So Long Winter…Wait a Minute!

by Liz Talley

Thought it was over, didn’t you? Yeah me, too. Yesterday it was 80+ degrees and so sultry my hair now resembles an 80s rock band lead singer. Pollen has come and somewhat gone, flowers are blooming and I’ve been spending so much time at the baseball park I have permanent lines from the bleachers on the back of my thighs.

But, nope, tonight winter will descend once again and we’ll be dipping into the 30s, scrambling to wear jackets with our white pants (because I so dragged those out)

And isn’t it just a life lesson? We’ll be having this same conversation in October. Yes, fall is here with cool temps and crackling leaves. No, wait a minute!

Sometimes when you think you are done with something you’re not. Could be the season. Could be the job. Could be a person. Sometimes things creep back on us and we have to tug on our jackets and deal. I’ve found in my life I’m pretty much a finisher. Once I’ve decided to quit something, I’m done with it. I move on. And I suppose this applies to my writing as well. When I first started playing at writing, and I call it playing because I wasn’t serious at all, I wrote Regency historical. I started one day with an idea – a carriage wreck – and went from there. No plotting, no craft books, not even a member of RWA or any writing group. Just me, my computer and an idea. So on I went rubbing my hands in glee when my  scenes were good, sexy and funny, staring blankly when I couldn’t transition. There was joy in it, and there was frustration. Fast-forward three years, and  I found myself finished with a novel, a member of RWA and a local chapter and serious about learning about writing. I started another book. It was better. I finaled in some contests, notably the Golden Heart, and I had plenty of rejections running out of my agent folder. I was a writer. Not published. Not fantastically good. But a writer, ready to learn more and get my babies published.

But then a funny thing happened at a workshop in some conference room at the Marriott in Dallas.

I had an idea (Funny how a lot in life starts with that sentence)

And that idea changed my path. The stars aligned or something. And suddenly I had pushed the Regency (on submission with GH requests) aside to write this funny, sweet, sexy story about a Texas librarian.

Ten books later I still haven’t picked my two Regencies back up again. Okay, well, I have and that’s the point of this post. Recently I’ve been itchy in my career. I want to make more money, reach more readers, try new things. So I thought, “Hey, Liz, you have two complete 90K books on your hard drive. Why not whip them out and give them a go over?” So I did. Told my agent what I was doing, pitched them to an Avon editor who requested them and spent my “off” time in between contracted books working on the partial for each book. And I did it. Had them ready to go out. But something held me back. See? Once I’m done with something it’s really hard to go back down that path for me. After much consideration, I decided I didn’t want to write Regency books. My once upon a time dream of being the next Julia Quinn or Eloisa James was dead in me.

I have a new dream.

It’s to be Liz Talley….and go the places she’s supposed to go as a writer. Even if it’s in white pants, sandals and a polar fleece jacket. (I know. Train wreck in fashion)

So where do you see yourself going these next few years? Will you ever go back to something you’ve done in the past?