This Announcement is No Joke

Hello Everyone!

Yes, I’m back and having said that I’m now picturing Moriarty (Andrew Scott) on Sherlock saying, “Did you mis me?” over and over as Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) is whisked back from a potentially final assignment (if you have no idea what I’m going on about, see the clip below).

So, last week I took some time off of blogging to not only give myself some time to think about my writing goals, but to also do some website overhauling. There’s a lot to cover, but first…

Congratulations to March’s Winner!

going native, native plant, gardening guideRosemary Anderson was selected as the winner of my March giveaway of my gardening guide Going Native: Small Steps to a Healthy Garden. Folks who sign up for my mailing list in April will be entered to win a copy of The Trials of Hercules: Book One of The Osteria Chronicles. You can see full details on my home page, or just enter to win right here:

And As For Writing

Pancakes_Nope_have_not_seenI’m feeling a bit torn about writing right now. Don’t get me wrong, I love to write. However, not to be too crass, I also like to have cash in my pocket. Fiction, I have to say is a hard sell. It does seem no one wants to pay for fiction, as if writing a novel is just something that happens with no effort and therefore fiction writers don’t deserve much money. Yes, my sales were fantastic last month. but this was because for nearly an entire week I had The Trials of Hercules and 13th Hour available for free. Those free copies “sold” like hotcakes. Mmmm….hotcakes.

My non-fiction, however, always has steady sales from paying customers. I don’t want to put down non-fiction writing, but in many ways it is easier. Plus, the research always yields interesting tidbits. I discovered how much I missed non-fiction writing when I was working on a native plant article for the North American Native Plant Society in March. A bit of research, a bit of fact-checking, an hour of writing, a dose of revision and there it was: a full-formed piece of writing. I forgot how rewarding it was to complete a piece of writing without investing over a year in it.

When I left my job in 2010, the point was for me to write novels (okay, the point was for me to become a best-selling novelist and make enough money that my husband could retire early). It took me several years of trying to do too much, trying out different genres, and giving up on several manuscripts, before it came to the point where I decided to give up on article writing and essay writing and all the other types of work I was doing to focus solely on fiction writing to see how it went (this was when The Trials of Hercules was being born).


time2I have to say I’m not happy with how it went. Yes, I LOVE all the reviews I’ve gotten for The Trials of Hercules and how excited my readers are to learn about The Voyage’s upcoming release, but I’m frustrated with dedicating my working week and weekends to books that only “sell” when I give them away. It’s truly left me wondering why I’m pushing myself so hard to get The Osteria Chronicles series out, why I’m cramming my weekends with work, why I’m devoting so much of my time to fiction.

Fans of my fiction, don’t get scared. I still plan to write novels. However, I do not plan to dedicate as much time to them, so my novels may be coming out more slowly…maybe 12 to 18 months between release dates rather than seven. So, yes, the third book in The Osteria Chronicles will be on its way, but maybe not until late next year rather than early next year as I anticipated.

What do I plan to do with my writing time? First, I need to get back into article writing. Querying can be a pain, but I enjoy writing articles and I also enjoy the payment I get for them. I’m limping my way back into the querying world and hope to be up to full running speed by the end of the month.

Second, I am going to start working on some non-fiction books. These will be a mix of history and science (with a dash of my typical sarcastic humor) – imagine if Mary Roach and Steven Johnson got together to write and sought some occasional advice from Bill Bryson. The book I’m currently researching involves poison, history and botany…I’m sure my search phrases are setting off all kinds of alarms with the Feds!

dragon, cute dragonI know being a fiction writer and non-fiction writer does make the marketing difficult (and clearly I’m not that good at it to begin with), but these are the books I would want to read and therefore will enjoy writing. And, the two sides of my writing aren’t that far apart. The Osteria Chronicles series involves a great deal of history and historical legends. My non-fiction will also have a history/legend focus. There’ll just be fewer dragons and monsters…I think.

Oh, and on the blog front…Wednesdays will now be my day to write about writing and others sorts of creative stuff. Fridays are still up in the air, but will probably be related to whatever interesting stuff I’ve dug up in my research or about some aspect of my books. And, as always, Saturdays will be dedicated to a book, movie, or whatever else has caught my fancy over the past week.

So I hope you stick with me everyone. It’s going to be a fun ride!

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