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Writing through adversity

Today marks a special day. It’s a release day, but it’s a little more than that. Colters’ Lady, which is the follow up to Colters’ Woman, is now available in electronic format. I’m smiling but it’s one of those smiles that comes with a sigh and a little slump of the shoulders.

My editor and I work closely on my books. We’re both nitpicky and anal and it’s not unusual to pass the book back and forth a dozen times BEFORE it ever goes to line edits. Then there are the multiple passes after the line editor and then the pass after we get the ARC ;)

Anyway, the past few months have been stressful and sad and anxious all rolled into one. Jennifer and I tease each other that one of us can’t meltdown. It always has to be both of us at the same time. I was having a really, REALLY tough time on my third KGI book, so much so that it made me late on a deadline, and I’m never late. Late to me is like the end of the world because I’m one of the anal “early” people who always show up everywhere at least 15 minutes early.

Nothing was working for me. I still had to get Colters’ Lady done and believe me when I saw, that old saying about when it rains, it pours? Totally true. I was on vacation with two friends in Catalina melting down because there was just crap coming from all directions.

None of that really seems to matter, though, in light of a phone call I received from Jennifer (my editor) who told me she’d been diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer. We both really didn’t think much of the lump she’d found. We were texting from her mammogram appointment. I knew she was going in for a biopsy. But when she called me and told me the biopsy came back clean but that she’d INSISTED that the lump be removed anyway…THAT’S when it was discovered. Thank God, thank god she insisted.

We both cried on the phone and I told her not to worry about anything other than taking care of herself and her children. The book would wait. It wasn’t important. She was what was important and everything else could go to hell in my opinion.

She was getting ready to start chemo and we talked again. I told her I’d do whatever she wanted with Colters’ Lady, that Jennifer was most important. We could push it back, or just hang on to it. I didn’t want another editor to work on it, but if that’s what Jennifer preferred, I was good with that too.

But she told me she wanted the book. She wanted to work on it. It was a book that we’d talked about together, because before recently I NEVER planned to write sequels to Colters’ Woman. But this series was for her. It’s unlikely I would have written it without her encouragement. And I wanted her to have ultimate say in the matter.

So I sent her half the book and struggled on with my third KGI book. When I finally turned it in, I knew I didn’t have time to even breathe a sigh of relief because release day was bearing down on us like a freight train. With Jennifer going into her second round of chemo and feeling unbelievably tired, we began work in earnest on getting Colters’ Lady to the point we wanted it.

I don’t think either of us slept for a week. We were passing the book back and forth at midnight. We questioned. We discussed parts. We worked right up to the wire to get this book as near perfect as we could. All the while us both feeing like we wanted to go to bed for about a year and hide there.

We could have pushed it back. But neither of us wanted to do that when readers were expecting the book on June 1. I’m just amazed at how much effort Jennifer put into this when she was dealing with her own set of worries. Really big worries that made all my whining insignificant.

So Colters’ Lady is special. It may not be the most perfect book I’ve ever written. But it will always be special because Jennifer loved this book enough to hang onto it, even when her world was going to pieces around her. She believed in it, and she wanted readers to have it on the day we’d told them they’d have it. I have nothing to say to that except thank you. From the depth of my heart, thank you and I love you.

I hope readers will love and appreciate the book as much as you did, Jennifer. You’re a kickass editor, but more than that…you’re one of my dearest friends.

Lots of love on release day. We made it!!

40 thoughts on “Writing through adversity”

  1. Jaci Burton says:

    Big congratulations to you–and to Jennifer–on the book’s release.

    Now both of you get some rest!

  2. limecello says:

    Happy release day, Maya – yay for you and Jennifer. I can’t wait to start reading Colters’ Lady :)

  3. Ali says:

    Aww, what a beautiful behind-the-scenes story. I hope you and Jennifer finally get some much needed rest.
    Congrats on your release!!

  4. HeatherB says:

    We are all pulling for Jennifer! What a special author/editor relationship. You are both wonderful writers.

    Jennifer, keep up the fight, girl. You can do it.

    Maya, CONGRATS! It’s a big day, enjoy it. :-)

  5. mbot565 says:

    Wow, what a journey. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Thank you getting us Colters’ Lady on release day, I will enjoy & cherish reading it tonight.

    I hope Jennifer will make full recovery. I wish you & your family a restful summer.

  6. Edie Ramer says:

    Congratulations on your release! And for having such a great editor. I sending healthy thoughts her way.

  7. Vivian Arend says:

    Thanks for sharing the story, and Jennifer, we’re praying hard for a full recovery for you.


  8. Jean says:

    Loved the book! So . . . when will Colter’s Daughter be out?

  9. That’s a pretty awesome story. Congrats to you and Jennifer. You are lucky to have each other.

  10. SonomaLass says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing that, Maya. Sounds to me like you and Jennifer are lucky to have each other. I loved Jennifer’s most recent book, and I’m looking forward to reading this labor of love the two of you have produced.

  11. MJ says:

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Thank you! (-:

  12. Laurie Kap says:

    You brought tears to my eyes damn it!!!
    Congrats on the release!
    Jennifer is one special lady inside and out – all her hard work proves how strong she really is as a person (which I knew anyway). :-***

  13. Tonya says:

    I loved the book, but was does all the 3/4’s mean in the book?

    1. Maya says:

      Tonya, what format did you purchase? It sounds like a formatting issue *sigh* Very annoying and frustrating because there should be no 3/4ths in the book

      1. Tonya says:

        Kindle, it’s not bad. In fact it’s kind of funny where the 3/4’s show up. Like an Easter Egg hunt! The text is fine it’s just a random 3/4 here and there.

        1. Tonya says:

          I just wanted to add, I stayed up till 2am so I could get it and start reading. Amazon doesn’t release till west coast Midnight….. I was done by 6 and hubby went to work a very happy man! ;)

    2. ~B says:

      It’s a formatting issue that seems to be exclusive to some Samhain titles. It’s supposed to be an em dash.

      Bianca D’Arc’s books are full of them. I emailed Laurie Rauch about them many months ago and even pointed out what needed to be done to fix the error, but they still appear.

      1. Maya says:

        that’s not good. Not good at all particularly if they know about the issue :(

  14. I just finished Colters’ Lady. It is absolutely worth waiting for.

    I discovered Colters’ Woman and Colters’ Wife right after they were released as ebooks. I cannot tell you how many times I have read Colters’ Woman. It is one of my absolute favorite books.

    When they were released as print books, I bought them again. There were enough differences to make me glad that I did so.

    Like you (grin), I never expected any sequels and I am absolutely thrilled that the legacy continues. I cannot wait for Callie’s book.

    Thank you and Jennifer so much for giving me so much pleasure.

    Jennifer, my warmest thoughts are with you.

    If you are interested, I will be posting a review on my blog either tonight or tomorrow. I assure you. It will only be wonderful things.

  15. Erin says:

    This is SUCH A WONDERFUL BOOK! Thank you both, Maya and Jennifer for the work that went into it. I am such a huge fan of yours Maya, and Colters’ Woman is what introduced me to your books first, so this is a special book to me too. Jennifer, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you both!

  16. Tanishia says:

    just wonder if the new book will be on the website i have the 1st one in the series and other books by you from the site i am hoping this one will be there soon… is there anyway to tell me if and when it will be there?


  17. Liza says:

    Congrats on the release Maya & Jennifer! The back story brought me to tears. Will keep you in my prayers, Jennifer.

  18. Maria D. says:

    Congratulations to both Maya and Jennifer. It is usually during adversity that we find out how much other’s really care for us and it sounds like Jennifer really is more than your editor but also a good friend and I know that you feel the same way for her. Here’s to success for Jennifer’s treatment and strength for you both.

  19. azteclady says:

    Adding my good thoughts and prayers for Jennifer–as well as huge congratulations to both of you.

  20. Tonya says:

    Colters’ Lady is #38 in the Amazon Kindle Store!!


  21. Beth Ganger says:

    Maya, I love your books!! I’ve been searching all day for Colter’s Lady, but haven’t found it. I’ve only found it in ebook. Will it be released in paperback? And when?? I hope that it will be released in paperback! I have no other way of reading it!

    I can’t wait to read it!!


  22. Blanche says:

    Big Congrats and Happy Release Day Maya!

    Colters’ Lady is AMAZING, totally totally amazing…LOVED it! :)

    Sending lots of good thoughs and prayers to Jennifer! Congrats to her as well!!


  23. Susan says:

    When will Colter’s Lady and Colter’s Woman (revised version) be available for the Nook?

  24. Debbie says:

    I can’t find the Colters’ Lady for the Nook. Is it out for the Nook? If not, when?

  25. Maya says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I know Jennifer and I both appreciate them.

    Susan and Debbie, BN is one of those mysteries of the universe. They have the books. Have had them. It’s solely up to them when they put them up for sale. It puzzles me frankly that they’re so inconsistent with the way they put up new releases. But you can always purchase PDF or EPUB formats from My bookstore and more. Both are compatible with the Nook.

  26. Allie says:

    Sending positive, healing thoughts for Jennifer and a huge thank you to you both for this book.

    I bought it first thing in the morning yesterday but have to wait to read it until this weekend. :) You’re one of the authors I can’t put down so I start right after lunch and plan some microwave thing for dinner so I can keep reading if I’m not done by then. ;)

  27. Debbie P. says:

    Thank you so much for getting back to us. I will be buying it to night. Can’t wait.

  28. Rachel M says:

    I wanted to comment how much I loved the book. The part of facing what the truth is and what a lie is actually has been extremely difficult for me to see in my life and I could relate as to how the heroine felt although her pain was different from mine. I cried while I read it and thought that you nailed it right.

    My programming from growing up is extensive and pops up in many different areas of my life but I am trying to work on them with therapy and medication.

    I thought as I read the book to look at my life and realized that the heroine might have fewer skins to pull back from her onion which did not compare as to the ones that I have but as to the way she dealt with it is the way I would like to deal with mine. All I can do is strive and continue on.

    I hope Jennifer beats the cancer. Well wishes to her. I will have a hard time waiting for the next book to come out.

  29. Elaine Herman Ferazzi says:

    conrats on the book i can’t wait to get it. I hope everything turned out for Jennifer.

  30. Moran says:

    I just loved Colters’ Lady and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

    I wish Jennifer lots of health and hopefully she’ll feel better soon!

  31. Rita says:

    Congratulations on the release of Colter’s lady….I will be getting my ebook later and can’t wait to read it….Way to go Jennifer and Maya!!! Know that you are blessed Jennifer…..

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