A Letter to My Readers

May 6, 2015

Dear readers,

First of all, thank you.

Son of a Duke: Book 1 of the Spy SeriesWhen I started this self publishing journey nearly two years ago, I never expected the success I would encounter. I have you to thank for that. You took a chance on my precious Spy Series, the characters that I had created, the characters that I loved, and as I hear from readers (I’ll never think of a chestnut roaster the same again!), I can only smile.

When I started this journey, I did so because I knew I could write, and I could write well. I had stories that I had to share, and New York told me my stories could not be sold. So I “sold” them myself. And you told me that they were stories worth reading.

Inevitably a Duchess Jessie Clever Spy Series Novella Golden Leaf Finalist_edited-1When I got the phone call last August that Inevitably a Duchess was a 2014 Golden Leaf Finalist, I knew I had made it. Not in the sense that I have made it in the writing world, because as soon as you think you’ve made it, you haven’t. No. When I got that phone call, I received validation from my peers that I could write.

Which leads me to my letter today.

I mentioned earlier this month on this blog that I was disappointed by the self publishing world. I had expected the self publishing vehicle to give readers stories that they craved that New York had thus far barred from them. As a writer, I spend countless hours reading blog posts, emails and “listening” on social media about what writers are working on.

And I’m disappointed.

I see writers changing their career paths to write what’s hot on the market right now. They change their stories to include vampires or fit the New Adult niche or my own personal puke instigator: erotica. (Thanks a lot, 50 Shades.) And while I get this from a business aspect (a writer needs to sell books to make a living at writing), as a storyteller, I feel the cataclysmic void of a missed opportunity.

As a reader I’m disappointed. As a writer, I’m pissed.

Yes, that’s what I said.  I’m pissed. I’ve been writing my whole life, and the thrill of self publishing races through me.

Why would a writer give up this opportunity to explore, to push one’s writing to the limits to instead write what everyone else is writing?

And what makes it worse?

I found myself doing it.

There you have it. I’m guilty of it, too.  While I’ve very much enjoyed writing the Franconia Notch Trilogy, I wrote it because an editor in New York asked me to. It sells, she says. And when I began self publishing, I soon learned you needed to feed the beast, as they call it, to stay relevant. That means publishing anything and everything you can every 30 days to stay on top. To keep up with it, I put the books I wrote for New York in my publishing queue for this year.

I have now removed them from my publishing schedule.

They are books that will only feed the market. They do not reflect my best efforts or abilities as a writer. They are books of which I have loved the characters and what happens to them, but I will not contribute to the flood of content any longer.

From now on, I’m doing as I said I would: I’m writing what I want to write.

What does that mean?

The as yet unnamed series about the next generation of the Spy Series is in the works. However, I will not bow down to the 50 Shades chaos and fill it with erotica. Instead, I’m going in the direction my writing pulls me, toward historical suspense and thriller. You will see less sex and more mystery. Fewer naked bodies and more murder. (The cadavers may be naked. I’m not ruling anything out.)

There is also a special project underway that I hope one day will find a place on a shelf in a bookstore. Someday…

As a reader, I would expect such honesty from a writer. As Marie Force just commented on Facebook about the release of her upcoming erotica series, she wants her readers to really understand that the new series is erotica. (See what I mean?) I want my readers to know, and I respect my readers enough to be honest with you.

You will see a change in my writing.

It’s coming.

And it’s going to be bloody brilliant.

Just watch out for the naked cadavers.

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