Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pepper Pace 2013 Restrospect pt 2 of 2

Thanks for returning for part 2 of my 2013 Retrospect

When it was time for me to do the panel discussion my nervousness immediately disappeared. The readers were so interested in my thoughts or stories that I felt very comfortable. I do not believe that I will ever be uncomfortable again discussing what I know; Pepper Pace and Pepper Pace stories.

Also, the Throwaway Year give-away was a HIT! Sienna Mynx screamed when I announced that I had a never before published book for them all. It turns out that Sienna is a fan of Pepper Pace!!!

Back at home I had The Throwaway Year professionally edited and released. And then I began the tiresome process of having each of my books re-edited professionally. The current re-edits are:
  • Urban Vampire 1 & 2
  • Wheels of Steel books 1-3
  • They Say Love is Blind
I began finishing up Urban Vampire 3 but I had a dilemma. Urban Vampire, books 1 & 2 had gone through some major changes that truly enhanced the story. But there is no way that I can resale the same book--that's not fair to anyone. So I decided to include them as a bookset with the release of Urban Vampire 3, allowing the first two books to be free AND giving everyone the opportunity to re-read each book in the series before going to the third one in the series.

After the cruise something amazing happened (more amazing than feeling relaxed in my skin as a writer), I began to receive invitations to be involved in meet and greets, panel discussions, interviews, Slam Jam, writing collaborations. Wow...it is truly an amazing feeling. I accepted one meet and greet hosted by my new friend Erosa Knowles and me and by Bestie hit the road for North Carolina.
A Haunted Meet and Greet with Author Cheri Hodges.

My first time meeting Cheris and I loved her style and attitude!

The event was small but so well put together by Erosa and I didn't have an instant of trepidation. I got the opportunity to eat, chat and sale some books (which made me feel like a pimp!) to fans and readers. It finally hit home that people will drive miles, pay money just to meet me; Pepper Pace. So then feeling humbled I started selling books 2 for 1 and giving away bookmarks etc. until my Bestie stopped me because we were both broke and needed money for gas in order to get home :/ Noooo Pepper Pace is far from rich!
Margaret drove 3 hours to hang with us

Talking about what inspired me to write The Throwaway Year

She bought so many of my books I started giving some to her just for naming the characters, lol
Okay, want to know what truly freaked me out the most? When I checked my Facebook I saw several posts about the event and discussions about what I was wearing, how down to earth I was, my style and about how freaked out the fans were to meet me. Oh. My. God. I whispered to my best friend, "What do I say???" She didn't know, so I posted on Facebook, "Oh my God I got to meet Margaret! She is awesome!" It was funny. I had a hoot in North Carolina!

But things began to sour quickly upon my return home. I could go into detail but I won't because I am not the only person that has had to deal with hardship this year. I have a life that is completely separate from my writing and that life has its ups and downs just like everyone else's. I will say this; I don't write full time. I work a full time job and not just a full time job but an alternate work schedule called 5, 4, 9. It means on week one I work 5 days a week. Four of those days are 9 hours while the last day is 8. Then week 2 I work four days a week for 9 hours.

On my 9 hour days I come home too tired to write but I force myself to do some editing so that I can release my re-edits. Unfortunately by all outward appearances it would appear as if I'm doing nothing. If I hadn't written down and shared this with you through this blog, then all of the things that I did as Pepper Pace would amount to publishing A Seal upon my Heart and 3 stories for a collaboration that barely made a blip on the scree. It would appear as if I just sit back collecting royalties and making false promises about the release date of books while the world waits for Wheels of Steel 4 and Urban Vampire 3 and maybe a sequel to Juicy or a sequel to They Say Love is Blind. Insert sad face. This can not be furthest from the truth. I am constantly writing, re-editing, sleeping and working. AND...I get burned out from it.

While I mentally spazzed out as my muse skipped town--deserting me completely, I started a new collaboration. Because I'm a glutton for punishment...that's why (I know you are asking why). The collaboration takes a shit-ton of time not to mention that I am a member of the newly formed Council for the IR reader's cruise, which also requires lot of time to formulate, plan and assign duties.

No understatement when I say that I am tired! There was just too much writing, editing, thinking, coming, going and worrying.  I decided that I needed to do something creative to keep my mind occupied. I began to design bookmarks. I decided that I would sell them. Then I created a calendar and decided to sell those too. Then I designed some t-shirts and decided to open an online shop for the purpose of selling those as well. Then I decided that I was nuts and that I wasn't doing any of those things because it would definitely stress me out more!

And life moved on while I did these things instead of writing. I've had surgery, a long distance relationship, and every day ups and downs. My mother was just diagnosed with stage 3 Cancer which required her to undergo a recent hysterectomy. A few days later I lost my Uncle to a sudden death, and my cat of 13 years had to be put down.

And then one day I found a poem that so profoundly effected me that I had no choice but to recognize some truths about myself. There is pain that wafts over and around me like a cloak and because I have refused to let go of that old pain I suffer daily. You see, many years ago my life was intertwined with a man that I'd loved for nearly 10 years. He died abruptly. I did not see myself walking this path without him.

And I believed that I stopped walking it all together because he wasn't there with me. 
The quiet I keep on the thin path to the meadow is the hardest.
The sound of your talk below and wind in the trees is an oracle, our future now.
I'm caught beneath the tilt of maples and cry of difference between ten-thousand things; leaf and stone, wind and grass, me, you.
How could I live without you my love, even for an afternoon?
When the sun comes up I open ten-thousand eyes to you,
when it sets I open ten thousand more.
I am remembering and watching you at the same time.
Do not miss me when I am gone, my true and only friend,
do not even think of me, I could not bear to know it

-Chard DiNiord
I anguished over how out of control my life was heading, and I read books and stories to find ways to escape and lose myself--because writing is now something I HAVE to do instead of that familiar 'Therapy' I indulged in for hours on end. Insert another sad face. I'm not having a pity party because although I am still tired, I am also determined! I am shedding my self-doubt, my false face and have accepted the challenge that I can be something so much more important. And it can only happen when I let go of the past and embrace a positive future with positive people and positive thoughts.

And so here I am, the last day of 2013, a year that has been so fabulous but also hard, sad and scary. I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions. But if I did I would resolve to stay on this path and to not falter and to know that fear is not tangible. But it is a dangerous thing because it can be as big as your mind can make it.

I love you guys!



  1. Happy New Year Pepper! Thank you for sharing your thoughts w/us. Life has hit us all w/struggles and it's good for us to share how each of us faces the fight. I'm excited for all the new adventures you are taking. I think if you're happy it's going to reflect in your work. I just hope that you take time to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. Your readers are understanding and know you have a lot on your plate, don't forget to make YOU a priority. The best wishes for you in 2014.

    1. Theresa, thank you for your words. I appreciate it and I hope for a wonderful New Year for you and yours :)

  2. Happy New Year to you too :)
    Wow! You had a full year! I cosign everything the nice lady above me said.
    And I just want you to know that we, your fans, greatly admire you and appreciate the gifts you bestow on us through your writing and I'm really happy that you're breaking out of the self-doubt and becoming more confident!
    I look forward to hearing from you on your blog and in your writing in 2014!
    Wishing you Love, Happiness, Peace and Good Food!!!
    Ever Your Crazy Fan Girl,

    p.s. Sooooo jealous you got to meet Ms. Mynx!

    1. Awesome Jam-Jam! Thank you and I when I first talked to Sienna Mynx I was following her into a deserted Mexican bathroom! Yikes! She glanced at me and I grimaced and said shyly "I'm not letting you go into a Mexican bathroom by yourself." She laughed that contagious Sienna Mynx laugh and we've been friends since. I can tell you stories about every one of the authors. How Tiana Laveen's Mom called me her Cincinnati daughter and when I told them all goodnight she would say, "You be careful, Baby." I told Tiana I'm adopting your Mom and later she said, Pep I'm so tired of my Mom talking about you! Haha. I'm invited to 'Mom's' house for dinner and I still haven't gone--but I will. Serenity King is soooo sweet, Erosa Knowles is sooooo funny, Yvette Hines is filled with so much passion and emotion and our fans were open, fun and enthusiastic. It was the best time ever!

  3. Hello Pepper,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feeling. Listening to Nina Simone yesterday, she was singing a song about "a new day" for the life of me I cannot remember this song fully, but basically this is a new year for you. It's all about you. I tell certain family member their can be only one and it's me (watching to much of Highlander) learning to put my needs ahead of everyone because I learn family and friends will do anything to stop you from moving ahead in life. Enjoy your life Pepper, we the readers will still be waiting for you. I do know that I am going to re-purchase the "Wheel of Steel" saga. Take care and Thank you Bain

  4. Hello Pepper.
    I am back, you are rocking that hair style. Thanks again Bain

    1. I've been experimenting with short hairstyles. I really like this one. Thanks Bain


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