After promoting other people’s debuts here, it feels weird to be promoting my own, but here I am. Save My Soul: Book One in the Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series was released March 25. What I like most about this book is it’s not what normally passes as category-length, contemporary romance for me. When I wrote it years ago, I was heavily influenced by paranormal’s popularity, and honestly, I was in a confusing space in my life.

Rather than prolong this self-promotion, I’ll leave with this. Nicole said it best: “If you like vivid writing, sparkling sexual tension, and emotional reads check out Save My Soul.”

Save My Soul by Elley Arden

Buy it now at: Amazon and iTunes (BN.com to come)

For more about Elley and her books, visit her website.

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The Changing Writer

February 6, 2013

Twenty-four weeks. That’s six months, isn’t it? (Math and I don’t get along. I’m sure I said that before.) Why am I asking? Because in updating my submission tracker I noticed I’d be waiting SIX MONTHS for a response from one publisher. And that in turn got me thinking about how long it might actually take to get to a contract point should I be lucky enough to make the grade. AND THAT got me thinking about how at any given time what’s being published isn’t always representative of what a writer’s writing now. (I hope that makes sense.)

Here’s an example:

Save My Soul, my contemporary romance to be published by Crimson Romance next month, was written three years ago, during a very emotional time in my life. As such, I wanted to write a romance tinged with a bit of darkness and ambiguity, something the felt paranormal but wasn’t paranormal, something that spoke to the struggles of finding happiness despite life falling short of expectations. I’m not sure I accomplished all of those things, but questioning my own direction in life at the time I was writing, I figured at the very least there’d be authenticity in those pages. When I was finished writing, Nicole critiqued the manuscript. She gave generous feedback—as always—and left me feeling good about what I’d written. That was two years ago.

I submitted. I waited. I got rejected. I submitted again. I got rejected again, and again. I put the manuscript away. More than a year went by since I first sent the manuscript out into the world, and I decided it was time to give up. Still, something (rereading Nicole’s complimentary words, probably) had me pulling it out again. I rewrote a lot of it, using feedback from editors’ rejections, and I sent it off again.

When the manuscript sold, I was shocked. The longer I sit with that truth the more I wonder how to bridge the gap between the writer I was (when I wrote Save My Soul) and the writer I am now. (My last few manuscripts have been light, fun reads.)

Has this happened to you? Have you noticed a difference in what you’re writing now as opposed to what you were writing a few years ago? Does it worry you when it comes to building a reader fan base?

Just curious. I’m probably overthinking this like I overthink everything else. 🙂

Elley

Having a birthday sandwiched between Christmas and Valentine’s Day has primed me to expect great things. It’s a non-stop parade of presents and well wishes. But even after 40 years of this time of year meaning something extra-special, I was hardly prepared for the best birthday present ever.

*Rewind*

A week before Christmas on a submission high brought about by completing all my writing goals for 2012, I got gutsy and subbed a manuscript I had thought was better left “under the bed.” After all, this manuscript (Save My Soul) was an entry in Harlequin’s first So You Think You Can Write, where it was rejected with valuable feedback, feedback I worked into the manuscript before sending off to another publisher, who rejected the manuscript—once again with valuable feedback, which prompted me to revise, but ultimately set the manuscript aside for shiny new things. Believing the story had merit based on editorial compliments about my voice and my critique partner’s comment that from time to time she still thought about the story, I squeezed my eyes shut and hit send. If nothing else, the submission gave me bragging rights…for the first time in my pursuit of publishing I had four different manuscripts out on submission.

Christmas came and went. The New Year too. And with a puppy in the house, there wasn’t much time to consider what was happening with those submissions. Imagine my surprise when I received and email from Jennifer Lawler at Crimson Romance a little more than a week into January, offering me a contract for Save My Soul. It didn’t seem real.

It still doesn’t.

Even after signing the contract, filling out a cover art form, answering an author questionnaire, and launching my website, I’m wondering if this is all a dream.

*Fast-forward*

I have a lot to celebrate this year when I blow out 40 candles on my cake. (Yikes! That’s a depressing amount of candles, unless I think about the size of cake it will take to accommodate said candles. Yum!) Honest to God, I never thought 40 would roll around with me a contracted author, anticipating a March release date.

It’s true what they say. When you least expect it…

Elley