Tag Archives: alpha male

HIDDEN TREASURE: TURNING SOMETHING OLD INTO NEW


Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you a story.

There was once a young girl who knew she was meant to write romance novels. She penned her first young adult book at 12. Graduated to adult stories in her early twenties. Completed a proper business degree in college but still wrote in her free time because she never gave up the dream. Penned her first “real” adult novel and sent it out to Harlequin to await the great news.

One year later, she got a “good” rejection.  Really good.

She was confused so she sent it to an agent. Waited six months. Got another “great” rejection letter.

Then sent it to a third place. Then fourth. Then fifth. Over the next year, she was rejected again and again. But she kept writing and just kept believing. She did smart things like join RWA, and get into a critique group, and learn the business.

Finally, she made her first sale to a mid level publisher who loved her voice. She waited two years for publication but finally was able to clutch her first book in her hand and gaze at her first cover.  Heart of Steel. My powerful alpha male, Logan Grant. My free flowing yoga arts teacher, Chandler Santell. Most editors had problems with my hero because he was so dominant. I love my alpha males and he wouldn’t be tamed, though I tried.

The first published book for an author is unbelievable. Nothing can describe it. I felt like I had joined a secret club. Then I learned it didn’t mean things would get easy. The happiness of the first time is wonderful, but you still have to write another book. Then another. And another…

And they have to be good. No, they have to be better.

As I grew into a writer, I took many different turns. I hit dry spells and hot spells and spells in between. When I finally began to sell more consistently, I received a letter that my publisher had closed and my rights had reverted back to me for Heart of Steel. I then got the opportunity to re-publish with another company in digital format. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to edit, polish and see my very first book in electronic form on Kindle, Nook and Sony.

When I read back over the book, I realized I had grown so much as a writer and wanted to make a lot of changes. But something happened as I began to edit. My voice had changed and grown. This was my younger self – raw, passionate, and a bit unpolished. If I edited to the way I wanted, I would have changed the entire feel of the book.

And I didn’t want to do that.

Heart of Steel needs to be read as is. So, I went back and added some technology for Logan to do his job properly. I also gave them a cell phone. (Insert laugh out loud right here).

My new updated version comes out in early October. I will be hopping around doing some guest blogs and leaving some excerpts, excited for a new audience.

What have  I learned? There is hidden treasure in everything. Old books, ideas, stories, memories. Some need to be honored and cherished exactly the way they were. Others can be tweaked or polished a bit. And still others need to be re-gutted in order to make a whole new memory.

Hidden treasure can be both exciting and overwhelming. I remember this as I go through my life as a mother, as a writer, as a person. There are no wrong choices. Just the individual choices of our heart.

Heart of Steel was one of my treasures. I will always remember that girl behind the desk, before marriage or children or the drudge of reality affected her. She was fresh and hopeful and oh, so very passionate about her dreams.

And that is one treasure I will always cherish.

Play…


Children’s play is like our work, or so I have been told. Play is how a child expresses his or her individuality and explores his personality. I remember well when I was young my mother was obsessed with dolls. She loved everything about them and always hoped she would have a girl to share her hobby with. Unfortunately, I hated dolls. I loathed Barbies and the color pink. I loved any type of book I could get my hands on, roller skating, ice skating, tennis and all of my stuffed animals. One birthday, she surprised me with a doll carriage. I pretended to like it and went outside and cried. It was a piece of equipment I had no use for. My dad stepped in and told my mother to stop making me into something I wasn’t and to go out and get me a pair of ice skates I wanted. Poor mom. Ended up my brother liked the carriage better than me and strolled all his Star Wars dolls around. He denies it until this day but I was there and speak the truth.

My children have blossomed and now take play very seriously. They love their stuffed animals and can continuously be overheard using voices and creating dramas. This morning, I came out to find over 50 animals piled high on my couch. They were naked, yet again. They said they were the naked super-heros out to save the world and rescue all the animals from evil.  And I still keep wondering when they are going to keep on their clothes.

I also notice how my oldest dominates playtime. He is the alpha male and in charge of the games. Joshie usually follows along happily, but when he bucks the system my oldest tries to nib the rebellion in the bud. Joshie will pick his battles and just disengage and refuse to play. That drives the older one batty, but I discovered after a little while of playing by himself, he is all too happy to compromise for a playmate.

Last week, my husband and I were in the throes of watching The Bachelorette, one of my guilty pleasures. It was very quiet in their room (warning sign) so on a commercial my husband went to check on them. I heard his baffled roar echoing through the house. When I joined him in the room, they had a pile of their stuffed animals in a heap, a toddler pair of scissors, and a bundle of fur strewn over the carpet. Proudly, they announced they were playing barber and had given everyone haircuts. All of the fuzzy monkey hair now gone, the animals seemed frozen in a state of surprise with their baldness. Joshie informed me that their hair would grow back soon. Jake said he did it so he can see their faces more clearly. Echoes of my mother flew forth: “You would look so nice if you would just cut your hair so I can see your face!”

Ah, playtime. Important for adults too. My husband used to love Sony Playstation until the kids came and sucked up his time. Now he looks longingly at dirt bikes and older motorcycles and wonders if we will ever have enough money so he can re-visit his youth and go riding. And me?  I love to read and write – that is my favorite form of playtime. What I have noticed lately is the lack of playtime I see in my writing, and I have moved forward to correct this. I’ve been reading many blogs lately about the importance of the work itself and less attachment to publicity, blogging, marketing, and worrying about success. I think writers have it harder today than ever. Yes, there is much more information available to help us market our books, but I think we are in overload status. When I was writing years ago, it was just about the story. There were conferences, networking and the hardcopy of Writer’s Market to push us forward. Now, the story is so diluted with other factors it’s easy to write without any fun. And a writer continuously writing without fun is a writer that stops writing.

I enjoy my blog, actually, this is my playtime. And I am going back to core principles and am beginning to have fun again. I revisted my novella and cut out the last chapter that was technically good but written into a corner. I started the scene where I thought I would be interested, and things started working. I wrote 14 pages in two hours – the most productive I have been in a long time.

So, cheers to playtime. It should never be overrated or underestimated, no matter what age group we are in.