Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just About A Year Ago (not stuck in old Lodi again)

Old habits die hard and I still listen to a lot of the music I loved in my youth.  One of my favorite groups remains Credence Clearwater Revival and one of the songs I love most is “Lodi”. That song opens with the lines, “Just about a year ago, I set out on the road, seeking my fame and fortune, looking for a pot of gold.”  That ballad seems not just a favorite these days but somehow prophetic for my career or so I hope.  I won't be walking down if I go and I'm not stuck in old Lodi again - it's only the part "just about a year ago" that resonates right now.

 A year ago, I still aspired to sell just one novel, to have readers discover my work and enjoy it.  I wanted to write stories that would engage people’s imaginations and so I kept writing, continued submitting against some pretty tall odds and in the face of frequent rejection.
 With the recent release of my first full-length contemporary romance from Rebel Ink Press and a short from No Boundaries, a very new epublisher, I now have four works of fiction for sale on and other retailers.  In something that still often seems like a dream, I have three more that will be out soon and others with later publication dates.   I’ve yet to find that pot of gold and I’m a very long way from being rich or even comfortable but my work, my words seem to be gaining the validation of a reading public.

 Love Never Fails, my first Rebel Ink title, came about because my kids like to hear me tell stories about the distant dark ages of my past.  So after we attended a company picnic that included a small car show and I saw a GTO much like the one that my teenage significant other once drove, they grilled me about “boys”.   Some of that reminiscing got an idea simmering on the back burner of my brain and before long I was at work writing a “second chance at love” story set in Neosho.  I’m not my heroine, Caroline Cunningham, and the hero, Reid Ramsey is not anyone in particular or based on anyone in my life.   My publisher, however, calls the stories I write for their outfit “real life romance”.
 My first two titles and one of those upcoming are paranormal romances but both Love Never Fails and my upcoming July release from Champagne Books, Kinfolk, are both contemporary romances.  Both are set in the Ozarks, in Neosho and in northwest Arkansas.  Another July upcoming release, a shorter work, titled The Marriage Cure, is a historical romance set in this region among the early settlers of Newton County.

 Kinfolk was accepted last July and the first for me.  At the time, I wondered if I would ever be able to sell another but my husband’s uncle, Wayne Rigdon, assured me that I would and he has proven to be right.

      I still like the same things and have much the same routine.  I go grocery shopping in my worn-out blue jeans, worship at church with my family, sit out on the porch in the cool of the evening, and doing the things I’ve always done.   I just spend more time promoting, sometimes very long hours, and do a lot more web appearances through interviews, guest blogs, and such.

      I attract some attention with my prose and my fiction but I don’t know if I can call it “fame” just yet but I like the recognition for my writing.   I hope that at least a little of the “fortune” drifts my way with each royalty quarter but for now, my pleasure comes from reader comments, from those who like my stories and remember them.

      A lot can change in a year’s time, though and I adapt to the changes.

I also just signed my third Rebel Ink Press contract for a new novel, "In Love's Own Time".


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