Thursday, May 28, 2015

Just What the Doctor Ordered

As much as I wish it was otherwise, I have a day job. I’m not a full time writer. Until I eventually become a best-selling author and/or a household name, I have to work Monday through Friday doing the eight to five thing.

Right now, that means I do most of my best writing on the weekends. While I do write on occasion during the week, I have to be careful that I don’t end up burning the midnight oil and burn myself out. I also have to make sure I don’t ignore my family entirely. As it is, I’m pretty much a ghost on the weekends.

While this works, I don’t get to write as much as I’d like. I would love to be able to stay home during the week and write while the kids were at school and my hubby was at work. I could stop at my leisure or just keep writing and not worry. I could also be more productive, getting both my writing and editing done at a quicker pace. That of course means getting more books out sooner.

Last week, I got the chance to live out this idea. I took a few days off the day job and spent a good deal of them working on my latest novel and let me tell you something. It was everything I thought it could be and more. You’re not going to believe this, but I finished the first draft of the novel that I was only six chapters into when I started this little venture.

Not only did I finish the first draft of my latest novel, but I had a great time. I wrote at my pace. I stopped when I wanted. I didn’t have distractions and I wasn’t tired. My story didn’t feel like it was being forced. Instead, it flowed so freely that the days passed quicker than I was ready for.

After having such a good time writing, and getting a taste of how it would be if I could parlay it into a full time gig, it was difficult to go back to the day job yesterday. I found myself thinking about writing and wondering how soon I’d be able to schedule another block of vacation time to do this again. The one comfort I took while going through my double digit emails was that I was only working three days this week so the weekend would be on me that much sooner.

I’m not going to lie. I would love to be a full time writer. In fact, the other day, I was a little incensed when I mentioned to someone that I hated to go back to work and he said at least now I knew what it was like to be a professional writer. I am a professional writer. I’m published. I just don’t have the luxury of selling enough novels to be a full time writer.

Whether I ever get the opportunity to write full time or not, I can tell you one thing. I enjoyed the opportunity. It was just what the doctor ordered. In fact, I need to see about getting another prescription stat!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Labor of Love

As a regular reader of my books, you probably already know that I’ve been working on a four book contemporary erotic romance series entitled the Time for Love series. The series follows one couple, Justin Jacobs and Chelsea Schumacher, through the ups and downs of their romance.

Fans of my young adult novel, Like You Mean It, were already familiar with Justin Jacobs. Justin was the older brother of Darren, the male lead in Like You Mean It. When Like You Mean It ended, fans didn’t just want more. They wanted more of Justin who struck a chord with many readers.

It was in response to the fans' request that I decided to write a spin off story for Justin. When the story first began, I had no intention of making it a four book series. I thought it would be a standalone story and when it was finished, I would move on to the next book with new characters. After I sat down and started writing, I realized there was far too much I wanted to explore with Justin and Chelsea to try and cram it all into one book. Looking closer still, I found that I had four distinct plot points that I could flesh out nicely in four separate novels. With that decided, the Time for Love series was born.

This Time, the first book in the Time for Love series was released in May of 2014. After that came the Next Time and then Tough Times. 

On May 19, 2015, the fourth and final Time for Love book, It’s About Time, was released. The title of the book as well as the release date seems fitting. It was one year ago that the first book, This Time, was released. Now, one year later, the story of Justin and Chelsea comes to a close with their final story, It’s About Time.

The Time for Love series has been a lot of fun to write. The response of the readers has warmed my heart. The books have been well reviewed and are gaining a steady following. I couldn’t be more proud of this year long labor of love.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey of Justin and Chelsea as much as I have. And I hope that you’ll join me in the next journey, the Taking on Love series. This will also be a four book series, but each book will feature a different couple and will be a standalone novel; no cliffhangers here. 

As always, thanks for your support and don’t forget to get your copy of It’s About Time!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stretching the Sales

When I was first starting out in my day job, I once had an executive tell me that when I was promoted, I would take the traits I’d both liked and disliked in my previous bosses and use that to make me the supervisor I wanted to be. Not only was she right, but I think that can be applied to my career as a writer.

In the last ten years of writing, I have observed things my colleagues are doing and either decided to try it myself or vowed that’s not for me. And before we go any further, let me be clear in saying I’m not talking about plagiarizing anyone’s work. When I say I borrow ideas from fellow writers, I’m referring to marketing strategies and writing techniques and such.

I’ve recently stumbled across something I’ve already filed under the ‘writing pet peeve’ category. I’ve noticed a few authors who write a series of novels, but each novel is less than one hundred pages. Meanwhile, the price point for these novels is typically set at $4.99. I hear you; $4.99 isn’t that much. Normally I’d agree, but as a reader, it ticks me off that I spend almost five dollars on a story that is not only thirty thousand words or less, but it has a cliffhanger ending. If I want to know what’s happened, I’m left with no choice but to buy the next book.

Okay, yes, I have a choice. Everyone has a choice. I don’t have to buy the next book. I’ve been choosing to because I’ve been invested in the story and I needed the closure. Not anymore. To be honest, I’m a little insulted by this practice. It feels like the author is trying to get more money out of me by taking what’s basically a single novel and stretching it into four or five novellas and selling it for the same price as some of their counterparts, me included, sell full length novels for.

I’m sure authors who do this think they’re keeping readers interested. Maybe that works for some readers, but my patience for this practice has worn thin. Stepping back, it looks as if the authors are going for sales and sacrificing the story. They’re making it about the money and that’s sad. 

If an author writes an eighty thousand word full length novel that’s really good, I’m going to be more satisfied than seeing this novel released in four installments that are twenty thousand words each. If the novel is good, I’m going to be inclined to buy more of their work when it’s released, even if that means waiting a bit. When an author is good, she’s worth the wait.

If you’re one of my readers, you can rest assured that I will not be engaging in this practice. Every novel I release will be full length and reasonably priced. I won’t be stretching my stories out to inflate my sales nor will I support other authors who do.