Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Glamorous Writing Life. Not. #amwriting #romance #mailorderbride #fantasy

Lemme tell you, this has been a busy, busy week! Not only am I on a tight deadline for my Christmas story for the Prairie Rose Publications Wild Texas Christmas anthology, I have two new releases that need attention. (Obligatory blatant self-promotion will be at the bottom of the page.)

You know that writer who sits on the couch eating bonbons while some half-nekkid man fans her with a giant palm frond?

Me, neither.

What does a writer really do? Not much writing, these days, that’s for sure. Here’s a list of what I need to do—and keep in mind it’s not just me. Authors have to do this stuff or she won’t be an author for very long.

  • Check email. Today I’m lucky. Only 159 messages in my Inbox, not counting all the messages from the different Yahoo groups I’m in, which are in separate folders.
  • Facebook. Okay, I admit the part where I chat and razz with my reader and writer friends is fun, especially at the Pickle Barrel Bar & Books, and one of the more pleasant “have-to’s” in my life, but then we have to post our books for sale absolutely everywhere. I’m not a salesman! I hate selling stuff. I can’t even tell you how much I despise having to push-push-push my books. Doesn’t matter, though, because it has to be done. The trick is doing it so it’s not obnoxious.
  • Twitter. I don’t spend much time there but do try to stay up to date with followers, and I even occasionally post tweets.
  • Triberr. This is a real pain in the patootie. I rarely have time to write my own blog articles, but every day (confession: I don’t always do it and even went a month once without loading Triberr) I have to click a bazillion different blog posts to clutter my stream. Occasionally, there’s an interesting article but usually, not so much.
  • Instagram.  My 14-year-old granddaughter got me set up on Instagram.  Computers are one thing—smartphones are another deal altogether.  I just don't get 'em.  But I've managed to have at least a small presence there, and favorite some pictures every day.  To be honest, I could use another lesson from my granddaughter!

This all takes the first two or three hours of my day—more if I venture over to Pinterest, Google+, or Goodreads. There are also the four group blogs of which I’m a contributor that I should read and comment. I generally do read but confess to not posting comments when I should.

No, I don’t write these few hours because I’d just have to rewrite the scene anyway. Two hours isn’t nearly enough time to drink two pots of coffee.

On top of all the social media, there’s the actual marketing with correspondence with particular sites. Right now I’m setting up Mail-Order Tangle and Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Volume 2 for newsletter gigs at The Romance Studio. Except I’m not, because my husband is taking me out of town for our anniversary, so I'll have to get right on it the day I get back.

The aggravating thing is, every advertiser wants something different. Some want only certain social media links, some want excerpts—some want 500 words, some want 1,000 words... yes, every site is different) and some don’t want one at all. Some sites want a 25-word tag line, some want 50 words, and again, some don’t want one at all.  Some want a book synopsis but not the back cover copy—you have to think of something different.  Problem is, it's the same danged book.  Then there’s the whole bio bit. That’s a little easier because I have a long one and a short one—except it’s not easier because I’ve had a new release every single month of 2014 and my bio is out of date the minute I click “Save.” We won’t even go into graphics and book cover sizes.

Did I mention the website? My website is sorely out of date. Someone really needs to do something about that. I’m perfectly capable of coding my own site, and telling someone else what to do takes as much time as doing it myself. But the key word there is “time.”  I have at least 50 or 60 hours of coding to do for the site to be up to par.  Lately, I've been directing people to my Amazon page.

Then there's blogging.  It takes me several hours to create a decent blog article.  First you have to think of something to write about, then research it, write it, find graphics, format the thing, and publish.  I write for four group blogs: Smart Girls Read Romance, Cowboy Kisses, Western Fictioneers, and Prairie Rose Publications.  I figure I could write eight chapters a month more if I didn't blog, but then it does help get the word out in a non-marketing way.  

If an author is with a publisher, and I’m with three besides self-publishing, there are also marketing obligations (even if not on the contract) that must be met. I’ve volunteered to coordinate the Prairie Rose Publications events. PRP is owned by wonderful folks who can use the help, I know how to organize an event and actually have fun at it, so it’s a good mix. But it takes many, many hours to set one of these up and publicize it. I’d guess at least 30 hours.

Have I written a word yet today? No. I can do a lot of the left-brained stuff with four little boys raising hell, but I need uninterrupted quiet time to write my stories. That’s why I generally write from 10pm (sometimes 11pm) to around 4am—later if I’m on an roll. Also, people don’t expect an immediate answer on Facebook or email in the middle of the night.

Yep, that makes for some long days. I once heard that an entrepreneur was someone who worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week so he wouldn’t have to work and 8-hour a day, Monday through Friday job. That pretty well describes an author, too.  Of course, there are still meals to fix, laundry and vacuuming to do, and toilets to clean.

And, of course, I have a story due October 12th and two more short projects, which will take a couple weeks each, and Much Ado About Mustangs to finish before the end of the year.  Whew!  That's 100,000 words.  A friend asked me if I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo.  I told them I do that every danged month.  Heck, I'd like to take November off!

Okay, now for my blatant self-promotion. I’ll give one reader a digital copy of Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Volume 2, and another reader a digital copy of Mail-Order Tangle. Don’t forget to leave your contact information with your comment. If you’re not comfortable doing that, send an email to with the subject “SGRR winner.”

Here are the blurbs and covers.

Mail-Order Tangle 
two books
by best selling western writers
Caroline Clemmons and Jacquie Rogers

Mail-Order Promise 
by Caroline Clemmons

Ellie Dickerson and her sister are in desperate straits when she contracts to become a mail-order bride to a Texas rancher. After her arduous trip from Virginia, she learns her fiancé has died. His handsome brother has sworn to take care of her and she's instantly attracted to him, but he seems indifferent toward her. What will happen to her and her sister?

Kage Johanssen, co-owner of a ranch in Idaho with his cousin Matt, is forced to take over his family's Central Texas ranch on the death of his older brother. Kage is in no hurry to get married, and when his brother's bride shows up, she's everything he doesn't want in a wife--except she's stunningly beautiful. Despite his deathbed promise to his brother and his attraction to Ellie, he's convinced she doesn't have the grit to be a rancher's wife.

When a greedy, sadistic villain attempts to take over the ranch and kill Kage, can Ellie save her true love? What will it take to prove that she's the only woman for Kage?

Mail-Order Ruckus
by Jacquie Rogers

Matt Johanssen returned to the ranch he and his cousin Kage started in Owyhee County, Idaho Territory, not knowing he took Laura Dickerson's heart with him. Now that her sister no longer needs her, Laura wants a home of her own and a family to put in it. No other man would fill the bill as well as Matt, but he's not interested. Not wanting to live as a spinster aunt the rest of her life, Laura signs a contract with a marriage broker, choosing to go to Silver City, near Matt's ranch, in hopes that he might come around. But he's not on the roster of eligible grooms!

When Matt sees Laura among the brides on display on the balcony of the Idaho Hotel, he feels gutshot. He's in no position to take a wife, not with a ranch eating up every spare moment and dollar. But if he doesn't step forward, the one woman he wants will be wed at the end of the week--and not to him.

Will Matt walk away from the woman who stole his heart or let go of everything he's worked so hard to build go in exchange for love?
Available in digital at:

Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Volume 2
Halloween short stories by
Cheryl Pierson, C. Marie Bowman, Jacquie Rogers, 
Kaye Spenser, Kristy McCaffrey, Kathleen Rice Adams

What better way to spend Halloween than with some handsome cowboys and feisty heroines who are determined to fall in love despite their supernatural powers—or lack thereof? Halloween’s a good time to take a chance on love—and to see what these Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico Vol. 2 stories might reveal to the unsuspecting reader—you!

Cheryl Pierson’s Spellbound will have you on the edge of your seat as safecracker Brett Diamond and witch Angie Colton take on a border gang leader who is pure evil. Can Angie’s supernatural powers save them? No matter what, Brett and Angie are hopelessly Spellbound.

C. Marie Bowen’s Hunter and Lily Graham is an unforgettable tale of a beautiful school marm’s love for her children that surpasses all. When a Cajun bounty hunter known only as “Hunter” shows up, Lily Graham knows he, and no one else, can help her save a young girl.

Have Wand — Will Travel is Jacquie Rogers’s offering about a handsome young mage, Tremaine Ramsey, who has a wand and knows how to use it…sometimes. Will his magic be strong enough to pull off a daring rescue of his father from the evil Gharth? Or will he need the warrior Nora’s love to help him see his Fate through?

Will Kaye Spencer’s character, Mercy Pontiere, be able to break a centuries-old curse and find true love all at the same time? It all depends on Reid Corvane and what he’ll do For Love of a Brystile Witch.

In Kristy McCaffrey’s story, The Crow and the Coyote, Hannah Dobbin is after an evil Navajo sorcerer who murdered her father, and she’s determined to see him dead. But she’ll need a bounty hunter, The Crow—to help find this vile man. With Hallowtide upon them, more evil is afoot than they can handle; but love will find a way.

A failed bank robber, Tombstone Hawkins, along with a fake gypsy fortune teller, Pansy Gilchrist, set out to make both their deceased fathers proud in one final spectacular heist. Family Tradition is Kathleen Rice Adams’s tale of the discovery of true love amid the commission of a crime—or the failure to commit a crime—while being overseen by the ghosts of the couple’s fathers. How can there be a happy ending? It’s Halloween, and anything can happen!
Available in digital at:


  1. Great article makes it clear why some authors bill themselves as CEO or Entrepreneur instead of just Author.

    1. Yep, writing is a business. I didn't even mention all the admin stuff we have to do. That's a whole 'nother article.

  2. Great article and the truth of what has to be done and how hard it is even for someone like you who has experience to pull it off, without, as you said, being obnoxious about it-- which is easy to have happen. it can be depressing to even think about how it is half of the writing job if as you said, you want the books seen. ack!

    1. Hi Rain! It doesn't do much good to write books if no one reads them, yet if you do want needs to be done to market effectively, there's not a whole lot of time left to write. It's something that every author has to deal with.

  3. Jacquie, I love your books (without the marketing). You are one of my favorite authors! But I can see how the marketing is an important aspect of your business! Keep up the good work!

  4. Hi there Jacquie,
    I do love your books, you already know that - particularly the Much Ado series (love those animals that keep intruding in the story and want their part in) :)

    I have enjoyed beta-reading Mail Order Tangle for you and Caroline and I've loved the two stories. Beta-reading is something I just love doing as it helps keep my mind in "working order", so to speak. And, of course, I love writing, too. But, I had never realized how much work is involved beside the actual writing (yep, I knew about the research part, which is another thing I love doing), but the marketing thing??? Nah, didn't know about that. That said, congrats on the release of Mail Order Tangle and Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol. 2. Way to go.

  5. Hi Jacquie, I am in awe! I thought I had it busy just trying to write one novel and juggling childcare, domestic duties and the dreaded marketing/promoting. But hey, would you rather not be an author? Me neither! ; )

  6. Excellent article, Jacquie. Thanks.


Thank you for commenting on Smart Girls Read Romance. We love readers and love their comments. We apologize that due to a few unethical spammers we've had to institute comment moderation. Please be patient with us... we DO want your genuine comments!