Sunday, July 3, 2011

What the heck was I thinking?

What the Heck was I Thinking?

Nearly fifteen years ago I wanted desperately to own a bookstore. I've always been fond of books, okay, obsessed would be a better word. Well, my boyfriend (now husband) went right out and bought me one. I learned a valuable lesson. Owning and running are two very different things. We owned the store for about five years, during which time I somehow ended up starting a publishing house. I had already been published at that point, so it seemed like a logical progression.

A year or so into that, the bookstore went by the wayside and I jumped from the frying pan directly into the publishing fire.

At first things went pretty easy, then it was kinda like the bookstore, I discovered it was a lot easier owning a publishing company than running one. But by the time I figured that out, I was hooked. I couldn't quit if I wanted to. Thing is, now, almost eleven years later, I have no desire to quit. I have fallen hopelessly and totally obsessed with publishing. I love discovering new authors and introducing them to readers. It's like riding a roller coaster for me. The ups and downs, something hits, something misses, I find a great story and the author is horrible. Or I find a fabulous author and they need to learn so much more about the craft.

The hardest part about being a publisher is not having the time to write anymore. I was a reader first, then an author, then a bookseller, then a publisher. During all of this I have managed to keep my proverbial pen in the ink, but it has not been an easy or satisfying compromise.

I miss writing. I miss having the voices in my head talk to me. Okay, they still do, but I spend most of the time ignoring them because I just don't have time to focus on my own stuff. I have responsibilities to my authors and I feel horribly guilty if I don't put all my efforts into them.

So when do I write? Well, I was just driving from Orlando to Jacksonville and inspiration struck so I had hubby, who was sitting in the passenger seat, get out the pen and paper and make some notes before I forgot them.

The balancing act is hard and the writing usually takes a backseat, but recently I've had more people discovering my old books and stories and they are actually buying my work, so I am trying to squeeze in an hour or so of writing every couple of days. I will admit to being extremely jealous of those people who can take the time to write. I will also say that I find it difficult to keep the story ideas at bay. I am cursed with a very vivid imagination and I come up with at least two new story ideas a day, but most of them I just ignore and try to make them go away because I know I won't have the time to flesh them out and write them.

My question for you is, have you read my books or short stories? What do you think? If you have not, today is your lucky day. I just put up a revised version of short I wrote back in 2003. You can read "Devlin's Wicked Wish," a romantic holiday time travel for FREE. I know, right. FREE!

The moon is bright and love is in the air, but Devlin Wilde has no time for it. Nor does he give much thought to what might be missing from his empty life, until a New Orleans' voodoo priestess offers him the deal of a lifetime--love--a hundred years in the future. "Bring my true love to me."

Level-headed Alayna Pedrieux never expected the wish she'd jokingly made during a Halloween ball to come true. But it had. Standing in her foyer was a man as handsome as the devil, and insisting he's been brought forward in time.

Together, Devlin and Alayna realize true love can exist, but to keep it one of them would have to give up everything.

The easiest place is If you download it, I'd love to k now what you think.

Karen L. Syed is the president and COO of Echelon Press, LLC. Every day is a new success story for her as she continues to grow herself and her business. She has seen seven of her own novels published (writing as Alexis Hart), along with numerous articles and short stories. As a former bookstore owner, she garnered a nomination from Publishers Weekly for their Bookseller of the Year award. She is committed to helping and encouraging everyone she comes in contact with to seek a healthier and more positive quality of life by reaching for their dreams.

Her newest fascination has taken root in the Steampunk industry. This tremendously interesting genre based in the Victorian era is helping to feed a minor obsession with the time period. She is currently embarking on her own Steampunk series called Petticoat Junction. With more than a quarter of a century experience in the book industry, she hopes this one will propel her into the bestseller category. Time will tell.

You can learn more about Karen Syed at

1 comment:

Author Guy said...

Have you considered posting your story ideas so someone else might be able to use them? Maybe not the way you had in mind, but no one does that.