Frankly, I won’t work harder than you are.
It’s funny how the business of writing has gone for me. So often when I write something I think is going to do amazing it sinks, and then something I feel meh about, soars.
After writing full-time for seven years I have realized this is just the way it is (for me). And it’s not just romance -- the same has been true with my suspense pen name. The books of my heart are either duds or mediocre, and the books that were done sort of slap-dash, earns me more than expected.
What has this taught me? In simple terms, it’s shown me that the things I like writing the most don’t serve my audience.
It’s also taught me that the writing and publishing process are two different beasts.
When I say writing and publishing are different things -- I mean this: when I write, the story is mine and mine alone. When I publish it no longer belongs to me. It belongs to my readers. I can coddle a book as long as it is a work in progress. The moment it is released, it isn’t mine to hold anymore. So I can get all touchy-feeling with a story as long as it lives solely in my mind, heart, and laptop. But once that part of the process is over, I need to let go.
Hard, isn’t it?
It’s especially hard when you put all your emotional eggs in a basket that breaks. And when something cracks, it means we need to look at where the fracture began.
When I began preparing to launch a series wide last fall, I wanted it to be all ooey-gooey goodness. I wanted to perfectly pair the desires of my readers with my own, and make a yummy casserole dish that felt like comfort food. I thought if I took all my favorite elements, and the elements of some of my more successful stories, it would be a come-back-for-seconds situation.
The series I planned to launch with was Coming Home to the Mountains. A series with an interconnected family, each sibling getting their own HEA, mountain men, lots of steam, not-too-scary action, and a “filthy-sweet” package that matched my brand.
I scoured the wide best sellers lists before landing on a cover concept. I hired a designer to make me custom maps. I sent the stories to my three critique partners, an editor, my proofreader -- everyone was positive.
Yet with all this thinking, planning, and prioritizing, the entire thing has fallen flat.
The first book in the series, releasing 1/18, Rough & Tumble, has earned