Thursday, November 12, 2009
So ... I have not updated my blogs (enough) in a long time and that is because I am over here writing away.
I started writing again this past January. I have always written in one form or another for years, but went back to seriously writing (novels) in January and ... since then I have written 6 novels.
I know ... who writes 6 novels in 11 months?
I'll tell you why I've done such a thing ...
When I started writing in January, I had a character that I became hugely attracted to and she was determined to have me tell her story (Laney Draker). So ... I wrote the first book of her story in about 6 weeks. When I finished with the book I decided to just go ahead and continue her story, as it came so easily and she was determined not to let me be until I finished. So ... 4 books later (a total of 4 books in the series), I finished Laney's story.
It was kind of silly to write those 4 books when I hadn't even solicited agents to sell the first book. So, I stopped and began to solicit agents on the first book in the series. I didn't put a huge amount of effort in that first round of queries. It was because I honestly knew that the first book was in need of some serious edits and since I had already gone on to a new project that I felt equally confident in, I put Laney's story aside. That story is still put aside for the time being. I have a lot of confidence in Laney's story, but know that I need to invest a lot of time on revisions to make that first manuscript the best it can be and I have not set aside the time as of yet to do those edits.
I went on to my next story (and 5th book) in June. It is a totally different sort of concept than Laney's story and I got more than a little sucked into the character (Aramis) and his story and so I spent several months writing and completing that book (the first in a series, but I did not make the mistake of writing anymore in that series until I find an agent for the first book) and have been searching for an agent since September (not any luck yet). I have total confidence in this book and will continue to solicit agents until I find one.
After I completed Aramis' story, I began another book. It is, yet again, a totally different sort of premise and the story came really quick and I, once again, fell in love with the characters (Campbell and Tristen). I completed this novel just a few weeks ago and have since been querying agents on this novel as well.
The querying process is tedious, but I am taking it seriously and spending several hours each day writing query letters to agents in an attempt to find the perfect agent for each of my books. I will go back to Laney's story soon and edit it to the point that I feel it is ready to sell, but for now ... I have started yet another book.
I am 10K words into my new story and feel the premise, plot and characters are coming together and am very excited. The characters in this new novel are Tommie and Rayn (Tommie is the girl). All of my books are YA fiction and teen romance stories. This one is set in Germany on a military base (why? you ask. Because I lived in Germany my freshman through junior year; I was an Army brat and I felt the location and many of the memories I have from that time could offer an interesting setting and details to a YA story) and so far I am loving the direction the plot is going and am becoming very attached to the characters.
That's where I am and what I have been doing. I have spent very little time blogging in the past year (and miss it like crazy), but I just have not had the time to write and blog. I know it sounds crazy to imagine me over here writing one book after another - it is CRAZY. But, these stories are just coming out of me and I am compelled to keep writing one after the other until I have reached the point where I realize that I will never write a book worth selling or I sell all of them. I can not just sit around waiting while I search for an agent for one book when there is another inside of me begging to be written, so that's why I continue to write one book after the other. Plus, I totally believe that the more books I have out there, the better my chances are for finding an agent for at least one of these stories and then hopefully the others will be picked up at some point along the way.
Today, I am sitting on my deck (gotta love Texas in November - it's like 85 degrees and beautiful), drinking coffee and writing (and editing; the editing process on my completed novels is never quite done). I have a great life and have totally loved spending this last year doing the thing I love most - writing. So, I will go now, back to writing and sending out queries.
I hope all of my blogging friends are doing well. I miss all of you and think about you often. One day I hope to get back to blogging more regularly so I can visit everyone and catch up on your lives.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I know people probably get tired of hearing about my books.
These are those I'm writing non-stop but have yet to be published *sigh*.
These are now five books I've written since January, 2009.
I am going to keep talking about these books until one day, I will be able to write a post that announces: I'VE FINALLY BEEN PUBLISHED!
I'm on my fifth book - that's right.
I've finished a series of four and am querying agents on the first book in that series (still no luck yet).
Currently, I am near the end of my fifth novel. It is unrelated to the first series and I am almost finished. I am on the last chapter (currently at 74,000 words) and very excited to finish so I can begin editing and polishing it to completion. I have tremendous confidence in this new story and am anxious to be done with it as I can not wait to begin querying agents on this new idea.
What I will tell you about this new book is that it in YA fantasy fiction and the main character's name is Aramis. The book is written in first person, from Aramis' point of view. He is eighteen, of another world and the story follows his life after he meets Hadley, a young waitress, one night in a small diner. It is a love story, but it is filled with plenty of adventure as well.
I'm excited about this story and have finally narrowed down the title for the book. I do not divulge the titles to my novels, as I believe they are essential to the selling of these stories, but I will tell you that Aramis is not a vampire, an alien, a werewolf or a sorcerer of any kind.
I hope to finish this novel in the next couple of weeks and be on my way to soliciting agents soon.
Thanks for tolerating my (vague) updates - it helps to motivate me when I put my progress and ambitions out there. Hopefully soon, I will be able to divulge more information about my books - like the date you will be able to buy them in the bookstores.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In the meantime - I have started a NEW BOOK!
Yes - I haven't actually finished the fourth book in my first series (I'm still working diligently on it, though), but I had an interesting premise for another book and last week I sat down, jotted down all of my thoughts, wrote a brief outline and started writing. I am into chapter 5 and seriously love where this story is going. It is TOTALLY different than the YA series I just finished, but it is also YA fiction and I am very excited about it.
It is a complicated story and truthfully, it might be over my head (and patience level), but I am barrelling ahead and working out the kinks as I go along. This new book is from a young boy's POV and so far I am enjoying telling a story from a male viewpoint. I've never tried it before, but hell, how hard can it be. It is presently written in first person, but my twins are trying to convince me to change it to third person, so I am in the process of doing that to see if I like the story better (I think I'm going to like it in first person - don't tell them that).
So, as soon as I feel comfortable divulging more about my new book, I will let you know. I could get 6 chapters in and decide that the story/premise sucks and abandon the book, but I hope not. I really believe it is a unique idea and so far the characters are fun and interesting and the story is unfolding like I imagined and also in exciting ways I hadn't planned.
We'll see how it goes.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Yes - I'm still talking about that damn novel.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Some of the characters are truly fictional and might have some quirky characteristic of someone I know personally that enhances that character in some way, but there are others - like Brian - that are more a direct reflection of someone specific in my life.
Brian is the main male character in my novels. He is a recreation of a boy I met when I was 16 years old and I lived in Germany.
Our church had gone on a ski retreat to Garmish, Germany, and as I recall, we were only there for about five days. When the bus I was on (with my sister and my best friend Sherry and all the other kids from our church) pulled into the parking lot of the resort hotel we were staying at, Brian's pulled in as well. From my seat on my bus, I saw him through the window sitting on his bus and from that very moment I knew I had to "hook up" with that boy for the duration of this ski retreat. Fortunate for me - he was thinking the same thing about the girl on that Stuttgart bus. And ... we did. We were together the entire time and I fell in love with this special boy. I only ever saw him one other time (another church retreat - where we were together again for another 5 days). He was the boy I used to say that ... I loved ... one week at a time.
And - while I was only 16 years old at the time - I DID love this boy. If we had lived in the same town in Germany we would have definitely been together. But, we didn't. He lived on an Air Force base (K-town) and I lived on an Army (Robinson Barracks, Stuttgart) base many miles apart. We weren't even able to easily call each other. We wrote letters, but eventually we lost touch.
Brian is the boy from my youth that the Brian in my novel is based on. He is not the boy I dated the longest or kissed the most, but he is the boy I loved the hardest. Maybe it was because he loved me too.
This is what he wrote on the back ...
I keep this picture of Brian close by when I am writing my story, as the story I am writing is a teenage love story and the love I had for this boy was so strong and pure, I am able to draw from that time, those experiences, that boy - that love - to help tell Laney and Brian's story.
I also keep these two pictures close by.
These are pictures of my husband (Billy) when we first met. He was twenty-two at the time. The love I had for him and still have for him - also drives and influences the plot and Brian's character in my books.
I'm so lucky to have known Brian and have the vivid memories of these two special boys (and some others) to lean on to help write Laney's story. But, more than that - I am so lucky they are a part of my story - my life.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It is 275 pages, 77427 words and I like it. I think it is my favorite of the three books.
I will be starting book4 tomorrow and it WILL be the last in this series, as I can see the end of Laney's story in sight. At least this story.
I have several people reading the books right now and I will be updating occasionally the feedback I am getting on the books. So far - so good.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sometimes I seriously question what the hell I'm doing.
I am thoroughly enjoying writing this story - THOROUGHLY! But ... it takes up so much time and energy I sometimes wonder if I'm just wasting my time.
Last night I got really discouraged.
I am well into the third novel and I suddenly had doubts that the first two books were any good and started questioning why I was continuing to write this story if the first two books were not worth reading.
I pulled out the first two books (AGAIN) and read through them. I hadn't picked either of these two books up and read them for at least two weeks and it was interesting to see/read them after having let a little time lapse.
I was a little more encouraged after reading the books again (I scanned a lot of parts - I didn't actually read every single word again). I like the story and I think this story - these books - have potential.
I could definitely be wrong, though. The biggest fear I have is that I am wrong and that ... I am just wasting my time. I'm not a fan of wasting time or ... being wrong.
I haven't yet solicited any literary agents. I am still in the process of having people read the books and editing. My friend, Vicki, who lives in Utah, is going to read them once I send her the manuscripts (I plan to mail her hard-copies by this weekend). My daughters have been too busy to read the books lately due to lots of tests and projects at school. They will read them soon. One of their friends is presently reading the first book, but I haven't talked to her about it. I haven't really talked to anyone about the books, except Chloe, and that was several months ago when she'd read the first book, made some edits/suggestions and I went back and changed a lot of the second half of the first book using her ideas and suggestions. She has not reread it since I've made those changes.
I am going to keep on writing. I don't know if I'm wasting my time or not, but I have to keep positive. Monet said: "I hope something will come out of so much effort."
I do too.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Butter -She is one of Laney's best friends and she's my favorite (aside from Laney). She's a quirky little blonde that got the nick-name Butter because she has this impossibly hard-to-say Greek last name. She is the gossip of the group, she giggles a lot and she's adorably funny.
Tory - She is Laney's best friend (since they were in elementary school) and I really like her too. She has a funny habit of rattling off random facts and she cracks me up. She's very tall, has chestnut brown hair, light brown eyes and plays on the varisty basketball team with Butter and Laney. She is the more serious one of the group, but she has her moments of humor.
Brian - He is the especially beautiful skateboarder, drummer, artist dude in Laney's art class that Laney is seriously infatuated with. He has dark brown, shoulder length hair, gorgeous blue eyes, a dimple in one cheek, an earring in one ear and at least one tattoo that Laney is aware of.
Shane - He is the very cute and very popular varsity football player that Laney is also infatuated with. He is dark headed, blue eyed also, but an athlete and has the body and attitude to go with it.
Mr. McCarty - He is Laney's U.S. History teacher who is Mc-gorgeous, looks like Jesus and is often in Laney's daydreams.
Angie - She is Laney's adorable, red-headed, six year old sister who is a wanna-be child star and just landed a staring role in a national Dunkin' Donuts commercial.
Brad - He is Laney's older, dark headed, football-playing brother who wears boxer shorts and dark sunglasses around the house and works part-time at the local bowling alley behind the shoe rental desk. Laney does not think Brad is as cool as he thinks he is.
Dani - She is the new girl in school and is threatening everything from Laney's friendship with Tory, Tory's position on the basketball team to Laney's relationships with Brian and Shane. Dani is a sophomore with the heart and habits of a ssssssnake. She is beautiful and too confident for her own good.
Ashley & Aubrey - Twins on the basketball team.
Becca - Also on the basketball team and also Shane's younger sister.
Coach Smith - Laney's coach.
Okay ... back to writing. I truly hope that one day you will get to read Laney's story and enjoy it as much as I am enjoying writing it.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I am well into the second book in the series and it's going really well. The first book was so long, I had to push some of the chapters into the second book, but it worked out really good with the plot lines.
I haven't needed much motivation while writing these books as it's been so much fun and aside from all the leaves and yard work, this has been a good time of year for me to sit down and write. But ... I do have a muse that offers me constant inspiration every day when I write and this is her:
This is a painting my talented daughter, Courtney, did recently for her art class. I keep this painting over my desk.
I think the painting is beautiful, but after I'd written the first novel, I quickly realized that this beautiful girl was the main character in the book.
And ... every single day ... I look into her eyes and I am even more inspired to write her story.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I got a call yesterday from our Accountant, Donna. She'd called to verify some information so she could complete our taxes.
Monday, March 16, 2009
My girls, Courtney and Chloe, are avid readers. Books to them are as essential to their survival as tacos and Dr. Pepper. This - their love of books and teen stories - is where my motivation and direction stemmed from when writing my most recent novel.
The novel I am writing is Teen Fiction (ages 13-18).
I think, with enormous help from my daughters, we might have found the perfect title for this book (and also for the second, third and fourth in the sequel). I'm very excited about the titles, as I believe they are as important to the books as the characters and the plot. (I'm not disclosing the title just yet - but, hopefully very soon). I know that the title could always change, but I am one of those writers that uses the title to help drive a story. I am SUPER EXCITED about the titles!
I'm well into writing the second book. I'm writing it while I continue to edit and revise the first. My daughters are in the process of reading the first book and offering advise and edits. This has been one of the most exciting parts of writing this story - involving my daughters and ... their willingness and desire to participate and contribute. They have offered many excellent ideas and I love that they want to be involved.
I mentioned before that Courtney and Chloe are artists and plan to study art in college. They are very interested in designing the cover for my book and have already come up with 3 cover designs. I AM SO EXCITED! Their designs are really good and I have copies of these covers hanging above my desk and they motivate me everyday to push forward to finish this novel. I am seriously considering putting these three designs on my blog (and any others they might come up with) to see which you like the best.
I will eventually offer more details about the book, but not just yet. I am tediously editing and revising and until I feel the story is in its final form, I'm going to hold off a little while longer before disclosing what the story is about.
Thanks for supporting me through this process. So far, it has been an enormous amount of work, but ... I am having a BLAST!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Lindsay, from SPLAT Designs, is the very talented designer that created the fabulous templates for On The Flipside, as well as On The Upside.
Thanks, Lindsay - You're the BEST!!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
- I have completed the first draft (81,445 words, 276 pages).
- It is still untitled (but I've narrowed it down to a few I like).
- It's Teen Fiction
- It will be a series (I've already started on the second book while I'm still tediously editing and re-editing the first).