Falling In Love With Her Husband was the very first romance book I wrote, and it was my first book that was historical. It was started back in 1998 but finished in 2007. So yes, I was rough around the edges back then when it came to “authenticity”, and to be honest, I still haven’t reached the level of authenticity that some would like for me to be at. I strive for a better authentic voice every time I write historical romances, but I’m aware that I still have further to go. All I can say is that I’m a work in progress. And as I keep telling my kids when they get bummed because they aren’t getting the best grades in class, “As long as you’re doing your best and making progress, that’s all that matters.” So I don’t stress out over the stuff when I write like I used to.
I figure people can read my books or not. It’s up to them. I’m just glad God has blessed me with the resources to be able to write and publish books I have in my heart to write. This is why I still self-publish–to keep my work true to my vision. After much prayer and soul searching over the past month (because as you know, I’ve been thinking of taking Mitch’s Win to a publisher), I’ve decided it’s best to keep self-publishing. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
But anyway, back to Falling In Love With Her Husband. This was the one book that went through more changes, rewrites, and revisions more than any other book I wrote. Romancing Adrienne is the second that went through the most work, and With This Ring, I Thee Dread is the third.
Originally, I published Falling In Love With Her Husband as Todd’s Bride.
I published it with iUniverse (a vanity press, which means I paid them to format it, get the cover, and upload it for me). It’s still out there in its original form. But I wasn’t satisfied with it. A month after I paid the vanity press, I felt that the story needed Todd’s point of view to be complete.
So I wrote Ann’s Groom.
And after I paid to have that published with the same vanity press, I still wasn’t satisfied. I spent the next six months agonizing over this book, and then I realized the book should be one book (instead of the same story divided into two books: Todd’s Bride and Ann’s Groom). Then I wanted to change a few minor things and add more to flesh it out.
So in the end, I came up with Falling In Love With Her Husband, and by this time, I had learned about publishing books myself on Amazon and Smashwords, so I opted to go through these venues to get my new version out there.
This was the original cover (which came from a template off of CreateSpace’s easy cover creator because back then I didn’t know how to make a cover):
And this is the cover I ended up going with once I learned how to start making my own covers:
What I’ve Learned Since I Started Writing Romances back in 2007:
All I can say is that I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. (And not just with Falling In Love With Her Husband.) I still make mistakes today. You could call them failures. But I like to think of them as learning opportunities. Mrs. Harner, my eighth grade teacher, who was the first person who told me I had potential with my writing also told the entire class, “We learn more from giving the wrong answer than from giving the right one.” At the time, I thought she was nuts, but now I can see where she was coming from. I learn a lot more from my mistakes than I do when I get things right the first time.
I know how hard it is to not get everything perfect the first time. You want it to be right immediately because if you aren’t, there are people who will criticize you. But you know what? Those are the same kinds of people who will criticize anyone for anything that isn’t “perfect” (according to their standards). Who needs them? Why fret over the people who can’t be pleased? Are they entitled to their opinion? Sure. Why not?
But you are also entitled to do things your way, and if you end up making a few mistakes (aka creating a learning opportunity for yourself), then so what? The world will keep spinning. The sun will keep shining. And at the end of the day, if you can take that learning opportunity and do better next time, then that’s what matters. We’re only human. Grace and mercy are wonderful attributes to not only show others but also to show ourselves. Next time when you do something, you will do it better because this time, you’ll know what you shouldn’t do. It’s just like I tell my kids, “As long as you’re doing your best and improving, that’s all that matters.” 😀