Then I started getting contracts from the Big Five. They operate a little differently. Once they see your writing and know you can meet deadlines, you can contract from proposals. I typically write four paragraphs about each book, something similar to a back cover blurb, just more detailed. My agent sends them to an editor along with my publishing and promotion history.
As a consequence, for the next two years, I'll be writing exclusively for both HarperImpulse and Loveswept/Random House. Contract stipulations prevent me from submitting elsewhere until all contracted books have been released--all eight of them.
Of course, I have to write the books first...and that's the thing. I'd be a fool to even hint that I'm not a bit overwhelmed or worried or scared plotless. I mean, think about it...
For 2014, five is my magic number.
Or maybe my downfall...
I have five books contracted to turn into my editors on scheduled dates. All of them must be 80,000 words, except for the Highlander book, which must tip the scales at 85,000 words. My fingertips are typing out words--at times, woefully inadequate words. My mind is focused more on my literary dream world than it is on reality. And my self-control is working hard at keeping my eyes from straying to the dates on the calendar like magnets of nerves. You see, I have five romantic flowers to produce this year.
April 24th -- Book one of Firemen's Wild Heat series, To Catch a Flame.
July 8th -- Book one of my series set near New Orleans, KnightShades: Maximo
August 11th -- Book two of Highlander's Beloved series, A Highlander's Passion
October 4th -- Book two of Firemen's Wild Heat, Firestorm
December 20th -- Book two set near New Orleans, Knightshades: Sloan
The following year should be easier. Only 3 contracted books are due in 2015. So, if you don't hear much from me, don't think I don't care. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Stay well...stay healthy...stay in touch. Your words might be what keeps me in the reality of writerly sanity.