The Writer’s Angst

0511-1103-0212-0510Angst is a powerful word. I prefer it to worry, anguish or torment. It sounds like a word that belongs to the struggling…you fill in the blank. I can’t use angst to describe my emotions when I write. That word belongs to much loftier writers than I will ever claim to be. James Joyce was the king of angst. He spent days anguishing over just the right word for his sentence.

Regardless, I do suffer from angst, not while I write, but the minute I type The End. Angst attacks and invades my brain like a possessive demon. I totally fall apart. First, my angst questions the worthiness of my manuscript. It’s not good enough. No one will read it. Trash it, all thoughts that rage in my head. That’s when I turn to my critique partner who assures me that it’s great. Not great, as in the next great American novel, but great enough.

My next bout with angst comes when I submit my first three chapters to my publisher. Four weeks after my submission, I expect to hear back asking for the entire manuscript. I have a timeline. If they don’t meet it, I’m thrown into the depths of hell. “I knew it. They hate it,” I wail to my critique partner. An entire week of cake and cookies has passed, feeding my angst. I finally get the request for my manuscript, only to have angst strike again when I think they’re going to pass on publishing my work. I hate that phrase “Unfortunately, we’re going to have to pass at this time.” Does that mean they’ll take it next week? My angst doesn’t end until I have the contract in hand.

It’s over you say. No. It’s only begun. My next bout begins as soon as the final edit is returned to the publisher. I’m beginning to hate this book. Marketing…this is where angst grows to mammoth proportions. Selling myself is not high on my like-to-do list. I feel like a prostitute beating my drum for readers. I won’t even say it’s limited to Facebook because I’m all over the place. I stand on the corner of Twitter and WordPress if anyone’s interested. I do everything that’s required. I attend book signings. I tweet. And I blog. All creating greater angst.

And then, we have the rankings and reviews. Hours, days are spent dissecting these dreaded author haters. I stand in judgment as they strip me of my confidence. It’s only when I get a good review that I can raise my head and stare the beast in the eye.

The worst is when a friend or family member informs me that they’re reading my book. Angst goes through the roof when I hear this. I feign a contagious disease to avoid the holiday dinner. Anything is better than listening to them dissect the book I bled over.

Writing is a roller coaster of angst. It’s a good thing I like the word.

First published on Southern Writers Magazine: Suite T

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Book cover 9313 029Patricia Hudson was born in Wales, U.K. As a young girl she moved to America with her family and currently resides on a small horse farm in central Illinois, with her husband, David, two dogs, and her beloved quarter horse. She has written seven books: Stolen Hearts released in 2013. The Call, Love on the Double T, Love’s Deception, and The Exchange to be published in 2014. Also in production are The Circle, and Jana Morgan, PI. Join her on http://www.facebook.com/AuthorPHudson Tweet on http://www.twitter.com@AuthorPHudson
Read her blogs on https://patriciahudson1011.wordpress.com

The Call. Released April 30, 2014

The Call.

Is it witchcraft or madness? Angharad Jones heeds the call and relocates to Wales hoping to discover her heritage. She is unprepared for the battle of power unleashed upon her arrival. Angharad, a successful author, seeks answers to explain the visions plaguing her since childhood. In a drastic move to uncover the mystery behind her visions, Angharad moves to Wales, the one place her mother refuses to talk about. While renting a cottage in Fishguard, she meets Rhyse Williams, the handsome Chief Inspector, who is investigating the death of two students found naked and bound together on the beach below the cliffs surrounding the village; the same two students in Angharad’s vision. Their attraction to one another is immediate and intense, but can she trust Rhyse or will he run for the hills when she tells him about her visions. It is all unleashed when Angharad discovers that Rhyse is part of the call. Are they destined for love or betrayal? Murders are uncovered, spells are cast and love is found. The battle of power between good and evil begins.

A small taste from The Call:

Upon reaching the top of the hill, she discovered a wide expanse of yellowing sea grass that stretched to the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Her lungs expanded as she breathed in the scent of the ocean. The tall grass rustled in the wind as Angharad ran, driven toward her destination. Despite being fearful of heights, she stood at the edge of the cliff, unable to tear herself away, riveted by the ocean’s majestic power. She watched the ocean crash against the rocks below, creating swirls of white caps. Its strength and fury left her in awe. The tide was in, covering all signs of the beach that lay below the crashing waves. Without warning, her headache roared in her skull, much like the waves crashing below, and she dropped to her knees, holding her head in agony. She swayed back and forth, her head riddled with pain, until the vision came. The face of a woman, in her mid-thirties, with long, curly, dark hair appeared in her mind. Her blue eyes set in a heart-shaped face stared vacantly as she floated in the sea her hair splayed around her. Angharad cried out as she recognized the similarity between the woman and her own appearance. It was as though she looked in a mirror. Holding her head, she began to sob uncontrollably. Tears splashed to her knees as she rocked back and forth. Maybe she saw herself in death. Whatever it was, she had a sense of overwhelming grief and screamed, the sound carried out to sea by the wind. Were her visions manifesting into her own reality? Absorbed in the memory of what she’d seen, she jumped when a hand touch her elbow. “Miss, may I help you? What are you doing on the cliffs?” She turned to the voice and exhaled a breath, relieved she was not yet lost to the madness of her mind. The stranger appeared concerned and held her steady as he helped her to her feet. When she opened her mouth to thank him, her words blew away with the wind. He led her down the path to his car, gently helping her into the front seat. Still struggling for awareness, she let the stranger drive her away.

Hot, hot, hot off the press, pick up your copy of The Call.

http://www.amazon.com/Call-Patricia-Hudson-ebook/dp/B00K2FB0VQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1399260507&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Call

About Patricia Hudson Book cover 9313 029Patricia Hudson was born in Wales, U.K. As a young girl she moved to America with her family and currently resides on a small horse farm in central Illinois, with her husband, David, two dogs, and her beloved quarter horse.

She has written eleven books: Stolen Hearts released in 2013. The Call, Love on the Double T, Love’s Deception, and The Exchange to be published in 2014. Also in production are The Circle, and Jana Morgan, PI.
Join her on:

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Introducing the debut book by Anne B. Cole, Souls Entwined

Souls Entwined

Coming April 30th from Soul Mate Publishing

A Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Souls Entwined Blurb

When a cursed family heirloom sends Gretta Dobbs back in time, a hunky construction worker, Sam Daggett, suddenly finds himself love struck and joins her adventure. Their souls entwine within the bodies of young lovers on a Greek island in 1829, where they begin to unravel the mysteries behind Gretta’s ring all while avoiding a bloodthirsty pirate who is determined to seek revenge. Gretta and Sam must find the secrets needed to save her and her relatives from an afterlife in purgatory and return to their own lives – or risk becoming prisoners of the past, continuing the evil cycle of the ring’s curse.

A bit about Anne

Souls Entwined is Anne B. Cole’s debut release, combining sweet romantic suspense, time travel, and paranormal elements in a New Adult novel attractive to a wide range of readers.

In addition to writing, Anne teaches preschool and is raising three very active teenagers with her husband of twenty-two years. Her love for making fresh baked goodies, running, hiking, historical fiction, and her three pet cats continue to be her inspiration while she pens the sequel to Souls Entwined.

Connect With Anne

To follow Anne’s publishing journey and connect with her, check out her blog site and find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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An Exciting New Reveal Coming May, 2014 – The Bride Gift

The Bride Gift
By Sarah Hegger

Cover Reveal

It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.

Determined to control her own destiny, wilful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior Guy of Helston is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.

This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.

Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.

This is my very first cover and it marks one of those milestones for me as a writer. I’m still struggling to get past my name on the cover.

Feel free to tell me what you think.

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An Exciting New Release coming May 28th: The Earl’s Enticement

Cover Reveal –The Earl’s Enticement
Coming May 28, 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing
A Regency-Scottish Historical

The Earl’s Enticement Blurb

She won’t be tamed.
A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.

He can’t forget.
Haunted by his past, Roark, The Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.

Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement.
He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.

A bit about Collette
Award winning, Amazon best-selling, and multi-published historical romance author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. A Pacific Northwest Native, Collette’s been married for thirty years, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

Connect with Collette:
Website Blue Rose Romance Blog Twitter Facebook
You can connect with Collette on Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Google+ too. Go to her website for the links, her email address, and mailing address.

 

Introducing the Book Cover for Dreams of Perfection Coming in May, 2014

Book Blurb

What if perfection isn’t truly perfect?

Best-selling romance writer, Darcy Butler, is holding out for perfection in the form of her own carefully-crafted heroes. Once blissfully engaged to be married, Darcy’s post-traumatic commitment phobia is depriving her of the very thing she wants most: her very own happily-ever-after. Now, here she is just six months shy of her thirtieth birthday, and not a Prince Charming in sight.

Successful lawyer, Josh Ryan, is the boy-next-door with a soft spot for the less fortunate, and Darcy’s best friend without benefits. Darcy often comes to him lamenting her love-life, or the lack thereof, whereupon Josh patiently doles out his sage advice. Problem is Josh is in love with Darcy.

But when Darcy finds herself looking into the handsome face of the man who graces the cover of her soon-to-be-released novel, she’s convinced her dreams of perfection have come true. Or have they?

Bio

Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.
Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.

Visit Rebecca at:

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

A sneak preview of this great read:

Excerpt:

Darcy Butler sat across the table from her blind date in a trendy new SoHo restaurant contemplating the fact that he was no Blake Garrett. Blake was . . . perfect. But why wouldn’t he be? After all, she’d created him.
Listening with half an ear, she nodded at something he said. Her date was handsome, polite, successful, charming even. He had good taste in food, wine, and from the looks of his expensive suit, clothes as well. But the comparisons continued, and she found him lacking at every turn. Robert, or Russell, or something that started with an ‘R’ asked her a question.
She could hear her mother’s well-deserved admonishment. He’s buying you dinner. The least you can do is remember his name.
Focus, Darcy.
“What do you like to do with your free time?” He gazed into her eyes, clearly trying to make a connection.
“I love going to Yankees’ games,” she said, excited that the season started that week.
“Baseball? Really?”
“Yeah, do you like baseball?” Her excitement rose at the prospect of finding a fellow baseball lover. Provided, of course, his loyalties didn’t run in the wrong direction.
“No. I find baseball boring. Too much standing around. I prefer boxing or hockey, something with a little action.”
Okay—first—baseball boring? Her excitement fell in proportion to the rise in her blood pressure. Second, boxing? Hockey? Where guys beat the crap out of each other? Did she want to date a man with a proclivity for violence?
All right, all right. Down, girl. Maybe she could educate him on the subtleties of baseball, the beauty of a breaking ball, the rarity of a no-hitter, the excitement of a bottom-of-the-ninth-down-by-three-full-count-with-two-outs-and-bases-loaded game. Help him see the light.
“Do you like boxing or hockey?” he continued.
“No. Sorry. I don’t.”
The clatter of silverware against china, the clink of glasses, and the low hum of conversation from other diners did nothing to diminish the uncomfortable silence that descended. “So”—he cleared his throat—“Laura tells me you’re a writer. What do you write, fiction, non-fiction? Murder mysteries? I love a good murder mystery.”
He signaled to the waiter for another gin and tonic. His third so far, but who’s counting.
“No, I write romance.” Was that an eye roll?
“Seriously?” he asked, his highball glass poised halfway to his mouth.
That was definitely an eyebrow lift, and not the wow-that-intrigues-me sort of lift, but the you-can’t-be-serious sort of lift. “Yes, really. I’m a New York Times and USA Today best-selling romance author,” she said, with no small amount of pride in her voice. “In fact, my latest book, The Doctor’s Dilemma, will be out in a few months.”
“That’s, um, great.”
“You seem surprised, and not pleasantly.” She tilted her head.
“Well, I mean,” he stammered, “Laura said you had a B.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia, and, well, using it to write books about half-naked men and heaving bosoms seems . . . a waste.” He made no further attempt to hide the disdain in his voice.
Her blood pressure soared, not to mention her temper. She set down her glass of Chardonnay so she could make her point without the risk of throwing the wine in his face, and propping her elbows on the table, leaned forward.
“Romance is serious business. Did you know that romantic fiction has the largest share of the U.S. consumer market? That romantic fiction generated over one billion, that’s billion with a ‘b,’ dollars in sales last year? That almost seventy-five million people read at least one romantic novel a year? And that includes men.”
He held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, okay. I get it. It’s a money thing.”
“No, it’s not a money thing,” she replied with a dash of snark. “I happen to love what I do. And so do my fans. All three hundred thousand of them.” Wow, I really need to get a grip. She’d caught the unwelcome attention of neighboring diners.
Mr. R.—and ‘R’ didn’t stand for ‘Right’—glanced around as if seeking the closest exit. His phone rang—one of those sultry sax tones—and from the look on his face, he welcomed the interruption. Excusing himself from the table, he stepped outside to take the call.
Darcy snatched up her phone and texted Laura, the instigator of this blind-date-gone-wrong.
He hates baseball. How could u?
Momentarily her phone buzzed.
How am I supposed to know he hates baseball? And who cares? He’s cute! And rich.
Darcy dropped her phone into her purse as Mr. R. approached the table.
“I’m sorry, I’ve got to go. My sister’s in labor. Twins.” He gave Darcy a lame smile.
She couldn’t tell if he was lying or not, but if he was, he got an ‘A’ for creativity. Either way, she didn’t care. The evening couldn’t end soon enough as far as she was concerned. “Well, congratulations.”
Darcy stood as he tossed a hundred dollar bill down on the table. “This should take care of it. I’m really sorry. Good luck with your new book.” And with that, he left.
Well, another one bites the dust. She sat back down with a sigh, before signaling the waiter. “I’ll have a Grey Goose Cosmo, and the Ahi tuna salad, with the dressing on the side. Oh, and the melting chocolate cake for dessert.” Since Mr. R. was buying, she might as well eat.

Falling Out of Love With My Manuscript

Yikes! I pushed the send button. What was I thinking? It’s not ready. If I read it one more time, I know I can improve it.

Do all authors think these thoughts when they submit a manuscript? I do and more. Some I can’t share on a public blog site.

I’m what they call an early sender. I have to be. If I read my manuscript one more time, I’m going to send it to the trash bin. I’m sick of the characters, sick of the plot. What I knew was good after the third read, is now a boring mish-mash of uninteresting characters whom I hate. I really don’t care anymore if Ian and Gwyn get back together or if Bronwyn ever falls in love. Let them figure out their own problems.

It was suggested that I do a sequel. I laughed hysterically. “That means I have to read the bloody book again. I don’t remember the details.” I quipped to the person who knows me and my fickle nature.

I did end up writing a sequel. I loved the book for as long as it took me to write it. But like all the others, I fell out of love.

I’m very unfaithful. I’ve written nine books in two years. Thank goodness my personal life isn’t as chaotic. I assure you, I’m happily married and have been for thirty plus years. My infidelities only happen on paper.

I envy the writer who remains faithful to their novels. The author who remembers every detail, every kiss, every word spoken between the heroine and the hero. My CP can recite passages from her works. She remembers in detail what they wore, how they looked, how they felt.

If I’m asked about my books, I have to struggle to remember the names of the main characters. I often get my characters mixed up. Sarah is the horse trainer, not the Behavioral Psychologist for the Chicago Police Department. Her name is Kate or is it Angharad. No, Angharad is the witch.

Maybe, I should write sequels, the names would be easier to remember. Alas, that isn’t true either. I wrote the sequel using the wrong name for the antagonist and had to do a search to change the name when I discovered my error on the third read through. I wrote the wrong name fifty-one times. By then, I was clenching my teeth and rooting for her.

Today, I sent it off. Ready or not. It was either send or trash, and I chose send. The thought of Ian in the trash still hurt a bit.

I hope I’m not alone. I never hear anyone talk about their books in anything but the most loving terms. Don’t get me wrong, months later, I can remember them with fond, if not vague, memories.

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Books:
Released 2014
Stolen Hearts:
To find Stolen Hearts on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Hearts-ebook/dp/BooE3LMF71
Coming in 2014 by SoulMate Publishing:
The Call April, 2014
Love on the Double T May, 2014
Moody Gallery Summer, 2014
The Exchange September, 2014
Jana Morgan, P.I., The Case of the Mississippi River Murders