Monday, July 14, 2014

Writing has its Moments

I’ve been writing for a long time now. Fourteen years, to be exact. I’ve been published for four, and writing full time for three. As with any job, it comes with epiphanies.

For instance.

That moment when you discover:

  You have to write another book

Writing a book is really, really hard. If it’s not, you’re doing something wrong. So far, I’ve written nine—six under my own name, and three with a writing partner under a pseudonym. None of them were easy. Writing gives me a headache. It takes a lot of thinking and planning to make a story seem simple. (At least I hope mine come across as simple, because you wouldn’t believe the weird stuff I have floating around in my head.) And while there’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment that comes from typing The End, the reality is, there is no end. Not for a writer. As soon as one story is done, another is begging to be told.

...There’s more to writing than writing

Let’s face it, this is a business. The fact that we love it is simply a plus. I mean, I love being a mother too, but I could have done without all the sleepless nights and extra laundry because someone was throwing up. So while I could also do without the spreadsheets, proposals, and keeping an eye on market trends, and seeing who Amazon’s been fighting with lately, it all comes with the territory.

Your agent might be right

Sometimes your agent will tell you your work has potential, and sometimes your agent will say your work isn’t something s/he can sell. Mine does, at any rate. And so far, mine has been right.

Your mother might be wrong (or also right, depending)

Your mother (father, brother, sister or great-aunt Sally) probably isn’t the best judge of your work. Not unless your mother (or see above list) happens to be a writer, in which case, she will know to be honest and upfront with you about your abilities. My mother was a high school English teacher. She told me my grammar was adequate and my spelling was accurate. Beyond that, she told me I should find another writer to critique my work. (And that she loves me. She buys all my books, too.)

Supportiveness has a shelf life (or it should)

If you’re writing to make a living, you need to have a plan. It can take a long time to earn money in this business. Having a plan will help. There are so many choices these days, so many paths to publication, that it’s worthwhile to investigate your options. My husband was completely onboard with me pursuing a dream, but he wanted me to be realistic about it. I can’t work for free, and I can’t expect his supportiveness to be never-ending. For any start-up, the general rule of thumb used to be 5 years. I’m not sure if it still is, but that’s the number I went with. I’m at year three, and so far, things are on schedule. I do, however, have a back-up plan. I also have a far better idea of my personal goals than I did when I started out.

My latest book is a Red-Hot Bliss from Entangled Publishing—Her Secret, HisSurprise. Here’s a little snippet from Cass and Logan’s story:

Cass looked up from the stove when he stalked into the kitchen with Olivia in his arms. She’d already dropped two slices of French toast onto a hot griddle. The smile on her face faded when she took note of the expression on his.

“Where have you been?” he asked.

She wore the same dress she’d had on last night. And she looked every bit as beautiful as she had when she’d walked out the door, except she’d lost the shoes and nylons. The sight of those mile-long bare legs drove him nuts.

She knew it, too.

Her smile returned, brighter this time, and mixed with a touch of pure evil. “Best first date ever. We robbed a bank at gunpoint. After that, we checked into the Westin Hotel and played sex games all night. I was an illegal French maid. He was an immigration officer. Good call on not getting his sister to babysit, by the way. That would totally have been an awkward night to explain.”

Olivia got her morning cheerfulness from her mother. He didn’t try to analyze the monumental sense of relief that he felt, he simply rolled with it.

 “Nice try,” he said. “No banks were open last night. And I don’t believe for a second you’d ever play a French maid. You came home early, found Olivia and me asleep in your bed, and crashed on the sofa.”

“It wasn’t all that early.” She hooked her curls behind one ear and flipped the bread on the griddle. “Do you like your French toast with powdered sugar or maple syrup?”

Her Secret, His Surprise

Conflict of interest is an understatement…

Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up…until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.

Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded…and then he meets Cass’s daughter.

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