Am I Still an Author?

IMG_3046I have been AWOL from social media for several months, only checking to make sure friends are well and the world still turns. Part of my disappearing act is due to the demands of daily life. I am inundated with freelance writing work, which I am grateful for as the income allows us to keep the family budget in the black, but it I do find it stressful. I also have a lovely, active teenage daughter and a busy, overscheduled scientist husband to take care of, as well as our three cats, which explains the need to manage the budget.  I also teach art classes, and am starting a small side business, and write fiction whenever possible. So, yes, life is busy, but that is always true.

There is another reason for my withdrawal from social media.

After a challenging process that included several delays by my publisher, the second book in my Cabel Evans Mystery Series was released in November, 2016. Cold Betrayals was officially available for purchase and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, until I coldbetrayalsfound that there were serious problems with the book listing on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which included missing cover images and typos in the description. These mistakes were finally corrected, and in early January I prepared to conduct a serious, full-throttle book launch. But then…

My publisher went bankrupt.

Overnight, I went from a published author to – what? Amazon still has copies of Shadowlands in stock and available for sale, but I don’t know for how long. I also have several copies, but as the saying goes, supplies are limited. As for Cold Betrayals, it isn’t listed on Amazon anymore and I have about 70 or so copies of it, but that’s it. You can purchase them here, if you’re interested, but you won’t find them anywhere else.

I struShadowlandsggled for years to get my first, and then second, book into print. It took almost three years to get accepted by a publisher, but it finally happened and my stories were out there for anyone to read. Now, I feel as if I am back to square one with little to show for my efforts.

There are options. I could self-publish, but it feels like a step backwards. My supportive husband assures me that I could get an agent, but even if I did, it will take at least a year to get them back on bookshelves. What to do?

This situation is the second reason why I disappeared from social media. I’ve been embarrassed to tell anyone what happened, and I know some people will be disappointed because they’ve enjoyed my work but it is no longer available for purchase. I feel defeated and a bit depressed. It also raises an upsetting question: without published books, am I still an author?

I have the next Cabel Evans book researched and organized, and a fourth one waiting in the wings. There is a new, completely different series I’ve been toying with in my almost non-existent spare time. I have stories to tell and worlds to share, but at the moment I feel like the woman in the TV commercials. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.

Hopefully, sharing this information with you will help reinvigorate my fiction writing efforts and help me decide which next publishing steps to take. Whether you’ve read my books, or only this blog, thank you for your support.


Plotter or Panster? by Erin Farwell

Writing Wranglers and Warriors

IMG_3046If you’re a writer, you are probably familiar with the concept of a “plotter vs. panster.” Plotters are writers who have prepared outlines and synopses of their stories and know exactly what is going to happen in their books before they start writing the actual text. Pansters are writers who fly by the seat of their pants, not knowing what is coming next until they write the words.

I have to be honest and say that I find true plotters a bit scary. I met an author at a writer’s conference who shared with his audience the glory of the outline. He made index cards of each scene in his books and then wrote them, not in chronological order, but in the order that was most fun. Dramatic scenes first, love scenes second, and so on until he was down to the boring,  plotterpanster“transitional” scenes. Once he was done, he…

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Friendship in the Garden by ErinFarwell

Writing Wranglers and Warriors

IMG_3046Recently I enjoyed the best evening I’ve had in a long time. While I love my husband and daughter dearly, this time was spent with my dear friend Stephanie Stamm. We first met in Chicago many years ago and later we became roommates, sharing my condo located near Foster and Sheridan roads just off of Lake Shore Drive. Work had me moving to the Atlanta area and shortly thereafter Stephanie moved to Michigan. She was one of my bridesmaids and a dear friend.

Life and distance separated us and communication dwindled to the occasional Christmas card. In 2012, we both published our first books and visited together briefly in Michigan. This was enough to renew our friendship and we kept in touch via emails, Facebook, and the occasional telephone call. She later joined Writing Wranglers and Warriors and our ties deepened.ABG

Earlier this year an amazing thing happened: Stephanie moved…

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Morning Glories and Moon Flowers

Writing Wranglers and Warriors

IMG_3046For those who’ve been reading my blogs, you know that this has been a rough summer. Not in a disaster sense but in the oh-crap-now-what kind of way. In the midst of all this I find it’s the little things that get me through.

In late spring, I planted flower seeds in several large planters in the back yard. We don’t have a lot of sun and the only great spot to plant seeds and have a chance for them grow is directly outside the kitchen window. It also happens to be directly over the septic tank so I can’t dig there. Instead, Mike built a low platform in that spot and I have five large planters on it.squirrel

For years I planted strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other fruits and veggies which the birds, deer, and squirrels have enjoyed. Once I had a lovely crop of strawberries that…

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Blessings in Disguise by Erin Farwell

My post about my summer challenges

Writing Wranglers and Warriors

IMG_3021_1This has been a rough summer. There were lots of good times, like visiting family in Michigan and hanging out with my daughter and younger sister on Amelia Island, Florida. But there were less happy times as well.

We had to spend money on things we really didn’t want to. There was the cat that got sick and needed blood work and an ultrasound just 3 weeks after her annual physical. Then there was the call to the exterminator to get rid of a wasp nest, which turned out to be honey bees. It’s illegal to kill them, and you don’t want to anyway since an untended hive will crumble, causing honey to drip down your walls which leads to an ant infestation. So $500 went to send the bees off to a new and happy bees_6home.

Repairs to the house, in preparation of a refinance, have gone slowly and…

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Summer’s Over – Or Is It by Erin Farwell

Writing Wranglers and Warriors

IMG_3021_1I live in Georgia, where the summers are scorching and school starts in August. Yes, August. Fulton County schools started yesterday, the latest start for schools in our area.

When my daughter was young, the start of the school year was difficult for both of us. All summer we had slept in, read, played, dinked around, and generally had a great time together. As Willow has gotten older, I have taken on more responsibilities outside of child rearing including fiction and freelance writing, teaching, and volunteering on the PTA board. Since she started middle school, I work most CIMG0659summer weekdays but she gets one “fun day” per week where she picks an activity that we do together. It’s a good compromise but not the same, though we still enjoy a good sleep-in.

Yesterday she started 8th grade and I am left to wonder where the time has gone and how…

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