There’s so much exciting news coming up—the re-release of my little-known Impostor Series and my brand-new addition to the Daughters of Avalon series, Fire Song, due to be published September 24th. Also up for preorder is Book 5 of that series—Rhiannon! Woot! It’s getting hot!
So all that said, I really want to give you a heads up. I have not widely touted the Impostors as older books, because, I promise you, most of you have not read these. (Almost nobody has.) These are old Harlequin books, re-edited and re-launched under my own imprint. They are two of my very favorite historicals I’ve written, so please do put them on your TBR list!
But the re-release of these books begs me to remind you to PLEASE read descriptions. I’m so flattered when people are willing to buy my books without reading product descriptions, but please, pleasedon’t do that.
For example, I’m still in the process of creating sweet versions of my classic books, and I make it clear in the book description every time I publish one of these, so you don’t accidentally purchase a title twice. And still, I randomly get an email from an angry reader, and this disheartens me, because I really try hard to make sure you get all the info you need. Not only does it make me feel bad, considering I’m doing this for you, it makes me feel bad for you as well, and it does make me reconsider the wisdom in creating these new editions.
So why am I revising some books? Throughout the years, the one thing some fans have lamented was the strong language present in the original editions of my legacy books. Some readers also prefer not to read explicit love scenes, which are a signature of the period in which my legacy books were written. Also, keeping in mind that I didn’t want my own daughter to read my books until she turned 18, I remain sensitive to readers who wanted to experience my historical romances without compromising their personal values.
Bottom line: If you’ve already read The MacKinnon’s Bride (or any of my legacy books), the story itself will remain unchanged. There is no need to buy these books again. However, if you always wanted to buy a copy of one of my books to share with your daughter or niece, now you can. I will ALWAYS label these very clearly, so please, please, please be sure to read the description on all new books.
The titles are different; how can I tell these apart? First and most important, while the titls are different, the character names are not. Also, in the description for each and every one of these titles, you’ll see in the very first line, in bold print, something like this, for example: “Page” is the SWEET edition of “The MacKinnon’s Bride” by Tanya Anne Crosby –revised by a New York Times bestselling author and her daughter. I also label most of them with a logo like this:
Also, for branding purposes, since my daughter, Alaina, does alter the voice slightly to fit a younger market, I have added her name to the byline and cover. You should be able to spot these Sweet Reads very easily. Additionally, I welcome any and all advice in regards to labeling these books so that you won’t be confused. You can email me at email@example.com.
I so much appreciate that I have so many readers who will click the buy button the minute they see my name. I love you guys for trusting my storytelling so much that you don’t feel you need to know the nitty gritty details, but please, please read the descriptions so you don’t find yourself purchasing a second copy of a book you’ve already read.
I had to actually do the math because I’m at that age when I constantly slip into denial. Am I 55, or 56—surely not 57? But yep, I’m going to be 57 on June 5, and, while there was a time not so long ago that I worried I wouldn’t reach 55, I’m feeling better than ever, and I have to say it’s because of the way I am eating and living. For the first time in my life, I’m taking care of myself—I mean really taking care of myself. I am eating right, maybe not exercising quite as much as I should, but exercising nonetheless. I’m also trying to make sure I maintain a life balance, which is something I sucked at previously. But here we are, with days to go, and I’ve learned a few things by the eve of my 57thbirthday (metaphorically speaking). I’d like to share them, particularly for the writer community, because I think so often lately, the trend is to speed up, and do more. These are the things I wish I could have told my younger self:
Slow down, you will not lay on your death bed and wish you wrote one more book. Have a life outside of work.
Stop eating meat. Right now. I mean it.
Stop eating dairy; it’s shitty for you and DOES NOT do a body good.
Exercise more and stop working in weird positions; you’re not 10 and someday you’re going to pay for that.
Stay away from ibuprofen; your gut will thank you.
Establish boundaries and keep them.
Only write what you love.
Teach your children more Spanish; stop answering your mom in English when she speaks to you in Spanish.
You don’t sing like a frog and you’re not taking ugly pills (thanks, Dad!)
Did I mention work-life balance? Yeah, pay attention to that.
Age is just a number.
Be like a cat: live in the moment, get the hell away if something threatens you, or even annoys you, and take joy in the smallest things… yep, even that tiny ant crawling across the floor. Fascinating little creature.
True friends will always be there and will never judge you. Don’t waste time worrying about what people think.
Do the laundry (and all those other tasks). Procrastination will put worry lines on your brow.
It’s okay to be weird; embrace it.
It’s okay not to be the best at everything; accept it.
True beauty is not skin deep; it’s a soul thing.
If you run with dogs who have fleas, you will get fleas. (Both metaphorically and physically speaking.)
Someday, you will have wrinkles and gray hair, but you won’t see any of them when you look in the mirror. You are eternally 18, embrace it.
Fix your teeth; you’ll feel better about taking pictures.
Don’t just say you love someone, feel it, and show it.
Heads up! If you haven’t yet read my Oyster Point series (and yes, there’s another book in the works!) this is the perfect time for you to start. SPEAK NO EVIL is currently available FREE at all vendors, but this is not going to last, so grab this while you can.
Contests are SO subjective, and I’ve spent a lifetime reminding myself I’m not in competition with my peers. Where there are winners, there are necessarily losers, and I believe it often sends the wrong message to writers who are providing readers a labor of their love. However, every once in a while, when my publisher has entered a contest, or, when readers, booksellers and reviewers have nominated my books, I’m a little more apt to see where it goes. I’ve been so very lucky in my career to be nominated for MANY, MANY awards, but like Susan Lucci, I’m ever the bridesmaid and never the bride… let’s see how it goes this time. Plus, this is a brand new kind of book for me, and so thank you SO MUCH to those who nominated The King’s Favorite for a Top Shelf Award. You rock, whoever you are!
The industry drama continues, of course, but part of the overall scandal has to do with “what constitutes an author.” For me, that has a very straightforward answer. But before I get to that, let me tell you guys a quick story…
Once upon a time, Fabio “wrote” a book. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he’s that long-haired swoon-generating model who once graced hundreds of romance covers. The powers that be decided he had name recognition and wanted to capitalize on that, so they hired a ghostwriter, who was not named on the book (as far as I can remember). Pretty much the entire industry knew these books were ghostwritten, and most readers who followed the Italian model knew he could barely throw three English words together. They understood it was a gimmick and that the book was ghostwritten. Some people bought it and didn’t care; some wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. In the end, I believe Fabio had two romance novels with his name on it. (You might still be able to find these in used bookstores.)
So is Fabio a writer/author? HELL NO. Was it illegal? Nope. Do I think the ghostwriter (who shall rename nameless at this point, at least by me) was “wrong” to accept the assignment? No. She was making a living and they offered her a job and she took it. Do I believe the publishers were wrong to handle this the way they did? Absolutely. Because I believe it disrespects the reader. However, they are also not authors; they are publishers and our bottom-lines are far different. Theirs = Money. Mine = Love of My Craft.
There are a lot of decisions I make as an author that I make for love of my craft. I wake up every day, sit at my computer for eight-plus hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year, give or take a few sick days, and vacations. Given this, I feel pretty strongly that someone who hires ghostwriters and does not give a byline to their co-author is at the very least not being fair or transparent to someone who made “their” work possible. That said, I don’t live in anyone else’s shoes (or head) and only they can determine what they can live with. Ultimately, I had/have ZERO interest in reading “Fabio’s” books, even though I highly respected the true “author.” On principle, I didn’t buy these books or read them. Things like humor and voice are simply not interchangeable, they are subtle and precious and can actually be edited out by a heavy-handed editor. Ultimately, as a reader, I follow authors, whose voices I love.
In the end, I believe ghostwriters can be authors (but not necessarily), while people who hire ghostwriters to write 70 to 100 percent (pulled this figure out of my hat; don’t ask me where to draw the line, because for me, it’s at a heavy edit) of their book are simply NOT. Sorry. Not to me. But, unless you’ve added some of these other shady practices to your efforts, you’re certainly not a criminal, nor should you be dragged over the coals for trying to make a living (though I don’t agree with your ethics). You’re an entrepreneur perhaps, or a publisher, or an ace-editor or project manager, NOT an author. And your ghostwriter deserves a byline. That’s. How. I. Feel.
I often cringe when I’m asked about my first sale, because it was just too easy, and the telling of the story only adds to my worst fears that, somehow, I must be a fraud. Why? Because, unlike so many of my fellow authors, who endured four-hundred plus rejections, I sold my first book to the very first publisher we submitted to.
Of course, I didn’t believe it could be that easy. I’m a classic “plan for the worst, hope for the best” type personality—all while secretly fearing the worst is what’s really going to happen.
So I bought one-hundred manuscript boxes (yes, really, 100) and put them ALL together. They used to come flattened back in the Dark Ages. And just to get it out of the way, I finished them all—because, of course, I knew I would need every bloody one. So there they were, all stacked in my office/playroom wall, with my desk/old dining room table surrounded by Lego’s and Playskool toys—and, of course, my children, who occasionally enjoyed knocking them all down. I mean, who can pass that up? It’s like sandcastles or houses of cards. That’s what they were really made for, to knock them all down. Right?
But here’s the best part and I’ll give you the short version: I printed off three chapters I liked best (WRONG, you’re supposed to send the first three chapters), and then sent them to ten agents and hired the first one who called (WRONG, you’re supposed to be patient, wait, and choose the best). So my first agent (Surprise! There were others) asked who I wished to submit to, and I figured, hey, why not? Let’s start at the tippity-top and get turned down by my entire Wish List before settling. Of course, I chose Avon Books, then owned by William Morrow Publishing, and, somehow, despite having done everything completely wrong, Editor Maggie Lichota called, and I said yes. That was thirty years ago next year (November of 1989). And that book was Angel of Fire, published in 1992.
I can’t say I never feel like a fraud anymore, because that’s just not true. The difference is that, after thirty plus books (and counting), and a precious lot of loyal readers, I figure that maybe I don’t suck. But it still feels too easy, because I’m doing what I love, and there’s nothing in the world I’d rather be doing.
I was fortunate through my early years in the industry, in that I had a great editor (Lyssa Keusch, who inherited me after Maggie left Avon) who believed in me. She encouraged me to write the stories I was on fire for, and if there’s one piece of advice I have for aspiring writers, it is: Write what you love. And, be ready to persevere. Truly, though I wasn’t tested through first-sale rejections, the industry has a way of testing our resolve. The good news is that there’s never been a better time to be a writer, or a reader, with so many fresh reads. And, in that vein, I hope you’ll continue my journey along with me.
YOU are the reason I write, my dear friends. Thank you for trusting me with your support and your time.
La véritable pierre du destin reste cachée, mais une nouvelle bataille est déclarée pour déterminer qui sera digne de porter l’épée des rois.Défiant son laird et frère, Lael, du clan dún Scoti, tire son épée pour combattre aux côtés des MacKinnon et rendre Keppenach à son héritier ...
A witty, passionate Victorian read by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Tanya Anne Crosby.Lady Margaret Willingham is a wealthy heiress, who knows what she wants. No husband. No children. No man to tell her what to do, or how to do it. Forced to marry, or lose her inheritance, she def...