I thought I had the perfect system, well not perfect but a good system for managing all the marketing, i.e social media platforms while having nothing actually new to release…yet. In January I spent a few days scheduling all my posts on FB and Instagram for 3 months, then In February, I tried to focus on TikTok which, honestly has a much better reach, interaction and for now at least is free. The trouble is I got to April and didn’t have time to schedule another 3 months’ worth of content, so I did just one month and now I’m doing the same in May because honestly I just want to be writing but have this deep deep fear that letting any one of these platforms flounder means I’m failing. Does anyone else have this?
It’s ridiculous I know. The world won’t end if I miss a few days, or months of interaction I’m sure but there it is, like a nagging parent scolding me over my shoulder…you should be writing…why haven’t you posted a funny video today, where are my keys….oh no, that last one is me.
The problem I have is the interaction on FB and Instagram is so very low, I think it isn’t time well spent but I’d also hate to lose contact with the reader friends I’ve met along the way and who aren’t on TIKTOK, which is where the growth is for now.
If you are one of those, please make sure you are on my mailing list because if I do move away from those platforms, I’ll never move away from my newsletter. Or this website.
I’m not rushing into any decision, just sometimes feel a little overwhelmed and hark back to a simpler time, but then without amazon self publishing I might not be here.
First world problems.
Until next month, I thought I’d share a photo I took of a local village with ideas after my own heart.
My biggest fear when I wrote my first book was, What if I only have one story to tell. It’s still a knot of anxiousness that has taken a permenant residence in my gut. Something I have to ignore or this dream of mine would have died in the hole. It’s a face my fears scenerio.
I’m sending the first part of my new book off to my editor and will be sitting in a corner rocking until I get some feedback. In case you’re not on my mailing list the title is Winter’s Girl, it’s a romantic suspense, it started off in the same vein as The Choices Series but as with all my stories they take a life of their own and it wound down a parallel path. Life of a punster author.
Still, I hope you’re going to enjoy. I have a little snippet if you fancy?
I drop my head onto the sofa cushion with a frustrated sigh when he shifts again and moves his weighty cock farther away from where I really need it. It’s like he flicked a switch inside me with his searing gaze, his singular focus, and his tender touch. Never in my life have I felt desire, lust, or whatever this is steamrolling through my helpless body. It’s like I need his touch to survive. Every part of me craves very inch of him.
The handful of occasions where I might’ve gone a little further than a kiss, my body went ridged, I shut down and no one wants to make out with a living corpse.
This is something so different, a whole other realm of pleasure I never really believed. I may have dreamed it once or twice, and similar to a perfect dream you feel slipping back into reality, this reality is also frustratingly difficult to manipulate. I huff again when he circles around for another trail of kisses along my collarbone, up my neck to my ear. All the time, his cock slides back and forth against me with the gentle thrust of his hips. Close, but not close enough.
My impatience seems to amuse him.
I can feel his smile against my neck. He changes direction, moving down my body. The pace is utter torture and judging by the wicked curl of his lips, he’s enjoying every agonising second. He works his mouth from one side of my body to the next, inching down, down until he’s seriously close to my core. Oh god, I want him so badly.
“Please, please, Darius.” I don’t know what I’m begging for exactly. I only know I can’t take much more of this erotic torture.
“I know.” He lets out a breath that hits my molten centre, and I want to scream, but his tongue follows the cool air and silences me as an unbelievable sensation shoots through my entire body.
Oh, my God!
His lips suck and pull at the tender flesh, and his tongue has this perfect pressure sweeping long strokes from just near my clit to my entrance. He slips two fingers inside me, and my hips buck instantly. His other hand rests across my hips, clasping me in place. There’s no escaping this onslaught of unbelievable pleasure.
My core contracts greedily, grabbing at his fingers, which he pumps into me as a swell of pleasure rises from the tip of my toes, rolling through every nerve in my body, gathering momentum until, like an unstoppable giant wave of pure ecstasy, it breaks. My climax hits, and unrelenting he pushing me on and on, massaging a light circling motion with the pad of his thumb around my clit, building the pressure once more. This time, I scream loudly, with shock and wonder. I’m seeing stars, bright flashes behind my tightly squeezed lids.
“You’re so fucking beautiful.” He draws his lips between his teeth; his eyes darken with desire and they roll to the heavens when he sucks in the flavour of me coating his lips. That has to be the sexiest sight on the planet.
He holds my heated stare, his chest is heaving and matching my own ragged breathing.
“I need to get a condom, and we need to take this to the bed.” He lifts me in his arms. I’m still dazed from the body shaking orgasm, flopping against his chest as he carries me the short distance to my bed. He lays me carefully, even so, the ancient spring creaks with protest.
“Is this thing going to hold my weight?” He presses the mattress a few times. Concern crinkles his brow at the fresh level of noise. I shrug.
“It depends. Are you planning of high diving on to it?”
“I plan on diving, yes, not from any height, though.” He narrows his eyes at my snickering.
So I had a thought and who knows it may turn into a book or a series of short stories about why the best book genre is Romance. It’s a totally unbiased option, obviously, with years and years of research to back up my rock-solid hypothesis.
This is in no way a smut shaming exercise. I will staunchly and happily advocate the value of the genre, of its long history (Jane Ayre was a romance, as was Pride and Prejudice). Romance entertains, promotes literacy and community among readers (fierce and strong is the romance reader community and I’ll cut you if you tell me otherwise). Whether you read A Brief History of Time or The Hungry Catapillar if reading gives you pleasure you shouldn’t need to defend it…ever. And let’s not forget this golden nugget; the majority of romance books are written by women, for women, where the hero is the heroine and she always, always gets her Happily Ever After. #forthewin
Romance readers should never feel the need to justify their choice of books. And if ever you find yourself in that position, do what I do, retort with the sweetest smile and a brow raised high with judgment, and ask,
“What’s your problem with women and sex?”
No, I’m not going to add to this particular discussion.
I’m going to propose that the romance genre is actually an essential element for any relationship, a key-worker if you will.
What makes me such an expert I hear you ask? Since “because I said so” might not cut it with you and probably hasn’t done for a while, I will just say I’ve written 16 romance novels, (erotic romance, romantic suspense/thriller and rom/com), have sold over 250K books, which I know isn’t in the big leagues by any stretch but it’s not to be sniffed at and I have a very dusty bachelors degree in Communication. Enough? No, I agree, not remotely.
OK, how about I try to explain by way of my own personal experience. I have been married for over 30 years…yes I know, where’s my medal? I’m a grown-assed woman who knows the difference between the possessive sexy alpha hero and a crazy psycho-stalker in real life. I know the difference between being thrown up against a wall and ravaged to with an inch of your breast-heaving breathless life and assault. I know the difference between insta-love and insta-lust, I know the difference between the super hot billionaire in books and the actual billionaires (not mentioning any names….oh wait…Mark Zuck and Mr. Bezos ahem.) But in the books I and millions of others love and devour, the lines are not only a little blurry, but I’ll happily smug them out completely in order to fall head over heels in love with my next book boyfriend.
I often get asked, “I’d love to know what Daniel & Bethany are up to now.” But do you really? I don’t think so. It’s never a good idea to go back, visiting characters you’ve been through the mill with only to learn that Daniel does in fact leave the toilet seat up or that Bethany isn’t such a fan of anal. In order to go back, the drama would need to be re-introduced and in romance that can only mean one of three things: cheating, an illness/amnesia, or death, and frankly where’s the romance in that?
However, there have been many times when I’ve smirked, rolled an eye to the heavens at the impossibility of the bedroom gymnastics, or winced at the sheer stamina of both the hero and heroine. I’m just as guilty as a romance writer but do I care? Heck-to-the-no. Do I want to read that? Duh…yes, of course, I do.
So with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek, I want to explore a flip side, where reality meets romance. I don’t want to simply expose poorly written smut, which cloth can be hilarious I want o to create some fresh scenarios that need the reality treatment. I need some help though. I need to know the type of scenes that drive you crazy, that have you puzzled or incredulous, and while I’m at it, give me those words you can’t stand to.
Do you risk it? Whether it’s a book or an E-reader the risk of wet slippery hands is high. Or do you have one of those fancy stands that keeps your precious books and devices safe? I don’t. I risk it all, with a kindle in hand and a sometimes glass of wine, I lay back a read until the water gets chilly, then I’ll top it up with hot and stay there until a search and rescue team (I.e The Hubby) appears.
Do you highlight quotes from the books you read? I do, and words, some words are just so perfect. I’ve picked out just one favourite, from one of mine. Do you know which book it’s from?
“This isn’t fair.” His eyes pierce me, liquid lust and fire. His lips brush mine, and I tremble from tip to toe. He laughs against my mouth, withholding the soft sweet taste, and a small whimper escapes my throat. “I never said I was going to be fair. You know me,???, I plan to do whatever it takes. In fact, I can guarantee that I will be anything but fair. When it comes to you, I plan on being downright dirty.”
I took name out because that would be dead give away, although I think it’s fairly obvious 😉
It’s turned really cold here and not that I have a great many talents but this one also happens to coincide with today being National Hot Toddy Day so I thought I’d share two of my favourite hot toddies.
The first is s simple after-dinner drink. When I was a kid there were only Irish Coffees, which if you’re not a fan of whiskey sucks, now there’s all sort of variations and my favourite has Tia Maria, a little more coffee with my coffee.
The second is to help when I’m feeling all poorly and sorry for myself. It’s a medicinal hot blackcurrant drink with cassis and a sachet of the cold remedy packets you get at the pharmacy and yes, I know I probably shouldn’t combine the two, but I’m not drinking a whole bottle of cassis, its a single shot and if it makes me feel better and helps with a good night sleep…then mind yo business lol.
If you have a favourite, let me know. I’ll give it a try !
Even this question has me in a spin. Maybe my one resolution should be…try to be more decisive?
Okay then my one resolution is to try and give myself 15 minutes of quiet time a day, maybe try a little meditation. Even with zero productivity in the writing department, I seem to constantly have a head full of to-do’s and lists, not to mention the exhausting overthinking…see that’s another resolution right there, stop over-thinking. I’ll try that alongside the meditation, not at the same time obviously, falling at the first hurdle with those two.
I can’t remember if I made a resolution last year, if I did, it was most likely just hoping it would be an all-round better year, which I thought at the time was an improvement on loose weight, get fit, etc, but still, it didn’t really pan out.
Anyway, that’s mine, what’s yours?
I’m hoping to structure my time a little better, engage a little more, be more present and perhaps get this darn book finished…yes, I’m definitely going to do that. But first, the New Year, whatever you are planning, I hope you have the best time, with people you love and laugh with, resolutions or not enjoy yourself, and here’s to a fabulous 2022!
Bully Romance is a popular genre in romance although I haven’t written one myself, well I don’t think I have?
Why is it popular though if we all are, and rightly too, against bullying?
I’m okay reading all sorts of dubious scenarios because, for me, it’s fiction, escapism and I can distinguish between reality and fantasy.
For example, some of my dominant alphas are not only super hot but unreasonably demanding too, ‘hell yes’ they are I hear you say. Even so and equally from an alternate perspective, they could be considered stalker-ish and damn right arse-holes. And you know what? That’s fine too because it’s fiction.
I’m not going into the well-argued topic of ‘does *insert current media vehicle* lead to violence in society, because I don’t believe it does, we don’t live in a vacuum and as such context and environment equally impact a persons behaviour, just my opinion.
But I digress, this wasn’t supposed to be a lecture, just some ramblings because I got to thinking, when is behaviour considered bullying? When everything is subject to misinterpretation and especially not the internet it seems you can not have a rational discussion without being labelled as anti-this or an -ist.
There have been many mutterings about authors bullying other authors. I’ve seen the screenshots and I don’t doubt it happens. I don’t doubt the devastating effects on the victim and I personally think it’s disgusting. I wouldn’t knowingly support a Bully. But what if I didn’t know, what if I kept my head down, didn’t trawl the internet for gossip and fact check to make sure there was truth in the allegations. What if, blissfully unaware I saw a post from a fellow author I may have met, or just knew in passing for that matter, and I shared their new release post on my page, thinking I was supporting a fellow author and by doing that I was labelled a pro-bully bitch?
The fringe of this and not entirely unrelated is the accusation of some authors not supporting new authors, being perceived as elitist or ‘all-that’ because they might not follow-back, or share a post, or let someone post in their reader group. I honestly don’t think, this is the case with me, but it’s how my brain works. Always worrying what someone else is thinking.
The thing is, it’s hard to get visibility I get that. I’m by no means killing it, but I make a living. If someone reaches out and wants to post in my group, I’d let them. I really don’t have a problem. I won’t lie though, I only recommend books I’ve actually read, just because I owe it to my readers, to be honest. I don’t think that’s being elitist, I also don’t think that’s bullying a new author.
The same goes for newsletters. I sometimes feature sales form other authors, mostly ones I’v read or know but usually because I like to offer a bargain to my readers. I also think it’s a huge leap to assume my readers will love someone else work, which is why I don’t do newsletter swaps as a rule. Why on earth would someone that signed up to Author X’s newsletter want to read about me and my books? I learned this from a recent takeover on a well known authors Instagram. It’s a great experience but essentially, the followers on that page are there to see her posts…simple.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t share and I don’t post about other books, I do, it’s just, if I don’t it’s not for some ulterior mu-ha-ha evil plan to take over the romance world all on my own.
And the assumption that I know everything that’s going on, is a big one. I don’t, I barely know what day it is.
If you see me supporting a bully or a plagerist, let me know. It will be a mistake.
I’ve been pondering all things social media, the good, the bad, and the ‘what-the-ever-loving-hell-scary’.
Why now, I hear you ask?
Well, a very good question and the answer is Til-Tok.
When I started writing back in the day, 2014, I wasn’t on Facebook, didn’t want to be either but that really isn’t an option for an Indie author. I mean how the heck are people going to find you unless you are touting your wears on all social media platforms? Well, they will find you on Amazon once you’ve mastered ‘how to advertise’ that is…but that’s a tale for another day.
So off to Facebook I trundled adding an author page, reader group, and a personal page, alongside Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts, although this one I’ve really only recently started to use. And a website, obviously. Fair to say, I am well and truly Social Media’d up the kazoo.
Here’s the thing, all of the platforms are different and demand different content. As will, Til Tok and when would I find the time to write again? The time it takes to do my newsletter, FB posts, Instagram, etc, is enough. The only way I could handle adding more to my social media to-do list would be to hire a ghostwriter and that is NEVER going to happen. Something has to give, no?
Besides, I have to ask, what’s the point? There is only so much content, only so much of me, I can give, and even that isn’t particularly interesting. I sincerely doubt me dancing around with a book in my hand making a tit of myself will entice someone to hop on over to Amazon and buy a book. Maybe it will, but I happen to think it’s more likely it will lead to a screenshot and some embarrassment later down the line when the truth is exposed and people realise I’m not remotely vivacious, vibrant and an oh-so-interesting individual and I am in fact a bit of a recluse with a filthy mind and an inappropriate sense of humour.
I’m not going to be venturing on to Til -Tok, in case you were wondering. I am grateful for Facebook, I am grateful that I met readers that are now friends. I am actually very grateful for that, Shannon, Susan and Patty, you probably have no idea.
To wrap up, if you are here, reading this, or are stalking in any capacity, rest assured you aren’t missing anything from me. It’s all here.
If you want to see me make a tit of myself, you’ll have to come to a signing and get me drunk 😉