09 July 2019 by Published in: Uncategorized 10 comments

After eight years of turning out roughly 8-9 novels a year, about April of 2019 I hit a kind of wall. Moving to a new place, dealing with personal issues, working with several new investments, designing homes, traveling…

After sixty-something novels, it seems the universe is telling me it’s okay to take a break.

So I am. I’m chipping away at the new DAN – Nemesis, but not at the 5-6K a day rate I’m accustomed to. More like 1000-1500 words a day. So it’s taking what for me seems like forever. If I’m lucky I’ll be done by the end of July for an August release.

Which has created an insane level of guilt in me, as I feel like I’m totally slacking. I know that’s nuts, but it’s the way I’m wired. And of course, there’s the fear that I’ll never be able to write decently, much less prolifically, again. Irrational, but it’s there like the fear that mole is something more than an annoyance.

My production schedule this year called for five novels: 2 JETs, 2 DANs, and 1 Ramsey’s. At this rate I can see perhaps the 2 JETs, and possibly either a Ramsey’s or another DAN in addition to the current WIP, but doubtful I’ll achieve both.

The truth is that my income is up by almost triple from where it was a couple years ago, entirely due to AMS advertising, so the pressure to publish every 5-6 weeks is minimal from a revenue standpoint. And there’s no fucking way I’m ever going to use a ghostwriter – it’s not that I’m opposed to the practice if the market doesn’t mind, it’s that it seems like it turns a labor of love into a manufacturing scheme, and that’s not my thing – I have enough business interests so that I don’t feel the need to turn my writing into another one.

This is all a long way of saying I’ve made the decision to take it easy this year, recharge my batteries, and only write when I want, so it’s not like it’s a job. Part of the problem in turning what you love into a job is you can lose the passion for it – it becomes work. And being shiftless and lazy, I’ve always despised actual work.

I would rather take a hiatus than hate what I’m doing. So I’m slowing to what I consider next to nothing, and taking it day-by-day.

For everyone who was eagerly awaiting a new DAN at the end of July, I apologize. For those who expected a new Ramsey’s, well, it could still happen in 2019. I’m not saying it won’t. I’m just saying that right now, the beach and margaritas and swaying palms and long siestas soothed by balmy breezes sounds better than 12 hours in front of a monitor.

Hope you bear with me.

I’m not gone. Just…resting.



  1. Tue 09th Jul 2019 at 11:58 am

    I appreciate these kinds of posts, Russell, and the benefit of your experience.
    I’ve been running Amazon Ads since the beginning of the year and not worrying too much about current ROI but attempting to keep myself in front of readers who might click after seeing one of my ads for the 5th or 10th or 20th time. So far I feel the results have been pretty good considering my mystery series is only 4 books long. I hope that when it hits 6 or 9 books the groundwork I’ve laid will pay off even more.

  2. Tue 09th Jul 2019 at 1:35 pm

    You’ve worked so hard. You deserve a break. Don’t feel guilty about working less. Enjoy your life.

    That said, I do hope you pen another Black book next year.

  3. Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 8:23 am

    Perfect. Enjoy.

  4. Theresa L Richardson
    Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Will there be anymore ‘Day After Never’ books?

    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 7:28 pm

      Absolutely. I’m working on one as we speak.

  5. Theresa L Richardson
    Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Are any of your other books focused on dystopian futures?

    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 7:28 pm

      Quantum Synapse.

  6. Ann
    Thu 11th Jul 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Whew. I won’t lie. I was living for July 29. Because in the last several months I became wickedly spoiled by your books and getting to read series after series in marathon sessions. Truly. Your writing rocks. After reading another prolific author in the last two weeks, it became so clear to me that you do not have a ghost writer, for which I am SO grateful. Even if you never wrote another book, I was so blessed by the AS and DAN series. Of course, Jet, as well, but damn, I am just so partial to El Rey and to Lucas! Best wishes to you, and thank you so much. Ann

    • Russell Blake  –  Fri 12th Jul 2019 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m chipping away at the next DAN, but am taking things slow this summer so I can focus on other things. The good news is that even my “slow” pace of 3-4 novels a year is about 3 times more than most novelists turning out anything of quality, so hopefully the market won’t forget me that quickly…

  7. Bill
    Mon 15th Jul 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I enjoy your Day After Never series. I listened to the first 7 via audible.com and read the last one. I hope there will be more in this series. In the mean time I will read your other series.


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