Lately, I've been blessed with a wonderful opportunity. As the contracts for many of my books expire, I am re-releasing them on my own. Why is that a wonderful opportunity? Because through this, I am rediscovering why I love to write, and why I decided to pursue this as a career in the first place.
All of the titles in question are being extensively re-edited before I self-publish them. There are many things that after 5 years of experience, I would like to say differently. In many cases, the word count has been altered by as many as 8,000 new words.
In re-releasing and editing the first two books in the Lilith Mercury, Werewolf Hunter series, I remembered that I based Lilith on myself. Yes, I readily admit that. Ha. Ha. Ha. I know that many writers do things like this, but would never own up to it. My reasoning was simple. If I want to write an ongoing series, I need to know the main character well. As I read over her adventures again, I realized not only how much we were alike, but how much I had changed since I first began her story. I've grown as a person and hopefully when I begin to continue the series, Lilith will grow as a character. She was a little harsh in the beginning, with very good reasons. She and I both have softened and hopefully matured over the past 5 years.
Now, I'm working on the re-release of Bitten. This is to date my very best seller, and in my opinion, one of the best books I've ever written. As I've begun to read the story again, there are so many details that I'd forgotten. So many things that make this story memorable to me had become more feelings than actual memories. After all, I wrote the story near the end of 2007. I believe I finished it January, 2008.
Anyway, I adore these characters. Reading their story again is like visiting old friends. Sure, I'm getting ready to self-publish these titles and I know that many still frown upon that. But you know what? I'm grateful to get to know them again. If I hadn't chosen to not renew my contracts, I probably never would have taken the time to read the complete books again. That would've been a mistake. I'm learning from myself as strange as that may seem. I'm learning what has worked in my writing and what needs to change. I'm developing my skills as a storyteller. And I'm getting to know people that I've missed.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to discover my writing all over again. I am reminded (the more I read and edit) why I love this so much. Writing is my passion and I am blessed to be able to do what I love.