I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this question. Why? Well, it has to do with advice I’ve received from professionals regarding the covers of my Forever A Pirate series.
To leave the numbers on the front of the books or not…that is the question.
Whether tis nobler in the hearts of readers to leave said numbers off in an effort to promote the books as individual stories…
Or to make certain the reader knows the best order in which to read the books, and perhaps sell less…
Because readers will see the number and pass them by because…why?
This is something I am wrestling with. Is it better for a reader to know, from the very beginning – that wonderful looking cover is the sixth in a series so they might want to read books one-five before they tackle six…and let them make the choice to go there or pass it by…
Some readers would see that six and celebrate… Whoohoo! A nice fat series!
Some readers would see that six and sigh… Not enough time…
But…if I take the numbers off and someone picks up book six and reads it…and is sorta pissed because they normally don’t read series and they feel tricked… Isn’t that a nasty thing to do to a reader?
This haunts me.
I want the readers who adore series. Who love to read from one to the end and don’t appreciate having to search out the publication date to put a series in the correct order. (I’ve done this. It pisses me off.)
I have two series. The Kraken’s Caribbean is presently three books long, four books by the end of the summer if all goes according to plan. These books can be read out of order. But they are better in order.
Forever A Pirate is thirty books. In reality, it is one book. One massive, three million plus words story. Broken into thirty volumes. In my heart, I feel to promote them as separate entities would be trickery.
Now, I like a good trick. But not when I’m dealing with my readers.
At center of this thing stands what I consider my integrity, the core of a fantasy reader who believes in the big books and the readers who want them, love them…and want to read them from one to thirty. Not skip around.
Would Tarzan read differently if read out of order? Would Pelucidar? John Carter of Mars? (Yes, I raise my eyes to Edgar Rice Burroughs and wonder…have times changed and I’m killing my chance at finding readers by leaving the numbers on the covers?)
So be it.
The numbers stay. I’d rather have readers who know before they read and will buy all thirty books, then readers who want to throttle me after reading one and proceed to trash me far and wide.
Wait, that should read New Pirate On Television. I mean, I don’t want to promote pirating television…I think.
It’s hard when a word can serve as a noun or a verb.
But I digress…
Well, that was fun! Watched episode one, was surprised (sorta) to find I was siding with Blackbeard totally. I thought, from the sneak videos, that I would be divided between the fine doctor/spy/assassin and the pirate/politician/philosopher. But nope. Totally rooting for the pirates.
Malkovich is divine, as always. Shows us a pirate determined to stand up for the freedom to do whatever the hell he wants. (Is this historically accurate?) (Do I care?) I especially like his speech about whether he is an Englishman or not. (Pretty clear he came down on the side of the ‘not.’)
This echoes what I write in my Forever A Pirate series so clearly. I ADORE that. (Why aren’t they making a series out of my series?)
The doctor, Blackbeard’s antagonist. What happened to ‘first, do no harm?’ I mean, wow. And with no show of a conflict of conscious, he starts right off by killing the inventor of the miraculous device. (This is a historical fact. There was a huge reward to the inventor who could solve the issue of a ship’s navigation. Not that he was captured by pirates and murdered, but that the reward was offered. And won.)
And the governor of Port Royal? Wow, color me totally disgusted. Seems like someone is pissed that he got fooled into thinking he’d killed Blackbeard. Taking it personal, honey? (Was that Timothy Dalton?) And what’s with the hair? Looked like a muppet. Dude, it’s called a comb.
What’s my opinion of the debut? Lots of fun! And I hope they make that pirate town, built on an old
airbase in Puerto Rico, a tourist destination. I’d go! (I think I read that somewhere…)
Five treasure chests!
Death warmed over.
No brain activity, other than the squirrel chasing it’s tail.
RT – Romantic Times Booklovers Convention – THE place to find madness and join the frenzy. Ask me details – I don’t remember.
Ask me who I saw – I don’t remember.
Ask me what I ate – Okay, I do remember the beignets.
What panels did I attend? – I don’t remember, but I bet I have notes. Somewhere.
Why did she give me a flamingo? I asked her later, she said she had a bunch of them in her room.
I had good reason for muddle-headedness. Beyond what is normal at RT. My sister, three years older than I, was back in California, in the hospital, learning she had lung cancer.
I desperately tried to keep busy…knowing I’d be home on Sunday and seeing her in the hospital on Monday.
Now? Two weeks past RT. Head is still muddled. Sister is home and we are dealing with what the future holds. RT is unpacked, washed and put away.
Save for the flamingo…but I’ll get to him.
Keep reading, my friends. It’s the only shelter I’ve found that works completely.
Blog Talk Radio, Other Worlds of Romance, featured me on the show Monday night. I first visited the bar, here at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, in preparation for reading an excerpt on the show, hosted by Linda Mooney.
We had fun!
After my little cancer scare last month, I’m finding April to be a real recovering-my-balance month. And as with the major crisis of my sudden cardiac death, seven years ago today, I find myself full of a simple faith and contentment.
It’s pretty awesome to realize it’s been seven years…but I woke from that drama to a renewed sense of going forward.
Right now, I am content with doing better. Yes, better is enough.
The last few weeks, things have been a bit wonky here at Casa Betita. And honestly, can anyone take speculation to a higher point of absurdity than a writer?
My dentist is a wonderful man. A cancer survivor. I’m not certain exactly what it is/was. But it’s throat oriented and has left him nothing more than a bare whisper of a voice. I love him and travel nearly 3
hours to see him several times a year.
Why am I talking about my dentist? He saw something odd inside my mouth on February 24th, a dark spot. He made a note of it, ‘just a blood blister and should be gone when I saw you again, in three weeks’. Well, it wasn’t. And he recommended I see a regular doctor and have it looked at.
Sigh. Imagine, my dentist…who I’ve been seeing for decades. Who has fought cancer for years…
Imagine my imagination. Now, multiple that by 1000 times.
The spot was biopsied two days later… Since February, the fear would flit across my mind…
‘damn it, shut up!’
By the time he saw it the second time, I was teetering on the edge of a precipice, the worst an imaginative person can conjure. The week between the biopsy and waiting for the result… I have been buried in insanity.
Unable to focus on anything but editing. Editing. Editing. I sat up until 2 in the morning. I woke early. I didn’t sleep well. I spoke very little. I bailed on Facebook, a favorite social media. I didn’t email. I had projects I needed to work on. Print editions, promotional investigation, tweeking existing ebooks…
Nope. I edited. Nine volumes of my Forever A Pirate novels. Books 10-20.
And when I was reading, fixing, fixating, focused…I didn’t think about that spot.
I’m still waiting for results.
And I tell myself, it must not be horrible, I’d be hearing already.
And I tell myself, there is no history of cancer in my family.
And I tell myself…
And I tell myself…
And I tell myself…
An imagination running wild can be a marvelous thing. For me, it resulted in a 30 volume series about pirates. Another 3, soon to be 4, volume series of about different pirates and a matchmaking kraken. A 6 volume series featuring sex magic based in modern Ireland. A 3 volume series exploring alien/human interaction. An dystopian urban fantasy. And more short, sexy, really filthy stories than I can admit to.
I love my imagination.
And right now, I hate it.
And I tell myself ‘when you hear it’s nothing, you’re gonna feel like a fool’.
I sure hope so.
*Update… Got a call and it’s not cancer. I don’t really know how to react at the moment. I am overwhelmed with relief. And terribly, terribly exhausted. At least now…I can let my mind consider the future.
I want to thank Louise Baccio for tagging me to participate in the blog tour. I love answering questions!
1) What am I working on?
I’m very heavy into publishing right now… One book a month is the new schedule for the remaining 24 books in my pirate series. But for those who are waiting… I am over 35,000 words into the fourth of the Kraken’s Caribbean series… Yes, the story of Lee and his journey toward love will be out this summer (I hope!). The Kraken’s Promise…Lee and Karen Silvestri, the child of Janie and Benjamin, will both find a true course to sail, and face a very nasty dra…uh, villainess!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Are there other books in this genre? Okay, seriously…in the genre of romantic pirate adventures series my books differ because I write of one couple. Same world, same ship, just the continuing adventures and challenges of Jake and Miranda. A bit like a television series…
3) Why do I write what I do?
I fell in love with adventure stories from a very early age. From Tarzan on TV (Ron Ely – sigh), the stories of Robin Hood and a very early exposure to swords and sorcery…so that is what I had to write. Pirate movies, the great Hollywood versions, totally corrupted my version of what pirating is all about. Romance, bright colored clothing, lots of room… I write what I love. And I love pirates!
4) How does my writing process work?
I’m a total pantser who secretly outlines. I don’t call it plotting because I do nothing in detail… I generally haul the laptop onto the lap and dive into it at night. The days are spent with the many other tasks of an author… Tho I have been known to spend a day buried in a plot point at Starbucks…
Okay! Next week, follow the tour to the blog of Fran Colley, a book reviewer extraordinary and a writer working on a handful of projects at the same time. One…about Adam and Eve is wonderful! Check her out at Hellie’s Radical and Frequently Raving Reviews and Other Random Ruminations.
Welcome to the world of Captain Jake Reynard and his witch, Miranda. These two are the stars of my renamed series, Forever A Pirate. In honor of the release of the sixth book, as well as the new cover reveal for books 1-5… I’m taking over Facebook. All day, you’ll see scattered images of pirate things, all pointing to this page…
I love pirates, I think I always have. But I’m not a purist, give me the great Hollywood pirates and I’m content. More than content.
Forever A Pirate reflects my love of the long lasting life-of-adventure couple…as they struggle through personal conflicts and the difficulties of saving the world, facing down personal demons and discovering what they are capable of doing, together. I grew up on McMillan and Wife, Tommy and Tuppence, Tarzan and Jane… I like to follow one couple… So, be ye prepared. Forever A Pirate presently consists of 30 books. And one couple!
Meet Jake…pirate, thief, rogue, captain of the Moonstone. A born leader. A born liar. A man who knows his way around a woman, but likes to play. Never stays. Until Miranda. Once he hauls her out of the sea, he is struck. And the more he learns, the more he lingers.
Miranda! Time traveling sexual witch. Flung from her world by sorrows few could imagine, she can slide between the portals of time and space. But she never stays. She loves many, for she needs a lover’s touch to stay magically charged. No one had ever caught her heart. Until Jake.
When they met, it was magic. When they stand against adversity, they are fearless.
Forever A Pirate, books 1-6 available on Amazon. And a new title, every month. I promise!