Wednesday, September 26, 2012


My next Musa book comes out on November 9. This time it’s a Regency novella. I tried writing a novella for a change because it is a long time between my Regency novel releases, and this way I hoped my readers would see I was not neglecting them. (It is also a trial run for a series of novellas, one of which is almost finished, about a Regency couple who investigate small crimes amongst the ton—the sort of petty crimes that members of the ton would prefer to keep under wraps).

The November 9 release is called Captive wherein a somewhat witless Regency miss captures a man as a prize for her unmarried sister. Mayhem ensues when her sister realises that their prisoner is none other than their father’s arch enemy. I do not yet have a cover for Captive, but I’m posting my other Musa book covers below.
For weeks now I’ve been pushing, pushing to get some words on paper. Any words. My brain is weary of Regencies and romantic suspense novels. It needs grist for the mill. So…solutions:

Do a refresher course of some sort, something to get the juices flowing. Uh huh, did that and it sure wasn’t worth the money I paid for it. There are so many of those courses out there in the ether that liken writing to growing parsley, or knitting sweaters, or climbing a mountain (close) but what makes these authors burn to redistribute the English language? They come up with phrases and words like trisituational which loosely translated means three story threads; or irreconcilable dichotomy (!), in other words your conflicts both internal and external are at such odds to each other that you’ve painted yourself into a corner because the conflict can’t be solved. So why don’t these seminar instructors use plain English? To justify their existence, I guess. And because they can make money out of webinars and writing how-to books for already confused writers.

Another favorite solution for those of us at the cross-roads is to plot, plot, plot and stop flying by the seat of our pants. Uh huh. Well, like many writers, if I plot my book into oblivion where’s the point in writing it? Been there, done that. Of course we need story outlines and basic plotlines for the various characters. But I find that after planning some characterisation, the plot tends to take care of itself. In fact my two ‘best’ books wrote themselves. But I can’t hang around waiting for that to happen. Hey, it might never happen again! Nose to the grindstone.
Read, read, read, particularly in other genres. Yes. Definitely. And when I’m stuck, stuck, stuck, I’d rather read than write. However that could go on for weeks, months, years…
There is no writer’s block. Nora assures us this is so and she should know. Don’t think I have such a thing anyway. Several plotlines are still weaving around in brain. Just can’t force myself to finish the Regency novella and romantic suspense I’ve almost finished and then jump into one of those ideas. I’m bored, bored, bored with my current books but my anal retentive behavior tells me to finish those books before starting something else.
The real reason for my procrastination. Marketing. There’s so much of it to be done that it takes all the fun out of writing, because most of that ‘marketing’ involves writing of a sort, just not the fun, real writing. We ignore marketing at our peril, so we are told. (But note there is nothing definitive ever been produced that can prove a case-by-case point). Only those writers at the top of the tree can afford to pay publicists or simply ignore the ‘M’ word. Since the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and blogs, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to gain such a good income from my writing that I could afford to employ someone to do all this stuff. Dream on, Vonnie. Okay, whinge over!
Anybody else out there in this bind, where they spend as much time marketing as they do writing and have lost their impetus? Anyone got any solutions? Leave a comment and not only will you go in the draw to win a Kindle Fire (if you’re in USA or Canada, but international winners will receive a $50 Musa gift card). The most humorous reply wins a paperback copy of Mr. Monfort’s Marriage which I’m happy to post anywhere in the world.

(The above should lead you to the next blog on the list to give you further chances to WIN)


  1. Vonnie, I hear you on the marketing being a time sucker. I haven't worked on my WIP in a while; I don't anticipate getting back to it until all of my books are out--but then I'll be marketing those and won't have time to write then either. Maybe an actual writing vacation is necessary at this point? (With no internet connection.)

    Good luck with your upcoming release!

  2. I'm having a dry month myself. Part of it has been daytime job stuff, but I need to pull myself away from the marketing and get back to the writing. I've been dividing my energies too much. Can't seem to focus on one. I need to just finish something!

  3. What's marketing? When I can define it, I'll have time to do it. Good luck.

  4. Hey, Vonnie, just stopping by on the promo train to share and tweet your post! Best of luck with all your publishing ventures! Cheers!

  5. Vonnie
    I have 50,000 words of my second novel and completely dried up since my first was published.Completely distracted by learning the marketing bit.
    I have no excuse - in fact the more time I have the more time I take to complete a chapter.
    I try to take my lap top somewhere without a Wi-fi connection and work on Word only. This way I cannot get tempted to continually check messages or play solitaire.
    Good luck with Captive I love the story line.


  6. Thanks Susan. I know what you mean by "the more time I have the more time I take to complete a chapter." I fribble around and end up writing only about four sentences a day. The joy is gone.

  7. For me, Vonnie, it's easy. I didn't have face book until I signed the Musa contract,and still don't know how it works. Didn't have a blog either, and can't work out how to get more than a long shtreel out of it. Don't know how to link all the wretched things up, can't even find my own author page, and don't understand the lingo when people talk about tagging etc. Opened a Twitter account and haven't used it, likewise Stumbleupon (if that's how you spell it) — can't see what it does.
    I'll probably end up running off print copies and send my kids out flogging them on street corners.
    PS I'm not trying to be funny!

  8. Just want to say Happy Anniversary to all the great authors of Musa Publishing.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  9. Jeez, girl, take a vacation! You need one! Even if it's just a weekend getaway, overnight trip or even one day road trip! I have a another suggestion that you may find is just plain weird, but it could help. Have you ever tried to discover where your creative gene came from, or why you feel compelled to tell stories? Do some genealogy research, if you haven't already. You may be surprised at what you find out about your ancestors, what they did, or their stories. Learn of the places they came from and visit their graves if you can - connect with the ones that "speak" to you (hope you know I don't mean literally - I'm not THAT crazy - lol!) Visit their homestead or the area where they grew up - in person or online. Let them inspire you by knowing what they went through in their lives to see that you exist and can live out your dream of writing. If writing isn't really your dream, then hmmm...that's a different story! Wishing you much success, and hoping you find that "thing" that makes you excited about putting the words to paper again! Have a few hundred clever business cards printed and throw them around everywhere you go, and get off the promotion carousel for a little while! My email is randjurban@gulftel.com Good luck!

    1. Now there are some great constructive ideas. I may be burnt out - been writing for publication since seven years of age. But I hadn't thought of all of those inspiring notions of yours! Thank you.

    2. That makes me feel good Vonnie! So glad I could provide some different ideas for you :D

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  12. Hi Vonnie--I can really sympathize with your plight. Marketing is a high-maintenance mistress. The pressure to blog regularly is a bit stressful sometimes, and time consuming. Alas, I don't know of a good cure. Good luck with "Captive." It's nice that now with epubs you can publish a novella by itself, isn't it?

    1. Yes Paul. I've got another novella ready to go, too. Hadn't really considered them before but my two publishers have made comments in the past 12 months that loads of readers preferred the shorter reads. We'll see, I guess.

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  14. I bet learning about marketing would be challenging for a new author. As far as being stuck in your writing, the best advice I have ever heard was to give yourself permission to write crap. To just sit down with your characters and send them on a trip to Walmart or stick them in a haunted castle. The important thing is to write, usually the characters will start to speak to you and tell you their story.
    I'm not a writer so I'm not sure how effective that advice is, but it makes sense to me. Anyway, Thanks for participating in this awesome blog hop

    Donna @ The Happy Booker
    ahappybooker at gmail dot com

  15. Unfortunately I don't have any solutions for you but I hope you do find at least one
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  16. WOW...It sounds like there are lots of authors hopping along. I've also heard other authors lament the amount of marketing and self-promotion that they must do. It must be a challenge for authors.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  17. I think getting tired of doing your marketing happens to almost everyone, especially for an indie author. Even if the author goes with traditional publishing, they still have to do some marketing. I don't know about this being funny, but, doing blog hops, and having contests is a good way to promote your work. Maybe you could dress up like your heroine and go to conferences and hand out info on your books.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  18. Congratulations on the upcoming new release Vonnie.

    Yes, it is sad that marketing is now so much of what we do as writers. But it's okay. just think of it as another way to talk to readers.

  19. Congrats to you I'm always looking for new authors and books to read fun blog hop!
    Latisha D
    tishajean@ charter.net

  20. Oh man, writing block sucks... I have a great solution! Simply stick a bra on your head, hook up some wires to your computer, attach them to a picture of your favorite studly cover hunk (c'mon, everyone has a little male toy with their face pasted on, don't they? It's not just me. Right?) and then go with the crazy weird science!!

    Then instruct your love slave who does 'whatever you want' to get busy with the motivating activities to induce story inspiration! *wink wink*


    Cia Nordwell

    Email: anordwell@live.com

  21. Hi!! Happy Anniversary! Very awesome! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you! And thank you for the fun hop and giveaway!! Many blessings to you!

  22. And the winner is - - Donna Smith! I'll get in touch and post you the print copy of Mr. Monfort's Marriage. (If you prefer an e-book, just say).

    Cia, I really like your ideas but I saw where you won another blog contest so sorry, sweet pea, but I think you've done okay.

  23. Sorry, Vonnie, life doesn't always stop for blog hops, and I haven't gotten to your blog until now. You, however, are the luck of the draw in my blog hop lotto. Please contact me at bbehindthewheel@gmail.com for more details (I have no idea really, but we can figure it out together). I'm liking your blog by the way. Cheers!