Once Upon a Rose

Once Upon a Rose

I need to make a very unpopular announcement.

I am very sorry, but I have decided to delay the release of ONCE UPON A ROSE until later in the fall. By “decided”, I guess I should say that the book decided for me. While it is “finished”, it is not good yet. I’ve never before released a book that I did not personally love, and I don’t want to start now.

But that’s not quite fair to put it all on the book, because I made some choices, too. Primarily, SUN-KISSED.

The problem is that I never had SUN-KISSED in my publishing schedule for this year. Once the idea grew, though, and I wrote the first scene, I really fell in love with that story and that couple. I got caught in it, and just had to write it, and that ended up leaving me several months behind my expected schedule on ONCE UPON A ROSE. (Which I had promised to people for August. There’s an article out this month in RT Magazine for example, which they ran specifically this edition to time it with the promised release of ONCE UPON A ROSE.)

I am extremely proud of SUN-KISSED–I love that couple so much, and it’s a book that makes me very happy–but I want to be extremely proud of ONCE UPON A ROSE, too. So it needs some more time, and not to be rushed because SUN-KISSED stole all its time.

So I am very, very sorry, as I know people will be disappointed, and I know I have not fulfilled what I said I would do. But I do hope you were glad to have SUN-KISSED. I really loved writing it.

That all said, SUN-KISSED having shouldered the blame and all, a dozen books in two years is a LOT for someone who also teaches full time at a pretty demanding university and has a family she wants to value, too. It means a lot of nights working from my daughter’s bedtime until 11 pm and waking up again at 4 or 5 am and a lot of weekends where one parent or the other juggles while the other works. So there might need to be some re-balancing going forward, to keep from burning out.

It’s fairly common these days for people to ask me, “So when are you going to quit teaching and write full-time?” And, yes, it’s true–I could. The books are doing “well enough” and my own husband’s job is so transportable that yes, we could go live in Provence or something and work from there. (I know. You’re saying, “She’s crazy. Provence full time? And she’s not doing that?”)

The thing is: being a lecturer at Duke is never something I’ve thought of as a stopgap until I can “make it” doing something else, like writing. It is an honor and, to me, a major life accomplishment. I love doing it and consider myself extremely fortunate every morning I walk onto campus. (Unless it’s freezing rain on me as I walk and I have some difficult student issue to deal with that day, but you know what I mean. Most days are very good days.)

I ALSO am extraordinarily honored at the reception of these stories. I consider that, too, a major life accomplishment. I am exceptionally fortunate and can only, again, thank all of you who have opened your heart to these stories.

So I want both. They balance each other out, the extroversion and involvement with others that come with teaching and the introversion and quiet time that are essential to writing. I would probably turn into a complete nutcase, if I spent all my time writing and then, in my spare time, flinching away from the internet. (It’s a beautiful thing, the internet. It’s opened up some wonderful doors for me, and I’ve made a lot of friends on it. But it can also lead to some extremely unhealthy behaviors and interactions.) It’s very good to have a balance.

I also value enormously the intellectual stimulation of a major university and of the colleagues I have there. It’s truly a pure joy to just talk to colleagues there, about any idea in the world, and have their brains engage with mine. Do I have a question about anything? I might have a world expert on the subject just across the Quad.

And when Katie Dubois (Katharine Ashe) and I started talking to different programs about doing a course on romance novels, for example–something really totally outside the normal purview of most of my colleagues–it was just amazing how so many people threw themselves into the creativity of it, and how all the ideas they have been throwing out have fed into ours in this incredible brainstorming that can occur in this kind of milieu. Or, to give another example, I love attending a talk on interculturalism and trying to sneak a cookie at the end only to have a colleague grab me to introduce me to someone else who is doing work on the architectural concept of subnature and applying it to food. (“Oh, you should talk to Laura. She’s kind of our chocolate expert.” Ha, ha, talk about a fun field of expertise. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) And yes there are some exciting possibilities for his project with subnature and chocolate. (Also with subnature and perfume, in fact.) Or another day, I might find myself going out for hot chocolate with a world-famous behavioral economics expert who wants to brainstorm ideas for experiments on what food choices show about human behavior.

It’s FUN. It’s exciting.

And so is writing fun and exciting. And powerful and rich and deep. And…FUN. And some of the opportunities in writing have been equally amazing. To book tour in Italy, for my first book? I mean, who gets to do that? That is crazily wonderful. And yet it happened. To find some of my own most-admired authors talking about my books and saying wonderful things about them? Oh…wow. That is just…what words do you have for that, beyond wow? To have so many of you write to me or just talk about the books with others and share them? That’s amazing.

YES, I want to keep writing, too. I have so many more stories trying to force me to find time to put them on the page that it’s what drives me awake at 4 am.

So, you know…I’ll just have to find a balance. It might mean, as I’ve been warning people, that there might be fewer than five new books next year, though.

Don’t kill me! I hope you can understand. And if you can enjoy the previous 11 (or 12 if you count that memoir, BLAME IT ON PARIS, although, ahem, I hear the twenty-six-year-old narrator is annoying ๐Ÿ™‚ ), then I am thrilled.

Again, all my apologies for the delay and all my thanks for all the wonderful support these past two years and for the enthusiasm for this next book. It’s meant a lot. I’m really, really sorry, and I also really, really appreciate and am humbled by the fact that people could be wanting to read it at all.

And now, back to work on the edits for ONCE UPON A ROSE.


  • Pat Fordyce

    Sun Kissed was such a joy to read, I loved every page. Your an author, but yes, you have a LIFE. I personally don’t feel you need to apologize for doing the things you love. I so appreciate your wanting to release a book that has your total approval. It’s why I have loved every one. Thank you for caring so much for your readers. I will happily read Once Upon a Rose when your ready to release it. xo

    July 15, 2014 at 9:14 am
  • Chanpreet

    Take your time Laura. I’m slightly disappointed that Once Upon a Rose won’t be available next month, but can understand why. I’m glad you’ve explained why in detail. And I’d rather have a finished book you’re happy with. I know I’ll probably love it even if you don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

    July 15, 2014 at 9:20 am
  • You are such a generous author – both as a writer and to other authors. Of course we understand! You need to do what’s best for YOU. We’ll still be here awaiting your next book whenever it comes out.

    And I am counting Blame It on Paris since I downloaded it the other day :-))

    July 15, 2014 at 10:05 am
  • I’m amazed, Laura, by how many novels you’ve managed to publish while holding down a demanding academic career and being a part of a family. Please, take the time you need to produce a book you are happy with. We can always reread and savor the books we already have…

    July 15, 2014 at 10:19 am
  • May

    No need to apologize and take your time to do what the best you can. I am rather wait for “the book” than just a book.

    And I totally understand the new to have both career and to do the best in both.

    July 15, 2014 at 10:55 am
  • I think you’ll find that many of your readers consider ourselves fortunate to read your work. Take the time you need to make OUaR shine! And honestly, no book is work sacrificing time with your family and your own well-being. We’ll still be here, so ready to read, in the Fall.

    On another note, I am thrilled that you love your work at Duke so much! You’re very lucky to have two wonderful careers that intersect so well.

    Good luck!

    July 15, 2014 at 11:15 am
  • Tyra

    Take your time with it. The fact you pumped a dozen books out in 2 years is an amazing feat in itself. So even one or two books a year would be great

    July 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  • I’m now Googling “subnature” ’cause I have no idea what you’re talking about…

    As for the book schedule, 12 books in two years really is a lot! I think I asked you in New Orleans (or at some point online) how in the world you keep up with writing and professoring and familying. You and family should always come first – we can wait for another book, I promise ๐Ÿ™‚ And if we’re waiting because you’re making it even better, who can complain about that?

    July 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm
  • Katherine Laurie

    Having been a fan of some other authors that have done the same thing, I hope I can speak for a lot of us to say, I am sure it will be worth it. If you are happy(ier) it will come across in the outcome (and in your classes, children, husband, baking, ha). So take the time. These books are also your babies and you can’t rush the attention to your babies. I wish I lived near Duke to take one of your classes!

    July 17, 2014 at 9:53 am
  • LynnL

    I think your output has been nothing short of amazing so you really have nothing to apologize for to your readers. You are smart to try and live a balanced life and not hide out in the ivory tower or writer’s cave.

    July 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm
  • Laura, you write so many books, and they are such a delight to me! Of course there is a part of me that wants all the Laura books right now and doesn’t want to wait, but honestly, I enjoy re-reading your existing work so much (and re-reading one always requires me to then go and re-read all the others) that it would be churlish to complain.

    I’m glad you are doing all the things you want to do. I’m doubly glad that this results in books that make me, at least, so very happy. And I don’t think you need to apologise for the fact that one book is late BECAUSE YOU WROTE AN EXTRA ONE FIRST. It’s like telling us that you are giving us an extra birthday present this year and then apologising because it won’t be on our birthday.

    Keep being your wonderful self!

    Kind regards,

    Catherine, who is about to go through all your chocolate books in order to make the definitive list of chocolateries and pรขtisseries to visit while she is in Paris in a few weeks… oh, the humanity!

    July 26, 2014 at 7:52 am
    • Thanks so much, Cate and Lynn! I so appreciate how supportive people have been about the delay. Thanks so much for the kind words. It really means a lot.

      July 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm

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