I am working on a Book of Shadows short story. It’s called Lia & Shar and focuses on them. I’m not sure how long it will be. Maybe it will wind up being a novella. I have it plotted out pretty well so I’m pretty confident that I’ll finish it. The events in the first four Book of Shadows novels all take place back to back in 2016, the year the book was published. The story I’m writing now takes place in 2020 during the pandemic. Lia and Shar are college students and work at George’s Magick Shop and Emma, January and Pete own a private investigations agency. That’s all I want to say about it for now. And I’m still hoping to write Book of Shadows 5 at some point, but I wasn’t getting anywhere with that and I was inspired to write this story. And I figured you’d rather get a Book of Shadows story that takes place four years after the books than no new Book of Shadows material at all. Maybe writing this will get me past the writer’s block I’ve been having with Book 5. Can’t hurt.
I have made the necessary decision to do a page one rewrite of Book of Shadows 5.
I hate wasting the 100+ pages I’ve already written, but they’re truly best chalked up to the learning experience.
They simply contain too many subplots. Meanwhile, several things happen that I’ve never been able to come up with a good explanation for.
Trying to figure out how to resolve all of these things and explain what doesn’t add up has been the source of my writer’s block, which is to say that I don’t think I’ve been blocked so much as I just marched myself right into quicksand. With each move I made, I was just sinking deeper. So, I stopped moving. And I’ve spent months trying to figure out how to dig myself out to no avail.
I’ve finally come to the realization that the only way to do so is to start over and simply avoid stumbling into quicksand in the first place. And it’s a relief.
As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I have found a thousand ways that won’t work.”
Now that I know what was working and what wasn’t, I can begin again and write the great ending for the series that you deserve. I hope you can understand.
|That’s right — for free! No strings attached.|
Happy Holidays to you all!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas, Yule, Festivus, or anything else you might have celebrated or are celebrating right now. And that you all have lots of dreams come true in 2020. I’m approaching it with optimism and the attitude that it has to be better than this year! Who’s with me? Spreading cheer and goodwill aside, I’m dropping you a line today to make sure you know that all six of my novels are now free on Prolific Works. You can get them all through my author page right here:
Now I have to talk about the neon pink elephant in the room. I know I’ve disappointed some of you this year by failing to finish Book of Shadows 5, but believe me when I say that no one is more disappointed about that than I am.
Unfortunately, the seasonal aspect of my bipolar depression kicked in early this year and I’ve also been dealing with some health problems, one of which I chose to deal with via surgery last month and I’m sorry to say that having that surgery is one of the biggest regrets of my life. It fixed the problem it was supposed to but created five others. Suffice to say, I just haven’t been able to muster up the positive energy I need in order to write. If you can send me some, please do! Healing prayers, spells, etc, are welcome, too.
All I can say is that I will finish Book of Shadows 5 next year. Eventually, spring will get here and I’ll be able to sit outside and smoke a cigar and write in my notebooks again. It’s like there’s magic in the air when I do that and I overflow with creativity. I’ve tried writing in notebooks in the house and in cafes and it just hasn’t worked. Apparently, I need sunshine and nicotine. To that end, I sometimes chew nicotine gum, but it doesn’t do much for me. There must be some other things in tobacco that enhance my creativity. In any case, I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone else start smoking cigars. Or other things, for that matter. I’m simply sharing my experience.
One thing I’ve been tempted to do lately is making a final pass at my unpublished memoir, Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles. I really need to get that published already. Goddess knows it will probably have a wider appeal than my other books. It’s about my descent into anorexia and a relationship with a woman I’d only later find out had DID, disassociative identity disorder, otherwise known as multiple personality disorder. Suffice to say, that was one complicated relationship. But I loved her and the book is very much a love story. It’s a love story about someone who loves someone so much that he starves himself in hopes of making himself more appealing so she’ll love him back. (I should save that for the blurb.)
The reason I haven’t been working on Fear & Self-Loathing is that I’ve felt like I’d be betraying those of you who are waiting for Book of Shadows 5. Thinking that if I can’t work on that then I shouldn’t be allowed to work on anything else. But I’ve finally realized how ridiculous that is. For one thing, maybe working on something else would open up the well of creativity then I would be able to work on Book 5? As Emma would say, “On ne sait jamais.” Translation: one never knows. Besides, time spent doing nothing is time wasted so I might as well edit Fear & Self-Loathing now and at least get something done. I’ve barely even written anything for my music and pop culture site, Love is Pop, the last few months because I let myself feel like I wasn’t allowed to do that either if I wasn’t working on Book 5. I see how absurd that is now, too, but for a while there I truly was taking on too much for the site and it was preventing me from writing books. So, I took a month off. A month during which I was determined to finish writing Book of Shadows 5. But I just couldn’t do it. Please accept my sincere apology for that and know that I’ll finish it as soon as I can. And please try to understand if I publish the memoir in the meantime.
That’s all for now, peeps!
Have A Safe & Happy New Year!
Mister Lucky Logan Black endorses Michael’s Christmas presents.
Hey there everyone! Thanks for coming to my site. This is just a quick post to let you know that I am continuing to work hard on Book of Shadows 5: Black Magick, just as I said I would be. In fact, I’m taking the whole month of October off from my music and pop culture site Love is Pop so that I can work on it.
In the meantime, you can still grab all six of my novels for FREE on Prolific Works right now. https://www.prolificworks.com/discover/author/9470/michael_beaulieu
Book of Shadows centers around a trio of 16-year-old, female witches and the trouble they get themselves into as they learn the hard way that spells can have unintended side-effects. I would say it’s an upper YA series recommended for people 16 and older as my characters swear as often as real teenagers and the storylines involve gun violence, PTSD and other more mature themes. So, if you prefer light-hearted, squeaky clean young adult fiction then they’re not for you. I should also mention that two of the main characters are a lesbian couple, one half of which is an Indian girl — I’m all about diversity. Most of the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are very positive!
Reckoning Daze is what you might call a downhill racer sort of novel as it follows a self-destructive actress who is anorexic, abuses drugs and cuts herself. It’s a very graphic book that isn’t for the faint of heart. Not by a longshot. People seem to either love or hate this book.
Becoming Madonna is a new adult novel that I wrote in 1998, which remains the book’s pop culture riddled setting. It’s about a soap star who wants to be a serious actress and a pop star, just like her idol, Madonna. It’s a satire and contains some politically incorrect humor. If Bret Easton Ellis wrote a book about a pop star, this would be it. You’d also likely enjoy it if you’re a fan of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing.
If you could leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads after reading my books, I would appreciate it tremendously. The more reviews you have, the more Amazon shows your books to people as they browse their site. Plus, readers just plain prefer to buy books that have lots of positive reviews. In other words, you could say reviews are the lifeblood of indie authors like me.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written to you and I apologize for that. It’s just been because I haven’t felt like I have much to say recently and I’ve been waiting until I have big news to tell you. That’s just something that I haven’t had lately. I still kind of don’t, but I figured I at least owed you a status update about Book of Shadows 5.
I have continued working on BoS 5, but at a snail’s pace to be honest. I’ve just been so wrapped up in my music and pop culture site, Love is Pop. The trouble I’ve been having is that, well, I have OCD — not severely, but still — and I have to hyper-focus on things to really get a lot done. It’s possible for me to do Love is Pop and write books, as I’ve done it in the past, but lately it’s been a real struggle. So, I have decided to take the entire month of October off from Love is Pop so that I can focus on Book of Shadows 5. And when I go back to it after that, I’m going to be really picky about what I do and only spend time on things that excite me, whereas in the past I have done things just to keep the site updated regularly.
I have the first 33 chapters of Book of Shadows 5 all typed up now. I was having trouble keeping my head straight before because I’d only be up to typing up chapter 27 meanwhile I’m writing chapter 33. This caused me to confuse chapters and insert some in the wrong order. I’m also having trouble because I keep forgetting what I’ve already written with my memory problem getting worse all the time. (I’m seeing a neurologist about that on Wednesday.)
The next thing I want to do is come up with an outline for the rest of the book, which will ultimately help me write faster and stay focused better. And I’ll be able to remember what’s already happened in the book easier because I can just refer to the outline.
When I’m having trouble working on BoS 5, or at a point where I’ve written all of it that I can for the day, I’m going to be working on doing a final edit to my memoir Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles. The book is about the first year I lived in California. About moving to Los Angeles and the very rocky relationship I had that year, as well as my descent into anorexia for the second time in my life. I think the subtitle is going to be “A Tale of Love and Anorexia.” In any case, I’m itching to finally publish it. It’s a little scary because it’s brutally honest and at first it will feel weird knowing that it’s out there for anyone to read., But everyone who has read it has said it’s the best thing I’ve written thus far so I feel like I owe it to myself to put it out there. Plus, it’s not doing me any good just sitting here.
All of my published books are now FREE on Prolific Works! Book of Shadows 1 – 4, Becoming Madonna and Reckoning Daze!!! BoS is YA, Madonna & Daze are new adult satires and not for the easily offended. https://www.prolificworks.com/discover/author/9470/michael_beaulieu @prolific_works #ProlificWorks #freebooks #bookstagram
Check out this new Book of Shadows advertisement/promo made by my super-talented friend Gael Welch. Feel free to spread it around, my friends.
Get Book of Shadows 1 – 3 free from my Prolific Works author page: https://www.prolificworks.com/…/author/9470/michael_beaulieu
Book 4 will be free via the same page but I think I have to wait until the 28th because even though I unenrolled the book from Kindle Unlimited, apparently I had a 90-day contract that doesn’t expire until then. My only concern about breaking it would be that Amazon would ban me from selling books on their site forever. That’s the only punishment I can think of and they do like to punish people so just give me a few weeks. I’m not sure when I have to wait until yet, but Becoming Madonna will also be free on Prolific Works at some point.
You can also get my non-ya, new adult, racy novel Reckoning Daze from my author page, but I do have to warn you that it may be triggering for anorexia, cutting, rape, incest and drug abuse.
I should also mention that the protagonist is a downhill, self-destructive racer and the book is her descent into madness so don’t expect a HEA. So, who would like Reckoning Daze? People who like edgy, alternative literature. People who like to be shocked. People who don’t mind books without a traditional plot. People who like those “anonymous” books.
In some ways, I think Reckoning Daze is the best thing I’ve ever written. And I love that it gets extreme reactions from people. It’s a love it or hate it sort of book. If you look at the reviews, there are people who’ve said it’s the best book they’ve ever read. No kidding. And others say it’s a piece of trash, that it’s the worst book they’ve ever read. I like that it gets such strong reactions from people. I can’t wait to give away Becoming Madonna and finally have people reading that book, which should prove almost as controversial, largely because the protagonist starts off a bit racist and homophobic. That said, she does wise up by the end of the book. I bet people will read half of it and write reviews calling me a racist, though. I don’t want that to happen whatsoever, mind you, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what happens.
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Today, I am happy to tell you that I’ve written the first 18 chapters of Book of Shadows 5! 15 of them are all typed up. The other 3 only exist in a notebook so far, but I’ll be typing them up soon enough. Not to mention writing more chapters.
It’s a weird time for me right now because I really should be getting back to doing interviews for Love is Pop, but I’m having so much fun writing Book of Shadows 5 that I haven’t been able to pry myself away from it yet. I will finally be doing a couple soon-ish, though. And, oddly enough, they’re not with musicians. One is an author and the other is a filmmaker. But I can’t tell you their names just yet, lest I jinx myself and have them fall through.
Have you read the first four Book of Shadows novels yet? If not, you can get them via the following links:
Book One: Casting: https://amzn.to/2OgTqpV (free)
Book Two: Rising: https://amzn.to/2Oea8qe
Book Three Hunting: https://amzn.to/2Oefp0U
Book Four: In Memoriam: https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG (this volume is in Kindle Unlimited, so you can read it for free if you’re a subscriber)
Here’s a trick, though: If you Google “Michael Beaulieu Prolific Works” it should take you to the page with all of my books that are available for free through the site. This includes Book of Shadows 1, 2 and 3! And they’re available in epub and mobi.
If you’ve read any of them but haven’t left a review yet, I would appreciate it tremendously if you could take a minute to leave one now. Even a one sentence review would be great. And you can leave reviews on Amazon even if you grab the books from Prolific Works for free. If you get them from Amazon, it will tag them as verified purchases, which looks a little better, but you can still leave reviews without buying the books from them.
I know you’re always hearing authors asking for reviews, but they really do help. Whenever someone leaves a positive review, it triggers Amazon to show your book to more people. Plus, people who happen across the books at random, or by looking them up, will be more inclined to buy them if they see that I have a lot of positive reviews. Thankfully, most of my reviews are positive. There just aren’t enough of them. More importantly, there haven’t been any in quite some time so I could really use some new ones. Just be honest. If you want to leave a negative review, that’s fine, too.
The wonderful book review blog A Well Read Woman has reviewed Becoming Madonna. They gave it 5 stars!
Here’s a quote:
“The plot of Becoming Madonna is clever and original. I liked how there was a story within the story–while she was still on set with the soap opera. It was fun seeing her dashing back and forth like a chicken with her head cut off between acting and recording in the studio. And it was amusing/and almost comical to witness her panicking over her father seeing her very risque music video for “Touch Me… There”. Laurie learns that becoming a pop superstar like her idol Madonna comes at a steep price, literally and figuratively. “
Of course, I recommend you head on over to the excellent blog and read the entire review:
In other news, I’ve now completed 11 chapters of Book of Shadows 5! So, yes, progress is definitely being made. I don’t know how long it will take me to complete the book, but I’m hoping to have it written and ready by Thanksgiving. Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam took me a little over an entire year to write, so that might be a tough deadline for me to meet, but I’m going to do my best. Speaking of Book of Shadows 4, it continues to get a lot of positive feedback. I just wish you folks who write me such wonderful fan mail would post your thoughts on Amazon or Goodreads, too. Reviews truly are the lifeblood of indie authors, such as myself. You might think your comments aren’t worth leaving if they’re only a couple of sentences, but, trust me, even one sentence reviews can make a difference. The more positive reviews, the better. Of course, I only want you to leave honest reviews so if you didn’t like one of my books please feel free to leave a review stating that. If you could indicate what I could’ve done better, I would appreciate it, but, if not, no worries.
Here are the links to buy or leave reviews for the first 4 Book of Shadows novels on Amazon:
Book One: https://amzn.to/2OgTqpV
Book Two: https://amzn.to/2Oea8qe
Book Three: https://amzn.to/2Oefp0U
Book Four: https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG
On another note, I wanted to mention that my friend Bill’s cat, Magique, was found. He was actually hiding under Bill’s bed for three days, shy about getting to know his new home! When he finally did start coming out, he turned into quite the terror, trashing the house on several occasions, but I understand he’s calmed down and adjusted well now. And, yes, Magique is the French word for magic. However, he was already named that when Bill adopted him. So, it’s a strange coincidence that my friend’s cat wound up with a French name and an even stranger one that it should be the word for magic, which is one of my favorite things, as you well know.