I’ve had a weebly webpage for years. I used it to put up free chapters of books I wrote and never did anything with. That sounds odd, I know, but I played around with different genres here and there, and sometimes, I liked them, and sometimes, one YA book or one caterer married to a cop mystery was enough. I don’t regret writing them. I enjoyed all of them. I was never convinced offering free work online was a brilliant idea, (and I’m still not convinced it is), but I enjoyed sharing work I wouldn’t publish with readers.
I still love Verdanta–the island home I created for nymphs and sprites who invited a small group of mortals to stay with them one week a month to let the beauty of the island and the energy of their magic help “fix” them after Life hit them a little too hard. I still love Chintz and Callum–the caterer and cop–because I wanted to try my hand at a Murder Club mystery, and it was FUN. And I’ll always have a soft spot for the YA book, THE FAMILIARS, with Zoe–the witch–who could take off her shoes and stand barefoot in a park, then watch lush, green grass grow in all directions where the ground was once dead.
I used the webpage to write free short stories, too, so that I could cling to characters I’d grown too attached to but no longer wrote about in books. I don’t know how many Babet and Prosper stories ended up there. A lot.
But the sad truth is, to keep the stories moving so that readers didn’t forget the first chapters before I reached the last, I had to put up chapters or scenes at least two or three times a week. And I am now officially out of books cast in drawers, and I don’t have time to write that many free short stories any more. So this Tuesday, I hit the “you can never go back” button and deleted the entire webpage. It was bittersweet. All of those stories no longer available. But they’d have just hovered in cyberspace and gone unnoticed anyway, if I didn’t keep up the page, so it was a good thing.
I still intend to add snippets and the occasional short story on a page I created on this blog, and I hope readers find them and enjoy them. But deleting my webpage was a turning point for me. It means I’m serious about staggering two series and still hitting deadlines. And I’ve experimented enough, I’m ready to settle down to two kinds of mysteries I really enjoy writing.
Whatever you’re working on, I hope it’s going well. And happy writing!