Articles for the Month of March 2014

Order of The Coulson Series

Coulson Series Order

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

Authors Misbehaving or Karma comes a calling…

dreamstime_xs_26401805Many 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.

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

ReturnI 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!

Commitment Issues

scaleYes, 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.

A what if look at rape and abortion…

PregnancyI’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.

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

SONY DSCBefore 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…

When it was just Lessons

Some people call them book trailers – similar to movie trailers used to promote a movie. Yet, the term book trailer has been trademarked, and if your video wasn’t created by the holder of the trademark, you might want to simply call it a book video.

I’ve made a couple book videos. I don’t think they’re the best way to market a book, but they can be fun.

The first one I made was for Lessons – the first book written in The Coulson Series. I’ve since retitled the book, now calling it Coulson’s Lessons – and two of the four Coulson books written after Lessons takes place prior to it, therefore what was once book 1 in the series, is now book 3.

The video is outdated in that it has the wrong title and cover. In spite of that, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Lessons video, and I thought I would share it with you in this blog post.

Truth is stranger than fiction.

soldierIt may be a cliche – truth is stranger than fiction – but it says it so well. I’ve had author friends tell me they’ve received negative reviews for what the reviewer perceived as too unbelievable – when in fact, those unbelievable tidbits came from real life stories.

Set in the first half of the 1900s, Coulson’s Wife was unable to avoid the Influenza of 1918, especially considering the first part of the book takes place in Philadelphia which was devastated by the lethal influenza. This epidemic is considered the worse in recorded history, claiming more lives than World War I, which was winding down about the same time as the influenza.

One fictional anecdote mentioned in the book actually comes from a true story. It tells of four ladies who get together to play bridge, and they all end up dying by the end of the evening. Supposedly, something like that did happen.

You can read more about the Influenza of 1918 and the real bridge ladies, by clicking here.

Coulson’s Wife, Stepping Back in Time

OldFamily_242Coulson’s Wife was my first attempt at historical fiction. Understanding readers of that genre want historical accuracy, I did my best to deliver a realistic portrayal of that era. Not only did I utilize history books, reliable historical websites and information I’ve gleaned while doing genealogical research on my family – I played back in my head long ago conversations I had with my grandmother.

My Grandma Hilda was a few years older than Mary Ellen Coulson – about the same age as Mary Ellen’s oldest brother.

When sending the book out to beta readers, I tried to find a few that were familiar with that era. In the story Mary Ellen often retreats to her hammock in the garden, to lose herself in a book. One of my betas question that – asking if a young lady of that era would actually use a hammock.

I smiled at the question, because I knew the answer. Yes. I had a photograph of my grandmother – the same timeframe – to illustrate that point.

If you haven’t read the series yet, you can download Coulson’s Wife for free. It is currently available for free at Kobo, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

As for the photograph with this post –  that’s my Grandma Hilda and Grandpa George.

Coulson’s Wife Free at Kobo

Coulson’s Wife Free at Smashwords

Coulson’s Wife Free at Barnes & Noble

Coulson’s Reckoning is here!

SONY DSCCoulson’s Reckoning is now available at Amazon in eBook format. It should be showing up at the other eBook vendors in the near future.

Because of the layered relationships of characters in the series – a story spanning almost a century – I’ve included a set of family trees in Coulson’s Reckoning. You’ll find them at the front of the book. You will also find them on this site, if you click on “Coulson Family Trees” at the top of the page.

But WAIT!!!!! Before you click, you may not want to if you haven’t read the first four books in The Coulson Series. I’m afraid they will give away some secrets you may want to discover through the stories, and not by reading the family trees.

I might create some less revealing trees to replace these – but for now I will leave the spoiler family trees up.

Click here to buy the book at Amazon.