Perhaps invention and reinvention is a perpetual state of affairs for authors, We’re always working on something: outlining or polishing, restructuring or fine tuning. And not only do we do this with our projects. We tend to do with ourselves too.
Such is the intriguing mix of information on Works In Progress, a blog posted by Betty & Friends. Actually, the blog host is Betty Carlton, and it’s her generosity that caused her to create her world of Betty and Friends.
Betty spent a full career in the insurance business, then at the eleventh was laid off. But, rather than retire, she reinvented herself as an author.
For those of us who’ve sailed the authoring waters for years, it’s refreshing to hear about someone taking a run off the end of the dock and plunging in. Her energy and joy are palpable. And she’s been wise in asking more experienced sailors to help her. She thanks them by posting about their careers on her high-spirited blog.
Her posting about me revealed such an unabashed enthusiasm that it made me feel as refreshed as if I’d just had a lovely swim. It also showed what a determined researcher she is, digging up everything from my cast photos from “Days Of Our Lives” to some of my koto performances, and featuring my new book prominently. So very much appreciated.
When I interviewed her in return, we got into an interesting conversation about genres. Betty writes romance, but couldn’t seem to land a deal with traditional romance publishers. So she did what she does so well–researched the market place. What she discovered is that the less traditional romance publishers—those who lean more toward the erotic—were actually combing the countryside looking for writers. She was offered a contract in two weeks. Now, with successful titles to her name, she has landed a contract with as she calls it a company that publishes “sweeter romance.” Writing with the pen name Lisa Day, her first “sweet” romance The Stepbrothers will be released by Rebel Ink Press in November of 2011.
Though Betty and I write in different genres, I have to say I admire her gumption, her spirit, and her unhesitating reinvention. It makes her unstoppable as water, which always finds a way around the rocks.
And Betty reminded me what progress is. Writing When Hummers Dream (my series prequel) and What the Heart Knows (book one in my novel series) transformed me into a novelist. As my new books begin to reach a widening group, they’ll open new doors for my readers too, reminding us we’re all works in progress.
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