In Which I Contemplate the Future

Wow! I didn’t realize that I had been absent from here so long until I jumped on the computer this morning to check my emails before starting book #3 in a series of book cover designs for an author friend and found a shout out linked to my blog.  Thank you, Ondeane Lourens, for your kind words, I was glad to help!

I couldn’t believe that my last post was almost two months ago. Sadly, this is also how long it’s been since I wrote anything more than an to-do list, email, letter, or shopping list.

Little writer, child typing

I’m not sure what it is about the Summer months that make all my well made plans swirl down the crapper within the first few days, but it seems to happen every year. The kids get out of school and the beautiful days cause my focus in life to shift. Add all the increased ranch work and the housework from more people being here during the day, and my days change to a different kind of busy.  I guess an added benefit is my days become almost electronic-free as I’m no longer glued to my computer for four or more hours a day to write and I really have no interest in social media.

Yeah, I know I’m living in the dark ages by not having my cell phone glued to my hand or posting what I’m doing all the time, but neither of them has ever held any appeal to me. I only have the cell phone for when I’m working around the ranch by myself or emergencies while away from the house. I believe my daughters spend more time texting on it this past summer then I have. Actually, if my phone or social media disappeared today, I wouldn’t miss them one bit. But that is neither here nor there, or even the point of this post.

This year has been a stranger year of contemplation and realizations, but the ones I want to talk about is the writing aspect of my life. Unlike in years past, I didn’t spend any time feeling the guilty or berating myself for not writing or working on my writing business since sometime in May. I thought I would try to go with the flow and see what happened.

Five years back, when this first started happening, I thought maybe it was a seasonal thing, but as time passed it was harder and harder for me to return to. Three years ago I thought that maybe I was burned out. I started writing 22 years ago and except for a few little breaks, I really hadn’t stopped. So I took break that lasted almost a year before the writing bug hit and I returned to writing. But that break didn’t seem to help.

Now, with each passing year, I’ve started to wonder if it was time to quitting this writing gig and just write for myself when the bug bites. The passion I’ve held for writing has been fading over the years and I’ve started to wonder if writing has served it’s purpose in my life. Or if I’m going about it all wrong for who I am.

Maybe it is time for me to move on to other things. Maybe it’s time to set up that handmade shop I’ve been dreaming of since last year. Or maybe it’s time for me to put all business related things aside and do something else…

Stephannie Beman

What I’m Doing in June 2018

Living on a ranch is so very different from living in a city. It’s more than just the wide open meadow, the forest of trees around me, the herd of cows I help care for, or the fact that the nearest neighbor isn’t able to look out their windows into mine. It has more to do with every schedule or routine that I create to keep me sane changes from season to season and sometimes even day to day depending on the weather.

With Spring finally making its appearance in May, it means the more labor intensive ranch work is about to start. Now, it can be a slow build up depending on the weather, but by June it will be more consistent work and it will ultimately mean less time to write. 😦 But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now before we get into my very short list of what I’m working on in June, let me tell you what I accomplished of my to-do list in May.

  1. Designing The Warrior’s Rebellion – Done! My plan is to post the cover reveal and excerpt for The Warrior’s Rebellion this next month with the announcement for the pre-order of the book.
  2. Editing Love is Blind – Done!  Finished this around the end of the month, also renamed it to Blind Love. This will be going on pre-order sometime this year when I’m more certain of publishing dates.
  3. My Lord HadesDeath’s Lover in Paperback – Done! I finished this around the first few weeks of May. I was hoping that the reviews for the paperback of My Lord Hades would link up with the eBook, but no such luck. That leaves My Lord Hades with a pathetic star rating that I can’t change. 😦

So that is what I finished, let’s move on to June’s to-do list!


Finish Writing The Dark God

At least this is my goal.  Sorry to say it, but I’m still working on The Dark God, book #2 in the Children of Khaos: The Rebellion Series because I hit a major snag in the story that took me a while and two other people to help me work through it. I ended up tossing nearly 20,000 words into my deleted scenes folder. I might find a use for them someday, or I might not.

As of writing this, I was nearly back to 45,000 words in the manuscript and if nothing else happens and I work hard, I should have this done soon and start working on The Iron Queen. But until I finish this book, I’ve told myself that I won’t be focusing on any other writing projects.

Setting Up Summer Learning Time

Every May for the past 5 years I’ve spend most of May working on a summer learning schedule for our daughters, Miss T and Miss K, that works with my work schedule. I do this in the hopes that the girls will continue to learn throughout the summer months and not lose too much of what they learned throughout the School year, but still have fun that doesn’t include technology to entertain them.

Each year, the girls have more and more learning they can do without me and I learn more about what I do and don’t want to do for next year. This year I found a Math packet for each of them that reviews the math that they did in their respective grades and what they will be learning in the grades they will be heading into. They will also be required to read daily and write a book report on the books that they finished, and by their request, I’ve also added story writing, music practice, more advanced life skills lessons that our girls have dubbed Arts & Crafts, and harder chores for them to do around the ranch to their summer schedules.

Now I’m not going to list all the websites where I’ve gotten my information from, but for those interested, much of what I’ve done each year can be found on my Pinterest board.


So that is my plan for the rest May in June. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my girls this Summer.

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman


Sounds like Amazon is Pulling Book Reviews

I started the process of republishing My Lord Hades and after it went live on Amazon, I thought little more about it. After, I announced the return of My Lord Hades to the eBook scene Friday for my mailing list and Tuesday on my blog, a writer friend of mine pointed out an article about Amazon removing book reviews from their website.

Now, I don’t know the validity of all the accusations tossed Amazon’s way, but I doing what I do, I researched it. I read several articles about how Amazon has removed book reviews from its site because they decided that some of those reviews were bias due to the authors being friends with those people on social media.

For those curious, I found two articles about what is happening on why Amazon is removing reviews from k-lytics and one on how to protect your reviews from disappearing on Amazon from Author Marketing Experts. From these two sources I understand there are several reasons for Amazon doing this and some are legit reasons but others kinda suck.

For someone like me, who has so few reviews on any of my books, to lose any of them was disheartening to see. Some of the good reviews I had received on My Lord Hades in the past are now gone, taking My Lord Hades from a 4.5 star book down to a 3.1 star book. This brings the ranking of the book down and now means that it will be less noticeable in Amazon’s eBook store. Which brings me one step further from my goal to share the stories I write with those who might like them.

Oh well, shit happens in life. It’s what we do with it that shows us who we are.  😀

Stephannie Beman


Check out My Lord Hades

My Lord Hades, author Stephannie Beman

Book Cover Design by Stephannie Beman

Read an Excerpt

Buy the eBook at: Barnes & NobleiBooks  ~  Kobo ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon AU ~ Amazon CA ~ Smashwords ~ Scribd

6 Obstacles I Had To Overcome To Be Successful

I don’t know about you, but I find posts and articles about the obstacles people face and how they overcame them inspirational. Especially if it’s something I can relate to. Now while this is post has to do with my writing and the direction I’ve decided to take it, this post can be related to any aspect of life.

So let’s begin…

Success means different things to different people. Success may be measured by how well you do in life, in who you marry, in the home you own or the car you drive, in the job you have and the money you make doing it, or in how well you raised your children and their success in life, in sports, in academics, etc.

I believe Joseph Murphy summed it up perfectly when he said:

Success means successful living. When you are peaceful, happy, joyous and doing what you love to do, you are successful.
-Joseph Murphy

 There may be a Problem, Scotty…

Now other then being video of Scotty on the edge of a cliff, the only reason I posted it is because this is how I felt over the last two year.

Sometime at the beginning of last year, I finally admitted to myself that the problem I was facing in my writing had little to do with my ambitious writing project. That’s not to say that I didn’t run into all sorts of issues with it, like the characters changing their minds on who was supposed to be the Lost Heir, or deciding that they didn’t like being a certain archetype, or that they didn’t want to play a role in the fantasy romance I planned because being part of a multi-book series of romantic fantasy sounded like more fun. My really problem was my writing career.

NOTE: For those who get confused between fantasy romance and romantic fantasy *raises hand*, romantic fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy with romantic elements in it, while fantasy romance which is romance with fantasy elements. End of lesson.

Now in Changes & my Focus for 2018 I wrote that “I hate my writing career. I hate all the little things I’ve done to gain even a small measure of success. I hate what I’ve had to sacrifice because I thought it would make me successful. I hate that somewhere along the way I’ve lost sight of all my other dreams. I hate that I lost that spark that started me writing in the first place.”

But knowing the problem and doing something about it are two very different things.

Years ago, I read a quote that changed my life but can no longer find. The core of the message was…

If you don’t like something in your life (also friendship, job, relationship, etc.), change it. If you want more out of your life, then make it happen. Stop complaining about what you don’t have or what you would do differently, and do what you can to change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.
-Stephannie paraphrasing a quote

In 2004, I followed that advice and changed a life I wasn’t happy about to follow my heart. Thirteen years later, I am happy that I did. Not only do I have what I believe is the greatest hubby in the world, I also have two beautiful girls and I’m living my dream.

In 2017, when I realized that I hated my dream job, I took that advice again.

Should I Change it, or Should I Quit?

Change might sound like an easy thing to do, but taking a hard look at something that isn’t working in your life isn’t a simple. It takes guts to admit that along the way I took the wrong path, that I made the wrong decision, and that while I learned a lot, there are choices that I regret. It takes time to see the core of the problem that is most often hiding beneath something else. Like my problems with my writing were merely a cover for my dislike of my writing career.

While building my career as a writer, it was hard to judge if I’ve given something enough of a chance to see if it’s right for me or if I’ve allowed a less than ideal situation to drag on too long. Today, I can say that I let everything wrong with my writing drag on too long, and the result was I started to HATE writing. That was the sign thrown into my path that I couldn’t ignore. I knew it was time to figure out why I was feeling stuck and unhappy in my dream job.

NOTE: This is the point where my psychology class, writing courses, and the numerous books I’ve read about psychology and the business of writing came in handy. 😀

Last year, I took a giant step back from my writing career, I gave myself breathing room for a few weeks, and then I took a long look at the situation, my feelings toward my writing, and dissected my career to the bare bones. It didn’t take me long to realize that my current writing project–which was a departure from my romance writing brand, that was going to place under a pen name, and which I feared was going to flop like the last two books–wasn’t the reason I was stuck and unhappy, it was only a symptom of a larger problem.

Four months after walking away from my writing, I knew that quitting wasn’t my answer. And it’s not because of because of all those quotes that talk about how we shouldn’t quit. If something isn’t right for you, you shouldn’t keep doing it, no matter what other people think. If you aren’t happy doing something, then quit doing it. Life is far too short to keep doing something that makes you miserable. And while writing to make a full-time living was making me miserable, writing is something I love.

If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit,
If you can’t, you are a writer.
-R.A. Salvatore

So I made some changes…

Okay, so that is a very simplistic statement for something that took a lot of time and effort, because if you don’t dig down deep and find the core problem and then take the time to change your thinking about it, it will continue to raise its ugly head and bite you in the ass. In other words, you will continue to fail again and again until you fix what’s broke.

Now don’t get me wrong and think that I returned six months later and everything is fixed. It’s not all better, but it is getting there. And that has to do with my looking at my core problems and deciding how I can best overcome those obstacles for success.

Obstacle #6: Being too much of a perfectionist.

I wanted to do everything right the first time. If it’s not right, then I don’t want to let it go into the world to be criticized. To build a writing career, I’ve had to suppress the perfectionist who wants everything just right and move on to the next project, otherwise I would spend decades writing one book.

The flip side to this, is sometimes I get into too much of a hurry and let go prematurely. Loving the Goddess of Love was a perfect example of this. There is so much I should have done with that book to make it better, but I was anxious to move on.

I’m fixing this by reminding myself that making mistakes and taking risks are full of opportunities to learn, to move forward, to start over, and to make changes.

Not only do I need to learn to let go and move on to the next project, even if it’s hard, I need to accept that doing everything right the first time around isn’t possible. I also need to accept that it’s not perfectionism keeping me back, but doubts and fears. And I learned a long time ago, fear is the soul killer (How many recognize that phrase?). I need to face my fears and not let them control what I do.

Obstacle #5: Letting the advice and opinions of others dictate my plans. 

And I don’t mean in a good way, like a reader asking if I could write Aphrodite or Thanatos’ stories, or tell the story of Hades and Persephone’s child, which is an awesome idea that I’m still trying to figure out.

I’m talking about influential people who parade their advice around as if it is “the only way” to be successful and then become insulting when someone doesn’t take their advice because it doesn’t fit their platform or their life. I’m talking about those asshole haters and naysayers that have nothing better to do then to put others down to make themselves feel better and more important. And I’m talking about those horrid people who act like they are only stating an opinion but seem to take some sadistic pleasure in trashing the hard work of others in an insulting and rude manner.

So how am I fixing this, by reminding myself that I can’t control the negative behavior of others, but I sure as Hell can control how long I participate in it.

And I’ve decided not to participate in it. I would rather lift someone up and help someone out, then argue with someone about my life, my choices, my lessons, or my mistakes. All that is my business, and if someone doesn’t like it, that is their problem, not mine. I have better things to do, places to be, and more important people to talk to.

Obstacle #4: Marketing when I hate marketing.

I know that it is the lifeblood of a business, but the idea of marketing my books makes me physically ill. I avoid it like I would a plague carrier. I despise all the marketing gurus who tell me that I have to do this, and that, and this and that if I want to sell a book. I would rather spork out my eyeballs and have a root canal done on all my teeth then ask anyone to buy my book.

My solution to this obstacle is to find a passive ways to market my books. I know that they are out there.

Obstacle #3: Arguing with assholes who believe I am on the wrong path. 

Like that person who knows absolutely shit about the writing industry, but thinks that they do so they try to convince me that I should traditional publish because that is “the only true publishing path” and they know what is best for me. Or the person who loves my writing style but hates the story I wrote and thinks I should be writing a different type of story. And by the way, they have the perfect story for me to write. By the end of the conversation, I’m second guessing everything about my writing path and pissed off to boot.

And for those who aren’t writers, this is that person who thinks they know what is best for you or your life, and try to push you into doing things you don’t want to do because they “know best”. And if you don’t do what they so forcefully “suggested”, they’re pissed off at you and their not afraid to tell you about it. According to them, you might have even ruined their life because you made the best choice for you.

There’s an easy solution for this, realize that you are the only one who knows what is best for you, your business, your life, and your family. Everyone else can go piss up a tree.

I know that sounds harsh, especially when someone you respect gives you advice, but sometimes people give you advice that benefits them more than you. I’m really directing the above statement toward those who become angry when you don’t follow their counsel. You need to remember that you all have all the facts and you are the best judge of what is right for you.

For the record, at one time I might have wanted to be traditional published, but then I did my research and decided that Indie Publishing was a better fit for me and I haven’t regretted that choice in 10 years because: 1) I don’t want to be a traditional published author; 2) I don’t want to sell hundreds of thousands of books; 3) I don’t care to be on the New York Times Bestsellers or the USA Today Bestsellers lists; and 4) I don’t want the added stress. Thank you very much, but no Thank You!

Obstacle #2: Not being true to myself. 

There are two parts to not being true to myself. In the past, I’ve admitted that I’m more reserved on my blog, which makes me less personable or real, but I’ve also been more reserved in my book writing. I did this because I didn’t want to create conflict or be criticized for what I say by family. It’s a natural state for me to do my best to keep the peace, even if that means listening to the verbal abuse of bullies without fighting back. This isn’t health and it’s something that needed to change.

I started doing this by reminding myself that I can’t please everyone and to try means being unhappy. 

At first I thought the solution was a pen name, because then I wouldn’t feel like I had to edit what I wrote because of family who didn’t like it and it would make it easier to cut some people out of my life. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that a pen name wouldn’t make me happy for three reasons:

  1. I’m proud of what I write.
  2. I’ve worked hard to write those books.
  3. I want my name on the books I publish not another’s.

Once I realized the pen name was out of the picture, I started to think about what would make me happy. As writing is my dream job, something I’ve been wanting to do it since the second grade, it is important for me to create boundaries to protect that happiness. But I took it a few steps further.

In order to be true to myself, it’s time for me to stop hiding and be who I am. That doesn’t make me mean, selfish, or uncaring because I don’t do things the way others think I should. It means that I care about me too. Sadly, if I have to lose people to be myself, then that is what I will do.

And Obstacle #1: Not facing the truth sooner.

No matter how hard I tried to fit that round peg in the star hole, it’s taken me seven years to realize that I’m not a romance writer. Let me say that again,  I’m not a romance writer.

Being unable to fit my books into a genre should have been my first clue that I was doing it wrong. My book sales should have been my second clue that I was never cut out to be a romance writer. But I think the cherry on top was when a writer friend of mine kept pointing out that I might not be a romance writer.

This was an easy fix and came down to do what I love & love what I do.

I don’t know about you, but yes, my mind just went there. Maybe I should be looking into writing Erotica. *snort* Nah, I’d be no better at that then I am at romance.

At heart, I’m a storyteller who has chosen to use writing as my medium. I never fell out of love with writing and sharing stories. Which means I needed to find out what I was passionate about writing. Looking back through my earlier stories before I made romance writing my focus, I came to realize that most of my stories were in the in the urban fantasy, science fiction, and fantasy genre with elements of romance in them.

It made returning to my writing roots, magical worlds with a twist, that much easier.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure
with no loss of enthusiasm.”

-Winston Churchill


Success or Failure?

Like I said above, success means different things to different people. And sometimes we lose sight of what success means to us in the chaos of what others see as successful.

I know that some would see my writing career as a failure, but I don’t choose to see it that way. Because I took a big risk for me. I wanted something badly enough that I walked out of my comfort zone to pursue my dreams. I accomplished everything I set out to do when I published my stories. I just got a little sidetracked by the crowd who kept telling me what I should want as a writer that I forgot to stop and ask myself if it was something I actually wanted.

Looking back, I’m glad for everything I learned. Some of those lessons were hard for me to face, but I know the growth I’ve gained will help me be a better person, and while I just wish I could have seen the problems sooner and saved myself the headache of trying to figure them out, I’m glad for the experience that will help me do better this next time around.

What obstacles have you had to overcome to succeed in your life or business?

Stephannie Beman

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 that I’m 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 do want to make a special shout out to my good writing friend, Ruth, who deserves some kind of 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 putting a pen name on the book with hers. 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 are not 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,