It’s really me. 🙂
Coming in August and September, 2021
My next book, The Lord of Surprise, will be published in August, and its sequel, A Gentleman and a Rogue, will follow in September.
The Lord of Surprise
William St. John, the mischievous Earl of Meeham, intends to spend an entire delicious month creating havoc at Highmere Park, his best friend’s country estate, by posing as the new butler while Pink is away, but Pink’s dratted, competent, and all-too-lovely housekeeper has other ideas.
Miss Elizabeth Hendrix, housekeeper of Highmere Park, has no intention of allowing an inexperienced butler to ruin her pride and joy. For the past three years, Elizabeth has run the grand estate with no butler to get in her way. She loves the place fiercely. Everything at Highmere Park is perfect–except for the dratted new butler, who seems bent upon turning her perfect world upside down.
As the days pass, Will begins to feel a little remorse for the mischief he’s caused. The pretty housekeeper really does love the place, and she’s clearly distressed. And then Will recalls a visit to Highmere when he was but a boy–and a girl he’d espied swimming naked but un-shivering in the cold lake, and he begins to suspect that Miss Hendrix is connected to the estate in a way not even she understands.
A Gentleman and a Rogue
A cast of recurring characters populates my imaginary Regency world. Some of these characters play major supporting roles, while others are more like movie extras, but once in a while one of the extras steps out of the shadows and takes on a greater role. That’s what happened with Samuel “Pink” Peplim. He was so much fun to write that I just had to make him the hero of my next novel!
In The Lord of Surprise, Pink is the hero’s best friend. He’s a “pink o’ the ton,” a dandy, a fop, a peacock. Someone who lives for fashion and parties and gossip. And he’s also terribly shy around women. So when he whispered in my ear that he actually leads a double life, one I should write about, I was understandably intrigued.
It turns out that in the wilds of Cornwall, the mincing “Pink” Peplim turns into Jago “Jag” Lanyon, manly man! As the dashing Jag Lanyon, Pink robs from the rich and gives to the poor (at least the nearby villagers think he does). He’s a local hero. And he’s good at it. In fact, the Jag persona feels so natural to him that, as the book opens, he’s not really sure who he is anymore, Jag or Pink.
Enter our heroine, Rosie Greypool, who helps Pink figure himself out.
Clever and resourceful, Rosie has lived by her wits for as long as she can remember, and she’s tired of it. Left an orphan as a young girl, she had no choice but to become a thief and keep moving to avoid being caught. On the day our story opens, her luck runs out. She picks the wrong pocket and is almost caught, but at the last second, she’s saved by a Legend, none other than the notorious Jag Lanyon.
Jag puts her on his horse and sends it galloping off to his remote, farmhouse hideout whilst he deals with her pursuers. Once there, Rosie moves fast to steal Lanyon blind—but then she discovers evidence of Jag’s alter ego and realizes that Jag has something much more valuable to her than a few trinkets. As “Pink Peplim,” he can help her become the lady she was born to be. If he chooses to. And if he does not, there’s always blackmail…
These stories are both such fun! I’m having the best time writing them, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
My first finished novel became a finalist for a Golden Heart Award from the Romance Writers of America and was published in 2001 by Kensington Books as part of its Zebra Regency Romance line. Four years and six more novels later, when Kensington stopped publishing Zebra Regencies, I was invited to continue writing for Kensington, but since my home life was busily falling apart, I elected to stop writing altogether. It’s difficult to write about love when the person you love stops wearing his wedding ring.
Needing a creative outlet, I began to paint. I created and sold over 350 large-scale abstract expressionist paintings. I was discovered by a prestigious art gallery with showrooms in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Dubai, San Francisco, Orlando, and London. The gallery had a deal with a large and well-known cruise line to sell art onboard, and they wanted all of the paintings I could produce.
It was a $700,000 a year deal. To say I was over the moon was an understatement. I was somewhere outside of this galaxy. Maybe even outside of this universe.
And then, the Great Recession hit.
Suddenly, no one was buying art. The gallery lost its deal with the cruise line. Then, the gallery closed, taking nine of my paintings with it. So, I built my own art gallery online (I enjoy creating websites, including this one). Attempting to make a go of that during the financial crisis, plus a move, a divorce, a courtship, a second marriage, several family health crises, and the raising of two young daughters all occupied the balance of the next few years.
And then, in 2012, a writer friend of mine told me she’d indie-published her backlist books on Kindle and Nook, and she was making much more money on those books as an indie than she did when she was traditionally published by a big New York publishing house. Why didn’t I give it a go? she asked.
What did I have to lose? My books were all long out-of-print and just sitting there, doing nothing.
So, I asked my old publisher for my publishing rights back, and I got to work creating new covers. Now, I’m an artist, so creating new covers wasn’t difficult. But I’ll admit that I regarded it as more a labor of love than a necessity, since I suspected that the old saw about people judging books by their covers was mostly hyperbole.
Yowza, was I wrong!
Those covers were good, and they sold a ton of books. To my delight, my indie-published ebooks really took off, ultimately reaching #1 on Amazon’s Top 100 Regency Bestsellers list and #4 on the Historical list (as well as #150 on Amazon’s main bestseller list!). In a year, they’d earned me eleven times as much as they ever earned during the whole time they’d been print-published by my old publisher. I started a new novel–it felt so good to be writing again!–and things were going great.
Until Amazon changed my covers.
A few months into my Great Indie Publishing Adventure, the ‘Zon, inexplicably, switched out the covers I’d made, replacing them with the old ones (which were mostly terrible). And because I was busy paying attention to other things, I didn’t notice the switch for two months. It was almost four more months before I could convince Amazon to put the new covers back on. But by that time it was too late. Sales had halved each month for six months. And by the time Amazon finally did put my new the covers I’d made back on my books, sales had evaporated. I went from being able to buy a new car with one month’s earnings to barely being able to afford groceries.
I’d been writing a new novel, the first of a new series, and I thought that I could probably re-launch my indie career with it and its sequels, but I couldn’t be sure, and with two young daughters to care for, I needed to be Absolutely Certain we could pay the bills. So I found a teaching job for the coming year.
Annnd…guess what? Teachers don’t have time to write or to promote their just-launched novels. At least, this one didn’t. I taught art and drama that year, a job which required 11 hour days, if I wanted to do it right–and I did. Book sales sank even farther into the loo and stayed there.
Fast forward to 2015. For many reasons, a fresh start was in order. So, with my children and husband, I fulfilled a dream I’d had for years, moving from Florida to the Pacific Northwest, where we now live on the edge of the Wild, in the foothills of the beautiful Cascade mountains.
But the next 5 years would be rough.
I went through the deaths of four people I loved (two sudden and two lingering, and I’m not sure which is worse), plus serious illnesses for my husband and daughter (which they both recovered from, thank goodness!). During those years, writing was impossible.
But the currents of life have brought me back peace and happiness again, and I’m writing. Loads and loads of writing. I’ll be releasing new books galore a little later this year. And I couldn’t be happier.
Sometimes when you leap, the net doesn’t appear, but I’ve always been a leaper anyway. How about you?
TL;DR Indie (or “self”) publishing gives you, the reader, the stories you love at a fraction of the cost. And your favorite authors can afford to feed their families. Even the biggest names in popular fiction are going indie these days.
What’s “Indie” mean?
Indie means “independent.” Indie-published authors act as the publisher for their own books, whereas traditionally published authors have someone else do it. Indie-publishing has been made possible by the invention of e-books and print-on-demand technology. And it’s the best news for readers since…well, since the printing press!
Why do authors Indie Publish?
Some readers wonder why so many authors are publishing their own books these days, instead of going through traditional, big-name publishing houses.
Q: Is it because the indies’ work just isn’t good enough?
Q: Is it because they just haven’t been lucky enough to be discovered?
Q: Is it because most publishing houses take advantage of authors whenever they can, and an author is better off self-publishing?
Publishers: Always in it for Themselves
In 1815, Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra about a message she’d received from her publisher:
Mr. Murray’s letter is come; he is a Rogue, of course, but a civil one. He offers £450 [for the copyright of Emma]—but he wants to have the copyright of MP [Mansfield Park] and S&S [Sense & Sensibility] included. It will end in my publishing for myself, I dare say.
Now, four hundred and fifty pounds was quite a large sum at the time, especially when one considers that upon Jane’s father’s death, Jane, her sister Cassandra, and their mother had been left with an inheritance of only £210 per year between them. But asking for the copyrights to Emma, Mansfield Park, and Sense & Sensibility was an outrageous demand. In response, Mr. Murray received the letter you see above (a photograph of the actual letter). Because Jane was still keeping her authorship secret (ladies of the gentry couldn’t earn money without losing status), the letter was written ostensibly by her brother Charles, but I speculate that, since it was Jane who actually penned the dictated letter, she also had a hand in composing its rather snarky content.
Severe illness has confined me to my Bed ever since I received Yours of ye 15th – I cannot yet hold a pen, & employ an Amuensis [sic]. – The Politeness & Perspicuity of your Letter equally claim my earliest Exertion. – Your official opinion of the Merits of Emma, is very valuable & satisfactory. – Though I venture to differ occasionally from your Critique, yet I assure you the Quantum of your commendation rather exceeds than falls short of the Author’s expectation & my own. – The Terms you offer are so very inferior to what we had expected, that I am apprehensive of having made some great Error in my Arithmetical Calculation. – On the subject of the expense & profit of publishing, you must be much better informed that I am; – but Documents in my possession appear to prove that the Sum offered by you, for the Copyright of Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park & Emma, is not equal to the Money which my Sister has actually cleared by one very moderate Edition of Mansfield Park –(You Yourself expressed astonishment that so small an Edit. of such a work should have been sent into the World) & a still smaller one of Sense & Sensibility.
It’s clear Jane knew what all authors know: a publishing house is a business whose purpose is to make money, and it does so by exploiting authors—and readers—as cleverly as possible.
Indie publishing makes it possible for authors to write
When my first novel was published Back in 2001, the Big-Name, New York publishing house I was with paid just $1,250 USD per novel. Even If I’d managed to turn out a book every month, my income would still have fallen below the federal poverty line. But when I began indie publishing my books, I also began to make enough money to live on.
Is indie publishing good for you, dear reader?
You bet it is!
Indie-published ebooks usually cost readers much less (mine do) than traditionally published, paperback books. And they can have exciting new plots and characters that would never make it through any of the traditional editorial gauntlets, the ones concerned with producing only what appeals to the masses. Remember, a publisher doesn’t have to please all its readers to make money, just a majority of its readers. Which is why publishing is cyclical. You don’t see many time-travel paperbacks on the shelves these days. Or Gothics. Or vampires. Or Regencies, for that matter. The readers who want those books just aren’t a big enough slice of the publishing pie. But there are loads of ebooks available in those sub-genres.
And if you really can’t do without the paperback versions, indie-published ebooks are usually available in paperback, though they do usually cost a bit more.
The Real Bottom Line
So, that’s why I and so many other authors continue to indie-publish today: indie publishing gives you, the reader, the stories you love at a fraction of the cost. And your favorite authors can afford to feed their families.
Jane Austen, I fancy, would have cheered.
A few posts ago, I promised you my chocolate cake recipe (or “receipt,” as it was known in Great Britain in Jane Austen’s time). I’ve had this recipe for years, as you can tell by the condition of the recipe I tore from a magazine umpteen years ago. This cake is simply scrumptious, and I’ve made it dozens of times.
I hope my British friends won’t balk at the mention of “Hershey’s.” It seems many Brits regard American Hershey bars as something less than true chocolate, and I have to say that I agree. I love chocolate, but I don’t like Hershey bars. They seemed better when I was a youngster, but nowadays I think the makers have cut too many corners. No matter; the company’s cocoa remains first rate, and you can use it or any other for this recipe successfully.
I like this cake served with a nice, tall glass of cold milk. Silk brand is my favorite (vanilla flavor–yum!), as I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years. The cake is also great with tea. Earl Grey is a spectacular pairing, with its hints of bergamot, or orange blending nicely with the chocolate.
Here’s the recipe.
Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
2 cups (473 ml) of plain, white, granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups (414 ml) of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (177) of cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) of baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
1 cup (236 ml) of milk or soy milk (I like Silk brand.)
1/2 cup (118 ml) of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml)of vanilla extract
1 cup (236 ml) of boiling water
Heat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
Grease and flour two 9″ (23 cm) baking pans.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
Beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes. Do not over-beat.
Stir in boiling water. Do not beat in. Batter will be quite watery. This is normal.
Pour batter into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes.
Remove cake from pans and cool completely.
Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting
1 stick (118 ml) butter or margarine or 1/4 cup (59 ml) + 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil.
2/3 cup (157 ml) of cocoa powder
3 cups (709 ml) of powdered confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup (79 ml) of milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla extract
Melt the butter, margarine, or oil.
Stir in the cocoa powder.
Beat at medium speed, adding sugar and milk, alternating, as you go.
Add vanilla and beat in.
Add more milk and beat, if needed to bring frosting to spreading consistency.
Ah the things a Regency romance novelist’s children say!
I was making a snack for them when it happened the first time. Saltines with tuna salad and a sliver of cheese, which I’d popped into the microwave for a few seconds in order to render the cheese all melty and gooey–except that I’d not put them in for 20 seconds but for 200! They were past gooey and closer to molten.
“Oh la!” my eldest child cried upon discovering my mistake. She’d said it without thinking about it. When I explained that oh la isn’t a contemporary interjection these days, we had a lovely chuckle over it, and the term “Regencyism” was born.
Later, I was baking. “Oh la, mama!” she cried. “I believe you have burnt the cookies!” She was wearing an impish grin, completely aware this time that “Oh la!” wasn’t something any modern lady would say, much less a seven-year-old. She’d thrown down a gauntlet, and her little sister, just four, gleefully picked it up. “Oh LA!” they both exclaimed through their giggles every few minutes for the rest of the day.
But other “Regencyisms,” as we’ve continued to call them, have crept into our family lexicon unnoticed–not surprising really, as I’ve been writing Regency romances since before my children were born, and they can quote much of the dialogue from both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. These Regencyisms have become so normal a part of our lives that we usually don’t notice using them. Every once in a while one will occur to me, and I’ll say something like, “You know, most people say, ‘engaged,’ not ‘betrothed.'” Or some such. To which the reply is always a shocked, “Really!? That’s a Regencyism?”
Every one of the Regency-era words and phrases in the graphic above are words my children and I have used un-ironically over the years–a list that was surprisingly difficult to recall. A few moments ago, I asked my child Julie Rain, “Can you think of any other Regencyisms we’ve adopted in our everyday speech?”
She thought for a moment before answering, “I have not a clue,” then laughed and pointed out that “I have not a ____” is itself a Regency-esque construction.
My children have had a lot of fun with Regency-speak over the years. A couple of weeks ago, Julie Rain shared with me the following delight. It’s a parodic translation (displayed in red, below) of a portion of a modern-day song, Hotline Bling, by Drake (displayed in black, below). The original has been simplified a little for clarity’s sake:
… or …
The Post’s Arrival
You used to call me on my cell phone
Late night when you need my love.
You used to write me, pen and parchment
in the eve, when you mourn my affections.
And I know when that hotline bling,
That can only mean one thing
Post is what the servant brings.
It could only be one thing.
Ever since I left the city,
You got a reputation for yourself now
Everybody knows and I feel left out
After I departed London, you
Garnered quite the reputation I hear.
I find myself alone in hearing last, dear.
Girl you got me down, you got me stressed out.
I find myself dismayed, waiting just to hear.
‘Cause ever since I left the city,
you started wearing less and goin’ out more.
After I departed London
you started wearing frocks that do reveal more.
Glasses of champagne out on the dance floor.
Rumors of syllabub, that sound like lore.
Hangin’ with some girls I’ve never seen before.
Your company, companions unacquainted with myself.
Fun, eh? 🙂
Julie wants to know what song would you like her to “translate” next! Click on “Leave a comment,” below.
It isn’t often one catches a duchess telling a whopper. This one concerns the delightful custom of afternoon tea.
Anna Maria Russell (1783–1857), the Duchess of Bedford, claimed to have originated the then-fashionable custom. But people were obviously taking afternoon tea long before Her Grace had any influence over the matter. Take a look at this quote from The Diner’s Dictionary (2nd ed.), by John Ayto:
“As the usual time for dinner progressed during the eighteenth century, towards the evening a gap opened up for a late-afternoon refreshment, filled by what has since become the traditional English afternoon tea, a meal in its own right, with sandwiches and cake as well as cups of tea (amongst the earliest references to it are these by Fanny Burney in Evelina (1778): ‘I was relieved by a summons to tea,’ and by John Wesley in 1789: ‘At breakfast and at tea…I met all the Society”
One wonders if the Duchess would have felt satisfaction or chagrin if she’d known that almost two hundred years later her boast would still be perpetuated as truth. I found an excellent video offered by London’s venerable Fortnum’s department store (established 1707) that said the Duchess had invented afternoon tea (I used to have it embedded here, but it was taken down from YouTube, alas.
No matter where it came from, afternoon tea is still a favorite today. We associate a cup of tea with relaxation. Whether it’s taken alone or with friends, accompanied by scones or bread and jam or by nothing at all. Whether taken in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the dead of night, tea is a small way to have a big impact upon our sense of wellbeing. It’s a way of being good to oneself.
At my house, this morning, this calls for a batch of fresh blueberry scones and a cup of Earl Grey–piping hot and extra sweet (the way I love tea the best). Or perhaps I’ll pair a couple of shortbread biscuits (“cookies,” to my American friends) with a nice cup of Tazo Zen tea. It’s one of my favorites, a wildly fragrant tea with lemongrass, verbena, and spearmint. Or, perhaps I’ll cheat a little and have hot cocoa instead, with a sinfully delicious slice of homemade chocolate cake (I’ll share my recipe in my next post). What? A proper afternoon tea with no tea?
There are those who would insist that “proper” tea isn’t very sweet. That it is served with milk, never cream (oh, the horror!). That it is served at certain times. That the pinkie is held aloft and milk is added last (or not; both of those rules are fiercely debated). That one holds the saucer only when standing and never when seated at a table. There is even a rule that says the savory tea sandwiches are eaten first, scones next, and sweets last.
Rubbish! Tea shouldn’t be about rules and fashion. It doesn’t matter whether you treat yourself to traditional, oh-so-proper black tea and cucumber sandwiches or to Kool-Aid and Oreos, if that’s what you enjoy. The important thing is to pause and relax, whether alone or with others. To take care of yourself, just for a moment. To count your blessings. To be happy.
Afternoon tea is all about slowing down and being good to oneself–something I hope the Duchess of Bedford understood, though I suspect the poor thing was more concerned with being thought fashionable than with taking time to relax and enjoy the moment. Life comes at us so fast these days that we don’t often take time to enjoy it.
So, won’t you join me now?
Take a break. Have some tea (or cocoa or juice or whatever pleases you most). Relax and be good to yourself, for just a moment. And then set a reminder to do this for yourself again very soon.
After you’re finished, I’d love for you to come back here and tell me about it. What did you have? What kind of tea? Did you relax and enjoy the moment? And did you set a reminder for next time? Will you make this a regular habit? Anne, the Duchess of Bedford and I hope so. 😉
Just published this morning:
ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS is here, and its ending is my absolute favorite of all of my novels so far. It’s the first of 3 Christmas novellas for 2017. It’s available on Amazon in print and for Kindle, and it’s also available to read free as part of a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Get it here. Enjoy!
Here’s the book’s description from its Amazon page:
ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS is a lighthearted Christmas tale set during the time of Jane Austen, about a widowed viscount with two mischievous little girls, one runaway heiress in disguise, an adorable baby elephant, and one outrageous old matchmaker who knows everyone’s business better than they do. It’s Regency romance at its best.
ONE CULTIVATES SCANDAL, WHILE THE OTHER AVOIDS IT …
When Miss Emily Winthrop, impulsive heiress and aspiring spinster, flees London and the glittering Society engagement her parents have planned for her, she is soon hungry and penniless. But when the servants at Stendmore Park take pity on her, she suddenly finds herself pressed into service as a makeshift governess. A scandalous masquerade under an assumed name and gainful employment are just the thing to assure that no tonnish man will ever want to wed her.
The notorious rakehell David Winter is up to his cravat in trouble. After his elder brother’s death, he’s returned to the family’s ancestral estate as the new Viscount, but everything is in a shambles. No staff, no supplies, and no money. For the sake of his two young daughters, he needs a hefty loan. And for that, he must convince Society that he had become responsible, predictable, and respectable. A formal house party is just the thing to show them all that he has reformed–if he can avoid the kissing boughs and his children’s maddeningly attractive temporary governess.
Unfortunately, the adorable baby elephant Emily liberated from the cruelty of a traveling menagerie two nights ago is about to complicate matters for both of them. If Emily can’t keep the playful, syllabub-slurping, flower-waving menace hidden, the Viscount will sack her, and she’ll be forced to return to London– and Lord Winter’s guests will have absolute proof that he hasn’t changed one bit.
“Fun and delightful…Melynda Beth Andrews’ Once Upon a Christmas turns a chaotic house party into a warm romance. A keeper!”
— Robin Taylor, RT Book Club
— Elizabeth Bennefeld, Patchwork Prose
My first Christmas-themed novella, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS was a labor of love. It’s a rather whimsical story that includes … well, read on and you’ll find out. 🙂
In 1999, my first novel, THE BLUE DEVIL, was a finalist for a Golden Heart award from the Romance Writers of America. An editor from Kensington Books was one of the final-round judges, and she purchased the book for Kensington’s Zebra Regency line.
Amy asked for a very detailed, 20 page synopsis before she purchased my second book, THE BLUE STOCKING (working title). Amy wrote the cover blurb and came up with a new title, MISS GRANTHAM’S ONE TRUE SIN (a vast improvement, I know!). Other than that, Amy was pretty hands-off, and I loved her for that at the time (though now I know I really needed a heavier editorial hand). Then she had the gall to leave Kensington to go off and—I don’t know, live her life, I guess?—and I was an orphan. Stuck with a brand-new editor, Hilary-something. Someone who might not love my work as much as I did.
The New Editor is Not Pleased
Naively, I didn’t do my homework on Ms. Something before submitting my next book proposal, and so I submitted a synopsis that weighed in at 23 pages to an editor who’d declared publicly that anything over 1 pages for a synopsis was a waste of her time.
She called me. She’d taken a look at the synopsis, and she didn’t like it. In fact, she hated it—and I was rather peeved.
Rapid-fire, I offered several other ideas, and Hilary shot them all down. She didn’t mind the widowed-with-children, impoverished lord I’d invented nor the runaway heiress, but she seemed to be going for a funny, witty, spritely story, not the serious, contemplative, poignant piece I had in mind. I couldn’t sway her. Nothing was clicking. She wanted a funny story, and that was that.
Frustrated, I finally suggested (with what I thought was expertly hidden sarcasm) that I could have my heroine show up at my hero’s country estate with a baby elephant in tow. Would that be funny enough, did she think?
I don’t know what I was expecting when I threw out the ridiculous idea of writing a baby elephant into a Regency Christmas story, but it wasn’t this:
“Perfect!” Hilary Something. “Write it.”
There followed, as dearest Hilary would described it to me later, a “funny little moment,” a lengthy pause during which I contemplated what I’d just gotten myself into. At the same time, Hilary was (I imagine) attempting to hold down a hoot of laughter. She’d allowed me to back myself into a corner. There was no way out without admitting I’d been a brat.
“Okay,” I said.
And now I had to write a baby-elephant-Regency-England-Christmas-runaway-heiress-and-two-children story. Hoo-boy! There was no way this was going to be a poignant, serious story. Nope. I was forced to bring on the whimsy.
The Editor Didn’t Really Eat Small Children for Breakfast
Once Upon a Christmas turned out to be a personal favorite story. My readers liked it, too. And “Hilary Something” became just “Hilary.” I came to love her dearly, and my time working with her was regrettably short. If anyone knows what became of Hilary Sares, please let me know, because I’ve tried to contact her with no success. (Hilary, if you ever read this, I’m sorry, and thank you, you wonderful, beautiful, canny soul!)
What I Learned
And that’s how the elephant came to be, and how I learned a few valuable lessons:
Do your research.
Editors are people.
Improbable stories can be a whole heck of a lot of fun to read–and write.
Keeping my mouth shut doesn’t always lead to the best outcome.
I’m trying to solve a problem, and if you’re a reader, you can help.
When you open my ebooks on your device, is the heading image centered, or is it off-center? The heading image looks like this:
I think it’s appearing centered on some devices and off-center on others, like this:
What does it look like on your device? Feel free to comment below or write me.