Posted by Donna MacMeans Jan 3 2013, 12:46 am in 2012, accomplishments, bandita releases
I think if another person asks about my resolutions for the new year, I may very well scream.
When asked, I say I’m making a resolution to lose weight (generally as I’m popping another calorie ridden morsel into my mouth), to be more disciplined in my writing (but then family matters intercede), and to clean out my office (if you saw my office, you’d know what a tremendous task that is).
The thing is – new year’s resolutions focus on the things you feel you don’t do well with a mind to improve. I recall reading someone saying the key to success is to identify those things you don’t do well – and then quit doing them! Focus instead on the things you do well and work to do those things even better.
With that advice in mind, I looked back on 2012 with an eye to what I accomplished. Here’s what I found;
1) Released a new book, The Casanova Code, to excellent reviews. That’s always worthy of celebration.
2) Entered Redeeming the Rogue in a number of published author contests and finaled, placed or won nine of them. That sort of validation always feels good.
3) Dusting off the Victorian riding hat, I participated in nine book signings and two reader events. Love meeting romance readers – they’re the best.
4) Taught workshops in six different venues including the prestigious Thurber House.
5) Went to Scotland to gather research for my next book. (yes – drinking that scotch was for research – i swear!)
6) Did my first skype interview with a book club (and isn’t that technology amazing! Thank you to Anna Sugden for showing me the ropes). I also sent out a ton of first chapter books to book clubs everywhere.
So I didn’t lose weight, but I am able to close the door on 2012 knowing that the year didn’t exactly go to waste.
I did a quick tally of 2012 releases in the lair and discovered that as a group we released 26 books and a number of novellas and short stories. Wow! That’s a lot of good reading! Here’s a rounddown:
We love first sales in the lair as they represent a culmination of years of hard work. In many ways, they represent dreams come true and this year, we had three of them.
Anna Sugden announced the sale of her hockey hunk stories to Harlequin on December 18th. I’m still offering up toasts for this one. Way to celebrate the holidays, Anna!
Nancy Northcott sold her first two books and first novella last year. Her debut book, Renegade, released in 2012 and earned a starred review from Library Journal and a 4-star “hot” rating from RT. That first review is always a nail-biter, but she did great!
Joan Kayse broke into the indie publishing scene with her first book, The Patrician. Let’s hope the next in the series isn’t far behind.
OTHER RELEASES (which you can find in the Bandita library)
Trish Milburn achieved a record number of releases in one year in the lair – eight books! WOW!
Close on her heels, Tawny Weber released four books and a novella. She also has a January and a February 2013 release so look for more launch parties in the lair.
Suzanne Ferrell had a banner year. Her Ellora’s Cave release, Cantrell’s Bride, released in August. She jumped right into self publishing with three releases, Kidnapped, Hunted and Close To Home. Watch for her January 2013 release, Bella’s Touch, and Close To The Edge sometime in Feb/March.
Jo Robinson published two historicals and a young adult book (writing as Jo Lewis), along with three novellas. One of those historical novels has been nominated for a Romantic Times critic’s choice award. While we’ll have to wait until May for the announcement of the winners, just being nominated is a serious achievement.
Kate Carlisle released two more novels in her bibliophile series (I love those books!) and Beth Andrews gave us two new Superromances (I love those as well!)
Anna Campbell made the jump from her old publisher to the new, Grand Central, with a new series, Sons of Sin. Her 2012 release, Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed, generated some great reviews. Her first audiobook was released through Tantor Audio, and her 2011 release, Midnight’s Wild Passion, has been finaling and winning in many published author contests. Anna also was voted favorite Australian romance writer at the Australian Romance Reader Awards. No surprise there, she’s one of our favorite Australian romance authors. She ended the year by releasing her first indie publishing venture, the novella, The Winter Wife.
Wow – All that productivity sort of puts me to shame…but I’m not alone . Several other banditas had one release this year -
Christina Brooke released Mad About the Earl.
Susan Sey published Kiss the Girl.
Christie Kelley. – Bewitching the Duke
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…
Several banditas had other accomplishments beyond publishing to celebrate. Both Trish and Caren celebrated their 20th wedding anniversaries on the exact same day – isn’t that amazing? Caren and her dh, however, celebrated their anniversary during the Pirate’s Week Festival on Grand Cayman Island. They had a celebratory dinner at Tukka, an Australian restaurant. The GR approved of the setting as chooks run around wild all over the island!
Nancy and her dh celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in Savannah, GA. I love that she snapped this photo. Can you see the name of the ship? How apropos is that! In November, they went to the Okefenokee swamp so she could do more research for the Protectors series. Good thing as we need more books in that series.
Christie Kelley moved into a new house in 2013, and Christina Brooke moved into her new “old’ house (renovated).
And finally, Joan Kayse welcomed her long awaited “Great” GODdaughter into her heart.
2012 was a busy year but 2013 holds excellent promise for even more books and more accomplishments by the banditas.
So how about you? Share your 2012 accomplishments, your special trips, your milestones and we can celebrate the passing of the old year together. I have a bookmark from the Edinburgh Castle from my research trip to send to someone leaving a comment. You can use it for one of the above fabulos releases
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Dec 28 2012, 12:11 am in 2012, historical erotica romance, indie publishing, roller coaster year, Suzanne Ferrell
Wow, 2012 has been one big mass of change! It was a roller coaster year for my family, my work and my writing career! Here, let me show you:
January: my daughter Lyndsey, (y’all have met her here) was laid off from the office managing job she’d had for nearly 8 years. Talk about a kick to the stomach to start the new year. She and her hubby have 3 small children, which she would love to stay home to care for, but finances might not let her do that.
February: My friend Liliana Hart sat me down at lunch after a DARA meeting and told me “You have got to self-publish your GH books, KIDNAPPED and HUNTED!” We talked at length about the process and what would make them more successful. She ignited a spark of interest in me, then flamed it higher when she talked about cover design. An idea popped into my head, not one for making millions of $$ for my books, but perhaps a way for my daughter to start a stay-at-home business. Lyndsey is a graphic artist who loves romance novels, YA novels and Steampunk.
March: Lyndsey and I collaborated on the covers for my two GH books and with the help of my friend Kat Baldwin of Inklion Books for the formatting of the books, we launched my first Indie book KIDNAPPED. If you’ve seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, then you know the scene where Harrison Ford is asked take a leap-of-faith and he’s sure he’s about to step out into a chasm with nothing to stop his fall. Yep, that’s what it’s like to decide to self-publish your own work. Not only did I launch my Indie pubbed business, but Lyndsey launched her cover design business. Now the question was…would anyone buy the books? Would people love her cover work as much as me?
April: OMG!!! People were actually buying KIDNAPPED!
May: OMG!!! KIDNAPPED made it onto the top 100 list of Kindle paid RS books @ #22!! (Who the heck is buying all these books?!?!) Lyndsey contracted to do book covers for several Banditas, (Thanks Jo and Susan for helping her build her business!)
June: Feverishly working to get HUNTED ready for release as an Indie book. Great cover, more sales coming in for both KIDNAPPED and my EC book, The Surrender of Lacy Morgan. Got my first royalty check from both Amazon and B&N. How cool! Then the bottom fell out of my world!
My father died.
I release HUNTED on the same day, because he was so proud of me, my efforts to be an author and all his family, I wanted something to always remind me of the exact day. The man who’d been there for me, the strength in my character and whose rare smile was worth any effort to achieve…was no longer going to be there to give a hug to or listen to a lecture from. I miss him so much!
July: Pretty much a blurr. It started with a fourth of July burial for my Daddy. Helping my mother start to cope. Supporting my sister in decisions she had to make for them both. Work is always demanding in the summer months and especially so this year. Seems there was a baby boom in North Texas and our 9 bed L&D unit started doing 250 deliveries a month. That’s a huge amount for our highly trained staff!! Then came the RWA National Conference in Anaheim. It was wonderful to get to end such a hard month with my critique partner, Sandy Blair!!
August: EC’s Blush line releases CANTRELL’S BRIDE. The story that started my writing career. How fantastic to see it online for people to read and enjoy. Nothing like a great Mail-order-bride book to warm hearts! OMG, KIDNAPPED and HUNTED both hit the top 100 Kindled>paid>romantic suspense list!! Another trip home to spend time with my mother, which was very good.
September: Gearing up for self publishing CLOSE TO HOME. This book is different from the two RS books and I’m a bit nervous. Lyndsey’s cover design business is taking off with requests from various authors! The income and no need for day care have strengthened her desire to be home with her kids more. A trip to Eureka Springs with my Texas writer friends, the Foxes. Great fun!
October: My first time to host a table at the Richardson Library’s Buns & Roses Tea for adult literacy! How Fun! And I got to participate in the signing. I only sold a couple of books, but we, as a group raised thousands of $$ for adult literacy!
November: Another trip home to be with my Mom and celebrate our birthdays. My present to me? Release of CLOSE TO HOME! Three Indie books out and a total of FIVE!! OMG…it took years to get published and now with the revamping of self publishing, my books are being read by thousands of people!! How cool.
December: Usually, at work, things slow down in November and December in the baby birthing world. Not this year! Add on top of it the zaniness of the Lair and the 12 days of Bandita Christmas (which was a blast, wasn’t it?) and trying to get another book ready for release, I’m not sure how Christmas got her and past so fast!! But it did.
So…to finish off the year I have another book being formatted. Yet again, a different kind of book. This is an American historical EROTICA, novella. I put the word erotica in caps, so no one will miss it! If you don’t like highly sensual or erotic novels, please feel free to skip this one. However, if you love wounded hero stories with determined heroines who mange to find their HEA despite the odds and through their erotic encounters, you will love, Love, LOVE, BELLA’S TOUCH!
Here’s the blurb:
Michael Barclay, an artist with a promising career before him, came home from the Civil War a broken man on the edge of despair. Wounded and sure his life as an artist is over, he’s ended his engagement to his beautiful muse, Bella.
Arrabella Taylor arrives at Michael’s rural Ohio home uninvited, but with great determination to confront her former fiancé. She means to find out exactly why he’s broken their engagement and try to convince him what a mistake he’s made. When she discovers he’s not only wounded from the war, but broken in spirit, she takes drastic measures to reawaken the artist soul deep inside Michael and rekindle their love.
But is Bella’s touch enough to save not only Michael, but both of them from a danger in Michael’s past that threatens their future?
And here’s the wonderful cover for BELLA’S TOUCH. I hope to have it up on Amazon as a $1.99 read before the first of January. With more books planned in 2013. I hope you will love it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
So, dear readers and Banditas and Bandit Buddies, how was your year? Was it as crazed as mine? Are you glad it’s over or longing to have some of those memories back to live over again? Is there someone you’re going to miss? A place you wished you’d travel to? How was YOUR 2012?
In memory of my Daddy and with great joy at all the fun self publishing has been for me, I’m giving away a $20 gift card to Amazon for one commentor today!