Happy New Year. I hope you had a wonderful holiday.
This morning I woke up to a daunting historical fact. Five years ago, I made a rather strange decision or idea to publish a title a month for a year. I’ve spoken about this project several times over the past years. When I set out to do it, I had one main reason, to sell more books.
I heard the best way to gain readers and sell more books was to write more books. I also heard it was easier to do advertising with more than one book.
When 2016 started I had one full-length novel, a novella and a novelette. What I didn’t have was a completed series, or at least a duet. I now know that was a big mistake. If I were to ever do another challenge like that, it would center around one series.
I have learned a lot about writing and publishing books. I think I finally have a handle on my writing style and what my readers expect from me. I write books that aren’t necessarily written to market. In my books someone is always wrestling with their feelings, raging hormones and how they mix with their faith. I like to hook my reader with something a little sweet and sassy so they can get to know the characters. The heat levels grow as the series progresses. In my writing world, the characters need to read like real people. It should feel like you’re reading about someone the reader would actually know.
I have three series and two duets I need to tie up. I’m not saying I’m going to tie up all of these collections this year, but I’m going to try.
I’m also guilty of using cliffhangers…another thing I tried to sell books. I think it would have been successful if I’d immediately released the next book in the series.
Last year I didn’t release a book and my sales suffered as a result. What did I learn from this…no new book and a lack of marketing my backlist leads to no money. I did however, participate in some incredible free promotions which gave me awesome results. My book Unexpected Love was #1 in one of my categories on Amazon US and UK for three days. I was on the roof. Both of my other books peaked in the top ten of their categories.
These promotions yielded several thousand downloads and sales which I loved.
I take responsibility for my low sales, because I failed to do adequate marketing and advertising. I refuse to kick myself for not sticking to my production schedule. I was distracted by a little thing called COVID-19.
So what is my plan for this year? I’m not quite sure. I know I’ll be releasing a book in February. My goal is to release the next in that series approximately three months later. I’ll also be releasing new covers for my Alex series as well as another book.
The other thing on my list is the follow up to Unexpected Love. I have the cover, title and eleven thousand words. Seeing several free copies have been downloaded and it ends in a cliffhanger, I need to release the follow up asap.
Before I start any writing plan for 2021, I’m going to take a few days, clear my head and make a reachable and achievable plan.
So what’s your author plan for 2021?
A New Mystery
The official availability of my new May release is in 2 days–May 8.
What is it? It’s, PICK AND CHEWS, the fourth in my Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have four books being published this year, one mystery and three romances.
PICK AND CHEWS is about Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician, who buys a friend’s bakery and turns half into a barkery, where she sells healthy dog treats that she’s developed.
Does she have a romantic interest? Of course! Everything I write contains a romance, as well as elements of mystery or suspense or both. In this case, Carrie’s guy is a veterinarian at the vet clinic where she still works part-time, Dr. Reed Storme. Reed has been telling her to back off from helping to solve murders because it’s too dangerous for her. But… well, in PICK AND CHEWS he backs off from that position a bit because he’s the one who’s the main murder suspect.
So, what’s next this year? Well, as I mentioned before, the first in my K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER, was published in March. Its sequel TRAINED TO PROTECT will be an October release.
And then, in November, my last Harlequin Nocturne, VISIONARY WOLF, will be published. It’s the ninth in my Alpha Force series about a covert military unit of shapeshifters—and the last, since the Nocturne line is ending this year.
So—yes. Three romances, plus one mystery, in 2018. I celebrate them all!
It’s March! That means my first new book of the year, SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER, is officially available. It became available in its e-format on March 1, and today, March 6, it is also officially available in print format. I’m delighted to say, though, that I’ve seen, and signed, a copy in a store already.
As I mentioned before, SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER is the first in my new K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. I’ve had several other HRS books published and enjoyed them all, but this one is special in a couple of ways. First, of course, is that it has dogs featured in it, along with the romance–and the suspense. And second, it’s also the first in a miniseries for HRS. The second book in the series, TRAINED TO PROTECT will be an October 2018 release. Will there be more? Too early to tell, but I hope so.
I always enjoy when a new book comes out, and it’s particularly fun when it’s the first in a new series. But I have fun with later books in a series, too.
Some authors plan out all the books in a series from the first. Not me. I never know for sure how many books there will be in a series, so I simply wait and see as the series goes forward. But while doing so, I get to know the characters and their backgrounds well, so it’s never a problem to keep the series going.
My last Harlequin Nocturne paranormal romance will be published later this year. It’s the last because the whole Harlequin series is being ended, and therefore so will my miniseries for the line, the Alpha Force stories about a covert military unit of shapeshifters. I hadn’t even considered the initial story to be the first in a series at all, let alone nine books. I’d had another Nocturne published and thought it might be the first of a series, but my Harlequin editors told me to go with Alpha Force—and I have, and definitely enjoyed it.
Anyway, right now I’m excited about my K-9 Ranch Rescue story and its upcoming sequel. SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER has a handsome and damaged hero, a strong heroine… and yes, dogs!
Like Michael Landon when he thought up Highway to Heaven, or like David Boreanaz when he signed on to do Bones, I am about to embark upon my third series. I’ve written four books so far in my award-winning and Amazon bestselling romantic comedy In Love in the Limelight series and two books so far in my series set in the heart of the Cotswolds, the Drakenfall series. So if I’ve not yet written all the books for these two series, why start a third? Well, it all began last October …
For the holiday season of 2016, I contributed a Christmas short story “It Doesn’t Show Signs of Stopping” to a limited release holiday anthology It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chick Lit. As I always do whenever I am part of an anthology, I read all the stories in the anthology as soon as the book comes out, if not sooner if I can sneak peeks at the stories by bugging my fellow authors. So, last November, I started reading another of the stories in the anthology, “The Miraculous Power of Butter Cookies” by Holly Tierney-Bedord, an author I kind of knew from some of my writer’s groups. Hm, I thought. Another Christmas cookies story. Then I started reading and OMG I was swept away by prose so warm and wry and gosh darn evocative and deceptive in its simplicity that I immediately thought of Flannery O’Connor. I kid you not. It was that good. When I was done with her story, I messaged her and told her how totally amazeballs she was. Then I read a chick lit book of hers about a woman who goes on a reality show to win the man of her dreams, Bellamy’s Redemption. I don’t even like watching reality shows, but I could not put this book down and I could not stop laughing! And the romance was subtle but squeefully wonderful! Seriously, the book amused me to such an extent that sometimes I will be doing the dishes or walking through the grocery store and I will think of a scene from the book and just burst out laughing! Then I read one of the best books I can ever remember reading – Holly’s Surviving Valencia, a masterpiece that starts out as compelling women’s fiction and twists and turns into a thrilling, suspenseful, and ultimately chilling mystery. The scenes of the narrator growing up in the shadow of her adored, incandescent sister Valencia are achingly perfect, and the journey of how the narrator learns to survive her sister’s untimely teenage death captivates to the very core. But then the book becomes tricky and eerie, when a past thought long-dead surfaces like the Loch Ness monster and keeps you guessing until the VERY. LAST. CHAPTER.
It is rare that I discover an author who so transports me, let alone one that I kind of know! Then early this year, I got a message from Holly. “Would you be interested in co-writing a cozy mystery with me?” Umm … are you talking to me? I mean, yeah!!! Heck, yeah! Are you sure you mean me? Turns out, when she read my romantic comedy Miss Adventure, for the fist time in a long time, her internal editor did not even engage. She was swept away by the ease of my prose and she lost herself in my story.
Does this sound like kismet, or what? We have since become fast friends online and she even let me read her upcoming, soon to be released women’s fiction saga, Sweet Hollow Women. Let me just say, Mmmrrh!!!!!
We have been tossing ideas back and forth over email for a few months now, and finally … this past weekend, I flew to Wisconsin to meet Holly!!!!! It was like Sleepless in Seattle,but without the kid, and the romance was in the form of what we decided to put in the book. We hammered out the final outline of the first story in what we aim to make a helluva series – I have never before been so galvanized by writing!
Holly … cozy mystery … writing with someone I admire to the high heavens and like a heck of a lot besides … Mmmrrh! Stay tuned for more details as the story develops …
When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.
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