New Covers? Untethered? What’s Up With All That?

Has anyone noticed that a lot of my books are getting new covers?  (Har har!) OR that my newest book, Untethered, is way later in being released than initially anticipated?  (Har har triple-har!)

Well, I figured that, along with a new random contest for this week (1st week in April!  Hallelujah!), I’d do a little explaining.  And we’ll start with Untethered:

Here’s what happened…stress, pressure, more stress, the Winter Blahs, and me needing to reboot!  Those are some of the reasons that Untethered was delayed.  I had hoped to see Untethered finished and released last autumn, but it just wasn’t flowing out of my mushy brain the way I wanted it to.  I didn’t want to rush it, and I was.  🙁

I really, really, really love this book!  It’s in the same genre and ‘feel’ in my soul as The Visions of Ransom Lake, Dusty Britches, Weathered Too Young, etc. and when I began to dread working on it, I knew I needed to let it go for a while.  So I set it aside and waited until I thought I was back in the swing.  But then I found I was still forcing it.  For some reason, I just couldn’t find my rhythm with this book!

To be honest, it freaked me out quite a bit!  I started thinking, “Oh no!  I’m lost it!  I’ve lost my groove!  What if I never recover it?  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!”  And obviously, those are not great thoughts to be having when one is writing!  So I stepped back again…waited a little while, and then tried to return to writing Untethered.  But, just like before, it wasn’t happening!

You see, I had the story in my mind…the whole thing!  But putting it on paper seemed such a daunting task, that I just couldn’t do it!  I couldn’t find my stride.  And I confess, this went on for several months…which of course caused me to begin panicking…which of course kept me from being able to write…which of course stressed me out…which of course made me unable to write…which of course kept me up at night…which of course caused me to be sleep-deprived…which of course stressed me out…which of course caused me to pack on the hard-fought 10 pounds I’d managed to lose…which of course stressed me out…which of course kept me from being able to find my stride…which of course….So you’re getting the idea, right?

Well, one night, my darling super-hero husband, was trying to talk me off the ledge, so to speak, and suggested we rearrange some things to ease up my time.  What he suggested, simple as it may have seemed to him, hit me like an epiphany!  I felt the stress begin to swirl down the drain and immediately began to feel free, inspired and motivated.  The 10 pounds was still back on, but I felt like I’d lost 50!

I went to bed that night feeling refreshed, hopeful and with some peace of mind I hadn’t had in forever!  And when I woke up the next morning, I sat down at my computer, pulled up my Untethered Master Doc and decided to start to read through the book starting at the very, very beginning.

I read the copyright page, then went on to the dedication.  That’s when I realized that, although I’d put in WHO I wanted to dedicate the book to, and some buzz words for what I wanted to say…I had never fully written out the dedication!  Hello?  You know how, that unless I have the title for a book chosen, then I can’t hit my stride?  Well, it hit me in the face that the same was true for Untethered where the dedication page was concerned!  I mean, does the word “Duh” mean anything to you?

I decided then and there, that if I got nothing else written that day, I needed to get that dedication in my mind and heart.  So I sat there for a brief 3 minutes and wrote the simple, short dedication.  WHAM!!!!!  Whoomp there it was!  That was all I needed!  The last little piece of the puzzle to pull the trigger on the starting gun had been put in place…and as I began to reread Chapter One of Untethered, I began to find the rhythm of my stride once more!

Wow!  It was like magic!  As I reread the first chapter, the book as a whole began to come together again!  What had once been in pieces (part of a chapter here, and part of a chatper there) began to knit together perfectly!  I LOVED my book again!

Believe me…Untethered has been a hard book for me to write…for several reasons…but I LOVE it!  And I’m hoping you will, too!  And I’ll tell you this…the hero is one of my all-time favorites!  I’d put him neck-and-neck with Ransom Lake or Mason Carlisle!  THAT’S how much I love who he is and what he does!  He’s an awesome kisser, too!  (Just in case that helps you to favor him.)

Now, the other thing I wanted to talk to you about is the cover redesigns that have been taking place over the past few months.  Though 99% of the responses Distractions Ink (or myself) has received have been wonderfully positive, understanding and supportive, I have received one or two questions as to “WHY?” the covers are changing.

The answer is simple…sort of.  Way back in the olden days (2001, 2002, 2003), scenic covers were ‘in’ and I pulled a lot of weight where their concept was concerned.  I even chose the cover concepts for my first four published books.  However, once the “Love Notes” collection began to come out from another publisher that I’d agreed to work with, that was the end of my choices.  AND that’s when I began increasingly unhappy with my covers.

The other hurdle I had to leap (and you know that I haven’t run track meets in over 30 years) was that I couldn’t get hold of the cover artist I’d always dreamed of having, Sheri Brady.  I had known from day one that Sheri was who I wanted to do my covers.  But she was unavailable at the time, and so I limped along with covers that were either chosen for me, or that were not what I’d dreamed Sheri Brady could do.

Then, miracles of miracles, in 2009, Sheri’s schedule finally opened up and I was able to beg her to squeeze Marcia Lynn McClure covers into her business.  The timing was right, too, because I was beginning to regain control of all my titles…winning back the printing rights from another publisher, etc.

Sheri knows me VERY well, and she started off carefully easing me to a different direction with Weathered Too Young…the silhouetted cowboy image!  From there, she began to empower me with the realization that I was the author of these books…and that not many author’s can choose what they want for covers…but I could.

Since the day we met in 1995, Sheri has been one of the greatest forces for helping to buoy me up and encourage me to stretch and be strong!  (Kevin had been the only one who could do that up until I met her, and I’m sure he was glad to finally have an ally!)  And as I finally let go of the fear of redesigning covers and the reaction readers would have, I felt liberated!

I loved the covers of those early books…11 years ago, I loved them.  But times have changed, and with the advancement of e-books and the changes in reading culture, my books all needed a face-lift.  I’d wanted them to have that chance FOREVER, and even though I know some of us will always cling to those old covers, the new ones inspire me!

The McCall Trilogy is a perfect example of how those three stories FINALLY have a cover I can be proud of, smile over, and sigh with contentment!  I LOVE the new An Old-Fashioned Romance cover, too!  And did you just nearly faint when you saw what Sheri did with The Prairie Prince and a photo of Kevin?  Ahhhhhhhh! I LOVE IT!

The new cover of The Visions of Ransom Lake was probably the one that freaked me out the most while Sheri and I were working on it.  I mean…HANDSOME RANSOM LAKE!!!!  I wanted it to be perfectly what I envisioned!  And thanks to Sheri “The Miracle Worker”, graphics design QUEEN…it is!

And that brings me to the upcoming re-release of Shackles of Honor.  Yikes!  I’m not sure whether it will premier this week or next week…but YIKES!  The new cover is GORGEOUS, of course!  But my teeth are chattering all the same!  This is a nerve-wracking process, you know!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  We’ll just have to wait and see what you think when it releases.

But…I suppose I’ve rambled for far too long…just judging from the length of this blog!  Yuck!  Sorry about that! 🙁

So let’s get down to brainless business, shall we?  This week’s contest!  Yippee!

So last week was the Michael’s Gift Card…and the winner is…Jessica Spafford!  E-mail your snail mail address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com, Jessica and I will get your gift card in the mail to you!  (Psst…thanks to my Customer Framer Friend, Jaclyn for chiming in!  I feel so special!)

As for this weeks contest…hmmm.  How about…the DVD edition of Little Dorrit (starring Matthew Macfadyen!)?  Yep!  That’s it!  Leave a comment on why you like Matthew Macfadyen, period drama movies, or anything somehow related, and you’ll be entered to win!  Fun!  Do you need a little video clip to whet your whistle?  Ooo!  Then here’s one (below)!  Love it!

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40 Responses to New Covers? Untethered? What’s Up With All That?

  1. Sil says:

    I haven’t seen this yet but I love love love period type movies!

  2. Dawn says:

    Marcia, you are amazing! I am sooo excited to read Untethered but I am also enjoying re reading all the books you already have out. I don’t think I will ever get tired of reading them. I am addicted to the kissing 🙂 (My hubby likes them too)

  3. Nikki says:

    Honey – you rock the casbah! Take a deep breath every day and fill your lungs and soul with all the love and appreciation your family, friends and fans have for you! You are a GEM!!! Glad you tethered your mojo 😉 HAPPY DAY, SHMOOPSIE! XOXOXOXO

  4. Shawnette Ramos says:

    I haven’t seen or heard of this one!!! I love these kind of movies!!!

  5. Amy Lilly says:

    One of the main reasons I love the new covers is how pretty they look sitting next to each other on the bookshelf. I feel like my collection is more like a show piece than it was before! Congrats! I am thrilled for you and love how nice my Marcia section of my bookcase looks!

  6. Astasia Catanzaro says:

    Never seen this one, but it’s right up my alley!! If I don’t win I just might have to buy it or find it somewhere 🙂

  7. Heather Hilmer says:

    I’ve never seen this! I love Matthew Macfadyen in Pride and Prejudice! I would much rather wait longer for Untethered than have you push yourself to write it to get it done for us. I think it’s your passion for what you write that makes the stories magical for us and makes us love them too! I am so excited to hear you say this hero is right up there with Ransom and Mason!!!!-Those are my two books that I always say tie as my very favorites!! I CAN NOT WAIT for the new cover design of Shakles of Honor!-That is THE ONE I have been anticipating the most!

  8. Cami S. says:

    Love Little Dorrit. I watched it when it came on PBS! Keep up the good work. You are the Best!!!

  9. Danielle Purser says:

    I so so so loved him in Pride and Prejudice, most people i know did not like that version of it and i thought they were all crazy. I fell in love with Matthew and after seeing the movie went on a rampage to see what over romances he was in and didnt find much at all but last year i came across little dorrit and re fell in love with Matthew. I love love loved this movie and even a little more then Pride and Prejudice.

  10. AubreyB says:

    Haven’t even heard of this movie, but with Matthew Macfadyen, it’s gotta be good. 🙂 I’ve only seen him in the Pride & Prejudice with Kiera Knightley, which I absolutely love.

  11. Connie Barnes says:

    I haven’t seen Little Dorrit but I love watching that period.

  12. Leisha says:

    This is too funny!! I was just looking at the prices for this on Amazon! I just discovered Little Dorrite a couple of months ago and have been wanting it ever sense…I’ve only seen half of it from watching it online from some Japanese site! My husband almost had a aneurism, thinking I was downloading Japanese viruses on our compute haha!

  13. Lena says:

    I am loving the new covers. I am excited for the release of untethered but i will wait because I know good thing come to those who wait.

  14. Emily says:

    Love, love, LOVE the new covers!

    Mathew McFadyen is ever so dreamy!

    Little Dorrit is on my wish list.

    You are fantastic! So glad you got your groove back! = )

  15. Carrie Miller says:

    I love British period movies, but I’m not a huge fan of Charles Dickens (except Christmas Carol, of course), so I was reluctant to watch “Little Dorrit”. But then I remembered that I had seen “Nicholas Nickleby” before I knew it was based on a Dickens book and I really liked it, so I decided maybe I would try “Little Dorrit”. I rented it from our town library and really enjoyed it! I watched it all in one sitting because it was driving me CRAZY not to know what the mom was supposed to “Never forget”!!

  16. Lindsey Olmstead says:

    I’ve never heard of Little Dorrit but I absolutely love period drama movies. They definitely make me happy.

  17. Chelsea B. says:

    I like Matthew Macfadyen because of Pride and Prejudice! Pride and Prejudice makes everything better! Haha 😉

  18. Robyn Selk says:

    I love period drama movies. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win the DVD.

  19. Teya Peck says:

    Marcia, I LOVE the new covers. I keep checking my list of book to see if I have the ones with the new covers. I love the “shakles of honor” cover so much I might just buy it in book. I’m thrilled you’ve been inspired and can’t wait to see what else becomes of that inspiration. YOU GO GIRL!

  20. Lara says:

    Your new covers are gorgeous! Keep it up!

    I haven’t had the chance to see Little Dorrit yet, but my sister rave about it.

  21. Jelaire Topham says:

    Why I love period dramas? Really? Easiest question ever! Costume ideas! I’m learning to sew and while I can’t make costumes quite that detailed, yet, I’m learning basics that never really seemed to stick when I learned them in my sewing classes at school. I have a few pieces that were inspired by period dramas and I love wearing them because people are always amazed that someone could make them at home.
    The other reason I love them is that I am a hopeless romantic! Which is also one of the many reasons I love your books!
    And I love the new covers! They suit me just fine! I love the old ones too but the new ones just seem so…new! It makes me feel like I’m reading a whole new book rather than just rereading the ones I already know and love!

  22. Ada DeClark says:

    I really enjoy your books Marcia. Read a few a few years ago and have rediscovered them again in the last year. Thanks for writing such enjoyable books. I enjoyed “Little Dorrit” ON PBS even though I am not much of a Dickens fan I am a HUGE masterpiece theatre fan,(Downton Abbey-yeahh) contemporary, mystery or Classic. It is all about the accent. Have a copy of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth of course. And I have always enjoyed reading regency romance and like period movies.

  23. Michelle Christensen says:

    I love Little Dorrit. She inspires me to be less selfish and more lady-like. What better way to continue my journey than with a copy of her show of my very own? Thanks for the chance.

  24. Angeline Jarvis says:

    Movies from that time period are just way better! Nothing compares to them.

  25. Chris Bails says:

    Love the period pieces. Loved Pride & Prejudices, Sense and Sensibility, and Little Women. Especially love Downtown Abby. Love watching those types of shows, makes me wonder what those times were like.

  26. Sandy says:

    Oh, Marcia! Take your time on Untethered! We can wait, especially if it keeps you happy and writing.

    I love, love, love Little Dorrit. I watched it on Masterpiece Classic when it debuted in the U.S., and I was going crazy each week waiting for the next episode to find out how it ended. I was reduced to Googling summaries of the book to find out the ending because I just couldn’t wait. The ending of Little Dorrit is one of my favorite period drama endings…North and South being my absolute favorite of all time (I’ve been known to watch the last ten minutes of that one on repeat for an hour!).

  27. Kristin Amrine says:

    I’m a new comer to your web page–first time in fact. I just finished reading The Visions of Ransome Lake and of course I’m hooked. What a better way to start out my regular blog visits then to win a DVD that looks fabulous!

  28. Mippy says:

    Hee..I love when you ramble 😀
    And this trailer makes this look like a super good story to watch! I’ve never seen it before. 🙂

  29. Mary Shakespear says:

    Can’t believe I have been missing out and have never heard of this Charles Dickens story and movie.

  30. Sharon says:

    This seriously my FAVORITE movie! I can’t get enough of it when it airs on PBS. I love getting lost in their story and honestly who can resist a little Matthew McFadden face time, love him!?!?!?!

    P.S. Thank you for always writing the perfect kiss! Û

  31. Alysha J says:

    I just love period drama’s. It seems like I go through phases where I watch every period drama out there is just a matter of weeks. Right now I need my period drama kick.

  32. Holly says:

    I have become a recent fan of yours. I love your books! I love knowing that I can read a clean book without being preached at the whole time (I am religious but I hate to read books where I am preached at) and there is still all the kissing that makes it good.
    My friend told me about Little Dorrit but I haven’t seen it yet! I love time period movies because they have every girls dream guy in it!

  33. Raylyn says:

    I love this movie and I love Matthew McFaden because of his deep and passionate eyes. You can tell by his eyes the thoughts or feelings he is trying to convay. Along those same lines is Richard Armitage, (North and South, BBC). Our American actors could take a few lessons in the “slow burn” from these two. My favorite quote sums it up: “The soul that can speak with its eyes can also kiss with a gaze.”

  34. I am a new fan of yours – our book club read A Crimson Frost. I LOVE the new cover! Can’t wait to check out the rest of your books! Love you writing!

  35. Annette says:

    Speaking of untethered… you still haven’t put up a teaser for it. No description, no excerpt. Will there be one???

  36. JJ says:

    Marcia, I just finished Untethered (in less than 24 hours 🙂 and I LOVED it! I love all your books but this book has reached new heights. I loved all the adventure and twists and turns and want to thank you for not giving up on us out here in “reader land”. I had 4 children in 5 years and I’m a stay-at-home mom. Your books are often what get me through my crazy days while I think “just 4 more hours until the kids’ bedtime and then I can read Marcia”!! Thanks again for putting another smile on my face and keeping a momma happy 🙂 Much love!!

  37. Kate Raitt says:

    I have really enjoyed each of your books. I’m looking forward to reading Untethered too but they don’t have it on Amazon. Will it be there soon so I can get it for my kindle?

  38. Kate Raitt says:

    I have been a fan of all your books. Will Untethered be available at Amazon for kindle?

  39. Alexis says:

    Because of the new covers I cant tell what books are in the love collection so u mind telling me and what order they go in and where I can get them

  40. Alexis says:

    Love notes collection sorry

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