No, this is not a bookstore. It’s my dining room table.
When people ask me, “How many books have you published?” Well, that’s a tough question to answer.
I’ve written more books than I’ve published, and I’ve published more books than I’ve written. Let me explain.
The first book I wrote (as an adult) was The Cove and that was published in 2016. The next book I wrote was The Farmer’s Daughter, but I waited to publish it until May of 2020. Why? Long story for a different blog post.
A few years later I had inspiration for a book called Buxton Peak. After a few days of starting that series I had a complete anxiety attack and confided in a friend about the way I was feeling. I’ll never forget what she said to me that day. The reason I was anxious was because I knew inherently that Buxton Peak was going to change my life. She was right.
What started as one book called Buxton Peak quickly broke into a trilogy. Book One was called Who Is Ian Taylor? Book Two was called Center Stage. Book Three was called The End of the Beginning.
After publishing the first two books in the trilogy I realized that Ian Taylor had a story in his youth, and I needed to tell it. While writing the prequel I changed and rewrote the third book in the trilogy, and it took on a whole new direction. I thought the series was done.
I was wrong…
India and Ed needed to tell their story. Many of you probably don’t even realize their short story, Silence from Nashville was published in an anthology called Unspoken Words by LDS Beta Readers. That story is interwoven in The Complete Collection during the section of what readers know as Rock Star Redemption Series Book Five: Forever a Rock Star (originally called Buxton Peak Book Three: The End of the Beginning).
Then there was Andy. Sweet, loveable Andy, whose chance meeting in London with a beautiful girl named Vanessa changed the course of the whole band. Their love story had to be told, and it was a passionate tale of tragedy and loss. Their story became Buxton Peak: London Bridges, now known as Rock Star Redemption Series Book Four: Fallen Rock Star.
Did you know Ian Taylor is a billionaire? Yeah, I didn’t know that either until the spring of 2018 when a bunch of my author friends were all writing billionaire books; books where the main character is an alpha-male who is a billionaire. My friend, Beth encouraged me to write to this market. I chuckled and shook my head. I’m too busy with all my other books.
Then my nineteen-year-old son said, “Mom, you should write a billionaire book.” Well, let me tell you, it’s harder to ignore someone who is standing at your shoulder looking at the screen of your computer with those beautiful innocent blue eyes. He had complete faith in me, and it gave me just that little bit of courage enough to alter Ian’s destiny.
I did a lot of research and found that most rock stars are not billionaires. Not even close. But if I took into consideration that Ian Taylor owns the rock band called Buxton Peak and all its net worth, and if he handles his money carefully, he could have a net worth of just over a billion dollars (this was before he started throwing around $20,000 for guitars and then donating them to a worthy cause, and before he spent a small fortune upgrading a youth center at an inner-city church in downtown Nashville, and before he bought the biggest mansion in the greater-Nashville area).
So, I took his story that was originally called Buxton Peak Book One: Who Is Ian Taylor? changed it drastically and rebranded it as Billionaire Rock Star Romance: A Buxton Peak Clean Romance. Those two stories are now interwoven in Rock Star Redemption Series Book Two: Billionaire Rock Star.
I thought this would be the last book in the Buxton Peak series! Another spin-off story emerged during the time I was compiling and editing The Complete Collection.
I collaborated with Australian author, Lara Wynter, who also writes books about rock stars. Her rock band, Infusion Deep, needed an opening act, and my rock band, Buxton Peak needed a mentor. Remember the summer before the guys become headliners, where they open for other bands? Lara and I wrote two books that cover that summer and appropriately named them, Opening Act. I encourage you to join the Buxton Peak Fan Club so you will have front-row seats at that concert tour.
Now, when and why did I change the entire series name to Rock Star Redemption Series? While listening to a podcast about author rebranding, I learned that a person can actually re-publish a book or series of books under a new name and ISBNs. If you were interested in reading a book about rock stars, would you search for the term Buxton Peak? Of course not. If you searched for Buxton Peak, chances are you are looking for a non-fiction book about the town of Buxton which is situated within the Peak District National Forest in Derbyshire, United Kingdom. Renaming and rebranding the series has led to increased exposure and sales.
So, technically the original five book series became ten books, plus the spin-off stories in collaboration with Lara Wynter, plus I published the series as The Complete Collection, so that’s what? Thirteen books available for purchase, even though it’s really only seven books. See why it’s so hard to define?
On the same day I published Billionaire Rock Star Romance: A Buxton Peak Clean Romance, I also published The Man in the Yellow Jaguar, a story that people either love or hate. The main female character falls in love with a man twice her age and then realizes the man she’s actually in love with is her fiancé’s 25-year-old son. Scandalous, I know!
I love reality shows, especially The Bachelor / Bachelorette and I always wished the producers would choose a sweet, innocent girl-next-door and make the guys live up to her standards rather than choose one guy, nineteen floozies, and one virgin who they all made fun of. So, I created my own story and chose a sweet, innocent girl who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I named the book Who Wants to Marry a Mormon Girl? and created the Love Letters Series. The guys on the reality show have to write love letters to the girl telling her why they think she should keep them around. The next book in the series came out a few months later and is called Who Wants to Marry a Billionaire Gamer? I haven’t started the third book yet but it will probably be called Who Wants to Marry an Admiral’s Daughter.
Next we have my young adult sports romance series. What started out as one book called The Bed and Breakfast, which I eventually decided was a horrible name, became Running to You about a female running prodigy and the guy she falls for. Next in that series was Meet Me at Half Court, about a basketball prodigy. After that I wrote Pass Me the Ball, which is about a female football player, and is probably my favorite book I’ve ever written. It’s also my top selling book every single day even though it has several one-star reviews and the lowest star rating of any of my other books. So weird. Anyway, I started in to Strike Three, You’re Mine but before I got finished writing that one, I penned a quick Christmas book called Basketballs and Mistletoe, which I published before the baseball book. Then I took that whole series into a Complete Collection called All’s Fair in Love and Sports.
I thought the next books I’d publish were my Sayid Family Saga, formerly referred to as my Top Secret Project. There are a number of reasons why the project is top secret but I can’t tell you what they are or they wouldn’t be secret anymore. Suffice it to say that I’m not publishing any of them until all of them are completely written and edited and then I’ll rapid release them over the course of about five months. I estimate the series will be over 400,000 words and I’m at about 220,000 words so over halfway there!
The most recent book I published is called Combustion and as I’m writing this the book just went live yesterday. I had a premise for the book, jotted it down in a Word document and stuck it in a folder called Random Book Ideas (and yes, there are probably a dozen other potential books in that folder). Well about a month ago I had some serious inspiration for the story and suddenly I had 10,000 words written. Within a few weeks that turned into 40,000 words and now magically I have a book. For some reason I felt compelled to get this story published absolutely as soon as possible. I try to follow promptings like this so I’m pushing to get it out the door.
Combustion is my most controversial publication to date. There is a pretty graphic and emotional sexual assault within the book and there is a section of about ten chapters when the reader will need a box of Kleenex. It’s not pretty, but it’s probably my best work. It’s either going to be a hit or fail miserably.
I also have a few nature journals, a coloring book, a 407-page watershed management plan and a very cool book called Complete Genealogy and Chronology of The Book of Mormon: A Simple Guide to Understanding The Book of Mormon Family History.
Now you know why it’s so difficult for me to answer the question “How many books have you published?”
If you’ve read this far you deserve a free book! I’m giving away a few copies of individual books in my Buxton Peak series, since they’re technically out of print. The first ten people who contact me and tell me which single Buxton Peak book you’d like for free, I’ll send you a signed copy. All other copies of Buxton Peak singles are half price (through me, not through Amazon). Buxton Peak: The Complete Collection is still full price.
Happy reading, my friends! Sincerely, Julie L. Spencer