As I move closer to releasing HOT PURSUIT, I've realized a few things. First, I *love* writing these books about my strong alpha military guys. I've neglected them for so long, but now it's possible to share these stories with readers without needing a publisher's approval first. And I have to say that the initial reviews on this book are making me very happy. I know there will be people who don't like it, but right now there are people who do — besides me and my family and friends — and that's a thrilling thing.
But as I watch the reviews come in, and hear that people are loving the hot military action and romance, I'm realizing that I have to get these books out pretty darn fast. The only way I'm going to get the HOT books done, and meet my Harlequin obligations too, is to write on more than one project at a time.
I usually immerse myself in one book and write until it's done. But, no more. Today, in fact, I worked on two books. This morning it was a hot Greek CEO. This afternoon, it was a hot military operative. Fun!
I love both kinds of books, and I hope you do too. I know as a reader that I prefer certain kinds of books from certain authors, so it won't surprise me if some of you prefer the Harlequins over the HOT series and vice versa. But I hope you'll give them all a try! I promise you the usual sexy and exciting read, no matter which type of book you choose.
Finally, I have to tell you how much fun writing the HOT series is for me. It's freeing in ways I didn't expect. It's exciting. I love my Harlequin billionaires, but writing these military guys takes me back to my roots. To the way I grew up and the way I lived most of my adult life: as a military dependent. Mr. Harris isn't in the military anymore, but that life is never far away when I work on these books. I adore it, and I adore the men and women who choose to serve their country. Make no mistake, the spouses and children serve too. Anyone who has ever been a part of that life knows it. I spent years following my husband from base to base, but I wouldn't change a thing about it. It was an awesome way to see the world, and a thing that fills me with pride too.
All right, so what's coming next? Sometime in August, prepare for HOT MESS, a novella set in the HOT world! This one is about Sam McKnight and Georgeanne Hayes. There's a lot of heat in this story. I think you'll enjoy it — I sure enjoyed writing it! I plan to have Book 2 in the HOT series ready to go by Christmas, so keep an eye out for that one, and then I have two Harlequins out this fall as well – look for new books in October and December! I'm still working on next year, but you can expect four Harlequins (May, July, December, and as yet undetermined) and of course more HOT books! It's going to be a busy year, but I couldn't be happier about it. I hope you're as excited about it all as I am!
Does anybody ever know what the future holds? I'm sitting here on my screened in patio, it's sunny and warm, and I can look up at the sky and clouds, and it just fills me with happiness. It's like the future is wide open with possibilities, and all I need is this laptop and my imagination to make it happen.
I don't think it's that easy, truly, but sometimes it feels that way. I've looked up at the sky in a hundred different places, and I've felt exactly the same: the future is filled with possibilities. I never know what will happen, but I feel like it has the potential to be good.
It's the dreamer in me, and I hope I never lose her. She always feels like amazing things are just waiting to happen. The practical side of me worries about everything and knows bad things happen too, but the dreamer doesn't want to think about it. I think we need the dreamer to keep us optimistic. The worrier keeps us grounded.
Today, the possibilities lie within this book I'm working on. I hope it makes readers happy when it's done and out there, but I won't know that for a while yet. Still, I do my best, and I hope you know that whenever you sit down with something I've written.
From my patio to yours, happy day!
I've discovered I'm impatient. Well, maybe I always knew it, but my brain is whirling with so many thoughts these days and so many plans and I am IMPATIENT as hell for them to come to life. First, I am about sick with impatience waiting to get HOT PURSUIT out to you. It's still in editing, and I know that will make it an awesome book in the end, but I want to share it with you! I've been waiting for so long. I've had a cover for months — and yes, I've held back showing you. Unless you're on my Street Team, Lynn's Lovelies, and then you saw it a while back. 😉 (Hint: Join my Street Team for exclusive peeks, excerpts, and goodies! We have a secret Facebook group, and I will be happy to invite you in if you're on Facebook — just send me a message over there and I'll make it happen.)
I have more books to write in that world, and I have three more Harlequins due quite soon. Next year, I'll have a sheikh duo coming out. No titles yet, though I have titled them myself and I hope I get to keep them! Because, for once, I think I did a good title job! I'll also be participating in another continuity series (like last year's Santina Crown and this year's Sicilian Corretti Dynasty), and my book will be the final book in December 2014. No idea yet what my book will be about, but I've heard hints about a Don Draper-like character. Yum!
You see why I'm impatient? I have so much going on! And, aside from my military books, I have another series I want to write. This one involves four brothers, a small town, and some dark secrets. When will I ever get the time to write them all?
All right, enough whining — here's what you need to know: HOT PURSUIT is tentatively scheduled for May. There will be a cover reveal soon! There will also be a prequel novella and at least two other books in the series. I hope to have the novella to you by summer's end, and then the next book perhaps by Christmas. I hate stretching them out so far, but I have to fit them in with the Harlequin work.
While I'm not revealing the cover yet, here's the blurb. I hope it interests you! Matt is seriously hot, and I think he'll take your breath away. Which is why I'm getting so antsy about this! If you want to know more, like when the book finally hits stores, sign up for my newsletter (scroll to the bottom of this page and type your email in the box) and be among the first to know when the book goes live. I'll also announce it on Facebook, Twitter, and this site. 🙂
The last man she ever wanted to see…
Evie Baker’s luck just ran out. Thanks to an ex-partner with organized crime ties, she’s lost her restaurant, her money, and nearly all her self-respect. Forced to return to her hometown and work as a shampoo girl in her mother’s salon, she doesn’t think her luck can get any worse.
But then someone starts shooting at her, her sullen baby sister is suddenly missing, and the high school heartthrob who stole her heart—and her virginity—is the only man big enough and bad enough to help.
Might be the only one who can save her…
Captain Matt “Richie Rich” Girard can’t afford to get involved. He’s already on the verge of a court-martial after a Top Secret op gone wrong, and he’s been ordered to stay out of trouble while he’s home for his sister’s wedding.
But when Evie’s ex-partner turns up dead, staying out of trouble is the last thing on Matt’s mind. He failed Evie once before; he can’t fail her again. If he’s going to protect her from a killer, and find her sister before time runs out, he’ll have to risk his entire future—and both their lives—to do it.
Things are about to get HOT in the bayou!
Y'all, I don't usually talk the writing stuff much anymore, but I can't help myself this time. I had company in town this past week, and while I took some time off to do things with her — some shopping, some lunching — I also sat myself down at my desk and did the work. I may be my own boss, but I still have a job to do and jobs don't get done when you lollygag.
So what do you think happens when writers tell me they just can't get the work done? That they have to watch their favorite shows, and do all their Facebooking and Twittering, and yes they have a deadline screaming toward them at light speed, but they're probably going to miss it because, well, it's football season! Or Downton Abbey is on. Or it's spring and they have to plant the bulbs.
If you guessed that I probably turn apoplectic, you'd be right. It's infuriating when someone asks me how I manage to write so much while wringing their hands and hoping I'll give them the secret formula that will suddenly make words pour onto the page.
And I do give them the secret, but they don't listen. The secret is this: DO THE WORK! If you want to make a career of this, if you want to be a published author and have people read your stories, then you have to turn off the television — or whatever distracts you — and do the work FIRST. Do it! Stop talking about it, stop wringing your hands, and stop making excuses.
Your shows can be DVRed. You can watch them once you meet that deadline. I don't know what to tell you about sports, since that's not my hang up, but I'm pretty sure you can't watch every darn game Thursday through Monday. You can't do everything. Make a choice. And if you choose the football, don't whine about the writing. You chose it!
Seriously, the only way you get ahead in this job is to make it a priority. Writing does not come last. Writing does not come after you finish everything else. Writing must be a priority. Yes, your family is the most important thing. I don't disagree with that at all. There's a saying you might have seen before: “Happy wife, happy life.” It's cute, right? But I think it should also be expanded a bit. “Happy family, happy marriage, happy life.” It doesn't rhyme, but it's closer to the truth, I think.
So this is my rant for the day. If you're a writer, if you want to make this a career, you need to make sure you're willing to do what it takes. You can't write when you feel like it. You can't build a career or gain readers if you take such an approach. If you want this — really want this — you have to work for it. It's still a job, and it still requires you to put in the time.
So put down the remote, stash the coupons for the mall, and get your work done first. Your work ethic is vital in this business. If you don't have one, if you're easily distracted, then you aren't going to succeed.
But if you get that work done, you'll be surprised at how everything begins to flow. Make writing a priority, and you might just be amazed at how much you get done. Good luck and get to work! That's what I'll be doing… 😉
I find myself writing a lot of blog posts lately and then saving them into draft mode instead of publishing them. Why? Because I've been seriously cranky lately and I find myself ranting about things that bug me instead of sharing the nice, sunny things with you all. You can hear ranting and all that in real life. You don't need to come to me for it, right? 😉
Today, I'm sharing my glamorous life with you. I hope you snickered a little when I said that. Because I'm writing this post in my pajamas and my hair is piled on my head and there's still a mascara smear under my eyes where the remover never quite gets it all the night before.
There's also a cat squalling somewhere downstairs, and laundry that needs doing, and dinner to figure out. Yeah, super glamorous!
But I did get dressed up last week and go give a speech to a group of ladies at a local country club. It was my second such speech in a month, and though I am a horrible introvert who doesn't like standing in front of people and talking, I'm actually starting to have a little fun doing this kind of thing.
Because the people who come always are interested in writers. They're usually readers and they've come because they want to hear what you can tell them about writing books. I have fun with that!
They asked me questions too, and that gives me insight into what readers think of writers. They didn't ask if I was rich or lived in a mansion, because I dispel that notion in the speech. I also, regretfully, had to inform them that I don't take bubble baths in a heart shaped tub nor do I wear a feather boa. They took it in stride.
Other things I told them were that authors get ideas from everywhere–literally–and that no one asks a mystery writer if she practices murdering people, but that they often think romance writers practice sex scenes or have lots and lots of crazy sex.
I have fun dispelling the myths, I have to say. 😉
But what did they want to know? They wanted to know how long it takes to write a book (the answer is anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months or more, depending on the book and the deadline). They wanted to know if all the travel around the world helped me as a writer (I think so!).
They wanted to know how much research I have to do (the answer depends on the subject, but also because Harlequin Presents are such compact, emotional books, there isn't a lot of room to drop in research. The books are about emotional conflicts, not external ones.) They also want to know if I have control over my covers (no for Harlequin, yes for my HOT series), and if I have the same editor for every book or if it's different each time (the same editor, unless she leaves and I get a new one, which did happen after 14 books with one editor).
Those are the questions I remember off the top of my head! If you could ask a writer questions, what would they be? Ask away and I'll try to answer. 🙂 I might even give away a copy of A Game With One Winner (out in stores tomorrow!)……
It's been a rough few days here in Chez Harris, as you all know. Tomorrow is a week since we said goodbye to Pitty Pat, and I still pretty much cry every day. Yesterday, I was doing pretty good. No crying — until Mr. Harris came home and checked the mail. Inside were two cards, one from my vet where she and all the office staff wrote a message about sweet Pitty Pat. That one started the waterworks. The next one sealed it. The next card was from the ER vet — and it contains a paw print they took of Pitty Pat on the day she died. OMG, I bawled. Really, this needs to get better, and soon.
I hate grief. I hate this part of the human experience. We have such capacity for love, and then when the individual we love gets taken away, the hole in our lives is almost unbearable. It sucks.
In other news, I've finally managed to get busy on my revisions for Book One in the Hostile Operations Team series again. All my work took a serious left turn last week. Some people write through tragedy and sadness — I wallow first. Just have to.
But I've been working steadily today, and feeling optimistic about the story. I hope you like it too. I really, really want to get this out there ASAP. I'm excited about the possibilities this new publishing world brings, and I want to be in control of this particular project. I have no intention of stopping writing my Harlequins, however. I am proud to be a Presents author. Very proud.
Sometimes, we get flak for writing “those” books with alpha-holes and doormats. Those are the words of the critics, and I don't accept them. My heroes are supremely alpha, and my heroines are strong enough to stand toe to toe with them. It's just the way it works in my world.
And now I have to go write my military alpha and the heroine who is most definitely not a doormat. And then it's another Presents! This next duo I like to call Sheikhs Gone Wild. We'll see how wild they go, and if you agree. 😉
Hugs to you all.