Crazy – but in a good way!

It’s been a month since I last posted, but I have a good excuse.  Really.  I’ve been crazy busy.  Okay, so I’m always crazy busy, but this has been an even crazier month than normal.  That’s saying a lot.

Since I last posted, I’ve finished the first draft of Better Left Unsaid, decided to scrap the last 2/3 of the Bound by Grace draft and begin rewriting it, and have been working with my editor on my upcoming contemporary romance releases, A Lovely Dream  and A Lovely Reality.  The covers for both books are now ready.  I’ve been working with my graphic designer a.k.a. my son, Joe, to redo all of my covers with a new brand and to create a display that I’ll order to take with me to events/signings.  Tomorrow, I will be hosting a takeover from 6-10 p.m. EST of the Fandoms and Books Save Lives. Authors Take Them page on Facebook.  I will be holding the first of several holiday giveaways on my Facebook author page.  My guilty pleasure has been indulging in a reading spree of Jeaniene Frost’s books.  I usually like to vary what I read, but I can’t stop myself although I am alternating series.

I’m preparing to begin my final read-through of A Lovely Dream and will then give it to my formatter, who just so happens to be my husband.  Once I do that and we have blog tour dates selected, then I’ll be making announcements regarding release dates for both books.  Since the two novels are basically a set, A Lovely Dream will be released only a couple of months before A Lovely Reality.  I want both of them out before the RT Convention in Dallas this May.

As I prepare to write the blurbs for both upcoming releases, pull out teaser lines, and begin to make graphics, I’m already looking ahead to my next fiction release, which will be Mercy:  Book 3 of The Real World Series, in summer of 2015.  A romance release will follow in the fall, but I haven’t made my selection, yet.  Perhaps as I review my drafts with my editor, then I’ll come to a final decision.  I’m blessed to have several drafts completed since it allows me choices.  With everything being so hectic, my writing time is extremely limited at the moment!

Speaking of RT, I’ve scheduled my author appearance for 11:30 on May 14th and will be donating a gift basket again this year.  I’ll have a spot on Promo Lane as well.  I’m hoping to sign at the book fair, but space is limited and I’m on a waiting list.  They’ve already changed rooms but still don’t have enough space.  Hopefully, that will change before May!

Things will be picking up even more as 2015 approaches.  Not only will I have at least four releases in the next year, but I’ll be at RT, will be attending and signing at Indie BookFest 2015 in Orlando, and…well, who knows what else might come up.  It’s still 2014, and my schedule is insane!

Happy holidays to all!

Barbara

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Against the Wind

True story: A man was wrongly convicted of a crime and spent nine years in prison before things were reviewed and he was granted clemency. When he got out of prison, he threw himself into “playing catch-up” and doing all of the things he’d missed for almost a decade. Unfortunately, the consequences were that he died as a result of how hard he pushed himself. That leaning-into-the-wind feeling is exactly how I’ve felt in the past two years because of my need to work outside the home and my family tragedies. I know it’s not good for me or others I love.

My last blog was about my decision to regain balance in my life. I did – and had one great week. Then, I started to backslide. I allowed the same stressors to come into play that were causing me so much tension and frustration. Lack of time is the biggest one, and I really have no idea how to solve that issue without quitting my day job, which I can’t do at the moment. I know I need to be a full-time author, and my inability to do that is killing me. I need more time to write, promote, network, and do things like hang with my family, read even more, and enjoy the other things that give me pleasure like cooking, exploring, and being with friends. I’m caught in a net of necessary obligations.

With six books released and two slated for release in the next six months, I’m certainly moving forward. Thank God I have several drafts waiting for review and editing. I can continue releasing novels for a while without having to worry about producing a new book ASAP. Yet, I do want to keep producing new material and try to write every day like I always have. It brings me joy. All of the stress has been sucking my creative juices dry. That is the worst.

I’ve already pulled back on blogging, Facebook, etc. a bit in order to focus on writing, and I’ve definitely been more productive recently. On that note, I can already tell you that I never plan to put out a book every month. Even if I quit my day job working with the visually-impaired, I have no desire to churn out books simply to make a buck. I write for myself and my readers and always strive for quality and not just quantity. Unless I decide to write a serial and choose to put out installments on a monthly basis, I intend to write and publish two to three novels a year. However, it will be because those works are ready and come from the depths of my mind, heart, and soul. My characters and their stories are dear to me, and I’m blessed to have readers who love them, too.

So, back to that balance thing. I’m still working on it and still trying not to “play catch-up” to those other authors who don’t have to work outside the home. I’m a work in progress and want to regain my sense of peace. I’ll strive to move forward confident that all will work out as it should. I’m human and don’t always believe that, although I used to and need to find my way back to that frame of mind. I won’t put any spin on it. How boring would it be to say that everything is fabulous all the time? Even the most famous of authors have their own personal struggles, health issues, and frustrations. Of course, I’d like to be one of them and have their readership, since that would eliminate my frustration about not being able to devote my working time to writing.

This past week, I’ve gotten back on track again. I’ve spent more time with the family, cooked, and walked on the treadmill while listening to books five days out of the last seven. I’ve also worked on my current draft and done research on changing my diet to make it better again and hopefully help with some of the health issues I have that can actually be controlled by what I eat. I continue to feel that constant niggling tension and am attempting to release it. I’m looking forward to my upcoming releases, attending the 2015 RT Convention in Dallas, Indie Bookfest 2015, and other events. I want to live my life to the fullest. As long as I can keep producing and tapping my creativity, then all will be good. Everything else will happen as it should.

Barbara

Balance and Success

It’s time for a new start.  With the September release of Prim & Proper, I decided it was time for my own new release.  Over the past two years, I’ve been pulled down by family tragedies and problems beyond my control.  I was juggling family, work, and everything physical and psychological that goes along with the terminal illness and death of a loved one, serious illness of loved ones, settling estates, personal illness, and handling the business relating to those things and moving my mother to live close to me in Florida.   Let’s just say I’ve been a little stressed doing all that and traveling back and forth between Florida and Louisiana.   Okay, so I was morphing into a whiny, tired, angry person, and that is so not the real me.

Last week, I decided it was time for a change.  In the midst of the chaos, I’ve released six books and love writing, my readers, and my career as an author.  My readers love my books, and I am loving that – and them, of course.  So, I decided to refocus.  Last weekend, I made up my mind to do what I’d been talking about for a long while, which was to return to thinking positively and returning my outlook to what it was two years ago.  And?  It’s been a great week, both personally and professionally.  The reviews for Prim & Proper have been great; I started writing a new book; I’m working on developing a reasonable schedule for the seemingly endless things I need to do in addition to my writing; and I’m just plain happier!  Little things have been happening all week that have reinforced my efforts, and I’m very grateful.  I’ve also made time to read some books, update my bio on every site I could think of that had the old one on it, and start working on redesigning old covers to include the new part of my brand.  The work on the covers isn’t done, yet.  Maybe next week.  I’ll have to talk with my cover designer on those and see how what I envision works.  The images/photos will not change, but the other elements like titles and my name will get a fresh look in the near future.

Thank you so much to my family, friends, and readers for all you do and all you are!  I’m going to add working on blog posts to my list of things to approach in a slightly different way.  It will be an experiment.  Blogs about things like releases and reveals may not change much, but I’d like to infuse more of a personal touch into my posts.  Finding a balance between sharing not enough and too much can be tricky for authors.

Have a fabulous week!  I hope you are enjoying Prim & Proper and plan to have some exciting news regarding my next two upcoming romance releases, A Lovely Dream and A Lovely Reality, in my next blog!

Barbara

Prim & Proper is LIVE!

The official release date for Prim & Proper is September 16th, but I just couldn’t stand to wait any longer.  So, the book went live Sunday night.  I gave my street team, Barbara’s Book Babes, the news first.  The next day, I shared my “secret” with the On My Way Up with Barbara newsletter subscribers.  Now, I’m sharing with everyone!  I got a 5-star review before I’d announced that it was live, which was a wonderful surprise.  I can’t wait for more reviews and more satisfied readers!

http://www.amazon.com/Prim-Proper-Barbara-Cutrera/dp/0991364228/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410481189&sr=1-2&keywords=prim+and+proper

I’m thrilled to have this novel, the first of many contemporary romances of mine, avaialbe to all.  Enjoy!

Barbara

Prim & Proper Adult Trailer

That got your attention, right?  I’ve blogged about the trailer for Prim & Proper: The Early Years on YouTube.  Everyone raved over it, which was fabulous to hear.  However, there is also an “adult” trailer for my book that is simply entitled Prim and Proper on YouTube.  Those who have seen it have loved it, so I’m putting it out there for all to see!  Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-VNqOKsIk0 .  It was created combining John Legend’s “All of Me” and the steamy teaser photos for my contemporary romance, which goes live in one week! 

P&P Final Cover

Barbara

Prim and Proper: The Early Years Trailer

So many fans who have previewed this trailer have told me I have to release it now.  Here is a glimpse of Sean and Prim in their childhood years.  Prim and Proper officially goes LIVE September 16th!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB6Z3Shfelo

P&P Final Cover

Barbara

Prim & Proper Cover Reveal!

Prim and Proper goes LIVE in ebook and paperback formats on September 16th!  This contemporary romance is sweet and spicy – just like the cover!

P&P Final Cover

Barbara