Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Resurgam. Charlotte Bronte used the word in Jane Eyre, and I like it. It means: I shall rise again.

Since publishing my medieval historical novel, Shadows of Montsegur, A Tale of the Cathars, a lot of life has happened. Of the six novels I've offered to the world, Shadows is the most significant--it's story, its message, its value to literature. I researched and wrote for seven years, and Dennis and I visited the location in France where the story actually happened. I felt good in publishing when I did. Our society has so much controversy about freedom, so the novel's message is timely.

Before I published Shadows of Montsegur, my traditional publisher was showing signs of financially struggling; not paying their authors was the obvious sign. My critique group and other writer friends told me to try self-publishing. They had taken that route and found success.  After much deliberation, I took the plunge, hired a professional book cover designer and also the best editor I knew, and became an indie author.

Then we threw the most fun book launch party(here is the cast of characters), shouted my book on all the social sites on the list, did an Amazon promo, etc. My novel was doing well. 

But only two months into it, I was diagnosed with lung cancer--no pain, no symptoms, and I'd never smoked a cigarette in my life! I can't blame my carcinoid tumor for my plummeting book sales, but there is something about the C word that downs your spirit. All optimism that my novel would make a big bang in the historical fiction world flew out the window, and all I wanted to do was hide in my house (snuggled on my comfy couch) until the whole cancer thing was over. Who could feel exuberant about book promoting? This too would pass, I'd tell myself, and then I'd get back to my novel.

But when I had recovered from surgery, I could do very little, and it wasn't the physical that restrained me. I was one of the fortunate who, by removing an obnoxious tumor, removed the cancer and it was gone. I didn't need radiation or chemo. I should have been enthusiastic and bouncing on the gym floor. But I couldn't muster any desire to bounce, or to promote. And I had no confidence to do so, no confidence to put myself out there as the author of a fantastic story. Had my confidence (I know I've used the word 3 times now) been removed along with the lung I now missed? I might have gotten as far as setting up a promo, and yet could not get myself to click the "submit" or "post" button. The air had gone out of my balloon. I was as wimpy as my protagonist on the first page of her story. I felt doomed.

My husband took me back to Montsegur, France. It was what I needed--to be reminded of why I had written Shadows, its message, and what the Cathars had gone through because they would not denounce their beliefs. 

Then life took a turn. We volunteered to spend the summer of 2019 in central Wyoming at a historical site called Martin's Cove. It filled my need to hide (in the middle of nowhere) while we served six months with 39 other couples who lived high standards and were fun to be with. We hosted at the visitors center and assisted youth groups who came to reenact pioneer treks wearing pioneer clothing and pulling handcarts across the valley in the never-ceasing Wyoming wind. It was rejuvenating, but I hardly did any book promoting.
Reenactment of pioneer treks

After six months, we returned. It is time to procrastinate no longer.

If you have read Shadows of Montsegur, A Tale of the Cathars, THANK YOU, and please leave a review or comment on Amazon. Reviews mean everything to authors. 

If you enjoy learning about our history, I encourage you to read Shadows of Montsegur, A Tale of the Cathars. It recounts a tragic event in history, but will leave you uplifted, with a better understanding of what mankind has gone through.

Has something in your life ever put your plans on hold? Share in the comments below.

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