Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The conference season is upon us

Whenever I say "conference season" I automatically think of the first book in my Fatal Writers' Conference series. So here's the obligatory link to it  8)

I saw a brief tweet from someone who said, "RT and RWA [two major conferences] also force me to balance the green-eyed monster with politeness."

How right she is! When you go to a conference and see other people who started at the same time you did, and how successful they are, it's hard not to be jealous. I'm not talking about the Big Names: most of them are coasting on their success now, relying on their name to sell a book.

Nope, it's the other folks who make me stop and think. I always have to back up and remember: I'm doing this because I want to do it. No one is forcing me to write a book. No one is forcing me to submit it for publication. I'm doing this because [drum roll] I ENJOY DOING IT.

Once I remind myself of that, life settles back down again.

Man. You'd think I'd learn, wouldn't you?

And speaking of conferences: I'm off to Malice Domestic tomorrow in Washington D.C. I'm looking forward to it -- my first mystery conference of the year! I'll try to post an update on Saturday, if I get the chance.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Look at this -- a new book!

I'm trying out a new thing here -- I got pinged by Amazon to set up this "Associates" program whereby if you buy the book from Amazon by clicking my link here, I get a cut of the profits. So why not? I'll give it a try.

My 15th book in 3 years. Wow. That sounds impressive, even to me... until you think that my goal was to be "The Nora Roberts of E-publishing". That means I'm just about on track. Nora puts out about 5 print books a year, so yeah, I guess I'm just about on par with her (in terms of quantity. I won't comment on quality and I'm pretty damn sure I'm not on a par with her in terms of money earned).

Oh well.

I've bee so swamped at my Real Job that I haven't had time to really think about this release, but I don't feel any pressure to get out there an promote (promote Porno -- say that fast a few times!) I'll be talking about this book most of the summer because it really is one of my favorites. Of course, I say that about a lot of my books, but this one is unique.

So welcome, 15th book! So glad you could join us.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I'm visiting my Mom this weekend. It's her birthday (91) and I wanted to share it with her.

Thoughts on this auspicious date:

People have gone out of their way to acknowledge her big day. This is a benefit of having an intimate circle of friends and acquaintances who are willing to go out of their way to do that. I am lucky to have seen this.

The people here at the facility where she lives now (assisted living) are all making the best of their lot. No one is grumpy, annoyed, or angry. None of them want to be here but all have a universal "well, I'm stuck with this so let's make the best of it" attitude. I want to be like them when I grow up.

A nice place is live is crucial. Buddy the social worker dog wanders the hall, there's a nifty patio nearby where we have our before-dinner drinks, and there's a nice, quiet meadow outside.

More thoughts will come as I continue to watch Mom experience aging. These just struck me on this, her auspicious day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This is what it means to be "deadline driven"

BIG deadlines at my day job. I'm a writer (ha, surprise), and we have a major release coming up (software). We're at that point in the process where the programmers are giving me changes for the documentation because it's really better at this point to change the docs, not the code.

Today one of our tools used to produce the help totally threw me for a curve. I found a MAJOR bug -- 36 hours before I have to turn in my help files to production!

::deep breath::

Yes, it will all turn out okay. I have tonight & tomorrow to make it right. And to be honest -- they'll probably change the damn release date. They always do.

You know what I did to get through my brief moment of panic? I made up a list of all the things I want to do when I retire. I'm going to revisit it every now and then. I'm just going to close my eyes and think, "Hmm. I have all the time in the world. What should I do today?"

Pleasant dreams!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

And the Magic 8-ball has spoken

My 3-book series will stay with Wild Rose.


On the one hand, this simplifies my life -- I get to work with the editor I know (and love) and I get to work with a known publisher.

On the other hand: maybe I should have branched out. Maybe I should have tried New York with these books. BUT -- and it's a big one -- publishing is changing rapidly. Being published with NY is no longer the tried & true measure of success. So maybe I'm in the right place.

Either way: I'm there for another year.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ah, the future. Murky it is...

I've hit a potential detour with one of my publishers that has me in a bit of a quandry.

My mysteries are with Wild Rose Press but the latest books I submitted to my editor -- a 3 book series -- was rejected because it was a series. Apparently TWRP doesn't want to do a series.

This has me flummoxed. I can understand them not wanting to do a series with an unknown author, but I submitted all 3 books (finished), my editor loved them all, and the Senior Editor loved them. It's just that they're not 'quite right' for the publisher.

I view this as a chance for the publisher to branch out, but maybe it's going to be my chance to branch out. Maybe this is the kick in the butt I need to try for a New York contract and 'move on'.

I spoke with the publisher last night and explained that I've enjoyed my tenure with them, but this might mean I can't be with them in the future. I know I've been a good earner for them and I'm not trying to browbeat them into keeping me if it's truly against company policy. But i think they're being short-sighted.

I love reading a series because I invest something in the characters and hate it when a book ends. I want to know 'what happens next'. I don't think I'm the only one.

It'll be interesting to see what shakes out. I'll have some editing to do if they buy the books (nothing earth-shaking, but more than I normally do, I suspect) and if they don't, I'll have to start polishing up my query letters. Either way...

it will be interesting.