Around 2004 I decided to work toward publication. I'd entered some contests with contemporary romances, but what I really loved were paranormals, and those were hard to come by in my small town. For several years I'd been writing Buffy Fanfic and reading on my computer every night. I hung out on Eharlequin in the Paranormal Circle. Some of the writers there started getting epublisher contracts, for paranormals. Eager to find books to read I went on a search and discovered ebooks, which I read on my pc. Ellora's Cave was the place to be.
Around that time I made an on online friend and we decided to finish and submit to epublishers. She got a contract with Triskleion--we were thrilled. At that time they had a good rep. I entered a contest at Trisk.. Then I saw an open call for a winter antho. I had this wild little story set in magic wood, with characters that weren't quite human. The Hero was a faun, but a sexy faun, like Spike from Buffy. The heroine was like a faun, but had rabbit parts instead of goat ears adn feet. I called this creature a 'buntaur' and had actually made it up many years earlier when I attempted to write a children's fantasy novel/ They started out human but were magically transformed. as did my characters in this story. My friend Karen suggested I title it Faunication. To my delight I received a contract 3 days after submitting it. It was in WCP Torrid's Winter Wishes Antho. The print edition might still be for sale on Amazon.
I got some good reviews and sold a book to Triskelion. All was looking good. But then I got pneumonia and it lingered on for a long time. I was a busy working mom with kids in grade school. The diagnosis I received (now in remission)wasn't fun and for several months life was pretty grim. Writing took a back seat. or maybe was in the trunk.
Finally I started feeling better. I found a new job, and was invited to a new antho, so started writing again. Then Triskelion exploded.and for an entire year I received rejection after rejection, plus I still had some lingering energy issues so only published a few short stories. I kept writing though,and some of the stories I have out right now making money were started during that time.
I took a new pen name, started submitting under Melisse Aires, and started selling again, yay. A couple of my Del Fantasma novellas made actual money so I felt like I was on track. The of course, there was the Red Rose hitch, followed by the Aspen Mountain Press hitch. So I had books out there, but for whatever reason I received no money for them for over a year.. I know they sold, I could see them on Fictionwise ranks and Amazon ranks. Very discouraging. But I got busy with Urloon and some other projects. Went back to Torrid and got a contract at Lyrical.
I got the rights back to Faunication so put it on Smashwords, and eventually on Amazon. I still love the story. I actually have a whole series started in the fantasy world, The Three Realms. Maybe I'll edit one and self publish it. I don't see fantasy romance stories like them for sale but you never know, they might find readers.
As of today I have officially made more money on my self pubbed titles than I have with all my digital published works since 2005. That just seems so crazy to me!
Freebie on Smashwords! Still has the older cover, though. that should change soon. Faunication is a high fantasy short romance. Think Middle Earth meets Narnia with hawt love.
This is the new cover. I tried to make a heroine with rabbit ears but I am hopeless at covers. Below is a picture of Tumness the faun from The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, and the character I used to model MY faun after. Lol.