A Weekend Off and the Creator’s Dilemma

Venting post ahead, you’ve been warned. :)

Despite having a mountain of Things to Do™, I took this weekend off. I haven’t had a completely lazy weekend since… hmm. I don’t remember, but it’s been months.

Mr M was off yesterday, so we had a three-day weekend. We did a little bit of house stuff, but mostly we slept in and played Borderlands 3. We bought the game back in September, but we never got a chance to play because we were too busy. It’s fun! If you liked the previous games in the series, you’ll like this one, too.

But while I took the weekend off, my brain didn’t. All weekend I felt low-level guilt for taking a break and having fun rather than doing something productive. I think this is a creator’s dilemma. There is pressure, both internal and external, to do more, faster.

For a while, that pressure can be harnessed to produce content. But live it too long, and it’s a one-way ticket to burnout city. I’m not there, but there is a certain dread every time I open up Scrivener. I know I’m behind and that gets in the way of writing, which puts me further behind. It’s a vicious cycle.

And I know I’m supposed to be writing a proposal for a new series, which should’ve been done months ago and isn’t. Argh.

So while I’m technically not under deadline anymore, my brain thinks I am, and I can’t relax. But the only way out is through* (for me, something else may be better for you!), so I’m going to turn on some music and make some words for our Rogue Queen. Wish me luck!

And lest you think it’s all doom and gloom in house Mihalik, I have two pieces of good news to end with. :) One, we got an offer on our old house the day we listed it. Yay! And two, my editor just sent me an all-caps squee about the changes I made to Chaos Reigning. She likes it! Huzzah!

*Or become a hermit. But since I like our new house, I’m going to go with through. :)

Chaos Reigning Edits Are Done!

I sent off the edited manuscript to my editor this morning. For those of you who like big books, it grew by about 6k in edits, making it just slightly longer than AB.

Assuming my editor likes all of the changes, it will move to copyediting and then page proofs and then release! It comes out May 19, but you can get a sneak peek and preorder links over on the book page.

Now I have to turn around and start working on the next Rogue Queen novella. I’m still hoping to start posting at the end of the month, but that depends on what happens with CR, because contracted stuff takes priority.

But maybe first, a nap. :)

The Next Rogue Queen Serial is Delayed :(

Let’s rip this bandaid off fast: the next Rogue Queen serial is going to be delayed by a month or so. I was hoping to start it by the end of the year, but edits for Chaos Reigning just landed. And while my editor liked the story overall (yay! always a relief), it needs a few fairly big edits and not a lot of time to complete them.

All of the house stuff and moving has put me super behind schedule. Usually, at this point in December, I’d have about 5-10k of the serial written already, because I need to be a little ahead of what is posted due to my writing style (aka go back and change earlier things as I write).

Let’s just say that I am nowhere near that mark. :(

That means if I started posting around Christmas as I planned, the updates would be short, sporadic, and lower quality than I would like. So, delayed it is. I’m so sorry. I know a lot of you are looking forward to the third book—it’s one of the things people email me about the most.

Edits are due mid-January, so depending on how they go, the serial will hopefully start late January.

As a small consolation, and to give you something to look forward to, book three has a title: The Queen’s Triumph. And here’s a peek at Samara:

For those of you who wait for the published ebook, this shouldn’t affect that schedule. Right now, it is tentatively scheduled for late summer.

I won’t be around too much while editing, so I hope you all have a great holiday season! See you in 2020!

(Also, where did this year go? If anyone sees my missing months lying around, please return them.)

Chaos Reigning Cover Reveal and Snippet!

The cover for Chaos Reigning, the final book in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy, is here!! It is gorgeous and I can’t wait to hold the book in my hands! Behold!

Isn’t is awesome? I feel so blessed to have such amazing covers. 🥰

CR is also available for preorder, so if you’re planning to pick it up at release on May 19, 2020, I hope you’ll consider preordering it early. Here are some handy links for you! :)

Preorder:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | IndieBound

And the back cover copy:

Interplanetary intrigue and romance combine in this electrifying finale to the Consortium Rebellion series.

As the youngest member of her High House, Catarina von Hasenberg is used to being underestimated, but her youth and flighty, bubbly personality mask a clever mind and stubborn determination. Her enemies, blind to her true strength, do not suspect that Cat is a spy—which makes her the perfect candidate to go undercover at a rival House’s summer retreat to gather intelligence on their recent treachery.

Cat’s overprotective older sister reluctantly agrees, but on one condition: Cat cannot go alone. Alexander Sterling, a quiet, gorgeous bodyguard, will accompany her, posing as her lover. After Cat tries, and fails, to ditch Alex, she grudgingly agrees, confident in her ability to manage him. After all, she’s never found a person she can’t manipulate.

But Alex proves more difficult—and more desirable—than Cat anticipated. When she’s attacked and nearly killed, she and Alex are forced to work together to figure out how deep the treason goes. With rumors of widespread assaults on Serenity raging, communications down, and the rest of her family trapped off-planet, Catarina must persuade Alex to return to Earth to expose the truth and finish this deadly battle once and for all.

But Cat can’t explain why she’s the perfect person to infiltrate hostile territory without revealing secrets she’d rather keep buried. . . .


And, as promised, here’s a little snippet. This has not been edited (at all!), so it’s subject to change, removal, etc. I think I removed the spoilers for AB, so it should be okay even if you haven’t read book two. Happy reading!


Bianca’s living room was a study of retro-industrial looks. Silver chain link curtains spanned the large windows and glittered in the sun. The furniture was sleek and black. Exposed ducting in the high ceilings added additional visual interest, and a single vivid painting saved the room from being utterly colorless.

The air was rich with the smell of cinnamon and sugar, but my sister was conspicuously absent. “Bee?” I called.

“We’re in the kitchen!” she yelled back.

My smile slipped at the we. I didn’t know anyone else was joining us for breakfast, but if Bianca was yelling like that, then it couldn’t be anyone too important. Maybe our oldest sister Hannah was back on Earth. She had taken some much-needed time away while we [redacted], but I hadn’t expected her back for another month or two.

Continue reading “Chaos Reigning Cover Reveal and Snippet!”

Interview with Shelf Addiction

Thank you so much for making Aurora Blazing’s release week awesome! I loved hearing from everyone and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book! It’s always a bit stressful putting a book out into the world for others to judge, but you’ve all been extremely kind. :)

To answer a frequent question: yes, Chaos Reigning will be the final book in The Consortium Rebellion trilogy. Harper Voyager bought three books and my contract is complete at book three. They are indicating they would like to continue working with me (yay!), but on a new series.

For them, it’s a business decision, because unless you are a superstar author, readership falls off for every book in a series, and some readers won’t read a series at all unless it is complete. (Spoiler: I am not a superstar.)

So, while I do have more stories to tell in the Consortium universe, I will very likely work on a new series next, then come back afterwards and add another Consortium arc, probably another trilogy. These may end up being self-published unless the series unexpectedly takes off. But for now, book three will be the final book, and it nicely ties up the series (if I do say so myself 😉), so you won’t be dangling from a cliff waiting for the next arc.

And now that I wrote a novel when I meant to write a paragraph, on to the main topic: my interview with Shelf Addiction! Tamara was kind enough to invite me to be a guest on her podcast to talk about Polaris Rising, Aurora Blazing, and writing in general.

Shelf Addiction Podcast presents Book Chat interview with author Jessie Mihalik. Episode 289.

We recorded it a few weeks ago, so sometimes I get my timeline mixed up, but I had such a nice time! And it was my first podcast interview ever!

Hopefully I don’t sound as nervous as I was. 😅

Thank you so much to Tamara and Shelf Addiction for having me on! You can download it in a podcast app, listen on their site, or listen below. Maybe. If I can get it working. :)