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Posts Tagged ‘pen name’

I haven’t been around social media much….

This past year, especially since October, has really been awful for me. My mom went to the emergency room early in October and was admitted to the hospital. They finally determined they would have to take part of her colon out, and when they got in there, they found they would have to take out her ENTIRE colon. She now has an ileostomy rather than a colostomy. Then, two days before she was to go to a nursing home for rehab, she fell and broke her ankle in two places…at the hospital. She also has a lot of stuff going on in her esophagus and stomach she’s having to take meds for.

Since then, her health has gone downhill. The long incision in her stomach from the surgery came open, and now it’s having to heal from the inside out. She has now developed MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph) where she had surgery on her ankle. She’s still in the nursing home, and her mind is slipping really bad. First, I made them check her for a UTI to see if that was causing the dementia. She did have one, and when she went on antibiotics, she was herself for two whole days. Then it was back to the craziness. It could be the MRSA or other infections causing the dementia. It came on way too fast to be Alzheimer’s. She was really smart and self-sufficient before all this happened. I have noticed a slight improvement the past couple of days, so maybe the antibiotic she’s on now is helping her. Fingers crossed. But as bad as she is, I don’t think she’ll ever be able to stay by herself. So there are some hard decisions to be made. The most likely scenario is that she’ll stay in the nursing home since everyone works and can’t stay with her. I’ve been up there pretty much every night since this all happened, and I see that being my future for quite some time.

So, new things. I’ve tossed this back and forth for awhile, and some of you have seen me post about it. But I think, for 2018, I’m truly going to focus on my other pen name. I’m tired of not making at least a part-time living on my writing. And it looks like Lauralynn just isn’t going to do it in the foreseeable future. I never market the other pen name, but it’s time to start. I’m going to concentrate all my efforts on that name for awhile and see where that goes. The genres are very different. My other name writes sweet romance and mysteries. I’m probably going to add a sweet historical romance and possibly a sweet older woman, younger man romance to the mix. We’ll see. I just think when something’s not working, I need to try something else. I’m not going to retire Lauralynn. If I get a good idea for a story that won’t fit the other name, I’ll probably write it under Lauralynn. I’m just so disappointed that Keeper of His Soul did so badly in sales. I felt sure this would be a book that would take off, but it just didn’t.

So I’m really going to try to be more organized next year and work hard to market my books in a non-spamming way. All that while taking care of Mom. Wish me luck or prayers, whichever one you do. I’m going to need them!

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From Keeper of His Soul

No, I don’t mean that I’m up to no good. LOL. Just what I’ve been doing.

I FINALLY finished Keeper of His Soul. I figured while I was on vacation, I would just bite the bullet and do it. I’ve been struggling with the last chapter or so because the ending I had in mind was kind of lame. It would have been a satisfying HEA, but it didn’t feel right. But the ending finally came to me, and it kind of threw me. I was like “do I really want to do this?” But I had to. Now for all you romance lovers out there, don’t worry. It has a HEA…sort of. It wasn’t all rainbows and roses, but it had to come with some pain. I don’t see how it could have ended differently. It just wasn’t possible. I’ll see what my beta readers think, but I can’t change it too much. The pain had to be there. The characters had already been through too much, and for it to end up as a perfect HEA wouldn’t have worked for me.

The next project will be under my other pen name. I have to make some hard decisions soon, and the biggest decision is whether or not to stop writing under Lauralynn Elliott. There’s a lot of competition in the paranormal romance genre, so it’s hard to get noticed. I have a few hard-core fans, but they can only buy so many books. My other pen name writes cozy mysteries, sweet romances, and soon, I hope, a historical romance. First, I have to finish the trilogy, then the historical. This all comes down to the business side of things. If I can’t make a decent living under Lauralynn, I HAVE to focus on the other pen name. Neither is selling well, but the other one sells a bit better, and I RARELY post anything on FB or do anything else to promote that name. Yet is still sells better than Lauralynn, although sales have picked up a tiny bit lately. But not enough. So, if Keeper of His Soul doesn’t do well, Lauralynn might die off for awhile. Not on social media because I would miss everyone. But as far as anything pertaining to writing.

So here’s the deal. When I release Keeper of His Soul, I need your help to spread the word. Word of Mouth is the best advertising. And, by the way, Soul of a Vampire, the book to which Keeper is a sequel, is in an anthology that’s FREE right now. Yep…free (except on Amazon, but not for lack of trying). So pop over to your favorite retailer and grab your free (or .99 on Amazon) copy of Paranormally Yours.

Amazon (It’s still .99 on Amazon since they still haven’t lowered it. Be sure to go there and click the link to report a lower price.) Update: It’s now free on Amazon!

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Or you can search it on your Apple device in iBooks!

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Discouragement

I’ve been struggling for a long time with writing (actually lack of), and I’ve tried some of the things that have been suggested. I’ve tried to get enthusiastic about it again. I actually sat down and wrote a little bit on my WIP (it’s been in “P” for a long time now!), the other day, but I didn’t get much done. Every little bit is important, though, right?

Anyway, I’m beginning to realize that the main problem with me is lack of sales. See, here’s the thing. Everyone says to just write for myself. To forget about the publishing part and just write. But here’s why that doesn’t work for me. I’m a businesswoman. My writing is a business. Yes, it’s something I love, but it’s also how I would like to make a living. And that’s not happening anymore. It WAS happening back when I only had a few books out. Now that I have more, and much better ones at that, I can’t sell worth a flip. I’ve had a lot of other authors tell me this same thing the last few years.

So why can’t I just write for fun for awhile? Because I don’t have time. If I can’t make it with writing, then I need to find something else to spend my time doing that I CAN make it with. Editing is a little more profitable, so I’m not giving that up. I love editing. The problem is with editing is I’m not getting enough jobs. If I didn’t have my main client, I would probably give that up, too. One of my other clients decided to stop writing with one of her pen names, so that cut her work in half.

I’ve been trying to follow the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt then start saving money. He always says if you aren’t making enough at the job you’re doing, then you need to find something else. This isn’t really feasible for my full time job because I’ve been here 35 years and am just a few years away from retiring. But I need a good part time job that brings in a steady income. I have readers who beg me not to stop writing. But all of these readers aren’t out pimping my books (although I have a few that are so good about that).

Another option I have is to focus almost entirely on my other pen name. I’m actually selling a little more on Amazon with that pen name. And I have some ideas in genres that sell well. Genres I can’t really write under the Lauralynn name since Lauralynn books are too dark.

I’m almost tempted to try NaNoWriMo again. Almost. I said I would never do that again. My husband never wants me to do that again. And, honestly, I just don’t think I have that much time. But I remember the excitement of the two times I did it (and finished it!). I want that excitement back so badly!

So maybe I should just forget this little pity party and just DO IT. Anyone willing to kick me in the behind and tell me to stop whining? 🙂

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This wasn’t the best week until yesterday when I kicked butt. 🙂 I wrote 2379 words on my WIP under my other pen name (for an anthology). I had a sudden epiphany concerning the plot. I realized the why of the conflict between the hero and shero, so I was fired up. Now you might not think 2379 words is a lot in one sitting, but it is for me. I might have gotten more in, but I started getting antsy about the time because I knew I had to go to a funeral later. (Not anyone close.) That’s why I like to write when I know I have nothing else going on later in the day.

I’m getting ready to plot the second novella in my new mystery series under my other pen name. A co-worker suggested a great murder weapon that would leave no clues, so that’s going to make it more interesting. 🙂

I’m going to try to work on three different WIPs at a time this round, so that’s totally different for me. I don’t know if I can pull it off, but we’ll see. The anthology story will be my first priority, but I want to work on the other two from time to time, maybe just a few words at a time. I love a challenge, and this will definitely be one!

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Duke - 8 or 9 months old

Duke – 8 or 9 months old

Since Facebook no longer seems to pick up pictures from WordPress blogs unless it’s in that post, I thought I would provide a picture so it would show up. And what better picture than a happy dog, right? This was taken a couple of years ago, I think. The caption was already on there when I found it on my computer.

Where did January go???

There’s been progress. I got the manuscript written with my other pen name off to the publisher. I’m beta reading right now for a friend, and I have a couple of small things to proofread. I plan on picking back up on a mystery I started awhile back before I stopped to do this last novella. I should be able to get that done by the end of March. Then it’s on to a story for another anthology.

I have another Lauralynn book I need to get done before the end of the year. I’m probably going to write a sequel to Soul of a Vampire. It will revolve around a different character, the best friend of the “shero” in SoaV.

I’m really trying to be more productive this year. So far, it’s going well. I have a goal of 150,000 words this year. I made my January goal. I’m using my nifty Supernatural spreadsheet to keep up with my monthly and yearly words. 🙂

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My name is Lauralynn Elliott, and it’s been 11 days since my last check-in….

I can’t believe I’ve missed that many check-ins! Well, two, I guess. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by all the stuff on my plate right now, and when that happens, the blog is the first thing to be neglected. I need to do better.

Things are actually going pretty well. I finished the novella I’m doing with the other pen name. I’m going to be in another anthology with that pen name, and I have a mystery started that I decided to do under that pen name. I haven’t started the next book under Lauralynn, but I think I know the story I’m going to do. I have two more ideas for Lauralynn, but I don’t know how much I’m going to get done this year. We’ll see. For an actual goal, I only have one Lauralynn book planned, but I’ve been more productive this year, so you just never know. 🙂

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nola1

I’m in New Orleans on a business trip this week. This picture is the view standing in the doorway of the French doors of my hotel room. Win! I wanted to go out there to write, but it’s SO cold.

I still got almost 2000 words in this morning, so I’m right on track to get my project for my other pen name done by or before my deadline. When that’s wrapped up, I’m going on to finish my mystery, which I’ve decided to publish under the new pen name, so I’ll have at least two books for that name. Then, I’m still planning on a Lauralynn book this year. I think all my projects are still on track.

I’m going on a ghost tour tonight after our welcome reception. I did that last year in San Antonio, so NOLA should be even better, given the history of Voodoo and such in this area. I need to bundle up, though. The temps will be in the 40’s by then.

Happy writing to everyone!

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