Thursday, December 15, 2011

On Books and Writing

I am not a superstitious person. I don't believe in bad luck or good luck. But, I am firmly convinced that if I talk about a story too much without writing it, it will never get written. It's almost like talking about it, jinxes it or something. If I reveal my secrets too soon, I never finish the book.

Here lately, it seems I can't finish any story, talked about or not. Maybe, depression has had some part in this, but I think it's more of a lack of direction on my part. When I published "Wild Heart", there for a while I was on cloud nine. I was ready to get the word out about my book. I wrote the sequel within eighteen months and published it through CreateSpace. I have sold less than fifty copies of that book, I would guess. Publish America says I haven't sold a book in over a year and want to know if I want to pay $149 to have my contract back. Those idiots need a wake up call, if you ask me. I didn't pay to have it published, they have made more money off me already. No way am I paying them for my contract, when I can have it back for free in a couple of years. CreateSpace, on the other hand isn't asking for any money, but my book isn't selling, either. I don't like how it came out, actually. So, what to do?

My friend, Peggy Hoy has her own Christian publishing company and has agreed to publish the second edition of "To Tame A Heart". I would like to do this for a couple of reasons, not the least of which, I could bring the price of the book down, and she can make it look better. But, what keeps running through my mind, is why pay all that money to have it printed? Will I sell enough copies to make it worth while? If I held on to the manuscript, could I submit it to Harlequin or pitch it to a literary agent?

Here are some hard truths I am coming to understand:
1. While "Wild Heart" and "To Tame A Heart" are my babies, they are not my best. I can do better.
2. People, no matter what these vanity presses are saying, do not want to buy books, and if they do, they don't want to pay more than $7.99 for it.
3. Even if I manage to wow an agent or an editor with my log line, signing a contract with a mainstream publisher means a full-time job, which means I will need babysitters in order to meet deadlines. Working full-time doesn't leave a lot of room for homeschooling. I'm not sure that is the route I want to take.
4. I just don't have hundreds of dollars lying around to spend whenever I finish a book.

So, do I sound depressed to you? Or, are these things to consider, things that make sense?

I believe I am called to sing. I believe I am called to play the piano. I believe I am called to be a stay-at-home wife and mom. I believe I am called to homeschool my kids. I believe I am called to write. All I need now, is for the Lord to reveal unto me, just what He wants me to do with it all. :)

Just so you won't think I'm totally negative, I am writing. I had a manuscript lying around here with 6k words. Monday, four days ago, I started working on it in earnest. It's up to 12,393 words, now. It's not a Western, it's not a historical at all, unless you consider the 1980's to be a long time ago. lol I don't have any plans for it, just to finish it and do my best. Maybe, that's all I need to worry about. Maybe, the problem is I wrote "To Tame A Heart" for a few someones. Maybe, this WIP is working because it is for me. But, then again, maybe not. I don't know. I do know, however, I keep praying, and God keeps the ideas coming. I need y'all's prayers that I finished this one. Maybe, when it's done, the third book in the "Wild Heart" series will happen, or the mail-order-bride story will happen, or...well, I could name a number of stories I've started, but I won't. :)

Just for your amusement, here's a story Kierstin, my 4-year-old told me this morning. I transcribed it, just as she told it to me.

"Devils and Pigs" by Kierstin Wells Transcribed by Shannon Wells
the big man that's named Deck. he was so crazy like the crazy man from the Bible. He hurt hisself with rocks like the crazy man did. people tried to chain him up with ropes and chains but he broke them with his teeth, not like the crazy man. The demons got out of him and he broke the chains for kids. The kids had loose pants so they had chains for belts. and then, the demons got in the pigs, then they were crazy like the crazy man. After the demons got in the pigs, they got bad and shouted out like evil crazy pigs. then they hurt thereselfs with chains. they were crazy awful. The pigs were crazy and that's all.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to join the conversation with your two cents worth. Until next time, keep on keeping on. :)


  1. I have often faced the same thing with my recordings and syndicated show. Then I realize that failure only comes when I give up.

    Keep your eyes on the goal.

    Focus on your writing, focus on your singing, focus on your piano; don't let little things that give you pause become excuses for not achieving your goal. You don't want to place yourself in a position where 20 years you'll be asking, "I wonder what would have happened if I had continued?"


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