Rules of Engagement

Actually, I’ve decided that  – Rule of Engagement – would be far more accurate. What is that one rule you ask? Well, I’ll tell you … eventually.

When I first started writing, admittedly less then six-years ago, penning my stories came fairly easy (and still do). I always knew my genre would be paranormal romance, and my muse and I agreed that we’d tackle three-separate series – two standard male/female and one male/male. Within a week I had the beginnings of the rough-drafts for each of the first books in their prospective series. Looking back now, I realize that that was the last of any stability for me in this business.

Each year more and more publishing houses are closing their doors as the lemmings (aka)  new authors rush towards the steep cliffs of self-publishing. As more and more established authors fight for – and win – the rights back for their earlier works, they too are eagerly flooding the market with new covers on old works. An endeavor, by-the-way, that I commend them for as many are re-adding verbiage that was omitted by their original publisher, getting their new edition re-edited and having much more say about the outcome.

Times are forever changing. Submitting query letters, synopsis, polished first ten-pages or, if you’re really lucky, the first 3-chapters of a manuscript to try and score with an agent is becoming a thing-off-the-past. Although I still hold onto high-hopes that I’ll catch the interest of an agent for my ‘Tri-natured Warriors’ series, using smaller publishing houses or going completely independent has become the new norm. And even that too is changing each time I look into options for my latest finished manuscript. All the many ‘Rules of Engagement’ I found lately while just trying to decide if I want to stay with my current publishing house, give another further inquiry, or tackle the totally Indy-dragon is nothing short of mind-boggling.

And as if all the above isn’t enough – word count requirements change each year, as-well-as the guidelines that define erotic-romance from erotica. Luckily, I still fall into the former with my ‘Cat Calls’ series (Whew!). Then there’s having to search out a reliable pre-editor within a budget and locate free-pictures that best match an idea for any given cover artist to use. They’re their own separate nightmare that even Hollywood wouldn’t dare make movies of.

My rant is over about the business side of writing. But before I return to the personally  much more satisfying portion – my word count, as promised … the Rule of Engagement is –  there are no longer any rules. Write-on, and if you happen upon an author out there, give her/him a hug.


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