April 20, 2017 marks one year from the date when I got my first book offer. I will always remember the date because it also happens to be my friend Marcia’s birthday. Things move slowly in publishing, but a lot can happen in one year. In one year, I finished writing the three books I was contracted for with Kensington. In April 2017 my editor signed off on book 3, sent copy edits for book 1 AND made an offer to extend my contract for two additional books. YAY! I will get to write books 4 and 5 in the Mystery Bookshop series. That was amazing and I’m super excited (hence the happy dancing mentioned in the title of this post).
Knowing that my editor likes my series enough to want at least two more books makes me ecstatic. In fact, I get a stupid grin on my face that I can’t seem to eliminate no matter how I try. So, I’ve stopped trying. When my agent called to tell me about the offer, I was beyond happy. However, what came next blew my mind. Her next words, “it gets better” threw me for a loop. What could be better than getting a contract for two more books? That’s when she told me my editor wants me to submit a proposal for another series for Lyrical, Kensington’s eBook imprint. Did you hear that noise? That sound was my brain exploding from pure joy.
Once I gathered the pieces of my addled brain back together, I sat down and started to think through ideas for another mystery series. I actually have three or four, but which one to propose? After a great deal of thought a
nd deliberation, I wrote a synopsis and book proposal and sent it to my agent. So, I’m holding my breath and have crossed my fingers, toes and everything else I can, in the hopes that it will be accepted.
If you’re keeping count, as of May 6, 2017, I’m under contract for 11 books (5 from Kensington and 6 from Camel Press). Another series could mean at least 3 more. Perhaps I should be worried about writing so many books, especially with a full-time job. However, writing isn’t the part that scares me. I LOVE to write and I write pretty quickly. Plus, here’s where the slowness of the publishing process works to my advantage. I’ve already written all of the books I’m contracted for through the 2018 publishing dates. So, I’ve got a bit of a stockpile (Tip: When you’re waiting for a positive response from an agent or editor, just keep writing). It also helps when you don’t really have a social life, but we won’t dwell on that now. No, the part that scares me isn’t the writing; its the marketing/promotion (eg leaving my cave and talking to people). Most writers are introverts and given a choice between wrestling an alligator and talking to people, would be lined up to take a turn with the alligator. However, I’m told marketing/promotion and “getting out in public” is the cross writers have to bear. So, during April, I took professional author photos and agreed to participate in a Facebook Live event in June (I’m really wishing the alligator was a viable option).
One step at a time, this introverted writer is moving closer and closer to fulfilling a dream with no alligators involved, no hyperventilating and a lot of happy dancing.