It’s the 7th of January and although I’m running a bit behind on my resolutions, er, goals, it’s okay. It’s still January.
I’ve got a lot planned on my plate for 2019 and whether or not I get to check them off one by one remains to be seen. But what matters is that I have something to check off, first of all.
I have goals.
For most of 2018, I looked at the world with dread. Dread over current events. Dread over political rumblings. Dread over what’s going to happen next. Dread over someone reporting my books for the tiniest typo and I’d lose my Amazon account. Dread, dread, dread.
Suddenly the glass was half empty every damn day. There was nothing to refill it and why would there be if my social media diet consisted of checking Twitter every day and getting caught up in one political upheaval after another. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another and while I thought I’d emerge unscathed, I was wrong.
That fear spilled into my writing. I didn’t enjoy any of my releases until the last one, Friends with Benefits, when something inside me pleaded pleaded pleaded, please be happy. You made something beautiful.
I recognized that voice.
It was from the child who wrote her stories to save herself from a narcissistic mother. It was the child who did whatever she could to be seen by her equally narcissistic father. And when she wasn’t heard, she just wrote and wrote because she heard herself. She heard her words and they were beautiful. Full of hope. No judgment.
I heard her.
And who knows? Maybe my son heard her, too, because today, from the back seat, he said, “Mom, can you write a little boy in your story? Someone like me with a mom like you.”
So for 2019, I’m putting the blinders on. I’ve got stories to tell and until the day comes when I can’t tell them anymore, I’ll keep telling those stories, chugging along, giving the same stories that save me each and every day.
SO WHAT’S THE PLAN, LIZ?
The plan so far is to write three novels. Daniel Drexel’s story, Gareth’s, and Todd. There’s also a sequel with Sarah and Benny that’s been in the works for some time.
And then there is Love in Taos, ten steamy shorts that will correspond with certain holidays, slice-of-life stories that go between the books. They’ll have a lot of romance and maybe, steamy scenes.
It’s ambitious, yes, but they’re boxes I’ll check off every time I accomplish one of them. Boxes that will keep me busy.
And then there’s this:
Writing this book was one of the hardest things for me as a writer. I wanted to write so much but I never expected the pushback from alpha readers who hated their version of Ashe Hunter torn down word after word. I didn’t expect the vitriol with some of their reactions and so I gave up on the book, set it aside in my hard drive for a year and a half until my son’s school aide chanced upon it on the Kindle I had loaned her. She said she sat on the couch for all weekend until the Kindle ran out of charge, paced until the device had enough charge to show the book and continued reading.
Because of her, Loving Riley finally got dug out of the box I might as well label FEAR and it would become my biggest, most profitable launch ever, even bigger than all the other books that would come after it combined.
And now Ashe Hunter is coming to life on audio. In the book, he’s originally from northern England in a little town called Reeth close to Grassington and the Dales. Wuthering Heights country. I hope listeners won’t mind hearing the Northern accent in his deep voice but he’s the Ashe I’ve been waiting for all this time (with shades of Sean Bean, too) and I can’t wait to share him with you this year.
Happy New Year, everyone. It’ll be amazing.