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So This Is It

It's hard to pinpoint exactly how I feel. Not as relieved as I imagined. A little sad. Happy, but sad. It's about fifty-fifty right now.

I asked for the rights back to The Convict and the Cattleman, The Wrong Brother's Bride, and Reclaiming Her Heart at the end of December. Finally, yesterday, I got the letter in the mail releasing me from Kensington's Lyrical line.

As an author (or any kind of artist who wants to share their media with the world), you wait for the moment when you hit it big. When the announcement came that Lyrical was selling to Kensington, this seemed like the break-through. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to sign with Samhain, a house known for its quality books. Samhain was one of my dream houses. Signing with Kensington was a huge deal. New York house for little ol' me? Awesome. You can read all about it in the January '14 posts.

Turns out I'm a bit of a Red Riding Hood. By which I mean, I got lost in the woods. Writing for the "new, improved" Lyrical was not at all like writing for the old one. I lost my editor, which sucked, and looking back, I should have taken Convict and Bride and run. Except there was a thing that happened that persuaded me not to. Stupid, stupid me, believing a line. Apparently my mama raised a fool.

I learned some tough lessons that first year with K's Lyrical. The kind that made me rethink a lot of author life choices and left me with regret. On the plus side, I learned some things that actually helped me. The price to pay for them was kind of steep.

What went down that summer made me think about leaving the writing life behind. It was an issue over a book, of course. I can look at the first draft of the book that created such a problem and I see where it needs attention. It was rough, but it wasn't mark-up every other line rough. Not in my opinion. By the time that book was in edits, I had four published. Two from the original Lyrical line and two at other houses. I never saw a mark-up like that and one of my editors from another house ended up at K's Lyrical, so I know she didn't steer me wrong in the editing area. It came down to a difference in editing opinions and I lost. Well, I sort of won, because I learned some tricks, but I lost a metric shit ton of confidence and desire.

Thank God for the things that pulled me back. Vikings, cowboys, and the Heckmasters. Here's to
more cowboys and pirates and even a Regency novella. All the things that forced me to move forward. And to the people behind them who didn't let me fall into the void.

Sometimes the "dream" is not what you expect. Sometimes it reroutes and becomes something else. The road was far different that I anticipated and it was scary and weird and not always a joyride. But it was filled with good things too, like three Amazon bestseller lists in five countries, and two bestseller statuses on ARe when that was a thing. It was critique partners who praised my genius (even when I wasn't feeling it). It was filled with editors who shaped me and helped me get where I needed to go. It was full of revisions that were awful and full of revisions that needed to happen.

I have a lot of work to do in the upcoming weeks. I have a novella to write, I have editing to do, I have to rework my historical novels that are now back in my loving arms and get them new covers. My dreams of being someone within a house are over. Now, I'm all indie.

Watch for covers, watch for re-releases. It's not new territory for me. I'm actually quite pleased with the re-release of The Heckmasters and I think this will be good for my historical romances as well.

You know what they say: Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

Comments

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