Sunday, October 27, 2019

Time To Chill

I've been living in North Carolina for a year and a half now, and hadn't been able yet to get to the coast. Until now, anyway. My sister is visiting me from Phoenix and we decided to go see my niece's new home in Wilmington, and by so doing, I got to stick my toes in the Atlantic Ocean at Carolina Beach.

The water was cold, and my pant legs got wet, but I had a huge smile on my face as my great-niece and I waded in and tried to dodge the waves. 

It was also wonderful to see my other sister, too. We've turned into three old ladies, but we Golden Girls are taking it in stride. (With the great-niece and nephew.)

Sometimes it's nice to step away from the computer for a couple days and just chill. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Starting Over?

In April, 2018, Crimson Romance went out of business. It was shortly after I moved to North Carolina when the bottom fell out of my publishing career. I was in the middle of a Regency series, had two of the books written and one published. I signed with an agent who suggested I write the third one in the series so she could try to salvage the series. The Regency period and I never seemed a good fit, though, and I found myself creating feisty secondary characters instead. I hired an author coach to help me right my ship and lost the agent.

I ended up taking the feisty secondary characters out of the strict Regency regulations in England, and plopped them into America at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. It seemed to have worked. The first book in my new Revolutionary War series was a finalist in a recent contest, and I've just received a contract for the book, to be published early next year.

All this reflection has made me realize my roots are in America, not England.

If you look at this past year and a half one way, I've wasted a lot of time and my loyal fans are losing patience with me. But on the other hand, I've found where my strengths are. I can't wait to begin promoting a new book, and launching a branding campaign for myself. Or rebranding, as it were. 

I'm pretty excited to see what comes next.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Time For A Change?

For years now, I've had a tire cover on my Jeep that is easily identifiable. My hippie smiley-face that proclaims "Only In A Jeep" has been my calling card.

It's helped me locate my car in large parking decks, it's made a lot of folks smile, it's enabled people to track my whereabouts. While I really enjoy having the hippie dude on my car's rear, it has made me realize how easily identifiable I am.

My neighbor recently asked "Didn't I just see your car at Harris Teeter?" She could have surmised my whereabouts by the bags of groceries I just had unloaded, but she went to pains to tell me it was because of my tire cover. "There's not another one like it in all of Pinehurst." My dog, Mary, was being groomed last month, and the woman at the desk told me, after seeing my car in the parking lot, that she delivers my newspaper to me twice a week. I can't even get away with a late afternoon visit to the grocery or a morning at the groomer without being unmasked, it seems.

My dear Jeep, loyal as it has been, is about at the end of the road. I'm trading it in, hopefully sometime this week, for a newer used car, which will undoubtedly be another Jeep. But I'll remove the tire cover before I affect the trade, since it's been my trademark and I don't want it or me to be associated with the new owner. Alas, the newer Jeep models no longer have an outside spare tire, so I don't know what I'll do with my hippie, but it's not a good idea to transfer it with the car. What if the person robs a bank? Would the police come to my house, since I'm the smiley-faced hippie dude owner? The possibilities are endless.

I'm going to take some pointers on how I developed that brand, since I'll be coming out with my first new book in a couple of years soon. But this time I'll welcome the recognition. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Time To Curl Up

The temperature in North Carolina shifted from summer to fall this past week. And, it's about time. I've always loved autumn. That's probably why I surround myself with trees every place I've lived, just so I can enjoy the spectacle of color in the fall. In my part of the state, there are vast forests of pine, which smells good, but doesn't put on the show of color that I prefer. For that, you need to go to the mountains.

So, I'm planning a trip. My sister from Phoenix is coming to visit, and we're going to explore my state, from the coast line to the mountains and a few places in between.

We'll feel the ocean breeze on our cheeks, breathe in the salt air, visit my niece and my baby sister, and then head to the hills for the display of color. We'll be able to curl up with a good book in front of a roaring fire, maybe see some deer or black bears. Can't wait. I'll get to spend valuable time with my sisters, and get to tour parts of the state I haven't yet seen. Maybe I'll even get inspired to have my next book take place in the mountains of North Carolina. If Nora Roberts can do it, so can I.