What’s Your Measure of Success?

Here in the Tearoom we are all either self-published or aspiring authors. As such, I know we all think about “making it”. I mean, who doesn’t? In whatever field we’re in, whatever job we do, most of us have a dream of success.

I’ll admit to having grand fantasies of going on book tours and meeting adoring fans who’ve connected with my books in some personal way. I would love to sign books with a flourish and smile at the people as I shake hands and give hugs.

But these things don’t happen for many authors, much less self-published ones who are working on their own tiny budget and limited connections.

So what becomes the measure of “success” as an author? Continue reading

Working for a Miracle – A Life Lived According to Herb Brooks

“I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones.” – Herb Brooks


I have a not-so-secret love of sports movies.  The best ones combine real life sports stories with great acting and writing and become inspirational classics.  One of the absolute best examples of this is Miracle starring Kurt Russell.

Miracle is the true story of the 1980 USA Men’s Olympic Hockey team.  This was before the Olympics were made up of “dream teams,” and it was during a time when the Soviet machine trained athletes like they were soldiers. In fact, many on the Soviet hockey team actually were soldiers.  They’d been playing and training together for more than a decade.  They won nearly every game.  They didn’t just win.  They obliterated their opponents.  They were a shoe in for the gold medal every year, and the United States was getting beaten by the Czech B team.  The US Olympic committee wasn’t even looking to win a medal…and then Herb Brooks happened. Continue reading

What the Imagination Movers Taught Me About Self-Publishing

I have two little kids. This means I end up watching a lot of children’s television and listening to a lot of cds that include multiple versions of The Wheels on the Bus. This is generally painful. However, there is one children’s show I can be found watching even when my kids are off doing other things – The Imagination Movers.


They’re basically the most awesome thing ever: four guys from New Orleans who decided to put their musical skills to use as an “alt rock band for kids and their rockin’ families.” They don’t write “kiddie music,” they write damn good music that just happens to be for kids. And I buy their albums for me and just happen to let my kids listen to them, cause I’m cool like that. Continue reading

Rock Stars, NA, and Contemporary Romance with Elyssa Patrick-Plus a Giveaway!

 photo STAYwithMe.jpg
I’m so pleased to welcome Elyssa Patrick to Teatime Romance today! I first “met” Elyssa back in the days of the Eloisa James/JQ BB.  Like me, she is a voracious romance reader, and writes contemporaries. Obviously, it was meant to be. 🙂 Elyssa a very talented contemporary/NA author and I was so excited for her when she decided to start self-publishing her novels. I have no doubt she’s well on her way to a successful and rewarding career. She’s here today to discuss the release of her new NA book Stay With Me which is the first book in her With Me series.   Continue reading

I Handwrote My First Novel & I Would Totally Recommend It

It’s been nearly a year and a half since I finished the first draft of my first novel My Dear Sophy. The whole process was amazing (the revising and editing afterward, not so much) from first jotting down notes to the detailed planning to throwing all of that planning out the window in the heat of writing the draft. It was probably the most fun creative thing I’ve ever done. Must have been because I have kept on writing since then!

Much of that fun I had so much of was due to something very important: I handwrote the whole thing. That’s right. I used my hand, a pen, and some notebooks to scratch out my first little book. Here’s what my tools looked like (hand included):

Now, when I mention that I handwrote the first draft, the general reactions go this way: Continue reading

Self-Pub Rebels – Success, Wine, and RWA

c265ec93a60ccb85bc14fae4faf25627If you remember my last post, I talked about how I’d be attending the Romance Writers of America National Conference, along with Amy Pfaff and Lisa Lin from Teatime. I got through my awesome London underworld workshop fine (thanks, Sasha for lending me your jump drive, Elizabeth Hoyt and Jade Lee for taking my nerves away, and thanks to the AMAZING woman who lent me her laptop), and the rest of the way I reclined in the sheer joy of being surrounded by so many wonderful romance writers. If you haven’t been to RWA, and you’re serious about writing (or you’re a librarian, etc), then I highly recommend it. I learned so much in those short five days that I can’t even begin to summarize it all for you. I’m sure we’ll have many posts on Teatime in the coming months spawned from our new RWA-centric knowledge. Continue reading

The Adaptable Jane Austen

Zombies, cowboys, weight-loss obsessed British singles – no, it’s not the latest mash-up movie from Hollywood – it’s all Jane Austen.  Well, Austen adaptations at least, and Jane has been adapted like no other author.  Some I love the concept of (Clueless, Bridget Jones, Bride and Prejudice), and other concepts I just can’t get on board with (anything having to do with zombies or sea monsters).  However, whether you love them or hate them, adaptations are here to stay.

It’s fun for authors to take Austen places she hasn’t been yet – there have been retellings of Austen’s stories featuring everything from civil war soldiers to vampires.  Telling her beloved stories from different perspectives,  or extending them in sequels and even prequels are also popular choices.

AttemptingElizabethCoverI have to confess that I am one of the many to write an Austen adaptation.  It started on a whim as a last minute short-story contest entry two years ago, and is now a full-fledged novel that I self-published in January.  And because I can never do anything halfway I co-created www.indiejane.org a website and community for independent Austen authors and readers of small press and self-published Austen-inspired fiction. Continue reading

You Are Cordially Invited…to a Cover Reveal!


If you had told me a year ago that I’d be recognizing one of my dreams–preparing for the release of my debut novel this December–I would have thought you were sweet, but a bit touched in the head. At that time, having anything publishable seemed like an elusive goal. One I was working toward, but still far away from fruition. Continue reading

Secrets and Scandals with Darcy Burke

burke-35-small2Darcy Burke‘s got a secret…by day, she’s a mom, but by night she is a bestselling author of the Secrets and Scandals series set in regency England. I first met Darcy a few months ago, but it wasn’t until I started to seriously consider self-publishing that we really got to know each other. Darcy has helped me so much in understanding the indie world, and now has out three full-length novels and a novella. I was lucky enough to get to beta read for Darcy’s latest, Never Love a Scoundrel, coming out on May 15th. Never Love a Scoundrel is one of my favorite books now–one I definitely want to read again when it comes out.

Welcome to the tearoom, Darcy! 

Thank you for having me!

Can you tell us a bit about your Secrets and Scandals series? Continue reading