Saturday, December 3, 2011

An end of the year look back

This was my first year in self-publishing. I took three old books (Forgiveness, Endurance, and Temperance) and turned them into:

Penance: set in 1876 America. I wrote this book when I was unemployed. I was laid off from my job in August of 2003 and I had an idea for a Western historical novel.

I started researching Jesse James and the Great Northfield Minnesota raid -- and since I lived in Minnesota at the time and only 40 miles from Northfield, it made research easy.

I quickly decided I didn't want to have my characters be historical, though. I wanted them to be modern people in an old-time setting. So I started thinking of a time-travel premise and I came up with the History Patrol (see that tab above for details about the Patrol).

Several drafts later I ended up with Jim and Penelope's story: Penance. I always wanted to call it Penance, but my then-publisher wouldn't let me. When I got the rights back, I renamed it.

 Vengeance: Possibly my favorite book of all the 20-some books I've written.

This started as my vampire book. I wanted to write about someone who was immortal and all that entails -- the heartbreak of watching those you love die, the changes in the world, etc.

But I can't get past the blood-stuff with vampires. Euw. So I came up with an immortality virus. Then I thought, Hey, how about making this a History Patrol book?

It was extremely tricky to plot, but I did it. And I think I succeeded very, very well.

This is the first book I put into print by myself and I'm proud of it.

Compassion: This is my Al Capone book. It appears I like some of those historical villains, right?

I set this one in 1934, at the height of the Great Depression. I researched that era very diligently but my best sources were my mother, aunt, and their friends. Their memories were amazingly vivid of that time period and I gathered a LOT of information from them.

This had a tricky plot as well, because I had to adhere to the rules I set up in the initial books. My History Patrol rules were stretched a bit here.

The editor at my former publisher gave me fits over this book. She nickel-and-dimed me on edits, something that never happened to me before this. I fought back on many of the edits and gave in on others.

In addition to these books, I'm self-publishing a suspense book (Mist) which should release this month.

Lots of work....

I'll do a new blog next week about whether or not it was worth it.