But sometimes for an author like this writing junkie, it's a case of being careful what you wish for. When I was just starting out, my drive and ambition was so strong, I wanted to be published almost more than my next breath. I could taste it. I could feel it in my bones. This is what I was meant to do.
Well...guess what? After many years of publication, hitting the USA Today Bestseller list and establishing myself as a historical and contemporary western writer...I have some issues that I must confess.
Confesssion #1- REVIEWS
I put my heart and soul into every book. I really do. I don't write fast. I don't write slow. I write at the speed that it takes to make my stories shine. If I get a great review, it makes my day. I am happy that the reader/reviewer got the story and understood the character's motivations.
|November release on Amazon and all other booksellers!|
The Secret Heir of Sunset Ranch was an intriguing read. Kat and Justin were both realistically portrayed with the same flaws and issues many of us have. The plot was well played and kept your interest, while the chemistry between Kat and Justin was explosive. A master storyteller, Charlene Sands comes through with another captivating tale, The Secret Heir of Sunset Ranch, a story guaranteed to touch your heart and tug at your emotions. Debby at Cataromance.
I do hate insensitive and cruel-worded reviews. Luckily, I haven't had any of those, but they are out there and it sickens my heart to see it. Internet anonymity doesn't mean readers get to unleash their verbal wrath on an author. I often wonder, would they be so bold as to say those personal, awful things to a writer's face? Moving on....
Confession # 2 - ARE WE THERE YET?
I get this question A Lot from my non-writer friends and family. So, are you done? Is the book finished? Can you take a break from writing now? Uh...no.
I confess I get frustrated at times, because I'm never really done. Writers are in a constant state of perpetual motion. It's true, if I wanted to write one book every two years, I could do that, but that doesn't a career make. Writing isn't a Bon-Bon eating, sexy- lingerie wearing, glamorous lifestyle. Not by a longshot. Every successful writer I know, is a great juggler of time and resources. We get up early, go to bed late, eat meals at our desk and have to juggle our personal lives, kids, housework, sometimes a day job, in order to get our stories told. Almost every day, I'm fighting the clock. Even if the story is told, I'm doing edits, revisions, cover art sheets, plotting my next book, going to meetings, promoting my releases....the list is endless.
Is it the life I chose? Yes. Did I know how hard it would be? No way.
Confession #3 -- I SUCK AT PLOTTING
I do. I do. I confess. Plot is a four letter word to me. Plotting a story is my major weakness. Do I have stories drifting around in my head? Sometimes. But do I know where they are going and how I am going to make it all fit? Not necessarily. I am not a good chess player. I can't see two moves ahead of me. When I get an idea, I usually know who the characters are, and how my book is going to end. But there's fifty thousand words of the in-between, I need to figure out too. And I dread it. Enter: My fabulous plot group. Leanne Banks, Jules Bennett, Lynne Marshall, Janice Maynard and myself. We get together monthly on a conference call or more if there's a story emergency and work out our plotting problems. Five heads are better than one. YES!
I confess, I need these women. They are friends, writers, plotters and life-savers.
|Leanne Banks, Jules Bennett and me, obviously not plotting at the moment!|
Confession #4 -- FREE BOOKS MAKE ME CRAZY!
I know. I know. In this economy, you say, it's nice every so often to get a book free. I agree. I always hold contests, giveaways, and drawings on my blogs and social media sites. I feel I'm generous to my readers. I run exclusive newsletter contests all the time. I love giving away freebies.
But that's different than an author or pub house pricing a book at $0.00 on Amazon or other online venues. It's a loss leader concept, that has worked well for some authors, the strategy being to build readership by enticing with a free book and then hoping the reader buys the other books in the series or more of the authors works.
What I see is hours, days, months (for me, it's 3 to 5 months) of hard work, dedication and struggle to write a really good book and see it sell for zero. I confess, that hurts. Why? It's almost the norm now, the market is glutted with free books. I've heard people say, why should I buy a book, I can get them for free now?
I'm hoping that's not the case. I'm hoping that for most of those free books, readers do go buy the others in the series. I'm hoping that being Free doesn't devalue the author or the work. It's hard for a writer to know what works and how they can build a readership so they can stay in business and continue to write. I confess, it all makes me crazy!!
Confession #5 - LOST WORLD
Writing can be a lonely existence. I'm at the computer for hours at a time. Some days I don't see the light of day (I'm trying to be better about this) where sunshine will turn to dusk before I step a foot outside.
|My buds from LARA (LA Chapter of Romance Writers of America) Picnic Time!|
I confess that I would be lost without the writing community at large (that's you LARA AND OCC) and my fellow writing friends close at hand. Why is that so important? Because writers "get" other writers. Writers know the complexity and simplicity of loving the craft of writing. They get, how hard, joyful, frustrating, beneficial, heartbreaking it all can be. They get the hours glued in the chair, the distractions, the juggling, the blocked story, the joy of writing THE END, the inner structure of traditional publishing and newfound successes of Indie publishing. My writer friends can finish my sentences. We are passionate people. We know deadline hell. We bitch and moan and share joys and triumphs. We support each other. Day in and day out. That's pretty special. I truly would be lost without them.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my honesty. What do you think of my confessions? Do you have confessions of your own? Do you read reviews and cringe when you see a harsh one? I'm giving away two books today. Post a comment and be entered in a random drawing for either a FREE print copy of the first book in The Slades of Sunset Ranch series Sunset Surrender (US only)and an ebook (US or international )copy of The Cowboy Contract
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My thanks to Lee Hyat for inviting me to blog today!!