2023 Starting Off with Romance Writing in the Air

Greetings everyone! I do hope where you are that the weather isn’t as crazy as it is in California. If you’ve been following along, and even if not, I moved to a small town in Northern California in the Fall of 2020. It had always been my dream to retire from teaching and move to the Napa Valley. It came true at the end of 2020, but of course, we were all in the throes of the pandemic, awaiting that much needed vaccine. I had the worst writer’s block, couldn’t write fiction, and was just trying to move, survive to 2021, and dang. It was crazy. The last two years have been similar. I’ve just tried to stay safe, vaccinated, and get to know my new local community.

The biggest thing that has been affecting me has been the writer’s block. It has been difficult to write fiction in the middle of a pandemic. Stability makes creativity. Things have not been stable in the world or even with my regular life. I did manage to channel the ability to write nonfiction, and came out with a self-publishing beginner’s guide. This last year, I managed to finish a novella series to get that fiction writing momentum going again. It has helped some, but there was a lot of personal issues last year, manly the second half of 2022, that made it difficult to write anything, children’s fiction, romance or nonfiction. I managed to get out an omnibus edition for Thankful in Vegas, and that was it. Which, of course, I’m okay with 2022 being a catch-up year from the lockdowns, dealing with COVID-19 here-to-stay, inflation, lay-offs, and just personal issues. It seemed like the whole world was out in full force after what had happened for two years, and you get a lot of people out and about all of a sudden, there will be problems.

But I’m hoping, things will be calmer in 2023. In fact, my new year’s resolution is SELF-CARE. I’m going to come first for awhile, and try to feed my soul. Luckily, writing is a part of that. Writing feeds my soul. In fact, working on me is going to help make all that writing happen. I’ve noticed the need to feed that creativity. Taking care of yourself can do that; spur my writing on. Which leads me to some fantastic announcements now:

  1. I’ve been elected as the new president of Golden State Romance Writers.

This is a group that I’ve been a part of since 2015. I’ve learned so much about romance writing and being a professional author from this organization, more than any others I’ve been involved with over the years. There was a need for board members back in November, and I answered the call and ran for president. And I won! SO, I’m really looking forward to grabbing the reins of this great group and leading it into the future that faces many of us romance writers out there.

If you are looking for support in the next year as a romance writer or as a writer in ANY GENRE, please consider joining or even coming to a meeting or two. Everything is online! GSRW is a virtual group that was born from the pandemic, and I am so proud to continue to be a part of it.

For more information on the group, feel free to hit the button below.

2. I’ve actually managed to break some of my writer’s block and start up again on “Never Trust A Vampire”.

So, some of you might know me the best from my Beware of Warlocks series. It has been my most successful and fun to write series to date. I feel like I’ve come home taking up the sequel now. The new series is called Beware of Vampires, and it focuses on Cat’s friend, Cassandra, at the end of the first series. I wrote the first novella in the series “Never Date A Vampire” end of 2019, and even did some promo with it around Valentine’s Day 2020.

But of course, the pandemic hit, and it made it difficult to function creatively. I did manage to try to start the sequel, following my vampires involved in the pandemic too. I wrote that start, but since half of it was real, the pandemic part, I couldn’t continue. I realized it was because I didn’t know what would happen. I didn’t know how everything would come out. I had no control of the outcome. That part of the world was real, and I wasn’t in control of it. As a writer, this is disconcerting. So, I put the manuscript away to wait for how the pandemic would play out.

Now, it’s January 2023, not May 2020. I went back and looked it over, and said like I mostly do, “Wow. This isn’t crap after all.”

I realized that it actually might work well having the vampires deal with the pandemic too. I got jazzed about the manuscript again. I started to do rewrites, which by the way, are going well. So, I’m going to try for a release in October 2023. I’m announcing it here, to give me the deadline and of course, to let you all know, first. It will be exciting to document the progress and let you know how I’m doing.

So, those are the two big announcements I’ve got for you right now. I’m feeling better about this year, cautious, but better. The self-care resolution is really going to help. I’m sticking to things that feed my soul, and that of course, feeds into the creative process of writing. So you all are going to benefit. I’m so looking forward to writing this sequel for you, and getting it out to you in October.

Until next time,

Stay safe, stay vaccinated, and try to find higher ground,

-Marilyn

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