While I was in the shower just now I had a great idea for Quill and Ellie! Oh, dear, this will make the book longer …
Well, it’s sort of an anniversary …
It was 3 years ago today that I decided to steel myself for rejection and submit Sleeping With the Wolf to a publisher. From January to March, 2010, I’d written one big story with both Carla and Lisa’s stories all mixed together, and sent chapters as I finished them to the gals at work as a type of gag gift. We were all tired from working overtime and it helped cheer us up. My friends (named purely coincidentally–cough, cough–Lisa and Carla) urged me repeatedly to send it to a publisher. I was flattered, and I have to admit I liked the idea of being a Published Author ™, but I resisted. I mean, only “real” writers submitted to publishers. But l I finally agreed just to get them off my back. When it was rejected they’d have to quit bugging me, right?
That was scary. What if the publisher didn’t like it? What if they did? It took me another 2 months to work up the nerve to chop it into two parts, one for Carla’s story and one for Lisa’s, polish it up and submit the first three chapters of Carla’s story per the publisher’s submission guidelines. I thought it was a cute story, not very serious, kinda cheesy and not remotely publishable. I pretty much expected a form rejection letter, so imagine my shock when they wrote back in only a few weeks, asking for the full manuscript. Yahoo!!!
But I still steeled myself for rejection. Just because they’d asked for the whole story didn’t mean they’d want to publish it. You see, I suffered what many would-be authors do: self doubt. I still struggle with that. I mean, I usually think I’m a decent writer, but not a great writer. But sometimes I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend their book money and time on one of my stories.
In only a few more weeks Liquid Silver Books offered me a contract for Sleeping With the Wolf. It’s not unheard of for a first time submission to be accepted, but it’s not a general rule either. I was shocked, ecstatic and horrified, all at once. I signed the contract in July and it was published in November. From November 18, 2010 to December 31, 2012 I’ve sold about 6500 copies of Sleeping With the Wolf. That’s not a best seller in most places, but it’s pretty darned exciting for me.
That one gutsy decision altered my life SO QUICKLY. I thank God for it, and I thank my friends for their support. And I thank YOU, the readers. I used to write purely for the fun of it, and I was happy with that. But the feedback I’ve received from you has made me see that writing for myself is fun, but nowhere near as satisfying as writing for an appreciative reader. Thank you.
There. That got your attention, didn’t it? 😉
Here is a scene from Quill and Ellie’s wedding night. They’ve consumated their marriage and are lying side by side in bed. He’s been telling her what he and Sky have been doing in Omaha. This scene may be changed significantly or even cut entirely from the book. I haven’t even re-read it yet so it probably has awkward moments and goofs.
“Omaha sounds awful.” Ellie shivered against him. “I don’t understand why the women allow themselves to made into prostitutes. Can’t their families protect them?”
That very question had driven his wolf insane for six years. “The city guard is like an army, and the mayor is its commander. People don’t have much choice. If they are wealthy, they can pay the tax to keep their daughters at home or to find them a husband and pay the marriage fee. Poor families who try to resist find their homes burned.” Quill had to make an effrot to keep his wolf from howling his rage. “And a lot of women like being prostitutes. They have independence and money, and a lot of them like having sex.”
“Ew,” Ellie shuddered.
Horrified, he lifted his head to stare at her. She hadn’t seeemed unhappy a few mintues ago. “Don’t you like sex?”
“With you. Not just any stranger off the street.”
That laid a sheet of soothing warmth over his heart. “Well, some of the women do. The ones who don’t, try to come to Ms. Mary’s house. We arrange some domestic work for them and pay their city tax out of the house’s cut.”
Ellie leaned up on one elbow, trying to see him in the scant moonlight. “How can the house make a profit?”
“It doesn’t. Ms. Mary made Sky her partner, and all they want is enough to keep things going until they …” He trailed off, debating whether or not to tell her the whole truth. He tugged her face to his and sunk his voice to the barest whisper in her ear. “Until they are able to get rid of the mayor. Don’t tell anyone. If the mayor somehow heard that, he would have Sky killed.”
“Sky should come home!”
“But then who would take care of the ladies at Ms. Mary’s house? They’re his Pack”
Her small fist thumped lightly on his shoulder. “I don’t advocate violence, but why doesn’t he just kill the mayor?”
The thought of the chaos that would erupt as various factions fought for power in Omaha made him cringe. “Too many innocent people would die unless there was someone strong enough to take control.”
“Is that what Sky wants? To be the next mayor?”
“No.” He and Sky had talked that over several times. Sky didn’t want to stay in Omaha; he wanted the plains and the hills and his mate. “He wants a strong and fair government in place in Omaha. He’ll be back when he has that. He wants his mate. I can’t tell you how many nights he and I stayed up ’til dawn talking about you and Rose and how much our wolves needed you.”
She gave a lady-like grunt. “He could bring Rose to Omaha.”
“No.” That was definite. “Omaha is an evil place. I wouldn’t want my mate there. I hope you never want to go to Omaha. It would half-kill me to deny you anything, but–”
She laid her head on his shoulder, snugglingclose. “Aren’t you lucky? I’m right here.” A shadow of a laugh shook her voice. “Why don’t you show me what else you learned while you were guarding ladies in Omaha?”
Relief shook him. She didn’t hold his days in an Omaha whorehouse against him.
This past week there was a small flap on GoodReads resulting in some readers and an author deleting their accounts. If I understand correctly, a reader/reviewer had won or been given a copy of the author’s work and after reading the book wrote a review. The author’s friends were displeased by the 3 star review and a thread was started on a forum, questioning whether manners were a thing of the past when it came to reviewing.
Well, I’ve seen some pretty nasty reviews, so I felt some sympathy with the poster, assuming the review she she was unhappy about was one of those nasty ones. No one likes for their book to receive mean, snarky reviews that seem designed to make the author feel like crap. I later read the review in question and found nothing rude about it at all. The reviewer listed what she liked about the book and what she didn’t. She was clear and polite. I re-read the thread and had to shake my head. I have some advice for authors receiving negative reviews: Shut up. No book is going to be loved by every single person who reads it. An author isn’t allowed to tell people how to feel about their books. If you can’t take criticism, don’t read reviews.
My latest book came out on March 18 and I’m bracing myself for some negative reviews. The hero is not like the other heroes in my books. He’s not one of the fiercely protective wolves who’ll chew off his own paw before he’d do anything to hurt or disappoint his mate. Eddie doesn’t slap Lisa around or beat her up, but he is self-centered and careless. I know that’s going to make some readers unhappy. There is nothing wrong with a reviewer saying so. An honest review giving a balanced account of what worked and what didn’t is like gold. Whether a reader loves the book or hates it, my job as an author is to write the next book, not whine about Reader A’s review or Reader B’s snark.
I’ve discussed reviews before and my views haven’t changed. Reviewers, please be polite and honest. Authors, step back and let readers do their thing.
I am considering putting out a set of novellas next winter.
I’ve had several requests for Connie and Des. Why did she so suddenly change her mind about marriage? And in my current work in progress, Ellie’s Wolf, both Snake and Jelly find their mates. I thought it could be a collection of short stories. I’ve been trying to think of a title for the collection. Wolf’s Oath is the title for Connie and Des. Snake’s story will be Wolf’s Vengeance. Jelly’s story will be titled Wolf’s Delight. These are all just working titles and may change. In fact, I may not write them at all. I need to finish Ellie’s Wolfe first and get a good outline set up for Wolf’s Princess. But if I do write a collection of short stories, what should I call it?
Well, Eddie’s Prize has been out for almost a week. I spent January and February doing edits. The first three weeks of March was eaten up by getting ready for the release. But now the online promo has been completed, the contests are done, and prizes mailed. That means I can finally get back to Quill and Ellie’s story. In the month of March I have written less that 2000 words, and some of those were for a review of a book I loved.
Oh, and that reminds me that I wanted to talk about reviews. There are, as of now, two reviews on Amazon for Eddie’s Prize. I’m really pleased with these because the reviewers gave honest, well written, balanced reviews. They listed what they liked about the story, and they said what they were disappointed with. Those are the best kinds of reviews. Go take a look.
Before I can write more on Wolf’s Prize, I need to finish knitting the shawl I’m donating for the Rock the Cradle fundraiser for Cats Cradle, the local cat rescue and shelter. It has to be done by Monday morning, so I’m busy with that today and tomorrow. Then Monday evening I have my Word Weavers critique meeting. So Tuesday I will finally get to write the wedding scene, which will be followed next weekend by the wedding night scene. I better invest in some ice water. Or, no, I don’t need to buy that. It’s still plenty cold here. It’s supposed to warm up next weekend and be (maybe) in the 30s for Easter. Easter! Oy, I need to clean for company!
So, that’s what I’ve been doing on the writing front. In other words, not much. But it will get better, I promise!
Many thanks to everyone who entered the contest for the Eddie’s Prize Release Celebration! I had 240 people enter, with a grand total of 659 entries.
The Winners were:
5th Prize, ARC of Eddie’s Prize-Carrie
4th Prize, ARC of Eddie’s Prize-Tara
3rd Prize, Coffee Mug-Rachel, with a back up of Sharon
2nd Prize, silver key necklace-Heather
Grand Prize, afghan and cup-Rhonda
Eddie’s Prize will be available tomorrow evening at 7pm eastern time from the publisher www.lsbooks.com
The publisher sends the files to online retailers like Amazon, Kobo, the iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and ARe at the same time, and the retailers load the file for sale at their discretion.
Thanks again, everyone, for playing!
It’s almost here! Eddie’s Prize, book 4 in the After the Crash series, releases on Monday March 18! I have one more prize to give out to celebrate the release of Eddie’s Prize and that’s the Grand Prize! Wouldn’t you like to snuggle under this bright and beautiful hand crocheted (by yours truly!) aghan? Wouldn’t you like to sip a warm beverage from this fun cup with all the After the Crash covers on it? Wouldn’t you like to take your cup and curl up on the couch under the afghan and read a good book? Maybe Eddie’s Prize? It’s not too late to enter. The contest closes on Saturday night at 7pm central time. Just join my newsletter and enter. I have it set up to send a copy of the entry form every six hours to newbies until 6pm. Click Here to sign up for the newsletter.
The giveaway to celebrate the upcoming release of Eddie’s Prize is in full swing. Congrats to the winners of the 5th, 4th and 3rd prizes. They were:
Carrie – 5th prize
Tara B – 4th Prize
Rae G – 3rd Prize
It’s not too late to join in if you’d like to win a silver key on a 16″ chain or the grand prize of a hand crafted afghan, a coffee mug featuring all four of the Liquid Silver book covers. Both of these cme with an ARC of Eddie’s Prize. This giveaway is open only to those on my newseltter list. For a chance to win, sign up for my newsletter HERE.