Anne O'Connell,  business of writing,  the writing life,  Updates

Summer Lull #amediting #amwriting

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of my writing life after surgery. Back in May, during a routine exam, the doctors discovered a large mass growing in my abdomen. It had probably been growing in there the better part of four years. I was immediately referred to an oncologist who quickly determined he was 90% sure it wasn’t cancer. I will tell you this – when you’re referred to an oncologist for anything, and there’s even a slight 10% chance that it’s cancer – writing no longer becomes important. All you care about are family, friends, and how the doctors are going to treat it. Luckily, with my family history of ovarian cancer, they didn’t screw around and by the end of May, I had surgery to have the football-sized mass removed (along with a full hysterectomy, since the damn thing was growing out of my left ovary into my uterus).

Apparently, the type of mass I had happens exclusively to women 40+ and it wasn’t cancerous. So now, over two months later I am mass and reproductive organ free and feeling SO much better. I hadn’t realized how tired I’d been and how I hadn’t felt well for awhile – until it was all gone. What I attributed to peri-menopause was actually freaky-ass mass. That’s when I realized the mass had probably been wiping me out for a few years now. Ladies – go in for your yearly exams no matter what! Other than being tired and experiencing peri-menopause symptoms (I am already chubby, so a little extra weight around the middle, I just thought I was sitting too much again) — I had no pain and no indication that anything was wrong!!!! This is why Ovarian cancer can often be a silent killer. I was VERY lucky my mass wasn’t cancerous. My mom survived ovarian cancer because they caught it very early – on a fluke. My aunt was not so lucky.

officeGetting back into writing took some time. I was down for most of June. I somehow managed to squeak out Lucifer’s Haven and do my editorial duties for Darkerwood/DB Publishing. July was slow going, too. After all, I’d lost almost two months to this thing and the domestic chores (chaos?) had piled up. As a result, my writing schedule suffered. No one wants to live in a messy house. Just before my surgery, I had begun the great office purge 2016, and it left my living room and dining room looking like an episode of Hoarders. My husband and I JUST got it all cleaned up last weekend. While my office purge will take a few more rounds before it’s completely done, I can work in here again, and that’s really nice.

My local fiction writer’s organization has offered a lot of inspiration and support during this whole thing, and in a lot of ways, it’s kept me working. At the end of last month, we had a group sponsored writing challenge where the goal was to write 25K in four days. I somehow managed it despite having to work two days at the p/t day job, and having to teach classes for a third day. And that 25K went directly toward Taming Trish and helped catapult me back into the swing of writing, editing, marketing etc…  But alas – this also means Taming Trish is still lagging behind the publishing schedule. I am going to do my best to get it into editing by August 31, for a September or October release. I also have a short story due for an anthology before the end of the month, and a couple of MSS (for other writers) that need to be edited. I have to somehow coordinate 4 releases in October. Two Darkerwood anthologies, a kick ass collector’s hardcover of David Owain-Hughes’ Wind-Up Toy series, and Taming Trish.

As I said before, I totally bit off more than I could chew this summer, and the two-month derailment didn’t help. Thank gods I didn’t put in the garden this year.

eaglestalongray4_300dpi copyWhen the going gets tough, that usually means my mind wants to work on other projects. Like the 5000+ unexpected words I churned out on Shadow Marbas during a bout of inspiration. The publishing schedule may be revamped again. Talking to my editors, they want Eagle’s Talon Gray by the end of the year, and I was hoping to have Emily Ever After (the new Tribes of Tara novel) to my publisher by end-of-year, too. That’s three novels to finish by December 31. Two of them are half done.  It seems Falling From Grace may be on hold until 2017. Next year I might concentrate on Anne a little more with Her Demon Master (the final? book in the Castle Sedgebrook series), and Collaring Amy (the potential finale in the Gilded Lily story).  So many book ideas outlined and ready to go – and only one writer with a lot going on outside of writing it seems. It’s agony some days.

So that’s my end of summer update.  Things are still moving forward though so we’re good!

For Gilded Lily fans, I think you’re going to find Taming Trish more like Training Amy, and less like Switched or Black Lily. I have a tendency to experiment and not write the same novels over and over again. Some readers enjoy it, others hate it. I don’t use a formula when I write, which is why so many of my stories are different. Of course in Taming Trish you get both Hildolf and Trish’s point-of-view. I think for this story – it gives it more depth.  Anyway – there will be an excerpt posted before the end of the month!

Also – take a look at my Events Page to see where I’m doing book signings this month and next! 🙂

Love you guys and thanks so much for reading! 🙂  Feel free to leave questions or comments below!

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 13 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)