anxiety books

Writing Update: What's Next?

I haven't written a What's Next post since Nepenthe released in January and since I've gotten my writing mojo back, I figured it's time. I've broken it down between solos and coauthored books. :)

Firstly, I've taken a break from the Bracing for Love series (Patrick and Bo were tentatively going to get a book). I hope to write their stories, but they have their lips sealed right now.

Instead, I've been alternating between two works-in-progress.

One features Brittany and Trace and will be New Adult. Brittany has a lot going on in her life while struggling with anxiety. Trace is her former therapist who is now divorced and works at the college she attends.

The other features Haley and Keelan and will be Young Adult. Let me just say that I'm SUPER excited to be returning to YA after last year being full of New Adult and Adult age-categoried books. Haley is a tennis player who learns her family has some secrets after moving to a new town with her mom and stepdad. Keelan is a football player who was adopted and is dealing with his own family issues.

I've been having a lot of fun with these characters when I've been able to work on them.

Books with Mary:
As shown on the Schedule page, Mary and I have three books coming out starting this month. We're wrapping up the Oh Captain, My Captain series.

We have already started our next project. Of course, I can't say much about it yet. We probably won't announce any details until June at least. All I'll say is that we're very excited about and of course, it'll be a series. If all goes well, we'll have a couple more releases this year. That's all I'm sharing! :)

There you have it! That's the full update on what's coming in 2015.

About the Songs Mentioned in Don't Panic

As a reminder, these are the songs mentioned in Don't Panic:
  • "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith
  • "Miss Me" by Andy Grammer
  • "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You" by N'Snyc
  • "Without You" by Keith Urban
  • "God Gave Me You" by Blake Shelton
  • "Fall into Me" by Brantley Gilbert
  • "My Kind of Crazy" by Brantley Gilbert
For those that have read Don't Panic, did you wonder why I chose those songs? If you did, I'm here to tell you why!

The songs served a purpose. It wasn't about how it was Eli that was singing those songs. It wasn't about the fact that love is involved in those songs. It actually has nothing to do with the lyrics at all. I chose those songs because those are the few that I listen to when I'm having a panic attack. It was about the ability those songs had to relax me. How I could get lost in them and my worries would fade away.

That's why I chose those particular songs. They are on my phone under a playlist that I have just for attacks. Hopefully, you now understand why those were chosen. Not because of anything other than the fact that they can relax me during my attacks. In turn, Sam found them relaxing as well. The songs provided just the right amount of distraction we needed to bring the attacks down from it's climax.

You can look at my Don't Panic playlist on YouTube to find more songs that I find perfect for my anxiety attacks.

Am I Willing?

I'm unsure why, but my brain has been on anxiety lately. Not mine, really, as it has been in hiding since I started a new medication back in March. I'm sure it will rear it's ugly head come August when I return to school, if not before, but I feel good about facing it.

That's not the point of this post though.

When I finished Don't Panic, I thought about giving it a sequel. I wanted to show what comes after getting a handle on anxiety, because it doesn't just stay away forever. Happily ever after doesn't last long for someone who suffers from severe anxiety. I don't want that to come across as discouraging to anyone else out there with anxiety. I'm just saying that, at least for me, anxiety is a cycle of vicious attacks and then calm waters before the storm returns. Even my therapist said that the cycles are different for everyone. She, for example, can go years without having an attack and when it does return, it doesn't stay long. I don't believe for a second that everyone's anxiety is the same. Anything I say is based on my experience mostly.

Anyway, I've been avoiding even thinking about a sequel because it was absolute hell to write DP and I can only imagine the horrors of going back and telling more of Sam's story. I want to do so. Even feel like I need to do so, even though it can stand alone as it is.

Then something even worse happened. I got an idea for another book featuring another character dealing with anxiety. I thought, "Aw, hell. Not again! I don't know if I can survive another anxiety book." It takes a toll on me mentally to write a book like that. I seriously thought I was losing my mind while writing DP. Telling that story caused a lot of unwanted memories to surface and there I was, back to having full blown anxiety again. Just from writing. I lived through every attack Sam has in DP. I suffered through it right there with her and it was twice as bad because I had to stay sane enough to get the words on the screen.

My question to myself is am I willing? Am I willing to dive into even darker parts of anxiety to write another book with a new set of characters? Am I willing to return to Sam and wreck havoc on her carefully reconstructed world? To tear it down just so she can rebuild it again?

Hell, yes.

Okay. Maybe that should be a squeaky affirmation because that mirrors how I actually feel.

I don't know for sure about Sam's story yet. That is on hold for a while longer still. However, that other set of characters? They are clawing their way out of me and onto the screen.

Let the panic begin.