Filling in . . .
Let me start by letting you know that I received an SOS from Amanda earlier this morning. There was something about it being morning, no coffee and and a raging headache. Let’s just say she wasn’t a happy camper. So, since I happened to be up — sort of — and, as she said, looking for ways to promote my latest book, she asked me to fill in. She did ask me to say she would be posting her thoughts on the YA article she linked to earlier in the week just as soon as she’s online again.
Anyway. . . .
If you guys hadn’t figured it out, I’m pretty new at this writer business. I’d tried some years ago to do it the old-fashioned way. I sent queries out to agents and publishers and got the usual canned responses. Since I didn’t know any better, and since my family didn’t look at writing as a “real” profession, I quit trying to break in and left my writing for my therapy. (Come on, I can’t be the only one who is in a better mental space when I’m writing than when I’m not.) Considering the fact that our family tree is populated with journalists, the attitude sort of surprised me but then I guess there is a difference between journalism and fiction writer (well, there used to be, but I won’t go into my opinion of most so-called journalists these days).
So, I acted like an adult and got a “real” job. Let me tell you, being an adult isn’t as much fun as folks want you to believe, at least not if you aren’t doing the job you want to do. Now, I’m not talking about wanting to be a racecar driver or pro ball player and you don’t have the talent or reflexes for both. No, I’m talking about when you have the need to do something and you choose not to for whatever reason. For me, the need was to write and I made the choice not to because of family pressure and, to be honest, the fact that I do like to eat regularly and have a roof over my head.
Then the day finally came when I realized that the publishing business had changed. Or maybe I’d just changed. I didn’t really care if my work came out from a BIG publisher. What I wanted to do was write and get my work out there for the readers to find. As sure as I’m owned by a mass of cats and dogs, no one was going to read my work with it stashed under my bed. So I started looking at what my options were and finally decided to go with Naked Reader Press — if they’d have me.
I was lucky. They not only wanted me but one of the first novels NRP put out was my romantic suspense Wedding Bell Blues. I knew even then that Sarah and Amanda and company were using WBB as a test case. If it did well, they’d want more from me. Fortunately, it did do well enough for them to ask for something else. There’s nothing like getting that call from your editor telling you that they want to see another novel from you.
Of course, this being Sarah, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. She wanted another novel, but she wanted me to try my hand at something a little different. Paranormal Romance was selling well. She wanted to see me making money, hopefully lots of it, and she’s a business woman. If I made lots of money, NRP would also make money. So, hint, hint, nudge, nudge.
I’ll admit, I fought it. I had never read a paranormal romance at that point. What I’d heard of them didn’t endear them to me. I like a book with a good plot and characters folks can relate to (even if one reviewer of WBB doesn’t believe a doctor can obsess about her daughters getting married). Writing a book that was just a series of sex scenes tied loosely together with an improbable plot didn’t appeal to me.
But, NRP wanted a book and I wanted to deliver one. So I started reading paranormal romance to see what I might be getting myself into. Some were good. A few were very good and a great many were downright porn. Then, in the course of all the reading, I realized I could write my kind of book and still call it paranormal romance. Sure, it wouldn’t have as much sex as some folks would expect and others would be put off by the sex it did have in it. But I’d learned one lesson very quickly with WBB: you are never going to please everyone who reads your book.
So, I sat down and started writing. Hunted was the result. To my surprise, it did well. Sarah — damn her — had been right. Paranormal romance does sell. What she didn’t warn me about was that the characters are LOUD and even more DEMANDING. They don’t want to let my fingers leave the keyboard any more than they are willing to let me try to write anything but stories set in their universe. Which is probably a good thing since Sarah, grinning like the evil woman she is, told me that I needed to write the second book in the Hunter’s Moon series ASAP in order to take advantage of how well Hunted was doing.
And that’s where Hunter’s Duty ( formerly known as Blood Moon and, in my less affectionate times kimchee junior) comes in. It’s the second book in the series — and, yes, the third book is already demanding to be written. Of course, being me, I’m trying to hold off as we wait and see what the sales for this book will be. Not that it is keeping my muse quiet. Oh no. SHE assures me the sales will be just fine and that I need to get started on Hunter’s Pride. Yes, she’s already given the book a title and has told me the basic plot.
So, here comes the push. You knew there had to be a push, right? Check my books out. Think of it this way. The more books I sell, the more Sarah gets to tell me, “I told you so.” That makes her happy and a happy Sarah is a Sarah who writes more. So, in a way, by buying my books you are also making sure Sarah writes more books for you to buy. See, it’s a win-win situation 😉
Seriously, I suck at this promotion stuff. Most writers do. So, if you’d like to see a sample of Hunted you can find it here.
You can find a sample of Hunter’s Pride here.
As for the rest of it, don’t keep shoving work under your bed or in the closet. Find yourself a good editor and then get it out there. We’re so lucky as writers to have so many different options for making our work available. Do your homework and choose which works best for you. But, if you have the need to write, write. There can never be too many stories.