Saturday, May 6, 2017

What Was On My Butterfly Mind?


We’re supposed to write about one thing that’s been on our mind this week. Well, mine is pretty much occupied with the adorable new grandbaby. Sorry I have no photos to share but his parents are trying to keep his social media footprint as tiny as his real footprint, at least for now. You’ll just have to take my unbiased, totally impartial word for it that he’s the cutest baby EVER. Or at least since his mother was a baby.

Jake the Cat
I have a butterfly mind, flower to flower, thought to thought. Or stream of consciousness perhaps. I don’t brood over any one thing to the exclusion of pondering other stuff. Well, maybe when Jake the Cat is yowling at me to FEED HIM. That’s pretty hard to ignore. But I’m not getting up at 4AM because he has a craving for smelly fishy catfood from the can. Never mind he has dry food in the bowl at all times and is thoroughly spoiled. By who, you ask? (Looks around guiltily.) Couldn’t be me!

So of course there was stuff this week that I thought about – the current state of world and national affairs, medical insurance, local freeway construction delays, author drama (there is so much of this but that’s kind of a constant, only the names and the central issues change, beware the flying monkeys), fasting for my blood test today, the novel I’m writing, many MANY plot bunnies for other books I don’t have time to write…

Well, ok, how about this one? I don’t know the person myself but there’s an author whose first book sold like hotcakes AND got made into a movie that did fairly well…and five YEARS later they are back with the sequel…and oh, surprise, not only have the readers not been waiting with bated breath, the entire industry has changed a LOT. What worked then does not work now. (Except when it does, of course, in the confounding manner of publishing.) I keep visualizing this poor person being like Rip Van Winkle in a way, emerging from the writer cave, book in hand, shouting “Here it is!” to the waiting crowds…only there aren’t any.

Never mind five years, seems like the publishing industry changes every six months or even more often, or so it seems.  I’m grateful for the various author groups I’m in online, where people compare notes and share generously as to what still works, what quit working, what’s new to try…

I’ve kind of had to unwind my view of myself as an author from my view of myself as the small business-publisher-of-myself, to keep my writing sanity. I write what I write and enjoy telling the stories and don’t let myself worry if this particular book I’m in the middle of now will pay the bills in June. Paying the bills in June is a whole other issue than whether my hero and heroine will defeat the Big Bad and get to that HEA. I'll handle the bills issues when I'm in business-mind mode! Too much pressure on the creativity kills the whole thing for me. I can’t “write to market”, nor do I want to, nor do I want to fret over it.

My market is people who happen to enjoy the same kinds of stories I do, and buy books that I write.

I do my promo activities and my networking and I certainly don’t let myself slack off on any of that because there are so many other good books and so many other good authors out there, and I don’t want readers to forget that they enjoy my books too. Reminding people that Veronica Scott exists and oh-by-the-way she has a new release (see below) plus a growing backlist is just good business sense.  I love scifi romance and I enjoy talking about the entire genre and other authors I admire on various platforms. I’m honored and have fun doing that!

But I have had to give myself a few stern lectures fairly recently on not getting spun up over the latest twist some large ebook seller has thrown into the business mix, or that alien planet barbarian dragon shifters with secret babies are now the rage in my genre when I write books like the adventures of Ripley and Hicks in “Aliens” but with more romance, less gore and less dripping ick and an HEA. Or any number of other wrinkles, permutations and new stumbling blocks in the indie author biz.

I’ll never be a statistical whiz, analyzing all the clicks per bid or whatever it may be, and I needed help with the complexities of creating a MailChimp newsletter…so I do the things I can, make myself learn the ones I totally require to survive as an author nowadays, and I keep it all FAR AWAY from my creative process of writing the next scifi romance.

This excellent article by Kristine Kathryn Rusch comparing the indie author phenomenon to a gold rush, an investment bubble and a business cycle was extremely clarifying and helpful to me and I highly recommend it.

New Release! Ta da!
The blurb:
I’m really excited to release three Sectors stories that have only been available previously in anthologies, none of which are available currently. (I know many of you purchased the Pets In Space anthology, which first contained STAR CRUISE STOWAWAY and thank you so much!) Along with STOWAWAY, I’ve really been wanting to get the other two stories out there for you, especially THE GOLDEN TOKEN, which was only in the  limited edition paperback we handed out at last year’s RT Booklovers Conference. So I’ve bundled them ALL into one book with the lengthy title STAR CRUISE A NOVELLA: STOWAWAY WITH RESCUE AND GOLDEN TOKEN SHORT STORIES.

Here are the story descriptions:

Star Cruise: Stowaway: A novella of 22K words, previously in the award winning ‘Pets In Space’ anthology.
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

Star Cruise: Rescue: A short story of 9K words, previously in the ‘Romancing the Stars’ anthology.
When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?

The Golden Token: A short story of 13K words, previously in the limited edition ‘Dealer’s Choice’ paperback anthology put together by Linnea Sinclair and handed out at the 2016 RT Booklovers Convention Interstellar Bar & Grille event.
Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

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