'Monster' and Real Life Things / by Josh Guess

I've been meaning to write this post for a while. I've been working on Monster, the sequel to Beautiful, for almost a year. In fact, it will be a year in a few weeks. I want to let you all know the status of the book and why it isn't done, and you can throw metaphorical rotten fruit at me in the comments if you like.

First, please understand that I am extremely busy. I write two Living With the Dead books a year, each of them the length of a novel if not in the same format. That's more than a lot of full-time writers manage. And I'm not full-time at this. I work a regular job as a nurse aide, and that figures in to the problem.

About this time last year the way our schedules are set at work changed. Now, being a CNA is a hard, physical job. It's also pretty emotionally draining. Ever had a loved one pass away or deal with a long-term, serious illness? That's rough for a lot of people. Imagine doing it every day.

Right now I work four days and am off two, rinse and repeat. That means that I get two days off with my wife out of every six weeks since my days off change with each cycle. So not only have I been exhausted by work, but I've been trying to spend the time I have at home with Jess, between writing LWtD and trying to work on Monster.

I'll be honest: for the last year I've been struggling to even move at times, because I'm physically and mentally worn out. I changed the schedule for LWtD so I had a free day every four in which I could research, because I just didn't have the focus to write and research, much less the time.

And the big one, the one that will probably have my mom calling or messaging me shortly after I post this because she's my mom and she worries...

I've been depressed. Not depths-of-my-soul despair, the kind that keeps people in bed, but it has been there. It has been a struggle for me to get out of the low points that the depression has been trying (and occasionally succeeding) to put me in. Don't worry about me, please; I'm okay. I'm dealing with it and over the last few weeks I've been able to get to a much better place.

But these are the reasons that Monster isn't done. I'm stretched thin and trying my best, but on top of everything else this book has become something much different than what I originally planned. It's darker, more focused on the consequences of the main character's choices, and it's hard for me to write it for that reason as well as all of the above. The book won't be out this month or next, I can be pretty certain of that. All I can ask is for your patience and maybe a little understanding.

I've also been meaning to post some links to some other Indie authors you might enjoy, but I'm saving that for my next post. I want to give them all a place to shine without my emo inner child overshadowing them. I'm going to post that tomorrow for sure, so you'll at least have some damn good fiction to read while I work on this book.

I'll also be doing a post about Monster itself within the next week, what you can expect and why it's a very different book than Beautiful.

Back to work.

Josh