Am I the only one who feels despondent these days, wondering whether you should carry on with this crazy life of publishing your books?
Maybe it is just that today was supposed to be our last day of the 21-lockdown, and now it has been extended to the 30th of April with rumours of another two-week-lockdown. All because of people's stupidity by not staying at home and isolate.
Or I may only feel like that because when I woke up this morning, I had to deal with Facebook posts of two friends around the globe losing their husbands due to Covid-19. I call them friends. We've never met apart from commenting now and again on each other's posts, but they are both members of the writing community. Two other people in my writing community have Covid-19 but both are on the mend, luckily. It makes it all so real and made me wonder why I worry about sales and not getting the words on the paper when other people have so much more to deal with.
It took me the whole day yesterday (I was supposed to post this yesterday), and most of the night to work through these feelings. In another post the other day I've told you that I deal with grieve and pain through my writing and keeping busy. Yesterday I just couldn't. I didn't write. I didn't paint. I did nothing. I didn't even read! Yes, yesterday hadn't been a good day.
This morning, however, I realise that I need to focus on myself. Yes, sales are still bad. I'm still trying to figure out Amazon ads. I'm still trying to figure out how to go forward with my WIP and what to do with my Afrikaans books, but today I can focus again on my own work.
Now, those of you who know me, or followed me the last couple of years on my writing journey, know that I usually have several projects on the go. I've published 13 books so far (10 in English and 3 in Afrikaans) but since then have slowed down. I now take it one project at a time.
To be honest, I'm not sure what to tell you what you can expect from me in the near future abut let me tell you what keeps me busy these days.
CHOICES (ROSA'S SWEET ANTHOLOGY)
The first project I've completed since publishing Taste for Wine at the latter end of 2019, is Choices. It is a short story (20000 words), which I've submitted to be part of the Romance Organization of South Africa (ROSA)'s sweet anthology due to be published later in 2020. This story is a splinter story from the Playing for Glory series, as it tells the story of Dan MacKay, the brother of Sarah in Wrecking Ball and Jessica. Dan also went to school with Daniel Cooper (Leading from the Front) while they lived in South Africa. Dan is currently the Scottish national team captain and has therefore played with Richie (Wrecking Ball). Choices is a second-chance romance, involving a sassy ten-year-old redhead who is not scared to take her father on.
Eleven years ago, Dan Mackay made a choice he regretted ever since. He knew it was the wrong one, but he was too proud, and to be honest, too embarrassed, to admit it then. When he, at last, came to his senses, it was too late. He could not find his Jess. He punished himself by going back to South Africa every year, hunting old grounds to find her, but never did. Until now, that is, only to realize the choice he made so long ago, had more repercussions than even he thought. Will he be able to make better choices this time – choices that will help mend his relationship with Jess?
Like Dan, Jess knew it was the biggest mistake letting Dan go, even as he was walking out of the door, but she was too proud to stop him. She soon accepted that Dan moved on with his life and did the same. Will they make the right choices this time?
WRECKING BALL AND BLOOD BROTHERS
These two books need to be published before the anthology and are both in their final drafts.
Richie Campbell signed with the Buffaloes from Pretoria in a desperate attempt to escape the British press but things did not work exactly the way the Scottish winger had planned. He had not expected the local media’s interest in the first foreign player to play for the Buffaloes. Richie had almost a perverse pleasure in making it as difficult as possible for the media to understand his Glaswegian accent. That was until the Buffaloes’ management give Richie an ultimatum: Work with Sarah Mackay, the Scottish-born elocution and media training coach or find yourself on the first flight back to Scotland. Richie stubbornly refused until he realized that Sarah was none other than the redheaded, green-eyed beauty he had seen a couple of weeks ago. His grandmother had been right after all. Things happened for a reason. All he needed to do was use the time to charm Sarah into his life and in his bed. Sarah, however, had other ideas. She had two rules: she did not date clients and definitely not professional athletes, especially rugby players as they had too much testosterone. Richie Campbell with his good looks and buckets full of charm was a prime example.
Throwing together two stubborn Scots in the heat of South Africa made the sparks fly. The question was, who would be the victor and who would be the loser in the battle of wills.
A promise is a promise and a promise to your best friend and teammate is something you keep. In Mark’s book anyway. At 32, Mark had been best friends with Daniel Cooper since they were 21. When Mark made a promise to stay away from Daniel’s sister, Jaylin, Mark thought it was an easy one to make. He did not take into consideration that the immediate attraction he felt for her would turn into love. Scaring of messing up his friendship and business partnership with Daniel, Mark had to push her away the one night he lost the battle, gave in, and kissed her when they met in Paris. But now Jaylin was back in South Africa. Circumstances brought them together at every turn. How long would Mark to be able to resist Jaylin? Would pursuing Jaylin be worth losing Daniel’s friendship and jeopardize their business partnership? Not that it mattered. Jaylin did not forgive easy.
There are several other books in the series nearing completion, and I might publish a short story or two, but not yet so I will tell you about them another time.
Of course, that is not the only things I work on and I am excited about these other projects. I do not even have blurbs for them, or, in one case, not even a title, even though they are in their final drafts.
MY SECRET LIFE WITH UNICORNS
“Where do you come from?” he asked suddenly.
“From a land far, far away,” she said simply.
Gavin’s lips curled in amusement and his eyes crinkled, but he didn’t laugh. With just a solemn expression as hers he asked, “How did you get here? Wait, don’t tell me… With Donkey?”
Kayla suppressed the giggle trying to escape. He surprised her every time. She didn’t take him as a man who knew Shrek but then, he had already proved to know more about fairytales and princesses than she expected. She shook her head and frowned, “Don’t be silly. Donkey wouldn’t have been able to swim across the oceans. I left him in Far, Far Away.”
“Oh, I know. It was Donkey’s girlfriend, the dragon!” Gavin exclaimed.
Kayla giggled and shook her head.
“Now how did you manage it?” he asked, now out of ideas.
With that accent that still intrigued him, making Gavin wonder where she really came from, she answered, “On the wings of a silver bird.”
This is quite a fun story to write and I can't wait to share it with you. It is a romantic comedy mostly, but with some deeper issues. It tells the story of Kayla, a children's author who is embarking on a trip to Scotland to find her past.