So ... I've been receiving loads of emails and comments lately that absolutely thrill me. Unless you've been in this position (or something similar), it's impossible to fully grasp what it means when an author learns that perfect strangers are being moved by their writing. An author shares stories that apparently come from nowhere, opening their souls to the world, daring themselves to be brave enough to chance criticism and rejection.
And everyone receives that. It's part of the business. You can't please 'em all.
But when the opposite happens, when readers express love for the writing, it is more than a dream come true. For me it is something of which I never dared to dream. I wrote "Under the Same Sky" for me, never thinking it might go any farther. I wrote "Sound of the Heart" for me, for my editor ... and for Dougal, who demanded his story be told. And in Fall 2013 you will read Adelaide's story in "Out of the Shadows". This passion of mine has grown and become a mountain I can't help but climb.
Recently I've received a number of requests for a certain storyline ... namely a reunion of the two MacDonnell brothers. This review by Carolyn Hughes on Goodreads was a wonderful example.
BUT I have to explain something.
Berkley Sensation (Penguin US) has been wonderful, believing in me, encouraging me to share the stories in my head. But what they asked me to write was a "companion novel", not a sequel. That means you should be able to pick up one book and read it completely independently of the other, so if you pick up "Sound of the Heart" first, you won't miss anything key. If I'd written a sequel, you'd have to read the books in order. With my companion novels, I have independent stories happening at the same time - different lives being led, all connected.
Andrew and Maggie came first. Dougal nearly drove me crazy with his insistence (thank goodness!), and even shy Adelaide woke me one morning with a need to share her story. Wee Janet MacLeod (the beautiful lassie who tried unsuccessfully to win Andrew over) even wants a book. (Under construction) These are all "companion novels".
But I'm with you. I can't see the series as being complete since the family members haven't yet reunited. And I get excited thinking about the offspring of Maggie and Adelaide. Can you imagine? It may be a while, but I will write that book. Just be patient! Andrew searched his whole life for Maggie, Dougal spent years looking for Glenna ... so hang in there. I love love love that you want to read that book. I can hardly wait to write it.
And thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
Yay! June's here!
Out here in Nova Scotia, the grass is green, the trees are in full bloom (though we're still waiting with anticipation for our three year old apple trees to show us a little colour), hummingbirds are dive bombing each other outside my kitchen window, and I have set up shop (as often as possible) in my outside office. That's an awesome place to be, in case you're wondering. We have a fairly consistent plague of black flies out here, and my incredible husband did a whole bunch of research to find a screen that would keep them out of "my office". He built a sturdy deck underneath and a big gazebo on top (where he likes to come out and nap while I type). I bustle back inside when it rains or gets too windy, but really, it's my favourite place to write.
May was quite a month for me, with the release of Sound of the Heart. I kept busy with my 50-stop book blog tour *whew!*, three book signings and a reading. A big thank you to everyone who popped in to see me in person or online, and a special thank you to all the dedicated book review bloggers who took the time to read and review my book. Those busy ladies are in big demand, but they are—without exception—some of the sweetest, friendliest people I've ever met. If you're looking for book recommendations, they're the place to go. And congratulations to Carla Carlson of Florida for winning the blog tour grand prize!
I've also been writing. Because I knew I'd need time to promote the books, I put my editing business to the side for a bit, and as a result I have been able to do quite a bit of writing. My agent is now reading Tides of Honour, my WW1 historical fiction based here in Nova Scotia. This is my idea for a cover, though if a publisher picks it up, they will no doubt choose their own. Anyway, isn't this gorgeous? It was taken by a local high school student, Katy Perry (no, not the pop star). I will keep everyone up to date on what goes on with Tides of Honour, the story of fisherman/soldier Danny Baker. I have a real soft spot in my heart for Danny and this book, so I hope you can all read it soon.
I started work on a new book (untitled so far) which will reach a little beyond what I've done before. Not only is it Time Travel romance, but it also includes a kind of conspiracy. I'm partial to writing characters, settings, dialogue, etc and have a little trouble with plot, so this book is a new challenge for me. Fortunately, my patient husband is a wonderful sounding board and has the BEST ideas for plots. We have a hot tub in our back yard, and we've now nicknamed it the Plot Tub, since we've gotten quite a bit of work done there.
For those of you wondering about the next instalment in the MacDonnell clan stories (and I'm so happy you are!), I hope to have an update soon. Out of the Shadows is on my editor's desk and I await her verdict. She hasn't actually had an opportunity to read it yet, and I'm hoping my latest hero, Jesse, will win her over. I really love that story. If you recall, Maggie's sister, Adelaide, was very emotionally damaged after the Under the Same Sky experience, so she has quite a way to go as far as trust and believing in herself. Jesse (kind of an early cowboy, with a scruffy, rebellious edge to him) can see the strength she hides so well and is determined to get past that stubborn wall of hers. But will she trust him enough to let him help her?
And yes, I started writing a book about Janet MacLeod (the Scottish lass from Under the Same Sky who had hopes of winning Andrew's heart—poor Janet! She never had a chance!), but it's on hold for the moment. I have visions of pirate ships when I think of her, but I'm not sure yet ...
We're headed to Alberta to do some family-visiting at the end of June, but I never stop "working" (what an amazing job I have!). I'm really looking forward to doing at least two signings at Chapters stores in Calgary, seeing some of my old friends while I'm there. If you're in Calgary on July 1, look me up. I'll be in the NW.
One last note - I send out an e-newsletter at the beginning of every month. I'd love for you to be on my mailing list if you're not already. Please fill in your email address in the right column of this page and you'll hear from me July 1 (Canada Day!).
Here are a couple of recent, terrific reviews for Sound of the Heart, in case I haven't bombarded you with enough already: Debbie's World of Books, Moonlight Gleam's Reviews, and Evie-Bookish. One of my favourite quotes from reviews this go-round was when Evie said, "No one does historical romance the way Genevieve Graham does. She weaves a fantastic tale packed with the sweetest kind of romance, breathtaking adventure, and just a tiny bit of magic, and she does it in the most superb, addictive way."
I received a WONDERFUL present today from book reviewer,
The best part about a great present is sharing it,
so please click on her name so you can see why I'm so excited!
So that put me in the mood to give YOU a present ...
I'm giving away two signed copies of my debut novel,
"Under the Same Sky" on Goodreads!
Click on the little picture under here and enter to win!
Contest ends Jan 21, 2012.