Sleepy Time

As an author, I have to find time to think about my books. For me it’s not just sitting down and writing it, it’s also thinking through some of the main points of the book. Even though I’m not a true plotter that outlines the story, I still have to pick a direction and go!

Thinking about the characters and the general plot is often done when I have a spare moment – in the shower, on my daily commute, etc.

But I have found for me that the best time to come up with those great character developing moments and pivotal scenes is first thing in the morning when my alarm has gone off and I set it for snooze, or I know that I can stay in bed a little bit longer on the weekend.

That is when the ideas come to me since I’m not bogged down with to do lists, and social media, and my day job. My psyche is free to explore options I wouldn’t think about if I was fully awake.

I call it my sleepy author time. And I treasure it.

So if you’re trying to work through something, try thinking about it when you first wake up. You never know what you might come up with!

Clean Sweep

There is something cleansing about starting a new year. You finish out the long holiday season to start fresh with a new year.

For me, I always do what I like to call “the purge” at the end of the year. I go through my house and determine what I no longer need. I pack up clothes for donation, go through my pantry and throw out anything with an expiration date, look through all my things to determine if I really need it anymore, or if it can go into the storage totes I have my annual garage sale items stored in. And of course, there is the annual cleaning of old bills, and other documents.

Once I do all of this cleaning, I feel ready to face the new year and that goes for my writing too. It’s like sweeping the cobwebs out from the corners of my brain as well!

I’ve started working FOR BETTER OR FOR WOLF, the fourth book in my wedding planner series and I’m looking at my whole writing schedule for the year – time to plot some of it out now. Sounds crazy, right? But it worked for me last year 🙂 (says the girl who wrote three books).

So many things in 2019 to look forward too. And all because I’ve made a clean sweep of things!

What do you do to prepare for a new year?

It’s Never Too Late To Be Thankful

Last week I lost track of days. Maybe it had to do with only having to work three days  before Thanksgiving. But Monday came and went last week and I didn’t think about posting my Monday blog. And when I woke up Thursday morning and turned on the Macy’s day parade for some reason that jogged my memory that I hadn’t posted anything!

I had planned on writing about being thankful – very appropriate for the holiday. And I realized that it is NEVER too late to talk about being thankful. I think it is something we should think about every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful for my family – my dad, especially. And my friends who have been with me for years and those I have met recently as a writer.

And I am thankful for my writing. It has opened up a world for me. I have met amazing people and readers! I am so thankful for my readers – you jump into my world and understand my characters and keep reading! How blessed and thankful can one writer be?

Very, very thankful!

When a Drink Isn’t JUST a Drink

Last week my brother came to town, and we went out to dinner. When the waiter came to take our order, my brother said that I wanted a shot of tequila and then another shot should come every ten minutes after that. (If you haven’t figured it out yet, my brother is a bit of a comedian).

When the waiter came back to the table, he passed out the drinks and then set a shot glass with a lime in front of me, smiled, and told me he would be back in 9 minutes.

My brother and I gaped at him for a moment until the waiter said, “Just kidding. That’s water.”

And then we laughed, and laughed again. And even though my brother had gotten “one-upped”, he proclaimed the waiter was awesome!

So I got to enjoy a drink without really enjoying a drink!

I think that can also be said about the power of fiction. It allows us to experience other times, locations, people, and even worlds that we wouldn’t normally get to experience. And good fiction means that we enjoy these stories even when we aren’t really living in them 🙂

So we get the buzz without the hangover – I’ll always take another round of that!

Lovin’ Summer

If you have ever seen the musical Grease, there is a great song called Summer Lovin’ where we get to find out how Danny and Sandy first met. I’m going to take the liberty of switching the title around a bit to discuss this week’s topic – Lovin’ Summer.

Where I live, we’re in the midst of summer and I love it. There is something so freeing about summer. Maybe it’s because I live in the north where I’m trapped inside in the winter months, or maybe it just has to do with the fact that the sun doesn’t set at 4pm, making me want to crawl under the covers by five.

Freedom from heavy clothes and shoes. Wiggling my toes in my flip flops. There is something amazing about it for sure. But summer also makes me want to free myself of responsibilities.

But that is not going to happen. Why? you ask… because when summer is done and fall is here, my demon trilogy will release. So even though I’m sporting flip flops right now, I’m still getting my books written, edited and ready for you. In my stories, Misha and his crazy family are enjoying a Cleveland Summer. I may be channeling my seasonal love through them, but that’s fine.

It will just keep summer around a little longer!

 

Writing is NOT Solitary

You might have noticed that last week I missed posting my blog. I had just returned from RWA’s national conference and by the time I realized I missed my blog last Monday, I decided it was Fate’s way of telling me to take a blog vacation for a week. So I did.

But I didn’t want to forget to share my conference experience with you. For me, the national conference gives me the ability to regroup, both mentally and emotionally as a writer. I attend sessions and find out what is happening in the world of publishing. But even more importantly, I catch up with my writer friends. Many of whom I only see at conference. Sure, I may email or talk to them since they are located all over, but there is something special about spending actual time together.

When I am with a group of writers, my sense or rightness (or “writeness”) returns. I gather with people who understand my language and have stories that won’t stay silent in their brains. Powerful friends to have.

So I got to spend time with my peeps to gear up for another year of writing and publishing. Batteries have officially been recharged.

Why 9556 Is a Magic Number!

Have I piqued your interest? Why in the world would 9556 be a magic number? Well, that is the number of words I wrote this weekend on my third novel in my demon brothers series. And the best part of that number? The last two words were THE END!

Wow, I am so happy to have the first draft done, done, done! Cue the music, confetti, balloons, and chocolate, because AE has written Misha, Aleksei, and Sergei’s stories.

Now we jump into edits, edits, edits! And then the books should be heading your way in the fall. I can’t wait to share this Russian demon family’s stories. It was great to dive into Misha’s family in a big way.

Normally an author provides splashes of backstory to build a character. In this instance the back story actually got to come to life in the form of two more sexy demon brothers, an outrageous Grandmother (Babushka) and a smooth-talking Father. So we get romance, and family drama, and learning how to fit in. We also have some cute kids thrown in as well!

Over the next few months, I’ll be telling you more, more, more about these stories. I’ll also share covers, blurbs, and release dates.

I just wanted to share the news, so you could celebrate along with me! And don’t worry about things getting too crazy. My celebration last night included a vanilla/chocolate twist cone with crunch.

Yep, I know how to throw a party!

 

Spring Had Finally Sprung

In an hour, it will officially be the first day of spring in the states. And even though it might snow tomorrow in my part of the country, I am still looking forward to breaking out of a very long and cold winter.

It seemed appropriate that this weekend I finished the first rough draft of the second demon book I have been writing. My editor is in the process of editing book number one, and I am multi-tasking and working on the next one. I got quite a jump-start on this second book and now I need to read it through and start my edits before I send it to my beta readers.

Writing is a cyclical process much like the seasons. Ideas – writing – content edits – detailed edits – proofread – format – publish. Start all over again…

And when you are working on more than one book at a time, it’s like your seasons crash together – kind of like snow on the first day of spring…

(See how I tied that back to what I said in the beginning? Cool, right?)

A Writer’s Spring Fever

Spring is coming in a few short weeks and I am so very excited. We had a LONG winter where I live, and the idea of flowers, green grass, and sunshine pushes away the winter blahs.

There is something invigorating about spring. It’s a fresh awakening. As a writer, that holds a special appeal. For me, there are several “spring-like” steps to my writing process.

Writing lets me delve into new worlds, new plots, new characters, new mysteries, new romances…something that I haven’t experienced or written before.

Right now I’m reading through my manuscript before I send it to my editor for detailed edits, and I realized that as I make tweaks to scenes, I am planting seeds. Making it the best it can be, before my editor gets a hold of it and REALLY cleans it up – I guess you could say she’ll be doing a spring cleaning on it 🙂  (sorry couldn’t help myself  with that one).

But I’m happy that sunshine is finally making its way into my little corner of the world. And if I’m lucky, I hope it continues to shine in my work as well.

Calendar Me This

It’s almost February and I was quickly losing sight of a goal I had set for myself this year. My plan was to map out 2018 as best I could concerning my writing. How exactly to do it?

A giant, erasable calendar, of course!

In that way, I can scope out my plans for the year and look at them hanging from my wall in all it’s technicolor glory. And while my hope is I can stick to the plan, the calendar is erasable, so it allows me some flexibility.

Flexibility is a very important thing to a writer. Nothing ever goes exactly to plan. Whether it’s the writing of the story – the plot goes a new way, the character evolves into something unexpected- or the process to get that book out there to readers – edits, proofs, formatting – something will not follow the normal path. So you learn to roll with the punches, but at the same time, if you don’t plan at least a little bit, you won’t ever get to point B.

I’ve decided that I want to plan for writing in 2018! Better planning – leads to bigger successes. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!