Sunday, January 22, 2012


Hi, all!  It’s nice to be here.  I’d like to thank Lee for inviting me.  My name is Opal Carew and I write erotic romance.  I also write steamy romance as Amber Carew. 

This time of year, I like to sit back and take a few moments to reflect on what I would like to achieve in the coming year, and beyond.  It’s tempting to just follow along my current path without really thinking about it, letting things happen by default, but if I just follow the path blindly without thinking about where I’m going, isn’t it like riding a boat without steering?  Drifting along where the current takes me?

I’m currently in the middle of a six book contract with St. Martin’s Press, with deadlines more or less set and I have two novellas to write for Samhain, and that’s more than enough to keep me busy for a year, but are there other things I should be doing to make my career successful? And what about the other aspects of my life?

I think the real question is what can I do to make my life happier?  That happiness could be a result of many things.  For instance, making my career more successful (or fun), spending more time with family, reducing my stress level, or improving my health.

As part of this process, I make a list of goals.  Some are very specific, with clear steps, and some are very broad.  Some are life achievement types of goals.  Clearly, those are bigger and may carry over years.

The great thing is, over the years I see these goals manifesting.  For instance, my big dream used to be getting published, and that finally happened several years ago.  Now it’s being a New York Times bestselling author.  That goal goes on the list every year.  Another was to be an award winning author.  Previously, I’d never won anything, but over the past two years, I’ve won three awards, and this year I’m a finalist for the RT Book Review magazine’s Best Erotic Book of 2011 award.  Also, I might not be a NYT bestselling author, but my short story, THREE, hit #15 on Barnes and Noble in August.

An example of a very specific, easily attainable goal was to submit to a publisher a series of sci fi erotic romance novellas called Celestial Soul-Mates that I’d had on the backburner.  The first two stories were written and the other three drafted.  I just had to send them out, but I never seemed to find the time.  After two years on my goal list, I finally did it, and now they’re being published by Samhain.  The third in the series, PASSION PLAY, came out a few days ago.

Another goal I added last year was to write some erotic short stories.  I love to write short stories, so they would add some fun to my career, and with the growing popularity of eBooks, there’s now a bigger market for short fiction.  So while struggling with one of my books a few months ago, in an attempt to free my creative block, I sat down and wrote a short story.  Ideas started to flow and I came up with the concept for a series, called Red Hot Fantasies.  I published the first story, THE MALE STRIPPER, two days before Christmas, and THE STRANGER a couple of days ago.


I find that over the years, this process has helped me find success and happiness, in my career and in my personal life.

What about you?  Do you have a planning process that works for you?  Do you have any secrets for finding success that you’d like to share?

I’m giving away a copy of The Male Stripper, the first story of the Red Hot Fantasies series, to FIVE lucky people.  Just leave a comment to be eligible to win.

Please join me on Facebook: Opal Carew or Amber Carew


***Opal's winners are: Jane, Linda Henderson, Leni, Evan Blanc and Alison!!  Congratulations! Please email your full name and address to as soon as possible!  Thanks!***


Lil said...

I find that making a list of goals helps me, as well. However, the true key is to keep working towards the goal no matter how daunting. At work, some of the project deadlines can cause me stress but if I just start somewhere and keep plugging away things have turned out quite well.

The most difficult thing about planning is actually defining the goal.

Congratulations on your meeting so many of the goals you have set.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Mary said...

Making a plan and sticking to it works for me. I set a goal and I know I can make and then when I make it I feel good about the job I've done and can sometimes even do more than I had planned to do.

Linda Henderson said...

I wish I could say I did, but I really don't. I do plan for special things, I set goals to reach for specific things I want to do but for everyday life, seat of the pants.

seriousreader at live dot com

Jane said...

Congrats on the awards, Opal. I don't have any specific process that works for me all the time.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Leni said...

I tend to keep goals to myself and sit with them a while and get a feel for what I want. But, lately I've been rethinking that practice and coming up with a way to make things more clear as to what it is I really want to do.

Debby said...

Great covers. I can feel the heat.
debby236 at gmail dot com

marybelle said...

My planning process basically involves thinking things through well. Lists are usually involved.


Opal Carew said...

It's great to hear how all of you do this. I agree that choosing the goals is often difficult. Every few years, I attend a workshop where we look at the different areas of our lives and decide where we would like to make improvements. Once we've done that, one technique we use is to make a story board. We grab a pile of magazines and cut out pictures that represent what we see as success, then cut them out and paste them on a big board. I guess there's something about the visual aspect that engages a different part of the brain. We then take the boards home and post them somewhere we'll see them every day. I find seeing that board is very helpful and inspiring!

Laurie G said...

As I get older I accept that things don't always follow a specific timeline. I have to be more flexible. I have to do the things I want to do NOT what others want me to do. I do make lists but, I don't sweat getting things done on a certain day. My goal is to appreciate what I have. Do things I enjoy with my family and friends. I'm allowing myself to say no to activities I dislike doing. I'm trying to be more active and I'm keeping in touch with those people I care about.

Evan Blanc said...

I am probably to late but I can't wait to start reading Opal's books!

Renee said...

This sounds like a great read! Count me in!

Alison said...

Wow, what a carer path - best of luck with your 2012 ambitions.

Chrisbails said...

Opal is a new author for me and would love to win and read her books. I love to read and am always looking for new books and authors to check out.
I think a good suggestion for finding success is just to try. Try hard and keep up at doing whatever it is that you love. Just keep up the good work and good things will come to you.
Thanks for the chance to win.