Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Summer Doldrums

For once, I can say that I am not suffering from the summer doldrums. Normally, by this time of year, I’m sweating and unhappy, suffering from heat and the prospect of another long, hot, dry month ahead.

But this year, I’m actually pretty happy.

Oh, I still have heat rash and chigger bites all over my legs. And it’s hot as blazes outside. But I’ve got a new Regency romance, The Bricklayer’s Helper, coming out on August 6, 2010, and my first paranormal romance, Vampire Protector, coming out in November, and for once, I’m pretty jazzed. And then there is The Necklace, a “prequel” to The Bricklayer’s Helper and I Bid One American, which should also come out soon, although I don’t have a release date yet.

Part of my joy can be attributed to the lovely letter I got from an editor at Five Star/Gale. They publish hard cover books for distribution to libraries and have always been one of my publishing dreams. So, this lovely editor indicated that she loved my book, Whacked!, a contemporary mystery. I’ve always wanted to write mysteries and Five Star was one of my “dream publishers” along with St. Martin’s Press.

While I’m perfectly aware that there is “many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip” I’m cautiously optimistic. If I didn’t just jinx it.

Even if I do discover that Five Star ultimately doesn’t publish Whacked!, I’m happy to be where I am, today. While I don’t have huge numbers of published books, I have 2 Regency romances as well as a couple of short stories and a novella published and that is more than I ever dreamed possible.

Not to mention that on this long, strange journey, I’ve also gotten into gardening, particularly rose gardening with Old Garden Roses that were hybridized prior to 1900. Who knew that one day I’d have over 100 Old Garden Roses growing outside my backdoor, and that the first novel I would ever gt published would be a Regency with a heroine who grows roses smuggled from France (Smuggled Rose).

Now, if I could just work my other hobby, bird watching, into a novel, I’d be way ahead of the game. Despite popular conceptions of birdwatchers as elderly and vague-minded folks, I met my husband bird watching. Getting up at dawn to walk through the woods and listen to the birds sing themselves awake is a lot more romantic than you might imagine.

My husband and I ran a bird banding station for a number of years as well, and were fortunate enough to band birds such as this gorgeous Hooded Warbler. The experience was awesome, and I'll always be grateful to him for allowing me to assist.

So, if you have a hobby or interest that isn’t exactly “mainstream” my advice is to pursue it at every opportunity. It can lead you onto new roads that will take you to destinations you never dreamed possible.


Tarot By Arwen said...

I'm a huge fan of birding. I've never done it with a group, but my uncle used to go to Mexico to do bird counts. His interest in birds got mine going.

Good luck with that publisher. Exciting news!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

My husband has a lot of bird feeders outside our windows and we love to watch them. Much to our amazement we've discovered they actually have personalities - one we call Mafia because he rules the roost when it come to who and when other hummingbirds can feed. We live in the Sierra Mountains and are fortunate to have so many different kinds of birds, including an owl we love to listen to.

Best of luck to you on your stories.

Amy said...

Thanks so much to both of you for sharing your comments--I love to hear from others who enjoy watching the birds. I need to get out to the Sierra Mountains. They have a lot of birds I'd like to add to my life list, and I know my husband wouldn't mind a trip out west.

Good luck to both of you!

Jill James said...

Amy, congratulations on your publishing successes and your life successes as well. You sound very happy this summer day.

Joan Leacott said...

Hi Amy, I'm a birder, too. I've got a house wren singing her little heart out just by the open door. Amazing how such a little bird has such a big song. I've gone on birding trips with a guy from the local museum who turns birding into an extreme sport. Who knew!

Joanne said...

Hi Amy,
Bird-banding? I'd never heard of it, but what an interesting hobby/profession.
Best wishes on your continued success.

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