Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring on My Mind

Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
I wonder where the flowers is?

-Variant of an old poem, origin unknown though frequently attributed to Ogden Nash

Spring has sprung, at least it has here in North Carolina. The daffodils have come and mostly gone. Tulips, azaleas, dogwoods, quince, cherries and other fruit trees are in their glorious seasonal finery. Temperatures are moderate, but wildly changeable, a sure sign of spring.

Spring reminds me of fresh starts and new things. Trees leafing out, dry brown winter grass turning green again, plants surging up from the ground showing new life. Longer days and warmer temperatures mean more time outside and upcoming vacations. I’m eager to get out in the garden and start planting so I can see all those promising shoots appearing.

And in life, too, turning seasons bring new things happening. Over the past few years that’s meant a few new grandchildren, deaths of parents, people around me changing jobs, moving, retiring, and a host of other smaller changes.

Career changes have been happening to me as well.  I’ve slowly cut down on the number of website design and development projects I’ve been taking on, to make more time for writing. I’ve got so many things I want to write.  Ideas are clamoring for brain space and several partially completed projects are urging me to get back to work on them.

And as the seasons change, so has the publishing industry.  When my first book was published, in 1990, I wrote the book, sent it to my editor, revised per her instructions, then a year or more later, the book came out and that was that. I might do a few readings or signings but it was generally agreed a writer couldn’t do much more than that. Following a few adventures with other publishers, I sold to my first epublisher in 2000 and worked with several of those. It was a whole new world. Being on the internet meant lots of networking and promo. Then came social media and self-publishing.

The publishing industry today looks nothing like what it was in 1990. Amazon bought out my first publisher, Avalon Books, and several of the small press publishers I’ve worked were bought out or went out of business. One of my more recent publishers, Five Star/Cengage, has just axed its mystery line, leaving my Market Center Mysteries orphaned with the first book published a few years ago and the second book still in the editing phase.

I’m not completely new to self-publishing.  I’ve been retrieving rights to my older books and republishing them myself for the last several years.  But this feels much different. It’s a book that’s never been published before.  I’m having to get it edited, then copy-edited, have covers made, think about creating blurbs and publicity, and… Yikes!

I hope to have Wired for Murder, the second book in my Market Center Mysteries series that began with A Gift for Murder, ready to release on July 1st, but it depends on how quickly the editing and cover design get done.

Stay tuned.  I’ll post more about the process and my entry into this brave new world this spring.


  1. I wish Spring would spring a little faster here in Pa. Right now, I'm looking out my window at heavy snow - much less charming in April than in December. You're right, though, Karen, this is the time of year for new beginnings and that's always a charming prospect.

  2. Ahhh. Your post has made me feel revitalized. You're right. Spring is a time for new beginnings. I'll just get right on that... right now... today. Thank you!

  3. Hi Karen--
    Your garden looks lovely! You're so right about how things change around us, especially the world of publishing. Kudos to you for staying on top of it with your books. Good luck with the mystery series.

  4. You nicely summed up the changes in the industry without making us all panic and wonder what's coming next.

  5. We have a balcony and potted plants. I am envious of your garden. I give my DH an updated list of my wants for our new abode - whenever we move... the list always includes a garden.