Friday, August 31, 2012

A Long Hot Summer

How do you like my new blog design?  When I was visiting Tina (beloved webmaster) in Washington, she and I spent a fun hour changing the background and font to give my blog a fresh, new look.  We had a lot of backgrounds to choose from and, for some reason, we both liked the birds.  And the background matched my dog's coloring in the new photo, so there you go.

It's been a long, hot, humid summer here in South California.  Every night Dallas Raines (my favorite weather guy...yes, I think that's his real name) promises cooler weather is coming.  So far, his predictions have not come true.  Then again, compared to many other places in the country (like those in the path of Hurricane Isaac), what I've had to live with isn't that bad.  Still, it's caused me to do everything slower, including this blog.  I can't believe it's almost September!  It was only when people started contacting me about booksignings that I realized the summer was almost over.

I'm in the process of setting up signings for The Road to Cardinal Valley.  The publication date is December 31, 2012, so most of the signings will be in January and February 2013.  Since the whole tour is on my dime now, I cannot go as many places.  I'll be doing my normal Southern California signings (though not as many as, sadly, some bookstores such as Mysteries To Die For in Thousand Oaks, have closed).  I'm also scheduled to do a couple of signings in San Luis Obispo County.  I will likely go to Arizona and, hopefully, Bishop, California (where the book is set).  As soon as the details are set, I'll post them on my website and send out another quick blog.

I'm also having another contest.  I'll be giving away two hardback copies of The Saddlemaker's Wife,
plus some other stuff I'll think up.  Tina and I will get that up within the next week.

So, this has been a weird summer for me, not just because of the weather.  For the first time in twenty years I have not been working on a book.  The Road to Cardinal Valley is the last book I have on contract with Berkley-Penguin and it's been a mutual decision (that is, I didn't ask for a new contract and they didn't beg for one) that I will not be writing another book in the foreseeable future.  To be honest, with publishing in the midst of so many radical changes (e-books taking over, advances to most authors slashed to what they were making twenty years ago, bookstores closing everywhere, less and less people buying fiction), I was ready to take a break.  Even if all of these changes weren't happening, with what has happened in my life these last few years, I probably would have taken a sabbatical anyway.  I've written 19 books in 20 years (counting this latest one and the Benni Harper Quilt Album) and I was ready for my brain to rest, for the well to refill.

Will I ever write again?  Oh, I'm sure I will.  Will I write more Benni Harper books?  I'm not sure.  In some ways, I feel I've said everything I have to say with those characters.  But, I also know that my career is in God's Hands, always has been, so if I'm meant to write more books--either Benni Harper books or other novels, the way will be made for me.  Here is the philosophy I've always lived by concerning my writing career.

"If is shall please God that I write more books, blessed be He.  If it shall not please Him, again, blessed be He.  Perhaps it will be the most wholesome thing for my soul that I lose both fame and skill lest I were to fall into that evil disease vainglory."   C. S.  Lewis

If it's good enough for C. S. Lewis, it's good enough for me!  I'll continue to keep you all updated on what I'm doing through my blog and I'm semi-active on my Facebook pages (I have both a personal one and a fan page--I talk more on my fan page).  Believe me, if I write something, after my agent, you all will be the first to know!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support both with your emails and messages and also through buying my books.  I'll send out another email next week when Tina and I get the contest set up.

Happy Trails (hopefully through cool autumn breezes), Earlene