Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I Retired So I Could Go To Work and Write

In my other life, I held many jobs but retired as a technical writer after working twenty-five years in a machine shop environment. Think Mack Trucks. I manufactured parts that went into their engines and transmissions. I worked ten to twelve hour days, especially when the boys were in college and my ex was hit and miss with child support payments--more miss than hit.

I eventually remarried a man already retired from teaching. He wanted me to retire early so we could do things together. He was writing and encouraged me to pursue my dream. Little did we know...

I'd retired early so I could go to work fulltime and write.
Starting out was easy enough. I'd write a book, at leisure, and turn it into my agent to sell to smaller epublishers. They were great. Still, I wondered. Could I ever sell to a large publisher? A couple years later, I allowed her to submit to the larger pubs. Things kinda went amuck. I got contracts from Harper Impulse and Random House Loveswept. Neither my agent, nor I kept track of my due dates in both contracts. A huge lesson learned. One time I had thirteen days between turning in books to the two publishers. This last round, I had to turn a book into each house on the SAME day!

Imagine my shock when I took the time to plot out my writing and release schedule for this past year! I've written six books in twelve months and what few operational brain cells I had are fried. I have a final book with Harper to edit and promote its release. Then my contract with them will be up.

Meanwhile, I've just signed a contract with Random House Loveswept for three more books with a smaller word count and a longer space between turn-in dates. I'll feel like I'm on vacation. This will be a wounded warrior series. Here's a prelude to the EAGLE RIDGE RANCH SERIES ...
In the Hill Country of Texas, a small town developed around an old Apache legend—wounded warrior falls. Myth or truth, the story was handed down generation to generation that the rocks in Warrior Falls carried magical healing properties. Wounded Apaches would stand or be carried beneath the waterfall for the healing-infused water to flow over them.
The small town, Warrior Falls, has a population nearing 6,000. Its few streets boast shops, restaurants, and supply stores kept afloat by the townsfolk and nearby ranchers. Many of these businesses are owned and operated by quirky characters to add humor to the series. There are a few lovely “Texan roses” working in the town too.
Not far from Warrior Falls is a ranch owned by ex-SEAL Warrant Officer Zane Quinlan, known to his crew and Texan neighbors as ZQ. Eagle Ridge Ranch has been in his family for generations, and he’s retired here from his deployments to Afghanistan to find some solace and healing of his own. Before long, an injured member of his old team rolls in on his modified Harley, looking for a place of quiet to acclimate to live in the world again.
Seeing the need for a healing ranch for his old SEAL teams, he and his hired hands convert part of the ranch to accommodate wounded warriors for short-term or longer stays to heal both physical and emotional wounds. This 22,000 acre ranch becomes a hub of healing for the men and women who wore the Trident, the emblem of the SEALs.
~~Coming in 2016~~


Angela Adams said...

Looking forward to the Eagle Ridge Ranch Series -- but don't forget to schedule some time for a vacation with some R&R (smile!)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I agree, Angela. I've since fired my agent and am going it on my own. I nearly had a nervous breakdown over back to back deadlines.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I'm glad to hear you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am in a tight schedule myself, but not as tight as yours. I had four months to write my current work in progress and spent three weeks of it editing my last book line by line with my editor. It was a learning experience and I don't regret it because it has helped me with this one. July 1st and it is due on my boss's desk. Then I have severn months to come up with my second story in my new Northwoods Series. Since I have caught me first fish ever (it was on my bucket list) now I'd like to spend some time out on our dock in the back yard with a hook in the water. :) It's down time to think about plot lines. Nope, it never ends, does it??

Hugs to you. Glad we might get to have you back with us.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Vonnie, your new series has a fine premise...good luck with ZQ and his wounded friends. Glad you're looking toward a calmer lifestyle. We want to keep you with us...witty and smart!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Paisley, the pressure to produce by a certain date wears on a person. I don't see my grandkids as often as I'd like. I don't even go for groceries. LOL Thank God for Calvin. But light is at the end of the tunnel. I fired my agent for not keeping a closer track and then texting me every day to ask how many words I had written that day. There was pressure all around, and I broke down in my doctor's office, bawling like a baby because I couldn't see how I could meet all the contracted dates. He put me on some anti-anxiety meds and ordered me to get rid of the agent. I was able to get my wounded warrior series contracted on my own. I look forward to some free days to piddle around the house, go places with Calvin and see the grandkids. I think you should put your story about catching your first fish into your book. Lots of us could relate to the ick factor of touching the scaly thing.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Rolynn. I do need to slow down on the writing. I'm glad I'll only be writing for one house. Once that contract is completed, I might even try self-publishing the books I got my rights back from TWRP. After I freshen them up and fix a "few" plot holes.