Monday, March 2, 2009

Doggone Writing

My guest today is Lesli Richardson, the author of Trouble Comes in Threes, which was released February 20, 2009 and sold 600 copies the first week.

It’s a quarter till five in the afternoon and the insurrection has begun. Bubbles the bulldog starts “talking” to me in the whining bark that she only uses for dinnertime. To anyone else, it’s merely annoying. To me it screams, “Get your fat ass off the laptop and FEED ME, Mom!”

Of course, when Bubbles starts, that’s the signal for my other five dogs to chime in. (Yes, I have six dogs. No, I don’t want another one. Yes, it’s a lot of dogs. And yes, it’s a long story. Actually, I currently have seven dogs because I’m babysitting one for a good friend of mine.)

I wouldn’t get up from behind the computer if it wasn’t for my dogs and my husband and son. And trips to the coffee pot.


Ahh, the elixir of life.This is my day job. I’m a writer. I knew way back when that I wanted to be a writer. Ever since I was a kid. (And my twentieth high school reunion is this year, if that tells you anything.) Yes, I spent a few years writing non-fiction full-time. I let my fiction slip to the side because I didn’t have time to “play” with my writing. I never stopped honing my craft, never stopped learning, and never stopped trying to better my writing and editing skills.

I’m nobody special. I’m a wife and mom and staff to six dogs (and two birds and a cat that shall remain nameless because he’s the spawn of something evil). I have worked my patookie off to get where I am today. Am I making Stephen King money? No. (I wish!)

Am I paying my bills? Thankfully.

What frosts me is sometimes when people hear that some of my books are e-books, they say, “Oh, I thought you wrote real books.”

Um, according to my mortgage company, it’s real money.

I love what I do. I am living my dream—writing fiction full-time. I love that I can take people and drop them into an imaginary world and they willingly come along for the ride. I really love it when I get an email from a reader saying they couldn’t put my book down.

My equivalent of scoring a touchdown and getting to spike the ball is when a reader emails me and says I made them laugh or cry or that they read my book more than once and can’t wait to see what happens next if it’s a series.

I love that.

Not that my dogs could give a hoot. As long as kibble magically appears in their bowls by the appointed hour, they’re happy. Otherwise, the daily insurrection starts.

My dogs don’t care that I’m a writer. It’s humbling. No chance of me getting a swelled head when a black Lab has his nose stuck in my face while another tries to make off with my trackball. I tried to explain to them and negotiate with them that by writing, it allows me to buy them the quality homeopathic kibble that doesn’t contain chemicals, and hence maybe just once the insurrection could happen a little later, at least until this scene is written?

Bubbles and the gang couldn’t care less.

I love that I can wear my Sponge Bob pajamas all day and have a ten-foot commute. I love that I don’t have drive to get to work. I love that I can spend all day long playing with imaginary people and get paid to do it.

I love making people feel the way I feel when my characters come to life in my imagination. It’s a good feeling. Especially in economic times like these, knowing that I’m taking someone’s mind off of the “real world” for a while is really cool. I feel honored that people trust me with their time.

And I’m thankful beyond measure to readers, who are the reason I’m blessed enough to be able to do what I do. I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate that.

My dogs appreciate it too, although they might not say so in quite that way. Now please excuse me while I go rescue my MP3 player from a felonious canine.

Lesli Richardson is a bestselling author writing in several genres as herself and under the name Tymber Dalton. She's a snarky, stubborn native-Floridian Taurus who lives in southwest Florida with her husband, son, and a houseful of neurotic, misfit animals. She currently has over a dozen current and contracted releases, including "Doggy Style," "Love Slave for Two," "The Reluctant Dom," and "Cross Country Chaos." Available on You can find her websites at: and


Stephanie said...

She's so modest! For the record, it's not just the dogs that follow her around. Her editors do as well, she's the magical cash cow, the golden goose and we love her beyond belief! She allows us to work in our Scooby PJ's and keep our 10 ft. commutes as well.

Stephanie McGrath
Managing Copy Editor,
Lyrical Press, Inc.

Pat Bertram said...

600 copies the first week? Wow! Sounds to me as if you're somebody special. Your dogs may not realize what an accomplishment that is, but the rest of us do.

Diana_Duncan said...

Six dogs? And I thought I was nutz. *G*

Wow, Lesli, you just expressed all the reasons I love to be a writer!

Oh, and don't feel bad. We category writers get the "real books" comment, too. As a matter of fact, ALL romance writers do.

Jennifer Cruise has a great snappy quote answering nimwits who ask her when she's going to write a real book. (Which I can't for the life of me find right now, darn it!)

It's along the lines of (paraphrasing) she enjoys writing "fake books" because it gives small-minded people something to discuss.

If anyone can find that quote, it's GREAT!

Sheila Deeth said...

Wow! Going to get coffee, wishing the dog were here, and in awe at your accomplishments.

Tymber Dalton said...

Stephanie - *blushing* Thanks, my psychic/psycho twin! *LOL* Well, I already promised you a trip to Hollyweird if I ever sell the rights. *LOL*

Pat - Thank you! Surprised the hell out of me too. *LOL* But what's more impressive is that another book jumped over me to the number one slot that came out a few days after mine, meaning it sold even MORE! So yes, there's a great market for spicy books. *LOL*

Diana - Thank you! I'd love that full quote, it sounds like one I need! *LOL* Although I did actually overhear my mom the other day whispering to someone, "Yeah, she also writes as Tymber...T-Y-M..." *LOL* I thought dang! She's bragging about the "dirty" books! *LOL*

Sheila - Thank you so much! Coffee...cooooofffeeeeeee...I need one of those direct IV lines into my vein. *LOL*

Lesli Richardson said...

Okay, DUH me, obviously I wasn't logged into the right Blogger account...

And oh yeah, next time I'd just write ALL the books as me. It's double the work trying to promo two pen names. *LOL*

Lesli. (aka Tymber)

Nancy J. Parra said...

Cool Blog, Lesli-nice to meet you. Thanks for hosting Sia! My doggies are begging for their supper now-so got to go...

Lesli Richardson said...

*LOL* Thanks Nancy!

Kat Sheridan said...

Many, many congrats Lesli/Tymber! That's a huge accomplishment (I mean the writing. Staffing your menagaerie at the same time moves it into a stratospheric accomplishment!) Wishing you much continues success!

readwriteandedit said...

Real words that we can read that earn real money to pay real bills. Sounds like a "real" book to me. Enjoying your success vicariously, Lesli. I can't wait for the day I can pay my mortgage from book money.

But the dog thing? I'm afraid that will never change. I have only one and he's only 8 pounds, but when it's time to eat or head outside, he's relentless. And he acts just like a 100-pound man-eater when he wants something. No matter what I'm doing--or what my characters are doing--the dog eventually gets what he needs.

Thanks for sharing the humor of your writing day.

Judi Fennell said...

Oh, I love the "real money" line. Way to go on the copies sold!

Lesli Richardson said...

Kat - Thank you very much! I feel very blessed.

readwriteandedit - Thank you! *LOL* Yes, times are changing, as is technology. What's great is that royalties are more for e-books usually than they are for "real" books. I can sell less and make more. AND they're environmentally friendly. *LOL* One of my dogs is 12 pounds - she thinks she's as big as the rest of the dogs. *LOL*

Judi - thank you! I think the really great thing about the sales is that it means e-books are really here to stay, they're gaining market share at an incredible rate.


Dana Fredsti said...

ˆI'll see your six dogs and raise you 13 cats! And then I'll tell you that you're my new idol! I'm writing e-books now and this has been a very inspiring post for me!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I, for one, have learned an enormous amoutnt about e-books from you Lesli! I intend to pick your brain a bit more. I have a lot of respect for your accomplishments. You have a right to be proud my dear.

I'm reminded of the adage of different strokes for different folks. Like I tell my son, different doesn't mean wrong, it just means different and there's nothing wrong in being different. I enjoy seeing different avenues to publishing and writing success. Regardless of the avenue, it all requires work on the part of the author to build a reader base.

aries18 said...

You're an inspiration to us all. I love your comment about 'real money.'

Great topic, thanks for bringing Lesli to us, Sia.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Was my pleasure to do so, Wanda! I'm so glad to see you here.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Lesli, I want to thank you for beint my guest on Over Coffee. It's been a pleasure getting to know you and I've learned much from you.

I also want to thank your Editor, Stephanie McGrath for stopping by. What wonderful support you have and that speaks well of you as a person and an author.

I wish you continured success!


Mark said...

"Jennifer Cruise has a great snappy quote answering nimwits who ask her when she's going to write a real book. (Which I can't for the life of me find right now, darn it!)"

Well, the key here is she eventually did. Most likely sans the ebook route. The goal is commercial publication and hard copies on shelves regardless of genre. Nothing less will do.

Dana Fredsti said...

Actually, Mark, e-books do very nicely, especially given the interest in green, sustainable living. They will never replace hard copies (at least I hope not as I can't walk and read an e-book), but they certainly are finding their niche in the legitimate publishing world.