Secrets and Procrastinations

I have a secret. I’ve been writing a book.

I know, that isn’t really a secret of astounding proportions, is it? I’m standing here, after all, calling myself a writer. So it should make sense that I’m writing.

But I’ve started and stopped a few things while other things have been bandied about at the publisher (bandied about means edited heavily and evidently bandying involves a lot of waiting — something I’d heard about traditional publishing but had never been lucky enough to experience first hand until pretty recently. I’m still happy to be being bandied, don’t get me wrong…) And so it is a bit of a secret that I’ve started and finished something while all that other stuff was going on.

It’s a romance. Set in wine country. (In this case, Paso Robles, CA.) It’s the first of a series… and I’m going to self publish it, most likely around the end of May/first of June. The whole idea of it makes me super happy, actually…I just think its a fun book and that the series will be super fun to write. I like romance. I like wine. Heck, I’ll probably even have someone eat some chocolate or slurp down an oyster just to make it really perfect.

The title is: A Rare Vintage. The cover is in the works…

So that’s my secret. Soon, I’ll develop another part of my site — or even a new site! — for the Wine Country Romance series. But right now I’m going to go watch Pretty Little Liars because my brain doesn’t really work past 8pm.

Just wanted to share. Because I’m pretty crappy at keeping secrets.

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The Next 40 Years

So I’ve been away a while. I haven’t really been away from much, to be truthful, but I haven’t been blogging. Part of that was that some things needed to get worked out. Both internally and externally.

I turned 40 this week. In recent years I set a goal to have a book published before I was 40. I kind of hit that goal. I published a collection of short stories myself. And I secured a contract with a publisher for a YA romance novella before that milestone as well. I also have a contract still in negotiation for a series of NA contemporary romance with a publisher…  So close to my goal. And depending on how you want to look at it, I succeeded.

I’ve spent my first 40 years in a succession of professions. I’m impulsive, no doubt. As a result I’ve had a wide variety of careers, though I can justify each of them because they all made perfect sense at the time. I’ve been a copywriter, a marketing director for 2 technology companies, a PR writer, a wine salesperson, a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer, a travel writer, a freelance writer and editor, and a tech writer for a government contractor. I also have a teaching credential. There might be one or two jobs that I’m forgetting. I was a terrible waitress, so that didn’t last long… and I’ve always wanted to tend bar, but have never managed to do it. And so when I told my husband, when I was 38, that I was going to write a novel, I’m sure he didn’t take me too seriously. He did, however, support me, pointing out that writing was the one thing that all my past efforts have seemed to have in common. He was kind enough not to point out that this might be the worst possible time for me to embark on such an endeavor, as I work 20 hours a week at the aforementioned government contracting job, take freelance editing and writing gigs on the side, and also manage the lives of two small and quite untidy boys who insist that I’m their mother (though I have blocked out most of whatever led up to this claim). I ignored this and persevered. Since that time, I’ve written two full-length novels, two novellas, and have a middle grade MS that is halfway done, three others in the NA novella series blocked out, and a literary novel one-third done (and forever haunting my dreams). Oh, and I did publish a collection of short stories. So there’s been some significant progress.

And my point here is not to say, “hey, look what I’ve done.” It’s more to say, “Hey, look what’s possible when you finally get your act together!” I figure I’ve got 40 more years to work on this, assuming that no buses come my way with my name on them. My dad is 83 and still plays tennis most days and walks 4 miles on the other days. My genes are pretty solid. It might not be pretty, but I probably have some years ahead. (knocking on wood). And I intend to spend those years DOING this.

I’ve been hung up trying to agree with my publisher on the direction of my NA series. And I think we’ve agreed on the big stuff. Which will mean a big rewrite for me. But now that we’re there, I feel like I can finally move ahead again, pick up the pen (okay, keyboard — I can’t even read my own writing) and get going.

Have you ever been stuck for a period of weeks or months? I’m not really talking about writers’ block here… more a soul-sucking kind of dilemma that makes you feel like you just can’t do it for one reason or another? I felt like I could write nothing more until some big questions got answered on some things that were really important to me… I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been in a similar spot!

Through a Dusty Window Free on Kindle!

Hey guys! I’m waist deep in edits on other projects, and have been quiet for a long time, I know. Sorry about that! But in the meantime, if you haven’t read Through a Dusty Window yet, and are looking for something you can take in quick little bites or devour easily in one setting – it’s free on Kindle until Wednesday!

If you do happen to read it, I’d love to see some more reviews and ratings on Goodreads and Amazon if you have a few minutes – those are the things that really do help drive visibility, thanks to their algorithms (I know, I promised that this blog would have no math…)

Here are a couple of the reviews left by past readers:

5.0 out of 5 stars Through A Dusty Window: New York City… December 2, 2012
“I found this series of short stories to be delightful and read them in one sitting. I was impressed with the author’s free flowing style which captivated me and drew me into the imagery of the book. I was particularly aware of the evolution of the social culture and I felt that the transition between the times of each story was handled well. I hope to read more of Delancey Stewart’s work in the future.”
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, February 17, 2013

There were so many layers to all these stories. They were amazing. This is a must read for anyone that likes historical stories.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, very clever, January 17, 2013
By John Darling “Jack Point” (Ventura, CA) – See all my reviews
“Many short story collections are written around one character (myself and A. Conan Doyle did it this way) but this collection has a different central focus and that focus is on a Brown Stone building on 77th Street in NYC. The stage stays the same; only the actors and events change.

Telling a series of stories in this way allows the reader go on a voyeuristic ride through time with many historical events as the back drop.

Every story was very well written (my favorite involved the Hindenberg) and my only complaint is that a few of them, such as the last one, ended too soon. This is a compliment, however, because it means I wanted more, much more.”

Go get your copy here!

An Interview and a Review…

Through a Dusty Window continues its mad dash around the interwebs!

I’m back over at Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK! with a fun interview with blogger Erin Al-Mehairi today. Please check it out!

And there’s another wonderful review posted at the Bookworm.

Here’s an excerpt from that review… “Author Delancey Stewart drew me in with her quiet, yet moving prose…The writing kept pulling me along. I enjoyed the way the author captures the time and culture as each story progresses through the years.”

There’s a giveaway at the Bookworm, too, if you haven’t read the book yet! (Why not?)