If you’ve followed me for a while, then you know that I’m not only a blogger and journalist, but I’m also an author. I’ve written numerous books, and for at least five years I was a solid self-promoter, talking about my books, sharing snippets, and even having other authors as guests on my blog. But for the past several years, I’ve been pretty mum about my fiction writing. The virtual crickets isn’t because I haven’t written, or that I haven’t been promoting those books elsewhere, it’s simply because a few years ago I found myself in a sticky situation when it came to my writing and my day job.
If you haven’t followed me long, let me give you the Cliff Notes version of my publishing journey. Back in 2011 I made a long-held dream come true by becoming a published author. I self-published my first novel on Amazon, and eventually on other platforms, and I even had a few books published with a romance publisher in the UK. Given that I’ve been a journalist since 2006 and my name was “out there” floating in the online ether, I made the decision to publish under my real name rather than a pen name, because I didn’t see it as that much different.
Jump ahead to 2016 when I was working as a public employee while living in Washington state, and still writing (quite prolifically). But, in 2016 I made the tough decision to publish under two pen names because of rules around the privacy of public employees in Washington. Without getting into too many details, as a public employee a lot of personal information (including salary, full name, and address) is available either through online searching, or in writing when someone makes a public records request. During that time, with so much of my information able to be peered at by strangers, I just didn’t feel comfortable publishing books under my name, so I made the decision to step back from publishing in my real name and start building a brand around two pen names. Trying to publish under two pen names while also still writing for media outlets under my real name was tiring, to say the least. And having three competing “brands” felt a lot like chasing my tail and like it was watering down all three of my writer profiles (the two pen names and my real name), and I’ve known I needed to do something to change direction for a few years.
In 2021 I separated from public employment in Washington and since then I’ve worked on rebuilding my own personal brand, including republishing my first historical novel A River Between Them under my real name, and working on another historical romance novel. This year I’ve been plugging away at the new project, which is set in a fictional Missouri river town during World War II, and I’m pleased to announce I’m half-way to my word count goal! Going forward, I’ll be sharing more about my work in progress and my previously published historical romance, A River Between Them, so if you like historical fiction, stay tuned for some fun content in the next few months 🙂