Things are changing. As in, big, fundamental, earth-moving changes. But before I get to that, let me back up a few months.
Earlier this year, I wanted to quit writing. I’ve gone through burn-outs before. I don’t think you can be an indie author and not be in some stage of burn-out at any given time. The industry is so fast-paced, so insatiable, that just to keep up, you have to be in a nearly manic state constantly. It’s exhausting. And inevitably, when you can’t keep up, you settle into this “I’m behind” mentality, and every day becomes a marathon to just keep your head above water.
It’s not fun, y’all.
So I started thinking, if I hate what I’m writing then how do I write something I love again? What would that story look like? I wanted something joyful and sometimes funny, sweet and romantic, uplifting but also important. I wanted readers to feel happy after reading my books. And most importantly, most selfishly, I wanted to feel happy writing it.
It has been a long, long time since I’ve been happy writing a book.
And if I’m being honest, and I’m trying to be so that you can understand, I realized I wasn’t happy in general. Like, at all. In any aspect of my life. I was depressed and anxious. Driven only by fear to hit my deadlines and unmotivated any other time. I was lonely. I was sad. I sat and stared at my wall and told myself I should be writing.
I hated it. I hated my life.
Those are scary words to write. They carry heavy meaning. But I felt their weight. I was in the dark hole depression carves in us, and I couldn’t find the light.
So I did something radical.
I started going to church again.
This isn’t actually that radical, I guess. I grew up in church. When I got older, I would go a few times a year. But my heart was never in it. I was never for God. I liked being in control. I didn’t like asking for help. I could do it on my own.
But let me tell you, friend, doing things on my own got me nowhere but deeper into that big black hole of nothing. It was sad down there. So I wrote sad things. I wrote heavy, bitter, rough things until eventually sitting down to write was the hardest thing I would do every day.
Then I started going to church. I started seeing some light. Feeling even more light in my heart. I gave up control, and I asked for help. God showed me the ladder out of the hole and held my hand as I climbed up every rung.
So this brings me to the big change. The foundation-shaking one.
I don’t want to write as Meg Collett anymore.
I want a fresh start. I want to write stories completely separate from my brand, which is dark and heavy with lots of explicit material. For the longest time, I would always have to tell anyone who met me in person and wanted to read my books that they contained lots of violence and swearing. I hated that. It was embarrassing. And after making church and God the biggest part of my life again, I realized it didn’t make me proud either.
I realize you reading this probably won’t want to follow me over to my new brand. I understand that 100%. I’ve spent five years building the Meg Collett brand and giving you a certain type of book. I realize the move from twisted urban fantasy to sweet, inspirational romance is a jarring one, to say the least.
But if you do want to follow me, if you want to see what I’m doing, here’s a look. There’s also a free story for you at the end of this if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you’re an OG Meg Collett fan, you’ll probably recognize the bones of the story.
Because you see, when I sat down at my computer and just started writing to see what came out of me, I was thinking about that book. About Little Girls and Their Ponies.
That story never really fit with my brand, but whenever I thought about the story that most poured out of me, the one that begged to be told, it was that one. And for a long time, it sat unpublished and unread in my desk. But I dusted it off, I rewrote it, and now here it is as something new. Something far closer to me and my heart and the stories I want to tell you.
So here it is: Meg Gossett. My new brand. New name. Gossett is my maiden name, which feels right to go back to. To get back to my roots, and what makes me me. When I sat down to write this story and the ones after it, horses were always there. Themes of family and friendship and faith were there. And romance. I will always love stories with kissing. I can’t help it. I’m a sucker.
The Bethel Valley novels are meant to be uplifting. Hopefully inspiring. Perhaps the sweet, wholesome romance will make you smile. I pray the endings will make your heart feel something. They’ve been making me pretty happy to write. I hope they make you happier for reading them.
If you would like to check out the first book in the series, the little novella that started all this, check out Three Turns To Home over on Story Origin here. If you would like to be an official convert from Meg Collett to Meg Gossett, then sign up for my new newsletter here.
I’m still me. I’m still goofy, and my newsletters will still be more weird than coherent. I just needed a change, you know? I needed to prioritize happiness over business. I hope you know that. I hope you, possibly a long-time Meg Collett reader, will understand that I’m not leaving you. I’m just shedding a layer.
If you don’t come with me on this new journey, I want to thank you. The past five years have been amazing. Hard, but amazing. I hope you’ve enjoyed the stories I’ve told. I hope they brought something to your life when you finished the last page. I hope they mattered to you somehow. Because you’ve meant the world to me.
For the others who are coming along, thank you too. Thank you for sticking with me. Here’s to the next five years.