Friday, October 24, 2014

The Writing Urgency

Why do I feel the urgency to get all the stories in my head written? I have no clear clue, but all of a sudden I feel this determination. Could it be my age? I am older. Or is it something else that has me excited to write again. Yes, that too.


The Journey


I’m over 50, closing in on 60. OMG!!! Where did the time go? I’m sure age has a lot to do with it. Laid off from my day job, I started back to college at 50. Some of you may have read about that in my post: College After 50. School is more time consuming than work. Who would’ve thought it? You see, unlike a job, when you go to class, the work doesn’t end there. When you get home, you still have more work to do and deadlines that have to be met. That’s similar to writing.


Lay-off and College


After the lay-off, I thought, Oh I’m going to be able to write more. Well, that didn’t happen. I think I wrote one novella, Get Out or Die and started another one, The Wedding Crasher. So, needless to say, writing took a back burner to school and most of the writing during that time consisted of essays and papers. I attended college for five years. Yes, you heard right, five. I didn’t stop at one degree; I went for a diploma and another degree part-time while working full time. So, again writing had to wait.


Beyond College


After school, my intentions were to get back to writing, insert best laid plans, but then my Web Design business took precedence with three new customers. I’m not complaining. I love creating Web sites. But again that replaced writing, because I was also working full-time. The day job is pretty stressful with a lot of pressure and responsibility, so at the end of the day I’m usually emotionally drained as well.


Publishing and Royalties


Enough excuses. I think part of the reason for my lack of writing interest dealt with the realization that royalties were not what they should be. Of course, I didn’t have very much published with two of the three books being included in anthologies. The royalties were split five and six ways. The other book (published 2001) had been on the shelves/Internet for a long time and had practically stopped selling. Newer releases and erotic books take priority with publishers. The good news is that Amber Quill Press has a new marketing strategy for the older titles, putting them on sale for $.99 and I can barely wait for Suspicious Minds to be a part of that. It only lasts a couple of weeks at a time, but that’s better than over $5 for a title that’s been published for over ten years. Rant over.


The Plan


One author mentioned that she’d learned, “the more books you have for sale, the better your sales are for all of them.” That makes sense and has just recently hit home with me. So that’s my intention, to write and publish more books. My five year plan is to have 26 books published. Are my expectations too high? Maybe, but I have ideas for that many. Some are started, some are planned out, and some are just an idea. Next year I plan to release five books, and if all goes according to plan, five every year after.


Self-Publishing


Just as I began to write again, I started hearing about self-publishing. It was actually about a year before when I first talked to a fellow author who was self-publishing. So I started researching this concept and I became very excited about it. Read my other post, Self-Publishing Research. I also posted reviews on the books I’ve read on the subject, in the Self-Publishing Research post and in another post, Book Review - Self-Publishing Books 101

It’s not a secret that publisher, Ellora’s Cave, is having problems AGAIN. This is where the anthologies were published. So, I have pulled my novellas and should have my rights back around March 15, 2015. While completing a full-length novel, All This Time, I have also updated/rewritten/expanded the first novella in my Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series, Haunted Hearts. This novella was previously published in the Enchanted Holidays anthology.

All This Time is slated for release in January 2015 and Haunted Hearts in late March or early April. I’m also planning to release three more books in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series in 2015: Get Out or Die (July 2015), The Wedding Crasher (September 2015) and Christmas Cruise (November 2015). Get Out or Die was also published earlier in the One Touch Beyond anthology. I plan to update, rewrite and expand it as well before its release.


Creating Book Covers


I've also created covers for these books. I've included the images below. This is another process I’m excited about.


 

Friday, October 03, 2014

Book Review - Loose Ends by Terri Reid

Loose Ends is the first book in Terri Reid's A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery series. This was a fun read. It has many great elements including funny and spooky. I purchased Loose Ends after reading an article Terri Reid wrote in Ditch The Publisher: 40 Indie Authors on Their Unique Self Publishing Journey, edited by Haley Sherman. I was very impressed with her article and her success in self-publishing and this series sounded like something I would love to read.

Mary O'Reilly, the main character, was an ex-Chicago cop who had a near death experience after being shot on the job, and ever since has been able to see and talk to ghost. At times, she also has visions about their death and is stuck in that time for a while which proves to be a bit dangerous since landscapes are bound to change over time.


Ghosts are actually drawn to her because of her ability. She does her best to help them move on. Ghosts can't pay for her private investigator services. That's a problem when it comes to paying the bills.


Mary is hired to solve a twenty-four year old murder of a young woman killed at a newly elected State Senator's home. Mary is pretty excited about having a paying client too. The victim's drowning was ruled an accident. Mary is hired by the senators wife because the ghost is haunting them. All circumstantial evidence points to the senator but Mary continues the investigation, feeling that the senator could have been framed.


While investigating the murder, Mary uncovers the murders of five little girls that were never solved and learns that the cases are somehow connected. As she investigates, she too, becomes a target for a serial killer who is tying up all loose ends.


If you haven't purchased this book, you're missing out. But be warned, if you read this one, you will have to buy the rest of the series because Loose Ends definitely leaves you wanting more.


Reading to do list:

 

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