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A dream, a push, a plan.

by Carol Burnside

It started with a dream.

It’s no secret here or on my personal blog that I’m a fan of talent reality shows like American Idol and The Voice. They’re on auto-record at my house and I follow my favorites, cheering and weeping along with them on their journey. Those shows capture my attention because the individuals have a dream, a BIG dream. But it’s not enough to dream. So they hone skills and push themselves and work long hours, determined to reach their ultimate goal, trying their best to make their dreams a reality.

It occured to me that I’m not enough like them. I am a published author, but I want to make a respectable amount of money as an author. I want enough people to read my books to develop a solid fan base. I’ve honed my skills and even pushed myself a little. That’s not enough. I need to put on my big girl panties and risk sending all my babies out into the world. On the heels of that thinking…

I got a push.

Bless Susan Carlisle’s heart, she had the chutzpah to scold me at our annual writing retreat and urged me to let my babies go, telling me they were too good to let them sit. (I’m still surprised when someone compliments my writing.) Getting me to agree was fairly easy, but Susan pushed again.

I needed a plan, a goal.

The next thing I knew we’d planned out at least eight releases for next year, beginning with a trilogy released in back-to-back months.  At Georgia Romance Writer’s Moonlight & Magnolias Conference, I talked to an editor about the plan and we’ve agreed to do a trial run to see if we mesh. I picked out two cover artists and found a formatter. Now I need to work on a promotional plan.

Sending my plan into the universe here feels a little like falling off a cliff. There are a million things that could go wrong. But like those contestants who want to share their talent, I have a need to introduce my characters, my writing to the world. I’ve lived with my heroes and heroines and have fallen for them all. It’s time I let others love them too.

Please God, let others love them too.

– – – – –

Carol Burnside is an award-winning author traditionally published in short stories. Five of her novel length manuscripts have placed in numerous RWA chapter contests and won five, including the prestigious Maggie Award for Excellence. Writing as Annie Rayburn, she has three speculative fiction, e-published, erotic romances which have been favorably received.

Carol knows romance. She’s an avid reader and experienced her own second chance at love story which resulted in a thirty-plus year marriage to her high school sweetheart.  Learn more about her “sizzling romance that tugs at your heart” on her website,


Marilyn Baron - October 15, 2013 - 7:58 am


I know you will achieve your dream. You have the talent and the drive (and you have Susan pushing you. Ha Ha.) Sometimes it just takes determination to push you to the next level. And we are all here supporting you and believing in you.

Michele Stefanides - October 15, 2013 - 8:10 am

I’m happy to hear this! I enjoy your books very much, and I’m confident many others will, too.

Sia Huff - October 15, 2013 - 9:07 am

Great news, Carol. I know many readers will love your characters. May all your dreams come true.

Pam Asberry - October 15, 2013 - 9:41 am

That is so exciting, Carol! You go, girl! We are all here cheering for you! :-)

Connie Gillam - October 15, 2013 - 10:19 am


Sometimes we have to fall off that cliff. Good luck with your releases. I know you’ll find that reader base you’re looking for.
Now I need to jump off that same cliff and let my babies go out into the world.

Debbie Kaufman - October 15, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Go, Carol! Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Diving In” song is my life motto!

Carol Burnside - October 15, 2013 - 2:11 pm

Aw, thanks, Michele. You made my day!

Carol Burnside - October 15, 2013 - 2:11 pm

Thanks, Sia. I appreciate the support and encouragement.

Carol Burnside - October 15, 2013 - 2:12 pm

Hey, that’s cool. I’ve got a cheering section. LOL!

Carol Burnside - October 15, 2013 - 2:13 pm

Thanks, Connie. I sure hope so. I love my characters so much and want others to also.

Carol Burnside - October 15, 2013 - 2:13 pm

Diving in is right. Somewhere in all those releases I have to continue writing so there’s something for the next year.

Carol Burnside - October 15, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Marilyn, somehow I missed your comment the first time around. Apologies! I appreciate your support and belief in me.

Susan Carlisle - October 15, 2013 - 6:55 pm

Oh, they will! I love them too! It is a big yep but you can do it.

Carol Burnside - October 15, 2013 - 9:30 pm

Thanks for the push, Susan. I needed it and your faith in my stories. My long time friend, Sharon was here this weekend and she was super excited to know that she’d finally be able to hold one of my books in her hand. She’s been a fan of Sam and Rosie for years.

Laura Russell - October 16, 2013 - 4:56 am

Hi Carol,
Catching up on the blog- you’re right, you can jump off the cliff like the contestants in your favorite shows. And you are an inspiration. I’m looking forward to seeing your stuff in print. Good Luck!

Maxine Davis - October 16, 2013 - 10:23 am

Carol, Great critique partners think alike. On the way home from M&M Tami picked up a notebook and said we were going to talk about me and what I was going to put out there next year. She wouldn’t stop until the plan was written, I agreed and she shipped it out and told me to take it home and do it! God Bless Her. I needed that. Congratulations to you!

Carol Burnside - October 16, 2013 - 1:38 pm

Thanks Laura. I took a leap yesterday and sent off my first manuscript to an editor. Fingers crossed that I can keep up with the pace.

Carol Burnside - October 16, 2013 - 1:45 pm

Maxine, that’s wonderful. Call me and we’ll commiserate and encourage each other through the ‘humps’ in this journey. Congrats to you, too!

Sandy Elzie - October 19, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Hi Carol,
Moonlight and Magnolias was a great time to make contacts and set coming goals. I did the same. I’ve just sent two out and I’m patiently….okay, well, not exactly patiently…waiting to hear.

Good luck on your plan and your promotion!

Carol Burnside - October 20, 2013 - 3:45 pm

Thanks, Sandy. Same to you!

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