2013 The Year of Collaboration
When I look back on 2013, I think the most remarkable change in my writing has been the collaboration I did with other writers, and other artists. This Valentine's Day we are launching SEALed With A Kiss, an all-SEAL anthology (I believe the first of its kind) with writers Marliss Melton, Stephanie Tyler, J.M. Madden, Delilah Devlin, Elle James, Gennita Low, Teresa Reasor and myself. You can sign up for the event page here.
This came about as several of us participated in the highly acclaimed anthology, Uniform Desires, which hit the USA Today lists. Other authors participating in this anthology are: Melissa Schroeder, Elle James, Delilah Devlin, JM Madden and Cat Johnson. By the way, this anthology will not be here forever, so if
you have not purchased your copy yet, get it now before it's gone forever. We achieved our goal of hitting bestseller lists, but also of promoting our other works. Again, this was an all-military anthology, and the only one of its kind released in 2013. I think we were at the cutting edge, one of the first to do this type of boxed set.
I also participated in Dangerous Attraction, which hit the USA Today and the NYT Bestseller lists. Award-winning authors in this anthology of full length novels are: Kaylea Cross, Jill Sanders, Dana Marton, Lori Ryan, Toni Anderson, Patricia Rosemoor, Marie Aston, Rebecca York and myself. This anthology was featured in several USA Today articles and national review sites.
Many of these authors were Rita or Golden Heart winners or nominees, or had received other industry-related awards of excellence. We estimated the authors' estimated writing years to be in excess of 100, which is a lot of talent, millions of words written, with hundreds of thousands of books sold.
Early in 2013, I participated in the multi-genre anthology The Wrong Guy with talented authors Belinda Boring, Lizzy Ford, Morgan Kearns, Deena Remiel, Kris Tualla and myself. This was our first experiment with doing a collaboration with other authors, and I think worked well. Mine was the only military romance (and from the reviews, I guess the scorcher in the group). Again, we were pooling our fan bases and cross promoting one another. Our thought was that some readers of paranormal or
historical would migrate to the other genres. And I think to a great extent, it worked.
Writers write. But they also collaborate, learn from each other, and work on their craft and learn how to market, expose themselves and get “out there.” I attended ten conferences in 2013 all over the country, and plan on another 8 this year, including the Women's Fiction Festival in Italy in the fall.
People are always asking me how I have gotten so successful. Do you understand how much work it is to write over 500,000 words in one year, attend 10 conferences, maintain a social media presence, collaborate with other authors on 3 anthologies and manage to have a life? We even managed a 30 day vacation, taking a cruise from Italy to Brazil, partly to work on my next book, Cruisin' For A SEAL, which will come out in February 2014. Even that was a collaboration of sorts as I visited places I'd never been before from North Africa, to South America, and just about every island in between.
Also new for me was producing audio books of my SEAL Series, with the wonderful talent of J.D. Hart as my narrator. We discussed the creative process on a blog post in RB4U recently. Working with J.D. has brought an added dimension to my books, as I can hear the characters voices, not just read them or imagine them in my mind. In the above article, we discuss the fact that the narrator becomes another character in the book, which was unexpected and fascinating to discover. We have completed the first four of the SEAL Brotherhood Series and plan to do more.
SEAL The Deal
It has been a very exciting and productive year. This next year, as I focus more on getting out more writing, expanding my genre base both in new books to add to the SEAL Brotherhood Series and the paranormal Golden Vampires of Tuscany series, I also have two time travel romances and several other projects I'm not ready to discuss. I plan to release more audio books, do more book trailers, and continue learning by attending conferences.
No writer can just go to their cave and write, any more than any artist can do their art without the collaborative works of others. I plan to explore new things to bring new ideas and stories to life. I've never worked longer hours nor worked as hard. But the fulfillment of a life-long dream of becoming a successful author who can support herself, is being realized more every day.
I have to say thank you to all these writers who have been on this journey with me, thank you to all the readers and fans who bought my books, and to my creative coaches and artists I had the privilege to work with and for over the past year. I feel like we've only just begun!