Hey there, friends! We’re snug in the quiet spot between book releases, so I figured it was time for a general “State of the Schaefer” update. Maybe I should say “states,” since most of my time these last couple of months has been taken up with trying to move. I put my house on the market, aiming to relocate from Illinois to North Carolina. A number of my friends live out there, plus it puts me a short/cheap flight from my friends in NYC, so win-win.

Unfortunately, my productivity (and my blood pressure) has taken a beating in the process. Moving has been described as one of the most stressful events we can undergo, and I believe it. Beyond living out of packing boxes, nothing kills workflow like being immersed in writing a big scene only to find out that a realtor is coming to show the house and I have to clear out in fifteen minutes. Then coming home, getting back to work, and having to do it again twenty minutes later.

The process leaves an emotional residue, this continual uncertainty that leaves me feeling rootless, restless. Getting anything done requires constant effort, and mental exertion feels like rolling a boulder uphill. That said, I’m plugging away. There’s light at the end of the tunnel: the house has a buyer, it’s passed inspection and legal review, and if nothing goes haywire between now and then, the closing is on March 19th. Later this week I’m flying out to hunt for an apartment, and after that I’m winging up to New York for a mini-vacation and a salon being held by the amazing talents behind the Sycamore Theatre Company. (Yes, I’ve made an executive decision to take a couple of days off and relax – it’s a shock, I know.)

Fortunately, the manuscript for The Neon Boneyard is already finished, so it was immune to any moving-stress-induced delays. It’s still in editing, and I think we’re looking good for an April release. This is going to be a fun one. As the Man with the Cheshire Smile and the Network forge a (very) unstable truce, they turn to some out-of-town help to deal with their Vegas problem. And by “out of town,” I mean “from a parallel Earth.” Not one of the nice, friendly ones, either. As for Daniel, he’s been challenged to hunt down one of his most dangerous enemies…and save her life. Come April, things are going to be weird all over.

I’ve been talking with 47North Publishing about the future of the Harmony Black series, and I’ve got some news to share in the near future (this is going to demand a lengthy post of its own, it’s a long story) – I’ll try to bring you up to speed next month, ideally with info about the next book. In the meantime, we’ve signed a contract for an epic contemporary fantasy that’ll be out either very late this year or in 2019. It’s called Haunted Palaces, and it’s not quite like anything I’ve done before. It’s kind of this giant love letter to New York City, gothic romance literature, Hekate, and romantic comedies. I’m incredibly thankful that they’re taking a chance on publishing it.

On that note, feedback on Sworn to the Night is still coming in strong, and I’m so grateful that so many of you are enjoying it! We were hoping to have the audiobook version out by now, but Susannah came down with a cold and, well, you can’t get around that. I can write sick, but nobody can (or should) narrate sick. Her amazing voice is getting back into full health, and we’re hoping to have the audio ready by early March. I promise, it’ll be worth the wait.

And on my end, I’m currently working (slowly, under the circumstances, but doing my best) on the first draft of Detonation Boulevard, the sequel to Sworn to the Night. Our antiheroines are somewhere between Jersey City and Chicago at the moment and driving fast through the night. Then again, if you saw what was chasing them, you’d drive fast too.

That’s the update! There’s a big, exciting year ahead, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.