Dead Weight by T.R. Ragan

Meet Caroline Fyffe!

I’m an equine photographer turned western historical romance author.  I have to say I think I’ve had two of the most enjoyable jobs a person can have.  I’ve spent 20 years photographing horses at horse shows and farm shoots, and now I get to write about them.  What could be better?  I’m married and have two amazing sons, of whom I’m very proud.  My oldest has recently earned an MBA and landed a good job—double yay in this economy.  My youngest is still in college and also a United States Army Reservist.  He returned home from Iraq on 11/11/11! How amazing is that?  A mother could not be prouder.

How many pages do you think you could write in a day with zero interruptions from 8am to 8pm?

It’s been years since I’ve counted pages.  I go by word count and work to get something like 1,000 or 2,000 a day.  I usually end up somewhere in-between.  I play a game with myself where I set a goal to reach with the time I have.  I break it down by hour and minutes.  I know I have to write X amount of words each ten minutes to attain the goal by 5 pm—that’s when I go down and watch the news.  I start at 7am and work until about 11:30am, take a break and trudge to the basement where I run on my treadmill, then back at it an hour later.

Did you ever want to quit writing? Why or why not?

Actually, I did quit.  From about 2002 until about 2006 I stopped writing and submitting.  I guess I was discouraged.  But, as time went by, I found I was unhappy and decided I’d start back up with the intent on submitting to contests—nothing else. (I really liked contests. LOL) It was barely a year after I started again I got a request from winning the 2008 TARA and was offered a publishing contract.

What are your writing career goals? (i.e. to write 2 books a year? To hit the NY Bestsellers List? To sell 100 books a month?)

All of the above!  A girl can dream, can’t she? In addition to those, I’d LOVE to see WHERE THE WIND BLOWS as a movie.  A good western—with handsome cowboys, beautiful horses—cattle and of course, a spit fire heroine, is hard not to love on the screen.  In that same vein, The McCutcheons are just itching for a weekly TV show on Lifetime.  LOL I believe one may as well dream big!

How do you think (take a guess) writers like Nora Roberts write so many books in a year?

For one, it’s their job.  But in addition, I think a writer gets faster with each book as she gains confidence in her abilities.  Insecurity in what we’re writing, or how we’re doing it, is what slows us down.  Those amazing authors have shown to themselves that they can do it—and that what they write is gold.  Each morning they just sit down and go for it!

Any advice for a new writer getting started?

Enjoy what you do.  Smile while you write.  Make friends with other writers. Get in a support group. Be courteous. Pat yourself on the back with your successes.  Comfort yourself when disappointments come. Know that very few people can do what you do. Never give up. Know life is short. Believe in yourself, your message.  And remember—no one can write the book that’s in your heart better than you can….     

Thanks for joining me today, Caroline! Years ago, Caroline and I were critique partners and then later we became brainstorming partners. We have shared many ups and downs and lots of laughs over the years. We have also roomed together at RWA conferences and shopped for clothes before conference. Caroline is as sweet as her books.

For more information about Caroline, you can find her at:

Caroline's Website/Blog

163,007 books sold in 10 months

January Sales Update II

Totals are as of January 24, 2012 @ 10PM and do NOT include 106,000 FREE downloads
(Amazon and B&N combined Sales)

Return of the Rose - Released March 2, 2011 $2.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March: 298
April: 894
May: 1,600
June: 1,475
July: 1,291
August: 2,352
September: 1,955
October: 1,527
November: 981
December: 1,074
January: 1,173*

Total: 14,620*

A Knight in Central Park- Released March 18, 2011 $.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March: 247
April: 6,071
May: 4,306
June: 2,414
July: 1,330
August: 9,812
September: 2,088
October: 1,348
November: 876
December: 2,383
January: 2,343*

Total: 33,218*

Taming Mad Max - Released April 25, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Comedy

April: 30
May: 182
June: 265
July: 310
August: 934
September: 1,872
October: 2,125
November: 2,150
December: 1,561
January: 3,889*

Total: 13,318*

Finding Kate Huntley - Released May 5, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense

May: 187
June: 261
July: 325
August: 1,159
September: 3,363
October: 2,089
November: 1,095
December: 4,421
January: 2,192*

Total: 15,092*

Abducted - Released May 29, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

May: 25
June: 694
July: 1,708
August: 12,917
September: 39,413
October: 18,176
November: 6,645
December: 3,649
January: 1,870*

Total: 85,097*

Dead Weight - Released December 22, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

December: 451
January:    1,211*

Total: 1,662*

*sales as of January 24, 2012 @ 10 PM (B&N and Amazon combined)

Exciting times.

My advice to any writer is to try it all. Go the traditional route and self-publish too. It's exciting to be an author and a publisher. I decide on cover art, editing, formatting. I do my own marketing and promotion. For more info on self-publishing, go to my LINKS tab.

I am very excited about my review of Abducted by Kirkus Reviews. Go HERE to read it. Above you'll see a spike in sales for Taming Mad Max and Finding Kate Huntley. I have put those two books in KDP's Prime Lending Program. Both books went free for 3 days and reaped the benefits after the 3 days were over. I plan to have each of my books in the prime lending program at least once for the three month period. As of today I have about 1,500 borrows for two books in January. Last month I had a total of over 1,200 borrows.   

Try everything! Believe in yourself. Do not stress about making mistakes. If you decide to try the 90 day exclusive thing and it doesn't work for you, at least you tried it. No Fear! You only live once.

The only one who is going to look out for you, is YOU. 

Be happy. Stay positive. Work hard and never ever give up on your dreams.


Brenda Hiatt is collecting data on independent publishing. Help her out by sharing your numbers so that we can all benefit. It's all done anonymously. Click HERE for more information.

If you are thinking about self-publishing, but don't know where to start when it comes to marketing, promotion and formatting, don't worry. There are so many helpful authors willing to share what they have learned. My advice to you is to join Indie Romance Ink run by Cate Rowan and Carly Carson. There are over 500 members. Many IRI members are traditionally published and have already self-published a book or two. Some members are undecided. All are welcome to join and learn.

Twice a month I share my number of books sold in hopes that these numbers might help other writers make their own decisions about self-publishing. Every writer has their own personal and unique journey. My hope is that I can inspire others out there who are working hard at their craft to NEVER GIVE UP. Let me know if you have any questions at all.

Other authors who share numbers:

Lisa Mondello
Debra Holland
Norah Wilson
D.D. Scott
Trish McCallan and Jolyn Palliata