In Which Elise Is Utterly Transparent
(This is for every reader who has posted on my Facebook page, sent me a tweet, or emailed me to check in. This is for everyone who's wondered what's going on but didn't want to ask. This is for you, because I made a promise I would publish a book and keep breaking that promise, and because of your amazing patience and encouragement and support.)
As many of you know, there have been three major reasons for why THE SINNING HOUR has been delayed for so long. 1) It was planned as a novella, and then I realized Simon and Miranda’s love story deserved the depth and length of a novel. 2) My mother-in-law’s illness worsened over several months before she passed in December of last year. 3) I became pregnant in November 2012 and had a baby in August 2013.
Yes, these are major events and may be good reasons for a delay. However, I know of several authors who write books while experiencing loss in their families, who get pregnant and have babies, and who also have to rewrite or add thousands of words.
The truth is, quite simply, that I’ve been afraid.
You see, I decided to leave traditional publishing because I wanted to have the freedom to write any story I wished. I didn’t want to have to change the characters’ names because another book being published had the same names. I didn’t want to have to write a story that was “commercially appealing”, one that I wasn’t passionate about, when the story that I did love was rejected. But I also left traditional publishing not because of what I could or couldn’t do under contract, but because I knew that I needed to grow as a writer.
You’ve probably heard stories over the years about how many books an author had to write and how long it took before she received a contract from a traditional publisher. For some it’s dozens of books and several years.
I was fortunate to have been published so quickly; my first published romance novel was the third one I’d ever written. I was incredibly fortunate, given I didn’t have much experience, to find readers who loved my work. =)
But as I continued writing, reading other novels, and studying books on the craft of writing, I knew that I could be better—much better, in fact. And I wanted to prove this through self-publishing.
Based on my own opinion and the opinions of reviewers (I am definitely an author who believes negative reviews are valuable), I knew I needed to:
- Not rush endings
- Make sure love scenes aren’t too graphic or out of place
- Learn how to plot better so my characters’ motivations make sense
- Write more lifelike, well-rounded secondary characters
- Keep the anguish and sexual tension, but include more romance
- Keep the tone consistent throughout the book
- And more…
The good news is that in the time I’ve delayed THE SINNING HOUR, I believe I’ve matured tremendously as a writer. I hope, if you’ve read any of my previous work, that you can see this in just the first two chapters of THE SINNING HOUR here on my website.
As I said above, however, the truth is that I've been afraid--to write. Afraid that I won’t measure up to my own vision, afraid that my new work under a new name won’t be liked.
Just as I’ve been learning how to be a better writer, though, I’ve been learning how to ignore this fear.
I’m finally nearing the end, and I’m excited. I absolutely love Simon and Miranda as the hero and heroine of this story and their journey to their HEA: how they’ve resisted each other and their own desires, how they’ve loved, how they’ve healed. And, of course, I’m anxious (in every sense of the word) for you to read it.
I don’t want to break anymore promises, though. You deserve better, and you deserve transparency and reality instead of goals. Because of this, I’m not going to give another anticipated publication date. Instead, at the top of this website, you’ll find a new tab for a page called “Works in Progress”. I will be updating this page regularly with my progress on THE SINNING HOUR (and later books, after TSH is published). At the moment I’m in the polishing stage—my final chance to get the book the best it can be before it’s formatted for publication. If you have any questions at any time about my progress, please feel free to email me. I would love to hear from you!
Right now I’m going to continue writing, knowing that the only way to show how much I’ve improved is to get this book into your hands.
Thank you for waiting. =)
All my best,