This upcoming year is just about having fun.
1. I’m not going to think of writing as a business anymore.
Authors are told to market and market and market their books all day long. After all, no one knows you have a book unless you tell them about it. While I can see why conventional wisdom says this (and yes, it does work when done right), I’m not a good business person. I never have been, and trying to force myself into a box to be a good marketer has never worked. It’s not my personality style, and it’s been making me miserable. So I’m not doing to do it anymore.
I’ll still be on Facebook and MeWe once in a while, but I won’t be there often. I will, however, still blog on a regular basis since I love blogging. I’ll also keep up with the monthly newsletter blog posts, which I also enjoy doing.
2. I’m only writing books I’m passionate about.
I’ve been doing this since November 1, and I’ve been shocked by how much joy and enthusiasm I feel for writing again. Over the past three weeks, I have averaged between 3,000 – 4,000 words a day when I write. Last Friday, I didn’t want to stop writing. I tried, but the urge to get back to one of the stories I’m working on wouldn’t leave me alone. For the first time in years, I actually wrote 6,000 words. And I wasn’t exhausted. I was energized and ready for more. But I made myself quit because I had to go to bed. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this kind of enthusiasm for writing. For the past three years when I hit 3,000, I was relieved to be done for the day. It makes a huge difference when you WANT to write. I will never go back to writing for a market ever again.
3. I’m going to be six months ahead of my publishing schedule.
I never want to worry about rushing a book ever again. There were books I, unfortunately, cut short because I had to reach a deadline. I’m not going to tell you what they were because it’s embarrassing to admit I did that. Fortunately, I didn’t do this often. Most books played out the way they were meant to.
I only admit this publicly is to give anyone hope who might have done something similar. Maybe this isn’t with writing a book. Maybe it’s something else you did that you only did half-heartedly when you look back and wish you had done it with all of your heart instead. There’s no point in beating yourself up about the past. It’s done. I had a friend who used to say, “Let lying dogs lie.”
The best way to move forward is by letting things in the past stay in the past. I am not going back and rewriting books anymore. I’m done with that. What I’m going to do is work on new stories because that’s where my heart is. I can do that whole-heartedly. The best projects you can do are those you can give 100% of yourself to. A new year is a great time for embracing new starts. You can make this year anything you want.
Okay, now for what is coming out during the first half of this year.
One Enchanted Evening is done and uploaded for pre-order. The date it comes out is January 6.
This is Book 2 in the Marriage by Fairytale Series.
- Book 1: The Marriage Contract
- Book 2: One Enchanted Evening
- Book 3: The Wedding Pact (to be written)
After not having anything out for what feels like forever, I am happy to announce I got a new book coming out next month! It’s loosely based on Cinderella. This is my fun trip into the gothic romance genre. I had a blast with this. It’s in the Regency time period, so there are titled gentlemen and servants, etc. I just wanted to explore a level of deeper emotion than I have been in the Regency arena. In this case, I delve into the issue of unrelenting guilt and the need for redemption. It was a lot of fun to place the heroine who is struggling with this in a romance. Also, if you love super sweet virgin heroes, this book has one.
The Imperfect Husband is due out March 2
This is the last book in the Misled Mail Order Brides Series.
- Book 1: The Bride Price
- Book 2: The Rejected Groom
- Book 3: The Perfect Wife
- Book 4: The Imperfect Husband
For those of you who were upset I didn’t address the issue of Mark tricking Velma and Tony into marrying each other so far in this series, be assured I did it in this book. When you read this book, you’ll see why my subconscious mind had to wait until this book to address that lie.
But the unexpected fun I came across in this book was how insecure the hero was. I had fun working with a hero who gets to grow into someone who learns to be secure along the course of the story, and he needs the heroine in order to do it. I am a firm believer that the right person in our lives can bring out the best in us, and it was fun to show that happen in this book.
Shane’s Deal is going to be out in April
This is the last and final book in the Montana Collection.
- Book 1: Mitch’s Win
- Book 2: Boaz’s Wager
- Book 3: Patty’s Gamble
- Book 4: Shane’s Deal
I will admit when I started this book, I was afraid I couldn’t pull it off. I had been wanting to finish up the Montana Collection for years, but I had trouble finding a plot that excited me. Finally, I had the inkling of an idea that involved a heroine who carrying a lot of money and is on the run. Anyone remember Madeline Thompson the outlaws were looking for at the beginning of Boaz’s Wager? Well, that is the heroine in this book. I always knew she was going to be the heroine and the marshal (Shane) was going to be the hero, but that was all I knew for years.
I started this book with such a slim idea that I expected this to be a novella. It turned out to be a full-length novel, and I’m thrilled with how the storyline progressed. I brought up a subplot in Boaz’s Wager and Patty’s Gamble that will finally reach its conclusion in this book, but I can’t say what it is without spoiling the book. Suffice it to say that this book really does complete the series.
Kidnapping the Viscount will be out in May
This is the last and final book in the Marriage by Fate Series.
- Book 1: The Reclusive Earl
- Book 2: Married In Haste
- Book 3: Make Believe Bride
- Book 4: The Perfect Duke
- Book 5: Kidnapping the Viscount
I keep hearing that it’s best to write series that go on and on for many books, but I have found my interest quits around the 3-4 book mark. I threw this in an attempt to make this series longer. When I started it, I had planned for the typical storyline of a heroine who forces the hero to do something, and he ends up spending half the story sulking because of it.
To be honest, that bored me. So when I decided to write stories for passion again, I decided to switch things around. I wanted a romantic comedy, so I opted to give the book a twist. I set it up so that the hero schemes to make the heroine think she’s kidnapping him against his will. The result is a lot of great humor that had me laughing through half of the book. I’m glad I took this route instead of the one that was much more marketable.
Some of my favorite books contain things that don’t fit the “what’s marketable” formula. 🙂 I love this whole post. Do you, because at the end of the day, that’s what readers really enjoy. The little spark that is you is what brings readers coming back.
Also, unless it is great storyline, I start loosing interest around book 3 or 4. Especially when it is a formula book kind of situation. Why? I can already overly predict a story. I read like some people breathe air. So if I series is on Kindle Unlimited, and it catches my interest, I go as long as I can. However, there are only a handful of series I have really enjoyed, after book 4.
I watch a lot of psychological thrillers and suspense for fun, and I play a game where I see if I can guess how things will end up. Based on what characters say and do early on, I have about a 90% success rate with being right. I think it’s the formula in the movies (and books) that make them predictable. I’ve discovered that writers are afraid to take risks because following the formula (and giving people what they are expecting) results in more sales.
In the writing community, they emphasize this, but then, they’re looking at writing as a business. I was never more miserable with writing than when I was trying to do formula books. When I write, I want my characters to take me off the safe and familiar path and lead me down another one.
In my opinion 3-4 books is idea for a series because it allows you enough time to work on certain subplots through the book without weighing anything down. I know some writers like to work in another subplot, and some do well at it, but I like to focus on one main subplot and then end the series. Plus, the more books there are in a series, the harder it is to keep all of the main characters within the series engaged with each other. I much prefer the spin-off series where I can bring in a character again without the restraints of trying to force them to have a major role in a series.
I hate admitting this, but I get bored easily as a reader. I end up skimming half of the books I pick up. A couple of my own books (unfortunately) fit in this category. That’s a terrible thing. Of all the books out there, my own should have me glued to the story. That’s another reason I’m ditching the whole mindset of writing to market. I will never write another book where I go back and read it only to think, “When is this going to be over?”
I am so excited I can’t wait to hear about Shane and his story
I’m very pleased with how Shane’s story is playing out. I expect to be done within two weeks. Then it’s off to edits. 🙂
I can feel your new excitement for writing again! I love it!
It took almost the entire year to get back to this level of enthusiasm, but the struggle was worth it. 🙂