Mexico, Magic & Motivation

Mexico, Magic & Motivation

I’m back from my Western Caribbean cruise and I feel refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired. It’s amazing how creatively stifling technology -and, in particular, social media- can be.  I thought I knew how weighed down I’d gotten, but apparently that was just the beginning…the tip of the oppressive iceberg. I’d hit the thing head on and was taking on water faster than I’d realized. (See all the ship analogies there? Ha!)

Technological isolation is a magical thing. Staring off the starboard side of a cruise ship and watching the sun go down on the coast of Cozumel was an epiphany I hadn’t expected. Without the internet, the sun still rises and sets. Without Facebook, I watched rainbow sky instead of a meme. There was a world of beauty and romantic inspiration outside and I didn’t have to log into a damned thing to see it.

Between learning marketing strategies, fighting algorithms and trying to build up my readership, I was drowning, and my love of writing was sinking along with me. The business side of writing had left me no time at all to do what mattered most- write.

Away from the internet, there was just me and a place to let the stories flow without worrying about whether or not I would ever hit a best seller ranking. Away from the internet, things were much clearer. There was no competition, no drama, no anonymous predators out to sabotage others for the power trip. There was no constant upheaval to overshadow the new releases or emerging authors. There was no need to be constantly publishing, causing me to be unable to write at all. Paranormal romance takes research, you see, Dear Reader, and world-building and an immersive creation process that simply can’t be rushed. And I don’t want to. I want to give you stories that I’m proud of. I also want to branch out, exploring my love of romantic suspense ad horror, and trying my hand at dystopian fiction and romantic comedy.

I went on a cruise for a break. I came back with a renewed purpose and a revived love of writing for its own sake. I came back with a plan. It’s time to do what I want, rather than what feels expected or necessary.

To that end, I’m pushing back both the release of The River and The Mountain until I can give you stories worthy of reading. The Tribe legend is far too important to churn out for the sake of keeping myself visible in an unending pool of publishing authors. I’m going to expand into romantic suspense, horror and I’m going to get serious about a couple of collaborations that have fallen by the wayside. I’m going to write books. Lots of them. Even if I never make the top of the New York Times… if I never get that little orange banner on Amazon…if I never sell more than a handful of copies, I will remember the sun setting over Mexico and I will keep writing books, Dear Reader, as long as you keep reading them.



Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days…

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days…

Summer break is at full swing at last, I only wish I could say the same about my current manuscript. I can’t blame the sun, the sand or the siren’s song of the ocean for distracting me from my work, but they are certainly enabling my current creative malaise. I’ve been doing my best to separate myself from the constant tumult of negative within the writing industry that takes over social media in a self-feeding frenzy, but alas, I have readers there who I adore and I won’t ignore for the sake of my own internet misanthropy.

In simpler terms, I need to back away from the computer and shake this funk, because I still love my stories, and I love you Dear Reader. So I shall soldier on and ask your forgiveness when I disappear from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for long stretches. It’s for the greater good, I assure you, before I go completely Tyler Durden on the internet.

God willing and the creek don’t rise (any more than it has) I will still be releasing The River on August 24th and I can promise you that my work won’t suffer because of my funk. I adore this character and his intended, and The River will delve deeper into some of the side characters in a way I think you’re all going to love.

Maybe that’s the key. I’ll take a break to fall in love with my own creativity again. And there’s no time to start like now.

Riding the Storm Out

Riding the Storm Out

The summer is nearly upon us, Dear Reader, and I, for one, can’t wait to bask in the warmth of a sun that seems to have been hiding for far too long.

It’s a rebirth, of sorts, and one sorely needed when darkness has fallen on the writing community, its decay settling into the word world more and more with each passing day. Each new dawn seems to bring a new issue to light, overshadowing emerging authors and new releases with a cavalcade of authors behaving badly and reactionary outrage. It’s marketing algorithms and legal precedents that push the boundaries of rationale in an avalanche of insane attempts at reaching the top. It’s he said/she said and a dog eat dog mentality that you should never be subject to, Dear Reader. They are apparently out to break our will. They almost broke mine.

I’ve spent this last month doing some soul-searching, and I believe I’ve come to a decision. I’m not giving up writing. I still have stories to tell and worlds to create, and I cherish each and every one of you who picked up one of my books and lost yourselves in the words you read. Words I wrote.

Maybe I’ll never be a bestseller and maybe I’ll never conquer the insurmountable peaks of marketing strategies, but I made it into your home, Dear Reader. You let me into your world, even for just a little while, and I want to tell you how much I love having you in mine.

We read and write to get lost in a world beyond the one we have to see on the news, on the internet and outside our own front doors. Books are supposed to be an escape, not a war zone and I apologize to all of you who started to spiral downward under the weight of the negativity that has been so prolific.

To that end, I’m happy to say that the next novel in The Tribe Series is finally underway, and I’ve been able to weather the angry skies in the familiar magic of my piece of the mountain and The River will be coming to you in just a few short months. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, The Mountain won’t be too far behind it. For this progress, I thank you, Dear Reader, for giving up your time and losing yourself in my stories. You give me a reason, when my own place in the pattern gets hard to see.

So when you see a storm of negativity erupt on your social media feeds, don’t let it deter your love of reading. Don’t give up on finding new authors and new stories. Because if you promise not to give up on reading them, Dear Reader, I promise I won’t give up on writing them for you.

The next time the clouds start to form and you find yourself getting dragged down, come and find me here. It’s a place that’s still all about the books and the friends, the love of stories and the search for a little piece of happy in the day to day. I’ll have an empty chair on my porch and a glass of strong whiskey ready for you. We can keep each other company until the sun comes out again.

Guess What?

Guess What?

Come on, you know you were expecting it. This month is going to be a vicious grinder as I churn out words like McDonald’s churns out burgers. Between writing two novels, planning two novellas and having a new character for a brand new series breathing down my neck, writing is feeling a little bit like a hostage situation. I’m embracing my Stockholm’s Syndrome. In the meantime, I’m working on growing my readers’ group and I’ll only be giving ARCs out to members from here on out. After finding out that the Spirit has been illegally downloaded 9000 times, I want to be more selective when I give my books out. To be honest, I just with the 9000 people who downloaded would have just left a review. Remember friends, reviews are love.

My mojo is coming back, though, and my head is back into the Tribe world, helped in no small part by loyal readers who want to dive back into the holler with me. I welcome the company, and those hills are getting more mysterious than ever. Some may not realize it, but my fictional town is based on a very real place… a sprawling forest surrounding a tiny hamlet in an undeveloped part of Ohio. McArthur Ohio is my family seat, cradled against the hills by the Zaleski National Forest, it’s land dotted with forgotten history and ancient burial mounds from a time that even the Tribe has difficulty remembering. Experienced guides are wary of those woods and even with the new trail that has opened leading to the remnants of the Moonville ghost town and it’s haunted train tunnel, walking into the Zaleski forest is like walking into a primitive past. What can I say, my family goes back in those hillsfor a lot of generations and I’m proud to be from such wild lands. With the new trail came something unexpected… the ghosts of the Moonville Tunnel are being spotted again, and there’s even been a reported BigFoot sighting. Just when I thought Wright’s Holler couldn’t surprise me anymore, they thrown a new critter into the already dense myths. I have to say, with its proximity to Point Pleasant, I would have expected folks to see the Mothman before they ever found Bigfoot peeking into cabin windows out at Lake Hope. Still, there’s just no place like home and I can’t wait to get back and trek through those old woods again. I think you should come with me. If you do decide to make the trip, don’t be afraid to look for the tunnel and the ghost’s lantern light. And if the phantom brakeman pops out to say hello, tell him Harper sent you.


New Year, New Stuff… (2 months late…)

New Year, New Stuff… (2 months late…)

So much has happened in the last few months that I don’t know where to begin. At the beginning, right? I lost my beloved dog, Booga, just before Thanksgiving and I’m still not recovered. He was a constant companion.. the man in my life when my husband was away and my partner in so many ways. It’s amazing how ingrained someone can be in your life without your ever realizing it and now there’s an empty place in my heart and by my desk that no other furry paws will ever fill.

His little fur-brother, George, tries, though, even taking his brother’s place in my office while I work. My Booga might be gone, but it won’t be for long. Even the spirits have a home in the world of The Tribe, and Booga will be there soon.

Until then, I have George to keep me in line. See? He’s already yelling at me.

In the meantime, I am refreshing myself and my work, so you’ll be seeing lots of changes in branding and in my newsletter. You’ll also see more activity from me on my Facebook page, Tumblr and on Goodreads as I try some new things. I know. Change scares me, too.

On to writing world news!

I’ll be putting out AT LEAST The River and The Mountain this year, in time for my appearance at Readers & Writers Tampa. In a perfect world, I’ll also have a novella for you and we’ll start really diving into the Tribe world.

You guys have all been so patient and I can’t thank you enough for standing by me and not only do I promise more of the Tribe, but there’s a brand new series headed your way in the future.

Bastian’s story will be the first in my new world series… and that’s all I’m telling you for now.

Be sure to check out my newsletter for all the stuff I forget to mention here!  Until next time, be good to yourselves and each other.

A Voice from the Darkness

A Voice from the Darkness

Hello, dear readers!

I know, I know… it’s been forever. But after the harrowing ordeal of writing two novels in such a short time span, and then jumping right in to my first signing event, my brain was fried. The decompression time was much needed. I powered through NaNoWriMo (Yay, me!) and now, with the holidays approaching, it is time for introspection and planning for the year to come. You see, dear readers, I have many irons that I intend to put into my fire, in addition to continuing my writing.
For those of you who are fans of The Tribe, worry not. More is coming, although the order I intended to write the series is shifting slightly, I think. Tank is an infuriatingly persistent voice and his story may follow Matchetehew’s.
If you haven’t been following along via my newsletter, you might not know, but I am working on my first contemporary romance – a taboo priest story – as well as two other PNR series AND I’ve just committed to a PNR anthology to be published next summer. There is much to come! So if I am quiet through the new year, just know that I am behind a keyboard, clacking away and I’ll be back on the first, hopefully with my ducks in a row and an announcement to be made. To keep up, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter or join my Facebook fan group of faithful harlots. Thank you all for following along and happy holidays from Wright’s Holler.