at the end of this? Probably not. But I do hope that you can at least understand where I'm coming from.

Contrary to popular belief, I am NOT doing this to torture you. There are actual reasons behind my actions. And I'd like to think they are in your best interest. 

So first let's talk publishing dates.

You all know my life is crazy. I talk about it all the time. I have four kids at home. My oldest is six. I am a full time homemaker. A full time mother. A full time wife. And a full time writer. Most of you know what it's like to raise children and how time consuming that is. My family comes first and always will. Otherwise I'm doing something wrong and my career is not worth it.

Nobody has asked me to give up my family life. And I'm not accusing anyone of that. I'm just trying to show you that as much as I would like to have regular office hours and all the time in the world to write, it's obviously an impossibility for me.

On top of that all, when I planned release dates I looked at the summer as this great opportunity to write. I thought I would have just hours and hours and hours to get work done. Turns out..... that was just not the case. I'm still learning to juggle this job with kids and activities and personal obligations. I'm obviously a work in progress and I will never claim to be anything but that. But now I know, probably next summer I won't schedule any releases because it just doesn't work for me and my family. My kids want to have fun during the summer and I'm inclined to let them. And with the crazy summer we had, my release dates got crazy behind.

And now I'm scrambling to catch up.

I've actually dedicated the next six weeks of my life to ONLY writing. My family has graciously given me this free pass. And I am making a solid effort to get caught up.

But of course I can't live my life like this. I cannot be tied to a computer for the next however many years.

So probably, I'm going to be spreading out my release dates in the future. This gives me an opportunity to stay true to my announced release dates and gives you the book that you want.

The other thing I want you to know is that I cannot write a book that I am not 100% passionate about. I have to stay true to my creative process or it won't matter if I am late on release dates or not because I won't have any fans left.

Basically what I'm saying is that there are two options. First, I can push out a book that I'm not feeling and force myself to finish. In this scenario, you are disappointed with the book you bought and left wondering why you wasted your time and money on me. Trust me when I say not every single thing I write is gold. Or even close to it. 

Or, second, I can take my time with it, make it the book that I'm proud to release and give you the book you want to read. The book you WAITED so long for.

Ideally I would like for this second scenario to happen in the time I've announced. That's a win-win for everybody and we all leave happy at the end of the day.

But sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.

Sunburst, until this week... was a really, really HARD book for me to write. In fact, there were moments in my life when I was ready to walk away from the entire series. I hated the characters. I hated the story line. I hated every single thing about it.

There's my moment of honesty. Maybe it's too honest. I don't know. But it's the truth. I seriously hated that book and series.

Luckily, I took the time to write my "If you want to be a writer" blog. Because in that blog I gave out some advice and I decided to take it. I said, "Write the book you want to read." I was trying to force a story out that I wouldn't even bother to pick up. How could I possibly get excited about that? I couldn't. Obviously. It's taken me over a year to write it. So I went back to the drawing board. I made it a story I could actually get excited about. I changed the entire direction and I fell in love with it- maybe for the first time. And in the last three days I've written 35,000 words. Until Monday I had taken an entire year to write 8,000...

The same thing happened with The Reluctant Warrior. I actually have a version in which a huge majority of the story is written. But it was a terrible story. I'm actually embarrassed of it. Could I have continued with that, forced myself to finish it and published it?


Would I have been proud of that book? In no way.

Would you have loved the book anyway? I can't say for sure, but I'm almost positive you would have all been like WTH just happened? And why did I even care about this book coming out?? I'm never reading another thing by Rachel Higginson again!

So I'm starting- almost all the way, but not quite (there's more to that book that I loved than Sunburst)- over and creating the book that I love. The book I think you will love. The book that gives Jericho a decent story and a heroine that you hopefully fall in love with.

And it probably doesn't make sense to you that it's taken me THIS long to figure it out. But when deadlines are looming and all I want to do is hit word counts so the book has a fighting chance of getting out, I tend to get lost in the story and not take into count that I'm having trouble writing it. At the end of any day I have trouble focusing on the computer screen no matter if it's the best thing I've ever written or the worst, so what makes one day different than the other?

Well, it's obviously when I can't force myself to even open the Word document and so I start taking on all kinds of other projects just to avoid it.

I am not trying to torture you. I am not trying to give myself a bad name. I am not trying to lose fans.

I am trying to keep you by giving you a book you actually want and will actually enjoy.

I don't know how to say it any other way.

And I wish I could say that you and your needs were the most important thing to me when I publish a book, but that's not true. You, as a whole, have too many opinions, too many demands. I cannot possibly please you all. Yes, I do hope I write the book that you love and want to read over and over again. But I can't expect to do that.

The truth is, my strongest commitment is to the story and my own integrity. And unfortunately, I think the definition of integrity is subjective. Your idea of integrity might be that I keep my deadlines. But in my own opinion it is the quality of story I produce and the depth of pride in which I feel for the story.

And in the end, my way wins, because long after- hopefully- you have picked up my book the day it comes out, there will be others that find my series and stories and read them from start to finish. Five years down the road I don't want people to wonder what happened to book six of the Star-Crossed and why it's so much worse than the others. I don't want the answer to be, "Well, she had to make deadline so she threw it together real quick." I want it to be the best story I can create and a crucial piece to the entire story line.

I might write crap on accident, but I hope I never publish it.

Yes, it's too bad that I didn't see this earlier- six months ago, or ten months ago (If you're a Starbright fan) but I'm seeing it now. And I, personally, am just really thankful I saw it soon enough- as in before I hit publish.

The other complaint that you have is that I have taken on too much and/or I'm making other books priorities over previous commitments. 

I have taken on a lot. And there are moments of every day where I will admit that it's too much and I'm absolutely crazy to be writing so many different story lines.

But then there are moments where I realize how in love with each and every storyline I'm writing- including Sunburst now- and I wouldn't give ANY of it up.

Three series. One stand alone. One series co-project. And a novella series is a lot. But each of these projects show cases a different aspect of my writing and most importantly they are ALL stories I have inside me that are desperate to be told.

But here's the most important thing. I write better, I come up with better stories or plots and I think better when there is space between each book. So yes, I could have finished the Star-Crossed and moved onto Starbright and then not written a single other thing until the entire Starbright series was finished.

But then there would NEVER have been a continuation of the Star-Crossed. There would not have been The Rush or Bet in the Dark or Love and Decay. Maybe not even Striking.

Timing is everything and I wrote those books because they are what's inside me. They are the stories I want to tell.

Besides, I truly write better if I have some perspective. Six months between books is the PERFECT amount of time for me to gain some perspective on the last book and decide where I want to take the next book. If I just write it in big chunks or a continual timeline then I get lost in the story and blinded by lack of insight.

And maybe this is just me, but I really don't think that is asking too much. Traditional publishers take an entire year to put out installments of series. I'm asking you to wait half that time. Yes, Sunburst and TRW have exceeded that time amount, but we've already gone over those problems.

Trust me when I say that my books will be better because of it.

And it keeps me excited about the project. It gives me variety. And it makes sure all of the stories I want to tell are being told.

Finally, it has been said, "Well, maybe just don't give out release dates. Then you won't disappoint us."

While this is an option... it's not exactly feasible. Can you imagine my in-boxes if I just say, "This book will be out sometime in the future?"

That honestly sounds like a nightmare.

And if I may stick up for myself, while Sunburst and TRW are late. Every other book since Starbright has been on time. And there have been ten of them if you count my Love and Decays.

Ok, wait, there was one Love and Decay that was two days late.

So it's really just been an issue with these two books. An issue that is hopefully being fixed.

So stay with me just for a few more weeks. I will get everything out. And then I will be spreading my release dates out a little bit more. This means that you won't have as many books as quickly, but I won't have a stress headache every day of my life.

And just know that I am not going to focus on one series only. I don't want to narrow my writing or limit my opportunities just to get a series finished.

So for Star-Crossed fans and The Rush fans, that's not terrible news because after October there is only one book left in each of those series. But Starbright fans there might be three left to go. I'm just asking that you stay with me, and know that I'm trying to make each book the absolute best story it can be.

Also, you really are the most wonderful, greatest people alive. And I have been shown overwhelming support from you. You've seriously enriched my life and I am so, so, so thankful for you. I love you!!!!  


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  1. Beautifully said Rachel! I am a huge fan myself, and will proudly wait. :)

  2. Rachel, I understand completely what you were going through! I agree - do NOT rush just to get a book out, just to meet deadlines for fans! Take your time, make it the best book it can be, and whether they realize it or not, your fans will appreciate it in the long run. Good for you, Rachel, for not letting your integrity to the quality of your stories be compromised. Take as MUCH time as you need, and true fans will be there to get the book whenever YOU feel it is ready to publish! <3

  3. We want the best out of you. :) So we are patient. You have small children that won't be small forever so you need to enjoy them to the fullest while they are that small. So...put your love and time into these books for we will be the better for it and our imaginations will fly much smother as a result. :)

  4. Oh my dear dear Rachael

    Take this coming from someone who has your name and begs for your books. Take your time. We your fans SHOULD FREAKING understand I am yelling at anyone who might have yelled at you. Yes we ask you about deadlines. Because there is a lake of good writers out there and you are a good one. We your fans would like to keep u around. So PLEASE take time for your family for your self take the projects you desire. You are a good mama and I bet a good wife. And friend and daughter. You have a good heart and you mean well for everything. You can tell to screw off you need to take your time and write the book you love so we will love it to. That is the only way to write and btw the striking book you just co-wrote was awesome.

    Your a great writer only publish it if you love it

    Thanks Rachael
    From Rachael

  5. Thank you for your honesty and candor! I love your work, and wouldn't want you to start putting out anything less than your best. Life, kids, it's all a crazy mess, and those of us who have been there understand. So take all the time you need. I'll continue to wait patiently because you're worth it!

  6. I have loved all your books and always look forward to any new projects you release. I will gladly patiently wait for as long as it takes. Thanks for the update and know that your true fans will be waiting here whenever you are ready. I just feel lucky to have been able to read so many of your books the last two years!!

  7. You're a mom of 4...it just makes sense to be late. You find out you're pregnant because "you're late" and all moms know you will be running behind until the kiddos are older it's as simple as that. You're doing a great job with so many shoes to fill.

  8. I can imagine how hard this was for you to post. But the true fans will stick by you if you take off 6months or 16 months. They love you and your stories. So glad I am one of those true fans.

  9. I think that some of your fans need to remember that one of the perks of self publishing is your ability to publish whenever YOU want to. If you want to take three years or three months, that's all on you babe. Forget about the haters and take care of yourself, your family, and your books in your own way/time!

  10. While waiting for (and rereading) the Star Crossed series, I've also fallen in love with your other stories. Love and Decay is something special, and I'll patiently wait forever for TRW should you keep exploring your other brilliant ideas. Enjoy your family and stick to your instincts.

    Much love, Rachel!

  11. Hey Rach, Girl those peeps who complained seriously dont know you and don't know what it takes to be a writer, a mom and a homemaker. Those of us whom love you to bits, know that you are doing the best you can. As Derinda Love (one of the comments) said.. We will proudly wait... I also re-read the entire series just to refresh my memory but the longer I wait for TRW the more excited I get. NEVER push your family aside for anything! They are more important than any project you may have on your plate. Whether there is 1 or 100 projects. They can all wait. I truly believe there are more people supporting you on this than people who complained. And to those who complained. Suck it up! She is only human! We love ya Rach and we are behind you 100%... Cudos to you for your honesty. I took guts to write it but I am sure we (your loyal fans) understand why it had to be done. All I can say is THANK YOU! Thank you for the stunning books you write for us. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to interact with us. Thank you for the hours after hours you spend away from your family to keep us happy. Thank you for delaying release dates so we can get more and more excited about the next book. I for one enjoy waiting... I breath, eat and sleep reading, but I know waiting for the next book makes it even more exciting and better!!!! We love you stax doll, and those who don't like your methods and aren't willing to wait, to bad. For everyone you lose, you will gain 10 more!

  12. I think you should take people yelling at you about release dates as a compliment! If they really are THAT excited that they yell at the very person who made them fall in love with the characters in the first place because they just can't wait for the next one.. Pat yourself on the back! For you Must of really created something special to get people that Book Hungry! :) I wait for your books and randomly type your name into my Kindle Search box, to see if I missed something:) . Your books are the only ones I don't have then strength to Archive! You have your very own folder on my Kindle! And I will Wait as long as YOU need me, to put another book in that folder!

  13. I always thought you were crazy to write that many books that quickly. Not in a bad way, more of a 'how does your muse keep it all together?' sort of way. I haven't come across much negative feedback about your release dates. But I know it's the negative minded folks that complain the loudest. Just remember you have lots of fans like me who are content to wait for a well written book. Don't let those naysayers get you down. Do what you need to do and trust that those of us who enjoy your stories because the are fun, well written adventures, will be patiently waiting.