Sunday Speeds

CrispyM&MsKyleBuschIt’s the second weekend in the 2015 Nascar season and while I’m excited that we’re racing again, I’m very bummed still that Kyle Busch is out for a few months due to his accident in Daytona. He suffered a compound fracture in his right leg and a compound fracture in his left foot. He’s had surgery, is back in North Carolina, and at home recovering and resting, but the races just aren’t the same without him in the #18. (more…)

Sunday Speeds – Pace Laps

SundaySpeedsIt’s been a long year and yet the months have flown by so fast that I’m still trying to catch up. A lot has changed in the publishing world over the last few years and I have even fewer answers now than I had when I first started out. I feel like I’m always running under caution laps while most others are running at 200mph…

I’ve been working, trying to learn what many of my peers already know, but it’s a slow process. I’ve had several releases this year already, but my royalties don’t look like it. They are the lowest they’ve ever been and like other authors I know, I’ve had to re-evaluate my books, and my publishers.

There are those of you waiting on the next book following Stick Shift. It’s coming. I promise. The issues at this point is Loose Id, the publisher of the first book. I love them. I have enjoyed working with them and adore my editor. I’ve felt a very strong sense of loyalty to her and to Loose Id, however the money I am *not* making isn’t worth my sending them any other books. At least not at this point. This is a business and I have to look at it that way. I may not be paying my mortgage with what I make off books, but what I do pay is no less important and the $100 or less/month royalty checks, even with new releases, aren’t worth it.

What does this mean? It means that book, Drive Shaft, will be self published next year. But there are other things at play right now and that’s all I can say.

There are those of you waiting for the next Simple Need book. I’ve got it started and I will be sending it to Ellora’s Cave when it’s finished. Ellora’s Cave takes several months to get books out, between the reading, contract process, editing, etc… 6 months, at least. After release, there’s another 2 months before any royalties are seen from it. That’s a long time.

There are those of you waiting for the next book in the Denali Heat series. That book is bound for Samhain Publishing. But, when I submit a book to Samhain, it’s roughly 10-12 months before release.

I can’t make a living like that. I wish I could.

Writing books take a while. We all write at different speeds, we all have different responsibilities above and beyond writing. I used to write a lot and write quickly. I am not in that place anymore. I am writing. I am revising. I am learning. I am progressing. I am changing.

So, how does this affect you, the readers? Books are coming. Maybe not what you want right now. Maybe not what you’re expecting right now either. But books are coming. The following is the schedule I’ve been working on for releases through February and it’s pretty set…

October 22 – Love and Tattoos
November 19 – The Cupcake Cowboy (Lone Star Sweets)
December 31 – Eli’s Promise (The Bar Next Door, Samhain Publishing)
January 21 – The Sticky Cowgirl (Lone Star Sweets)

There’s more, lots more (Exposed (Masked 4), The Tattooed Barista (Lone Star Sweets), In The Corner, Drive Shaft (Stick Shift #2), to name a few, but the dates aren’t set yet), including Slide Down On Me (Ellora’s Cave) but I don’t have a date on that one yet either. I’ll also be revising and re-releasing Arrested Holiday as soon as the book rights revert back to me in December.

You’ll get the books you’re wanting, I just have to be a little smarter in how I approach things. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me. I hope you’ll enjoy all that I have planned for your reading pleasure…

~lissa

Sunday Speeds – Talladega and Staying Out of the Big One!

SundaySpeedsThe boys are racing in Alabama on the superspeedway of Talladega today. The race is starting a few minutes early due to weather concerns. I’m glad Nascar is finally doing this. Starting early rather than cutting a race short at the end. Believe me, the fans and the rednecks will show up no matter when you start it. But they’ll be some kinda pissed when you force the ending.

Superspeedways like Talladega and Daytona has seen some of the most incredible racing (save for those few a couple of years ago where they just ran around the track in single file) and some of the most heartbreaking.

It’s exciting to see them on the track at those speeds, full throttle, huge packs of cars moving together.

One of the things I’ve learned  watching this sport, is that at the speeds they drive, whether on superspeedways or on smaller tracks, once the driver decides to make a move, in that moment, he can’t second guess himself. He had to keep going in the direction he chose, whether he’s making the move alone or taking other drivers with him. If he second guesses himself, like in yesterday’s Nationwide race when Joey Coulter started to move out of line but then changed his mind at the last minute… He was wrecked. He wasn’t able to communicate his change of heart.

Sometimes life is like that. Sometimes writing is like that. Once you choose a direction, dropping to the inside or going up on the high side, it’s often hard to back out of it because you can be wrecked. Going with your gut, be it right or wrong in someone else’s eyes, or in your own hindsight, is always the best policy in my book. Only, I haven’t been doing that with my writing for a long time time. I second guess every word I write, I do things now I didn’t used to do, I hold back… And it burns me every time. Readers are ‘meh’ about my books, reviewers are even worse than ‘meh’ and I’m left feeling like I shouldn’t even bother, day in and day out.

In racing, when you lose your edge, you should probably get out of the car or you’re going to get run over and put into the wall. You’ll cause more crashes than you’ll stay out of.

In writing, when you lose your edge, for whatever reason, you’ll get passed and eventually no one will remember the books you wrote.

Is there a way to get the edge back? I don’t know. I’ve been trying but I can’t seem to quite do it. In the end, we all have to work on our own cars in the garage and our own manuscripts in the folder, hoping that maybe we’ll find that extra bit of something that will keep us competitive and in the race rather than crashed in the middle of the pack, our day ended early, and that sick feeling in our gut again.

Best of luck to Kyle Busch in the #18 M&M’s Camry today… He’s starting 13th.

 

~lissa

Sunday Speeds and a Reader’s Email

SundaySpeedsThe boys of Nascar were in Richmond, Virginia last night well, it didn’t turn out so hot for my driver. He was shuffled back, caught up in a wreck, had loads of damage. I was pissed. I admit it. I’m passionate about my racing as much as I am about my football.

The NFL Draft was held this weekend too and several of my Seminoles were taken. Actually, many of my Seminoles were taken in the draft. Two of my favorites. German born, defensive end Bjoern Werner was drafted into the Colts, and kicker Dustin Hopkins was drafted into Buffalo where he’ll play with Florida State teammate and quarterback, EJ Manuel.

I love the Draft. It’s like re-living college football from last season all over again. And let me tell you, I’m so ready for football season now! Yet, sadly, we have to go through May, June, July, and most of August before we get there…

So, racing was the pits for my driver this weekend, but the draft was good to my boys in garnet and gold.

The second part of this blog is about an email I found this morning in my inbox from a reader. The title of it was More Than This and I couldn’t help but groan as I opened it. I didn’t want to see another email that wasn’t very kind about this book. I loved these characters and  it’s a hard thing for a writer, at least for me as a writer, for so many people to not only not love but not even like these or other characters I’ve written. I think because I put part of me, or part of people I know into what I write that if the reader/reviewer doesn’t like the character then there’s some part of me they don’t like. I know. It’s kinda convoluted, but there it is…

Needless to say, it was not one of those ‘I was really disappointed in this book and couldn’t connect to these characters at all’ emails. In fact, it was quite the opposite and for that I was grateful. As I read on, she mentioned my post from Author Friday and said I sounded down. I apologize for that, to her and to others who read it. It wasn’t meant that way. Oftentimes, I think the reality of a situation, whether it be my perception of reality or someone else’s, can seem like we’re down. There are also those who don’t like reality, don’t like the truth of what is being observed. If anything my post let out some frustration and allowed me to admit, to myself especially some discouragement.

We all want the accolades, the editors begging us for more, the reviewers loving and gushing over us the way they do other authors and books, the multiple contracts, the best sellers lists, the readers who are out telling everyone they know to go buy our books… But, the reality is, we don’t all get that. The vast majority of us don’t. And with the lovely world of social media, it’s in our faces daily, hourly, by the minute and by the second.

It’s the same with incredibly prolific writers. The desire and wish to tap into that ability, but… We’re not all built that way, we don’t all write that way…

Coming to terms with some of this reality isn’t fun or easy or pretty at all. But as long as it doesn’t keep me or anyone else from doing what we love, which is write, then it’s all good in the end.

I write characters I like. It’s hard to not feel responsible while at the same time hard to not say that if you don’t like them then that’s your problem. Same with the actual books. If you don’t like the way I write, then don’t read it. It’s really quite simple. And yet, as writers, we don’t want to alienate anyone. It’s a catch-22. But I’m not down about it. Discouraged sometimes, yes, as we all are, but not down. I still have stories to write, hundreds of them, and that makes me happy.

Emails like the one I received this morning, emails where the only message is one of encouragement and trying to make someone smile… We could all use a few more of those.

~lissa

Sunday Speeds – Can We Move On Now?

In case you don’t follow sports, which I do, a lot and completely avoided all week because well, the second coming would have taken a backseat to the fact that NASCAR fan favorite (Lissa stop rolling your eyes) Dale Earnhardt, Jr, driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew car, won. Finally. Congratulations!!!!! *throws confetti and downs a bottle of wine*

Can we please move on now?

Please? I’ll beg if I have to but, dear heavens I’m tired of hearing it. It’s been four long years. It’s over now. Let’s focus on something else.

Now, I know many people have been tired of hearing about Jimmie Johnson, who’s won the championship 5 times out of the last 10 years and maybe even tired of hearing about Tony Stewart (including me), who’s won the championship 3 times out of the last 10 years. Definitely tired of hearing about Kyle and Kurt Busch, of this I am well aware and but I still love them both as drivers. There are even some who are tired of Cousin Carl (again, I’m one of them), but I’m one of the very few tired, so tired of hearing about how awesome Jr. is.

Tony Stewart’s response to it all was, well, in a word, hilarious. And what makes it hilarious is the sarcasm directed at the media, and also because he and Dale, Jr. have always been good friends…

About the only blight on the landscape was Tony Stewart’s response to Earnhardt’s long-awaited victory. Apparently tired of questions about Earnhardt’s winless streak, Stewart resorted to sarcasm.

“It’s no different than anybody else that does it — it’s not a national holiday, guys,” Stewart said. “This morning they were celebrating the fourth anniversary of his last win, so I guess we’re all in a state of mourning now, ’cause he’s broke that string now, so I wonder what we’re all supposed to think.” Nascar.com The Drought is over! Junior back in Victory Lane

Is it sour grapes? I don’t know. Maybe. But it is being treated as a holiday of sorts. Hell, even the speedways are serving up specially priced $88 tickets in honor of the win. Really? They don’t do this for any other driver. If Bobby Labonte were to win, who is a past NASCAR champion, and hasn’t had a victory in longer than four years, the tracks wouldn’t be offering up front-stretch tickets for $47 a piece.

But this isn’t limited to NASCAR. I get tired of hearing about Tim Tebow, and was ready to claw my eyes out over hearing about Brett Farve a few years ago, too, however, Tebow IS the second coming from what I understand so… Go figure…

And don’t get me started on the 50 Shades madness…

Yes, I am being a snarky bitch on the blog today, but hey, it’s sports and it’s my blog so I’m allowed. Then again, maybe I should go grab a glass of iced coffee to settle myself. And in a few weeks, I’ll have to be the biggest Dale, Jr. fan around, but that’s another story entirely.

Today, Nascar is racing in Sonoma California. They will racing a road course, Infineon Raceway, winding and tight. I am not a fan of the road course races and often end up napping.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Sunday! Time for me to write a bit…

~lissa