I was testing the waters and since then, I haven’t looked back.
While Smolder isn’t my best, it paved the way for other stories, and gave me the confidence to write what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted.
No rules. No deadlines (except those self-imposed). There was nothing to stop me from writing whatever came into my mind.
And do you know what most often comes into my mind, after romance? Scars… flaws… interesting characters… flawed but interesting characters.
After writing a trio of short stories–Smolder, Captive, and Ignite Me–a new character came into being: Staff Sergeant Justin Hauten. With him came Nebraska, the ultimate sidekick, and then, Justin’s love interest, Lieutenant Aaron Parris.
A gay romance.
The wonderful thing about being a writer is that, in my mind, I often live the lives of other people. Other made-up people. I had no difficulties in imagining Justin and Aaron’s romance. And to be honest, Nebraska practically wrote himself. He was way too much fun to ignore.
Falling For Him turned into a three-volume novella set that I wrote and published toward the end of 2012, and into early 2013. It was with this series that I met my editor, Susan.
And things progress. My writing improves and I have readers reading me! Me! Little ‘ole Kelly Washington!!!
In all of 2013 I wrote what I call an epic fantasy-romance series that’s well over 800 pages long. It literally took me a full year to write it and I published the first novella in Nov 2013, and each book a month or so afterwards, in to early 2014.
But it didn’t sell well. Was it the covers? The blurb? The actual story? I’m not sure. So, right now, even though I wrote Reclaimed Souls in 2013, I am working to repackage the series, pull it under my Kelly Washington name (it is currently published under a pen name of Della Roth) and I have four shiny, brand-new covers from the amazing cover artist James T. Egan (bookflydesign.com). I look forward to re-publishing this series in 2015.
Also in 2014, I wrote a new military-contemporary-romance, Collide Into You. I adore this genre and I firmly believe it is my best work to date. I published it exclusively with Amazon KDP between Oct 2014 and Jan 2015.
It did well, but nothing extraordinary. During the free days, I had a few thousand downloads, which thrilled me. But at the end of Jan 2015, I removed Collide Into You from Amazon’s exclusivity feature and, today, Feb 8, 2015, I am uploading the novel onto every other platform possible.
So look for Collide Into You on iTunes, B&N, Kobo, and ARe.
What’s in store for the rest of 2015?
I am currently writing the sequel to Collide Into You, titled (tentatively) Out Of Time. It focuses on Alec Huffman (the MLB Pitcher from Collide Into You) and his love interest, Army Captain Courtney Hall. At the time of the blog post, I am 1/3 through the first draft.
All in all, the last three years have been incredibly productive, illuminating, and wonderful. I went from writing one short story in 2012 to writing dozens of short stories and six novels since then. Not all of my work is published. Some of it is under contract with short story markets (magazines and anthologies). Other work (a novel or two) just aren’t ready to be published for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because they are not publish-ready.
I’m incredibly excited for 2015 and every year afterwards as I work toward my goal of writing full time. Many of you know that I have a day job working as a defense contractor for the US Army, and have been in this line of work for 19 years. It is very rewarding work and I’m proud of what I do, who I support, and I am honored to work alongside our military men and women.
I don’t know what the future holds (who does?) but what I DO KNOW is that I am very thankful to each and every one of you. For reading my work. For reviewing and telling others about it. For emailing me, asking when Alec’s story will be published. Most of you email me about Nebraska! One day, I promise, he will have his own story.
And what a crazy story it will be!