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Early last year, I kept thinking I wanted a do-over of my writing life but never had the nerve to actually put it in motion. And then in July I got what I thought I wanted–whether I truly wanted it or not.

Due to the unfortunate and heart-breaking death of one of the Ls in the L & L Dreamspell publishing team, the company ceased operations as of July 2013. Which meant my paranormal romance books, Snow Shadows, Storm Shadows, and Winds of Fate, along with my two short stories, The Secret Life of Alice Smitty and Third Time’s for Keeps no longer had a publisher.

And that meant I had the rights to all my books and could do whatever I wanted with them. It was, to say the least, a little scary. So, I merely thought about it, entertaining myself with thoughts of self-publishing and what I should do with this blog and my website and whether I should stick with my pseudonym or publish under my real name.

Have you met my bff, Procrastination?

WW3-400And then a marvelous thing happened, the sales of Whistling Woman, the one book I’ve self-published (with my wonderful writing partner and sister, Christy Tillery French) under the pen-name of CC Tillery sort of went crazy. We hit three top one hundred lists on Amazon and for several months were #1 on Amazon’s historical southern fiction list. We’ve sold enough copies on Kindle to make my eyes bug out. And that’s not counting the B&N, Apple, Kobo, and Sony sales from Smashwords. It also doesn’t include the sales of the paperback and hard cover copies.

I still find it hard to believe and then I look at those sales reports on KDP and there it is…every singleIMG_5169-Mf1-500 time! And (fingers crossed against the jinx!) it just keeps selling. Added to that, we recently released the second book in the Appalachian Journey series and while the sales haven’t been astronomical they’ve certainly been encouraging.

And here I’ve sat for the last seven months watching the reports on Whistling Woman and thinking I need to do something with all those books collecting cyber dust on my computer. It isn’t just the previously published ones. I’ve finished the third book in my Eternal Shadows series and have a tentative outline for the fourth and final book. And then there are the books I’ve finished but never submitted to a publisher (don’t ask me why! I don’t know!), the first book I ever wrote that is currently unavailable because that publisher closed, the one that won a contest and was subsequently published only to have the publisher go belly up and stiff all its authors, cover artists, and editors, and two follow-up books to that one (one finished, the other about halfway done). By my count, I have at least 10 books, 4 short stories, 2 YA books, and 2 children’s books which are doing nothing but taking up space on my computer.

But with the dawn of a new year I’m hoping to get my act together and take full advantage of this chance at a complete do-over of my writing life. And that includes redesigning this blog and (hopefully!) writing more than one post every few months.

Stay tuned…

(Please!)

And Happy 2014!

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I can’t believe an entire baseball season, spring, and summer have come and gone since I posted anything on this blog. To quote Vizzini from The Princess Bride, inconceivable!

Thankfully, the time hasn’t been entirely wasted. I’ve been keeping busy promoting Whistling Woman (the historical southern fiction I co-wrote with my sister, Christy Tillery French under the pseudonym CC Tillery), gardening ( pretty much a lost cause this year), canning (there are so many wonderful farmer’s markets here where I live), and writing (finished Sun Shadows, the third book in my Eternal Shadows series).

Plus, I’ve spent a great deal of time reading (mostly how-to-self-publish and marketing books) and pondering what I’m going to do with Sun Shadows and the final book in the series, Moon Shadows (I’m about 12,000 words into that one). Not to mention, going back and forth with the titles. For some reason, Sun and Moon aren’t ringing any bells for me so I’ve been considering Shifting Shadows for Luke’s story and Eternal Shadows for Nathan’s. Still no decision but I’m leaning toward the latter.

Anyway, the really important decision is “to self-publish or not to self-publish?” I’m pretty sure it’s going to be self-publish if for no other reason than the success Christy and I are having with Whistling Woman on Kindle. We’ve been at number one (knock on wood and fingers crossed against the jinx!) on the Kindle>southern fiction>historical fiction list for a couple of weeks now and we’ve done pretty well with the print version, too. We sold out (well, sold is a relative term, we gave away quite a few of them) the first print run and we’re hoping sales of both the e-book and the paperback will continue to be good through (and hopefully after!) Christmas.

Only time will tell, but the thing is, I’ve found that I really like being in control when it comes to publishing my books and for me, that’s exactly what self-publishing is all about: the author is in control every step of the way and as a result, any profit (or God forbid, loss) is all yours, too.

As the song goes, the times they are a-changin’–or should I say shifting?–and so am I. I want that control and my next book, whether Sun or Shifting Shadows, will be self-published and sink or swim, it’s all on my shoulders. Wish me luck!

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams