Happy New Year Everyone!
As you might remember from last year, I intend to release anthologies of my previous work. Three anthologies are still in working cover design stage (I like the designs, not sure about the colors for them) and each anthology will have three books in it, grouped by theme. Birthday and Victoria aren't in an anthology because there isn't a third book to go with them. The reason for the anthologies is obviously practical efficiency. I have published a lot over the years and the books can look cluttered, especially to a first-time reader. While interest in the individual books of course remains, they are starting to unify into broader general categories rather than loads of individual titles. It's much less overwhelming to show people five books instead of eleven.
I have not published these anthologies because of two factors. The first is that I'd like to write a small story, at least one per anthology, that is unique new material exclusive to the anthology and not available elsewhere. I haven't had time to do this because the last six months have been hysterically busy. Our family has been in a state of transition as a beloved older relative died, one of my sisters had a lot of trouble at work, another sister is in the final semesters of medical school, my mother had heart surgery, and I spent all my time keeping the household running over a slew of continual emergencies and the hottest summer I've literally ever experienced. (And yes, I've lived in Texas my whole life. I'm quite heat tolerant.) I also made a commitment to much better fitness and exercise, which often left me tired, but I feel great about my new body even though it's been less than a year of changed lifestyle. So I did not have time to write anything new. Our house also went through a major upheaval as we wanted a lot of old stuff gone.
out out It's been over two years since I updated my picture. But this is the only new one I have, a random selfie, because I haven't had time to take serious author pictures. You know, the ones where you dress up and smile like you're wearing a wig even if you aren't? Don't worry, I will take some of those in the spring.
The second reason I haven't done the anthologies yet is that there IS still some individual attachment to some of the books. Readers feel these stick out from the others in the planned anthologies. This attitude is natural and it takes time to change. If you read the book pages on my website, you'll find a structured logic that I've applied to the anthologies when grouping books. For instance, if you look at Bellevere House outside of its original multi-author project, you'll see it has a lot of similarities with Devotion and Harrisons. But many people will struggle to see Bellevere that way because the Vintage Jane Austen is where they first got to know the book. Gradually it will make sense to think of Bellevere not as "that book that wasn't as liked, but very often read, in that series of books" and more to think "what genre is this book? It's a similar setting and genre to the other two books."
Other prickly bug areas included The Birthday Present, (because readers didn't want to accept moving Millhaven Castle away from Facets of Fantasy), and Ryan and Essie (because readers didn't like this book and didn't want it included with a book they'd had interest in, Facets of Fantasy.) So really, the prickly bug is actually Facets of Fantasy. lol. But nothing in Facets needs to be changed, it's just melding it with other placement of books that's a problem.
However, Ryan and Essie became quite different last year and the cover was redone to this lovely green color. Nice, huh? I noticed no books I've published currently have green covers and I was like "so that's what is missing." It's nice to find those leaks and patch them up. Not to mention, the cover is flat-out gorgeous.
I am planning a new cover for The Birthday Present because it and Facets are both blue and that helps link it to Facets, an outdated idea I'm getting tired of. Instead, I need Birthday to unify better with Victoria, which has a regal and austere black and gold. I just haven't had time to do the new cover yet.
And yes, that third book in the Birthday trilogy is poking along, with a new working title "All My Brother's Friends." I am REALLY hoping I get a chance to put a book with a fun title like that into a published form. Don't you think I should?
And there will be more updates.
Young Adult Fiction Author
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