Where have you been?

Hi all!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted in here (sorry about that), but I’m going to start blogging again, and wanted to send a quick post to let you know what’s been going on with book 2, in the Awaken Series.

Right now I’m editing Lost (book 2) and I have plans to publish Lost in March 2014, which is exactly one year from when I published Awaken. I’m really excited about where the novel is at, and I can’t wait to show you the cover soon!

If you have any questions for me please leave a comment below. So for now, I’m off to editing! Have a great day everyone!

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Well That Was Scary!

I had a big scare on Monday, one that took me back 4 years ago where I lost my manuscript 3 times. Click here to read about it.

Computer ErrorI woke up, turned on my computer and after about an hour of trying to boot-it-up it just was stuck! I couldn’t get into any of my files, I couldn’t get onto the internet….NOTHING!

To say that my heart stopped is an understatement. Luckily, from my past experience with this type of thing happening (having me loose my work) I thankfully had it backed up. But still, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t do anything. When you have a deadline and something like this happens you just start to go into panic mode.

It did turn out okay. With the help of my very good friend Mat, he was able to get my computer working again! I have to thank him because after he worked his “day job” (which was a 12 hour shift) he got right on the phone with me (he lives in California) and 4 hours later it was complete! It is a funny story though, he couldn’t remotely sign into my computer (the internet wasn’t working) so we had to facetime each other on our cell phones, talk on another phone and I had to hold  my cell phone up to the computer so he could guide me.  At the time it wasn’t fun but looking back, it’s nice how technology has grown (with facetime & skype) so I could do that type of thing and get the results I needed.

Well, I better go and continue editing, this little bump has set me back a little and now I have to work twice as hard to meet my deadline. So for now, it’s off to the cave!

The Do’s & Don’ts

For all you writers out there you might want to listen in for a moment. I need to talk to you about something very, very important right now…you ready? Are you sure your listening? Okay, well here it is…don’t fill your pages with a bunch of meaningless, everyday “stuff”. What I mean by this is, don’t in every single chapter, all the way through the entire book, write what your character ate at every single meal…WE DON’T WANT TO KNOW THIS!

Now, the flip side to this is, you do have to make your character believable so you will need to have some meals placed in there occasionally but just make sure you have a point to it. Whatever you put in each chapter make sure that it’s building your storyline and has a purpose.

I know sometimes its really hard to write certain chapters and fill up your book. Nobody wants to read a 250 page book that lacks substance, they want a solid story. So if you’re having trouble coming up with things to say or different scenes perhaps you just need to step away from writing for a few days and come back to it.

Also, the reader wants diversity. Don’t write the same “type” of scene for three chapters. Example, don’t write, in three chapters, your character learning how to play golf (perhaps that’s a bad example but you get the picture). If you have to write it like this make it interesting. Build in emotion or build intensity (if that’s the type of manuscript you are writing). Make the reader want to find out what will happen. Make the reader fall in love with your characters!

I only bring this up because I recently read a book (no I’m not going to tell you which book it was) and almost the entire 500 pages was stuffed full of what type of foods the characters ate, what it smelled like, what it tasted like, etc. There was no back story to justify putting it in there. I felt like the writer didn’t know what to say and so she threw it in there to “fill up the pages” with something. It didn’t grow the story in anyway. So if your characters are eating please give them something interesting to say.

It’s All Part Of The Process

Hello all! It’s me again. I know I haven’t blogged in a week (been busy) but I’m back and ready to talk out my thoughts or write about them – however you want to see it.

So this week has been a lot of editing and researching. The editing process – well…hmmm…big over dramatic sigh – it’s a process. You know the old saying, don’t put the cart before the horse, well that saying rings true now, more than ever. Let me elaborate. You know when you work on something and you spend an ungodly amount of time perfecting it to the point where you finally think to yourself, it’s finished! Well, let me tell you friends, it’s only the beginning. What you just did was set the foundation for your story, put up a few walls and now (when an editor digs into it) it gets bulldozed to the ground and then you have to rebuild it back up again from the rubble.

I’ve recently sent my manuscript out to my second editor to polish it up and get it ready. What I didn’t expect was to get it back and see that every page was covered in red! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely thankful that I haven’t released it yet only to wake up the next morning to a critic ripping me apart, bit by bit (I’ve had nightmares about this). However, it does hit you right in the gut and you begin to think to yourself, will it ever be ready? I know the answer to that question is, yes it will, it’s just a very long process and sometimes I begin to go a little crazy…waiting and waiting and waiting.

With the research I’ve done, I kind of put it into two categories The Helpful category and the I’m Going To Beat My Head Against The Wall category. 1st the “help full” category is just that, helpful. It’s nice to get insight on how other’s have “done it” and then put it to use in your own work. The flip side to this is that you can completely have a mental breakdown reading what other authors say; I got an agent! I got the first copy of my book in the mail! I got a book deal! I’ve sold 10,000 copies in one day! You tend to (at least for me) start believing that your work is complete and it needs to be out there now. But like I said it’s a process and I have to keep telling myself to be patient.

The great part, and the thing that has made all the time I have spent worth it, is seeing the imperfections work themselves out and start to become what you had dreamed the story could be.

I’m beginning to see the finish line and when that day comes, when I can finally say “It’s complete”, I will look back on all the work and all the stressing and all the countless hours of asking myself “why not now” I will be able to say that it all happened at the right time.

    

Busy Day Today

Today a lot is happening in my world. I sent my work off to my second editor who will be going over my manuscript with a fine tooth comb. Most authors have their work looked at by a few different people before it’s marked as “complete” and finally published. I just got the first few chapters back and will be going through it line by line taking things out, putting things in and generally sitting for hours trying to figure out if I like the end result or not (its a very time consuming ordeal).

I will also be finalizing my overview that has been keeping me up all night. So I can almost guarantee that by the end of the day I will either be completely loony frolicking down the street in 30 degree weather or totally exhausted staring at a blank wall for hours. Either way I will be a step closer to the end result!

So for now, I bid you farewell!

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My book printed out. 28 Chapters!

Decisions Decisions…

For this past week I thought I would clue you in on a little secret….you ready?

I’ve been STRESSED!

I know I know, a big shocker for all of you who know me…but sadly yes.

Some of you might have seen a few days ago I posted on Facebook that I had some decisions to make and that I needed to go and clean the house and think! (A little nutty right? I mean who actually volunteers to do house work after a long day? NOT THIS GIRL! So you know “this thing” was driving me CRAZY, to do such a spur-of-the-moment thing). But that’s what happened. Because staring at your computer screen and trying to figure it out, sometimes just doesn’t work. So I decided to step away and take a break.

So here’s the deal…

Writing a manuscript and actually finishing it you would think…wow…that’s got to be the hardest part of this whole process. WRONG! The writing was easy, because at first your thought is, I’m writing because I love it, not, I think one day I might actually publish my work. So at first (at least for me) i just wanted to see if I could actually do it. Put everything that was in my head down on paper. Well, a couple of years into my writing I actually did it! I actually completed 27 chapters! To say that the piece was quality was up to interpretation, but none-the-less it was done.

Now comes the part where you might think everything should be a peace-of-cake, right? I mean, all you have to do is re-read your work, change a few things, have your friends read it and that’s it. WRONG AGAIN. That’s not how it works. I think I must have spent more time revising it then writing the dang thing. And I’m still revising it!

But that’s not the part that has me thinking I should take an entire package of Oreo cookies and destroy them one sleeve at a time (I know that sounds a little over-dramatic but you get the picture). No, the part that has me stressing out is coming up with the overview for my book. You know, the part that everyone reads to see if they even want to spend their hard-earned-money on a book that no one has even heard of or go with the safe purchase and buy one of the many books on B&N top 100 best sellers list.

YEP that’s where I’m at.

So for the record I would like to say that if I go off on some random rant about socks at Walmart that are priced $3.99 and I think they should be $2.99 or the driver who is going 34 mph when the speed limit is 35, it’s only due to the stresses of a writer who has been working at this for 4 years.