“To achieve something great, you need a plan and not enough time.”
I saw that statement in a horoscope and thought, “well, that sums up my summer!” I always have a plan and never enough time.
In June, I joined a group of authors putting out a mystery boxed set. I don’t write mysteries, but I did have THE SECRET INGREDIENT, a culinary romance with a small mystery in the plot, already published. They accepted that, and a lot of planning and organizing took place – mostly without me because I was swamped with deadlines – and the Mirth, Murder, & Mystery boxed set hit the USA TODAY bestseller list in July. On a side note: An agent once told me TSI would never sell…and here it ended up part of a set that sold quite well. Now its follow-up novella is getting some attention too.
On the heels of that success, I was invited to participate in a second boxed set with a different group of authors. Dianna Love was putting a set together and wanted a romantic suspense. Did I have one that was already published? Um, no, I didn’t even have a finished manuscript, but I sure wanted to participate in her boxed set. My friend Adrienne Giordano, also participating, asked if I had any unfinished stories languishing in a drawer. The light bulb went on. I had a story 80% finished. It was a romantic suspense I’d written years ago. Another manuscript that had been bashed by an agent who claimed it wouldn’t work for romance readers because there were too many dead bodies. I dug it out and lined up all the things needed for publication: content editor, two copyeditors, formatting, and cover art.
No, I couldn’t. There wasn’t enough time. But I committed anyway and got up at 4 am for a week and worked my fanny off. My editors all came through, and I had the best cover ever in a matter of days, thanks to Hot Damn Designs. Even my formatter, the lovely and talented Amy Atwell, produced all the formats I needed in record time.
DEADLY PURSUIT released on August 1st. Within days, it hit three bestseller lists on Amazon – military romance, action and adventure, and romantic suspense. I was overjoyed! On the 19th, THE PERFECT 10 boxed set released, DEADLY PURSUIT included, and I expected my individual sales to drop drastically. Instead, they’ve remained strong. I hadn’t intended to make this a series, but I am now. And I’m hoping the boxed set makes the USA TODAY list as well. (Maybe even the NY Times list – hey, a girl can dream, right?) It really is a great deal– ten books by ten bestselling authors for only 99 cents.
After years of planning until I’m blue in the face and trying to make things happen, it’s nice to simply wing it once in a while, say yes to an impossible deadline, and experience success! I’m honored to be in both of these boxed sets with such generous and business-savvy authors. It’s their vision that boosted me to a level of success which has always seemed out of reach.
So these days, I’m planning less and winging it more. Saying yes to opportunities and deadlines that seem ridiculously difficult. The challenge can be overwhelming, but the rewards are wonderful!
Readers, what challenge have you said yes to and never regretted? I’ll give away a copy of any of my books (winner’s choice) to TWO commenters!