As you can see, quite a few of my books have disappeared from my site. Although part of me is sad to see them go, I think it’s time for me to say farewell to them. Some of my older books simply aren’t as well written, have erotic elements crowbarred into the story line instead of being an integral part of the tale, and/or simply aren’t selling anymore.
Could I go back and rewrite them all? I guess I could. But I won’t. I’m not going to dwell on the past…
At least that was my intent. When I started thinking about new stories to write, one of my books kept intruding on my thoughts. It’s a quirky zombie tale and one of my favorite authors, Edgar Allan Poe, has a walk-in part. Now, in the beginning, he was to have been the integral story line. Unfortunately, I wrestled what was a fantastic story line into something I thought I could sell, a romance.
Once Upon A Midnight should have never been a romance. It didn’t work and, quite frankly, is a bit of a bore to read. It got a couple of decent reviews but there’s not much excitement on the page.
Because of very sad events, the death of our beloved publisher, Linda, one of the founders of L&L Dreamspell, I’ve received back the rights to Once Upon a Midnight and since the story plot keeps revolving in my head, I’m going to rip it apart. And Rewrite it. The way it should have been.
When I first began writing (back in the dark ages with a chisel and rock), the only way to see one’s name in print and to gain readers was to be published in a commercial venue. Publishers and editors had to be approached and one’s work had to pass a certain muster in order to be presented to readers.
The good thing about that was that once you were “published” you could go about the business of writing the next book. Publishers took care of the cover, editing, publicity, and marketing (to a certain degree). In that era, I learned to write for publications. I didn’t start a story unless I had a specific publisher in mind for my books. I also tailored stories to fit certain markets…some of my scary stories really weren’t designed to be erotic romances, but that was where the market was.
Then, right in the middle of my own emotional storm, the whole publishing world underwent an upheaval of epic proportions. Self-publishing authors went from being pariahs to pharoahs in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
I jumped onto that bandwagon and as contracts expired, I regained my rights and self-published. Some books have been successful….some, um, most…not so much. Worrying about book sales replaced all the joy and excitement I typically felt about writing.
Telling stories has always been as integral to me as breathing and suddenly it was a nearly unbearable chore. The moment I began writing, I began to worry about how it would be received. Would it sell enough copies to pay off the editors and cover artists? If not, could I do those jobs myself (ugh)…. Add all this to my topsy-turvy emotional state and it ended up being a perfect storm of disaster.
So, although I will continue to write, continue to seek publication and/or self publish, I am taking back my joy of writing. I’ll be writing books that I want to write. These stories will probably be a lot darker and a lot less romantic than the stories I’ve previously written.
Will I lose readers. Maybe. Part of me is first and foremost afraid of that. Readers are why authors write. But if there isn’t any passion in my writing, there won’t be any on the page to read. A tradeoff. But I’m determined to regain the joy of writing…and if the stories are a bit “different”…I hope you’ll find them “different in a good way.”
They say that writers need to have thick skins…I always thought I was one of those impervious authors. I’m also half-British, so there’s the whole “stiff upper lip” thing to contend with as well. So, it was a surprise to me when last summer I started feeling off. A little blue, a little irritable. I wrote it off as having all the kids home for the summer and other things life throws in an author’s path. Plus, I’ve always been a worst-case scenerio, glass-half-empty, touch of melancholy person, so I wasn’t too worried. Contrary to all my instincts, I assured myself that these feeling would pass.
Then, November, that bleak month Jo March referred to in Little Women arrived. We live in California, normally November is pretty pleasant. It wasn’t until all the sparkling lights, joyful carols, and bouncing-off-the-wall anticipation of the upcoming Christmas didn’t budge the black cloud over my head that I realized something was pretty wrong.
By February, desperation had set in. I hadn’t picked up a pen or illuminated a pixel in months, the voices in my head had gone preternaturally silent, and a rejection letter from my dream publisher felt like a death toll. Having never had writer’s block, I wrote it off as that. But why, after almost a lifetime of writing, would I suddenly have something I wasn’t sure I even believed in? I realized I was deluding myself. I was plain and simply DEPRESSED. Clinically, chronically, to the point where even getting out of bed felt like an enormous accomplishment — that sort of depressed. I sought help.
Although medication might be touted as a miracle cure for depression, I have to say that for me it’s been a long road back to feeling “myself” again. I knew I’d turned a corner when I suddenly had a thought I hadn’t had in over a year.
“That would make a great story.”
I’m relieved, my family is relieved, above all, the voices in my head are relieved.
Sadly, since I’ve been away, a lot has changed in the publishing world. Some of my titles have gone out of print, and one of my beloved publishers has closed its doors permanently. I’ve finally got the energy to tackle updating my website, so you’ll see some changes. Finally.
I want to thank you all for sticking with me through the darkness of the storm.
My favorite part of an impending title’s release is getting the cover to the book. This one is for A Twisted Tide, being published very, very soon by L&L Dreamspell. The cover was designed by the incomparable Linda Houle.
An amnesiac woman looks to the future and finds more than she bargained for — her past…
September 11, 2001 was a momentous day in history. It was also the day Letitia Davies lost her memory and began seeing ghosts. Despite the loving care of her husband, she never regained any memory of her past. When he unexpectedly dies of cancer, Letitia travels back to Napa, California, to celebrate her birthday and plan out her future. There she encounters a sexy man who claims to be her real husband. Although her mind doesn’t remember him, her body does and his touch inflames passions she’d only dreamed of before. In order to take her mind off her lust for the handsome stranger, Letitia investigates the death of a ghostly beauty. However, the series of clues she finds leads Letitia right back to her past and could either unlock her mind or destroy the only memories she has left.
Now available for Kindle at Amazon.com
Amargosa Ambush by Will Murray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lawman Cal MacLamond is on a mission to right wrongdoings in this Old West adventure – whether it’s saving a tone-deaf Chinaman, keeping pretty senioritas safe, or dodging bullets in a shootout with desperate hombres. Only thing is, Cal’s more than a little smitten with a lovely lady named Resi. Could it be that this sharp-shooting deputy has finally found true love? If so, what’s her husband going to say?
Looking forward to the next adventure in this series and hoping there is a happy ending for this rose-toting cowboy.
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Woman in the Window by James F. Wood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Woman in the Window is a police procedural with a splash of romance…
Morgan Forester was supposed to be enjoying a day at the beach when he gets a gruesome surprise — a dead body. To compound his misery, he’s partnered with sexy sophisticated Alyssa Blair. Despite a rocky start, they are soon embroiled in discovering the identity of the corpse and the killer, until it appears that the murderer may be someone too close for comfort. Will the lack of trust destroy their partnership or can these two dedicated detectives close the case and find the love they have both been searching for?
I enjoyed the verbal foreplay of these two personalities and found the mystery to be engrossing. The identity of the killer kept me guessing until the very end.
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“Oh, no. Now I have Deeper than a Holler stuck in my head.” Bemoaned by Scooter, age 8. That’s what he gets for listening to my IPOD *insert evil laugh*
After a sneeze — “I have bless you all up my arm.” ~ Otter Frosh, age 18, when she was 3 years old
“Don’t pay the ferryman, don’t even fix him rice” Sung by Scooter (age 7), loudly, to Don’t Pay the Ferryman by Chris de Burgh.
I love, love, love this cover! Her Wildest Dreams should (fingers crossed) be available in July!