Updates on What I’m Working On

So much of my time is spent focusing on my romances under Ruth Ann Nordin that I don’t often get over here. ūüôā It’s not that I don’t care about the books I do under Barbara, but I’m just swamped with real life and the Ruth books that these tend to get put on the back burner. I’m not sure how many books a year I’ll be putting out under this pen name. I’ll do what I can as time permits.

Right now, I have one that I am working on for a release May 5 of next year. I don’t know if I’ll get it out before then or not. But it’ll be out by May 5 for sure.

This one is a YA thriller. It’s high in psychological suspense, and there is a little bit of gruesomeness in it.¬†It’s not a¬†fantasy like the Dimensions trilogy was.

I updated the cover so that the name wasn’t scrunched up at the top. I also gave it a new font. These aren’t big changes, but I think the book looks less “cramped” this way.

you're next ebook cover 4

While I’m here posting, I thought I’d share the description and the links where you can pre-order it.

Here’s the description:

I saw a murder. One of my classmates killed another student.

And I made a tragic mistake.¬†I didn’t tell anyone right away. I didn’t tell my mom. I didn’t tell any of my teachers. I didn’t even tell the police. I was so scared that I kept it to myself.¬†By the time I got the courage to say something, no one believed me.

Only one person believes me. And he’s the one who killed her. If I could go back and change anything, it would be that I would have told everyone right away.

Because by keeping quiet, I’ve given¬†the killer an advantage. I’ve given him time.¬†Time to come up with ways to hide his crime.¬†Without a body, there is no evidence. And everyone thinks the girl is with her aunt and uncle.

Now the killer is coming after me, and he’s determined to keep me quiet…forever.

Here’s where you can find it:¬†

Barnes & Noble


Apple iBooks

If you click on this link, you’ll also be able to get to Indigo, Angus & Robertson, Mondadori. I’m not familiar with those stores, but Draft 2 Digital distributes to them.

The book won’t be available on places like Amazon, Playster, 24Symbols, Scribd, and Bibliotheca until the book is released.


While I was updating the cover for You’re Next, I contacted my cover artist, Stephannie Beman, about updating the third book cover in the Dimensions Trilogy.

Here’s the old cover:

Showdown ebook cover

Here’s the new cover:

Showdown new cover

I like the new one a lot more, and I have just gone over to Draft 2 Digital to upload it, so the changes will be going through soon on the retailers.

Working On Another Book

I had to take some time to focus on my other works, but I’m finally ready to get back to this pen name. This pen name is a side passion project of mine. Even though I primarily write romance, I also love other genres, and my second favorite is along the dark realm. I like the high suspense/psychological horror kind of feel, and I love the YA group. I read these types of books for pleasure, so I guess it makes sense that I would choose this for Barbara Joan Russell to work on.

Without further ado, here it is:

You're Next ebook cover

This is a standalone book. It’s not a short story. I’m not sure how many words it’ll be when all said and done, but I’m guessing it’ll be anywhere from 35,000 to 40,000 words long. I’m not sure if that is considered a novella or a novel in the YA genre, but when I read YA, I prefer this length.

This one is going to be the rewrite of a book I put through a vanity press over ten years ago. I am going to rewrite the entire book, but the basic premise will stay the same. I’m going to tell this one if first person. I don’t often do that. For this book, however, I need to be in first person point of view because if I were to show other viewpoints, it would ruin the twists and surprises in this book.

This was a lot of fun to write, and I expect rewriting it will be just as fun. Basically, it’s about Heather, a junior in high school, who sees a classmate kill another student. She makes the mistake of not telling anyone right away, and this gives the killer a distinct advantage since it makes the people around her reluctant to believe her. After all, if she had gone for help right away, she’d have more of a case. But shock held her in place, and that will be her undoing because her classmate knows she saw him. And he’s determined to keep her quiet…forever.

Anyway, I’m excited about it. I’ll get to start on it next week. I plan to put this on pre-order. I haven’t decided on a release date though. When I do, and I get it up, I’ll make a post over here.

I’m Going to Write What I’m Passionate About

After getting some initial feedback, I have decided to go with new covers for The Dimensions Series. So those will be changing over the next few weeks. I don’t expect The Dimensions Series to sell very well because it’s a YA romantic fantasy. Originally, thought it was more of a ¬†thriller, but it turns out that it’s primarily a romantic fantasy. It’s not a paranormal romance, and it’s not urban fantasy. (Two genres which do a lot better than general YA fantasy.)

I could have modified this to fit the trends of what’s popular, but in the end, I opted to keep the trilogy as I originally wrote it because I like this version best. I had to make some hard decisions, and one of those decisions was whether I was going to keep this story as it was meant to be or change it to fit the market.

For anyone who isn’t aware, there is a huge debate over whether authors should write to market or write what they’re passionate about. There are good arguments on both sides. I originally wrote this trilogy back in 2005, and I’m just now dusting it off and rewriting portions of it to make it a better fit for my writing style today. (For those of you who don’t know, this is my pen name. I do romance in my other name.)

As I give this pen name a launch this March with The Dimensions Trilogy and a 10,000 word story called Haunting Screams, I have decided to embrace the notion of writing for passion instead of writing to market.

In the self-publishing landscape today, a lot of authors are writing to market because it does lead to immediate sales. You reap the benefits. ¬†When you write for passion, you’re probably not going to hit any bestsellers charts. That’s what I’ve learned over the past ten years of going through CreateSpace in 2008 and getting into blogging. In 2009, I got into ebooks. Before then (back in 2002), I did vanity presses. That got much too expensive, so I had to quit. CreateSpace was the answer to making paperbacks for little cost, and I got into ebooks because I got a Kindle and wanted to read my books on them.

Back then, I wrote and published for passion. Doing any of it for a market wasn’t even in the equation. Also, back then, it was a lot easier to get noticed since so few authors were self-publishing.

Today, most authors self-publish. It was a tough call to opt to write what I’m passionate about, but in the end, this is the direction I wanted to go, so I am. I want to look back and love the stories I published. I want to enjoy them when I’m old and gray.

So I’m not going to chase trends. I’ve decided I’m going to publish these books under my pen name for pleasure. By the way, I’ve learned that just because I write a romance to market, it doesn’t mean that those book sells any better than the romances I wrote mostly for pleasure. No one can predict which stories will take off. That’s simply not under the author’s control, no matter how hard they try.

So it’s time to have some fun and enjoy the ride.

New covers will be popping up soon.