Facing a new year, we all sort of stop and take stock of where we are in our writing careers. It was two years ago that idea for the Authors of Main Street was formed. It took a few months and some brainstorming before it became what you see today. But what has happened over that two years is almost amazing. We ended 2013 with a boxed set of our Christmas books in the top 50 Kindle books on Amazon. And we’ve got another brilliant project in the works for our readers.
What does it mean to sell over 45,000 copies of that book? It means we’ve gained a lot of readers. Now that’s exciting!
Looking back on 2013, it was a tough year. I published A Son, A Child’s Heart, A Calling in Wyoming, The Authors of Main Street’ Christmas on Main Street, and a novelette in Sweetwater Springs Christmas called A Christmas Far From Home, then ended the year with A Rancher’s Woman. That’s three BIG books, and lots and lots of words. That means lots of edits, and edits are tedious for me.
I’ve had good months and bad months when it came to sales. I’ve had changes in my personal life this year that created their own roller coaster. But through all of it, I’ve had my writing. I write because I must.
As I look ahead, I have plans.
I type slowly but I also think as I type. I envy people who can type 15,000 words a day. It’s physically impossible for me. I think my all-time record was about 6,000. But 2000-3000 is probably my average on a good day. I also “edit” as I go with the idea of turning out a reasonable draft. Once the entire manuscript is written then I go back and layer in whatever is missing. I’m constantly looking for ways to add more description or emotion to a scene. I want the reader to feel as if they are right there. According to my reviews, I have succeeded. “I felt like I was walking down the street of the small town”
The responsibility to turn out high-quality books is tremendous. I won’t rush a story. But I don’t write light stories. Each one has an undercurrent. I’m not happy until I’m certain it’s the best possible story.
I wouldn’t call my newest book, A Rancher’s Woman, a romance. Of course, there’s a romance woven in those pages. It also doesn’t fall under women’s lit as it’s more than her journey: it’s his journey, too. She’s growing up and he’s learning. Times were tough. She was following her head and not her heart. Even when her head came to the same conclusion as her heart, she still had uncertainties. It’s a saga, a walk down life’s path over a hundred years ago.
I’m starting this year with great plans. I have two written River City books that need lots of polishing to get them ready and a half written one. I have a half written diary that needs to be completed NOW! Another Creed’s Crossing historical begging for keyboard time, and a few contemporary novellas that want a chance to come alive. And I have a special project with the Authors of Main Street. So where does that leave me? Swamped!
Can I get four books out in the next six months? I’m going to try. I need to learn to type faster. Make it my New Year’s resolution? That would instantly condemn it. It would also be equivalent to saying I’ll clean my desk in my spare time. I’ll just stick my nose to the grindstone, AKA sit at my computer, and do everything I can to stay on target. I’ve laid out my plans for this year. And plans are always subject to change, which is much better than breaking a New Years resolution.
In 2013, we, the Authors of Main Street, managed to see our boxed set of Christmas books climb into the top 50 books on Kindle. We’ve also all experienced being in the top 100 authors on Amazon for weeks. Collectively, the Authors of Main Street missed the USA Today best-seller list in 2013 and we really don’t know why. But we won’t dwell on the negative. Maybe next time for there’s always another opportunity for those who try.
Where will 2014 lead me? I don’t know, but my fingers are crossed and I’m ready for it. Who knows where this year will lead any of us? Deep down inside, I expect we’ll see some excitement. A lot has happened in the last two years and I truly believe more good things are on their way. We’re a baker’s dozen of mixed donuts, each with individual voices. But we have one thing in common, we’re donuts! Not exactly. We’re all accomplished writers with fertile imaginations who strive to create wonderful heart-warming stories for our readers.