Author Heather SunseriNews and Other Notes
I have been writing with at least a little desire to publish since the summer of 2009. It took me three and a half years from the time I began conjuring up stories to actually deem a story ready for other peoples’ eyes. And that story, Mindspeak, which I spent about two years writing and editing, is still not a work of perfection. Are Mindspeak and the two books that came after it still my most popular novels? Absolutely. But if I were to read the first book I ever published today, I would probably cut some words here and there, want to rearrange some sentences. Why? Because I’m a better writer today than I was in 2013 when I first published Mindspeak.
But I’ve pretty much made a living on the first three books of the Mindspeak series since 2014. The books that came after helped, of course, but the Mindspeak series (mainly the first three books) is what launched my career. And it was not a perfect launch into the publishing world.
Now, let’s look at this photograph I took yesterday:
I am NOT a photographer. But I like pretty things, and I found this door pretty, so I snapped a picture on my walk through Midway, Kentucky, which was my inspiration for the Midland, Kentucky, the small town setting in the first three novels in the In Darkness series.
This photo is obviously not perfect. I hate the vent over the door. Or is that a window that looks like a vent in this imperfect picture? The entire photograph is crooked and off-centered — you can see one of the front light fixtures, but not the other. The flag. The flag! Oh, how I wanted to fix the flag yesterday before I took the picture, but alas, this is not my house, and I didn’t think the people living in this house would appreciate me walking up to their front door and fixing their flag so that I could take a picture of their front door.
I could, of course, crop and rotate the photograph to remove the vent and straighten the lines a bit, but the flag will always be tangled up in the light. The photo will never be perfect. But the door is still a very pretty color, the landscaping is beautiful, and I find the photograph pleasing and interesting to look at.
Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But does it do the job? Sure.
This is one of the most important questions writers and creatives need to ask themselves when finishing a book or some other creative project. Is it perfect? Probably not. Not much ever is. But does it do the job it’s supposed to do?
The second question will mean different things to different people. For me, I want to know if the stories I’m finishing will entertain, tell a complete story, please my readers in some way. If I can answer yes to those three elements, then it’s time for me to let go of that story and get to work on another.
I cannot fall into a trap of asking the following questions: Will everyone love this story? Will I get nothing but positive reviews? Is this story perfect?
If I ask myself those questions, I tend to become paralyzed with fear of publishing anything. No one would ever publish a story or put any work out into the world if they asked themselves if their work was perfect.
As many of you know… I opened my own online store last year. You can purchase all of my ebooks plus box sets of my ebooks directly from this online store. You can get these ebooks for your Kindle, Apple devices, Android devices, Nook, and Kobo. (Did I leave anything out?) It is a secure site run by Selz, and you can use all major credit cards or PayPal to complete your transaction. If you download one of my free books, all you have to do is provide your email address, and your book will be delivered directly to you. (Go on, try it! Risk free!)
It really is that easy.
And the best part? I can easily offer my books at reduced prices or do giveaways from time to time more easily than I can on any other site or retailer.
Have you been holding off on purchasing one or all of my books? Well, today’s your chance to get 40% off of your order. Simply enter the code: SUMMER40 and you’ll receive a 40% discount at checkout.
Note: Unfortunately, at this time, I can’t offer books through this online store outside the United States. This is something I’m working on, and will let everyone know as soon as I am able to accommodate international customers.
So… what are you waiting for? Click on over to the store and try one of the free books or excerpts of books, or use your discount to start your new favorite read TODAY! The sale goes from today through Saturday, June 3, so don’t wait!
Greetings from Kentucky, where the sun is finally out! Despite the beautiful weather, I’ve got my butt in the chair as I try to finish Covered in Darkness, the third book in the In Darkness series.
But I thought I would take a break and let you in on some of the amazing news you might have missed this week.
1. Cut in Darkness released this week, and so far, readers are loving it!
“Brooke is so bad-assed!”
“Plenty of action, suspense, and romance.”
“Won’t be able to put this one down.”
“You’ll read it twice!”
“Can be read as a standalone, but you really shouldn’t.”
Order your copy in the following places:
2. The second awesome thing that happened this week was that USA Today interviewed me about many things, including my writing process, my pets who assist me with writing, and where I come up with my ideas for the In Darkness series. Read the interview HERE.
3. Then, this amazing thing happened… USA Today also posted a review of Cut in Darkness. The lovely and amazing Serena Chase read and reviewed Cut. You can read it HERE.
“Combining a Southern small-town feel with big-city issues of organized crime, federal law enforcement and political scandal, author Heather Sunseri creates a tapestry of intrigue and tension.” ~ Serena Chase of USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog.
4. Emerge series is now on audio!!!!
Who likes audio books? I know I do. Well, this is AMAZING news! Emerge is now on audio. The narrators telling Cricket’s and West’s stories are FABULOUS!! You can listen to a sample and check them out HERE. All three books released from Audible this week.
5. When I announced the audio versions of Emerge this week, someone asked me when the In Darkness series would be available on audio, and I realized I had failed to do a good job of promoting the fact that the In Darkness series IS ALREADY ON AUDIO!!!! And let me tell you: I LOVE LOVE LOVE the audio version of this series, because I love narrator Emily Sutton Smith SO SO SO much. She does an incredible job of telling Brooke’s story. And Alan Smyth narrates Declan, and makes me fall in love with Declan all over again with his smooth, Irish accent. You can check out the audible version HERE. Or if you prefer iTunes or Downpour, click HERE.
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That’s it for this week! But tomorrow starts a new week, so stay tuned…
Have a good weekend and happy reading! Tell me in the comments what you’re reading these days and why you love it!
There is so much going on this week! But first up? Cut in Darkness is LIVE and ready for you to read!
I’m often asked by readers and other writers what my favorite book to write has been. And the answer is usually: The one I’m currently writing, or, more typically, the one I just finished.
There are ups and downs to the writing process. That’s for damn sure. But sometimes you love a book so much it keeps you up at night or wakes you up way too early. Cut in Darkness was like that for me. Sure, there were days when I couldn’t get the plot right, and I’d want to pull my hair out or step away from the computer forever. But for the most part, this book haunts me, and there were many nights I fell asleep thinking about it, and many mornings I got up at 4 or 5 a.m. to start writing because I just couldn’t stop until it was done.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons—off the top of my head—I loved writing Cut in Darkness, and why you should pick up your copy today!
- I’m in love with my dynamic duo of a couple. The heat level between these two (though mostly behind closed doors) is h-o-t. But there’s also a vulnerability to each of them, and they both have pasts that seem to haunt them in this book. At the same time, we (the readers and me) are still discovering many qualities about both of them. I love watching these two discover each other even more throughout this book, but I know there’s a lot of “discovering” still to come.
- Romeo. Who is he? Why does he insist on staying super close to Brooke? Is he a threat to her life? To the lives of people she loves? Will he protect her from harm? You’ll find out a bit more about Romeo in Cut in Darkness, but he’s definitely a mystery.
- Synthetic opioids. Holy cow, these are dangerous substances. Writing about fentanyl and carfentanil was fascinating, but it also played a part in keeping me up at night. Heroin is a frightening problem in our country, and it has definitely touched the area where I live in big ways. But add to the heroin problem a synthetic substance that can take down a full-grown elephant, and suddenly you have a recipe for death all around us. I wrote about how fiction becomes reality HERE and HERE.
- OMGs. Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are sometimes glorified in fiction. Not in this book. The OMG in Cut in Darkness is committing some very serious crimes, and Brooke Fairfax is trying to prove herself now that she has been reinstated as a full time special agent with the FBI. She gets up close and personal to several members of Samael’s Army MC, and one member in particular decides he’s going to “take care” of Brooke Fairfax. I spent a lot of time researching motorcycle clubs and outlaw motorcycle gangs as I wrote Cut in Darkness. There is a difference, and there is NOTHING glamorous about gang life.
- Redeemable characters. Charley Packstone (featured on the cover of Cut in Darkness) is the twin sister to the VP of Samael’s Army, daughter to the President. She is torn between family loyalty and the desire to protect some secrets of her own. I loved writing this character. Will she choose to help Brooke, herself, or will she protect her family at all costs?
- Love and romance. I really REALLY love writing suspenseful and thrilling scenes. But I truly adore writing characters who are overcoming conflict to come together as a couple. THIS is why I write romantic suspense. I love the balance of the two.
- Death. Yes, death is a real possibility for the characters in Cut in Darkness, and Brooke stares death in the face several times. The almost final climactic scene in Cut in Darkness is probably one of my most favorite climactic scenes I’ve ever written.
- Twists and turns. I love the twists and turns of the Cut in Darkness plot. And the final twist was fun to watch unfold.
- Declan. A bit of Declan’s past is revealed in Cut in Darkness. And there is so much more about his past to come.
- Series. Cut in Darkness is a standalone story about an OMG and synthetic heroin, however, there are bits about the In Darkness series that will carry from book to book. Examples: A) Romeo—we don’t know everything there is to know about Romeo yet, but we’ll continue to learn about him with each book. B) Declan and Brooke—their relationship is an ever-evolving romance, but they have many obstacles to overcome before it’s a happily ever after, but it will be fun to explore their relationship throughout the series. C) Secondary characters—Characters like Aidan and Marti, Carrie Anne, David, and Ty will continue to have important roles in the In Darkness series, and with each book we learn more about them.
So, there you have it, the top ten reasons off the top of my head that I enjoyed writing Cut in Darkness. I would love to hear your favorite aspect of Cut in Darkness! So, go get your copy, then be sure to come back and tell me your favorite scene or character.