Making Changes…Yes, Again

Hey, my friends! I’m glad to see you back here for another one of my “what the Hell is Stephannie doing?” posts. LOL

I feel like these posts are coming too frequently the last two years, but that could just be me worrying over annoying you all with that “I’m doing this! No wait. I’m going to do this. No, sorry, I changed my mind again. I’m going to do this.” and then deciding to do something completely different a few days later. I swear, I never have this much trouble picking out an outfit to wear to a party, but then that could be because I have two choice: formal or casual.

I’m do want to make a special shout out to my good writing friend, Ruth, who deserves some kind or award or at least recognition for listening to my indecision everyday and helping me decide what I should do.

Anyhoo,  to get back to the point of this post. I’m changing my mind again.

Seems every time I make a few decisions, live with them for a few weeks before announcing the shift, and then move forward with my choices, life throws me a little quirk.

In April, I decided that I would make my Stephannie name into a writer of YA. This was at the request from my lovely little daughter who wants to write books with her mom and didn’t like the idea of a pen name. I would do anything for my daughters, unless it’s dangerous and then we’d have to have a long talk about how hospital visits isn’t considered family fun time.

So I agreed to her request to change my writing course, waited some time before announcing the change, and then started to make talk a reality. However, after I went through the process of unpublishing all my old books, I noticed something that  I hadn’t thought about when I decided to make the change to writing for a younger audience. The print books aren’t going to go away.  If I follow through with my plans I will have romances sitting on the digital bookshelf alongside my YA books. After some research, I found out that those print books will forever be there because Amazon won’t remove them.

And this causes a problem for me.

One of the main reasons I decided to divide my young adult fiction writing from my adult writing is that I’m uncomfortable selling books to children and having books with more erotic elements under the same name. Now, I’m aware that there are authors out there that write for both teens and adults under one name and it’s not a huge deal to them. Might not be for the parents either. But I don’t want a child to pick out my steamier romances thinking it would be a fun read. I would hope that parents would supervise their children’s reading books better, but I know from personal, childhood experience that  that isn’t always the case. My mom would be horrified at some of the books I read as a kid because an author wrote for both young and adult audiences.

So I’m going to be making some more changes, or change back what I had started to change in the first place, which is kinda annoying to me and possibly to you. Sorry about that. 😦

Anyhoo, the changes I’ll be making are to:

  1. This website. Until I get everything straightened out in my head, I’m going to be stripping this website to the bones, and then start redoing it. As I’m not sure how I want to handle the pen names and website(s), I’m not going to be doing much to it for a while. As I figure it out, you’ll start to see pages return.
  2. My Stephannie Beman author name. I won’t be writing Young Adult fiction under Stephannie Beman. This name will be returned to my more adult fiction that I was writing before I decided a change would be good.
  3. Pen Name for YA. After much discussion with my daughter, we decided that it will be okay if I create a pen name to go with her name on the covers of the YA series  we’re in the process of writing.
  4. Other Pen Name(s). When I thought I was going to be writing YA under Stephannie, I decided to create pen name for my Urban Fantasy and a pen name for my romances. I might or might not still do a pen name for my romances, I haven’t quite decided.
  5. My old books. Since I have all my old books unpublished already. I’ve decided to go ahead and rewrite, add some scenes to, or have them edited by the best Editor and Proofreader I’ve found to date before redoing the covers, blurbs, and in some cases re-titling them. This could take me awhile as summer as it is the busiest time of the year for me and I still want to write new books.

Sadly, many of my older books reflect my bad grammar and some of the editors I have hired in the past had worse grammar than I do.  Not only have I’ve been working on improving my grammar for a few years now,  but my Proofreader Lauralynn Elliott is really good about pointing out my grammar mistakes and why they are mistakes. If you’re looking to hire editors, proofreaders, or even  book formatting, check out The Forge, their work is impressive and affordable.

And now, before I return to writing, if anyone still wants to know what my pen names will be, please sign up for my pen name newsletter. I’ll only send it out when I’m sure what my pen names will be, and that I won’t be changing my mind on it. I promise. 🙂

Wishing you all the very best,

Changes On the Writing Front

Over the last year I’ve been struggling with some hard decisions about the direction I want to take my writing, about the type of books I want to write, and about the books I have already written. Much of what I have decided will affect this website and author name. For example:

  1. Within the next few years, I will be writing Young Adult Fiction and publishing it under the name Stephannie Beman.
  2. Which means I will no longer be writing romance or any books with sex in them under the name Stephannie Beman.
  3. This also means all my novels and short stories that I have published will be removed from this website and from sell within the next week. From this moment on all romances will be written under a pen name. Some of my books will eventually find their way to my romance pen name. Others will not.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I’m changing to YA Fiction and why I don’t just create a pen name for it rather than go about it this way. I will happily admit that creating a pen name would be easier, smarter, and less of a pain in my pu-tush, except for one really big reason: MY DAUGHTERS.

My DAUGHTERS have been asking me to write a book they can read for years and I have finally agreed. Hence, the YA Fiction.  And while I could create a pen name for my YA Fiction my oldest DAUGHTER has decided that she wants to write the books with me during the Summer months and she wants her name on the book with mine. We’ve already done the prep work for the first two stories in the series. She also wants to give those YA books to the public and school libraries.

Now I’m uncomfortable selling YA Fiction and books with more erotic elements under the same name. I don’t want a child to pick out my Romances thinking it’s YA Fiction. I would hope that parents would supervise their children’s reading books better, but I know from personal, childhood experience that  that isn’t always the case.

Since it will be some time since my last release and until my next release, I should be ok moving my Stephannie Beman author name into YA. And for those who like my day planners for writers, you will still be about to find them here.

If you would like to be notified of the new pen names for Stephannie Beman, please click this link and sign up and I’ll let you know when I’m ready to reveal them.

I thought I had 4 hours to write? Where did it all go?

Damn! Four hours flew by. I don’t think I even saw it go.

When I woke up this morning I was thinking “Yes! I’m in the mood to work on The Scout’s Captive.” By the time I finished feeding the cows, loading hay in the truck, flushed out the water system in the cabin, fed the cats and dog, made hubby dinner, cleaned the kitchen, ate lunch with hubby, and sent hubby off to work, I was too distracted by thoughts of what I want to do with my writing career business hobby, making future plans for writing projects I want to do and need to do, the website updates I need to make and what I need to change, and how I’m going to juggle pen names to do any writing.

So writing ended up being a huge bust this afternoon because I couldn’t focus on it to save my behind. But I will say that I made a big ass dent in the website changes and what I’m thinking about with a pen name. I hope that after I deal with dinner, kids’ homework, and picking up the house, I might be able to squeeze in a few hours of writing before hubby gets home from work.

If not, I shoot for some quality time between my laptop and me this weekend. I’m thinking of disappearing into a bathroom and closing the door. Good thing there are two bathrooms in this house. The back one might just be my office tomorrow. 😀

Writer Doubts and Pushing On

The last two weeks I’ve been plagued with doubts about The Queen’s Rebellion Series. The kind of doubts that can be crippling. Things like:

  • Am I going about this character/scene/plot line the right way?
  • Am I doing justice to the character/plot?
  • Should I keep this? Should I delete this? Is this really necessary?
  • Am I making the plot/theme of the story clear?
  • Should I slow down and explain more? Or do I need to explain less and speed up?
  • Is book #1 interesting enough for people to continue to read the rest of the series or will it fall flat?
  • Would the people reading this be confused because I forgot to put something in?
  • Did I start too soon in the story? And should I get rid of book #1?

Anyone seeing the start of a pattern here? Yeah, I’m having issues with book #1. I know that I finished writing it back in January and moved on to book #2, but I’ve got this niggling feeling that I’m doing it wrong.

Wow! Just had a flashback to the movie Mr. Mom. For those who would like to know what I’m talking, here’s a YouTube clip to explain.  

Anyhoo, right now I’m filled with doubts about this book and really wished I had an alpha reader or several. I’ve been wanting to use that new (for me) term forever BTW 😀 . Because I would really like to discuss the particulars of the story over with someone who reads (sadly, hubby is not one of those people) and see if I’m missing something or if I’m doing packing to many subplots into the story.

But since I don’t have an alpha reader, or beta readers anymore, I’ll just have to push on and hope for the best.

Cross my fingers and pray! LOL


Want to know the difference between an Alpha Reader and a Beta Reader?

The Alpha Reader gets to read the unfinished draft, pieces of the draft, or may even act like sounding board for ideas. They should give you honest, immediate feedback on how the story plays, not line-specific notes. They’re the people who tell you what bores them, what confuses them, what’s cool, and what’s unbelievable.

The Beta Reader gets to read through the “almost ready” for publication draft and give you honest feedback on how the story plays –like what bores them, what confuses them, what’s cool, and what’s unbelievable– typos and grammar mistakes they find, and line-specific notes.

Where did they all go?

I’ve been doing a lot of online research lately, not only for the Urban Fantasy book I’m writing under Anne, but also on website design, blogging, author business planning, creating editorial calendars for blogs and book publishing, and various genre rules that I shouldn’t break but probably will out of ignorance to the rules.

But all that isn’t the point of this post. Nope, the point is that I want to know where they all disappeared to and why?

Who you ask? The authors, silly.

One day they’re there going strong, the next day they’re gone. Vanished. No website. No books. Nothing more than a memory and a few small ghostly footprints left behind by their passing. Like the fading gravestones in a cemetery. Slowly, ever so slowly worn down by time and elements, fading away. Only in fast forward.

Damn that morbid.

Of course, this strange phenomenon made me think of the writers I met when I finally joined the online world back in 2008. Do you know what I found?

Maybe a handful of those I knew are still writing and publishing. Everyone else has disappeared, or stopped writing from what I can tell. Their website sit neglected, pathetically crying for attention. Even those that seemed to be making descent money from their book sells are  gone.

I know last year was hard on all writers, but it still makes me sad to think of all the writers gone, all the good books I will never get to read because life happened or they gave up.

But it also made me realize something about myself. No matter hom much I might want to give up some days, no matter how little I’m making, I’m not smart enough to my sinking abandon ship. I’m determined to stay and apparently drown, because to be frank my ship has sunk and is sitting at the bottom of the ocean waiting to be salvaged.

But that doesn’t matter anymore, because of something else I realized this week. No matter how little I’m making writing. No matter how much I may bitch and moan to my writer friend until I’m pretty sure she is now avoiding me like a plague carrier. No matter how little time I have in the day, my butt will always find it’s way back into the chair and my fingers to the keyboard of a computer. Hell, give me a pen and paper and I’ll write you a story longhand. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Which reminds me I should probably get that notebook out of my work pants and type up the notes in there just in case. I’d hate to relive the washing machine debacle of 1996. That perfect idea for a story would have made me famous if my mom hadn’t washed it. JK, I doubt it was that good, but my 16 year old heart was sure it was the greatest idea of all time.

Anyhoo, the point I’m trying to make is that I’d rather be writing then almost anything else, and the one other thing I would rather do… Well, I’m not got to mention it here. Now I’m really curious to know what you guys would think my favorite activity would be? I’m also scared to ask. I’m not going to ask.

Instead I’m going to embrace my writing as a hobby and let the business aspect  take a flying leap. 😀