Today, I’m publishing my 22nd book. Phew . . .
Like always, there’s this bubbling feeling of joy as I consider the fact that yet another story of mine is out there. This story has a dark undertone, in that life is hard for my time traveller Erin in 18th century Pennsylvania.
When Erin Barnes first danced into my life, I was taken by her personality, by her deep love for her grandmother, by her grit. I didn’t really reflect on how she looked—despite giving her multiracial background. It only struck me once I’d propelled her back in time that the colour of Erin’s skin was going to become a major issue.
Since then, I have read and read and read about the restrictions imposed on people of colour in the American Colonies—and they were many. It was also depressing to realise just how few free people of colour there were—as I recall, in Philadelphia there were seven free people of colour in 1700. Seven . . . So my Erin would stick out like a sore thumb, even more so because she’s married to a white man (a major no-no in various other colonies in 1718, soon to become a major no-no in Pennsylvania as well) and she’s rich.
Rich is not something one becomes by writing books, let me tell you. At least not when you choose the indie route. Not so sure going the trad publisher route leaves you rolling in money either, and besides, by now, I am probably too set in my ways to go through a trad publisher—not to say I wouldn’t love to try! But I like the total control of being indie. I don’t always like the loneliness that comes with it—ultimately everything that has to be done, I have to do. A lot of that stuff is NOT writing. It’s wading through admin . . .
Until this year, all in all I was pretty happy with my writing endeavours. While I wasn’t raking in huge amounts of money, I was definitely turning a profit. But something has happened in 2023. Book sales have more or less collapsed, and as to the page reads through Kindle Unlimited, they’re down 75%. This isn’t only me: all my writer friends experience the same depressing trend. Not good, dear peeps. And for a financial professional like me, the corresponding Profit and Loss statement makes me wonder why I do it.
I am fortunate in that I don’t write to support myself. In that I suspect I’m like 80-90% of all writers out there. But when the book baby you’ve worked so hard sinks in utter silence to the bottom of the sea of books, it is disheartening.
I write to share stories. If I get no feedback on them, through sales or reviews, then I might just as well write those stories for myself and stop expending money and effort on making them available to others.
“Hey, you can’t stop writing!” Gilda says.
Gilda is a pretty new acquaintance who has taken up residence in my fertile brain.
“I didn’t say I was going to stop writing, just that I won’t write for publication.”
“Not fair!” she glowers at me. “I deserve the opportunity to shine!”
Not as long as she insists to hold on to the name Gilda, she doesn’t. I mean, she doesn’t even look like a Gilda—short and fierce, she has none of the glamour associated with the name. Between us, I think she’s hiding her real identity.
“I am not!” She tosses her long red hair. Huh. She’s no natural red-head, that one . . .
Just what secrets this so-called Gilda might be hiding (I am thinking she’s really a Scheherazade. “Seriously?” she scoffs. “And you think Gilda is bad?”) we may never know. At present, I am hesitant to indulge in yet another writing project beyond my Work-in-Progress, The Castilian Orphan . This the fourth (and last) in the Castilian Saga will see the light of the day early in 2024.
But enough with the doom and gloom. This post is about the fact that I have published a NEW book! Yay me! And yay Erin and Duncan who get to share some more of their perilous story with the world at large. “You realise you’re going to have to write a third book about us,” Erin says. “I mean, we deserve to know what happens next.”
She has a point. But whether or not that book ever goes further than my laptop is written in the stars!
For now, pick up your copy of Times of Turmoil – and if you do, please, please leave a review. It would make this writer so happy she may even consider doing a cartwheel or two!
It is 1718 and Duncan Melville and his time traveller wife, Erin, are concentrating on building a peaceful existence for themselves and their twin daughters. Difficult to do, when they are beleaguered by enemies.
Erin Melville is not about to stand to the side and watch as a child is abused—which is how she makes deadly enemies of Hyland Nelson and his family.
Then there’s that ghost from their past, Armand Joseph Chardon, a person they were certain was dead. Apparently not. Monsieur Chardon wants revenge and his sons are tasked with making Duncan—and his wife—pay.
Things aren’t helped by the arrival of Duncan’s cousin, fleeing her abusive husband. Or the reappearance of Nicholas Farrell in their lives, as much of a warped bully now as he was when he almost beat Duncan to death years ago. Plus, their safety is constantly threatened as Erin is a woman of colour in a time and place where that could mean ostracism, enslavement or even death.
Will Duncan and Erin ever achieve their simple wish – to live and love free from fear of those who wish to destroy them?
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