Sunday, December 19, 2010

Good Editing

You may have noticed I often have an error or two in my posts. I swear to you I do edit them, but they just slip by me. If any agents or editors ever come to this blog, know my manuscripts are much more meticulous. Even so, I am amazed what I miss in a three-hundred page manuscript. So thank heaven for editors like Cindy Davis.

This is the woman assigned to me by The Wild Rose Press when they contracted Goals for a Sinner. She is the one who made it flow like a well-run play in football. No awkward sentence escaped her. And I have learned "towards" should never be used. I have an great fondness for "towards". She also displayed a fine sense of humor and a willlingness to let me argue a point I did not think should be changed. I dreaded the editing process, but found it really did make my book better. Cindy made it painless.

Imagine my joy when L & L Dreamspell signed Wish for A Sinner and hired Cindy as my editor again. This book is twice as long as Goals, but the three edits went just as smoothly. I was fortunate to have her services provided by my publishers, but she does freelance as The Fiction Doctor,, if anyone out there needs some extra help polishing their manuscript. You are in good hands with Cindy.

I really should go back and correct all the picky little erros in these posts, but hey, I'd rather be working on my next book.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More on Book Selling - or Not!

My editor warned me that libraries are the worst sites to sell books, but I went anyway when offered a free table to sign Goals for a Sinner just after Thanksgiving. I joined eight other authors, mostly self or e-pubbed, in a broad hallway between the children's department and the DVD collection. Didn't take me long to realize that people come to libraries to borrow books, not buy them. Maybe not my target audience.

Young mothers who looked like they could use a light, spicy read scurried past practically shielding the eyes of their tots from my cover of the half-naked, ripped guy that is somewhat hotter than the actual book. Whole families with DVDs stacked up to their chins for free weekend viewing stayed out in the middle of the aisle. Most of the authors sold two or three books, including one old gentleman with a self-pubbed tome of inspirational messages. He told me later that one copy was stolen, but figured the person must have needed it really badly. I sold nary a one, but at least I wasn't ripped off.

On the plus side since I was in the city, I finished my Christmas shopping afterward. That put me in the mood to do good. The next day, I went to sign up to be a bone marrow donor-and found out my bone marrow is too old. How depressing. But ever shameless, I did tell the volunteers that one of the characters in my sequel, Wish for a Sinner, had been saved by a bone marrow transplant and handed out my promotional cards. You would think after all the research I did on that subject, I would have known my bone marrow had expired. Will I get any sales from my generous impluse to help or my nerve in handing out the sexy guy cards at a charity event? Only time will tell.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Airplane Sale

Friend and fellow writer, Nancy Brandt, who writes fantasy and inspirationals, has often told her tale of selling one of her books to the person sitting next to her on a plane. She says you can't complete a sale if the book is in your luggage. How I have longed to achieve that, and so have lugged along Goals for A Sinner on eight consecutive flights with no luck. Seems I am always seated next to a man who promptly goes to sleep or whips out the latest thriller, not my target audience for a football romance.

On my last trip north, I brought along three copies thinking my daughter's friends might want one or surely a relative at the family reunion/birthday party. Perhaps, the interesting woman I met at the plant nursery while buying a dwarf holly or the senior citizens I had breakfast with at IHOP would like my light, funny, spicy romance? But no. I used up all my promotional cards without gaining a sale. All three of those books were coming right back home with me.

Then, on the last leg of my journey, I shared the usual cramped space with a young woman reading Twilight at the urging of a friend. She wasn't much into vampires and found it slow going in the middle. I explained the story had been created for teens and adults sometimes found all the teen emo hard to take but to persevere as the ending was thrilling. Mentioned I was an author, ahem, and had my book right here. She read the blurb and said those magic words,"Now this is my kind of book." Sale completed. So thanks, Jessica on the flight from Atlanta to Lafayette. You have fulfilled one of my dreams.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to Get Free Books

Become a writer-or a reviewer of course. Once you embark on a writing career, you will join associations, go to conferences, and never come home without a load of free books. The trouble is as you work on your own book, you have less and less time to read. I estimate my pile of to-be-reads is now two years deep. Recently, I pulled Hollis Gillespie's book, Trailer Trashed, from the bottom of my pile. It was at the bottom because, being a hard-cover, I used it to balance all the paperbacks above it. But, I have owned the book for two years having purchased it at the HeartLa Readers' Luncheon a long time ago. Her short, pithy, often humerous pieces are just what I am in the mood for right now. Hollis, sorry it took me so long to get around to it. Some of those paperbacks will yellow before I get to them.

It's often said once you become a published author, you no longer enjoy reading quite as much. In some ways, this is true. Suddenly every undetected typo jumps out at you, and you notice a very famous author used "was" twelve times on her first page. You can tell when a writer is padding to get her word count. You must turn off the editor in order to enjoy the books. And now, I have so many to read. Because in the end, all authors want is for someone to enjoy their story.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hand Selling your Book - or Friends & Relatives

I give a lecture entitled "Adventures in e-Publishing" where I quote a statistic that says most e-published books will sell only 150 copies. After giving my speech to a literary group, a self-published author stayed behind to say he easily had 150 friends and relatives to buy his books. I said, "Exactly". Selling beyond your friends and relatives is the problem.

As it turns out, the most obvious places to sell your book, libraries and bookstores, are the worst, except for those in your own home town where again, you will attract friends and relatives. A recent foray to an out-of-town library where I gave my speech to a tiny audience resulted in no sales at all. I learned I had done well to sell five copies at a Barnes & Noble event - but those who bought were friends.

So what else can an author do? Yeah, yeah, blog tours and blogging though you never know if that has done any good at all. My editor suggested Arts & Crafts fairs. Fortunately, I also paint and had a sidewalk sale coming up. I put my book and myself out there with my works of art and sold seven copies. Granted most sales were again to folks I knew, but a few were not. And a curious things happened. Those who were put off my super hot cover of the half-naked guy bought a little piece of art instead as a sort of compensation sale meaning "I wouldn't be caught dead holding your book, but I will take this charming sketch of a cat". I am not too proud to say it works for me. I came home with $152 in cash having sold an equal number of books and small pieces of art. Best I've ever done at a sidewalk sale.

Can't draw or paint? A newly self-pubbed author had a place two down from mine. He joined the Art Guild to get the free apace and sat there with nothing but a box of books on his card table. He sold them all - probably to friends and relatives, but I have no way of knowing. Caveat: If you have to pay $50 for a booth, probably not worth it unless several authors chip in for the cost.

As for the two gay guys who picked up my free postcards of the half-naked guy on my cover - enjoy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What You Want

I love writing, creating the story, even polishing it to a fine shine. Begging agents and editors to look at my work, not so much. With both Goals for a Sinner and Wish for a Sinner being football romances, they were often sent back as unread with the note "We do not do football stories" by many agencies that publish or represent romance. Eventually, I found two small presses that looked beyond the occupation of the hero to the good story being told and got those contracts.

I'd heard before signing that producing a book is hard work and have learned this is true. Over Labor Day weekend, I spent sixteen hours doing third edits on Wish. We were well beyond making any changes to the story and into looking for the tiniest mistakes to make this book the best we could. Some glitch caused the quotation marks to be turned in the wrong direction in about a third of the book. Page after page, I noted this correction. At last, they disappeared and the tedious third edit proceeded more normally with a missed "a" here and dropped period there. I sent off the corrections and was rewarded with the most wonderful compliment by my publisher. She replied she'd repaired the quotation marks, but at times got so caught up in the story she had to go back and make sure she'd gotten them all. Somehow, that made the sciatica flare up I suffered from spending so much time hunched over a computer on a holiday worthwhile.

So, I've learned the truth of be careful what you wish for-it's harder than you think to prepare a book for publication, but so very worth it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Patience Required

If you want to see your book in print, be sure to stir up a big vat of patience and put it up in jars to use when needed. I signed the contract for my first book, Goals for a Sinner, in late June of 2009. Edits began immediately. All the edits and the galley were done by early August. Then, I waited nine months until the end of April 2010 to see the book in print, by publishing standards not very long. In fact, my pub date was moved up twice to the approximate time it takes to bring a baby to term.

So I signed the contract for the sequel, Wish for a Sinner, on November 1, 2009, and thought maybe it would be out in time for the 2010 football season. This time around, I wasn't assigned an editor until August, 2010, so make that the 2011 football season. First edits were done between the time I left for Wisconsin to deliver my son to grad school with all his worldly good in a U-Haul and getting on a plane for my daughter's baby shower in D.C. I think there must be some kind of Murphy's Law that says edits will arrive the very moment life is the most hectic. Last winter and spring-remarkably quiet until Goals came out, my son graduated, my oldest daughter got pregnant, and my younger daughter lost her job, moved home, found a new job and moved out again. Such is life. Open one of those big jars of patience and imbibe.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Optimist

I presented my lecture, "Adventures in E-Publishing", a few weeks ago to the members of the local Optimists Club. Since they called me only a week before the meeting, my guess is that a speaker backed out or they had none at all scheduled. Only twelve people showed up-eleven businessmen and one lady. However, I am willing to speak to any size group, especially if the gig includes a free meal. I can highly recommend the barbecued brisket with sauce at Freddie's Not So Famous Barbecue now.

Being Optimists, the group listened politely, laughed at my jokes, and looked somewhat askance at my hot book cover. Among my comments, I noted I had yet to make a cent on Goals for a Sinner and was still recouping my expenses. In the end, the lady bought a copy and one of the gentlemen got a book for his mother and let me keep the change from a twenty, the most anyone has paid for a single copy of my work, except maybe that $1,200 offer on Amazon. The Optimists are good people.

But what am I getting at with this post? The Optimists Club has a pledge they recite at the opening of each meeting about keeping a positive attitude. It wouldn't make a bad creed for an author, too. Don't speak ill of anyone and keep trying to make the world a better place - in my case by writing books that make people smile at the end. We all need a little escape from our problems in this world, and I provide that. If I never break even writing, at least I have done that.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Real Fan

Let's face it. Mostly, I sell copies of Goals for a Sinner to people I know: my relatives, members of my various clubs and RWA chapter, and most recently, my hairdresser who owes me for all that overpriced shampoo I've bought over the years. Everyone enjoys the book, so they say. A few seem simply astounded to find it is a good read. Recently, an acquaintance stopped me in a parking lot to say she'd gotten it on her Kindle. That gave me a small thrill.

But, the best thrill of all came last weekend when I headed out of a bathroom stall after our HeartLA meeting and was introduced to Meredith's mother. Genuinely excited to meet the author of Goals, she told me how much she enjoyed reading her daughter's copy and had passed it on to a cousin. She can't wait for the sequel, Wish for a Sinner, which has just been assigned an editor. Here was a person who didn't have to say anything nice to me at all. Did I care we were talking in a restroom? No. Did I mentally gripe that she hadn't actually bought the book? No. The idea that she'd liked it enough to recommend my book to others made my day.

Frankly, I wish I could implant microchips in my books and see where they wander like stray dogs who find new homes. I know for a fact, they've been to a cottage in Maine, flown on airplanes, gone to the beach and the lake and the Grand Tetons. In fact, my books have traveled more than I have this year. As long as people are reading and enjoying, I'm happy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Signing Books at Barnes and Noble

Really, I didn't expect to sell many books, but gee, golly, gosh, here I am signing at Barnes and Noble, one of my favorite places on earth. After a friend told me they didn't have my book and I needed to go introduce myself, I did. The manager looked over the product, checked it on the computer, probably to see if the wholesaler carried it and if it was returnable. He cordially agreed to order a few copies for the "Local Author" table and asked if I want to participate in the group signing the next week. Well, yes!

So, I donned my football jersey again and had free foam football giveaways to go with the book in keeping with the Goals for a Sinner theme. I set up my post among the other e-pubbed and self-pubbed. The Civil War books and cookbooks (free samples given) sold like hotcakes. The young man with a children's book sitting next to me must have been related to half the parish because he had a line waiting. I sold five copies to friends. My target was six. Not too disappointed. I know how these things go. I did do better than the two women with poetry and memoir offerings. And enough folks chatted with me to keep me from being bored. It was an okay experience, and I was excited to have my book in one Barnes and Noble. A caveat, since we had to bring our own books and B and N takes a 40% cut of sales, I probably made only pennies that night. Exposure is important, I tell myself.

Checking my e-mail the next day, I get a letter from the publisher who contracted the sequel warning me not to deal with Barnes and Noble. Too many returns, no enough profit. Mea culpa. Too late now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Braving Barnes & Noble

I've heard all the horror stories about walking into one of the big book chain stores with an e-published book in hand, and if not being tossed out, then totally scorned. However when one of my friends tried to buy Goals for A Sinner at a B & N and was told by the manager I'd have to come in and introduce myself, I did. Hands sweating, heart pounding, my first stop was a nervous trip to their ladies room. Then, I sought out a manager, pulled my light romance from my bag, and began my pitch, mostly saying I was a local author and the story took place in Louisiana. He looked the book over, said it appeared very professional, and searched for it on the computer. I suspect he checked to see if their wholesaler stocked it. And then, those wonderful words, "Okay, I'll stock some." Was it available in e-format? Absolutely! Would I like to participate in a local author book signing in June, BYOB (Bring your own books). Sure. I left on wobbly legs.

Why did I succeed? The Wild Rose Press did put out a totally professional product-good cover and blurb and not a single typo in the text. B & N could easily order through their wholesaler and return unsold copies. Unfortunately, this won't be the case for the sequel since this option has been dropped. I stressed local author and locale. And somewhere in my blathering, I mentioned that the title was selling steadily on Amazon. I have no idea if that last competitive bit helped or not and in fact, was merely trying to justify myself as an author. Okay, the Lafayette, LA Barnes and Noble is the only big chain store to offer my book, but that is one more than none.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Best Book Signing Ever

We didn't call it a book signing, but went for the autograph party because that's what it was. My children roared into town bearing with them red and black Sinners' football jerseys and two red velvet cakes, one shaped like a book with my cover embossed on it in edible film. Confused? Goals for a Sinner tells the story of a fictional football team named the Sinners whose colors are red and black. A romance evolves between a wide receiver and sports photogapher, Stevie Dowd.

So,we suited up in our jerseys, did a team hand clasp, and got started. Eventually, foam footballs bounced off the walls of the bookstore. Friends visited and stayed awhile for the fun. I did not remain behind the book table but cut cake and begged people to take it, assuring them they did not have to buy a book if they ate it. Still, no takers among strangers who entered. One old woman who came to browse looked at our frolic with disapproval. Even a group of four Goth teens passed on the cake heeding their parents' advice never to take sweets from strangers-or maybe they would have preferred blood. Don't know. We gave out extra pieces to be taken home to spouses and still had cake left at the end of the event.

Oh yes, we did sell books, at least a dozen though I lost count in the sheer giddiness of the moment. If we had sold only one copy, this still would have been the Best Book Signing Ever-family, friends, food and fun. No stuffy book signing for us. I doubt I will ever have a better one. Thanks so much to my children, my long suffering husband, and Howard and Lorraine Kingston of Books Along the Teche for making this a moment to remember.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Still more Mysteries of Amazon

Oh no! Goals for a Sinner has been discounted on Amazon, and I haven't even had my first book signing yet. That is coming up fast at Books Along the Teche in New Iberia, LA on Saturday, May 22nd, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come for the cake if nothing else-red and black velvet, the Sinners' colors, though my team does not wear velvet. Also, we will have a foam football toss at noon. Fun, fun, fun!

Back to Goals being discounted. But it is in such good company. Those who viewed its blurb, also looked at books by Lisa Kleypas, Rachel Gibson, and Susan Mallery. How great is that? Only one copy left. Buy, buy, buy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Mysteries of Amazon

I am still tickled at having Goals for a Sinner listed on and admit to signing in just to stare at my cover once or twice a day. The copy offered for $1,000 has vanished along with a $36 used copy bargain. Does having someone else's DNA on a book make it more valuable as the new product is available for twelve? Somehow, I doubt if these copies have sold. Now, the highest price offered is $15 new, about right if you include postage, but the best thing about this posting is the description, "Huge seller with millions of transactions". I gather it is being sold overseas, but I can't wait to see my royalty statements. LOL. Perhaps, they are merely describing their company, but that's not the way I read it. Also appreciate those five star reviews, really.

Now for another mystery of Amazon. For about a week, only one copy has been in stock. If you order in the next nine hours and thirty-six minutes, it can be yours in less than two days. I'd love to think someone wants Goals so badly they would order immediately, but alas the offer remains. Will someone order the fricking last copy so Amazon will reorder? I have noticed that one sale can change my ranking from 339,000 to 214,000 just like that. But, I am not looking at those numbers, I swear.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Mysteries of Amazon

Oh rapturous day! Goals for a Sinner appeared on a week earlier than expected. My daughter noticed and immediately ordered five copies. What a good kid. This purchase catapulted me from 144,000 in the rankings to 124,000. But the next day, Goals sunk back to 344,000, I suppose because a whole lot of new books came out over the weekend. Then, it bounced back to 117,000. People have warned me not to obsess over these rankings. I won't because they make no sense at all.

Then, I discovered that in addition to Amazon, two other places were offering my book new, one for the same price of $11.99 and the other for $1,199.00. Is the last a Nigerian scheme? Money laundering for the mob? A misprint? I do not know. The first gave my book four and a half stars, the other five, but if the book has not been read, how do they know it is worth five stars? Hey, I'm not arguing. I'll take it. Some kind reviews would be welcome, also. Two tags are posted: Great Beach Read and Wonderful Sports Romance. I hope you will agree.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cold Feet

Lent is over. Easter is past. I've dyed the eggs, lost the egg bumping contest, and made creamed ham and eggs on toast for dinner. Several friends asked if I immediately went to Barnes and Noble to spend a fortune on books after my long book fast. Well, I did go with my son who bought a Pat the Bunny bunny for his godchild. I was tempted by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but went away empty-handed. Maybe later.
So what did I spend my book money on? - one hundred copies of my soon to be released title, Goals for a Sinner, a big number on my credit card, though better after I got my author's discount. This is the proverbial leap of faith. If I can't sell 100 copies of my own book, who can? Our wonderful local bookstore, Books Along The Teche, is holding a book signing for me. I've already asked relatives and friends to come and just stand around so it looks like I have a crowd. I plan to make it fun by having a foam football toss. And maybe we'll have cake. People will cross a room for cake. But beneath it all is the fear than no one will buy my book except the relatives, and no one will like it if they do buy - which will make selling the sequel pretty hard. I believe this is a classic writers phobia. So, I take a deep breath and keep on writing.
What book, other than mine, finally claimed my cash after my not buying books during Lent vow ended - Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz. Love Jayne Ann.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Pitching, and I don't mean softball or woo, but pitching to agents is one of the most excruciating things a writer is expected to do. Now, people who know me say I have the gift of gab. I can strike up a long conversation with a total stranger or speak in front of an audience of a hundred or a thousand without fear. But, put me at small table across from an agent or editor, and no matter how well I have rehearsed, I blather.

I've pitched seven times and will probably have to pitch a thousand times more. My first time, I received a cut sign half way through my spiel. "I can't sell a 1920's novel. There is no market," she said very kindly. But she did allow me to send a few chapters, gave me a great critique, and told me I was a very good writer, but to choose another topic. So, I spent the next year writing what I thought was a lovely Regency. Got three requests for fulls - and three rejections. Whatever the disappointment, I figured I had pitching nailed at least. So, I trotted out my fresh, brand new historical, Lady Flora's Rescue, at this year's conference. The agent listened patiently. "Look, 18th Century with Indians won't sell, sorry." she said. I guess I will force myself to pitch again next year, but have no idea what to write next. Hmmm, maybe if those Indians were vampires.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What I Gave Up for Lent

Blogging is like standing in a dark closet talking to myself. That said, I can always depend on my FB buddies for lots of feedback. When I mentioned giving up buying books for Lent-Oh, the horror expressed! Need I say most of my FB friends are writers and bookaholics just like me? Some took this vow to mean I would not be reading books for the duration-but, no. That would totally impossible for me. Jesus would never ask for that kind of sacrifice either. Like many others, I think of Heaven as a huge library full of books I haven't read and friends to discuss them with. I simply meant I would read from the four stacks of books I had already purchased or borrow from the library. A huge auto repair bill, the laptop I bought my husband for Christmas, and several large medical bills helped me make this decision.

Anyhow, I got off to a rough start. On the second day of Lent, Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures showed up in the mail, a book purchased with my book club credits plus postage. Then, my husband, feeling bad for me, gifted me with This Book is Overdue!, a tribute to librarians. At my writers' group, a friend, Sylvia Rochester, had copies of her new title, DaVinci's Lost Years, for sale. You gotta buy a friend's book, right?

I did better as Lent dragged along-until Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb showed up having been pre-ordered back in January. I felt I redeemed myself at a recent writers' conference where I bought no books and probably made no friends because of it. I read a book I'd considered purchasing but got from the library instead. Didn't care for it. Glad I saved the money. Now, if only a Barnes and Nobel gift certificate wasn't burning a hole in my purse. When is Easter?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What my Accountant Said

You know all those tax deductions for writers I wrote about in my last blog? Well, I carefully gathered all my documentation of my expenses and submitted them along with an explanatory note, the hot cover of my upcoming book, and my regular tax stuff. Ring, Ring! It's my accountant, the one I had to get after we inherited stocks, and I could no longer figure out our taxes. To give him credit, he has saved us much money over the years. Very gently, he says, "Miss Lynn (did I mention we live in the South?") about these writing expenses. Now you aren't trying to earn your living this way because there is a difference between a hobby and a real business, you know." I assured him I had a book coming out in April and would someday have royalties, maybe even enough to cover those $1,700 in expenses. The wheels turn. I know he is thinking, "Poor lady paid someone to print her book, and now she has all these losses." I say, "Really, I write four or five hours a day, and it's taken me five years to get this book printed by a real publisher." He mullls that over. "Tell you what, why don't we claim these expenses next year against any royalties you might get." Okay, didn't know you could do that. And that's why he is the accountant, and I am an author--maybe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Whoooo Dat?

Now I really do have to retire the joke about Hell freezing over when the Saints win the Super Bowl. It was worth the sacrifice. What a terrific win. Well, if the Saints can win the Super Bowl, I should be able to get another book contract if I work as hard as they did. When Goals for a Sinner comes out on April 23rd, I am sure people will look at the cover and say, "Who dat?"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

So, here I am waiting for the Super Bowl to start. It seems Hell has frozen over up north and it's mighty cold in Louisiana, too. I predict and hope for a Saints win. After all, the Saints were my inspiration for the fictional Sinners football team in Goals for a Sinner. And no, Connor Riley is not modeled after Jeremy Shockey since I wrote this book in 2004, but he could certainly play the part.

What to do while the day creeps slowly towards 5:30 p.m.? Not being one to waste time, I am organizing my taxes (and blogging). Having just totaled up my "business expenses" as a writer, I am appalled to find I spent $1,700 simply getting this one book into print and haven't earned a cent on it yet. Looks like a big write-off to me. How on earth did I spend so much? I started off by attending a conference where I got three requests for full manuscripts. No one took the book, but I did meet a friend who urged me to try The Wild Rose Press. They took the book and assigned a great editor, Cindy Davis, at no cost to me, but did urge me to blog and set up a web site. Lynn Lamousin built a beautiful site for me at a very reasonable cost. I simply didn't know I had to buy an url and other mysterious things I still don't understand. Then, the Oriental Trading Company catalog arrived and had the perfect promotional item: the flaming foam football. I bought 200. Of course, I had to order labels to stick on them and postcards with my book cover and release information from some very nice people in India. Yes, Miss, it is very, very easy to design your own postcard. We will help you. And they did.

Not included in the above, two celebratory dinners. The first was held appropriately in an Indian restaurant where we ordered extra nand, an appetizer, the main course, and even the beautiful white chocolate lotus blossom filled with mango cream desset. The tab came to $100 for three people, not unreasonable really. When I signed the second contract for the sequel, my husband and I went to Olive Garden and spent a modest $40. I sure hope I can earn $2,000 on this book to assuage my guilt. One thing I can say, I am ready for the release-still three months away. Let's see, it's two p.m. Still, three and a half hours before game time. What else can I do. Oh yeah! I can write.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Just so you know, I got that ream of paper for Christmas and used half of it printing out the first draft of Lady Flora's Rescue, fomerly My Savage Viscount which just sounded too cheesy. The count came out to 106,000 words, but this will change in the rewrite. On advice I received three conferences ago, I abandoned my light, funny unsold contemporaries for historicals. My first effort, an 1920's novel entitled Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball, is still one of my favorites, but I had to learn the hard way that even if it did final in a contest, The Twenties do not sell. So, on to developing a series based on the eccentric Duke and Duchess of Bellevue and their large family in Regency England. These came out as amusing romps rather than true Regencies. Then, another suggestion: Go back to the 18th century and tell the story of the Duchess and Duke and their meeting. Hey, that's a whole lot of new research, but I've done it.

So what have I sold? None of the historicals, but two of the light contemporaries I wrote five years ago and could not sell because no one wanted funny and light. I guess the economy had to tank for folks to yearn for a little laughter. GOALS FOR A SINNER will be out April 23rd and its sequel in the fall, I believe. You can read an excerpt on my web site: And now for the ambivalence. Shall I abandon the historical series and simply go back to my contemporaries which are much easier to write. I mean I don't have to figure out how long it takes to get a letter from Georgia to England in 1815 by sea or research the early Abolitionist movement, though I do enjoy that part of writing historicals. I had plans for at least three more of the Duke and Duchess series, but that might be a waste of time. In publishing, you never really know what to do next.