New Year’s Comes Early

I am slow in some regards; I do, however, eventually pick up on the obvious.

Take this year. As the months have sped by, and the Lonely Lords have launched (along with an occasional Windham or Scottish Victorian), things have gone mostly well. The reviewers have been positive (for the most part–the jury’s still out on old Gareth), the wrensales pretty good for my age and stage as an author. I can’t complain, and am very grateful for the progress made so far.

And yet, as the year has progressed, I’ve been increasingly anxious about what I’ll write next. How will I do better work than I have so far? How can I reach more of the readers who will enjoy my books, and how can I do a better job of balancing the lawyering and the writing? And while I’m editing, revising, and proofreading up a storm, the new material isn’t welling up at the volume I’d like.

worrySo in addition to the anxiety-fest known was a monthly release day, I’m adding the “how can I write faster, better, smarter?” worry.

Oh. OH. SILLY GRACE.

I realized that I have one imagination and only one. The more I let my imagination ride the worry horse, the less time it spends on the creativity horse. The basic impulse is the same: What if…? What if I write an awful book? or What if my hero has OCD, and I can find a way to pair him up with a woman who’s ADD?

hummingbirdWhat if Gareth (or insert name of this month’s book) never gets any more good reviews? or What if my heroine has fabric allergies and becomes a book worm, then meets an extroverted hero whose empire is built on trading in cloth and wool?

If I turn that “what if” impulse to fretting–not problem solving, but fretting–rather than to listening for the ideas that could turn into more books, then I’m doomed to coaxing warmth from a weakening flame. There’s a paradox in steering the imagination, because imagination by its nature isn’t so very steerable, but I’m going to try.

I enjoy writing so very, very much, that I’d hate for the pesky aspects of publication to diminish my access to the writing.

peacockSo, my new year’s resolution has come early: What if… must be saved for thinking up new books, and not for choking the joy out of the books I’ve already written. What if belongs to the books I haven’t written yet, not to the books loose in the wild, whose creation has already given me much pleasure.

Are you thinking about New Year’s resolutions yet? Am I the only one who wastes my fire worrying?

To one commenter, I’ll send a $25 Amazon gift card.

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89 comments on “New Year’s Comes Early

  1. 1
    Amy says:

    I make one, but then I never keep it šŸ™

  2. 2
    Georgie says:

    I try never to make one, because in the past I never kept them. Iā€™d rather pick another time and make one – then make it happen. I just started Gareth –

    • 2.1

      I operate like you do, but apparently very few people keep New Year’s resolutions. Wish somebody would talk to the people who keep them, and figure how what’s going on there.

  3. 3
    Nicole Laverdure says:

    Grace you should be proud of your books and worry less. As a reader and a reviewer, I sometimes, feel the same way. What if..they don’t like my reviews…Don’t let yourself down by bad reviews…My new year’s resolution is to have fun reading and reviewing and not dwell on the “what if” . We cannot please everyone. Just enjoy writing! I love your books! They make me dream! Let’s be positive!

    • 3.1

      Good reminder, Nicole, that even the reviewers get reviewed in a sense, and everybody has an opinion.

      I don’t even so much focus on being happy, because if I can be creative, the happiness will follow. I’ve written through some tough, anxious times, but being published, that anxiety has now attached to the books. I hadn’t anticipated that, probably as you hadn’t anticipated people “reviewing the reviewer.”

  4. 4
    vickie dailey says:

    i too worry a lot but I always try and tell myself that worrying does not change or solve anything – much better to tackle something when it really happens

  5. 5
    Elizabeth Wright says:

    I have given up making New Year’s resolutions. Usually thay ends badly and its depressing. lol

    I’ve always been a worrier and it has only gotten worse since having children. As for your worry, while it is always hard to wait for a new release from a beloved author, it is always worth it. I’ve recently had some favorites begin branching out into new genres while trying to maintain their current series, or simply start cranking out new installments closer together and he result has been that the work has suffered. I would much rather wait and love what I’m reading than have a new book to read every few months. Quality not quantity. šŸ™‚

    • 5.1

      That’s good to hear, Elizabeth, because when I get through the Lonely’s, my backlog will be gone, and I’ll be left with only what I can write going forward–which will NOT be a book a month.

      I know what you mean about kids. I moved to the country, because I thought it was a safer place to raise a kid than in town. My daughter was two–just the right height and age to eat poison ivy, fall in the stream, step on the snakes… to be a mom is to worry.

  6. 6
    Candice Royer says:

    I worry. I worry until I’m sick to my stomach. I worry until I’ve thought of every “What if…?” and conversation is imagined (and yet, of course, it hasn’t been) and I give myself a migraine. I actually worry so much that I ended up having to seek counseling and a psychiatrist. But it’s all part and parcel with having Bipolar 2. Racing thoughts can be a good thing. They’ve helped me create all kinds of things in the business world. They’ve helped me develop new policies and procedures and all sorts of forms and tracking systems. “Brainstorming” generally occurs as hurricanes in this brain. Now I’m on medication that has eased the worrying part and I concentrate the creativity into a hobby of making jewelry. (The daily migraines I’ve had for four and a half years, along with social anxiety and agoraphobia have led me to being unable to work at the moment. Which saddens me to no end.) I also write the things that are worrisome into a journal and leave them there. It’s a great way to release my frustrations and use my inner wordsmith. Occasionally, I’ll pick a topic, something other than my frustrations, and just describe. It’s a nice exercise. So I understand your worry streak and your desire to let it go. Happy New Year to you! šŸ™‚

    • 6.1

      Candice, thank goodness for medication, and I’m sorry you have these cards to deal with in your hand. Many of the best writers and artists have been BP. I’m reading a biography now of Robert Burns, who was the first modern National poet, the first romantic poet, the first poet of democracy… Dude was very likely bi-polar, also brilliant, and still influencing literature today.

      Keep those journals. There’s gold in there. I know this.

  7. 7
    Amy Hageman says:

    Grace, I just finished Gareth last night – I really enjoyed it! Strangely, what seems to help me the most with the “What if..” worry cycle is regular exercise, regular sleep, and trying to stick to a clean diet. I find January (and all of winter) to be a tough time for resolutions. I usually save my resolutions for the start of summer and the start of the new school year in the fall. This year, my main resolution is to be able to risk more by being willing to take on more. I applied and received a grant to start a robotics and technology club, I’m coaching scholar’s bowl, I took over as a committee chair for a school committee, and I’m teaching additional classes I haven’t before. My inspiration: Over the years, I’ve watched a cousin take on more things than humanly possible. She fails at a few, but overall she gets so much done. It’s very hard for me to manage that risk of failure – or even doing things slightly less than perfect – but I feel like it’s important to try. Over the past two years, I very carefully limited my commitments – it kept me sane and healthy, but it also resulted in self-limitations on my aspirations.
    You are amazing – your books have been consistently great, with characters I care about. Many of my other favorite authors publish bad books once in a while – more often, they’re jest “meh” books. So far, all your books have worked for me.

    • 7.1

      Amy, glad the books are working for you, and I know what you mean about your cousin. One of my early bosses told me, “If you want something done right, give it to a busy person to do. They’re efficient, ambitious, and have had their fingers in more pies than the guy counting beans downstairs will taste in twenty years.”

      Sound advice! Then too, the defining quality of the characters who get their HEA at the end of the book is not intelligence, charm, kindness or even honor. What happens on a character arc is that somebody gets brave–usually because they’re loved and loving–but they find some courage, and make needed changes.

      Go you!

  8. 8
    Myrna says:

    How interesting. I’m a huge fan of goals and use my birthday in June, the September long weekend, and the New Year as evaluation points. I’ve been thinking about my 2014 goal this past week and it’s to focus on the art part of my work which is very much what you’re talking about. The place that energy comes from.

    I read an interesting book last week called The Kaizen Way: One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer. It’s about achieving a big goal by setting such a ridiculously small goal that you can’t help but do it and thereby circumvent your fight or flight response of fear. Say lose weight by eating one less bite and then two less bite and so on. It began as a business practice and has fabulous applications in many areas including not worrying and switching our focus to the better position.

    • 8.1

      IBM has used this approach for years with their sales force. They set goals all but the squarest of square pegs can reach, and reward those successes. The employee thinks of themselves as competent, gains confidence, exceeds goals easily, than exceeds higher goals…

      But the part about not getting the adrenal going, I hadn’t put that together.

      Thanks!

  9. 9
    Jennifer says:

    I usually wait until late December to start thinking about New Year’s goals (not resolutions), so no, haven’t really thought about them much yet. I do tend to be a worrier, though these days the worries tend to focus on my business, especially since after the holidays there tends to be a slump in my baking sales (because of all those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight!).

    But as you mentioned in a previous post, “What If” can make wonderful servants — if attached to positive questions. So maybe I will use the “What If” theme in thinking about where I want to go/be in the New Year. Last year the unspoken question was “What If I didn’t plan so many “projects” that never happen?” (I ended up with less stress and more time to enjoy life!) This year, maybe it should be “What If I chose to find time every day to dance?” and thus to lift my spirits.

    What If I gave up worrying? OK, maybe that won’t make the list this year… šŸ™‚

    • 9.1

      I think the people who could give worrying altogether were long ago eaten by the tigers concerned with, “Where is my next meal coming from?” The imagination’s ability to seize on hypotheticals and shake them endlessly can be a good thing.

      Can be.

  10. 10
    Sarah R. says:

    My worries and “what ifs” tend to be about my boys and are mostly negative, but lately I have started thinking about “what if” in a more positive light and more about me.

    As for resolutions, I usually don’t make any, but this week I decided to get off my bum and really start working on losing a few pounds and inches. I have a pretty big reunion next September and I want to be able to feel good about the way I look by the time it comes around. The last two years have done a number on my body and the way I perceive myself when I look in the mirror or at pictures, so I really need to work on both those things.
    For the first time in years I am actually looking forward to this next year and seeing what wonderful things it may hold for me.

    • 10.1

      I think some of your permission to focus more on self care might have to do with a little guy calling you Mom for all the world to hear. Even anybody needs and deserves something to look forward to, and some resources for herself, it’s a mom with four small, demanding boys!

    • 10.2
      Molly R. Moody says:

      Sarah R. you mentioned something I need to check into myself, a possible high school reunion next year. I will have been out of school for 45 years and with any luck we’ll have another reunion though I probably won’t know anyone.

  11. 11
    jayne smith says:

    I try now not to make any Resolutions as i always end up not keeping them

  12. 12
    Tina M says:

    I don’t think about till after Christmas.. I have to get thru all the cookies first.. šŸ™‚ Love the picture of the humming bird.

  13. 13
    Sharon F says:

    Don’t worry yourself about reviews, Grace. Every author I follow has reviewers who like to bash books that I love. I actually think there are people out there that just aren’t happy unless they are belittling others and I really feel sorry for them. As long as you keep writing books that your faithful followers love (and trust me, I love everything you write), then you’ll be just fine. Which, in a roundabout way, leads to what I want next year to be like for me….don’t sweat the small stuff, just be myself and live life the way I know is right for me!

    • 13.1

      Sharon, my guiding rubric in life is, “Be kind, tell the truth.” The hardest place to apply it is to myself. The truth is, the very things that make me good at coming up with stories and rendering them in sparkly prose (on a good day!), also mean I’m not well armored for the results of publishing that prose. I didn’t foresee this, and it’s taking some time to figure out.

  14. 14
    Linda Townsend says:

    I don’t make year-end resolutions… I make daily ones… :-))) AND Grace, you shouldn’t worry about your writing! You write awesomely and, as a plus, it give you pleasure too!

    • 14.1

      Thanks, Linda! Enjoying the writing is not a plus, it’s WHY I write. The lawyering is to pay the bills, and it’s meaningful and even enjoyable sometimes, but the writing is for joy.

      I think when I lose that joy, it will show on the page.

      • 14.1.1
        Susan Gorman says:

        Grace- Your books are wonderfully written. Your books bring your readers so much joy. I hope you have many more stories to share with us.

  15. 15
    Burgie says:

    Hi Grace. I just came across your books and I am loving what I have read so far. yes I am already worrying about what I am going to do for my new years resolution and it’s a month and half away. I am new to this computer age, my children just introduced me this year. Love your peacock picture. Thank you for this opportunity.

    • 15.1

      Burgie, I wonder if we made positive resolutions, would we keep them any better? This year, I’ll read one male author a month in any genre I please. This year, I’ll take one weekend trip to a destination I’ve never been, with no agenda. This year, I’ll…

      Does that work for you? (And welcome–to the computer, the blog, the books, welcome!)

      • 15.1.1
        Burgie says:

        hahaha that sounds like fun! I will have to think of some of those. Thanks so far it has been fun.

  16. 16
    Kris says:

    I am constantly worrying about something, although usually that something is in the future- kids, job, money, etc. For the past, I fully subscribe to Elizabeth Bennet’s view of things: “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” šŸ™‚

    • 16.1

      I tend not to dwell much on the past, but I can focus forward on the imaginary hobgoblins lurking beyond tomorrow. That passage about the lilies of the field comes to mind, but it wasn’t much comfort to the dead sparrow, was it?

  17. 17
    Susan Gorman says:

    Last December, I saw a “good things” jar on Pinterest. A “good things ” jar is a mason jar filled with slips of paper noting all of the good things that happen throughout the year. I loved the positive concept and decided to give it a try. It had to work better than my usual resolution of losing weight and giving potato chips.

    My jar is full of good things! Memories from the Polar Plunge which took place on January 1st through last week dog walk with my friend and our corgis. I have written about all sorts of things; my daughter getting straight A’s in college, cooking nights with the girls to Sunday afternoons spent on the porch with my husband and the corgis. My husband and daughter have gotten into the spirit as well and have added their own slips of paper.

    I can’t wait to read the slips of paper on December, 31st. And remember how many good things happened in 2013.

    • 17.1
      Jennifer says:

      Susan, I decided to try that this year, too, and it has made such a wonderful difference in how I approach my life! Even the little things are worth celebrating, worth my gratitude. I’m looking forward to rereading them all at year’s end, too — hope you have many delightful memories to relive!

  18. 18
    Mickie Brady says:

    Grace, I LOVE your books, characters, story lines, and commitment to family! I feel like the only critics you need to worry about are your faithful readers – we’re the ones buying and anxiously waiting to buy MORE of your stories. As for worrying, I once heard the phrase “Worrying is the Devil’s prayer”. I try not to worry about things I have no control over, though it’s tough! Please keep writing.

    • 18.1

      Thanks, Mickie. I don’t think I CAN stop writing, not for long anyway. I’ve kept a journal since I could print, and still keep one. My prayer would be for “one more” good story to write.

  19. 19
    Diane Sallans says:

    I always make the same ones – to get more projects done and get more organized.

    Love that peacock!

  20. 20
    Marilyn Tan says:

    Grace, you’re definitely not alone, it’s a common brain affliction among responsible and caring people. Just don’t let it stress you too much. Many love your books, I’m sure you have lots of support from fans.

    I never make New Year’s resolution because I choose to make them anytime of the year…

    • 20.1

      Thank you, Marilyn. And instead of resolutions, I’m more prone to insights, and changes results from those like it seldom does from posting some sticky note on the fridge.

  21. 21
    catslady says:

    Oh, I come from a long line of worriers. I think I have tried to change that in myself more than anything else. Logically, I know it doesn’t help or change things. I always stayed up until my children were home for the night and as they got older it got later and later lol. I had someone tell me once that she does the total opposite. She goes to sleep so in case something does happen she would be well rested. Unfortunately, I could never do it. That’s where reading comes in. It is the only time that I can lose myself enough to stop those voices in my head. And as one of your readers, I don’t think you could possibly write a bad book šŸ™‚

    • 21.1

      I’ve opened a book to evade many worries. The books stand between me and everything in the day that would steal my sleep, steal my ability to be a productive, attentive mom. Yay, books! Whether you write them, read them, or both.

  22. 22
    LSUReader says:

    I have not been thinking of New Year’s resolutions. Worrying, that’s another matter. I really enjoyed this post, Grace. I am loving your books and novellas. Whatever you’ve been doing seems to be working out just fine! Take care. And good luck with the resolution.

  23. 23
    Donna Finlay says:

    We all worry. I just try to remember it doesn’t change anything. I am enjoying your books a great deal.
    I have recently started writing reviews on Amazon and will try to also include B&N as time allows. Some of my favorite authors have asked for them. I don’t decide which books to buy based on someone else’s opinion and I don’t like the ones that spoil the story. Many times I read a book and then put it in the charity bag for someone else. There is a difference between books I like and ones I want to keep. Yours are keepers! But don’t feel like you have to write so many at once. Also remember there is a new generation of Windhams to write about! Wait til St. Just has to deal with his daughters’ suitors! šŸ™‚

    • 23.1

      Donna, I haven’t written so many at once. I started writing when my daughter left home at the age of seventeen, and wrote for several years for the sheer fun of it. Only when enough family members had asked, “When are your going to get THAT STUFF published?” did I figure why not give that a whirl?

      I had more than twenty completed manuscripts before “The Heir” hit the shelves three years ago. What you’re seeing now is my publisher’s willingness to build up my backlist quickly. That takes effort too, but I’m not under any deadlines that would force me to write the new manuscripts in any particularly hurry.

  24. 24
    Mary Chen says:

    Just keep on letting your imagination run loose!

    I don’t really have a New Year’s Resolution. I find that I deal much better with goals in mind than a set time frame in which to complete them. Right now my goal is to learn some computer programming. As to whether I’ll get to that…we’ll see. šŸ˜‰

  25. 25
    eli yanti says:

    Hi Grace,

    Since my mom just passed away 67 days ago, this incoming new year (I’m celebrate Chinese New Year) me and family will not do much, probably just buy some new clotches and some food.

    This new year, I will really miss my mom.

  26. 26
    Barbara Elness says:

    I haven’t really given any thought to New Year’s Resolutions yet, but I usually try to think of something I’d like to improve upon in the coming year. I think it will be to keep up with some of my friends more, since I moved to Florida from California, I’ve slacked off on keeping up as much with the friends I left behind, and I want to keep them. šŸ˜€

    • 26.1

      Barbara that is QUITE a move! I hope you do stay in touch, though. Any more, I’m telling myself, “That’s one day of travel away.” Whether it’s my daughter in Denver, my parents in San Diego, or all that fun I had in Scotland.

  27. 27
    Diana Quincy says:

    Hi Grace: I don’t bother to make New Year’s resolutions anymore. For the most part, they have always involved losing weight and I usually failed. However, now that I am headed toward a landmark birthday(in November 2014), I have resurrected the old “lose weight and get in shape” resolution for 2014. Wish me luck!

    • 27.1

      Diana,
      Now that the November royalty check has cleared, I’m buying that treadmill desk. Writing is so, so, SO sedentary, and it doesn’t have to be. Best of luck to us BOTH.

  28. 28
    Ellie W. says:

    I live in this worry area of my mind way to often, too. Sometimes I think that I spend more time worrying than writing. And I need to get my write on for a Friday presentation. Of course, I spend even more time procrastinating than I do worrying . . .

    Right now I’m debating canceling a seminar I’m giving at the first of January, because the stress is really getting to me about whether I’ll be able to get all of the segments written over the holidays.

    I’m glad that you enjoy writing, Grace. I wish I did.

    • 28.1

      Ellie, wish I could give you some of my writing energy, because it’s the one kind of energy I seem to have in abundance. My house is a mess, my business records are sloppy, my yard needs a ton of work, but when I get up in the morning, I’m happy to write… Not fair, is it? Maybe you can work on my corporate taxes, and I’ll do your writing?

  29. 29
    Molly R. Moody says:

    Grace I haven’t made an actual New Year’s Resolution in so many years that I don’t remember how long it’s been.
    I’ve set a few goals for myself, some of which I’ve reached, some I haven’t, but I quit worrying about things like this a few years ago.
    What I need to discover a cure for is procrastination, that’s basically my biggest fault right not.
    I’m working on Gareth but for some reason I haven’t been able to get into reading lately and it doesn’t have anything to do with your book. I’ve been starting and setting aside quite a few books lately and I can’t understand just why, hopefully I’ll figure it out and get over it soon.
    I’m going to a clinic at the hospital to get checked out for a walking program that is for seniors. I love to walk and since there are so many exercises I’m not allowed to do because of my arthritis I’m in hopes I’ll get approved for this and can use it to help me lose some weight and get in better physical condition. I’m sure if I can get rid of a minimum of 20 pounds my hips and knees will sincerely appreciate it.

    • 29.1

      My hips and knees are singing the same song, Molly, and you know, I go through phases where I have to read nonfiction or keepers. I can’t seem to find new stuff that holds my attention… then I get bored with the nonfiction, and it’s back to the TBR pile.

  30. 30
    Tin says:

    Hi, Grace!

    This is a timely post as the holiday season arrives. The truth is, I’ve given up thinking too far ahead and planning too far into the future. I try to take things as they come: a day at a time, a crisis at a time.

    I love what you said about how worrying about the “what-ifs” chokes out the joy in a book (or in anything) — I always go back to CS Lewis idea of being surprised by joy. If we are open, if we allow the world to be, it will surprise us in a good way.

    Congratulations on Gareth!

  31. 31
    Sheryl N says:

    I always try to come up with some good New Year’s resolutions. I really want to try to eat healthier and drink fewer Cokes. I find that sometimes it’s challenge to stick to any resolutions that you make. It seems like I always find a reason to break them. I think I need to make a resolution not to break my resolutions!

    • 31.1

      I’m caffeine-sensitive, and avoid it for several reasons, but oh, lordy, are there days when a nice, cold, sweet Coke seems like it’s bellowing my name, and NOTHING else will tame that craving. Why IS that?

  32. 32
    Laurie G says:

    I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I resolve to fix things , change things as they need to be done. my Capricorn trait won’t allow me to put things off.

  33. 33
    Sharlene Wegner says:

    I think a lot of people spend too much time worrying & I am one of them. It doesn’t really solve anything, but it is a hard habit to break! You are blessed to have such a creative mind & we are the lucky ones to be able to read your books! My New Year’s resolution will probably be to resurrect an old one about exercising more & eating less.

  34. 34
    Linda L. Stewart says:

    Ask yourself this question. Does making a resolution make you a better person? If you just wake each morning and do the best you can each day to be kind to others, kind to your self and work productively knowing you’ll go to bed the better for it, is that a better plan for the year?
    Just do more of what you think is awesome!

    • 34.1

      Linda, good approach. My guiding principle in life is “be kind, tell the truth.” That doesn’t plug into the writing itself very well, but it does mean I won’t beat myself for the days when creativity is beyond me. Rest is a part of creativity too!

  35. 35
    Anne Hoile says:

    Getting to 69 years of age has finally allowed me to worry less. Not never, but less. I find the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 helpful to say to quieten the mind and allow me to move on to be productive.

    Loved Gareth. However, I will love Darius best. Keep up your good work; waiting breathlessly for your next foray into your Lonely Lords!

    • 35.1

      Anne, I see Gareth as the warm-up book for Darius. In both, I used a fairly spicy premise, but wrote a book that was more romantic than spicy (I hope), and Darius was the more daring (and some would say more successful) venture in that direction. David’s book is cut from the same cloth, and I think it worked out quite well, but again, that story predates Darius in my writing.

      It’s OK if Darius is your fave. Vivvie agrees with you!

  36. 36
    Merci A says:

    I learned not to think of “Things I Wanna Do” as New Year’s Resolutions but rather as “Goals” which I may or may not attain. Some are effortless while others are quite a feat to get to. Then, close to the end of the year, I look back at what what I’ve accomplished for the year and judge how I’ve done. I would probably pat myself for the things achieved or push myself to complete the task unfinished. Either way, I learned a long time ago that I have to believe in myself AND in order to make things happen, I need to have the drive to do it.

  37. 37
    Diana Francis says:

    Grace, I am a new fan. I saw Nicholas on the new book shelf at my local library in October and discovered there were other lonely lords. I’ve read them all, including Gareth. I read The Heir, The Solider and The Virtuoso. I read Sophie’s book and just finished Maggie’s book ( which wasn’t long enough), and will start Louisa’s tonight. I am anxious to read Andrew’s story. I did all this reading of your books within the last 4-5 weeks. I believe you do not have to worry about what the new year will bring in regard to your imagination running dry. Your gift of story telling is such a great blessing that I believe there are many an untold story in your imagination that are waiting to be shared with us. I am so excited I decided to give you books a try. I L-O-V-E them. As for new year’s resolutions, I never make them anymore. I have never kept one. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Gareth is excellent!

    • 37.1

      Diana, you are the reason romance authors are the envy of their peers in other genres. Mystery readers are content to wait, and wait and wait months, even years between releases. Romance readers find an author they like and GO AFTER that backlist! Thanks for that great compliment, and please don’t neglect the Scottish Victorians. The third one of those comes out in February (The MacGregor’s Lady), and much to my surprise, Westhaven managed a cameo in even THAT series.

  38. 38
    Julee J. Adams says:

    Yes, ma’am! The one thing I remember from Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese? was, “What would I do if I were not afraid?” Our worry lets us cheat ourselves out of life. Love the Corrie Ten Bloom quote and I need to keep hitting myself over the head with it. You are strong and brave, so allow yourself a set amount of time (the time it takes to drink a glass of good wine? a good refreshing ride?) to worry about all of your concerns. Write ’em down if you need to. Then, get back to work. We need more books from you, OK?

    • 38.1

      More books, coming up! And that’s a good question, about what would I do if I were not afraid? We can substitute a lot of labels: If I were not old, poor, female, American… talk about getting the imagination going!

  39. 39
    Carrie says:

    Ah, NEVER make New Year’s resolutions! It always makes me feel a failure by the 3rd of of January and that’s NO WAY to start a fresh new year… Little changes throughout the year build up to big differences by the end of December.
    I have so enjoyed reading your books this year (can’t believe I didn’t know about your books this time last year!) and I’m going to read Gareth tonight but will you be writing any more about Lord Elijah Harrington’s siblings?
    Keep up the good work!

    • 39.1

      You made me laugh! A failure in 72 hours flat, wow! And yes, Elijah’s rascally brothers and bookish sisters, and his dear parents… they deserve stories. I think before I take on that clan, though, I’m probably supposed to write stories for the Windham cousins, Tony and Gladys’s four daughters.

      And Nick Haddonfield’s four sisters.
      And Tremaine, and Hadrian, and Worth, and Trenton…

      • 39.1.1
        Carrie says:

        Yes, Yes, Yes all of those too of course! Ooh now you’re talking! I hadn’t thought of the possibility of all those books/people. I am cheering you on from the side line even if you do need a lie down in a quiet room(lavender cloth included)at the thought of all those stories.

        One New Year resolution I started and have kept this year was to write down how many books/titles I read throughout the year and as I look over the list you are the author who appears on it the most so… I’m sure that make it a tradition and therefore it my world it needs maintaining šŸ™‚
        I need more books in my life…. Too many hours in my day and not enough books on my shelf. (Although people I live with might not agree with me on the one!)
        So…ummm… GOOD LUCK šŸ˜‰

  40. 40
    Beth says:

    I am a tax accountant and my time for resolutions is now because 2012 is FINALLY history. So make your resolutions when it feels right – not based on the calendar. I admit I only make so much progress, but I always keep trying to improve. When I do not take the time to reflect and set goals I have quickly burned out. I hope your “What if” time stays on the creating, because I have enjoyed each story – you are a must read for me and your books are my rewards when I meet a little goal. For example Garreth had to wait until my billing was done. I did that today and now I am on the website peeking ahead at David whom I have just met.

    The reviews and sales will continue as long as the stories come along. So Thank You for your goal and Good Luck!

    • 40.1

      I could not DO what you, Beth. Business records make my brain to hurt. I put them off and put them off, and then, when I see a quiet afternoon, I actually enjoy coding the bank statements for the general ledger, but it’s really a matter of the mood striking me.

  41. 41
    Jane Vivash says:

    Your prolific output continues to delight and amaze me, Grace. I’ve enjoyed every one of your books so far, but I’d rather see you publish just two a year, than the monthly releases you’ve been treating us with lately, than have you stressing about maintaining that hectic schedule. Forget New Year resolutions! I LOVE your characters, although I think Gayle Windham will always be my favourite! If you need to slow down in order to keep on giving us such rich and varied characters, then I for one, won’t take you to task! I’ll just open up The Heir again and lose myself in the vivid worlds you create for us! Thanks so much – you are my most favourite writer šŸ™‚

    • 41.1

      Thanks, Jane! (Westhaven is over there looking smug and waving for some reason.) I’m not writing at a great rate, but I am dealing with successive release days. Next year won’t be QUITE as busy, and in 2015, things will slow down considerably. Looking forward to that, and to seeing what new stories come down the pike.

  42. 42

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