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(Jenny’s Version)

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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.

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11 Comments

  1. bewalsh7
    bewalsh7

    This is so awesome to hear! I’m really glad you’ve been able to get the rights back. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read any of these books (I found you as an author later), so everything will be new to me.

    I’m just really happy for you that you will be able to take control of your own art again, to update and play with as you like.

    April 22, 2024
    |Reply
  2. Lena
    Lena

    Congratulations! Getting back what’s yours can go a long way toward healing trauma.

    I, for one, am here for your Insufferable Era.

    April 22, 2024
    |Reply
  3. Blanche
    Blanche

    I’m so excited for you, and excited to read your reboots!

    April 22, 2024
    |Reply
  4. Lady Oscar
    Lady Oscar

    I’m so happy for you! You’ve been one of my favorite writers since I first ran into your Fifty Shades recaps in progress. Bring on the insufferableness!

    April 23, 2024
    |Reply
  5. Especially after what’s been happening recently, that is brilliant news!

    April 24, 2024
    |Reply
  6. Ele
    Ele

    Long before I found you through the 50 shades recaps I had the entire series in well worn paperbacks. I remember 14 y/o me loving them. When I put 2 and 2 together with the blog I was excited, then a bit saddened you did not look back on them as fondly. My old books are long gone and I’m no longer a teenager, and I am so happy all these years later to see it come full circle and see what you do with them now.

    April 27, 2024
    |Reply
  7. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    Think the first time I heard of you was when POSSESSION was released.

    I know some people denigrate traditional publishing, but for a lot of readers that’s how we actually get to READ authors. We may DISCOVER them through other means. But if Harlequin hadn’t bought your books, they may not have been published in Australia, and my local libraries wouldn’t have bought them, and thus I wouldn’t have borrowed them and read them, and followed your career from then on.

    So I wasn’t an OG follower of your career, since I wasn’t there for THE TURNING the first time around. But close enough 😉

    April 28, 2024
    |Reply
  8. Desdemona
    Desdemona

    I am so excited for this!!!!

    May 9, 2024
    |Reply
  9. Desdemona
    Desdemona

    Will this be available on audibook?

    May 10, 2024
    |Reply
  10. Stormy
    Stormy

    Aw, come on, let her fire up that modem! I could use some awesome vampire historical fiction…

    /dissolves into the sands of time

    May 13, 2024
    |Reply
  11. Alex
    Alex

    I’m happy for you!

    May 15, 2024
    |Reply

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