Friday, August 31, 2012

I've Come to Accept My Real Self

Things are quickly becoming more and more real for me. I am about to become a published author, complete with my own author page on Tirgearr Publishing's site.

Now, Kemberlee, the publisher, happened to choose a photo of me that I have never liked but others who know me say is the real me. What I find odd is that she managed to hone in on that one photo; a gum-snapping, applejack moose jerky eatin', somewhat classy trailer trash woman.

You will have to go here to see the photo, if you're curious.

Now, how did she know?

I thought I had successfully fostered the image of a bon-bon eating, lingerie lounging, champagne sipping "Jackie Collins" type, or at the very least, a thoughtful, serious writer.

She must have been talking to my co-author, Carol, who knows me so well. Now Carol better fits the persona I was trying to convey. She lives in Delaware, near NYC. She's an attractive blonde, loves the city life and all it has to offer and probably dresses impeccably. You see, while we've been friends for 10 years now and have been writing together for the same amount of time, we've never met in person.

It's probably just as well, too.

Because what that photo of me portrays is real. I truly am a redneck at heart, I honestly prefer the country life and everything it involves. While she loves shopping in the big city, I hate it and get impatient five minutes after entering the store. I break out in a cold sweat as soon as I hit the city limits of Edmonton, AB and my hands turn cold with white knuckled panic. She loves shopping for clothes, and I've had the same pair of comfortable jeans, complete with paint speckles and battery acid burns on them, for the last five years. I also wear my husband's shirts and consider myself quite chic. She loves the theater and city entertainments, and I live for the fishing and camping trips to the mountains that we plan weeks in advance, complete with a cooler full of moose dried meat, iced tea and fish bait, all co-mingling. She delicately dabs perfume, and to me, the smell of bug spray and campfire smoke is ambrosia. She loves a man in a well tailored suit, and my husband and I got married with him wearing a nice sweater over his flannel shirt, and I found him the sexiest groom ever! We were surrounded by my equally earthy relatives, and the impromptu reception later was a total hoot, complete with a good, old fashioned feast of each person's best dish. One hoser even spiked the punch with his own dandelion wine!

So why are Carol and I such good friends and perfect colleagues? I have no freakin' idea. Is it despite our vast differences, or because of them? I often wonder what would happen if we ever met in real life? I have often thought how perfect it would be if I bought the lot next to her house, moved in the trashiest trailer I could find, have my husband make his famous raspberry hooch while I smoked meat in our homemade smoker, and drastically lower her property values. I can't help but laugh in gleeful mischief at the thought.

So, I guess folks, if you want to know the real person behind the books I co-author, here I am. Kemberlee, you had me pegged from the first day, so I guess I can quit pretending now.

Have a great day, eh?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A New Adventure

Well, it seems my co-authored book "No Gentleman is He" has been accepted for publication.

Isn't that exciting?

I'm still shaking my head in disbelief that I didn't receive one rejection letter. I still wonder if I should request one from Kemberlee, my publisher at Tirgearr Publishing, just to feel like a "real writer".

There is perhaps something I should explain for the sake of friends who seem confused (and rightly so). My pseudonym for this work of Historical Romance fiction is Lynette Willows.

Now, people have asked me why writers use pen names. There are many reasons, I'm sure, but all I can do is speak for myself. For almost ten years I've been a freelance writer, and I used the name S.L. Bartlett. I am known by this name for journalistic pieces and humour/satire writing.

I also write novels, as yet unpublished and in different genres. "No Gentleman is He" is a historical romance, but because of my odd penchant for odd facts and both of our intensive research, it seems both I and my co-author, Carley Bauer/Carol Butler Crawley went a tad overboard with it. They have decided they like it despite that, but we still have some heavy re-writing and revising to do.

But I digress.

The reason for pen names is to keep an author's association with one particular genre clear. For example, if you pick up a Steven King book, you expect surprise and horror. Would you pick up a tender romance book that he wrote, or even take him seriously if he wrote under the same name?

I write in a multitude of genres, mostly because I would get horribly bored in just one. My reading tastes are equally as varied, so I guess it's to be expected. I am currently working on a political/suspense thriller, a satirical work dealing with child rearing and teenagers training to be terrorists, and another Lit work that is completely different from our current work. I am also still interested in keeping up my freelance work. I find deadlines, research and journalism exciting.

I am currently working on a blog site on Wordpress, exclusively for Lynette Willows to keep everyone up to date on the progress of Book 1, "No Gentleman is He" of the Sons of Liberty series, due for publication just before Christmas. It will also serve to outline historical facts that may surprise a lot of people, myself included. I found it amazing how political climate and societal pressures during the years of the American Revolution coloured history and its legends, and with these books, perhaps we can bring some facts out of the grey fog. You may not only be surprised, but shocked and slightly angry that this upstart Canadian and her American co-author could expose their most cherished heroes, We will also never lose sight of the fact that this is also a romance and that will satisfy the romantic in all of us.

In Book 2 of the series, of which almost two chapters are already done, these historical facts will come out in more detail and be twined into our story. We seek to not only thrill, excite and entertain, but we hope to also surprise. We will keep you informed of our progress.

I will keep this blog, Romancing the Thrill Quill, for my varied other projects, including progress on my novels, any general thoughts I may have to share, and to have fun! I admit, this one has no definitive focus, but that suits my personality. Being organized is boring; I'll use Lynette to do that. Oh, by the way, that is why I've been conspicuously absent; I've been busy with this series. My profuse apologies for neglecting friendships; I will try to do better.

So, you've been warned. Meanwhile, I'll keep you up to date on this new adventure and the new Lynette Willows blog, thoughts about being published and indulging in my love of research, writing, and spinning tales.

Oh, and when we have our cover design, you all will be the first to know. Keep your stick on the ice, folks!