Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Set Goals, Smash Them" by Suz deMello

I'm new here on Oh, Get A Grip! so I might as well let y'all know who I am and what you're dealing with.

I saw the above graphic on Facebook a short while ago and downloaded it immediately. It's printed out and in my office placed so that whenever I look up from keyboard or monitor, I see it. It's on my screensaver, and if anyone asks me what's up, I send it. It is just sooo me right now.

Without much pre-planning, ten works of mine have been published this year. Not all of them have been new stories, but all of them are good. Without ego, I can say that I maintain high standards and regularly meet them.

But this year--even I surprised myself. The earlier part of the year was dominated by my Ellora's Cave publications: Queen's Quest, Rakes in Tartan, Sherlock's Scandal (which became an Amazon bestseller), Kinky Toes, Blood is Thicker..., and Bridling his Vampire.

I had anticipated that the rest of the year would be fairly mellow, with me working on the last novel of my Highland Vampires series.

Wrong. This is where the "smashing goals" part comes in.

November through early December were insane. I had shepherded a new anthology group into life and we were busy writing, editing and planning our first publication, a boxed set of holiday tales called the Naughty List, which includes one of my short stories, Viking in Tartan.  The boxed set was published on December first and is doing well. 

I had been working on a writing manual, Plotting and Planning, for awhile before I remembered that November is NaNo month. For those of you who have never heard of it, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, when thousands form support groups to write an entire book in only one month--a task that's entirely beyond me as I am just coming out of a prolonged period of writer's block. 

When I realized that NaNo month was upon us, I scurried to get Plotting and Planning prepared. For the first time, I used an outside company for uploading and am processing that experience. I decided I wanted to put out a print copy of both my writing manuals for the Christmas gift-giving market. The ompany doesn't like to do printed books, stating that they don't make money from print books.

So I did it myself, acqainting myself with Photoshop. There were a number of snags along the way. An online class I took on PS proved to be a useless time sink. Createspace's conversion process alters the book design undesirably--I'm still working to overcome that glitch for the large print version.

I'm very proud of About Writing. It has a lot of what I've learned since 1996, when I started this particular creative journey.

Despite the hassles, I like the independence and control over the finished product I get from DIY book publishing. 

I also like working with groups. I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to the latest volume of What to Read After Fifty Shades of Grey--it's volume eight. I provided a fictionalized memoir of my experiences in BDSM. Perilous Play and the rest of the anthology have done well after its publication on November 23d.

Set goals, smash them... Yep, I think that anticipating six works in 2014 and ending up with ten qualifies.

What's next for 2015? Who knows? Given what happened in 2014, I make no predictions.

Here's a little more about me:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written
seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

--Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
--For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com
--Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SuzDeMello
--She tweets @Suzdemello
--Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com


  1. Suz:
    I am nearly exhausted just reading all you have done this year. I think you have singlehandedly out published the combined efforts of the entire OGG crew. You have certainly mastered the graphic tools needed to make a beautiful presentation of your engaging post. Looking forward to future posts.

  2. Jeez- You put me to shame! What energy and productivity. I'm speechless, which you'll learn is rare for me. Go for it, grrrrl!

  3. Suz, you're either going to scare the pants (or panties!) off us, or inspire us.

    Maybe both.

    Congratulations on such awesome output.

  4. Also - I'm really hoping we can learn about effective marketing from you.

    1. LOL I am the last person to guide anyone on marketing! And don't be scared. I was as shocked as anyone by last year, especially since I'd struggled with writers' block for some time. That's gone, thank all the gods and goddesses.

  5. Count me on the scared side. I only write short stories, so my five publications this year don't stack up for much, and I don't even have a new anthology out this year, just two completed and turned in and languishing in the publication date pipeline. One award,but that's for a book that came out the previous year.

  6. I haven't been active on the group in the past few weeks (though I know I need to get in there and read people's messages!), so I'm afraid I missed my first chance to welcome you. Please allow me to give you a hearty welcome now. I look forward to getting to know you through your posts. I think we used to have the same EC editor—I'm pretty sure I remember your name from the group she ran for her authors.

    1. Annabeth, thanks for your comment. Was your editor Rebecca? Isn't she wonderful?

    2. Yup, Rebecca. I was very sad to lose her.


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