Beyond All Expectations

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Anna Markland talking about lifelong dreams and constant reinvention.

Here’s Anna!

annamarklandI spent most of my professional life as an educator. It was a rewarding career, both financially and emotionally, but after 25 years I burned out.

About 20 years ago, my cousin wrote a historical romance and became an overnight success—NY times bestseller among her accomplishments. She has since authored many wonderful books.

The thought always niggled at the back of my mind—I could write a book, too. Many people have that ambition and do nothing about it, put off in part, I believe, by the prospect of trying to sell their idea to a large publisher.

Anyway, keyboard in hand, I embarked upon writing a romance, essentially for my own satisfaction. I chose the medieval period because, as an amateur genealogist, I cherished a dream of tracing my own English roots back to the Norman Conquest—an impossibility since I am not descended from nobility! So I made up a family.

I based the plot on an incident that actually happened to a Norman noblewoman, and before I knew it I had written over 200,000 words.

In the meanwhile I gradually became aware of the revolution taking place in the publishing world, thanks to the Amazon kindle device.

I decided my novel was too long, had too many heroes and heroines, and too much you know what. (Did I mention it was a romance?) I reworked it into four books, and published them as a series in quick succession on Amazon. What was there to lose?

My dream was to sell 100 books in a year. As of today I have written 15 novels, all revolving around or branching off from the original family in the first series. I’ve sold over 33,000 copies. It’s a thrill to receive emails from readers telling me how much they enjoy following my families.

It used to be that people had one lifelong career, retiring with a gold watch, or something similar. I think those days are long gone. Technology has made it possible for people to reinvent themselves over and over if they wish.

By taking a chance, I discovered a talent I did not really know I had! I can tell a good story! Sometimes when I re-read my own work I am wonder-struck at where the ideas came from!

If you’re thinking of writing and publishing a book—go for it. Just make sure you get it edited and critiqued by a few people whose opinion you trust before you take the plunge.

I often joke that if only my heroes and heroines had revealed their stories to me in chronological order, it would have made life easier for my readers.

Here’s a handy list…

Conquering Passion

If Love Dares Enough

Defiant Passion

A Man of Value

Dark Irish Knight

Haunted Knights

Passion in the Blood

Dark and Bright

The Winds of the Heavens

Dance of Love

Carried Away

Sweet Taste of Love

Wild Viking Princess

Hearts and Crowns

Blurb for Hearts and Crown

(Kindle Version is ON SALE until September 23rd for 99 cents)

Hearts and Crowns is the story of Gallien, grandson of the hero of the original Montbryce Legacy series. Gallien is a widower who has sworn never to wed again after a catastrophic marriage to a shrew who betrayed him with another man. You know the old saying, Once bitten…twice shy.

Peridotte de Pontrouge, an Angevin, has long dreamed of marrying Geoffrey of Anjou, the son of her Count, but her hopes are dashed when he is betrothed to the daughter of King Henry of England. This diplomatic revolution forces Gallien and Peri to marry against their will, despite the long standing hatred between Normans and Angevins.

Can love overcome bitterness and hatred?

Where to find Anna…





Joanne here!

Over 33,000 books–An amazing accomplishment! Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey and excellent advice, Anna.


7 responses to “Beyond All Expectations

  1. Hi Anna
    Great post. I love watching your career take off. I’m waiting for the day you rival your cousin and make the NY times list. Great stuff.

  2. As a current educator that is burning out… I’m finding that education has changed as well. I won’t have the nice retirement benefits or even any.. no gold watch, no health insurance, etc. after 14 years at one school and over 20 years in all. I think reinventing yourself is a wonderful way to explore dreams and grow. I’m still hoping to become a race car driver.

  3. Hi Anna,

    First, from one former educator to another, isn’t it wonderful to find a different world around the corner from your previous passion. I admire the fact that you knew when to leave.
    I’m sure impressed with your work ethic and the number of books that you’ve sold. Well done! Your relative must be pleased.
    All the best.

    • Hi Jodie,
      Unfortunately, as you know, there are many excellent and creative teachers who burned out years ago, but they keep teaching for the sake of a bigger pension. I don’t blame them, but it can be soul destroying to carry on with a career you’re no longer enjoying.
      As for work ethic, I guess I have become addicted to writing!

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