"Publishing a book is like being pregnant. By the end, you're just ready to get that baby out!" Yep, I'm the one who said that! In fact, I've said it every time I've published a book.
I haven't been around as long as Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts, but this isn't my first rodeo either. This is my (hang on while I take off my shoes to count) 21st novel (plus I've written four novellas).
But yeah, just like being pregnant, it doesn't matter. That baby has to come out! And no matter how much preparation I've put into its arrival, no matter how many times I've done it before, when the day comes, I'm scared to death.
But here's the real reason I'm here today!!!
If "Publishing a book is like being pregnant," which I truly think it is--after all, I've delivered two real babies and twenty-five books, so I know the pain of both--I swear I'm in postpartum depression. Really, and it's not because I have a lack of books to write. In fact, it's just the opposite.
I have several half-written novels. I've specked out a six-book follow-up series to the Midnight Sons series, which will tell the stories of our leading ladies BEFORE they arrived in Alaska. I've started book six in the Creatus series. I have several chapters and tons of notes on book six in the Southern Collection. I have a half-written follow-up novel to The Library, which I'd set aside to finish the Midnight Sons series.
AND... I have a FINISHED supernatural suspense that has been sitting in my computer for years!
So, as I sat around last night, wallowing in my depressed mood--which is actually rare for me; I'm not usually a wallower (is wallower even a word)--I actually started another book. Yes, you heard me correctly. I have no less than ten things on my plate, and before I knew it, I had a thousand words typed out in a new series that has been chomping at the back of my brain.
What on earth is wrong with me? I thought.
Then I realized... I LOVE being pregnant!
Well, not really pregnant--I hate being physically pregnant. But I LOVE to write. It doesn't matter if I get a few bad reviews; I simply LOVE to write! And more than writing, I love to BE READ. I know there are a lot of snobby people in the world, but I assure you, I'm not one of them!!! If you tell me you enjoyed my book and follow me on Twitter, you're my friend.
So, after all this, I think I've resolved my question of why I have PPD. I crave the story... I crave that feeling when I finish a book and send it off to my beta readers, whom I hear from almost immediately, which satisfies my thirst for a while. So, I'm anxious to get back to work and pen another book, so I'll get my fix. Or--and this would be awesome--if you've already finished reading Daire's Resolution and enjoyed it, please write a review on Amazon, BookBub, Goodreads, and/or wherever you buy books. I promise you I'll read it. Unlike some authors, I read every review--good and bad. Though I definitely prefer reading comments from happy folks. :')
If you haven't grabbed the new release yet...
Daire's Resolution is available at all major book retailers!
How do I keep myself and family from going insane during my up-and-down emotions, especially over family get-togethers or major life events... How do I use my personal strengths and weakness to my advantage...
I write during and about them. I keep a running notepad on my iPhone of my thoughts and feelings throughout normal events, such as eating out, grocery shopping, vacations, holidays with family, and children’s events. Anything that will make my characters more believable. But, I also go one-step further.
After all, how do you write about a character's tragic death when you just spent a great day with friends and family over a holiday weekend. Sometimes I can. Occasionally, when all is perfect, the writing flows effortlessly, but other times it doesn't. So, if I am experiencing a particularly strong emotion, I'll seek out a scene in my Work In Progress that requires that sentiment, reread, and almost always edit accordingly.
When I am feeling down, I seek out a troublesome period in my protagonist’s life, be it past or present. My depression works to my advantage because the words on the page reflect my inner turmoil. The reader will feel the character’s pain and be able to empathize. And a plus, after pouring out my frustrations--as though I've spoken to a good friend, who only listens--I usually feel better when the section is finished.
When I am happy, my joy spreads like wildfire, and so the reader will sense my excitement and therefore feel the happiness my characters are experiencing.
Romantic... Well, you get the idea. The reader should feel as though she is a part of the scene, as if she is the main character or, at minimum, a close friend.
Isn’t that what a great novel should accomplish? The reader should feel chills spread down her arms and butterflies in her stomach at the idea of a first kiss. Her pulse should race as if she is prey in a game of cat and mouse, and when appropriate, she should even shed a tear.
So if you're like me and fret when all the extended family is around, and somehow you got the job of managing the food for a small army, don't get upset. Delegate! Then sneak away and jot down what your mother did to upset you. How Uncle Joey dressed for the event. How cute all the new kids acted who were finally old enough to play with the sparklers.
In other words, use your emotions, happy or sad! And if you're not a writer, that's okay...trust me, it still helps to write it down.
And since you'll probably need a mental escape at some point this week, grab my new release so you'll have something to read when you slip away, and see how Jana Embers deals with her lying, cheating husband of fifteen years and her new life as a single woman.
Until next time, Happy Reading and Writing!
No wonder readers -- people in general ... MEN -- get confused.
Fantastic or supernatural events?
Full of exaggeration?
That's not what romance is!
I'd like to think that I'm living a romance because my husband does romantic things. When he surprises me with a mini-vacation, sends me cute little text messages, gives me sweet gifts, cleans the house before I get home, kisses me sweetly when I don't expect it... That's romantic, so doesn't it make sense that we're living in a romance story.
Let's take a look at the words that define love:
Ahh... That's better!
So why do we define books as contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, romantic mystery, and romantic thriller.
For the record, I wish there were another word other than 'romantic' to describe what I write. Funny that they don't have a genre called "Love-Suspense Novel," since according to the definition, it would work better.
Even though when I think of a "love story," the first thing that comes to my mind is the movie Love Story or Romeo and Juliet, and I certainly don't write that. :)
The fact of the matter is ... I don't write romances either. I don't write about fanciful events leading up to the characters falling in love. I write about a love that went wrong. Love that started on the rocks, went through tragedies ... that are surrounded by a life-threatening event, a murder mystery, secret pasts, on the run, mistakes...
But sadly, some readers don't know that because they see the tag "romance," and they immediately think of a shirtless Fabio sweeping a half-dressed woman off her feet, so I'm not surprised when I read reviews like this one:
5.0 out of 5 stars Never thought I would be reading a romance novel.
By Joey Yagin
Never thought I would enjoy reading a romance novel. I hate them. I gave this series a chance only because I was curious about who existed, what is a creatus? Once I read the first of the series, I was hooked. Could not stop reading. Normally, I would stop in between the series and read another book before starting the next book of a series. With this book, I could not stop. I had to find out what's coming next. It was well written, and I did enjoy the characters. I even enjoyed the antagonist of the book. For me, what made it a good read is the combination of the super heroism, supernatural, mystery and suspense ( oh yeah, the romance). All in one series. If you do decide to read it, just buy the set. You will not be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romance Novel for People Who Don't Like Romance Novels
By C. M. Lance
I read "She Belongs To Me" and found it to be quite a good mystery/thriller without the overt physical descriptions that overflow from other Romance novels I've ventured into. The Romance is more of a caring, loving sort.
I have many reviews like the two I posted above -- many of them by men, some of them by women -- who shy away from any genre with "romantic" in the title, for fear that it'll be the mushy tales of old that were described as the romance definition at the top of the page.
When in fact, just about every book or movie ever written includes a background love story or romance. Even war movies usually show a man trying to get home to the woman he loves, ready to buy the house with the white-picket fence. Heck, even thrillers and horror stories usually have a man dying to protect his woman. That's a pretty darn "romantic" gesture if you ask me.
So ... what do you think? Do you read novels with a romance tag? What do you immediately think of when you see the word "romantic" as part of the genre description. Please let me know your thoughts.
And in case you're interested, here are some more in-depth "genres" than what websites and bookstores allow on my books. :)
A romantic suspense with a whodunit mystery...
She Belongs to Me - FREE Everywhere!
A journey of two souls through tragedies with a romantic-suspense whodunit...
Land of the Noonday Sun
A romantic suspense with heartbreaking pasts, life-changing events, and evil intentions...
A romantic suspense with a supernatural edge...
A romantic mystery with a ghostly edge
The Library (Where Life Checks Out)
But that doesn't mean you should give up!
Writing the perfect book, the perfect male or female character, the perfect movie, song, play ... the perfect anything ... is impossible. Yes, impossible!
Don't believe me ... Take a look at some of your all-time favorite movies, books, plays, music ... anything that you love. Someone, somewhere, hates it.
But you know what? That's okay!
Variety is the spice of life. If we all loved the same things, it would mean that everything would be the same. How boring would that be?
I can't count how many times hubby and I have been discussing an issue, and someone who doesn't know us thought we were arguing. Hey, we've been married twenty-six years ... that's how we talk. And we love it! If he agreed with everything I said or wanted, I'd think, "Man, where's the tough guy I married?" and if I gave him everything he wanted ... Well, he'd probably like it for a little while--he is a man, after all--but then, even men would get bored of a woman who agreed with everything they said and wanted.
So ... don't worry when a few people don't like what you wrote, said, sung, drew ... Look for--and be willing to learn from--the people who offer genuine, constructive criticism on what they didn't like about what you did, as those are the only critiques that matter. The honest reviews that will help you get better at your craft ... whatever it is.
That said, yep, I have people who don't like what I write, but that's okay. I know my characters aren't for everyone. I don't write perfect heroes, just perfect gentlemen with a few flaws. I write stories about real people, dealing with real issues, facing real life. And yes, I've learned a lot in the last three years from those genuine reviewers I mentioned above--because I was willing to listen--and I'll keep learning, as long as I can type and read.
So, brush off your backside, get back on the horse, and get back to work, my friends!
Until next time, Happy Reading and Writing!
Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book, just for stopping by. To stay up-to-date on my writing posts, sales, giveaways, and new releases, sign up for my newsletter here.
I know we’ve heard this before, but I wasn’t sure if anyone had put it in social media and writing vernacular, so here goes:
Make Friends: I don’t follow everyone, but if we share a common interest—this usually means writing, reading, thinking about writing or reading, or know someone who writes or reads and supports them—I usually follow back people who interact with me on Twitter and Facebook.
Do Onto Others: Again, I don’t share everything, but if I read something I think my friends would enjoy, I retweet and share posts, especially when it’s from someone who shares my posts. :)
If you can’t say Anything Nice…: Really, this should go without saying, but I still see it. Nothing wrong with having your opinion, but that’s exactly what it is: your opinion. Don’t get into a fighting match; that’s what the "unfollow" button is for. Remember...it takes two.
Say You’re Sorry: If you do offend someone, say you’re sorry.
Play Fair: Play by the rules. Unscrupulous activities make life hard for everyone. Whether it's social media tactics or marketing ventures. Use the old standard: if it feels wrong, it probably is.
Share: The most shocking thing I heard from an author once was that she didn’t follow other authors… What? I laughed! Authors are readers; authors have readers who follow them. I can write about four books a year. Some of my readers—like me—can read that many books in a week. It only makes sense that if my readers like me, they will probably like what I like. So…I share! We trade readers. Make sense?
Use the Buddy System: Indie authors have limited money and resources. Our best advertisement is each other and word of mouth from our readers. Find some buddies. Don’t go this alone. I’ve never worked with a more supportive team than writers.
Have snack time: Stop writing and chatting. Go find some chocolate and coffee. Your head will be clearer when you return.
Appreciate beauty: As children, we go on field trips, look at pretty pictures, read classics. As an adult, we still need inspiration. Leave your comfort zone. Go find something beautiful and write about it.
Sing / Listen to Music: Nothing lends more inspiration than music. Whether it’s a sad country song or an instrumental piece, add some music to your routine.
Wash Your Hands: I know…you’re saying, “What?” Okay…I’ll take this one step further. If you have writer’s block, stop! Go get the snack I mentioned, and then take a shower. Start with hot water to alleviate stress, but then finish with cold water as long as possible. If you don’t know about this, read up on it. The negative ions created from the water hitting the tile and the drowning out of all other sounds are the best way to get your mind thinking.
Now…go write your blog, your book reviews, your tweets, your Facebook posts, or preferably your WIP!
Until next time, happy reading and writing!
Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.
As I wrote that line, not only was I reminded of Joe Fox's comment in You've Got Mail about vats of olive oil, but I also realized -- and this is fitting to the post -- not everyone likes Big Macs. Me, eh ... not really, I'd rather have a plain burger, so I pull everything off it. But ... I LOVE their french fries and coffee. I digress ...
The M in McDonald's is probably the most commonly known trademark throughout the world, and yet, McDonald's advertises EVERYWHERE! Radio, TV, Twitter, Facebook, your mailbox …
Yes, even though there's a good chance that you'll go to McDonald's in the near future -- umm … for coffee -- they still pay millions of dollars to bring you into their lair. And one of their most popular draws is the freebie or discount, often called a "loss leader."
Yes, that lure of a free or bargain sandwich is what gets you in the door. Sure, you could just order the Big Mac, but ohhhh…those fries smell so good, and then you know you'll want a nice refreshing soda -- Diet Coke, of course -- to wash it all down. Yep! They gotcha! They know if you come in for the free sandwich, more than likely, you'll go away with more … and there's a good chance, you'll bring a friend … or two.
Well, that's what a free or $0.99 eBook is like. It doesn't mean that the book isn't the author's number-one bestseller -- like the Big Mac. Authors offer you their bestseller at FREE or $0.99, hoping you'll order the follow-up novel, and maybe even a third.
I'm not particularly fond of cliffhangers in books … I always like to end the current situation, and then dangle another situation in front of the reader, but even a cliffhanger is like a Big Mac. Sure, you could just have water … but authors hope that once you finish the book, your mouth is watering for something more. Water … love it. But some things, like burgers and pizza, just taste better with a Coke. Wasn’t that a campaign too?
So, go ahead … as an author, don't be afraid to offer readers a snack. And readers, I always offer a snack. It just seems like a nice way for us to meet. If your mouth doesn’t water for another course, that’s okay. I just hope you enjoy a little escapism on me.
Until next time, happy reading and writing, friends!
Stop by your favorite retailer and grab one of the "FIRSTS" in three of my on-going series, absolutely FREE!
Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. I love talking about all things books, so if you want more posts on writing, marketing books, and new releases, and giveaways, please leave your email address here. I only send out a post once or twice a month at the most. :)
When life gives you broken eggs, make quiche!
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