This has been a year of challenges for me, since I started seriously indie publishing. I’ve learned it’s a lot harder to do everything myself, even though it has been rewarding. The one thing that has got me through it is the support and camaraderie from the romance community, including OCC.
Two of the challenges and rewards have involved group projects. Being part of the Romance Super Bundle brought me together with a group of wonderful indie authors: Amy Gamet, Dale Mayer, Donna Marie Rogers, Edie Ramer, Kate Kelly, Pamela Fryer, Lois Winston, Barbara Phinney and Wendy Ely. I’ve learned a lot about marketing and promotion from these ladies, including my first ever Facebook Launch Party.
Monday, Nov. 18, is the Facebook launch party for the other project. I was honored when Debra Holland invited me to be part of her second holiday anthology: Sweetwater Springs Christmas: A Montana Sky Short Story Anthology (Montana Sky Series) by Debra Holland and Friends, namely E. Ayers, Linda Carroll-Bradd, MJ Fredrick, Paty Jager, Jill Marie Landis, Trish Milburn, Linda McLaughlin, Bev Pettersen, Tori Scott, and Cynthia Woolf.
Writing my story, The Best Present, was both challenging and rewarding. It’s not easy to write in another author’s story world, plus I was unfamiliar with Montana in 1895 (or any other time.) Some research was required. (That was okay since I love research.)
For once, I shed my romance persona and wrote about a ten-year-old girl having the worst Christmas of her young life. I drew on some personal experiences, including my memories of my tenth Christmas, which took place two weeks after the death of my grandmother. Allison’s story has a different ending than mine did, but it’s the most personal work I’ve ever written, and it was an emotional experience. I was reminded of the old saw about opening a vein.