Fighting Through the Self Doubt, Fears, Tears and Writer’s Block #amwriting #MyWANA

It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry about that. Life got in the way again…big time. It’s not easy juggling a full time job as a veterinarian and writing under four pen names. As Stephanie, I am supposed to have my debut romantic suspense out at the end of October. Unfortunately, that may not go as planned.

My husband is now retired from the Coast Guard. After twenty years of service, he wishes to move back to his home state of Washington. For many people, the idea of moving is overwhelming in itself. Add on to that jumping through all the hoops and the sea of paperwork to get my license to practice veterinary medicine, pack up the house, purge the unwanted stuff, sign the new contract with my employer (same group of hospitals, just a different state), write not one, but FOUR stories for three different publication dates. At this point only one may go out on time. My debut may squeak by in time, but the last one will be delayed by two weeks.

Of course this is the time to be thankful I’m my own publisher. That’s right, not only am I the same person as Tammy Dennings Maggy, Lia Michaels and Tawny Savage, I’m also Sassy Vixen Publishing. All of these “hats” have kept me busy but now it’s causing some serious writer’s block.

You would think I wouldn’t have an issue. If one of my stories isn’t working out, I can switch to another and keep going. That’s the beauty of having four pen names. It has worked for me in the past, but now it’s not. I’m so afraid of failing that my mind won’t move forward…on anything.

I know I shouldn’t compare myself to other authors, but that’s much easier to say than do. Why can’t I have those same successes others appear to have with their first books. Why can’t I seem to get my groove and find friends and fans out there who want to take a chance on my stuff? It never fails that when I’m feeling this way, I get an email from Authorgraph telling me the low ranking of one of my earlier books. 

Nothing like a kick in the gut when you’re already thinking of quitting. Why should I go through with the publication of Dangerous Medicine if it will simply sit there, unnoticed in a sea of other new releases? I’m not able to devote the time it takes to promote it properly and not spam the hell out of social media with it. It feels weird for me to be involved in book clubs where we choose a book a week to help promote by reading it and giving honest reviews. There are other genres in there I’m not interested in and don’t enjoy reading. I don’t think it’s fair of me to read those or expect the others to read my romance.

Nice pickle I have myself in, huh?

It’s even harder for my erotica and erotic romance. Amazon continues to “fine tune” their algorithms and slap ADULT CONTENT labels on books so they’re essentially hidden from general searches. So much for being discovered by new readers who love to browse through the categories!

I know many of you may look at this post as just one more from a whiny author who really doesn’t want to succeed bad enough to keep going. You’re entitled to your opinion, but until you go through a day in my shoes, deal with life and death of your patients, deal with groups of people going through Amazon and Goodreads tagging all your books with 1 stars just because they can, take care of your health and that of your family AND find time to write, edit, create book covers and promote all four pen names…(taking deep breath) then and only then can you make an INFORMED opinion on whether or not I’m whining.

I don’t want to quit writing. I want to go back to the time when it was FUN to write and share my stories. I want that excitement of waking up in the middle of the night just to jot down a plot point or a bit of dialogue before it flies out of my head forever. I want the JOY of writing back again.

Yes, writing should be viewed as a full time job in order to succeed at it. I think this is my problem. I’ve been trying to be successful at THREE full time jobs: wife, veterinarian, and author. I’ve thrown in there publisher, editor, cover artist, public relations/marketer, social media technician, beta reader and reviewer…oh and don’t forget blogger.

There’s not enough time in one day to accomplish a third of those tasks and yet I push myself to do them all. No wonder I’m blocked! LOL

I’m taking this weekend to enjoy some time away with my hubby and forget about the move, the deadlines, laundry and housework. When I get back, I hope to have cleared my mind enough to pick a few things from my To Do list and complete them. I’ll not look at the rest of the list until those are done. It’s the only way I’ll get through it.

If Dangerous Medicine isn’t a best seller right out of the gate…so what? It’s still going to be published. I owe it to myself to finish this one. I started it in 1999. Maybe it’s time I took Journey’s advice and enjoy the blessings I have in my life instead of allowing all the other “stuff”  to weigh me down. 

Don’t Stop Believin’,

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Lost and Alone in a “Family” of Erotic Romance Authors #amwriting #MyWANA

Welcome to Through Stephanie’s Eyes—my little corner of the Universe. What I talk about here is how I see things based on my own experiences. I’m sure many of you have different views on the world, but this is mine. Right now I’m going through some major upheavals in my personal and professional life and feeling a bit overwhelmed and basically out of the loop.

I made it no secret that I’m an alter ego and pen name of another person who writes smokin’ HAWT erotic romance, poetry and erotica. I’m part of the original three that made up the core authors of Sassy Vixen Publishing and proud of it. I cheered the “others” on from the sidelines patiently waiting for my turn in the spotlight. Now it seems like I’ve been forgotten.

We’ve expanded our “family” a bit to include the fabulous Tawny Savage and her dark fantasy and monster erotica. I’m thrilled her Bigfoot Chronicles are best sellers on ARe and are holding their own on the other retail outlets. I can’t wait to read the final book in that trilogy and yet I the little voice in the back of my mind keeps whispering.

What about me?

We all know what it’s like for erotica and erotic romance authors in the grand scheme of things. They get treated like the red headed stepchild of the romance and fiction world. Author support groups that claim to help all genres really mean “non-erotic” or “okay if you call yourself erotic as long as you don’t use ‘nasty’ words.”  I get that the “bad girls” want to band together and help promote each other. I’ve been there with them from the start. All I’m asking is for a little encouragement with my writing. How about Lia, Tawny and Tammy take a vacation for a bit and let ME be front and center for a bit?

I know what some of you are thinking: Aren’t “they” all the same person? Why does she have to fight for time? Why is she “jealous” of the other pen names?
Yes all of us were created in the same mind. All of us have specific genres and categories assigned to us so our writing gets out to the largest audience. Unfortunately, the projects assigned to me have been put on the back burner for so long, I’m not sure I remember the characters anymore. I am jealous because I do have some fabulous tales to tell but am not given the chance to do it because right now, it’s all about the erotica and erotic romance stories.

Even with Sassy Vixen Publishing’s shared world series Temptations Resort, there doesn’t seem to be a place for my stuff. Sure I can write a nice sweet love story with couples who meet there, but next to the erotic ones, why bother? I’ll just have to take my place back in the corner until my voice can be heard and figure out which of my WIP to push myself to finishing.

If you look on my left side bar, I have three books listed. The Do Over is a mainstream romance. Capitol Intrigue is a bit of a mix of thriller and romantic suspense. That one my have to become a series because of all the characters involved in it and how it covers many years of history in their back stories. Dangerous Medicine is another romantic suspense. I’m stuck as to which to pursue. The first is a recent idea and the other two were originally started in the 90’s and then put away in storage. 

My characters have waited long enough to have their stories brought to life. Won’t you help me decide? Below is the poll. Cast your vote. The book that wins will be completed and published before the end of the summer 2014 come hell or high water!

Until next time,

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