Career Retrospective

Hello friends! I want to talk about my news and my upcoming books. But before I move forward, I’d like to take a look back and reflect on where I’ve been.

I’ve been published since June 2008. My first book was a Silhouette Romantic Suspense, bought by Stacy Boyd, my current editor at Harlequin. I think my advance was $3,500, and it earned out within the first year. Earning out is good. It means the book made enough of a profit that I get a little extra in royalties.

My second book was published by Bantam Dell. I published four full-length romantic suspense novels with them. The first earned out after five years. The others have not. THE EDGE OF NIGHT and CAUGHT IN THE ACT, my San Diego “border issues” books, sold poorly. I wasn’t offered another contract with Bantam Dell.

Many readers have asked me about sequels to those books. I’ve put the projects on hold for now. I’d like to revisit the Eric/Meghan and Ian/Maria storylines in the future, when (if) I’m in a better position to do so.

For the past few years I’ve written exclusively for Harlequin and HQN. With the Aftershock series, I’ve had the opportunity to write connected books with recurring characters. It’s been the most rewarding experience of my career so far. I loved bringing those stories to life and continuing with new characters. ISLAND PERIL and BACKWOODS are coming soon!

AFTERSHOCK has sold enough copies to earn out and I’m very proud of that (thanks readers!!). Even so, I can’t call the series a breakout hit, which is what I’ve been aiming for. I work hard and I want to be more successful. The question is, how?

Do I need to write better books? Write faster? Get off twitter? Change genres? Go digital-only? Self-publish?

I’ve been thinking about all of this for months, and I decided that I can’t wait for my sales to improve by magic. I’d be thrilled if my next novel caught fire. Believe me, I’m a fan of staying the course. I can stay the course like a mofo. But doing the same action and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Isn’t it?

In the interest of diversifying, I came up with an idea for a novel I can’t wait to write. It’s erotic suspense with a motorcycle club hero and a psychologist heroine. The setting will be the Southern California desert/inland area. I’m excited to try something different, a bit edgier, and a lot dirtier. Ahem.

I’ll share the details when I can. This title should be digital-only, like ISLAND PERIL, which will keep the price down and hopefully entice new readers.

In the meantime, I have other good news! HQN offered me a contract for two more action/adventure novels, and I accepted. The first book is almost finished. It’s called WILD, and I love it. The second will be SALTLANDS (Ace & Janelle).

Confetti!

Both of these titles are part of the Aftershock series. WILD is set during the same event (major earthquake) at the “San Diego Wildlife Park.” Chaos ensues, naturally. Rowr. My plan is to write the motorcycle club book next, and then SALTLANDS. The two titles will be connected. If you recall, Ace is involved with some shady criminals. Why not a shady motorcycle club?

So there it is. All the news, in one large spew! I love my readers and I appreciate your continued support so very much.

xoxo
Jill

Comments

Career Retrospective — 11 Comments

  1. These plans are so exciting. Huge congrats on more Aftershock and a fun, dirty motorcycle club book by you sounds delicious! You are so good at writing gritty, psychological stuff.

    I think staying the course the way you have will pay off in the long run. You’ve created this hugely high quality, connected body of work that will always be there. I still love your border issues books. I just freaking loved those!

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words, Carolyn. I think gritty and psychological are a great fit for me (and an MC book), so I’m hoping I can pull it off. Dirty is fun, too. whee!!

  3. I think you’re doing the right thing. I too loved your Crossing borders stuff (and still keep on hoping for Eric and Meghan’s story) but it seems to me you’re steering a good course here between creating that good body of work and constantly trying new things.

  4. Ok first I want to say AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. I can’t wait for all the books to come out. (Ace/Janelle!!!!!!!)NOW I love ALL your books (I own every single one) and I enjoy re reading them. I sometimes find it hard to re read certain authors/books, not the case here.I am also pretty excited about this erotic business!! I mean who wouldn’t be! You are a great author and you’ve really made me love romantic suspense…. I hope you write many many many more awesome stories!!

  5. I wanted to tell you I love your books. I really hope you can publish the sequels to Edge of the Night, and Caught in the Act. I loved those books. I also love the Aftershock series. Can you tell me how Scenes of Peril from Passion and Peril connected, I know that Island Peril is connected with Scenes of Peril. I was wondering if you plan to publish Island Peril in Paperback and the motorcycle club series connected with Ace and Janelle from Badlands. Thank you. I think Bantham Books made a mistake when they didn’t offer you another contract. Can you go with a different company to get the books published? That’s just my curiosity into how books get published. Does Bantham own those books and you can’t publish them under a different publishing compnay. Thanks for reading this LONG Reply. I think you are a great Author, you bring the words alive.

  6. Hi Bridget,

    Paul Dawson from Island Peril is the brother of Paige Dawson from Scenes of Peril. That is the only connection. I don’t think Island Peril will be in paperback unless it gets bundled with some other stories. It’s too short.

    Ace & Janelle’s book will be in print. The erotic MC books (I have a contract for 2) are digital only.

    About my Bantam books. I might be able to get my rights back after a certain number of years (7?). Then I could self-publish or look into other options, but probably not print.

    I hope that answers everything! Thanks so much for the kind words and support. It means a lot to me.

    Jill

  7. Hi, Jill! *waves* Imo, maybe market yourself a bit more… I didn’t really know about your books until someone suggested them as IR. Then I read the description, and I was like, must read now. I had no idea Edge of Night was in the same vein as Caught in the Act until you said so now, lol. But whatever you choose to do, I’m sure you’ll do great, good luck with your new series! :)

  8. Hi nu,

    Thanks for stopping by! It’s great that you heard about me from another reader. I think that word of mouth is what really sells books. If I write well enough, readers will (hopefully) want to talk about my work.

    Jill