So you want to be an #indie #author Part One (link to post)

Hey, all.

Thanks for all your support with my going #indie announcement!

Your kind words of encouragement and excitement truly mean the world to me.

I decided to post about my decision and the continuing journey, and I'd planned to dual post here and at Pen Name's blog, but after getting it set over there, I've decided with all the linkage, to just, well, give you a link to send you there.

So, I've posted on Cecelia Earl's blog, the first post in a series: So you want to be an #indie #author...

Hi, I’m no expert, but something Alex J. Cavanaugh, ninja, founder of the must-be-infamous Insecure Writers Support Group, and Amazon best-selling sci-fi author,  said in a comment to another post on another blog, made me think. Maybe I really can inspire or help another writer. So, in case I can, I’ve decided to try and blog about my publication journey (with some helpful links along the way)... 

To read more, click here.

Thanks again!



Wow, this past month FLEW by while teaching full-time and revising my ms to ready it for my editor (when I wasn't doing housework or being a mom). 

I can't believe it's time for another Insecure Writers's Support Group Post!

First, for newbies (like me) who are scratching their head wondering what this group is all about:

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Alex J. Cavanaugh's awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, andSusan Gourley!

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

October 4 Question: When do you know your story is ready?

The truth is: never.

When do I KNOW, like with 100% certainty? I'm insecure enough that I say...I don't KNOW.

IMHO it's probably never going to be ready--ENOUGH. There will always be a reader who thinks it has flaws and could be fixed, changed, improved, edited for content, edited for commas, etc. Hence my expectation that my novels may not receive five-star rave reviews from every reader, which to me means it may not have been READY.

So, I know it's never really ready, BUT I've decided I'll know/think/decide when it's ready for ME.

And that's probably what the question is asking anyway,


My response:

When it's become everything I want it to be.  When my character has/has not reached her goal by the end of the story but has definitely reached her full potential and completed her character arc, when all the scenes have purpose and meaning in accordance with the character's goals, the obstacles, theme, and arc. When I've thought through and outlined, re-plotted and post-outlined, revised, rearranged, cut, omitted, added, re-written, passed it to one or ten critique partners and a beta reader or five, and used as much of their feedback as possible. And then sent it to a paid beta reader and a paid content editor and then a paid line and copy editor....And revised and edited again. And proofread it.

When that's all done, that's when I'll decide it's ready.

(Although, I can imagine that after it's published and out in the world, in readers' hands I'll still pick it up from time to time and think, Oh, man. I should've changed that. And maybe that.)

Another truth:

On a different not, I've decided to tell you something. Maybe I'm making an announcement here, or a reveal of sorts.  I don't know the "right" thing to do or what you would do or what I "should" do, but. I've decided that this is a big deal to me, for me.

And that since it's a big writerly deal thing,

I needed to tell all my writing buds, because if there's ever been a time I needed to express my utter insecurity and excitement, if there's ever been a time I needed the writing and reading community's support and enthusiasm and needed the go-get-em attitude from y'all, IT'S NOW.

And also, so many writers are transparent and open and HELPFUL and collaborative and I've decided to be that too. Or to try to.


I've decided to become an indie author, to self-publish, to make writing and publishing my books MY business,

and I couldn't be more insecure and nervous and second-guessing and excited and enthused and having an out-of-body experience to be embarking on this journey and adventure and wow all these run-on sentences and out of breath..... Phew.


I've decided to publish under the pen name CECELIA EARL, hence my thoughts NOT to tell you all, but I NEED you all so desperately to know.

Young Adult Author Cecelia Earl will publish a paranormal trilogy filled with angels, demons, undercover half-angels, lies, romance, family secrets, friendship troubles, and high school drama.

The first novel, her/my/our debut, will be released on my 40th birthday, January 4, 2017! 

For now, I'll show you this (NOT the actual cover):

and tell you this tid bit about the novel:

WHEN ASH RAINS DOWN heroine, undercover angel Julia White, takes on the devil and his demon army to protect her friends from having their souls siphoned to fuel Hell's army. She trades in her homecoming crown for a pair of angel wings and a sword to defend two things SHE possesses that the devil can never have on his own, two things that will give him enough power to overthrow Heaven and destroy Earth. Because she'll be damned if she'll let his kingdom come and have eternal control.

Tentative dates for the second and third book are April 4 and July 4, with novellas sprinkled in between or afterward.

I also have two contemporary realistic YA manuscripts that may be ready to go later in  2017, but right now I'm not sure if I'll release them under Cecelia, a different pen name (Lynnea West) or (gasp) as myself.

As for Cecelia Earl, I'd love it if you'd support me (as her) along the way. I'll keep you posted on the publishing process, the ARC releases, the giveaways, the cover reveal date, and whatever else comes up along the way. But you don't have to wait for me to tell you, you can also follow her on all her social media platforms.



Or you could even sign up for her newsletter which will inform you even faster about exciting news, exclusives, giveaways, and other FREEBIES. All of which will be ready soonish. :)

Enter your email below to receive her newsletter via email.

I finished a round of revisions for WHEN ASH RAINS DOWN two days ago and sent it to my editor. After another round of edits and revisions, it'll be sent to proofreaders and then formatted for publication!   I've decided on the final cover design and layout, and the final covers for both paperback and e-book editions are underway!

My Goodreads and Amazon author pages will be ready soonish too and then you'll be able to check out my book(s) there!

I'm loving every step I've taken so far in writing and designing and formatting and marketing for my own books. 

And I'd be nowhere if not for my Swoon Squad of writing friends who I chat with every day, or old blog buds who answer questions even when we haven't spoken in AGES, or my newest critique partners whose feedback pushed me to dig deeper and revise more thoughtfully (not sure if you'll agree or not yet?!?) (and who will be so important for books 2 and 3!) and my personal design and plot adviser who chats with me and encourages me and reads for me every time I ask.

I can't believe I TOLD you all that.  
So nervous about it. <3 font="">

Some authors are secretive with their pen names (as I had planned to be) and others are very open. In the comments, I'd love to know your reasons or thoughts behind whether to keep it quiet or to share pen names publicly.

Thanks for listening!


much love,


I haven't finished my post yet, but I'm making a big reveal in it, so you may want to check back! I'll post as soon as I'm back from bringing my youngest son to the doctor (possible pink eye) and have picked my eldest sons up from school! And then from tonight through this weekend I'll visit as many of YOU as I can!