I have a new book out tomorrow and I’m in the midst of editing two others. So many readers and writers often ask what my writing process looks like. I like to think I treat my writing like a job. The truth is that sometimes I’m ordered and in control. At other times (most of the time) I’m in deadline hell and working impossible schedules to get the work done. Here’s a comparison between what my daily schedule should be and what it actually is.
The above schedule is what it should look like. This is what it actually looks like:
7:00 – Drag myself out of bed
8:30-9:30 Workout with my neighbor if we don’t wimp out
Stare at the screen and wonder why I’m a writer because no words are coming out.
Piddle at writing while checking FB or emails incessantly.
Update my websites, make new cover art for my indie published books.
Review audio books for content, errors, or enjoyment.
Fill out art fact sheets for the books in production, draft proposals for future books to keep Elle James and Myla Jackson on my publishers’ schedules.
Draft proposals for conference workshops.
Make artwork for swag and surf for the best swag out there to take to conferences.
Post to FB, blog, twitter. Format books for indie publishing.
Bang head against desk when battery backup crashes and you’re forced to pull desk apart to install a new one.
Wonder where the day went and you still haven’t written a word.
Interruptions by family by phone or dropping into my office
Interruptions by family by phone or dropping into my office
Interruptions by family by phone or dropping into my office
9:30-10:15 – shower and prepare for next day
10:30 – Big Bang Theory – Sit in shell-shocked silence after a day of intense insanity
SECRET SERVICE RESCUE Harlequin Romantic Suspense
Adair Legacy Book #4
The Adair legacy concludes with a shocking revelation…
Kidnapped and held captive for weeks, Shelby O’Hara is grateful to be rescued by handsome secret service agent Daniel Henderson. But the rebellious beauty balks at his 24/7 protection until she learns the shocking secret of why she was abducted: she’s the granddaughter of the former U.S. vice president, a woman with lethal opponents in a deadly political game.
To elude those enemies, Daniel and Shelby go on the run, although they are constantly at each other’s throats…until the fighting stops with a torrid kiss. Suddenly, Shelby doesn’t feel so safe. From the bad guys, maybe, but from Daniel? He’s a clear and present danger to her heart!
Elle James’s Bio: Elle James spent twenty years livin’ and lovin’ in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. She has 39 works with Harlequin, self published works under pen name Elle James, over 40 works with other publishers including Samhain, Elloras’ Cave, Kensington and Avon and 18 works self-published under pen name Myla Jackson. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn’t wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to get the job of editing an anthology of local writing. I was living in Ireland at the time, and the town where I lived received a modest grant from the Arts Council to fund the project. It was simultaneously one of the most enjoyable and frustrating times in my writing career.
This was local writing in the rawest sense. People turned in memoir, short stories, poems, and excerpts from longer works. The standard ranged from extremely good professional writers, down to the wanna-bes who churned out a story over their morning porridge. The contributors’ ages ranged from 93 down to 7.
Then there was the politics. There were certain people I had to include: the lady who wrote the obituaries for the local paper, the librarian’s kids, a publican from one of the 28 pubs in town who wrote a long and vitriolic rant about people chucking up their black pints on his carpet.
People submitted their work, and I chose… Well, some I chose were the best, some were written by local characters that were expected to contribute, some were badly written memoirs, but they told a valuable story of local life. Just when I’d finally got it sorted (or so I thought), people wandered up to me in the street, or in the pub and slip a tatty piece of paper covered in illegible writing into my hand. “For the local book,” they’d say. One lady rang me to dictate her story over the phone for me to type.
The editing part was as much tact as bluntness, as much smoke and mirrors as substance—seeing what I could change that would never be noticed. I soon learned that, for the most part, people didn’t want or care about edits. “Ah, sure, I didn’t bother reading it back; that’s what you’re here for.”
There were a few arguments, a few noses out of joint, and a few overrides of my choices by the bigwigs in the Arts Council, all for political reasons. But there were a few who did seem to care very much, and they were as delightful to work with, as keen and enthusiastic as any professional.
The book was a quiet success. We sold hundreds at the launch in a local pub which was attended by half the town. People bought the book as Christmas presents, for their granny, for all their relatives, “for posterity”. And everyone thanked me, everyone bought me a pint of Guinness, so that I had pints to call on for weeks afterward.
It was a great experience. It was editing, of course it was, but it was also PR, HR, politicking, child care, elder care, social work, public speaking, stenography, computer repair, IT help desk, alcoholic, and cook.
Right now, I’m in the throes of editing my second anthology. After 14 years as an erotica writer, and a contributory to anthologies, I’ve finally bitten the bullet. “Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire” will be published by Ladylit in late August. I can’t wait!
As for the editing experience—well it couldn’t be further removed from the local writing experience. There are 17 wonderful stories in “Forbidden Fruit”, written by professionals and a couple of extremely talented new writers. It’s a great experience, being trusted with another’s story, and when the story is an excellent piece of writing to start with, editing is what it should be: a fine-tune, one that maintains the author’s voice and the story they want to tell.
Look out for “Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire” at the end of August 2014. It’s going to be a cracker!
None of the contributors to “Forbidden Fruit” asked me to watch their kids while they nipped around to Maeve’s to use the printer. That’s a good thing. But hey… none of them have bought me a pint of Guinness either!
Cheyenne Blue’s erotica has appeared in over 90 anthologies including Best Women’s Erotica, Cowboy Lust, Best Lesbian Romance, Lesbian Lust, and Frenzy:60 Stories of Sudden Sex. She lives and writes by the beach in Queensland, Australia. Visit her website at http://www.cheyenneblue.com
This won’t be a long post. I’m house-sitting for my dd and her fam while they’re on vacation, and so only nipping in to my office to check my mail.
It’s my birthday today! Mom gave me a packet of painting brushes and a couple of water-color books—one for Irish landscapes and another for orchids. Love orchids! I’m not hard to choose gifts for. Give me things for my art or post-its and pens for my office and I’m over the moon. 🙂
I’m sure my dd is picking up little bits and pieces on her trip for me. I will love the surprises, I’m sure. No one knows my taste (or lack of) better!
Birthdays at my age can be horrendous for some. Not me. I’ve never minded the march of time. It’s just a number. Want to know mine? I’m 56 today. And for someone who played hard in her youth, and who experimented with EVERYTHING, any year past 21 is gravy. I didn’t expect to live this long. How about you? How old/young are you? Do you fret over birthdays? Did one particular number get you down? Or are you grateful for being able to continue this journey?
Like many authors, writing is not my only creative outlet. I’ve done scrap booking, crochet, even basket weaving (seriously – don’t knock it – it’s more relaxing than you realize). But the craft I turn to when my words aren’t coming is beading. I love playing with all the shiny, glitterly colors and shapes and turning them into things I can wear or have around the house.
While preparing to go to RomCon, I realized I needed a few more giveaways. So, I put on my jewelry designer hat and created some blingy bookmarks and purse charms. Here are the results of that effort:
At the conference, there were hundreds of great ideas and nifty author promo but I’m always curious to know what readers really like to receive. So I’m asking you, gentle reader, what do you like? And you, fellow author, what has been effective?
On July 10th I have a new book coming out with Ellora’s Cave called Loss of Control. Like several of my earlier books, Loss of Control is a contemporary workplace romance. Since I can hardly wait for my new book to be out, I’d like to give away an electronic copy of one of my backlist books – it’ll be winner’s choice of Down to Business or Risky Business.
To be included in the drawing, just leave me a comment, along with your email address, and let me know what promotional item(s) would make you check out an author’s book or website? And for you authors out there, what promotions and/or swag have you done that drew attention to your book(s)? On Tuesday, July 2nd I’ll draw a name.
BONUS: If your name is drawn and you’ve friended me on Facebook, I’ll send you one of my blingy purse charms (pictured above) along with some Dena swag.
Jeanie’s lousy boss has sent her on yet another business trip. At least this one has a bonus—she gets to work with “Steve the Stud”, the office hottie who makes all the women weak-kneed, for the whole week. When she finds him to be smart and fun as well, she has no clue how she’ll finish the trip while staying professional.
Steve got burned the last time he dated a coworker and has vowed to never put himself in that position again, no matter how much he can’t stop thinking about Jeanie and her freckles. When Jeanie finds evidence of fraud, Steve works more closely with her than he imagined. It’ll take all his control to maintain his promise while Jeanie struggles with an ethical dilemma.
Loss of Control is a Blush® contemporary romance from Ellora’s Cave.
When I began writing, I remember sending out my first partial, smiling, telling everyone the manuscript’s title, and that my book was going to sell. Then, I remember months later, receiving the rejection letter. I was devastated. How could they not want the book of my heart? And the rejection letter, Dear Author . . ., it could have been written to anyone!
Over the years I discovered that I had a deft skill for acquiring rejections. I remember one day my oldest son carrying in a manila envelope saying, “Hey, Mom, you received another rejection.” *Smile* Gotta love kids. After 100 rejections, I quit counting. I decided I knew how to acquire a rejection.
Throughout the years, through every frustration and doubt, I never gave up. Not only is it important to never give up, but it’s essential for you to RECOGNIZE that with each passing year, you’re growing stronger in the craft, plus, you’re connecting with fellow authors and industry professionals, which = networking. Once you sell, your experience and contacts will prove invaluable. I never realized until looking back, the benefits of selling later in my writing career.
I feel passionate about this topic because I wish someone would have sat me down and said, “That you write is well and good, but let’s say you sold, what’s your plan?” Plan? Why to write of course. It’s critical that after you sell that you keep on writing, but it’s also important to build a reader readership. In all honestly, unless you sell a book through a high visibility venue, the hard reality is that few people will know who you are, much less buy your book. So, if you’re a new writer, realize rejections are a part of writers life, and plan for the day when your book sells. Use your time accrued to your benefit.
Your success is no accident. I find it interesting that my quote for today is:
“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” — Brian Tracy
This is so true. Persistence and perseverance are the key. What is your exact goal? Define it. Plan to not only make it, but make it a success. So, what can you do? My take:
-If you have a website, great, if not, place it on top of your priority list. Many authors have a website, but plan yours, let it reflect the target market you are writing for and will eventually sell for. When I worked with my fabulous webmaster, Rae Monet, Inc. Design [http://raemonetinc.com/websites.html], I came into the project knowing what I wanted, plus, I had a ‘Brand’ – Romance Edged With Danger. I will always write suspense, regardless if they’re historical, contemporary, inspirational or fantasy. So, we designed my website to be timeless. If you look at my website [www.dianacosby.com], you will see it could work for any era. I also love the simplicity of my web pages, that anyone coming in doesn’t have to wait forever if they’re on dial-up for the site to upload.
*Note: Check out other authors sites. What do you love? What doesn’t connect for you. Make a list of your favorite features for ideas for your website. If you’re going to blog, great, but stagnant blogs attract nada.
-A Brand. What tag to do you feel is the essence of what you write, regardless of the line, era? As I said above, for me it’s, Romance Edged With Danger.
-Business Cards. My take, keep them professional. I have two different business cards, those I hand out to readers that have my website and e-mail. The other business card, for industry professionals, has all of my contact information.
-Bookmarks. I think bookmarks are one of the single best marketing tools a writer can have. I always joke that if someone takes one and really doesn’t want it, odds are they’ll leave my bookmark somewhere – to be found by a reader who’ll scoop it up. Also, I send bookmarks to conferences, booksellers, venues that feature the type of book I write such as medieval gatherings, and anywhere I feel is beneficial.
-Other on-line venues: Social media offers incredible opportunities to connect with your readers.
-Conferences. Keep networking!
-Marketing. I’ll give you one word of advice, choose what you LOVE DOING, and what’s within your budget. Caution – you can spend a lot of $ really quick.
After nine years of writing, I sold. I found that in addition to writing an intense, multi-layer story, came the challenge of fitting in time for promotion. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. This is where preparing early in your career for success comes into play. Your well-planned foundation will give you a significant edge to help your career take off.
As I look back, I’m thankful I didn’t sell early on in my career. After nine years, I thought I was ready; in essence, I was clueless. The years accrued gave me time to strengthen my writing, meet industry professionals, and to make friends who were a not only a bedrock in the enormous transition of becoming published, but who are truly a blessing in my life. So, next time you receive a rejection letter, set it aside, and focus on building your career. Last, always believe in yourself! I wish each and every one of you every success!
Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
The Oath trilogy (Book #1: An Oath Taken — December 2014!)
MacGruder Brother series (Box set — March 2015!)
A retired Navy Chief, AGC(AW), Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Her award-winning MacGruder Brother books are available in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.
After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. With the release of her 6th book in the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, she’s now working on the 1st book in her new Scottish medieval The Oath trilogy, “An Oath Taken,” which will be released December 8th, 2014. In addition, she’s excited about the upcoming release of the MacGruder Brother series box set early in 2015. Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
I have a new release (is it just me that snickers every time I type that?!?) and it’s my first full FF novella! YEA for sexy girls!!!
I write a lot of ménage, dipped my toe in MM and FF in the Members Only Series but never published a complete story with it before.
Kerrington and Danielle are best friends, destined to be together but Kerrington thinks something else…someone else’s thoughts on her love life are more important. NOT THE CASE!!!
Hope everyone will give it a chance and love Kerrington and Danielle as much as I loved writing them. It could possibly be the first in a series, but I’m not saying. At all. *GRINS*
Giveaway – one spanking new e-copy of Buried Permission! All you need to do is go to my Amazon page and like the page in the upper right hand corner. Come back here and leave me a comment below. Just tell me your name, email address (so I can email you if you win) and the new LIKE # in ( ) from the amazon page!
Thanks for stopping by!!
Kerrington needed her best friend Danielle in her life. Secretly, she wasn’t just a need. She was an ache, buried so deep Kerrington couldn’t breathe without wanting her. But she’d promised her grandmother she’d make her proud and find a man to marry, to have children with, to love, to cherish…
Nothing else mattered more than following the straight and narrow path set before her. Until one night, when a simple kiss changed everything and put Danielle and Kerrington’s strained friendship into question.
Searching for answers, Kerrington finds the permission she thought lost forever—unearthed by hypnotherapist, Dr. Mackenzie Raith. Now Kerrington must convince Danielle to give her one last chance, if it’s not too late.
A Romantica® female/female erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Jennifer Kacey is a wife, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.
It has been a tremendous month and I am celebrating. I hope you play along—because you could win an awesome prize pack!
Why am I so excited???
Four of my books are up for major awards (Lust Eternal is a finalist in the FF&P Contest for fantasy & paranormal romances; Rebound is up for a RONE award from InD’Tale Magazine; and Making Over Maris and Heart of Ash are contenders for the 2014 Passionate Plume).
To top it all off, my steamy Regency romp, Dark Fancy, won the 2014 Carolyn Reader’s Choice Award in the erotic category.
So I am celebrating! What can I do, but give away a signed print copy??
Read About Dark Fancy: In this sizzling prequel to Folly, when Lady Helena Simpson flees an unwanted marriage to a revolting lord, she finds refuge with James, a charming, handsome man unlike any she’s ever known. Helena concocts the perfect solution to her problem. She asks–begs–James to ruin her. Surely her betrothed will repudiate her if she is no longer pure. And if all her efforts fail and she still ends up married to a horrid man until the end of her days, she will at least once have known true passion. But James is not all he seems. He is, in fact, a wicked lord with a dark fancy. When Helena awakens his desire, he becomes determined to take everything she has to offer and more. No matter the cost. Inside Scoop: Whether they’re making love outdoors at a grand estate or getting naughty in a secret sex club in the city, James and Helena put the erotic back in erotic Regency romance.
Read all the books in the Noble Passions Series: Follow the decadent exploits of friends and enemies as they find love and passion in the glittering world of the Regency–and its dark underbelly. Each book is a stand-alone read. Folly (Book 1) 2014 EPIC eBook Award Finalist 2013 Passionate Plume Finalist Dark Fancy (Book 2) 2014 NTRWA Carolyn Reader Choice Award WinnerDark Duke (Book 3), Brigand (Book 4), Defiant (Book 5)—Coming soon.
Read About the Mega Giveaway You can win a copy of Dark Fancy, along with a bunch of other books signed by authors who attended the RT Booklovers convention in May. I picked up a TON of swag, goodies and books…all for one lucky winner. Additionally, I got some local treats including famous pralines…and a sparkly Tiara I bought there just for you. Read on for details!
PRIZE PACK INCLUDES: Sabrina Swag including: A signed copy of Carolyn Reader’s Choice Award winning Dark Fancy, by Sabrina York, a bling pen, a signed teaser book and a Tiara purchased in New Orleans. New Orleans Goodies: Pralines, Bacon flavored brittle, NOLA shot glass & Mardi Gras beads. Exclusive RT Swag: Tote bags and gifts from RT events