Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Four Years Since I've Been Published! Looking Back, Looking Forward by @KarynGerrard #Romance

What a long, strange trip its been.

In 2005, I bought the Sims 2 game. I soon tired of all the mundane tasks required, but discovered you could take snapshots in-game and create stories. How cool to find like minded people who did the same. I started up Sims blogs, created long-running serials, learned to create characters, juggle many plots, use custom downloads to decorate sets and manipulate Sims poses. (like in the above shot) I also learned to take criticism which meant I came into romance publishing with a thick skin already in place. Well, sort of. *wink*

In doing this, I rediscovered my love of writing, which had been dormant for decades. I am a high school graduate, never attended university or took any creative writing classes. I don't claim to be a skilled writer with a vast knowledge of grammar. However, I will acknowledge my strengths. A vivid imagination and a knack for storytelling. In looking back at these sims stories, the writing is rough as hell.

And so was my first manuscript.

It was based on one of my Sims stories (which I structured from a dream) Enter Mr. Gerrard (school teacher) who encouraged me to try my hand at a manuscript. So I did. He was a real support and when I hesitated to send it out, he said, "If it was no good, I'd tell you. But this is good. Very good."

I took him at his word and sent it out to three digital romance e-pubs. I got an answer in less than twenty-four hours from Evernight Publishing. I thought it was a joke.
Turns out it wasn't.

Timeless Heart was released May 8 2011. I got the rights back Jan 2015 and will be re-releasing it hopefully next month.

In the meantime, the book did very well for a d├ębut, even hit the Amazon best-seller list in time travel as well at other vendor sites.

It also got some good reviews. I found myself in a strange new world and feeling a bit rudderless to be honest.

I had no idea what to do next. I was a published author!

Now four years later, and more than a few publishers later, I look back at every release I had over that time as a true learning experience. My writing improved, I learned to expand into more complicated and challenging plots and writing longer word counts. I dropped some genres, tried others, and now I am settled on being a historical romance author more than anything else.

I can't claim to have made a ton of money, and I'm glad I don't need it or this would have become frustrating long ago. The ride has been bumpy, with more disappointments than elation. But at the core, I do it because I love to write. And plot. I do this for me. I write what I want and damn the torpedoes.
I even tried self-pubbing (and will continue to do so with re-releases) I did all right with it. I made a profit.
But I am not satisfied staying in the same rut. I want to improve. I want to get noticed by bigger publishers. Yes, I need and want the validation. And that is my goal going forward. Climb that ladder. Write longer more nuanced stories. Take a chance. And try not to let all the peripheral crap suck away my joy of storytelling.

I've had dark moments, even tossed a manuscript in the garbage. (Mr. Gerrard fished it out and encouraged me to continue) and I will have those moments of doubt again.

But the writing, the plotting, the sheer joy of storytelling keeps me pushing onward.

Here's to the next four years~


  1. Congratulations on four years!

  2. Great post, Karyn, and good advice - to write what you love. That's the most important thing, because if we're not enjoying it and feeling proud of what we write, what is the point?

    1. exactly! I tried to write to sell, didn't work for me on more than one level. Writing what I love is far more satisfying. Cheers Jayne~


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