Tuesday, October 04, 2016

CJ Carmichael: Writers Can Play Nice With One Another. It Happened Once.

Writing can be a solitary pursuit, until you agree to be the front man for a twelve-book series, working with five other authors, and then suddenly, it’s not solitary at all!

The idea for a series focused on a chocolate shop in small town Montana originated in February, when my publisher, Jane Porter, suggested that readers had loved my Sage Carrigan and her Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop (from my book, Promise Me Cowboy). I agreed there was potential to build a series around Sage and her shop, but I was leery of signing on to write too many books. I was also leery of working with a group of authors on the project because I’d been involved in other multi-author series and ended up pulling out great clumps of my hair on a daily basis.

It did occur to me, though, that the right group of authors might make all the difference. What we needed was talented authors—but no divas. We needed to work together in building our world and our stories, plus we also needed team players willing to do their share when it came time to promote and spread the word about our books.

Tentatively I sent out a few emails, and to my surprise and delight managed to snag some pretty amazing talent. Before I knew it we had set up a Facebook Group. Contracts were signed and story planning commenced. Suddenly, via Facebook and email, I was in daily contact with five creative authors, and I’m happy to say not a temper was frayed. Melissa McClone, Debra Salonen, Roxanne Snopek, Marin Thomas and Steena Holmes...all are such a treat to work with.

Melissa is incredibly organized and business-minded. She keeps us focused. Debra is wonderfully fun and enthusiastic... she’s positivity personified. Roxanne is incredibly creative. She came up with this wonderful caption for our series: “What Love Tastes Like.” We use it in all our promo because we think it captures the spirit of our books so well. Marin Thomas is a Facebook guru—she and her wonderful assistant Denise have a million excellent ideas for promoting our books. And Steena Holmes is our self-professed chocolate expert. She’s so committed to the cause she actually volunteered to visit Paris on our behalf and report back on all the best chocolatiers she discovers. Now that’s sacrifice.

So here you have it. A documented, real life example, of six authors managing to work on one series and not drive each other crazy. On top of that, I believe we’re coming up with some excellent stories for our readers. Happily, our very first book, my own Melt My Heart Cowboy is being released this month on October 6. Finally we’re going to be able to share some of the fruits of our hard work with our readers. Of course, Melt My Heart Cowboy is just the beginning. There are eleven books to come, one a month, until the series wraps up in September 2017.

If you want to join in the fun, please do like our Facebook Page and request our notifications. There are going to be so many parties, giveaways, laughs and stories in the year to come, and the more along for the ride the better.

Also, I’m hosting a special Love at the Chocolate Shop giveaway on my website this month and I invite you to enter that contest as well.

Hope to see you on Facebook soon!

C.J.Carmichael, author


dstoutholcomb said...

ooh, I can't wait for all the chocolate morsels to be revealed!


Eileen A-W said...

This series will be so much fun to read!! The group of authors you corralled is just awesome!!

CJ Carmichael said...

Denise and Eileen, your enthusiasm for our new series is really appreciated!