As I race toward the release of my third story collection (If Mistletoe Could Tell Tales), I’ve been thinking about my brief (so far) career as an independently published historical romance writer.
My first post on my blog was three years and three months ago, on 16 September 2014. ‘Tentative first steps’, I called it. At that point, I was still writing Farewell to Kindness, my first novel. Candle and Min Avery had not yet wandered into the Assembly at Chipping Nidwick, and I had no idea that a month later I’d be consumed by their story, that two months’ later I’d be writing it, and that three months’ later the novella Candle’s Christmas Chair would be my first published historical romance.
Things have not turned out the way I planned at the beginning. Based on those two books, I figured I could manage three novels a year, while working full-time in the day job. I didn’t allow for the sheer volume of work required of an indie publisher and all the marketing needed in the bazillion-book marketplace. I didn’t factor in the changing needs of family, or the ill health that was about to dog my PEH (personal romantic hero) and I.
In the event, I’ve managed to write and publish four novels in three years, and I’m nearing the end of the fifth. I’ve also written and published eight novellas and a dozen or so novelettes or longish short stories.
And I’ve blogged. I’m a bit more structured today than I was in the beginning, with four regular weekly features. But they cover the same ground.
- Pieces about me (not many of those, but I don’t do stress and Curious things about me qualify).
- The romance genre: early examples include Some like it hot and The happy endings myth
- Lots of research posts on topics as diverse as Enclosures Acts and human happiness, era-appropriate language for sexual parts and activities, the criminal justice system before the Victorian era changes, and how many dukes actually held their high estate at any one time.
I’ve also talked about the writing process, about my books, and occasionally about the philosophy that underpins the kind of stories I chose to write.
I’ve written to you, and you’ve written back to me, in the comments and in emails. I’m grateful to have you with me on this journey.
So what is in store for 2018? Better health, I hope. I have committed to a book for Scarsdale publishing and four (count them, four!) anthologies. The Realm of Silence will be completed before Christmas and in editing in January. I’d love to think I could finish the next in the series, Unkept Promises, as well as Concealed in Shadow, the sequel to Revealed in Mist. So many plots. So little time.
As I said in my very first post way back in 2014: watch this space!