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Volume Two of Wis' Apothecary is Out Now!!

A Proud Journey of Trials and Tribulations

Finally!! First let me start by thanking everyone for their continued support. Not only have the online sales been steady, but 2,500 pages have already been read on Kindle Unlimited - meaning it's getting quite a bit of traction there as well! (It's only a 300 page book.) People have been tagging me in photos after getting their books in, which is really so exciting to see. I can't wait for the feedback to start coming in!!

It took two years, in which I lost both a friend and a grandparent, worked 40 hours a week, hunted for a new job and moved across the country. The pandemic ended and life began moving quickly again. My illustrator started college. My editor endured numerous personal hardships of his own. All while I tortured myself over a good sequel: where do Isabel and friends go from here?

I don't say this to complain, but rather, now that it's all said and done... I'm really proud of myself. I'm proud of the stories I told, the love that went into the project and the patient help from others I received along the way. I can only hope this all shines through to you, the reader!

Cover art for Welcome to Wis' Apothecary, volume two

Just Keep Writing

I speak on this in the Afterword, but writing my first sequel was tricky. It's easy to fill an empty world, where Isabel could have been anyone and there could have been any number of moons in the sky. But making sure everything plays by the rules in a universe that already exists?

With each story, I create more rules I have to follow in the next. My moons have names. Something is revealed about Wisteria's past. Lessons Isabel learns in one story pays off in another as we watch her grow and mature. It has to be authentic. With all its magic and fantastical characters, I want the world to feel real. I want Isabel and her friends to feel real.

I tried to let the story tell itself. Isabel has an Arcanus... now what? Casting magic isn't easy, is it? Magic is powerful, but it also has a cost. Can it be guided by ideals, or is it simply a tool? By following a natural progression, I let the characters do the hard-lifting. At the end of the day, that's what I love about this kind of storytelling most: I just want the opportunity to create another fun and interesting character. You never know who is going to walk through the apothecary doors next!

As busy or challenging as my life got at times, I pushed myself to keep writing. One story at a time. One sentence at a time. Like any good artist, I even drew inspiration from those same challenges in my very own life. Though at times I wondered if I'd ever finish, especially when tackling that final story, I just kept at it. So what if I published the first book in six months? As we mustn't compare our own journeys to the journeys of others, I knew I also needed to give this journey its own sense of independence.

The stories are longer. The characters are more developed. The lessons are deeper. And, frankly, I'm a better writer than I was in 2021. Book two really did feel like its own journey, as it should have. As you pick up the book, I hope you feel that journey as well.

And I look forward to what book three's journey will bring too.

A photo from the Wis' Apothecary Discord server, where someone bought the new book.

Have you joined the Discord server yet? I'd love to engage with you!

Writing is the Easy Part!

For those looking to self-publish, I highly recommend it! There are many advantages over traditional publishing, worth a blog post of its own. And I love having complete control over my own product. But...

I remember after publishing my first book, I was trying to sell it to a local bookstore. The owner asked me, "Can you get me an invoice?"

I half-jokingly replied, "An invoice?"

To which behind me a customer laughed and said, "Damn creatives."

I think about that a lot haha.

I thought it would be easier the second time around. But like this sequel was its own journey, it had its own challenges too.

During the first volume, it was about getting the cover dimensions just right. In the second one, the challenge was the spine. I learned how to sharpen the quality of the exterior, but I also had to download a dozen fonts just to find the right one for the interior.

New city? New opportunities for business. But I have to start all the way over when it comes to networking, all while making sure to maintain my connections in Rochester (Volume 2 will be on its way to bookstores soon!)

If anything can be said about traditional publishing, its that there's a whole team to support you with everything from design to marketing. Sales. Social media. Getting into bookstores. Organizing events.

As a self-publisher, you have to do this work, mostly, on your own. It's been a constant learning and growing process, albeit a fun one. While it's not easy juggling all the above with still managing to write and working a full-time job, I love the intimacy of it all. My books feel like an extension of myself, and every sale is a direct result of my efforts. It feels organic. Like I'm delivering something homecooked in a world of fast food.

There's a certain pride that comes with that kind of work, you know? Each review and kind word makes me so happy, and I'm beyond grateful to every single one of my readers.

An Amazon review for Welcome to Wis' Apothecary volume two

My first review for book two!!

Where Do We Go From Here?

It comes down to patience. For those looking to write a book of your own, be patient with yourself and the process! I'm embracing the learning and the journey, and that's really the best part. All the work and frustration pays off in the end, I promise. Once again, I can't state enough how proud I am of this second volume!!

Right now I'm working to get books over to Hammergirl Anime and Lift Bridge Book Shop in the Greater Rochester Area, and BookPeople in Austin. I'd like to get into more, but these are all the confirmed names so far! While I'm thankful for all of my online sales, if you have the ability, please consider supporting these great local stores as well!

I'm also working to set up some events. I have a special opportunity I'm waiting to learn more about before I say anything further, but next month I'd like to do readings here in Austin and Dallas. Sometime over the summer I plan to visit Rochester for the same. Though logistically, that will be harder to plan. I ask for some patience, but I promise I'll be up there one way or another!! Stay tuned, and please come see me when the time comes!

In the meantime, it's available here on Amazon, but once again, you should be able to find it in any of the aforementioned stores in just a couple of weeks. Book stores need our support more than ever! And there's nothing quite like walking out of a store with a new book in hand, is there?

In closing, I have one final request: please, if you read my book, could you leave a written review? Not only would I love to hear your feedback, it would also mean a lot if you'd help spread the word! If you enjoyed it, a review goes a long way in getting others to see what Wis' Apothecary is all about!

Your support and love is forever appreciated!

Oh, and have I mentioned? I've already started writing book three... where we meet a dragon! Of course, that's all I'll say for now.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

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