Lucy Balch says, “Hello!”

Since I’m one of Second Wind Publishing’s new writers, and since this is my first ever blog, I’ll introduce myself. My degree says I’m a speech-language pathologist, but lately I’ve been trying out the “writer” moniker instead. After all, five years of writing can equal three years of grad school, can’t it?

I rediscovered my love for writing after finding some of my old stories in my father’s attic, ones I wrote when I was in elementary school. Adolescence must have come along and knocked the writing bug out of me as thoroughly as it ended my tree climbing and Blockhead craze, but now I’m thoroughly re-infected.  I try to write something every day, and if I don’t I start to feel cranky.

Three years in, I had my first romance novel, A Second Chance. I now call it my learn-as-you-go book, and one day I hope to dust it off and revise it enough to make it marketable. Love Trumps Logic, my second book, is the one about to be published, and it’s actually a prequel to the first book. I liked Lord Beaumont so much in the first book that I decided to write his story in Love Trumps Logic. Both books take place in the Regency period, an era I’ve loved ever since my sister turned me on to Georgette Heyer’s books as a teenager.

Here’s a brief glimpse into Love Trumps Logic:

“I’m done, Fergie,” Lord Albert Beaumont said in his friend’s ear, after the third matchmaking mama in one hour had introduced him to–this time–a freckle-faced girl with protruding front teeth.  She had giggled so hard she hadn’t been able to get one word out.

“Your reputation for adoring red-heads was the cause of that last introduction,” Lord Ferguson responded, unsuccessfully hiding a smile.

“No, it happened because I foolishly allowed your prattle about your cousin to lure me in here,” Beau responded, taking the last two glasses of champagne from a passing footman’s tray and downing one of them in a single gulp.

“It would all be worth it if we could find her.  I don’t lie when I say she’s prettier than any chit here.  Perhaps my aunt left early, since they’re leaving for the country tomorrow.”

“Let’s go,” Beau said, emptying the second glass as quickly as the first.  He led the way toward the door, handing off the empty glasses to another footman on the way, and was ten feet away from freedom when a tall, silver-haired matron stepped in his way, grabbing the sleeve of his jacket.
“Good evening, Lady Pilchard,” Beau said, biting back a groan.

“Good evening, indeed!  What could possibly have brought you to Lady Darlington’s tonight?” the bony woman gushed, not letting him go.  “Are you looking for a wife this season?”

Beau saw the greedy gleam of possibility in her eyes and repressed a shudder.  Lady Pilchard’s daughters were notoriously homely, with gangly bodies and paper-thin lips.  “Not that, no.  Lord Ferguson hoped to find his aunt here, and I accompanied him.  His business is finished and we’re leaving.”

“Regardless, the gossip papers will say otherwise tomorrow.  Perhaps you should be thinking of settling down.  Aren’t you nearly thirty?” she chided, tapping his captured arm with an ivory lace fan.

“I’ve learned to ignore the gossip papers and I’m two years shy of thirty.  Goodnight, Lady Pilchard.”  Beau disengaged his sleeve from the lady’s impressive grip and gave her one of his stunning smiles.  She gasped, speechless, her eyes glazing over with delight, and Beau heard Fergie snort behind him.  Beau knew his smile had that effect on women, it always had.  It also made Fergie laugh every time he witnessed it.

The two men successfully escaped a minute later, but their night of difficult encounters wasn’t over.

If you want to find out about the other difficult encounters, Love Trumps Logic will be available sometime in the near future.

I want thank Second Wind Publishing for giving me this incredible opportunity. Their acceptance of Love Trumps Logic has given me something tangible to feed an obsession that, until Second Wind came along, neither earned me money nor helped me keep my house in order nor bettered my children’s lives.

And I’ve already discovered that getting published isn’t just about writing the book. There are so many more steps, but I’m not complaining!

Deciding which name to use was one such step, and I’ve come full circle on that. First, I was going to use a pen name: Elizabeth Locklin. It sounds romantic, doesn’t it? And it uses my dropped middle name and my mother’s maiden name, so it feels somewhat familiar. The problem was that I started to feel schizophrenic even thinking about using it, and I worried about how I would make it look better than a third-grader’s signature at a book signing.

So I’m using my real name, which is Lucy Arnold Balch, but that’s not the end of it because I have another dilemma: I’m also writing a young adult book, and hope to get it published one day, but I need a slightly different name for that genre, in order to keep the identities separate. One author who writes both genres uses Nicole Burnam for romance and Nikki Burnam for young adult, so I considered Lucille Balch for romance and Lucy Balch for young adult. But looking at the reality of Lucille Balch: doesn’t it remind everyone of the beloved “I Love Lucy” actress? And besides, I’ve never been crazy about the name Lucille for myself. It’s never felt like a good fit for my personality. So what about using my maiden name? Perfect!  Until I discovered that lucyarnold.com is already taken by an artist who paints gorgeous nature paintings.

Then I remembered initials. I could be Lucy Balch for romance, and L. A. Balch for young adult. No one has taken either website yet, and I would be in the good company of J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, ee cummings, and others who’ve made initials work.

So, it’s settled. At least, I think it is. I probably won’t know for sure until the final proof deadline.

t’s nice to meet everyone!

Lucy Balch

27 Comments

Filed under books, musings, writing

27 responses to “Lucy Balch says, “Hello!”

  1. Lucy, welcome to Second Wind Publishing! I’m looking forward to reading “Love Trumps Logic” and, of course, to reading more of your bloggeries.

  2. Hi Lucy: Good to meet you! And congrats on actually getting something to hit over here–I’ve still got my problems posting.

    Your Regency excerpt hits the genre on the head, and looks like good fun. Best wishes–

  3. Lucy Balch

    Thanks, Pat! I look forward to reading “A Spark of Heavenly Fire” and “More Deaths than One,” too. My book club just finished up for the year (we go Sept – May) so I’ll be looking for books to read for the summer. I’m definitely going to start by delving into Second Wind Publishing’s choices.

  4. Welcome! I understand your dilemma. I am sad to say SherrieHansen.com is already taken, too. Worse yet, it’s being held by a company – and although it’s not being used, it’s not for sale. I finally settled on http://www.BlueBelleBooks.com (coming soon), since my main business (a Victorian B&B and Tea House) has its website at http://www.BlueBelleInn.com. We’ll see if that was a wise move… or not.

    I’ve only been with Second Wind Publishing for a few months and still have a lot to learn – everyone has been wonderful. You’ll love it!

    Sherrie Hansen
    Night and Day

    • Lucy Balch

      I already love it! I need to pick your brain about the best way to get reviewed. That scary step is going to be coming up for me soon, and I know you survived it recently very well!

  5. I look forward to reading “Love Trumps Logic”–quite a compelling title! I also look forward to getting to know you better. Your choice of L.A. Balch for your YA novels will work quite well.

  6. Hi Lucy!

    I’m a soon-to-be Second Wind-er as well! I look forward to Love Trumps Logic – the excerpt was great! 🙂

  7. dellanioakes

    Hi, Lucy! Welcome to Second Wind! I look forward to reading your book as well as future posts. Dellani

    • Lucy Balch

      Welcome, Jerrica & thanks to all for the warm welcomes and good wishes! It feels great to be a part of Second Wind 🙂
      I’m toying with pseudonyms again, but will probably stick with my decision in the blog…

      • Love the excerpt, love the era, and HOWLED (sadly, in agreement) that Lucille Bal—ch is likely an unwise option. (Unless your husband is a Cuban you’ve kept sequestered…. 😉 )

        Congrats on the pending publication…can hardly wait to read it. Kudos to Second Wind for finding you!

  8. Lucy Balch

    Thanks, Cheryl! Do you think bookclub would agree to a romance novel year? Heehee!

  9. Sounds like you’re having fun. That makes the days fly by with a lot of smiles and fresh words down on paper.

    Malcolm

  10. Lucy Balch

    This first blog WAS fun!

  11. amydetrempe

    Lucy,
    Welcome to 2W. Loved the excerpt. Historical romance is my favorite genre. My regency will soon be published as well.

    • Lucy Balch

      Thanks, Amy! I look forward to reading your historical & love its cover. Historical is definitely my favorite too. Was it hard to write the mystery? I’m in sort of a writer’s block on that.

  12. The books sounds great – congratulations. And the dilemma over names sounds fascinating. Neat solution. I really hadn’t thought about needing more than one name, but it makes lots of sense. (Of course, being published under any name would be nice…)

  13. Lucy Balch

    Thanks Sheila! I’m HOPING I’ll need 2 names. The young adult book isn’t even finished yet.

  14. Netsy

    Lucy – love the company you’ll be keeping in using L.A. Balch for 2nd name! If the children’s book is as enticing as your romance, it should be a success too! Stay inspired! Netsy

    • Lucy Balch

      Thanks for stopping by to read the blog!! Inspiration sometimes means that I write one sentence in a particular day, just to stay in it, and then I hope that there will be many sentences the next day. 🙂

  15. christinehusom

    Lucy, welcome aboard and sounds like a great read!

  16. Megan Browne Gloede

    Hi Lucy,
    I read your blog and I went on the Second Wind website. I am very impressed. My escape from teaching high school calculus is reading historical romance novels. I am looking forward to reading your published book. To think, I knew you when…

    Megan Browne [Gloede]

  17. Susan Sly

    Thanks for an entertaining blog! Congrats on the book and can’t wait to read more…
    x Susan

  18. Al

    Congratulations and best wishes with continued success in your endeavors.

  19. Gary

    Hi Lucy,

    This is your neighbor Gary. Congratulations and continued good luck to you! I’d like to share a thought with your readers. Perhaps they would like to know that you are a wonderful person. Intelligent, warm, and delightfully conversational.

    I enjoyed reading your blog . . . keep it up.

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