Monthly Archives: January 2015

I Have Been Remiss

I was so anticipating weekly posts here on Modesty is for Suckers, and while I did okay for a few weeks, I’ve slacked off. Oh, so many reasons why from my son’s illness to exciting writerly goings-on to the holidays; and yet here we are, almost February. My son’s illness resolved, the writing going smoothly, the holidays long gone, and hardly a peep out of me. So..peep, peep!

On the writing front, there is fabulous news most who actually follow this blog out of love and loyalty already know. For posterity’s sake, I’ll post it up anyway: I signed another two-book contract with Kensington/Lyrical to publish what were formerly titled Walk with Dreams, and Unremembered Wings, books two and three in The Bitterly Suite. Formerly? Why, yes, formerly, because the powers that be weren’t mad about my artsy titles, taken from a poem, from which I lifted chapter headings for the books.

“I really like the title SEEKING CAROLINA but I’m not as crazy about the above titles, so please just mention to the author the possibility of changing them.  I wonder if each title could be SEEKING “Something”? ”

I saw his point immediately. From a marketing standpoint, you want the titles in a series to go together in a recognizable way. Because “Seeking Carolina” can have a dual meaning, I thought, “Well, ok. Then how about Seeking August, and Seeking Savannah?” They both do the same thing, carry the possiblilty of two meanings. In each case, they are names of characters within the story, as well as linked to the month and place. But…meh. I didn’t hate the titles, but I didn’t love them either. They seemed so lacking in creativity, and they smacked of lazy marketing. Over the course of a few days, I came up with titles I liked better–Dreaming August, and Waking Savannah.

Seeking, dreaming, waking–they go so well together, and do what the powers wanted them to do, just more creatively. My fabulous editor, Penny Barber, submitted the request and it was approved! Woohoo! Huzzah! Hip-hip-horray! And now I have the name of my fourth book in The Bitterly Suite–one not yet sold but planned in a more nebulous way–Being Charlotte.

A fine progression, if I do say so meself. I am not absolutely certain I’m going to write the fourth one. I have a whole new beastie bumping about in my head, as well as a fantasy novel that needs to be finished. I’ve woven in threads leading to book four through books 2 and 3, and I’ve an outline, so it would be a shame not to. If my publisher wants the fourth book, I will provide it. With books coming out in October of this year, March of 2016 and September 2016, I’d say there’s plenty of time to decide, on both our parts.


Filed under Writing is Life

Favorite Quotes

A friend put this up today, on the other blog I do with a group of authors, Heroines of Fantasy

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Apple Inc.

Though the magic of the internet can’t tell me if this is actually an Apple construct or Jack Kerouac, whoever wrote it, I love it. I have many, many quotes on the walls of my house, in a notebook, tattooed somewhere on my person, but this is one of my all-time favorite quotes, by the amazing Ray Bradbury.

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

What about you?


Filed under Writing is Life

2015 = Streamline

On the ever-wise Facebook last week, I saw a meme going around–What is your word for 2015? Nothing popped out at me in any clarifying ah-ha! moment. 2014 was a crazy, tragic, yet wonderful year. It started out with major upheaval for my beloved Hadley Rille Books, upheaval that had me scrambling to figure out how to run a small press when I didn’t even have passwords for any of the accounts. With the help of my Hadley Rille Books family, and the associated entities we work with, I figured it out. WE figured it out, and held the fort quite competently.

During that time of upheavalishly figuring things out, my life was consumed with all things HRB. I needed something outside of it, and so wrote my first contemporary romantic fiction. It was nothing short of breathtaking–magical, even. I started Seeking Carolina in February, finished it in May, and sold it in June (to Lyrical, the newest imprint of Kensington Publishing.) I’ve since written another book for the series, and am at work on yet a third. Let’s hope Lyrical wants them!

2014 also saw my son’s ongoing medical issues get worse, and then infinitely better. Infinitely. After years of life-saving but mind-numbing medication, he is coming off all of them one at a time, and his amazing personality and brilliant mind are finally freed. It is a daily joy, seeing him be HIM, in ways he hasn’t been able to be in almost ten years.

2014 was a year of being responsible for things outside my own, personal world. Between Hadley Rille Books and my son’s medical stuff, I’ve dedicated a good portion of my time. Combine that with my writing group, my reading group and my family at large, and it’s amazing that I’ve gotten as much writing done as I have. But it’s all a bit of a blur. Sheer will got it done. 2015 is going to be different. I don’t want to force myself though my life. I want to experience it.


So I’m streamlining. That’s my word for the year. Streamline. With my stint at running a small press no longer a necessity, I’m going to back off and let the pieces fall together in whatever fashion they will. I am editing two books this year, no more. Editing, not producing and getting out to press. If my book club chooses a book I really have no interest in reading, I’m not going to read it. This, “I must read all book club books” mentality has to go. It’s keeping me from the many books I have been dying to read. Life is too short, and reading time too limited, to waste on stuff that doesn’t tickle my fancy.

I am going to learn the word “No,” and hold it as precious as I do “Modesty is for suckers.” I am going to stop being the mom of every group I encounter. I am going to streamline my life so that I can be IN it instead of flying somewhere above it, hoping to catch up. Call this my resolution, call it my goal; whatever it is–streamline–it’s my word for 2015. What’s yours?


Filed under Writing is Life