Sunday, September 25, 2016

Moving Day

For the past twelve months, my bed and my office have shared the same space. I couldn't do the steps upstairs with my bad hip. So, the best thing to do short-term was to move my bed downstairs and live on one level. But it caused a few problems, the biggest being I could never shut off my brain. When I had an idea at 2am, the computer was right there, only steps from my bed, waiting for my ideas. Since I combined my two spaces, I've written five books, reworked two more, and have two currently in progress. There's a reason I've been so productive. It's because I have a hard time sleeping with a blinking cursor three steps away.

Now the time has come to rethink our house layout. My sister needs her own space, and so do I. On Wednesday, the Two Men and a Truck company, minus the truck, are coming to play a game of musical chairs. I'm able to do steps fairly easy again, so my bedroom is moving back upstairs, to the room which sealed the deal on my decision to purchase the house in the first place, since it provided me with the biggest bedroom I've ever had. Sis is moving into the big downstairs room and the little dinky room that she'd been in for three years now becomes my office. A few pieces will re-emerge from the basement, and we'll spend the rest of the week getting settled into our new spaces.

Sometimes change is good. I'm looking forward to my new normal.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Ghostly Encounter

No, I haven't strayed into the paranormal world. Not yet anyway.

What I have done is to hire myself out as a ghostwriter. This was a new experience for me, and I did it for a number of what I thought were good reasons:

 1) The freelance company who acted as a broker for my services was new to me and I wanted to test their practices.

2) The job was small enough (8000 words)

3) It was within my wheelhouse, being a historical romance.

I'm proud to say I turned the job in before the deadline, the client loved it, and has asked me to consider a longer work. Always, it's the mark of a job well done if the client wants to hire you again.

So, why am I hesitating? This job paid me better than some of the books I've written, so the money associated with it is not the issue.

I won't even go into the amount of my own work that needs to get done and sent off to various publishers, agents, etc. Not to mention the promotional work that comes with each new release, of which there will be three by the end of the year.

My hesitation comes from this sweet little story I wrote for the client. I can never attach my name to it, or claim it as my own. All rights have reverted to the client. It's no longer mine.

It's like sending your kid off to school for the first time and have them never return home to tell you how their day was.

Before I take on another ghostwriting job, I need to answer the question of whether I can live with the anonymity. Can I live with the fact I might write the next bestseller, but someone else will claim it as theirs? And take all the royalties? Would I be better off focusing on my own career rather than provide one for someone else?

It's the nature of a ghostwriter to remain in the background. I'm just not sure if that's where I belong.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Turkey or Ham?

For most of my life, I've preferred Thanksgiving over Christmas.
My preference began when I was a kid, one of five. Food was always scarce, except on Thanksgiving. For one day, we could eat as much turkey,  stuffing, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole as we wanted. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Christmas was a far different affair. We didn't have much extra cash for a ton of gifts like my friends were given every year, and I always felt we were the house on the block that Santa forgot.

However, this year I have managed to write two Christmas themed novellas, which will be releasing as the season nears. One is a contemporary, set in Lobster Cove, ME, as part of Wild Rose's popular lineup of stories centered around this fictional town. The other one is a historical set in Regency England. They were both extremely fun to write, they both feature romantic love stories, and have made me believe I may have been wrong all these years.

Rather than focus on the food, or on the lack of gifts, I should have been focused on the significance of the day. Thanksgiving may be in celebration of the pilgrims surviving in the new world, but Christmas is steeped in religion. Engagement rings are a staple gift at Christmas. Who ever would give an engagement ring at Thanksgiving? Mistletoe is another iconic symbol of Christmas. Thanksgiving offers a wishbone from the turkey. Not quite the same.

I have written a love story centered around Thanksgiving, don't get me wrong. I think any day when two people find each other is special, regardless of the trappings. But when it comes to writing a novella, I'll take Christmas over Thanksgiving any day of the week. I'll take ham over turkey.

I hope you'll enjoy my novellas. If your taste runs to contemporary, Love's In The Cards is for you. If you happen to love historicals, A Regency Yuletide will tempt you. I don't think you can go wrong with either story. Here's a little something about each one.

Love's In The Cards

Christmas used to be Penny Beedle’s favorite holiday. But a messy breakup with a country star on Christmas Eve years earlier, and a botched wedding last Christmas Eve have tainted Penny’s outlook about the holiday. But she has to suck it up, since she and her sister now own a greeting card store, and this is their crazy selling season.

Del Madison has loved Penny since kindergarten. Now he’s been commissioned by a big greeting card company for a line of Christmas and Valentine’s cards, as long as he comes out from behind his alter ego and unveils himself to the public. He chooses Penny Beedle’s shop for the big reveal. If he plays his cards right, he just might be able to have Penny be part of his life.

If Del plays his cards right, he just might make Christmas a holiday Penny can enjoy once again.

A Regency Yuletide

After a disappointing season in London, Sophie Davenport returns home without a marriage proposal. No sooner does she settle back into her country life than she learns her uncle has arranged for her to marry the local Vicar’s son, a respectable and utterly forgettable man. He’s returning home immediately after the Christmas holiday and they will wed. She sets about making this last Christmas with just she and her mother memorable.

Jeremy Wyatt agrees to help his friend Thomas and his love, Emma, as they chase to Scotland to marry at Gretna Green before her father comes after them. What he’s really doing is avoiding heading to his parents’ home, where he’s set to be married out of obligation, not love. They get close to the border before their carriage gets hopelessly mired in the mud from the incessant rains. Jeremy sets off to find shelter for them, and knocks at the door of the first house he comes to.

Sophie forms a bond with Jeremy right away. However they’re both spoken for, so despite the sparks they ignite in each other, they have to maintain their separate paths.

But love and mistletoe have a way of upsetting even the most well-laid plans.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Taking The Plunge

I've been so caught up in my new venture that I totally forgot what day it was. If you came here early expecting a new post, I apologize.

I'm sure you're now wondering what could occupy my time so much that I'd forget my blog post for the very first time. Well, wonder no more. I'm about to self-publish a Christmas novella, and have a steep learning curve in front of me. I'm trying to make it as simple as possible by putting it up only as an e-book, and only on Amazon, but still, there's a huge mound of information to get through. I've lined up an editor and a cover artist and think I've got most of my bases covered, but I'm sure I'm forgetting things that will come to light in the next few weeks.

But let me tell you about the book. It's my first Regency-inspired work. I had someone whose job it is to know this stuff read it through to see if I could effectively write Regency, since my historicals up to this point had all been American historicals. When I got a passing grade from her, I was left with the decision to try to find a publisher for it or do it myself. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at self-publishing and to become a true hybrid author.

It's exciting and frightening at the same time. The story line is sweet and I love the hero and heroine. Can't wait to introduce you to Jeremy and Sophie. The book will hopefully be up by November for your viewing pleasure. Merry Christmas, everyone!