Young Adult Dystopian Author

Just a part of the journey

Greetings from Vancouver!

I present to you, a story with a purpose…

I finished writing my first book Compliant in the summer of 2015. I continued to write the State Series and began to study the indie publishing industry.  I have listened to so many credible experts discuss the industry, and most of them have one common piece of advice—don’t publish the first book you write. That one is just practice and won’t be good enough. Keep writing though, and eventually you will get something you can put out there.

I kept hearing this message, and it’s not that I ignored it or thought I am some kind of prodigy or genius who is above the rules, I simply kept returning to one simple thought: I love this story, the characters and the world. I would buy this book and fangirl all over it! Maybe someone else out there will see past all the “rookie mistakes” and love it too. I might as well take a shot at it. What can it really hurt?

I started to send out advanced copies a few weeks before publication and I have to admit, I was terrified. I thought people might read it and avoid  meafter so they didn’t have to tell me how terrible it is and pretend they never had a chance to read it because of some completely made up life-threatening situation.

I expected a lot of tears after sending it out, and there was, but not the kind of tears I anticipated. People weren’t only enjoying the book, some people LOVED it! They fangirl loved it, like me. I kept receiving emails, Facebook messages, and some phone calls from people I hadn’t heard from in years, praising me and my work. I was stunned, and couldn’t comprehend how I had cheated fate by writing a first book which wasn’t terrible.

When it came time to send out book 2, my fears had not lessened. I thought book 1 was a fluke, surely they will hate book 2. The feedback came in and to my great surprise, some people loved it even more than book 1! I felt so confident by the time I released book 3 that nothing could stop me now.

I put book 4 into Beta in mid September to get it ready for a December publication. I began to work on book 5 and book 6 as well. Through a combination of reading ahead and feedback from my amazing and lovingly honest Beta readers, I had a moment where I found myself staring blankly into space with one thought on my mind; ooooh, there it is.

It turns out I didn’t escape fate, it just took longer to catch up to me. It appears I got a little too creative with this series; my “rookie mistake.” Basically, it needs some serious restructuring and re-writing. What does this mean? Unfortunately I will not be able to meet my December 2018 publishing date. I am optimistic book 4 will be released in early 2019, and I will still be able to deliver 4 books in this series next year.

I was going over my outline for book 4 version 2.0 before writing this, and I had a moment where I looked at and said, “yes, this is it! This is the story, the characters and the world my readers are expecting and will love as much as the first 3 books.” I am sorry to delay as I know many of you have been really looking forward to the next installment, but I feel this is the right decision as I don’t want any of you to feel let down by the story.

The good news is, I have had Fight Club level insomnia and never sleep anyway (I write so I don’t start a Fight Club!). I will get this done and this delay will be a minor bump in the road and not a complete derailment. I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress and publication dates. Thank you for your patience and support.


MJ Kaestli

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