Skip to content

Month: April 2024

(Jenny’s Version)

Posted in Uncategorized

Last week, I got an email from Harlequin’s rights division informing me of the decision made in the review I requested on some of my titles. After months of waiting for this decision, I am proud to say that I now own the first book I ever wrote, Blood Ties Book One: The Turning as well as the subsequent titles in that series.

Twenty years after I sold that manuscript, it belongs to me again. I can re-release it, with changes to lines I grew to hate (I’ve already cut “masticating emptiness” and even a “save for”). I can fix an offensive racial trope. I can tighten things, expand things, I can change what I want and hell, even keep on writing that series if I feel like it. Dr. Carrie Ames, Nathan Grant, Cyrus, Ziggy, The Soul Eater, Dahlia, Max, Bella, Bill, all of them are my dolls to play with, in whatever dollhouse I like.

And over a decade after my identity as an author was usurped, people will read these books and know that I wrote them. I’m the writer of the Blood Ties series.

Getting these rights back heals me in a way I didn’t expect. I’m not cut off from that part of my career anymore. Blood Ties isn’t my past anymore. It’s my present. As long as I hang onto it, it can be my always. These books aren’t from when I was a writer. I’m still a writer.

I didn’t even realize I was feeling that way, until I read that reversion letter. But in my mind, there was an invisible line drawn between when I was an author and the time period in which I stubbornly persisted in my delusion that I was an author long after I’d been proven a fraud.

The weird thing is how unceremonious it was. Just an email with a .PDF attachment listing the titles, with some legal verbiage about licensed artwork and trademarks. Someone hammered it out on a Monday and emailed it at close of day. Maybe it was the last thing on their to-do list. They’re never going to think about it again. But it’s made such an enormous change in my world. It’s alleviated imposter syndrome I didn’t realize was still plaguing me. And it’s made me feel like a real author again. Which is funny, because while I’m proud to be an indie author and in control of my career (let’s face it, New York publishing wouldn’t be able to keep up with my release schedule), there was still a part of me that felt like an unwelcome guest in writing because I’d been traditionally published and then politely shown the door.

Sometimes, you can’t identify a problem until it’s fixed, I guess.

Right now, I’m having a ball revising and updating these books. At first, I thought I’d just need to clean up the cringe word choices, but there will be major updates to the text. If you love the original series, hang onto your copies, because this is going to feel more like a reboot than a re-release. Major changes are coming for the characters of Ziggy and Clarence, and I’m bringing the entire story forward in time, which will require me to adjust things like Carrie needing to “fire up the modem” and print driving directions from the internet. I’d love to keep everyone abreast of these changes, but I also don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read the books or who don’t want spoilers about the new versions, so that stuff will come in later posts.

Right now, Blood Ties Book One: The Turning (Jenny’s Version) is heading for a September 2024 release in ebook and hardcover. Other details about the release will be fine-tuned over the summer. Which I am calling my Summer of the Vampire, because I’m also steadily working on a theatrical adaptation of Dracula as a side project.

Prepare for me to be insufferable, is what I’m saying.