Short & Sexy Publications

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Since I decided to go indie and self-publish my erotica and romance work, I also decided to collaborate with a few friends of mine in the indie author business. I’ll be working with authors like Tali Zanders, Elizabeth Zanders, and Hedy Valensi, just to name a few. I’ll be working in different capacities with each of them, sometimes as co-author, and sometimes as publishing facilitator. I will be sharing links to those books I’m collaborating on, as well. Look for more information on upcoming shorts and series soon!

I’d also like to take a second to thank Chelsea Clemmons Moye of Author Promo Network for designing our covers and promo videos for us! If you need some amazing book covers or promo materials, consider funding her current Kickstarter project.

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One Step Forward | Two Steps Back

Sometimes my mental health issues really get to me. For instance, I’m suffering the consequences of shifting from a depressive period to a hypomanic one right now. How?

I made the mistake of actually doing something after a few months of radio silence. I decided today that I was going to get off my ass and do something for my writing career.

So, I logged into Facebook for the first time in months. I set up my Facebook author page. I connected it to Creator Collabs so I can start building an audience since I released Homecoming. I started busily sharing other authors’ boosts so I could build my own reach, right? It makes sense to do that in light of trying to get my career to take off.

Apparently, Facebook security disagreed. They kicked me off and took EVERYTHING I did down. Not only that, but they also demanded that I send them a clear picture of my face for them to review before they will consider letting me back into my account.

Side note: WHAT THE HELL, FACEBOOK?! Way to throw up a roadblock and make my anxiety a thousand times worse than it already was in my manic state.

So, my career launch is effectively hamstrung until Facebook security takes the time to look at that stupid picture I had to upload. So, I kind of have to just sit here and twiddle my freaking thumbs until they deign to do their job and decide whether or not this indie author who was just trying to do her JOB (after months of struggling with depression) deserves to have her Facebook account and author page back.

So, if you’ve read and/or enjoyed any of my work, or you simply support indie authors doing everything they can to try to make it, please consider posting something with this hashtag: #bringbackclarissa.

Love you guys! I’ll update you further as I receive news.

Homecoming | My First Release

So, as you may or may not have heard, Homecoming didn’t make the cut with Carina Press. I thought about it for a good while, and I decided to self-publish it, which I think has been a fantastic decision. I’ve already sold 22 copies of it in the past week, and I can’t wait to see how it performs in the future!

You can buy it now from the following retailers:

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Making a Comeback

Okay, so my last post was obviously written in a moment of despair and was somewhat over dramatic. (Yeah, I know it was very over dramatic. Don’t judge me, ok?) I’m still determined to be a published romance author at some point. I’m working hard to that end. I’m actually working on a book proposal for Carina Press for their open proposal call that ends on September 4.

I just wanted you guys to know that, although I’m struggling with my mental health postpartum, I’m determined to stay positive and keep working toward my goal of being published with a Harlequin imprint someday.

Full Stop

Let me start this by clearly stating that I don’t believe any editor ever sets out with the intent to end a creative’s career aspirations. Sometimes it just works out that way, and this is one of those times. Politely worded rejections are generally intended to be semicolons, a pause on the way to something better. However it was intended, this rejection ended up being a full stop for me.

I know there are those of you who don’t believe that I should give up on writing, but I disagree. I’ll even go so far as to tell you why. The Americans With Disabilities Act doesn’t apply to writers who are submitting their work to editors at major publishers. There’s no way she could have known her rejection would be the end for me. There’s no way she could know about the demons I battle on a daily basis. There’s no way she could know that I’m mentally ill, and what I needed more than anything was to catch a break.

Instead, I got broken. I can’t do this anymore. I no longer have the strength or the drive to keep trying. She couldn’t have known that over ten years of trying would end with her “Unfortunately, after careful consideration of your manuscript, we have determined that it does not fit our needs.”

She had no way of knowing that I would hear, “You’re never going to be good enough,” in those words. She had no way of knowing that I’ve struggled with a lifetime of feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing. You cannot compel people to feel empathy for situations they know nothing about. She can’t know that I’ve spent my whole life struggling with anxiety, Type II Bipolar, ADD, and sensory processing disorder. She can’t know that postpartum depression tends to be worse for women with Type II Bipolar.

She can’t know that when she said, “I love the concept of a reunion romance, and while I think a reunion is a good setting for an erotic romance, HOMECOMING doesn’t quite fit what we’re looking for in the erotic shorts program,” I would hear, “Please stop embarrassing yourself and never submit anything to anyone again. You’re human garbage, and a total waste of time,” instead.

She can’t know that when she said, “Ideal content for the erotic shorts program has a very high heat level, with a majority of the focus on sex scenes and the sexual journey of the characters,” that she was cementing every single insecurity I’ve ever had. She never intended to help the demons win. That’s just how it happened to work out.

She can’t know that, “Right now, HOMECOMING has a lot of story detail, including the hero and heroine’s backstories and the publicist subplot, that I’d advise expanding into a contemporary novella rather than trying to fit everything into a short,” translated to, “Stop while you’re ahead, kid. You’ve never been good enough, and you never will be. Just let it go. Stop dreaming and do something useful with your life because you’re definitely not writer material.”

She can’t know that by the time I read, “That way you’ll be able to give the romance a bit more time to play out naturally, let the characters get to know each other without rushing,” I was curled up in a ball on my bathroom floor, sobbing uncontrollably. She can’t know that it lasted for hours.

She can’t know that my depression is back full force because I read the words, “Though we aren’t able to accept this manuscript, it is always possible that future manuscripts may find a home with us, and we hope you’ll consider us for future submissions.” She can’t know that I feel like that’s a lie because I know, deep down, I’m not a good enough writer to make the cut. She can’t know that I just can’t handle the heartache because I can’t afford to be deathly depressed when I have a baby to take care of, a husband to love, and a house I’m supposed to keep clean. I can’t keep getting my heart broken by this dream because that heartbreak leaves me lying in bed, unable to move under the crippling depression.

She can’t know that “Additionally, please remember that publishing is quite subjective, and what doesn’t work for one publisher may work for another so we wish you the best of luck in placing this manuscript elsewhere,” really sounded like, “You weren’t good enough for us so you won’t be good enough for anyone else either. Just give up now. Stop trying because all you do is get hurt, and disappoint everyone in your life.”

She can’t know that “Thank you for your interest in working with Carina Press,” translated to, “Thanks for making a fool of yourself, kid. Thanks for letting everyone see you fail and laugh at your expense. It was a real kick. Now, go home and burn everything you’ve ever written because none of it is good enough.”

She can’t know that I’m sick, twisted, drowning in debt, and tired of having my soul shattered by dreams that don’t come true. All I can tell you is that I’m done.

Sexy Scribbles #4

Brynne couldn’t believe her eyes when the door swung open and she was left looking at two thoroughly gorgeous–if also somewhat roguish looking–men. Though they were stark opposites, each was attractive in his own way. Why couldn’t my betrothed be as young and handsome as these pirates? She regarded the man closest to her, with his dark hair and eyes and muscular build.

“State your station,” she snapped in her most haughty, demanding voice.

“Master Burns doesn’t answer to you, lass, and I’ve half a mind to let him take you over his knee and tan your hide for being so presumptuous.” The fair-haired pirate with the striking smile and easy charm had just established who was who without ever letting their respective positions slip.

Brynne narrowed her eyes at him and gave her best impression of an offended sniff. “Judging by that oh-so-subtle threat, I suppose that you’re the captain, and this brooding chap with the guarded eyes is your first mate, perhaps?”

She enjoyed the subtle flush that crept up the darker man’s neck and settled in his cheeks. She let her eyes flick to his big, work-roughened, thick-fingered hands and suppressed a shiver at the thought of those powerful digits striking the pale, tender flesh of her bottom. She had to bite her lip to bring her expression back in check. If she weren’t careful, they might discover that she’d engineered her own kidnapping, and who knows what they’d do if they discovered that little tidbit.

“Ye guess well, lass,” the fair-haired pirate agreed. “I am Gage Callahan, captain of this vessel, and the so-called ‘brooding chap’ is, in fact, my first mate, Reid Burns.”

Brynne frowned at the name Burns. Something about it was familiar, tickling at the back of her mind, but she couldn’t for the life of her think why it was so familiar. She shook off her curiosity and turned her attention to the captain, making a mental note that she wouldn’t mind him spanking her, either. Apparently, she was going to have a terrible time behaving herself as she should around such ruggedly handsome men.

“I assume the two of you already know who I am since you’ve kidnapped me and are presumably holding me for ransom?”

“Aye, Princess, we know who you are and exactly what you’re worth to us,” Gage grinned.

Brynne crossed her arms, glaring back and forth between the two of them.

“You do realize that the Royal Navy will blow this ship out of the water, don’t you?”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” Gage crossed his arms, both mirroring and mocking her. “The Royal Navy knows better than to be daft enough to fire on a ship that’s carrying Her Royal Highness, the Princess of the Realm of Honorest. If they accidentally hurt you, your father would have them all slaughtered.”

Holiday Weekend = Oops

So, with the Fourth of July holiday weekend and everything, I just realized that failed to post for my Sexy Scribbles Saturday this past weekend. So, what I’m going to do is take the post I was going to share with you this past Saturday and post it this upcoming weekend. So, here’s to our upcoming inaugural post for Sexy Scribbles Saturday!

I look forward to sharing my weekly writing exercises with you guys.