Where Did November Go Already? Gone!

keyboardDecember 1 how did you get here so fast? Wasn’t it just yesterday the calendar read November 1?  Last year at this time a smile crept across my lips as I’d finished the first draft of my second novel the evening before with the help of the folks at the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) website. Every November thousands of writers take up the “50,000 words in 30 days” challenge — daunting, but totally doable.

After meeting that challenge last November, I signed up for CampNaNoWriMo in July to knock out my third novel. The ideas and characters were in my mind waiting to make their way to be words and sentences on my netbook screen. Life happened and I didn’t even make it to the cabin check in. With the sun on my back and the wind in my face I focused on running and spending those summer days with my girls. I told myself I’d push my next novel to the spring instead of the fall and get that allusive draft done in November as I’d done the previous year.

November arrived and I started strong. The words flowed and the storyline progressed. Unfortunately for my characters (and the three or four readers awaiting my next book) life happened – mine that is. Interruptions (from children who should be sleeping) and distractions (like the new Nora Roberts and Barbara Freethy novels and a new season of Once Upon a Time) beckoned to me.

I tried to get back on track and then, as I often do when I know I should not, I checked the reviews of my books on Amazon. Every five-star and kind review makes me smile and feel good about my writing. I know logically, I can’t please every reader, however, those one-star reviews, have just as big of an effect on me as a writer as the five-star ones. I have a hard time blowing them off and tend to dwell on them and doubt my writing abilities. So, reading the review below in the beginning of my second week of writing, my motivation flagged and I just never got back to it… Here it is in its entirety…

If I could give it a -5 I would have.
I could not read the entire book. I’m sorry, I try to be fair but I cannot see how ANYONE in their right mind could give this book a 5, 4 or even a 3. I paid for the darn book based on reviews. These reviews have to be from family and friends of the author. I really wish I could get my money back. It was as if I were reading some teenager’s diary. Not sure how to describe the immature writing skills. The story might (big questionable might) have had a good storyline if it wasn’t for how this writer just dragged on and on on every single detail. For example, Mason taking a shower and every single detail about the towel and such…. really? It was a detailed description of EVERY SINGLE thought. I wanted to pull my hair out! The entire story was lame. This author needs a better editor if she has one at all. I’m sorry to say but don’t spend the money. I could not even finish the story.”

Sigh. Double-Sigh. I resisted responding and defending my position. The majority of the other reviews were not from my family members and personal friends. It should be enough that I know that, but it still doesn’t take the sting away from a bad review! After stewing on it and re-reading the positive reviews I’ve gotten on my first book and on this one as well, I realized that even though I failed to get that draft done in November, I shouldn’t give up. Writing is something I love and I shouldn’t let one hater take that away from me. Now, I just need to find that uninterrupted time away from distractions.  Early mornings? Late nights? I don’t know. I need to make it happen though!

Any ideas on finding the time to pursue your passions?

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The End

Winner-180x180The End. No, as you already know by now, it’s not the end of the world (as you know it). Today is December 23 and  I feel fine (yes, I know you are humming along to that catchy R.E.M. song). It’s not the end of this blog either as some of may have thought do to my blogging absence the past month and half (then again maybe nobody missed me). Life is full of beginnings and endings. 2012 is coming to an end and 2013 is beginning. Tonight’s ending though is in relation to my next novel. I finally, typed in those words that make any author smile, “The End.”

And so now, you know why the words of my blog have been missing these past months. As a working mother, I only have so much time in the day to dedicate to my writing. This past November I focuses and dedicated those hours to my book as I participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I spent thirty days writing the rough draft of said novel and came away with 50,000 + words. And, today at around 63,000 words, I finished the draft and now will start revisions. For me revisions are my favorite part of the writing process and hardest part is behind me! Yes. Yeah me!

Anyway, I am participating in a “blog hop” with a group of authors that also participated in NaNoWriMos. The rest of this blog gives you a sneak peak at my WIP (work in progress) that hopefully will see the light of day in the Kindle book store in late February or early March.

I’ve been tagged by Shirley Wine, author of Seven For A Secret (http://amzn.com/B009XJAKLS) and  Lovers’ Lies (http://amzn.com/B009GQGUWQ) who recently shared with readers about her current WIP at www.shirleywine.com.

Thanks Shirley Wine for this opportunity to talk about my current WIP!

What is the title of your next book? Take Your Time

Where did the idea come from for the book? I got the idea for this book as I was finish writing my last book. Take A Deep Breath was about a woman named Liv, who has four sisters. The sisters don’t play a part in the first book, but I thought it would be fun to write about each one. The second book centers around the youngest sister Maddy, who we find out from Liv’s daughter Sara is a photographer.

What genre does your book fall under? Contemporary Romance

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Late-bloomer, Maddy takes her time finding love, but wonders if she waited too long.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Or are you with a publishing house? I will self-publish this book as an ebook and a paperback via Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo and Barnes and Noble. I love the creative control self-publishing gives me. I hate waiting, especially if  I’m going to be rejected and haven’t sought an agency or publishing house. After researching indie-publishing it seemed like the perfect avenue for me. The royalties are higher as well. The hardest part has been finding readers, but I have slowly built a small following with my first book and hope it will grow with this one and the next… I have thought about shopping my books around, but for now I’m enjoying success as an indie author.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It took me a little over 45 days to finish the first draft of this manuscript. I wrote mainly at night from 10:00 PM to midnight.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I think my writing style and stories are most comparable to Robyn Carr, Susan Wiggs, Barbara Freethy and Debbie Macomber.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I wanted to write another book in this series ever since I published my first book, but finding time without having a real deadline was the hardest part. The NaNoWriMo website helped motivate me to get the draft finished. Emails from readers of my first book inspired me to write the next one.

If you get a chance stop by my fellow writers’ blogs and read about the books that they wrote during the NaNoWriMo challenge and find out what prompted them to write their books.

By the way, Take a Deep Breath will be free in the Amazon Kindle store from Dec. 26-30!