Monday Writerly

Finished with my last edits of Taking Chase last night. I got comments back from beta which always helps mightily. Anyway, I find that I really like writing romantic suspense because it enables me to create emotionally complex characters working out their shit. And I like the mystery aspect as well. Anyway, it was fun to write and according to beta, I made them cry more than once, hee! This book’s heroine is a domestic violence survivor on the run from a homicidal ex husband. She lands in the small town that the other book is set in and the sheriff from the last book is who she ends up with. Only after a lot of struggle and they’re both very hot headed and so it’s complicated because she doesn’t trust herself or anyone else and he’s got his own baggage. Anyway, I think I did justice to both of them. We’ll see what my editor thinks.

And so I got back to Threat of Darkness last night after I finished up with TC. And woot! I’d been sort of stuck before so I put it aside and it’s in the zone now. Yay! I feel like I have a better handle on Mei’s character now for some reason. The muse is an odd thing but it just goes to show that sometimes you need to listen when she wants you to put something aside. So I’m already halfway finished with it from before (and as I read it over, it was something I was really happy with so that’s good) and I’m hoping to finish up by the end of the month or early September. It’s nice to do something paranormal after writing a few contemps in a row. The variety is really good for my creativity, keeps me sharper and interested.

The longer I do this, the more interesting I find the whole process of being a writer. Because it’s not just about the writing of the books. I know many authors wish that were the case, but it isn’t. There’s writing and then revising and editing, submitting. And submitting is different if you’re sending your manuscript to a new publisher or an already established relationship. It’s WAY easier for me to submit to EC and Samhain because I know what to expect and I know how to write for each. A new publisher is different, each publisher has its own rules and formats. And now that I have an agent, that’s a different process as well. She’s going to look things over and suggest revisions too. And of course you’re writing differently if you’re doing a proposal, which involves a detailed synopsis and a partial, or a full manuscript.

And then you deal with waiting. This is what I suck at. I HATE waiting. I’d rather hear a no back right away than wait months. I hate it. At my established publishers, the wait is not nearly as long as my stuff waits in NY. I try not to think about NY once something goes there but I fail. Refer back to the ” I HATE waiting” sentence above.

Once you hear back and it’s a yes, you deal with edits. Again, with EC, my editor and I have a good relationship and some good timelines set up. I have a rough idea when to expect things from her and I know in most cases it’ll be two rounds of edits and then off to final. With Samhain, things are a bit newer, I’ve only gone through the process once so we’ll see what happens this time.

If the submission is a no, you have to decide what to do from there. Do you submit elsewhere? Start something else? Revise? Thrice United, a the next Witches Knot book that should be out late this year or early next from EC, started out as Witches Knot and my EC editor didn’t think it was romance enough. My agent didn’t like the sheer number of characters. So I revised it and resubmitted it a year after first subbing it and my EC editor LOVED it. Sometimes your books need a cooling off before you can make them into something else. Sometimes you can’t bear to change them at all and they become “trunk books” that you hope you can sell at some time in the future. Enforcer was originally a proposal for an EC anthology. It didnt’ get chosen but my editor loved the idea and told me I should make it into a novel. I did some eight months later and it turned into a completely different direction and it’s probably one of my favorite titles. Sleight of Hand was an idea for a very short story that ended up a novella at Whispersl

And then it’s all final and line edits and releases and promotion. And I am a firm believer that promotion is important. But I often find that a lot of promotion out there is ineffectual or outright annoying. Honestly, I’m a reader too and I hate it when an author I never see except on a release day comes and drive by promos one of the lists and is off again. Readers are not a commodity! Show them the respect they deserve. For goodness sake, get to know them, talk to them! Don’t shove your book at them and run off.

There are chats, which I started off wary of but I really enjoy. And author days and that sort of thing. I do ads in RT and other places but I prefer the personal touch and one on one with readers. I like to hear what they like and don’t like, what they want to see more and less of. It may or may not affect what I write, but I’m interested anyway.

And then you write again. LOL. Usually, I’m writing, editing and in promotion mode for two or three books at once. It keeps me busy and I can’t complain about that at all!!

2 comments to “Monday Writerly”

  1. Cherie
    August 15th, 2006 at 11:52 am · Link

    Being a reader I had not realized how intensive writing and then getting a book published can be. Makes me appreciate and respect writers even more.

    Cherie J

  2. Lauren Dane
    August 19th, 2006 at 9:58 am · Link

    Thanks, Cherie! The first two times I just sort of went with it, didn’t have time to really think on it over my utter shock it was happening to me. But yeah, it’s a complicated business!