February 28, 2023

Dear Undiscovered Writer


Dear Undiscovered Writer,

Many writers are insecure about being unknown and not having the traction that they desire.

This is the case for countless writers. Not only are there countless authors who are published traditionally through small publishers, there are even more who self-publish. There are an estimated 2.2 million books published worldwide each year. That’s a lot of books.

Some authors can publish several in one year, but the vast majority probably only publish one to two a year, so that could give you a rough (very rough) estimate of how many authors there are around the world.

With that many authors and that many books, it is hard to get noticed. It’s this way for every author.

February 14, 2023

My Romance Reading Journey

NOTE: If you saw this post last week, it’s because it posted too early. Oops.

Last year, members of the bookstagram community on Instagram created posts to share their romance reading journeys. I loved the posts and had fun checking out other readers’ romance journeys. I wanted to do one myself, but it looked like too much work for a social media post. So, I decided to save it for a blog post. This is that blog post.

Are you ready to go on my romance reading journey from past to present?

Let’s go!

First adult romance - Once In A Lifetime by Danielle Steel. Read at age 15. It was my mom’s book that I’d always seen and was curious about. I loved it and wanted to name my first born Daphne after the MC.

My old copy of Once In A Lifetime by Danielle Steel
Photo by Chrys Fey

Soon followed by - Sam’s Letters To Jennifer by James Patterson

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson
Photo by Chrys Fey

First Paranormal romance book/series - Charmed series by Constance M. Burge. Specific books: Kiss of Darkness, Crimson Spell. Now, these aren’t heavy on the romance, but the little bit of romance in them made an impact on me. This was where I’d first come across the phrases “cupped her face” and “framed her face.” I use both in my writing.

First YA romances - Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series by Ann Brashares
Photos by Chrys Fey

Then: All-American Girl by Meg Cabot and Teen Idol by Meg Cabot

Another memorable YA romance from the same time period - If I Have A Wicked Step-Mother, Where’s My Prince? by Melissa Kantor

Second adult romance book - The Ring by Danielle Steel 

First Historical Romance - Calder Born by Janet Dailey

First Nora Roberts book - Midnight Bayou

Then I devoured nearly every Nora Roberts and several J.D. Robb books (funny thing is I started with Rapture in Death, which is Book 4) from 2007-2011.

February 07, 2023

The Frustrations of Creative Life


In her wonderful book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which I discussed last year on my blog, Elizabeth Gilbert tells us that handling our personal frustrations as artists is the most elementary part of creating anything, no matter if you’re a writer, painter, or musician.

The first time I read her book, I was deep in a bout of depression (not spurred on by writing or publishing in any way but which was impacting my writing in every way), I remember asking, “But how?”

The second time I read her book, when I was finally back to writing, I still paused at that line and again asked, “How?”

How can someone handle their frustrations, with or without depression?

That, I believe, is the trick and the challenge. Finding a way to handle frustrations, and let-downs, and stress, and writer’s block, and depression is, indeed, the most important part of living any sort of creative life. What works for one person to help them handle these ups and downs—mostly these downs—may not work for others. And finding the solution can be a long, hard battle.

Elizabeth also says that frustration isn’t an interference of our creative process, but rather that it is the whole process, from beginning to end.

I agree and disagree with this, which I believe Elizabeth Gilbert will say is in my right. (Thanks, Liz…if I may call you that.) I agree because frustration is definitely a major part of the process, just as rejections are part of the process, and writer’s block, ideas coming and going, publishing woes, marketing stress, and everything else that may cause a writer headache and heartache.

I disagree because frustration can interrupt your process, if you let it. And it can certainly interrupt the process if that frustration is combined with, or a symptom of, depression.