I'm counting my blessings after signing contracts in 2015 for three more books in both of the mystery series I am writing: Mattie Winston (as Annelise Ryan) and Mack's Bar (as Allyson K. Abbott). These are for books 4, 5, & 6 in the Mack's Bar series, and books 8, 9, & 10 in the Mattie Winston series. It amazes me how these two series have managed to continue on, growing in terms of the characters, the plots, and the number of readers and fans. I sometimes carp about having to produce two books a year, but I know how quickly a writing career can disappear--mine did for a number of years thanks to some quirks of publishing fate--so I try to keep myself looking at the positive, relishing every fun, enjoyable, (and occasionally agonizing) moment of it all.
Some personal life issues caused me to fall behind on my writing schedule three years ago and I went from someone who turned her manuscripts in a month or two ahead of time to someone who was months late. I've been slowly gaining ground in an effort to catch up and I'm happy to say that I turned in my latest (#8 in the Mattie Winston series) on time, though it was literally down to the last minute of the last day. And then I treated myself to something I haven't had in three years: two weeks of no writing. It seems like forever that I've felt guilty about letting even a day go by without writing something, so this two-week indulging of movie and TV marathons, reading marathons, and sit-around-and-do-nothing-for-a-few-hours marathons was a deliciously wicked guilty pleasure. I caught up on The Knick, The Affair, Major Crimes,
and several network TV shows. I watched movies that have been on my list for a while, including The Age of Adaline, Before We Go, Terminator Genisys, The Gift, Trainwreck,
and World War Z
. And I read some great books including The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, Want You Dead by Peter James, and Finders Keepers by Stephen King.
But now it's over. It's time to get back to the keyboard, to touch base with my characters and see where they are. And I'm looking forward to it. I love the fictional worlds and characters I create, and I look forward to each and every visit with them. Like family members and good friends, they aren't always easy to deal with and there are times when I have to put up with them and would rather not, but all in all my life is richer because of them. And I have to confess, getting paid to spend time with them is the best guilty pleasure of all. For however long it lasts, I'm enjoying the ride.