I just wanted to take a moment to clear something up. Some of you may notice that I am self-publishing my writing now, while the Anderson Stables books are published by Dreamspinner.
I want to state that I love Dreamspinner and they are fantastic. Hopefully I’ll be publishing with them again someday in the future.
My decision to self-publish is completely based on my ridiculous schedule. The “real job” has such a chaotic schedule that I struggle with deadlines. Anyone who has worked retail knows how brutal it can be. Constantly being yelled at by people about things you have no control over, working odd hours when no aspect of humanity should be at work, almost being required to work overtime in the busy season, being on your feet all damn day… I could go on.
Long story short, getting the final Anderson Stables book done made me realize that I need flexibility when it comes to deadlines. I can’t work 40+ hours a week and get a novella edited in seven days. It is too stressful for me and the doctor said I need less stress. (She really did.) I don’t know how other people do it.
So know that this is just for me and my time management. I love Dreamspinner and will publish with them in the future if they let me.
Side note, my next book will be out soon! No official announcement yet because I don’t have cover art, but the goal is for the end of July/early August!
I have a new book! As I mentioned in the 2018 review post, I decided to publish a couple books on my own (with an editor) this year due to my scheduling issues. The first of those projects is now available for pre-order! Yay!
Grant Draper has just inherited his dying family business. There hasn’t been much interest in horse-drawn carriages in his part of New York for years, but he can’t stand the thought of giving up the business and letting his late grandfather down. It’s just that rebuilding the business is going to take a miracle.
Brendan Herrmann has finally found the horse carriage his father has been hunting for years to add to his collection. But the ancient Draper & Sons coach needs more work than he had hoped. It needs to be completely rebuilt. He’s afraid no one will be up to the task, until he discovers the company Facebook page.
The project for Bren could very well be the miracle Grant needs to save Draper & Sons, and it comes with the added bonus of living with the very attractive Bren. But then, just when everything seems like it’s falling into place, someone tries to take away everything Grant has left.
Will the fragile future Grant and Bren are building be able to survive fire and fraud? Will they be able to rebuild?
The book will be released on February 2nd, but you can pre-order at Amazon now!
2018 is finally over! It was a tough year for me, personally. I had horrible time management, thanks, in part, to my full time retail job with unpredictable hours. I barely won NaNoWriMo, I utterly failed when it came to social media as a writer, and I had a few medical and financial roadblocks show up in my life.
I did, however, finish publishing the Anderson Stables series. That was both a sad thing and a relieving thing. I have lots of other story ideas fighting to get out now, and I can finally work on those ideas. But I will definitely miss writing about Vince and Dustin and Xander. I might just have to write some short stories in the future.
So, with all that behind me now, it’s time for some real goals for 2019.
- Learn some time management skills. It’s pretty obvious that I’m terrible at this right now. When I have a ton going on in my life, I push aside my writing, social media presence, and blogging. It’s time to take a look at where I can improve.
- Work toward a career change. For me, writing has only ever been expected to be a hobby, something I can make a tiny bit of money off while working a “real job” as well. I still don’t plan to make a full living off my writing, at least not in the next five years. My real goal is to take some new courses so I can get out of the retail world and hopefully work for myself, releasing myself from the unpredictable and ever changing hours.
- Be better at social media. I plan to return to blogging with monthly posts, along with weekly posts on Facebook. I also plan to start a newsletter very soon!
- Publish two books in 2019. I’ve decided to publish two books this year on my own schedule, without a publisher. Even working with a professional editor, this gives me a better way to work around my “real job” and set my own deadlines. We’ll see how it goes.
I don’t see why I can’t meet any of these goals, so let’s get rolling!
Right now I’m working on researching my current project (the vaulting one, yes). This is exactly the same system I used when researching Anderson Stables, too. So I thought I’d share my process for anyone who may be curious.
Usually the first thing I do when I get an idea for a story in a sport I’m not personally experienced with, is to watch as many videos of and about that sport as I can find. For Anderson Stables that involved watching lots and lots of Grand Prix livestreams and Olympic playbacks. For this new book I’m watching as many vaulting videos as I can find on Youtube.
Next, I always go online and find the official rulebook for both national and international competitions. And then, because I enjoy spending lots of money on paper and ink, I print those out so I always have something physical to reference. And then I read them. In their entirety. Usually to help me fall asleep at night.
Not really though. I do read them, and they can be dull and difficult to read at times, but I find it a very informative experience. I want to make sure I know the little details before I start seriously working on a story, even if all those little details don’t make it into the book.
That’s usually my research strategy for anything I decide to write in my equestrian romance genre. For Anderson Stables I also took a trip down to Florida to experience part of the Winter Equestrian Festival, but I don’t expect to do that very often. Full time jobs and money tend to restrict one’s abilities to take a bunch of trips even when it’s technically for work.
Hey everyone, don’t forget that you have until June 15th to get in any questions you would like to ask of the Anderson Stables cast of characters so I can interview them!
In honor of the final Anderson Stables book being released this summer, I’ve decided to do an interview session – with the characters from the Anderson Stables books.
What kinds of questions will the characters be answering? Well, that depends on what you want them to answer!
That’s right, you get to ask the questions! You can ask whatever questions you want of whichever character you would like.
Submit questions right here as a comment, or via a comment or message on Facebook. Submissions will be closed after June 15th, and I’ll be posting the interview right here on July 1st.
Let’s have some fun!
When it comes down to it, I essentially have three identities I keep up on a regular basis. There is the “real world” me, the one who works the full time job she thought she would quit someday but she now suddenly wants to turn into a real career. Then there are the two writer versions of me.
One, of course, is the version of me who writes m/m equestrian romance. But my truest love is actually fantasy. When I’m not working on a romance story, I’m usually working on a fantasy one. I’ve been mostly absent here because the publishing process is actually pretty slow paced. The final Anderson Stables book is in the production process as we speak and will be out this summer. Over the last couple months I’ve gone through several rounds of edits with it, and instead of waiting around to hear back from the editing team between rounds, I’ve been working to self-publish some of my fantasy writing (when those books are actually ready I’ll share my alter-ego for the curious).
I ran into an interesting problem with Amazon during this process. I have had my fantasy books available on Wattpad for quite some time, so when I decided just to publish better edited versions of the same stories, Amazon flagged my titles for being stolen because they were freely available online.
I cleared the situation up with them, but I can’t decide if I’m annoyed or appreciative. It’s definitely good that they make sure people aren’t publishing things they don’t have rights to, but I know I’m not the only one following this strategy. It does amuse me that I was more or less accused of stealing my own writing though. Made for an interesting couple of days.
I am of course still planning to write my vaulting book, but the fantasy itch came over me very abruptly and it doesn’t let go very easily.
Unfortunately 2017 was not a very productive or really a very good year for me at all. You may have noticed a general lack of updates from me, and for that I apologize. I had some personal and health struggles that made writing very difficult as I simply could not focus or force myself to be creative when I wasn’t feeling it. I am, however, very positive about everything going into the new year.
I will say that the fourth and final book in the Anderson Stables series has been accepted for publication. I have no definite information about a release date as the editing process hasn’t even begun yet. That is one thing giving me hope for making more progress with my writing in 2018.
So, because the acceptance of the final book got me excited to write some more, I started tossing ideas around in my head about what I should write next. I’ve always had some other story ideas in a similar theme to Anderson Stables – m/m where the world of horses brings the main characters together. I had been torn between writing about the sport of combined driving (like the sport of three-day eventing but with high-tech off-roading carriages) and vaulting for a while. Both had a lot of potential, but I had been paying more attention to driving competitions recently simply because they are pretty intense to watch.
But then I stumbled on an incredible video on YouTube of a French vaulting team and I decided that yes indeed I am writing about vaulting next.
Here is that video, so you can see where my inspiration came from:
Any of you who have been reading my Anderson Stables series may have noticed that I stay away from the level of eroticism many other authors seem to enjoy. Trust me, I’ve tried to write it, but it just doesn’t feel right. Every other aspect of my characters’ lives are written for the world to see, don’t they deserve some privacy?
I, personally, find sex scenes in books to ruin the entire flow of the story – unless done with more emotional detail than physical. Reading feels like meeting new friends, and when those new friends suddenly want to make porn in front of me, that’s really unsettling. My own characters are even better known to me, and making them “perform” for readers doesn’t feel right. Whenever I’ve tried, it has felt like the worst invasion of privacy you could think of.
And I’m writing a romance, not erotica. I’m frequently disturbed to find such graphic scenes in books described as being romances and not “erotic romance.” It seems to be almost expected that romance in general will contain detailed sex, especially in the m/m world. Whatever happened to a nice, sweet love story?
That being said, readers who are looking for erotic romance should be able to find it easily. I don’t want readers finding my books and assuming they will have those scenes, only to be disappointed. Everyone deserves easy access to the kinds of books they want to read.
I prefer sweet romances, so I don’t plan to ever write anything erotic. I’m here for the love story.
So tonight I sat down with the intention to start writing Book 4. Until now I had been plotting out the major scenes, which can be a process.
What took so long was the research I needed to do to properly plot the entire book. Not a ton of research, but enough to delay most of the work.
So I finally sat down to start writing the first scene or two. I pulled up my writing playlist on my phone and hit “shuffle.” Immediately, instead of getting the first scene to start flowing, I got other creative magic flowing. I started thinking through the other major scenes in detail.
Which can be good, but I wasn’t writing those scenes yet. Eventually I forced myself to focus on the beginning (which is always the hardest thing to write anyway) and got just short of 2,000 words out in two hours.
But it’s so interesting to me how music can inspire so much. I spent a while before I finally got to work just trying to get myself to sit down and write. Then I started the music and BOOM. I was in the super zone.
Moral of the story: music is a creative potion and a fantastic muse.
Just a quick update for you tonight.
I will have another short free read for you all this weekend. I’ve been slowly working on the next installment.
Writing is, unfortunately, going very slowly for me in general. I’m pretty sure that part of the reason is the miserable New York winter. It just puts everyone in that blah, tired mood.
The other issue is that I recently started a new full time job that is rather exhausting. The stress of learning new things and dealing with new people makes me just want to go straight to bed or mindless TV when I get home – or both.
But my New Year’s resolution was to keep my self-imposed deadlines as strictly as my publisher-imposed ones, so I’m getting ready to give myself a kick in the butt this weekend. Days off from the “real” job will be marathon days for my eventual full time job. Won’t get there if I don’t work for it.
I hope you all have a great week!