Sunday, June 28, 2020

Virtually Speaking

It's been a busy week with the whirlwind tour accompanying the release of A British Heiress in America. In years past, I would have appeared at the local bookstore, shook hands and shared hugs with readers, signed copies of my print books. Not this year.

No, this year, my launch took place while sitting in my Carolina Room in the lovely Sandhills region of North Carolina. But that didn't make things less complicated. It presented an entirely different way of doing things. In the publishing world, what worked when your last book was released may not work today since the playing field keeps evolving. But not even the shifting sands of publishing saw the Corona virus completely upsetting the way we do things. So my virtual tour consisted of press releases, guest posts, and sending out review copies. Here's a list of some of the places where I've been this week:

Additionally, I've been all over Twitter and Facebook. My good friend, Miranda Liasson, featured me on her Facebook page and it was fun to chat with my old friends from NEORWA. The special offer from my newsletter this past week is still open, so if you received my newsletter, look again.

While it may be a different way of doing things this time around, my dog, Mary, is enjoying not having to share me with others. She's a big fan of sitting on our new swing and watching the golfers.  I hope you enjoy Pippa's story while I get back to my editing of the final book in the series, which will be out in January, 2021. Hopefully by that time, I'll be able to do a live tour instead of a virtual one.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Revolution Continues

I'm often asked why I choose to write about history. If you judge my interest based on my grades in college, you'd wonder at my choice. But I've always believed history is more about the lives of the persons living through it than it is about dates and battles. I blame it on the Titanic, really. I knew about the sinking of the great ship, but being aware of the weight, the year, the amount of time it took to sink didn't give me a sense of what truly happened. It took the story about Jack and Rose to do so.

It's the same with American history. It's not about the battles, but it is about people. Ordinary people, living in extraordinary times. People whose lives never made it into the history books, but who were essential to the outcome of their time. I insist that my books contain historical events, not merely as a backdrop to the story, but as an integral part of it.

In my new book, A British Heiress in America, I relate the origin of Evacuation Day, which is celebrated annually by the folks living in Boston. I was surprised to learn over a thousand residents of Boston took part in assembling the fifty-odd cannons and placing them on Dorchester Heights, overlooking Boston Harbor which was full of British war ships. The Brits were so nervous about the firepower pointed at them, they moved the fleet out of the harbor and to Nova Scotia. What they didn't realize was the cannons were all for show. Some were not cannons at all, but logs painted black to resemble cannons, at least from a distance. And those that were cannons had no balls or gunpowder to back them up. It was a huge bluff from the Americans, but had the desired effect.

Recent events on the political stage have put our nation's beginnings into focus, and made me wonder if it's not time to rectify things. After all, the signers of the Declaration of Independence were all white men. Women, people of color, people of a different sexual orientation, have all had to fight for their rights after the fact. Judging from the peaceful protests now taking place in our nation, the fight is nowhere near over. We must evolve with the times. The war is not over. I feel it's just beginning. And, years from now, when another author writes an historical novel, I pray she'll see it through the eyes of ordinary people living in these extraordinary times.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Shifting Focus

My 20th book is about to be released, during the year 2020. I'm trying to let that sink in for a bit.

But even if it is my 20th book, I still have to promote it, so it's time to shift my focus from writing to promotion. And since it's been a couple of years since I released anything new, the shifting sands of the publishing world have made the marketing of this book as difficult as my very first one. Sites with great reputations have grown even mightier, which translates to more money in the promo budget in order to pay to play. This sites I relied on only a few years ago have gone belly-up. There's a constant argument on the value of Facebook ads versus Amazon ads. Viral tours are the only way to go now, especially during a pandemic, so instead of talking to potential readers face-to-face, I'm now setting up blog tours.

Since this book is the first in my new series, I'm especially pleased that it's finally here. The series title, Revolutionary Women, was recommended to me by my best friend, and heralds a trio of stories about the part women played in the Revolutionary War. We hear a lot about our Founding Fathers, but rarely about the women who stood shoulder to shoulder with them during those turbulent times. 

I hope you'll enjoy going back in time to an era when our country was new, bold and brassy. I certainly have enjoyed spending my days there as I wrote this trilogy. Pick up your copy of A British Heiress in America here:

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Troubling Times

I try not to mix business with politics, but the events of the past weeks have made it imperative for me, as an author of American historical, to weigh in.

As a product of the 60s, and having lived in DC for years, I've participated in several protests during my lifetime. The most recent one was a year ago–a small, peaceful protest in the downtown section of my small North Carolina town. This past week, I was once again tempted to join the other protestors and have a voice in America's future. This is especially important to me, since I write about the men and women of the Revolutionary War. However, my age and COVID have made me stop and reconsider joining the throngs of others. Social distancing remains in place in the Lower household. Mary and I are still hunkering down.

But that doesn't mean I am staying quiet. My senators and my house representative have all received correspondence from me voicing my concerns, and I've written letters to the editor of my local paper. There are many ways to make one's voice heard. So, if joining the brave throngs of people in the streets who are facing down the police who use muscle, horsepower, tear gas and flash bombs to maintain 'order' among the peaceful demonstrators is something you consider too dangerous, you can still make an impression. Let the people who represent you know how you feel, and demand their accountability. And then back up your actions with casting your vote in November.

Make our founding fathers proud that we are continuing their "grand experiment." A British Heiress in America is now available for pre-order!