Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 in Review

Pictured here is the Shelby County Courthouse in Sidney, Ohio. Thanks to Patsy Maxwell of the Love.Christ Christian Bookstore on the courthouse square on Poplar Street in Sidney for allowing me to
come to her store for a signing and author event on November 17 during the annual town lighting on the courthouse lawn. I had a wonderful time meeting Patsy and the people of Sidney.

2006 kept me very busy with signings and library events. I wrote two books this year, including my latest which I am printing off today to give to one of my proofreaders. I should've finished this book sooner so I could get started on Book 4 of my Jenna's Creek series. In order to have it published Summer, '08, I need to have it to my publisher by April of '07. It's safe to say that isn't going to happen.

Oh well, this post isn't to lament what I didn't get done, but to remember what I did. January 2006 saw the publication of my third book, Redemption's Song, the second in my Jenna's Creek series. Redemption's Song was highly recommended among reviewers and received a five-star review from the Midwest Book Review. Late winter and early spring of 2006 were spent promoting the latest installment of the Jenna's Creek Series and working on a new series book. Tsaba House has decided to hold that book until after the Jenna's Creek series is complete.

In July, 2006 my husband & I joined the Tsaba House family at the Intl. Christian Retail Show in Denver, CO. We had a wonderful time. Denver is a beautiful city. Ralph and I enjoyed another tour into the mountains while we were there. I highly recommend taking one of these tours. They are not cheap, but you will see things you might miss if you attempt the trip on your own. Besides, who wants to worry about manuevering the trecherous mountain roads when you can sit back and enjoy the view and let a knowledgeable tour bus driver handle it for you?

Back home I began my latest book, tentatively titled Every Secret Thing. This is the first book I've written that I didn't hate throughout the writing process. Usually when I am working on a book, I don't like it. After it's finished and I am immersed in rewrites, I think, "Wow, I don't even remember writing this. It's really good."

In September Tsaba House released my fourth book, The Ultimate Guide to Darcy Carter. It is a stand-alone book that I am very excited about. Darcy also received rave reviews and it finding its way onto library and bookstore shelves around the country. How exciting.

The fall of the year is typically my busiest season. I do a lot of craft fairs and book shows where I set up a booth to sell my books. This year was my most successful to date. Either I'm getting better at selling to people or I just have so many books out, I automatically make more money. Either way, I met lots of readers and converted new ones. What a boost to my ego to hear how much you enjoy the books!

I called someone last week to look for my step-sister Lisa Douglas, who is visiting from Dallas. The nine-year-old in the house saw my name on the caller ID and said, "Is that the world famous author, Teresa Slack?" Wow! I'm not used to hearing myself referred to as world famous. But I like it.

Amidst the hustle and confusion that is the holiday season, I managed to complete another manuscript with three days to spare in 2006. Now I am looking forward to '07. What it will bring is still a mystery, but I can't wait to get started.

Special thanks to my faithful readers who bought the books for Christmas gifts or forwarded a link to my website to all their friends. Thank you to all the readers who purchased a copy of the books for the Book for a Soldier program to support our troops in Iraq. It's not too late, btw. If you're interested, let me know and I'll set you or your church up.

More than anything I want to thank my Heavenly Father for another year of health and blessings. None of this would be possible without his favor. I am truly blessed to be in this business. I read today there are an estimated 6 million manuscripts floating around the U.S. looking for a home at any given time. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt God was in the process when I found Tsaba House, and He has made it possible for me to touch hearts with my fiction.

Be blessed & have a wonderful 2007.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Where is Christmas

Maintaining a web presence is time consuming and daunting at the best of times, but especially so this time of year when the last thing I have an abundance of is time. I'm hearing great things about Amazon Connect which allows authors to stay connected to readers. It doesn't take long to set up and the writer can post messages to readers. I just haven't had time to wander over to Amazon to check it out.

My website could use some tweaking, but alas I haven't got to that either for a while. All the usual distractions that come with December have been clogging up my schedule and keeping me from dedicating any major blocks of time to my writing. Consequently I haven't made much headway on my current WIP, though I assure you it will be worth the wait.

I am confident my pace will slow down when January stretches out in front of me and there is nothing else to do but write. As for now, December temps have been in the low 60's, the sun is shining, and it doesn't seem like Christmas. Until I try to find a parking spot at the local mall. Our sermon at church this morning was Where Is Your Christmas. Tonight members of the congregation performed a musical called A Smoky Mountain Christmas. Both messages reaffirmed family and faith and compassion and forgiveness--things we need more of in this life.

Help me, dear Lord, not to get bogged down in my to-do list so much that I forget what this season represents. When people look at me, I want them to see you, hear you, and experience your love and grace.

May you all be blessed this Christmas. Talk to you soon.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Tick Tick Tick

Pictured are Angel and Molly, the only two residents in my house not stressing over the upcoming holidays. Not really. I'm not too stressed even though the clock is ticking and I am trying to stay focused on writing while getting the house and myself ready for the next few weeks.

My husband, Ralph and I are entertaining next week and we still don't have a Christmas tree. Last year I told my son he could have our old tree when he moved out. Who knew he would ever move out or then remember I offered him the tree. He did both so I have been tree shopping for weeks. The main problem is that I hate to buy something today when I know it will be half price on December 26th. That goes against within me. So I'm looking for sales or considering a cut tree(which seems like such a waste of a beautiful tree) or buying a balled one I can plant in my yard after the holidays. The only thing with the balled trees is they are so expensive, overpriced because they know there are people like me who love the idea of a live tree in their homes that will reside in their front yard for years. I'm sure I could buy the same tree in March for half the price.

Have you noticed a pattern here? I hate to pay full price for anything and I doubly hate feeling like retailers are taking advantage of me. I was born frugal, but getting into the writing business where a steady income is a crap shoot, has made me even more careful with money.

So I really need a tree inside my house and decorated for the holidays by next week. At least my cards are in the mail and my presents are almost completely bought--and wrapped. Now I just need to plan menus for two dinners I'm hosting and party games for the first.

But I love it all. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year for me. Tonight is my church Christmas dinner that I look forward to every year. Then it's off to the stores who are having moonlight madness sales so my husband can finish his shopping and I might just pick up a thing or two of my own.

For today, I still have a book to edit. It's coming along great. I can't wait to put it in my publisher's hand at the first of the year. I hope they love it as much as I do.

Have a wonderful weekend and I will try to post to this blog more often.