I thought it would behoove me to send out a letter to all of my fans about what has been going on with me. I know I’ve been MIA for the last year and that’s what I intend to explain in this blog post.
You see, I had a lot going on in my personal/professional life this time last year. My father was on deaths doorstep and in desperate need of a double transplant. My career, the one that pays the bills, was waining and I was so unhappy with my employer that I dreaded waking up each day. So here’s the run down. It’s a bit more personal than I usually share, but I’m trusting that this can only help me connect with my fans on a much more tangible level.
Things were looking bleak. I didn’t know if my dad was going to live to see another Christmas, and I was so desperate to find another job that I stressed daily about whether or not I was letting my husband, and children, down by not providing for them the way I wanted to. The reason for this is because my husband worked tirelessly to help pay the bills while I attended school full time and worked two part time jobs. Money was extremely tight during that five year period, but he never failed to provide for us. Now that I’ve graduated and I’m officially 4 years into my professional career, I didn’t feel like I had reached high enough to accommodate all that he had given up to help me achieve this goal. So, I started writing.
At first I had these grand dreams of becoming a best selling author and providing a lifestyle that I could only dream about. But after the release of my first book, and the abysmal sales report, reality started to set in. I wrote my second book and hoped with every fiber of my being that it would transcend my writing career into a full time occupation and offer me a level of happiness and contentment lacking in my current profession. But again, my sales were less than stellar. So, I decided to change things up a bit and write a dark erotic/BDSM romance. Fifty Shades had just come out in the theaters and BDSM was a hot ticket that I thought I could cash in on. Don’t get me wrong, I wrote because this story had been in the back of my mind for years, but having the attention for the genre at that time was a major bonus. And so, I released Desire’s Deception. My sales were fantastic the first three months and I was actually beginning to think this was my major breakthrough into the writing community. But alas, after the third month my sales took a nose dive and have slimmed down every month since.
Now, I’m not telling you all of this to garner sympathy, I’m happy with my life and the choices that I have made. However, it was at that time that I realized that being an author full time just wasn’t feasible for me and my family. My royalties couldn’t pay my utilities every month, much less sustain my family as a primary source of income.
It was then that something inside of me shifted. I didn’t enjoy writing anymore. It had quickly become a huge financial burden to me and my husband that I could no longer maintain. I had readers writing me daily asking for free stuff. It felt like everyone wanted something for nothing. No one wanted to pay for my books. No one wanted to write reviews for books that I had given to them for free in exchange for an honest review. I began to question why I was putting so much of my money and time into a business venture that had gained me nothing but debt, and a loss of time with my family. Sure, I loved to create stories and escape into the lives of my characters; however, I could still write those stories, not publish, and achieve the same cathartic release.
A few months ago I finally found a new job, one that offers me a tremendous amount of contentment and a sense of professional fulfillment. My husband and I purchased a house in January, and I began to feel like I had reached that point in my life/career where I was getting it right. Things were just clicking. I wasn’t stressing about providing for my family because we were, for the first time in our marriage, financially sound. I’m not saying this to brag or make anyone feel lesser. I have done without more than I have ever simply, “had”. I have worked multiple jobs and busted my ass to get where I am today. I’m not rich. I don’t make six figures a year, but I’m content. And once I realized this, the words began to flow again.
I sat down last month and wrote a book, the first one that I had completed in a year. I read Metanoia, for the first time since I had released it. I actually enjoyed reading my own book…can you believe it, I couldn’t. I stepped into the shower one morning, my daily routine as I get ready for work, and ideas began to flood my mind. So much so, that I had to get out of the shower to jot them down. This may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it was like magic for me. I hadn’t connected with my muse in what seemed like forever, and here she was tapping into my creative side once again and it was absolutely glorious. I went to work that day and felt like I could rule the world. THAT is what writing used to do for me and had finally done once more.
So, I’m finally writing with renewed enthusiasm. My characters are trampling through my head once more. But what I’m not going to do this time is let my writing take over my life again. I’m not going to spend ten, fifteen, or thirty hours a week online doing takeovers and posting crazy stuff on Facebook just to keep the “likes” coming and my page relevant. I’m not going to go crazy promoting new releases with hundreds of teasers that cost me a small fortune, and endless swag giveaways that make money so tight I struggle to pay my bills. I’m not signing up for five, six, or ten book conventions that max out my credit cards and put strain on my marriage. I’M NOT GIVING STUFF AWAY FOR NOTHING IN RETURN. You wouldn’t, so why would you expect me to?
I’m going to write, attend maybe one convention a year if that, and post funny stuff on Facebook when the mood hits me. I’ll always respect and be in touch with my fans, but I’m not trying to appeal to the masses anymore. I felt like I lost myself when I did that, I definitely lost my will to write, and that’s something I refuse to give up again.
And that’s my story. That is why you don’t see me hovering over Facebook every hour of the day anymore. That’s why I’m not releasing two to three books a year anymore. I’m living my life and writing when the mood hits. No deadlines–No pressure–Just the bliss of writing to be writing. If you want to follow my characters on their journey then please feel free to do so, I’d love it if you would. I’ll continue to provide you with stories that move you and characters that inspire you. It’s what I love to do. But please don’t expect me to succumb to the fad of begging for someone to read my books. I’m just going to let my books sell themselves. If that’s not enough, so be it. I’m not in this to get rich, just to write.
Gabriel will be releasing next week and I’m working on Paradeigma. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.