Ever want to know more about how and why I write? Check out this interview I just did on All Author!!
I’ve spent way more time than I’d like to admit obsessing over what to do this year. Trying to fit in solid, productive writing time, plus working full time (gotta pay those bills) leaves little time for the fun stuff associated with writing- aka, the reading part of it. My plan this year was to attend some author events, just to see how the big girls do it, and had several on my schedule. My two favorite authors- Karen Marie Moning and J. R. Ward both had big books coming out this spring, and both (somehow) managed to have signings close enough to me that I could work in a day trip for each.
So I decided to trade a big event – the 2018 RAGT (Reader Author Get Together) – for two smaller, more intimate signings. I’d been to the last 4 or 5 J. R. Ward signings, but had never met Karen, and was really looking forward to it. So last weekend we headed to Cincinnati.
Wow, was I impressed. Both with the event itself and with Karen. What a class act. She’d had her big Dublin signing the weekend before and even though she’d picked up a bug, she was incredibly gracious and sweet. Interacting with people for six or seven hours is not easy, especially when you’re not feeling your best, and it ended up turning into a long day. So here are my takeaways:
Hands down the best book cover of the past 12 months
I’m about halfway through (trying to finish 3 other books for book club meetings this week and it’s actually killing me to know its there and I don’t have time to read it) and so far I am, as always, blown away. Both by her writing style and her story structure. Incredibly complex and character driven. She talked a lot about emotional currency, and this book has it in spades.
She held the event at Newport on the Levee (KY), which is across the river from Cinci, I snapped a sweet shot of the city:
As some kind of bonus, it was 56 degrees that afternoon and we sat in the sun for about a half an hour while we waited, first sun I’ve seen in almost three months. Ohio is a cruel state in the winter, I kid you not.
All that being said, this was more what I expected when I think of a traditional book signing. Interaction with your readers, a long, detailed Q&A, focusing on the current book, past books and future WIP’s. It was refreshing to hear that she struggles with so many of the same writer problems, time management issues and general issues with plotting and character development we all do. I wanted to scream “YES” several times during her talk. I resisted the temptation. Plus, I think I must buy a hat. -LA
If you have never read Karen’s work, she had two distinct lines, one is the Highlander series (paranormal romance), the other is the Fever Series (urban fantasy). I’d recommend both!!
I’ll be having my final book signing for Shadows of Ghosts this coming Saturday, January 27th from 1:00-3:00 at the Learned Owl Bookstore in Hudson, Ohio. These last couple months have flown by so fast- I know when I scheduled this it seemed so far away! A big thanks to all of my readers and supporters who have made this journey the wonderful trip that it’s been! I couldn’t have done any of this without you!!!
I just sent in the MS for Reflections of Your Heart, book 2, to my editor at the beginning of this month, and finished the first draft of book 3 last week, tentatively titled Echoes of Time (although that will most likely change). But maybe not, I kind of like it. That will sit for a month while I work on another project, and then I’ll pick it up again in March and edit with fresh eyes.
If you are in the area this Saturday afternoon, and have a minute, stop by and check out this sweet bookstore, one of the few independent book stores left in our area. Here are a few pics and a link:
So it’s always the same thing whenever I sit down to start a new project. Am I all written out? Are the ideas going to come? And if they don’t, what am I going to do? I’ve spent the past month finishing up (my) final edits on Book 2 and getting ready to send it over to my awesome editor at TWRP, but before I did that, I felt like I had to get Book 3 at least partly finished.
Honestly, there’s just something about knowing where the story is headed next that gives me a sense of security, because turning it in without knowing what’s going to happen to the characters leaves me anxious.
So I sat down to start Book 3 with a cup of coffee, no plot, no outline, and just a vague notion that Ian and Logan should be in Scotland, maybe finally having that big, fancy wedding they’ve been waiting for. At least, that’s what Logan would have wanted.
Writing, however, is a sketchy business. I never quite know how things are going to go. And therein lies the anxiety.
But last night, hitting about 83,000 words, a decent plotline, a new villian who I couldn’t wait to kill, an ending that didn’t totally suck, and a new romance heading into Book 4, I must say I’m feeling a lot better about this whole writing thing.
For today, at least.
Happy writing! – L
This morning I realized, a little bit too late, that 2017 is almost over. I can’t even begin to tell you half of what happened this year, because it’s pretty much a blur of missed doctor’s appointments and deadlines barely met, and I’m pretty sure that next year will be more of the same. For someone who on January 1st was damn confident they were the Queen of Multitasking, this year has sure been the great equalizer.
On one hand, I feel like I have accomplished nothing. Zero. Nada.
On the other hand, I feel like I haven’t had so much as an hour off in the past six months.
“So which is it?” I ask myself. Expecting, I guess, an answer. Haha, not surprising, I don’t get one, probably because I’m already busy doing something else.
Still, for the past two years, I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to make a living doing the two things I love the most- writing and art. It’s just I thought I’d be so much better at this work/life balance thing! Overall, the year’s been a great, albeit in a blurry kind of way. Not in the way that my sophomore year of college was. More like when I had two little kids and don’t even remember that day trip to Sea World. (still kind of baffling).
We got the tree up:
We had some snow:
Which meant the outside Charlie Brown tree looked awesome:
And the dog looked like this:
I’ve got to remind myself, here I sit, working on edits on book two of the Shadows series, and getting ready to plot out book five in my urban fantasy series, so there’s that. Still, why is it that progress feels so slow and time goes by so fast? Here’s hoping that I’m not sitting here in a year wondering the same thing! Happy writing to all of my author friends, and hope you find a book that moves you, for all of my reading friends- with much love, L. A.
Here is my next stop:
So I had this brilliant idea to volunteer for something that sounds kind of like a cool science experiment- writing in a store-front window at a bookstore up in Cleveland- AppleTree Books. The basic concept: sit in the window, write, maybe talk to some people about writing, get work done, have fun. Win-win.
As a bonus? The whole month of November was NaNoWriMo, so I absolutely needed to get at least 50,000 words written last month. (I was actually shooting for 65,000-70,000.) But let’s keep it real. I’d have settled for 50,000- that’s solid first draft territory. I’m currently working on a new series that I’m super-excited about, so every day of last month was spent stealing writing time from real life. You know, my house was pretty much a disaster (I finally cleaned it up today), we ate tons of take out food, (still ate take out today) and I have a huge pile of laundry that I still need to get to, but wonder of wonders, I managed to end up with 71,644 words! That’s right- not only a solid first draft, but one that’s actually divided into (gasp!) chapters, and even has cool stuff like plot twists and some complicated character layering that worked out pretty well in the end. I still need an ending, but that will come with the first round of editing.
But back to the subject….writing in that window. I’d been advised to dress in layers, so that I did, ready to strip down, hopefully not to Amsterdam red-light standards, and there’s not a lot of room, so I only brought a laptop and myself, and a big to go cup of coffee. See? I was totally prepared. Like a boss.
Problem was, the day I volunteered to write in the window it was about 68 degrees out, even though they were decorating for Christmas, which meant it was about 101 degrees up there under glass. I decided I was tough. Hell, I’d had kids. I LOVED the sun! I could do it. I stripped down to a t-shirt. Let’s do this people!
I lasted all of twenty minutes and ended up writing for two hours at a table in the shade in the back of the bookstore in relative comfort. Such a wuss.
If you’re ever in cleveland Heights, check out Appletree Books, it’s the most charming, eclectic bookstore I’ve ever been to, and Jane is so helpful and knowledgable!
Here’s the link: Appletree Books
Happy writing! -L
If you have a second today, head on over and check out this interview I did with Kay about Shadows of Ghosts on Sorchia’s Universe (plus, there’s a never before seen excerpt from book 2 (about half of Chapter 1) “Reflections of Your Heart”!!!:
Here’s the link:
Wow, I was truly humbled on Saturday at the turnout for my book release party. Tons of people came out to help me celebrate the occasion, I (think) my little speaking part wasn’t a total disaster, and we had lots of good food and drinks and laughs.
There were lots of really good questions that made me re-think how I want to develop the series going forward, and others that brought out the laughs, which, if you know me, is what life is really all about.
As an added bonus, we all got to spend the evening surrounded by an incredible collection of artwork, in a beautiful building. What more could a girl ask for? Oh yeah, roses, a girl can ask for roses…
Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with me, I love you guys! -L
Sooo….I’m planning my first ever book release party and I am a complete nervous wreck! Not because I can’t plan a party, ’cause I can plan a heck of a party, but because I am going to have to, at some point, stand up and actually talk in front of people. Not something I’m good at and something that I’ve actually been obsessing over since I first signed my contract. Weird, right?
You’d think of all the things I had to worry about, that would be super low on my list, but no….
Editing? Got it handled- I can edit an MS a hundred times and not blink and eye. Marketing? I’ll figure it out. Artwork? Right up my alley. Public Speaking? Bring on the Tums. But yeah, here I am, planning out this fabulous event and the only thing I can think about is the talking. Something I’m actually pretty good at (just ask the hubs), yet it gives me the willies.
So everything will look great, and there’ll be tons of food, and probably a wide selection of adult beverages, but if you can’t find me when this thing kicks off, start with the bathroom, I’ve probably locked myself in! -L
If you are in the Akron area, and want to check it out, stop on by! Here is the cool gift basket I have for a give away to one lucky winner:
I’ll be signing books on Saturday, October 28th from 7:00-9:00 pm
at the Akrona Galleries
Yes! It’s almost here again. THE MONTH! The time of year when it feels like you simply have to write every single day. The month when you make any and all excuses to sneak away and tap out a couple of words, or, if you’re lucky, actual, complete sentences. The month when your husband is always looking for you, the house is a constant wreck, and you never know what’s for dinner because…WRITING TAKES PRIORITY.
Which it probably should all the time, but hey, life usually gets in the way.
So this year, like last year, I’m coordinating a group of writers from my local Romance Writering chapter- NEORWA – in a friendly contest (ahem, we came in second last year) to see who writes the most words. It’s a great way to get moving on a new manuscript, or finish an old one (or several-yeah, I’m talking to you- Judy McDonough).
My master plan is to write manuscript #4 in a new urban fantasy series I’ve been working on for a little over a year, fleshing out the next story in the series and completing one of the major storyline arcs. The total number of books will be 7, with a possible shorter epilogue, depending on how things finish up in book 7. It’s a nice break from the Shadows series, with a totally different vibe, and gives me a chance to play around with some new themes and ideas that I can then translate back into other concepts and character development for Shadows.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress! -L