Welcome to the blog of author Sasha Kay Riley. Here you will find info on all the books, free reads, and posts I’ve written sharing my adventures in author life. I don’t follow a regular posting schedule here. Instead, I post content when I have something to write about. For more frequent updates and interactions you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.
This year has been difficult, to say the least. I’m sure many people feel that way. It certainly didn’t go the way I wanted it to.
Some things did go well. I put out two books, which is more than I usually put out. Some years I didn’t put out any, which explains quite a bit.
Other things have not gone well. I, like many other authors, felt the challenges of the Dreamspinner situation. For those who don’t know, Dreamspinner has been struggling to pay its authors, editors, and artists, for pretty much the entire year. I am personally not very heavily impacted by this because I don’t have the quantity of books or the amount of success as other authors do. It still, however, has been something that has been on my mind frequently.
Earlier this month I requested the rights back for my four-book Anderson Stables series. I had given Dreamspinner the benefit of the doubt for as long as I was able to. For personal reasons, I chose to pull out.
It wasn’t an easy decision. I haven’t made tons of money off these books. I don’t think they have the following of other series. But Dreamspinner gave me, a baby in the m/m genre, a chance and published my first four books. For that, I will always be grateful. I have no ill will against them, I just did what I felt was right for me because I personally was unhappy with how the situation was being handled.
But I’ve wanted to rewrite those books almost since the day they each came out. I always wished I had written Dustin’s point of view into every book. Now I have the chance to rewrite and rerelease them on my own time. I don’t know when that will be, as I have other books I’m currently working on, but it will happen.
As for 2020, I am planning to release two books again, and I will definitely be starting a newsletter. I got a new job this fall that is less stressful and doesn’t drain me of my creativity as severely, so I’m optimistic and believe I won’t just be setting false goals for myself. I’m feeling good.
The next book is coming soon! The cover is still in the finalizing stages and the last round of editing isn’t quite done, but by the end of August it will be available for pre-order! Because I am juggling several projects under three pen names now, I will be keeping a goal of two romance books a year.
So what is the next book about? Guys and horses!
It’s about a guy who finds a horse in his unused barn, abandoned. The horse is suffering with a minor injury and a general lack of care. Of course, a vet is called. A very handsome, wonderful bisexual vet. Both men could use the other’s help in their personal lives. One needs help caring for the new horse that has come into his life, and to learn that he is still worthy of being loved even after the accident that ended his career and nearly his life. The other needs a distraction from his divorce and to know that someone can care about him without taking his whole identity away. Throw in one goat, a bearded dragon, and a snowstorm, and things get interesting.
I just wanted to take a moment to clear something up. Some of you may notice that I am self-publishing my writing now, while the Anderson Stables books are published by Dreamspinner.
I want to state that I love Dreamspinner and they are fantastic. Hopefully I’ll be publishing with them again someday in the future.
My decision to self-publish is completely based on my ridiculous schedule. The “real job” has such a chaotic schedule that I struggle with deadlines. Anyone who has worked retail knows how brutal it can be. Constantly being yelled at by people about things you have no control over, working odd hours when no aspect of humanity should be at work, almost being required to work overtime in the busy season, being on your feet all damn day… I could go on.
Long story short, getting the final Anderson Stables book done made me realize that I need flexibility when it comes to deadlines. I can’t work 40+ hours a week and get a novella edited in seven days. It is too stressful for me and the doctor said I need less stress. (She really did.) I don’t know how other people do it.
So know that this is just for me and my time management. I love Dreamspinner and will publish with them in the future if they let me.
Side note, my next book will be out soon! No official announcement yet because I don’t have cover art, but the goal is for the end of July/early August!
It’s almost mid-year, so here’s a check on my 2019 goals.
I have, frustratingly, failed the goal of making blog posts monthly.
However! I have been better about Facebook posts. Not perfect, but better. I have also decided to stop using Twitter. It’s just not a platform I enjoy using and I want to do things I enjoy.
There is another book that I will be putting out by the end of the summer. First I just need to get my next fantasy novel out. That is when I also intend to start up a newsletter.
Due to my financial situation, making a career change is not looking possible this year. I am, however, changing to what should be a less stressful position at my current job.
I have a new book! As I mentioned in the 2018 review post, I decided to publish a couple books on my own (with an editor) this year due to my scheduling issues. The first of those projects is now available for pre-order! Yay!
Grant Draper has just inherited his dying family business. There hasn’t been much interest in horse-drawn carriages in his part of New York for years, but he can’t stand the thought of giving up the business and letting his late grandfather down. It’s just that rebuilding the business is going to take a miracle.
Brendan Herrmann has finally found the horse carriage his father has been hunting for years to add to his collection. But the ancient Draper & Sons coach needs more work than he had hoped. It needs to be completely rebuilt. He’s afraid no one will be up to the task, until he discovers the company Facebook page.
The project for Bren could very well be the miracle Grant needs to save Draper & Sons, and it comes with the added bonus of living with the very attractive Bren. But then, just when everything seems like it’s falling into place, someone tries to take away everything Grant has left.
Will the fragile future Grant and Bren are building be able to survive fire and fraud? Will they be able to rebuild?
The book will be released on February 2nd, but you can pre-order at Amazon now!
2018 is finally over! It was a tough year for me, personally. I had horrible time management, thanks, in part, to my full time retail job with unpredictable hours. I barely won NaNoWriMo, I utterly failed when it came to social media as a writer, and I had a few medical and financial roadblocks show up in my life.
I did, however, finish publishing the Anderson Stables series. That was both a sad thing and a relieving thing. I have lots of other story ideas fighting to get out now, and I can finally work on those ideas. But I will definitely miss writing about Vince and Dustin and Xander. I might just have to write some short stories in the future.
So, with all that behind me now, it’s time for some real goals for 2019.
- Learn some time management skills. It’s pretty obvious that I’m terrible at this right now. When I have a ton going on in my life, I push aside my writing, social media presence, and blogging. It’s time to take a look at where I can improve.
- Work toward a career change. For me, writing has only ever been expected to be a hobby, something I can make a tiny bit of money off while working a “real job” as well. I still don’t plan to make a full living off my writing, at least not in the next five years. My real goal is to take some new courses so I can get out of the retail world and hopefully work for myself, releasing myself from the unpredictable and ever changing hours.
- Be better at social media. I plan to return to blogging with monthly posts, along with weekly posts on Facebook. I also plan to start a newsletter very soon!
- Publish two books in 2019. I’ve decided to publish two books this year on my own schedule, without a publisher. Even working with a professional editor, this gives me a better way to work around my “real job” and set my own deadlines. We’ll see how it goes.
I don’t see why I can’t meet any of these goals, so let’s get rolling!
What can you expect in this final installment?
In this final book in the Anderson Stables series, Vince Anderson and Dustin O’Brien are approaching the end of their show jumping journey, and their ride off into the sunset as a married couple is within their grasp.
But they won’t get there without facing challenges both personal and professional.
Vince has been working hard for years to make the Olympic Equestrian team with his horse, Sir Galaxy. Now, with Dustin by his side, his dreams are about to come true as he enters the selection process. But making the team isn’t as easy as simply winning shows, not when a very wealthy and powerful name in the sport is holding a grudge against Vince. Despite attempts to damage Vince’s reputation, Vince pushes on while supporting Dustin, whose past is pushing into his future. And making the team will only be the beginning of an arduous endeavor against elite competitors. But Vince and Dustin will see each other through to the end, through the Olympics and to their wedding, because supporting each other is something they know by heart.
The final book in the Anderson Stables series will officially be released on July 13th. I don’t have a pre-order link yet, but I will post one as soon as I have it.
But here is the cover! Woohoo!
Right now I’m working on researching my current project (the vaulting one, yes). This is exactly the same system I used when researching Anderson Stables, too. So I thought I’d share my process for anyone who may be curious.
Usually the first thing I do when I get an idea for a story in a sport I’m not personally experienced with, is to watch as many videos of and about that sport as I can find. For Anderson Stables that involved watching lots and lots of Grand Prix livestreams and Olympic playbacks. For this new book I’m watching as many vaulting videos as I can find on Youtube.
Next, I always go online and find the official rulebook for both national and international competitions. And then, because I enjoy spending lots of money on paper and ink, I print those out so I always have something physical to reference. And then I read them. In their entirety. Usually to help me fall asleep at night.
Not really though. I do read them, and they can be dull and difficult to read at times, but I find it a very informative experience. I want to make sure I know the little details before I start seriously working on a story, even if all those little details don’t make it into the book.
That’s usually my research strategy for anything I decide to write in my equestrian romance genre. For Anderson Stables I also took a trip down to Florida to experience part of the Winter Equestrian Festival, but I don’t expect to do that very often. Full time jobs and money tend to restrict one’s abilities to take a bunch of trips even when it’s technically for work.
Hey everyone, don’t forget that you have until June 15th to get in any questions you would like to ask of the Anderson Stables cast of characters so I can interview them!