Friday, August 30, 2013

Hitting Send

So this week I did something I haven't done in forever: I submitted a novella to a new-to-me publisher. It's thrilling and scary at the same time. One thing I have learned in the ten years I have been published as Leigh Ellwood is that it doesn't necessarily matter if publishers have contracted you in the past, you are not rejection-proof. I have received rejections since Truth or Dare came out in 2004, and I expect I'll receive a few more when it's over and done. It's surprised me, too, to know that many authors more successful than me still get slips. It's part of the business - you shoot, sometimes you miss and sometimes you don't.

What's different about this particular novella is that I wrote it for a specific call this publisher has out. Well, not really. I had started the story, then shelved it, then picked it up again when I first heard about the call. The story and theme fit the call perfectly, I thought, and this was enough to inspire me to finish the work and get back into the game. My last few releases this year have either been revised reprints, or else original work through DLP Books. Then, of course, I worked on Coming Together: Girl on Girl, which I hope has been received well. I write daily, but lately it's seemed as though I've offered little this year. My M/M short novel, Bittersweet, is my most recent original work, and while it came out in March it seems a lifetime ago. I wonder if other writers feel this way.

Perhaps it seems long because I as I watch new releases at ARe and elsewhere, I see many familiar names. The ease involved in self-publishing has allowed us to generate revised backlist titles and offer shorter works to readers, and while I enjoy having control of my writing and marketing I still want to take my writing in other directions. If I am offered a contract for this novella I would be happy to consider it, but if I am turned down I'll still have the satisfaction of knowing I am still capable of meeting a call.

If I'm not picked up, will I self-publish the work? I don't know. I would like to see it available one day through a publisher, not necessarily my own imprint, so this story isn't over yet.

Until then, I'm working on the next story. Long Awaited Love is in the writing stage (still) and will follow Long Awaited Friend. I only hope it's worth the wait.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Answer is 42

I will be 42 on Sunday. I actually don't mind. Yeah, I'll admit I have hoped for things that seem impossible - a clean house, less hoarding of crap, bazillions of book sales. Nonetheless, I feel content right now.

41 was a pretty good year. It will be a challenge to top it:

  • I got an awesomesauce new job.
  • I put out Bittersweet and Coming Together: Girl on Girl and (on the Kat side) The Girl With the Monkee Tattoo.
  • I finished another Kat novel, due out later this year.
  • I put out a cozy mystery bundle that ranked as an Amazon bestseller in mystery anthologies.
  • My little publishing venture had its first ARe overall bestseller with JT's Joint Affair.
  • Had a bunch of audio books come out.
  • I am close to finishing a novella for a special submissions call.
  • I went to the Monkees Convention in New Jersey, RT in Kansas City, Balticon in Baltimore, and MarsCon in Williamsburg. Got to hang out with great people like Robin Slick, Helen Madden, Eliza Gayle, and Cat Johnson, among others. Micky Dolenz greeted me at my booth.
  • I saw Rush live, and Heart live, and took my daughter to both.
  • I went to Disney World, twice! I don't think I got to WDW more than once in a calendar year when I lived in Florida.
  • I went camping in Delaware and visited Rehoboth Beach.
  • I drank a lot of Virginia wine.
Seriously, how could this get better, outside of the TARDIS parking in my backyard and a three AM sex phone call from Alan Rickman? There are many things I still want to do, more places to see, books to write. The followup to Long Awaited Friend is fist-fighting me right now, and I really want that done. There are issues with a specific series I need to resolve eventually, and I'd like to have one more Bliss story done for a bundle that I can print for The Novel Experience Event and possibly AAD, if I'm selected to go. I find I enjoy writing the mystery and suspense, too, and want to make room for that. The little one is growing up too fast for me to accept, but at least the weather is getting cooler that I can tolerate the speed.

What do I want to do for 42? Camp more, use my roller skates, cook soup, drink more wine, and write more books. Most of all, I want to be happy. I want to collect all the frustrations and petty thoughts and release them into large bubbles to float away. I want to buy more geek t-shirts on Redbubble and visit Memphis.

Most of all, I want to let go of fear, and have fun. Let's see if 42 is the answer.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Writing Progress for Mid-August

August is typically my crazy month. The little one is still at home, and we're getting ready for another school year. With everybody home while I'm working, it's a challenge to get the space I need to do my job. I manage, though. Once everybody is in bed, I can write.

My goals for the end of summer are to complete the follow-up to Long Awaited Friend, a MMM menage, and Sugar Rush, an F/F novella I'm writing for a submission call. After that, I need to evaluate what to write next, and where to go as far as my writing. Do I continue to write what calls to me, or do I write something specific? Focus is an issue when it comes to writing - I feel like I need a dartboard or crystal ball, or else I can do a pomodoro writing exercise.

What I need are two more arms so I can write two stories at once!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Now Available: Coming Together Girl on Girl Anthology

I am thrilled to announce that the anthology I have edited for Coming Together, Girl on Girl, is now for sale! This collection of lesbian erotica and romance will benefit the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Add it to Goodreads!

Buy it: Smashwords ~ Amazon ~ All Romance

The lineup for this book includes some great authors - many known names in the genre and a few new folks:

  • The Princess' Princess (Salome Wilde)
  • Sundae, Bloody Sunday (Lisabet Sarai)
  • Angel (Ms. Peach)
  • Hot Air (Slave Nano)
  • A Taste of Vanilla (Leigh Ellwood)
  • The Trade In (Stephani Maari Booker)
  • New Girl (Harper Bliss)
  • Same But Different (Kate Atwood)
  • Fair As the Moon (Laurel Waterford)
  • On Display (Sophie Mouette)
  • Tough Enough to Wear a Dress (Teresa Noelle Roberts)
  • Snow Blind (Jean Roberta)
  • All Keyed Up (Scarlet Chastain)
  • Ghost Lights (Erzabet Bishop)
  • Winner Take (Andrea Dale)
  • Worth the Wait (Beth Wylde)
Special thanks to Debra Hyde for her introduction, and to Alessia Brio for letting us do the project! Be on the lookout for a short blog tour, check my Twitter @LeighEllwood for stops.