Monday, June 8, 2015

The Danger of Laurels

With Guest Blogger Laurie Alice Eakes

Photo Credit: Crestock/norbert9

In classical times, the laurel wreath was given to athletes as a symbol victory. Since then, the word laurels has come to mean a reaching a victory, an accomplishment in one’s life. For us authors, that usually means getting “The Call”, that longed for, hoped for, often despaired of moment when you know your carefully crafted words are going to become a book people can buy.

But what happens when you try to rest on those laurels?
           
“Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Almost four and a half years ago, I began my Seekerville post entitled “Risky Business” like this:

“When we’re children, we think we can do anything—fly, become rock stars, have all the power in the world once we’re adults. Then we become adults and our wings fall off, we’re too shy to get behind a microphone, let alone in front of a crowd and sing, and we realize that being an adult only means more responsibilities and an understanding of how little power we have. We tell ourselves that dreams are only for those who sleep and sleeping gets no one anywhere. In short, we become averse to taking risks.”
And I included this famous quote:

“Twenty Years from now You will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the things that you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
explore. Dream. Discover.”
~~Mark Twain~~



Since I had just seen my sixth book published, my first mainstream, I was more giving advice to new writers than myself. Yet over the subsequent four plus years, I have come to realize that, as authors, we never stop taking risks, for if we do, we fade into the background, which is not where a writer wants to reside. Nope. The only thing we want to do with backgrounds is that which effects our characters—but that’s another post on craft.

Here I’m talking about not simply (OK, not so simply) taking the risks of admitting to others you want to be a writer, writing a manuscript, sending it into the world to seek its fortune. I’m talking about maintaining that edge, about not resting on your laurels, but keeping them fresh.

“Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

I should have known better. I grew up in Michigan and learned the risks of cold. I learned to love the cold, but it’s like the sea—beautiful, fun, and dangerous. Yet I paused to rest. Okay, I was a little arrogant. After all, I’d gotten contracts for thirteen books in a thirteen month period.

Except things didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up canceling the contracts on three of those books for reasons with which I won’t bore you, but which did turn out well in the end. I was a writing fool for months, years. I finaled in some important contests.

And I stopped paying attention to the market. After all, I had a lot of contracts. I even got a few more, one with my dream publisher writing the sort of books I’d dreamed of writing.

And I was dozing off in the cold world of changing times, technology, and market forces.

The world for historical novels was dwindling. Too many books, backlist titles, were available cheap and even free. Interest in a time period I’d staked my career on was dwindling further . . .

Like the clump of snow that dowsed the fire of the man who had used his last match in that Jack London story, my fire was extinguished. I’d rested on my laurels to keep getting me contracts, and they, like the mint I can’t grow, had died, dried up, and blown away. I could use a lot of excuses like having to move twice in one year, and I mean move hundreds of miles. My mother’s chemo failed and she went into hospice and subsequently died, losing me my biggest fan. Life was just difficult.

That cold snowball down the back of my neck also woke me up. Life would always be difficult. I was either going to do this job or find another career.

And that has necessitated looking back, reading my own words about this being a risky business, and taking steps to change my attitude and my career trajectory.

“A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for.”
John A. Shedd



Risk 1: When my agent, a wonderful professional who stood by me when I thought I would never succeed and sold a lot of books for me, and I disagreed on what I wanted to do next, I had to let her go. That hurt personally as well as professionally.

Risk 2: I had to approach other agents. I picked the two I had always admired and respected the most besides my own. Both offered to represent me.

Risk 3: Choosing which one. I’d made so many mistakes this frightened me a little. (I have no doubt in my heart that I made the right decision, which is not a dis to the other.)

Risk 4: My lovely agent and I persuaded Harper Collins Christian Publishing to let me write a contemporary women’s fiction/romance for the third book in my contract instead of another Regency. The Mountain Midwife comes out in December. The heroine is a descendant of the hero and heroine in my third historical midwife book Choices of the Heart.



Risk 5:

“I like to be able to present myself in two or three different ways because I've never really wanted to rest on my laurels and be something that people expected.”
Bryan Adams


In another month, Laurie Alice Eakes will celebrate ten years since she received “The Call”. Her twenty-first book, A Stranger’s Secret, A Cliffs of Cornwall Novel Bk#2,  released in April. One day, she hopes to say her one hundred and twenty-first novel just released.

When she isn’t researching and writing, she’s reading, spending time with her husband, going for walks if the temperature isn’t too hot in Texas for her northern blood, and finding creative ways to get out of housework and/or cooking.

You can find her on Twitter @LaurieAEakes, on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurieeakes or read excerpts from her books at http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com


Missy, here. Laurie Alice will be giving away a copy of A Stranger's Secret today! Please leave a comment letting us know you'd like to be entered.

As a grieving young widow, Morwenna only wants a quiet life for herself and her son. Until a man washes ashore, entangling her in a web of mystery that could threaten all she holds dear.
Lady Morwenna Trelawny Penvenan indulged in her fair share of dalliances in her youth, but now that she's the widowed mother to the heir of the Penvenan title, she's desperate to polish her reputation. When she's accused of deliberately luring ships to crash on the rocks to steal the cargo, Morwenna begins an investigation to uncover the real culprits and stumbles across an unconscious man lying in the sea's foam—a man wearing a medallion with the Trelawny crest around his neck.
The medallion is a mystery to David Chastain, a boat builder from Somerset. All David knows is that his father was found dead in Cornwall with the medallion in his possession after lying and stealing his family's money. And he knows the widow who rescued him is impossibly beautiful—and likely the siren who caused the shipwreck in the first place—as well as the hand behind whoever is trying to murder David.
As Morwenna nurses David back to health and tries to learn how he landed on her beach, suspicion and pride keep their growing attraction at bay. But can they join together to save Morwenna's name and estate and David’s life? Can they acknowledge the love they are both trying to deny?

98 comments :

  1. Laurie Alice, thanks so much for being with us and sharing this inspiring post!

    I've put on a pot of decaff for those of us stopping by late tonight. :)

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  2. Hi Laurie Alice. Good for you on taking the risks that you have taken. Taking a risk can sometimes end poorly but it sounds like things are working out just fine for you.

    I would love to win a copy of your book.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  3. I'm honored to be here today. I'll be in and out all day, so if you have a question, feel free to ask.

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  4. Laurie, thanks for being here and thank you for sharing a good lesson learned. This is a brewing business, a daily soup pot of change and part of our job is to watch the pot... and figure out if carrots or leeks would suit today's mix better.

    You showed this so well!

    And I keep hearing Women's Fiction is coming back with a vengeance, so maybe you started a trend! Good for you!

    Ruthy

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  5. Hi Laurie, Great post and reminder that we do need to hang in there. Welcome to Seekerville today and thanks for sharing with us.

    It is always so inspiring to hear the journey others take in this crazy business. It is encouraging to know we aren't all going to be doing exactly the same thing and that God moves us each in our own way. smile

    What an encouragement you provided for us today.

    Congratulations on your release. How exciting.

    Have fun today.

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  6. We can dump the coffee Missy brought last night. We need the real thing this morning.

    I have a pot of steaming Chocolate Velvet and for Starbuck fans I made a pot of brew that is so strong a spoon will stand up in it. (Learned how to make that while in Spain-smile)

    Hey Ruthy, have you are your little ones been baking this morning? I bet we can sneak in and grab something sweet.

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  7. Thanks for reminding us this is a changing world—change can be scary, it can be a good thing and it can throw you for a loop if you don't stay on top of things.

    That happened in photography when digital cameras hit the market. It seemed like overnight, but the rumblings started years before. What happened overnight was the expensive film cameras we all had were suddenly a dime a dozen. Ouch!

    I can't see that happening 'suddenly' in book genre, but it certainly never hurts to keep your head up.

    I like woman's fiction, probably one of my favorite genres, which to me is a good story first and foremost, with a little romance and intrigue sprinkled in. :-)

    Love your book cove!, Please drop my name in the pot for a chance to win a copy. :-)

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  8. Hi Laurie,
    Great post! And congrats on your 21st book. That's huge. Your post was scary and exciting at the same time. Thanks for sharing. And I would love to be put in the drawing.

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  9. Good morning, Laurie! Writing is an ever-changing journey, isn't it? I wonder how many of us will be writing five or ten years from now in the same genre that we are today? Many of us may be reinventing ourselves depending on the changing market and our publisher's preferences--and how God leads. What did you enjoy most about writing the women's fiction book? What were the challenges?

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  10. I'm so sorry about your mom. And what an incredible post. So honest, so accurate. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey and your mother certainly raised a smart, savvy fighter. Can't wait to read your new book!

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  11. Laurie, Thank you for the encouraging words this morning. I definitely struggle with taking the risks I need in my writing career. Congrats on your new release. Please put me into the drawing for it.

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  12. Sandra, thanks for the new coffee, fully leaded! :)

    I"m with Glynna. I'd love to know what you enjoyed most about writing the contemporary.

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  13. Mary Hicks, that's really an interesting point about the dawn of digital cameras. That industry has definitely changed.

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  14. Loraine, it really can be a struggle for those of us who don't do change or take risks easily.

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  15. Laurie, I'm sorry about your mother. I lost my mom five years ago when she lost her three year battle with lung cancer. My biggest regret is that I didn't pursue my writing dreams sooner. Mom would have been my biggest cheerleader!

    Thanks for the inspiring, honest post. It takes courage to take risks, but it takes even more courage to share our trials and tribulations along the way. As an "author-in-waiting," I appreciate your openness.

    I am participating in a pitch contest with Harlequin's Love Inspired line at the moment. The full is due to the editor by July 15th, but life keeps jumping in the way of my writing time. I'm horribly behind, but I'm not about to give up. After all, here at Seekerville this is the year of No Limits!

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  16. I'm not even going to tell you what pops in my mind first when I hear the word laurels. It goes back to my childhood. Ha!

    Your new book cover is beautiful. I hope you have much success as you take risks and continue your journey.

    Thanks for sharing today.

    Rhonda, thanks for the reminder. #NoLimits!

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  17. Rhonda, I'm so sorry about your mother, too.

    Keep plugging away on the pitch contest entry!! You can finish!! There's nothing sweeter than typing The End. I sometimes cry when I type those words. :)

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  18. Jackie, I, too, love her covers!

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  19. Laurie Alice, so good to see you in Seekervile again. You always share such thoughtful words of wisdom.

    Resting on laurels is so easy to do. As my uncle used to say, when you rest, you rust.

    This writing business is more competitive than we imagine. No one will champion you if you don't champion yourself. Good for you for following the market and reinventing yourself. I love your historicals, I know I'll love your contemporaries.

    Thanks for joining us today!!

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  20. Mary Hicks, great comparison to photography! I loved my film cameras, but nothing beats the easy of slipping in SD cards...

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  21. Loraine, I'm with you. Taking risks gives me hives as well as muddling my brain with yet another thing to add to my to-do list.

    Laurie Alice, did you have a contemporary story milling around in the back of your mind, or did you see the times changing and then search for an idea?

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  22. Welcome back to Seekerville, Laurie Alice! Loved your inspiring post! And especially the quotes. Wow, each one is powerful. As is your perseverance during really hard times in your personal life.

    Congratulations on your new adventure into Women's Fiction. Mountain Midwife is an intriguing title that pulls me in. Love that you tied the contemp to one of your historicals. What are you doing to bring your readers along to your new genre?

    I love writing Americana/cowboy historical romances. Hope they don't go away. But, like you say, we've got to stay aware of the business end of writing.

    Janet

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  23. Well, I'm a fan of anything Laurie Alice Eakes writes so I'll follow her book trail anywhere! Just purchased The Stranger's Secret so don't enter me in the draw.

    And once again, I'm amazed at how changeable this book publishing industry is. I always thought that once you got that coveted first contract everything was smooth sailing. No more risks or fears or hard decisions to make. LOL. Obviously I was very wrong.

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  24. Audra, your uncle's quote is perfect for the post!

    Janet

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  25. Welcome back to Seekerville, Laurie Alice! Being willing to take risks is a given these days, although it's not the easiest thing to do. Writers have to be brave not just write well!

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  26. Rhonda, with that attitude, you'll make the deadline for the HQ pitch contest! Wishing you all the best with it.

    I lost both of my parents before I got The Call. They always believed I would be published and that faith in me still means so much. I want to pass that on to my kids and grandkids.

    Janet

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  27. Thank you for all the great responses here. I love the quote for your uncle, Audra. Mary, the photography thing is interesting and not something I thought about. I wonder if something was lost with film photographers had to process with so much care.

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  28. What did I like about writing a contemporary women's fiction?... Hmm... Well, although I had to do a ton of research, it was a whole lot easier. For one thing, I got to interview real people, which was just awesome. Juliana Fehr, a midwife of many years and director of the nurse-midwifery program at Shenandoah University in Virginia, was hugely helpful. She's a special lady. And just the writing was easier. Words kind of flowed out because I didnt have to keep stopping to ensure that word was used at that time. I also just liked knowing my setting. It's a made up town, but based on a couple of real towns. I could also include real locations I know well. And then we have the characters. I didn't have to constantly filter emotions and reactions through a historical cultural filter, but understand the cultures in which these people live having lived among all the types of people who people the pages.

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  29. I am sorry my grandmother died before I was published. She was an avid reader. I used to stay with her on weekends even through college, because I just loved her, and we would just hang out and read. I come from a huge family of readers. Or a family of huge readers, maybe, and now writers. My sister writes for a whomeschooling publication and her children's library blog, and my niece has written an arti history book for home schoolers.

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  30. How do I intend to draw my historical readers forward? Last year at the RWA conference, I attended a workshop by Joan Johnston, who has done this and got some ideas. One she said was have the families the same. I did that, bringing in descendants of both the midwife series and my Cliffs of Cornwall series. The setting is also the same as the third midwife historical, Choices of the Heart. That, too, helps. And when I start seriously marketing the new book, I will probably do a lot of giveaways of the historical midwife books with The Mountain Midwife to make the draw together. I am open for other suggestions.

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  31. Janet, I doubt cowboy books will ever go out of style. They have been a favorite American reader read for a hundred years and longer. That's not likely to fade. Historical romance will rise again. I have seen it rise and fall since I met my first group of writers twenty five years ago and started reading about the market and listening to them.

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  32. Hi Laurie Alice. Welcome to Seekerville. I applaud your bravery, and also your vision for your own writing.

    These days being 'branded' is so accepted. And heaven's knows I am (but I'm lucky to be branded in something I really love writing). It's really hard to break out of the mold. It takes courage. Good for you.

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  33. Laurie Alice, I love historical romances and it's hard to accept that I'm not trendy. LOL

    Fun to see that writing a contemporary was easier in a lot of ways. My concern for writing in the present is that I'm not hip. Just that term dates me. LOL

    Janet

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  34. Hello Laurie Alice! Thank for this encouraging post. Perseverance pays off in the end.

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  35. What a journey, Laurie Alice. Thanks for giving us a peek inside your heart.

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  36. Wonderful post, Laurie! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! I'll do my best to remember these words of wisdom. I love your comment telling what you liked about writing a contemporary!

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  37. Interesting post. I don't have any laurels to rest on, but your advice can apply to starting the process, too. Please enter me in the drawing.

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  38. Great post. Love all the quotes, especially this one...

    “Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.”

    So true! :)

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  39. Dana, so good to see you here. Doesn't Laurie's books sound wonderful. I love the premise of A Stranger's Secret. So intriguing! :)

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  40. Loraine, I'm going to side down right beside you because risks terrify me too. I'd be the one with my ship sitting in the harbor. Sigh. Once I hit SEND (as opposed to dropping off a proposal at the PO like we used to do), I'm good. But when my shaking finger is hovering over that SEND button, it's like launching my ship with a storm brewing off the coast line. SCARY!

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  41. Cheering you on, Rhonda! You can do this. :)

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  42. Laurie, that makes sense about being easier to write not having to worry about the time period filter.

    How cool about your sister and niece writing! I keep telling my sister to try her hand at mysteries.

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  43. Janet, I'm sure you'd do fine with contemporary. But I love your historical voice!

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  44. Pam, I'm the same way about hovering over the send button! LOL

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  45. Laurie I love the image of you spending weekends with your grandma to sit together and read. What a special time. I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents also. I miss them.

    And I would bet she is still rooting for your writing from her special place in heaven. smile

    Blessings

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  46. Rhonda, Best wishes on the pitch contest. Those are really great practice for getting that down.

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  47. Look at what you've accomplished in ten years, Laurie! Congrats! In spite of those tough times. Moves and losing your mother within the same year. Don't know how you could write anything! God's gentle touch, no doubt, carried you through that darkness.

    I'm sure separating from your agent was difficult. Change is always hard. Especially so when you've had a working relationship with someone for so long.

    This is my tenth year. I'm reflecting on where I've been and where the Lord wants me to walk in the future. He's giving me some interesting insights. It is a watershed moment for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the risks you've taken.

    Hugs!

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  48. Laughing about your inability to grow mint. I can't get it to stop growing! LOL! Shall I send you some?

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  49. Hi Laurie:

    I've lived a long life without ever knowingly hearing or reading the word "Morwenna". When I heard the name used on the "Doc Martin" tv show a few weeks ago, I could not understand what the actors were saying. Then I read the blurb for "A Stranger's Secret" and saw the word written. I looked up the name and it means 'waves of the sea' in Welsh.

    To solve my curiosity, will you tell us how you came up with that name? Is there anyone else out there in Seekerland who had never heard of this name before now?

    BTW: I'm currently taking a Blurb Writing course from Laurie Schnebly and the blurb for "A Stranger's Secret" is excellent. It makes me want to read the book. However, I believe that there is a small problem with this part of the blurb:

    "And he knows the widow who rescued him is impossibly beautiful—and likely the siren who caused the shipwreck in the first place—as well as the hand behind whoever is trying to murder David."

    I had to reread the above sentence a few times because if 'he' was trying to find out who was trying to murder 'David', I had to figure out who David was. His father? Was there a second David somewhere? Does the character refer to himself by his first name?

    I'd rewrite this as:

    "And David knows the widow who rescued him is impossibly beautiful—and likely the siren who caused the shipwreck in the first place—as well as the hand behind whoever is trying to murder him."

    I wouldn't mention this except we need to find some blurbs for homework that we could improve. That part of my homework assignment is now checked off. : )

    I still would love to read the book.
    Please put me in the drawing (without prejudice). : ))

    Vince

    P.S. "If you don't rest on your laurels, your horse will eat them."

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  50. I love your books. Would love to win. jrs362 at hotmail dot com

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  51. Hi Laurie Alice,

    You've given us all a great reminder to never stop reaching for the next thing God has for us. And kudos for taking the risks to keep your career flourishing!

    Thanks for the great post!

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  52. Welcome back to Seekerville, Laurie Alice. This is a wake-up call we all need. This industry may seem to move slowly but complacency can mean career death. Be a pretzel is my motto!

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  53. Vince, I hadn't heard the name either.

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  54. Vince, I first read the name Morwenna many years ago when I read the Poldark series by Winston Graham. PBS made a series out of the books and now are redoing it. It intrigued me, and it means maiden or pure.

    you can send your compliments and complaint about the blurb to my publisher. I don't write my own blurbs. I'm not even given the choice to. :-)

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  55. Janet, I don't consider myself hip either. Far from it. I even use historical words others don't understand. But it's easy to find hip things online and then, I did write about a young woman in the mountains in an old-fashioned profession which is, ironically, getting quite hip.

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  56. Rhonda, I apologize for forgetting to congratulate you on how far you've gotten in the LI pitch contest.

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  57. I want to share that I had this post half written, came back to my computer and foundmy cat lying on my desk facing the keyboard with his paw on the keyboard. He had typed--and in two different places--zzzzzzzzzzzzz. I wish I had taken a picture. So I started all over again.

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  58. Cheering you on from Georgia, Rhonda!!!

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  59. Thirteen books contracted in thirteen months? Wow! That must have been a heady experience. I can see why you were tempted to rest on your laurels.

    Kudos on your many successes. I wish you the best on your new release.

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  60. Nice Laurels. Looking forward to the ones to come.
    Vanessa Riley

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  61. Hey, Vanessa, thanks for stopping by.

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  62. Thanks for leaving a comment, Coffee-Girl. Decaf or regular? :)

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  63. Great lessons, Laurie. Congratulations on over twenty books! I have a lot of them. What a monumental task, but obviously one you love. And cute kitty story. If we could only employ our critters. Think of the insight we're missing, lol.

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  64. Laurie Alice, your productivity is amazing. How do you manage so many contracts and so much writing?

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  65. When the first rush of contracts came in, I had four deadlines in one year. We moved from Virginia to Texas that year, and for the first half, my husband was in law school and managing editor of his law journal, so was never home. That helped--being alone about 14 hours a day and no meals to prep for him. Then, because of his government job, we ended up in a not particularly friendly city on the Mexican border for 3.5 years, so I had a lot of time to work. Here in Houston, working is harder. I hae many more distractions and my husband isn't gone so many hours a day.

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  66. I keep thinking about what many people sad at the RWA conference last year--books sell books. I am working hard to restore my momentum and increase my productivity once more.

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  67. My goodness, risk-taking has served you well! As to changing genres, I've followed several authors from historical to contemporary.At least one of them had descendants of the historical in the contemporary. Reading that gave me more encouragement for my stories :-)

    Wishing you all the best. That cover is lovely, very evocative.

    Nancy C

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  68. Congrats on book 21! Here's praying your momentum rolls onward ;) would love to read this story, so please toss my name in the drawing bowl!

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  69. Laurie that's so funny about the cat! We'll probably not funny at the time. :) My cat typed some in my document recently too. Luckily I saw it happen!

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  70. Nancy C It's cool that you've seen it done with authors you read. I really like the idea of taking historical characters into a contemporary as descendants.

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  71. Thank you, Nancy, for the encouragement that my readers will follow me forward in time. Sarah, I'm happy the book looks intriguing. I tend to write mystery into all my stories. Probably because I grew up reading gothic novels.

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  72. Thanks for this post, Laurie Alice! I love your books and would read almost anything you wrote! But this is a great reminder that we must always keeping improving and moving forward!
    Cheers,
    Sue

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  73. Good evening, Laurie Alice.

    I read your post this morning but haven't had a chance to get back to comment before now. I don't know if you recall, but we met several times at RWA in San Antonio last year.

    First things first, I'm so sorry about your mom. I'll keep you all in my prayers.

    Also, congrats on the reinventing part of this post. How brave you are.

    My question is about this part of your post:

    "The world for historical novels was dwindling. Too many books, backlist titles, were available cheap and even free. Interest in a time period I’d staked my career on was dwindling further "

    Could you expound on that at all? I'm curious because, as you mentioned in a comment, historicals have come in and out of favor over the last many years. But just yesterday I read an article in the RWR about the comeback of American historicals. So I'm curious. Did you find it a problem specifically with Regency or historicals in general?

    Best wishes for much success in your new career trajectory.

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  74. Hi Laurie:

    So sorry!
    So far I'm batting .000!
    Yesterday Ruth had such a lyrical blurb I just assumed a professional copywriter wrote it. Found out Ruth wrote it herself. Today I thought an over worked, deadline driven, author wrote that blurb but instead it was a professional copywriter.

    Oy vey!

    I really need to stick to this blurb writing course.

    Please come back when your Midwife book comes out. I pretty much read all the Midwife books that come to Seekerville. (One of the books I'm reading right now is the wonderful historical, "The Midwife's Revolt".

    Vince

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  75. Laurie Alice, great to see you in Seekerville. I will always remember the day I met you during RWA Nationals in Atlanta.

    Your productivity is amazing.

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  76. Laurie Alice, Thanks for sharing your insights into the aspects of publishing and your continued journey.

    I love series that span generations and love the idea that you've brought your different historical series together in your story about one of the descendants.

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  77. By the way, I gasped and swallowed my gum on this line: "After all, I’d gotten contracts for thirteen books in a thirteen month period."

    WOWZA!!! AMAZING. Incomprehensibly amazing.

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  78. So true, Tina. I re-read that line a few times to make sure it wasn't just pre-coffee brain fog making me think it said 13 books in 13 months!

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  79. Thank you, Susan. I am glad you like my books and hope I keep ma,ing you happy to read them.

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  80. Walt, yes, we met in Atlanta, and I've known your name before then from ACFW lists and stuff. I hope the writing is doing well. I remember you were writing about old Japan.

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  81. Mary, I know you, yes, and from FB, too. Mostly the Regency time period is fading away. It started in the CBA few years ago. The CBA follows the ABA by a few years, in general. Historical sales are down in general. Right now, I personally see a huge gap between secular and Christian, esp. in the non American fields. ABA books are pretty steamy, to the point I won't read many authors any more I used to read. The CBA is a little restrained in many ways. Having English people drinking lemonade or, worse, water, just goes beyond the pale for me. It's too historical inaccurate. And I could go on. I think there's a lot of room in-between--not necessarily inspirational, but clean.

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  82. To be fair, seven of those thirteen books were short--three to Barbour Heartsong and four to Avalon. I never sent the other three to Avalon because they wanted full manuscripts before they'd pay my advance. I disagreed, so we canceled the contract on three. When the Snow Flies is now owned by Amazon/Montlake and doing pretty well. Mortlake bought out Avalon. They also have my first book, Family Guardian, which is a clean Regency.

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  83. Dreams are about risk taking. I'm so glad you wrote about risk.
    Angie

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  84. What a great day today! I'm sorry I was only in and out. I was away from home most of the day.

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  85. Laurie, Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. I love the fact that your cat typed the zzzzz
    as he/she slept. Usually I'm the one that types the zzzz or any other letter when I fall asleep and land face down on the computer. I have added quite a few pages to my manuscript!

    I've never heard of "Morwenna." But it rhymes with "Edwina" so I like the name. There are very few "Edwina's" around, even less "Morwenna's," I'm sure.

    Please add my name to the list for the drawing - your book sounds fascinating!

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  86. Thank you, Laurie, for this great post. I love the Mark Twain quotation. Please add my name to your drawing!

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  87. Thank you for stopping by, Edwina. I have never met a Morwenna, and I knew a little girl in Sunday school years ago named Edwina and thought how much she sounded like a Victorian heroine--um, that's a good thing for me. :-)

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  88. Thank you to Missy and the other Seekervillians for allowing me to take over one of their posts this week. It has been an honor and a blessing.

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  89. Please enter me for the giveaway. Love your books!

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  90. Enjoyed the post today!
    please enter me into the giveaway, I'd love to read your book.

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  91. LAURIE ALICE!! I am soooo sorry I am soooo late, but you will understand, my friend -- I moved this week!! Hundredths of miles, and it's only the first of two moves, just like you. :)

    But this is such a rich, encouraging blog, that I just had to leave a comment, although you may not be responding to comments anymore since your day for blogging her is over.

    You quoted, "“Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.” Percy Bysshe Shelley

    LOL ... this made me laugh, so thank you for a MUCH needed smile! :)

    You also quoted: "“Twenty Years from now You will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the things that you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. explore. Dream. Discover.”
    ~~Mark Twain~~

    WOW, I love this quote, but then I love, LOVE Mark Twain, so it rang my chimes with SUCH truth!!

    Thank you for this encouraging post -- perfect timing for me, my friend! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  92. Thank you for your post. I read A Lady's Honor and A Stranger's Secret and loved them. Looking forward to your new book.

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  93. Julie, so glad you made it, even late. I like to pop in a few days later to catch people who aren't right on the day of the posting, since I often don't make it to posts right away myself. Blessings on your move. Moving is right up there with death and financial collapse in stressers. So glad the post helped you and gave you a smile.

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  94. Becky, thank you for stopping by. I'm happy you enjoyed my Cornwall books. I am hopeful that, in the not too distant future, I can write Drake's story to round out the family and fully redeem the grandparents. The Mountain Midwife comes out just in time for a stocking stuffer. :-)

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