The Coulson Series—It’s about the Women

iStock 000030598112Small The Coulson Series—It’s about the WomenAuthors are often asked how we go about writing a book—do we have the story mapped out in our head—outlined on paper—or do we simply start with a blank page and see where our muse takes us. For many writers we do have the story mapped out, yet that doesn’t mean we always end up at the intended destination. It’s not uncommon for some unseen force to seize control and take us in an entirely different—yet deliberate—direction.

I didn’t fully realize The Coulson Series was really about the women—not until I completed the last book in the series, Coulson’s Reckoning. It became clear to me; it had always been about the women.

I’ve been asked by some readers if Coulson’s Reckoning is the final book in the series, to which I respond, we’ll see. Someday I’d like to tell the story of Sarah and Hannah, yet they have some growing up to do.

As for the women, we start with Mary Ellen from Coulson’s Wife. While the book has garnered favorable reviews, several reviewers questioned Mary Ellen’s actions—suggesting an independent woman of the 1920s would not have made her choices.

I strongly disagree with that assertion. Even in 2014 we hear too often of seemingly capable, independent and intelligent women trapped in abusive relationships. Therefore, if we go back almost a hundred years, in Mary Ellen’s time, how much power did a woman who had no friends, no family support and no money really have? Sure there were some independent women from the 1920s who dared to defy social conventions, notably flappers—which Mary Ellen was not.

In Randall’s defense, he was not an abusive husband—really no more demanding than other men from his era. One reviewer called him selfish, but considering the mindset from that time, it really was a man’s world. He cared for Mary Ellen, took care of his family and loved as best as he could. Perhaps we’d like to reinvent history and reality and believe a spunky woman could live whatever life she truly wanted—but even now that goal is often unattainable.

The Mary Ellen at the end of Coulson’s Wife is a very different woman from the obedient daughter who agreed to marry Randall Coulson. Perhaps she didn’t achieve the degree of liberation some readers wanted—I sincerely believe her choices were realistic for her time and circumstance.

In my opinion someone who sincerely believes it is more plausible that a woman from 1920 would defy social convention to achieve personal happiness doesn’t have a grasp on reality—or historical accuracy.

Yes, we’ve come a long way baby, but we haven’t quite got there, and neither have the women from The Coulson Series. However, they are evolving, with each generation facing their own challenges and each finding her own unique voice.

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Order of The Coulson Series

Coulson Series Order 1024x308 Order of <i>The Coulson Series</i>

According to the search terms used to find this site, a number of our visitors wanted to know the order of the books in The Coulson Series. I hope they found the answers they were looking for – but just in case future visitors come looking for that information I’ve added numbers to the book covers in the above photo to illustrate the order. Or, they can simply read the rest of this blog post.

The chronological order of the books are as follows:

1. Coulson’s Wife
2. Coulson’s Crucible
3. Coulson’s Lessons
4. Coulson’s Secret
5. Coulson’s Reckoning

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Authors Misbehaving or Karma comes a calling…

dreamstime xs 26401805 Authors Misbehaving or Karma comes a calling…Many independently published authors (aka indies) dream of being approached by a respectable trade publisher and offered a deal. I don’t fall in that category–but that has more to do with where I am in life than the dream itself. I simply want to continue earning an income doing what I love–broadening my reader base without demands of a publisher who requires tours, book signings and gets into my business. But that’s just me. Of course, if some publisher wanted to dump buckets of money in my lap, I’d listen to what they had to say—it’s just not something I dream about.

A number of my author friends have been approached by publishers—a few have been offered life altering and lucrative deals, and I am extremely happy for them. Not just happy—proud.

After one of my writer friends was recently approached by a notable trade publisher, I got to thinking of the changes in publishing—and in social media.

Most indies and online book reviewers are familiar with the term “authors misbehaving” – a label given to authors who some believe have stepped out of line. Often the term is applied unjustly. I know some remarkable authors—both talented and nice—who’ve been unfairly labeled.

Some of the most rabid labelers are themselves aspiring authors—writers who are quick to accuse others of what they themselves are doing.

So, what is the point of this post? Where am I going?

Well. . . not only publishing has changed—the dissemination of information has evolved and morphed—what with Twitter, Facebook, forums and other online venues. Today employers regularly check out such sites as Facebook when reviewing potential job applicants. Therefore, it only stands to reason that an agent or publisher would first check out an author’s online behavior before approaching him or her with a deal.

If they discover the author is obnoxious, spiteful and doesn’t play well with others—it might be enough to tip the scales, resulting in the agent or publisher backing away. After all, there are lots of talented authors out there waiting to be discovered; why bother with someone who is a major pain in the ass? I’m not saying “nice” will get someone a trade deal—but total jerk might kill the deal before it’s offered.

Amazon has its own publishing label—and they are in a unique position because they host the KDP forum and they also own Goodreads—both sites where bad behaving authors frequent. Because of this, I assume it would be relatively easy for them to figure out who is behind the veil. Those folks posting nasty on the KDP forum under an alias from their publisher accounts might be hiding their identity from the public—yet not from Amazon. I’d be surprised if Amazon didn’t first check out an author’s behavior on the forum before pursuing a publishing deal.

My point—if you are one of the aspiring authors who dream of a trade publisher approaching you—and you get a perverse kick out of tormenting your fellow writers and reviewers—you might want to clean up your online behavior (if it isn’t too late) or the only thing that might come a calling is Karma.

And you know what they say. Karma can be a bitch.

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I’ve committed…or is it…I should be committed?

Return 1024x682 I’ve committed…or is it…I should be committed?I suppose either works, but in this case I’ve committed to my current manuscript – another book in my Sensual Romance Series. This week I jumped deep into the story, and there is no turning back. I still don’t have a title—or a cover – but I will figure that out.

In this story I go back in time and tell the love story of Kit (After Sundown) Landon’s younger brother, Brandon – and how he met his wife, Susan.

The story will take readers back up to Shipley Mountain, where they will meet a much younger Lexi (Sugar Rush) and Ella (While Snowbound).

Kit will be there too, and little Sarah.

Now, if I could only settle on a title!

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Commitment Issues

scale Commitment IssuesYes, I still have manuscript commitment issues. I’ve two separate books – from two different series – vying for my attention. Do I go ahead and start the first book in a new series – or continue with the book for the Sensual Romance Series? Decisions…decisions…

I’m wondering how many other writers have this problem. It is sort of the flip side of writer’s block.

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A what if look at rape and abortion…

AmericanBondage New 731x1024 A <i>what if  </i>   look at rape and abortion...I’ve added a book to the Anna J. McIntyre bookshelf over at Amazon. It’s something I wrote almost two years ago – American Bondage, under the pen name, Sallie Holt. It’s actually a short story, not a book. I suppose some might consider it controversial, considering it’s about a hot topic – abortion. In the story my intent was not to create good guys or bad guys – but basically all good guys – trapped by their own belief systems and viewed either negatively or positively by other characters, based not on the character’s actual goodness, but by personal experiences.

I initially published the story under Sallie Holt – the name of my great-grandmother who died in her early twenties. She left behind four young children, and according to a cousin,  she died during childbirth.

I’ve decided to add Anna J. McIntyre’s name to Sallie Holt’s at Amazon, to give the title a little more exposure. You can find the story at other venues – like Barnes & Noble and Apple, under Sallie Holt.

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Income Tax time of year – have you finished your taxes?

messy 300x218 Income Tax time of year – have you finished your taxes?Before I immerse myself in my next book there is something I need to finish – preparing our income tax information for our accountant. Blech… But it is that time of year again, and nothing can stifle creativity quicker than unfinished taxes facing a deadline.

I started yesterday, and hope to finish up today, so we can drop the information off at the accountant’s office, and then get back to my imaginary world.

When I do return to writing, I’m not sure which book I’ll get back to. I have one in my head – the first book in a new series. And another that is already outlined, with several chapters written – for my Sensual Romance Series.

I have manuscript commitment issues. This is nothing new to me. I’ve done this before, and eventually finished both books, yet not in the order I originally intended.

Oh well, I will think about that later. Now…back to those pesky taxes…

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