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I’ve been doing some research on Vampires–yep, Vampires, thanks to the third book in my Apprentice Angel series. Tentatively titled Unworldly Angel, the plot revolves around a young girl who’s really into *gasp!* Vampires! Something I swore I’d never write about but…never say never, right? Anyway, I started researching Vampires and I kept getting lots and lots and OMG, tons of sites dealing with Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight series. Now, I’ve never read the first word in any of her books but when you’re researching Vampires, the Twilight series is all the rave right now and you can’t get away from it. Seeing all the sites, I couldn’t help but click on a few. The first one I ran across that had me stopping to read was called Reasoning with Vampires where the blogger first read the series then posted about the many mistakes/errors in the books. From the blog:

Before I had any right to dismiss Twihards or criticize the psychologically unhealthy relationship model that Bella Swan and Edward Cullen present, I felt obliged to read the books. So I did. All four novels, one novella, and an incomplete document in portable format.  The content lived down to my expectations, but I was unprepared for how poorly crafted the saga is.

Pretty funny stuff–and boy, I can’t tell you how much I would hate to see my own books held to this kind of scrutiny!

From Reasoning with Vampires, I found another blog, Mark Reads, where the blogger reads books and reviews them chapter by chapter, including the entire Twilight series. Hilarious, so much so I’ve added it to my Favorites list and am slowly, slowly, like I’m savoring every word of every post, working my way through his reviews. Like I said, he doesn’t concentrate solely on the Twilight books but since my chief interest right now is with Vampires, I haven’t clicked on any of the other chapter-by-chapter reviews although I hope I’ll find the time to read them all one day.

Anyway, I’ve made my way through the first two books, Twilight and…uh-oh, can’t remember the title of the second one…Eclipse? No, New Moon. Yeah, that’s it, New Moon. After the last chapter of New Moon, there’s a post entitled “Mark Reads ‘The Story Behind the Writing of New Moon’” from Ms. Meyer’s own website. And it was in that post that I finally–finally!–found something I disagree with Mark about–sort of–and OMG, I hate to say it, agree with Ms. Meyers–um, partly, anyway.

She writes:

…I am a character writer. I write my stories because of my characters; they are the motivation and the reward. The difficulty with strong, defined characters, though, is that you can’t make them do something that is out of character. They have to be who they are and, as a writer, they’re often out of your control.

Mark’s response:

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. There are few times you have ever kept your characters consistent. May I remind you of the bizarre, unnatural things you’ve made Jacob do? You are ABSOLUTELY in control of your characters! THEY ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE.

The thing is, I understand exactly what Ms. Meyer is saying. She has a point about strong characters being the “motivation and reward”–and I have to add that was beautifully expressed!–and she’s also right when she says “you can’t make them do something that is out of character.” Except, according to Mark, Ms. Meyer manages to do that a lot. And judging from Mark’s chapter-by-chapter reviews of the first two books in the series, I have to say Ms. Meyer’s characters are definitely inconsistent.

And if they are, that’s all on Ms. Meyer. There are times when my characters do what they want instead of what I want. Yes, characters, as Mark says, are not real people but they can certainly drive the story down a different road than the one the author had in mind. And I know Mark is talking more about keeping the characters consistent, which is a must, but I have to say I’m with Ms. Meyer on the strong characters “are often out of control.” Witness Betty Sue in Storm Shadows. I almost didn’t finish that book because she was so adamant about taking the story in a completely unexpected directionand it’s not always easy to force a character to do something they don’t want to do. They may not be real but when you’re the author, they are very real to you and sometimes it’s impossible to argue with them.

But, and this is a big BUT, if they’re acting out of character, it’s your job as the author to take over the wheel and drive them in the right direction–even if you have to sneak and do it!

I’ve been AWOL from this blog for way too long. I don’t have an excuse really, unless you count breaking my foot two days after my birthday, working pretty steadily on editing Whistling Woman, setting up the blog for same, trying to contribute to the two other blogs I’m a member of, and okay, I’ll be honest, quite a healthy dose of laziness.

The thing is, everything else has fallen by the wayside and that includes writing. I know, I know, broken foot and weeks of not being able to move around without crutches should equal at least one book, right? Not for me. I have been trying but I just couldn’t seem to get into anything. I have 30,000 words written on Sun Shadows and I’ve hit the mid-book slump that I always seem to hit. But that doesn’t worry me, it will work itself out in time as it usually does–fingers crossed–but I haven’t been able to get into anything else.

Until today, I’ve been doing a little research on cutting, vampires, specifically Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, and this morning I actually got about 2500 words written on the next book in my Apprentice Angel series. What did it? What finally broke the block? Composing an email to one of my publishers asking them to please heed the certified letters I sent them last September telling them I did not want to renew the contract on the first book, Unwilling Angel. The contract expired in November of last year and after sending the certified letters, I sort of forgot about it and assumed the book would be taken down when the contract expired. Oh sure, I knew it might take them some time to get it down but we’re nearing a year later and it’s still up there so…I’m writing an email and hoping the publisher will respond.

While I waited, I read through the second book in the series, Unruly Angel, which I finished last year and it sparked an interest in the third book, tentatively titled Unworldly Angel. I’ve known for quite a while what that one’s going to be about so I got off my lazy duff and finally started researching. Reading through all the info I could find about Dark Shadows got me interested in writing again.

Whew! Thanks Barnabas, you’re still the only vampire I ever loved!

1.  My sister and I finished the manuscript for Whistling Woman, the book we’ve been working on for two years about our great aunt’s life growing up in the small town of Hot Springs, NC.  We took a few days, rented a cabin in Hot Springs, and worked on the first edit.  Now we’re in the process of editing it again–this time by email–and are hoping we’ll have it polished by the end of the year.  After that, beta readers!

2.  Although I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo–or whatever it’s called–I’ve been working on the third book in my Eternal Shadows series, Sun Shadows.  Last Monday, I set a goal of writing a thousand words a day and so far, so good.  A little over 9,000 words and counting!

3.  Edits, edits, and more edits on Whistling Woman.

4.  Working on getting the blog for the Writers’ Guild of Western North Carolina up and running.  Had a minor problem with WordPress–for some reason it wouldn’t let me add widgets to the blog–but that was solved by going to the forum and posting a question which was answered fairly quickly.

5.  The contract with Red Rose Publishing for my novella, Unwilling Angel, expires on the 18th of this month and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with the book when I have the rights back.  Numerous people have advised putting it on Kindle and thanks to one of the members of the Writers’ Guild, who is currently working to get his books on Kindle, I have a pretty good idea of what that entails.  It won’t be easy but I think I’ll probably try. 

Of course, first I have to get the rights back.  As per the contract, I sent two certified letters to Red Rose Publishing 60 days before the expiration date telling them I did not want to renew the contract, but haven’t heard a word back yet.  Which isn’t really a surprise given the problems other authors are having with this publisher.  I’m doing my best to keep an open mind until the 18th then I’m going to send an email to the owner and inform her that per the contract, the rights have reverted back to me and she needs to quit selling my book.  We’ll see what happens…

6.  After a blast of cold weather to start the month, we’ve had a string of perfect fall days here in the mountains.  I’ve been working to get my gardens put to bed while it lasts.   I wanted to plant bulbs but haven’t been able to find the time and I know I’ll be kicking myself next spring.  Oh well…

7.  Still more edits!

8.  Updating my website and this blog with the 2011 EPIC eBook Awards finalist button.  Yep, that’s right, Storm Shadows made it to the finals.  Yippee!  EPICon is in Williamsburg, VA next year and since my sister, Christy Tillery French, also has a book in the finals we’re seriously considering making the drive up there and attending.  I don’t have much hope that Storm will win, it’s in one of the categories that has the most finalists, but who knows what will happen.

9.  Edits, edits, and more edits with a little research thrown in on the side!

10.  More great news on Storm–The Long and the Short of It gave it a fabulous review last week which means it’s up for Book of the Week.  Woo-hoo!  If you’re so inclined, you can vote by clicking here.  That page also gives you access to Xeranthemum’s excellent review, if you’d like to read it.   Here’s a little taste of what the she had to say:

Storm Shadows is a well written and beautiful romance filled with charm, humor, vivid and lively descriptions and a well earned happily ever after sure to make a reader sigh in satisfaction. Despite the conflict, Ms. Hunter wrote a story that is uplifting and optimistic and just plain fun to read.

So, there you have it, the top ten reasons I haven’t posted anything here for almost a month.  As you can see, Whistling Woman is taking up the majority of my time with the Eternal Shadows series running a close second.  Next week it’s going to be all about Storm since I have an interview and a chat scheduled with LASR.  Which reminds me, I need to come up with a contest for the chat.  Better get busy…

It’s day two of my Author Spotlight on The Long and Short of It and I’m talking about my secret shame as an author.  Check it out and don’t forget to enter the contest for a free e-book copy of Unwilling Angel, the book where I indulged my secret shame!  You don’t even have to have the correct answer, just drop me a line and let me know your guess for the author who appeared to me in an “Elvis” sighting and inspired the book.

Here are a few hints:

He wrote under seven different pseudonyms and his real name was Salvatore Lombino.

He’s known for practically inventing the “Police Procedural.”

He has one series that ran an astounding 55 books and another that has thirteen—and that’s not counting all the books he wrote under his other pseudonyms.

One of his pseudonyms was the inspiration for my own and the name I gave my character in Unwilling Angel, Ted McNabb, is very similar to his most famous pseudonym.

Can you guess who this best-selling author was?  And is it strange that I loved his books so much that he appeared to me after his death?  Yeah,  probably, but I got a book out of it, not to mention, I really enjoyed spending time with him in his “Apprentice Angel” guise!  Which reminds me, I need to get busy on the edits for the second book about him, Unruly Angel!

snoopy_dance

Lots of things to celebrate today:

1.  It’s Read an E-book week!  Hip-hip-hooray!  Haven’t been bitten by the e-book bug yet?  Then why not go for a quick, easy, feel-good read  to get in the spirit, so to speak.  Come on, you know you want to and have I got just the book for you!

*Warning, blatant self-promotion ahead!*

Check out my novella, Unwilling Angel.  A short, fast read guaranteed to lift your spirits!  And if you want something with a little more, um, bite  to it, take a look at Snow Shadows, about a Cherokee shape-shifter who doesn’t bite–unless you want him to!  Available in e-book at your favorite online e-book supplier and mine; FictionWise.

2.  Baseball, baseball, and more baseball.

First, the World Baseball Classic.  Did you see that game last night between the US and Venezuela?  Wow!  My man, Youk, hit another homerun–that makes two!–and I’m betting he’ll hit more before it’s over.  Adam Dunn ain’t doing too bad either!  Better yet, now that the WBC has started, that means the regular season isn’t far behind.

Second, Manny Ramirez finally signed with the LA Dodgers so now we won’t have to see his name pop up everywhere.  No offense Manny, but even I got tired of seeing your face splashed all over the online sports news.  I mean, really, what are you trying to be?  The (insert whatever pop-celeb you’re sick of hearing about) of baseball?

Third,  Alex Rodriguez opted to have arthroscopic surgery on his hip instead of trying to play through the season with a torn labrum.  From all reports, he’ll be out for 6-9 weeks.  If I’d been in his shoes, I would’ve done the same thing but…with everything that’s happened in his life lately it seems like awful convenient timing.  Just saying…

3.  The sun is out, all the snow is gone, the temperature is in the high 70’s, the squirrels–both gray and white–are capering, and the birds are singing their little hearts out.  Spring has sprung here in the mountains of North Carolina and I’m loving it!

4.  Got an email from my publisher last night asking for a short bio for the PMS: Poison + Murder = Satisfaction anthology.  That means it should be released soon!  My short, The Secret Life of Alice Smitty, is one of the stories.  Double woo-hoo!

5.  Made it through another revision of Storm Shadows this weekend and I think it’s just about ready to be submitted.  For right now, Betty Sue seems to be satisfied with her character and her happy ending.  Whew!  Now, let’s just hope she stays that way!

So there you have it, five reasons I’m doing Snoopy dances.  Don’t you just love it when the angels give you multiple reasons for dancing?

I’ve been sitting on a comment to one of my posts for about two months now, wondering whether I should approve it or send it to the spam queue or just delete it.  The person who wrote it wasn’t very happy with me or my post about a new e-publisher that I’d had some warnings about.

Here’s the comment:

wow, you are ignorant AND boring. good luck with your publications jerkwad.

Okay, first, thanks for the good wishes–even if you did blow it with the “jerkwad” thing.  As for the “boring” part, I can’t really argue with that because I am essentially a very boring person.  The “ignorant” part though, that’s a matter of opinion and I have to say, it doesn’t really bother me.

Anyway, the real reason I’ve hesitated to approve the comment is the author signature:

 Vicious
casualhomicide@gmail.com

“Casualhomicide”, huh?  A little creepy, not to mention slightly loony, so I just left it in the comments and had pretty much forgotten about it until a couple of days ago when I realized I might just be, as this anonymous person said, ignorant.

No, seriously, I have proof.  Read on and see if you don’t agree with me.

Okay, so, I had an e-book come out this past Thursday, Unwilling Angel, a sweet paranormal romance that takes place at Christmas.  Perfect timing on the release date, right?  Well, yeah, it would’ve been, except me in my awe-inspiring stupidity, included a free copy of the book as part of the prize I’m offering in two holiday contests.

See?  Stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!

*warning: run-on sentence ahead!*  Beyond the fact that I’ve read several reports on how useless contests are for generating sales for authors–but they are a good way to get some name recognition!–and the countless times I’ve been warned not to ever give away a free e-book–too many authors have done that only to have the copy of the ebook that was the prize shared with the countless other people.  I even know of one author who recently came across the book she’d given as a prize listed as a free give-away on the winner’s web site where the winner said something like, “It’s yours to read, pass on to someone else, or just trash”–beyond all that, I know that most people when they have the chance to win something for free, are not going to waste their money puchasing it until after the contest is over–if then.  And by the time both of the contests I’m in have ended, the Christmas season for this year will be over.

Which means, in my incredible stupidity, I’ve pretty much put the kabosh on sales for this book during the season when a Christmas book can expect the best sales.

See, told ya’, stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!  I can’t say it enough!

So, I’m trying to think of a plan to offset my idiocy and so far, the only thing I can come up with is another contest.  Yikes!  Problem is, I don’t know if I can do what I want, which would be to run a contest where the prize is a free copy of my print book, Snow Shadows, to one person who buys Unwilling Angel.  I mean, you’d have to purchase something to win–is that even allowed any more?  Plus, what effect would that have on the sales of Snow Shadows?

*sigh*  I’ll say it again, stupid!  Which leads me to believe that anonymous person who commented and said I was ignorant just might be right.  At least in this case and hopefully, it’s only a passing affliction!

I got a phone call from my editor at Red Rose Publishing last night.  Unwilling Angel, the book I have with them, which I was first told would be released in October, and then told it would be released today, September 11th, is now back to October.  Yay!  I was hoping for a later release date, like as close to Christmas as possible, because the story takes place at Christmas.  The holiday isn’t the central focus of the book, in fact, Christmas is barely mentioned, but I really wanted it to come out around Christmas.  Because that’s when people read stories about Christmas, right?  Unless they’re a Christmas junkie like me and start counting down the days in September and keep Christmas decorations up all year–no, not the outside lights, I would never do that, but I do have some of my snow globes and Christmas music boxes scattered all over the house and they never get put away.

So, the new release date for Unwilling Angel is October 9th.  Except wait!  There’s more!  I was just on the Red Rose site and checked the coming soon page to see if the date had been changed and it has.  It no longer says September 11, it says December!  What?!  What!?  Woo-hoo!  That works for me!

But that’s not really why I’m posting this.  Have you checked out the new “Stick this post to the front page” thingie on WordPress?  Awesome!  I’ve been trying for weeks to put the cover of Snow Shadows in my sidebar and never have been able to figure out how to get it up there.  I mean, I followed all the instructions on the “Help” page and I got it inserted into a widget, but when I go to my site, the only thing there is a white box with a little red X in the upper lefthand corner.  Very frustrating!  I finally gave up trying, but with the front page stickie thing, I got it up without a problem.  And I was even able to get the buy links up there!

So I’m doing this totally uninteresting post as a test.  Will the Snow Shadows stickie page remain at the top of my front page or won’t it?  I guess the only way to find out is to click on Publish…

I haven’t written much about baseball lately–well, okay, I admit I haven’t written much about anything at all lately, still busy with the move and all–but with less than 30 games left in the regular season, to quote John Fogerty, we’re “rounding third and heading for home”!  Tampa Bay is in first place in the AL East–kudos to the Rays!–and Boston is clinging to the lead in the Wildcard race with um…Minnesota(?) close behind.  I’m pretty sure Tampa’s all but sewn up the AL East, but I haven’t given up my team and am currently driving my husband bananas singing Tessie at every opportunity!  Hey, it worked last year, who’s to say it won’t work this year?

My favorite player is no longer a part of the Boston Red Sox but has packed his bags and headed for La-la Land.  Too bad.  I’ll miss you, Manny.  Probably the only Red Sox fan who will, especially after the questionable behavior of your last few days with Boston, but well, you know those rabid fangirl crushes, they’re not the easiest thing to get over.  And while I no longer love you, I still like you.  Fair warning though, if you cut your hair as Joe Torre reportedly asked you to do, it’s all over with for me.

Okay, enough of baseball.  At this point the only thing I can do is follow the games and hope while I sing my heart out.  Moving on to my life as an author.  I’ve been doing a little bit of promotion and plan to step it up next week, when all the reviews should be in and posted on the different sites.  Mostly I’ve been concentrating on researching and have found some interesting places to either promote my book or learn about the best way to promote.  Top among these is this little gem:  AdaptiveBlue’s Book Widgets.  If you have a book out, send them an email and they’ll make a widget which contains all the info about your book, including the all-important buy sites, that you can place on your website, MySpace, etc.  And it’s free!  Can’t beat that!  I haven’t emailed them yet, but I’ve heard some good things about their work and it’s at the top of my list.  Thanks to fellow L&L Dreamspell author, Denise Robbins for the tip!  She also sent along the URL for SpringWidgets, a site where you can get a widget for your blog.  Yep, that one’s on my list too!

I’m to the point where I’m ordering curtains for the house, hanging what pictures I can hang before I put up curtains, and wading through the last items I unpacked as I try to get everything organized.  Bleh!  I never want to move again.  And I do mean NEVER!

In the middle of all this, I’ve been working with a cover artist from Red Rose Publishing on the cover for my upcoming ebook, Unwilling Angel, which should be released in early September.  Had to go with a CGI cover for this one–the first time I’ve ever had one of those!  I don’t really like CGI covers, but the cover artist did a really good job and did her best to follow my suggestions and give me everything I wanted.  Still, I had a nightmare last night where the cover was picked up by a couple of blogs, primarily Judge a Book by its Cover, and snarked unmercifully.  JaBbyC is a blog written by a fellow North Carolinian, who’s a librarian in Asheville, and I love her blog because it’s always good for a chuckle or two.  Anyway, I know my nightmare probably won’t happen and I fully admit to being an idiot and a Nervous Nellie when it comes to my covers, but really, this one has me biting my nails–a habit I gave up back in high school!–and I fully expect the hair-pulling, screaming heebie-jeebies to hit soon.  So, I’m going to post the cover here on this blog and I invite all you snarkers to have a go!

Okay, I’ll start.  The guy standing up?  What the hell happened to his feet?  And why does he look like he’s backlit by a spotlight?  *raising hand high and waving*  He’s actually an angel, hence the backlighting which gives him a nice halo-effect–my favorite part of the cover, actually–and his feet are either buried in the snow or he’s in the process of fading away back to Heaven, feet first!

*snerk*  Okay, got that out of my system and I just want to say thanks to Marteeka, the cover artist, who was a real joy to work with and even with my inexplicable–and often unjustifiable–hatred of CGI covers, I really like this one.  You are, in my eyes, a fabulous cover artist, not to mention a really patient and nice person! 

And finally, with Snow Shadows already out and the unexpected early release of Unwilling Angel, I’ve been trying to come up with promotion ideas which include both of them.  Not an easy thing to do, especially when you can’t decide what genre Unwilling Angel falls under.  When I sent it to the publisher, I submitted it as a sweet paranormal romance.

The thing is…it’s one of those books, well, a novella actually, that doesn’t slip neatly into one recognized genre.  I mean, sure, it’s a romance, but just barely.  Emma doesn’t meet her “man” until the next to last chapter and she only kisses him once, at the very end of the story.  It doesn’t have the traditional HEA, but more of a HFN.  And as for the angel element in the story, I can’t find a definitive genre for that.  I’ve seen books about angels listed as paranormal and fantasy, but I don’t know.  Beyond the heroine’s limited psychic abilities which save the day in the end, there’s nothing paranormal about this book.  As for fantasy…nope, doesn’t fit there either. 

*sigh*  Maybe I should just label it a sweet romance and leave it at that.  I hate labels anyway.

Okay, so I’ve been playing around on Loldogs.  Guilty as charged, but after reading this post by Lisa Alber on her blog, Lisa’s Words at Play, I started thinking about self-doubt and wondering why so many writers seem to suffer from it.  Then yesterday, I spent a good part of the day reading through the final line edits on my novella, Unwilling Angel, which will be published as an e-book soon and ugh!  Self-doubt reared its ugly snout and took a huge bite out of my ass!

A little back story here, the main character in Unwillling Angel is an aspiring writer who’s struggling with writer’s block.  She’s been working on a YA book since the death of her husband two years before and she’s convinced she has to finish it.  She’s riddled with self-doubt and thinking about suicide when she sees the ghost of her favorite author, Mac McBride.  Only Mac’s not a ghost, he’s an Apprentice Angel sent by the Archangels to help her get her life straightened out.

So, in addition to Lisa’s blog entry, this book has a heroine who is filled with self-doubt, and as I was reading through the final line edits file, I found myself…questioning, deliberating, and thinking of ways I could have written it better, tighter, or even funnier.  In a word, doubting.  And even though I know it’s too late to make any major changes, that doesn’t keep me from wanting to do just that.  

The thing is…I think I could read this book, or actually, any one of the things I’ve written, a million times or more, polishing it with every read-through, and still find things I think need to be changed.  Which got me to thinking, do multi-published authors do the same thing?  Do they suffer from the self-doubt demon?  Does Stephen King?  Nora Roberts?  John Grisham?  Did Shakespeare?  Charles Dickens?  Mark Twain?  What about poets like Emily Dickinson?  e. e. cummings?  Shel Silverstein?

I can’t say for sure because this is only my fourth book–well, really my third since this one was published very briefly before and I guess I shouldn’t count it twice.  It’ll probably be a while before I know the answer to that one, if I ever do, but I have to say, I think maybe they do.  I think, like DeAnna said in the comments on Lisa’s blog, it’s probably hardwired into all authors.  One thing I do know for sure is that right now self-doubt is pretty much a constant companion for me…and I can’t imagine it will ever go away completely.

But that’s okay, I can live with that.  Especially when the self-doubt demon might just work in my favor by making me a better writer.

BTW, my book cover is up on Amazon.  Woo-hoo!  Here’s the link if you haven’t seen it yet.  Gorgeous, isn’t it?  Why not buy a copy and beat the dog-days of summer by frolicking in the Snow Shadows on Eternity Mountain with Matt and Ellen?

<Sorry, couldn’t resist that little bit of BSP!>

 

Do you ever have one of those days when your mind can’t seem to settle on any one thing but is constantly jumping around like a jackrabbit on drugs?  Well, I’ve been going through a string of days like that.  Haven’t gotten any writing done to speak of and for the first time in years, I didn’t put up my Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving.  Just wasn’t in the mood.  What’s up with that?  Usually Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I count down the days for months, waiting for Thanksgiving when I can put up my tree and then dive headlong into the season.

Not happening this year and I’m not sure why, but I think perhaps it’s because I submitted my paranormal romance, Unwiling Angel, to another publisher even though I have no idea how things with the first publisher, Twilight Fantasies, are going to turn out.  I just don’t know if it was the right thing to do, but I was sick of biding my time while the owners of TFP decide what they’re going to do, so I submitted.  I didn’t try to hide anything from the new publisher and I have to tell you, I was blown away when they wrote back saying they’d like to offer me a contract.

That’s when the doubts started to set in.  I hesitated, worried that I was going to drag them into this mess with TFP and okay, I’ll admit it, also worried that my writing career would be hurt in some way if I signed the contract.  I talked to my lawyer and he advised me not to sign, but to wait a few more months until we know a little bit more about what Twilight’s going to do.  So, I wrote the new publisher and explained why I wouldn’t be signing the contract and…

the owner called me at home!  That one really knocked me for a loop.  I mean, it’s extremely flattering that they were willing to take a chance on the manuscript in the first place, but to call me at home and give me the reasons she thought it was okay for me to sign with her company?  That was, to say the least, over the top pleasing and gratifying!  It also warmed my heart because of all the books and stories I’ve written, this one is my favorite.  I really want to see it published.   Perhaps I was blinded by that, but this morning I followed my heart, signed the contract and sent it back to them.

The thing is…my mind is still worried.  Why?  Well, I’ve narrowed it down to three things:

1)  I had been thinking of putting in some extra work on the manuscript; adding about thirty-five thousand words, taking it from novella to novel length; fleshing out the love story between the heroine and the hero; and while I was at it, spicing it up a little bit.

2)  This is another new e-publisher and I’ve been burned twice–well, actually I was only singed on the first one, but the second one was a full-out, writhing-in-agony, burning-at-the-stake conflagration–and I swore I’d never take that chance again.

3)  I know several authors who will, like my lawyer, think I’ve done the wrong thing.  I’m not looking forward to sharing this news with them.

Okay, I think I hit the nail on the head with that last one–selling a book should be a happy occasion.  Right?  Oh hell, it should be a screaming-from-the-rooftop, champagne-corks-popping, day-long-happy-dance!  That’s how I felt with every book and short story I’ve sold, and the fact that this publisher is interested enough to take a chance on my novella, knowing that if TFP files for bankruptcy, the rights could be held up for unknown amounts of time in a court case, should at least edge that celebration up to a week-long event…but I’m just not feeling it right now.

Hopefully, once I announce it, my friends and fellow authors will surprise me.  I’m pretty sure my lawyer won’t, but hey, he’s a lawyer.  What can you expect?  This was a decision made from the heart and everybody knows lawyers don’t have hearts–oops!  Sorry Paul, couldn’t resist that one! 

All kidding aside, I’m hoping some day I might be able to look back on this and know following my heart was the right thing to do.

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams