What I’m Working On

I am so happy to see December on the calendar. I’m really, really happy. November was a bit rough. NaNoWriMo fell smack dab in the middle of me trying to get two books ready for publication (Don’t know about NaNoWriMo? You can read more about it here or in my blog post from last November). In addition to editing and lining up marketing stuff, I managed to write 64,813 brand new words during the contest. Some of those words were for a short story collection (more on that in a minute), some were for something brand new (a project I’m calling The London Book in my head), and a lot of the words were for rewrites on the last book in the Love Story series. I know, I know, NaNo is supposed to be 50k words of one single novel, but my schedule didn’t quite work out that way this year. One of the things I love about NaNo is the sense of freedom surrounding the project. I decided to exercise that freedom to do things my way this year. NaNo is so good for getting me productive, and this year that was more true than ever.

So let’s talk a little about the various projects I worked on in November. The first was a short story for this awesome collection:

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Holiday Wishes, a short story collection to raise money for children’s charity.

Fourteen bestselling indie authors have come together to write a holiday short story collection to benefit a children’s charity this holiday season. These authors, who write in genres ranging from contemporary romance to science fiction, have joined in the holiday spirit to write all new stories for this anthology.

The collection includes contributions from the following authors: David Adams, Jason Brant, Elle Casey, Deanna Chase, Kate Danley, Dee Ernst, Ashley Mackler-Paternostro, Becca Mills, Dalya Moon, Christine Pope, Deanna Roy, Rachel Schurig, Jack Sheppard and Amber Sweetapple, with cover art donated by Claudia McKinney of Phat Puppy Artwork.

Holiday Wishes was the brainchild of Amber Sweetapple, a really great author I’ve been lucky to get to know over the last few months. Amber and her husband, Jack Sheppard, write really cool books AND they’re from Michigan! You can check out their author pages here and here. I was so stoked when Amber asked me to contribute a story. There are some seriously talented people involved in this! I decided to write something about the Three Girls and I’m so glad I did! It was so much fun revisiting Ginny, Jen, and Annie. The Christmas themed story takes place after Annie’s book. It was really fun to write and I hope you’ll check it out. All of the proceeds benefit a great children’s charity. The paperback is lovely and would make a lovely gift! You can get it here:

Kindle

Paperback

In addition to working on the short, I also spent a lot of time last month getting two new books ready to publish. Have you checked out In Search of a Love Story yet?

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It is the first book of my new project, the Love Story series. I’ve been hard at work getting the two sequels finished. The next book, An Unexpected Love Story, will feature Emily Donovan’s best friend Brooke and her life running an inn in northern Michigan. The third and final book of the series, An (Almost) Perfect Love Story, will feature Ashley Phillips, who you may remember as Emily’s roommate. Like the Three Girls books, this new series celebrates love and friendship, with a dose of laughter mixed in. I really hope you’ll check them out! I should have cover art to reveal very soon! Oh, and if you look very closely, you may spot one of the Three Girls in each of the Love Story books;)

One more fun piece of news: I’ve been working on getting the Three Girls books put into a digital boxed set. I’m hoping to have this ready for Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying December as much as I am! It’s been rainy here in Detroit, and not very cold, which is strange. I’m hoping for some real snow by Christmas!

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I wanna be a writing rock-star!

It’s been a crazy week of book stuff and I’m loving it!

First of all, my second book, Three Girls and a Wedding, was released last week for kindle, nook and in paperback. I’ve been getting some good feedback from readers, which is always fun. I’m really excited for more people to read it and share their impressions with me.

But there’s no laurel resting, not for this girl. I’m on a mission to take over the world (through chicklit), and there’s no stopping me now! That is why, on November 1st, just 5 days after the release of Three Girls and  Wedding, I started work on the final book of the series. That’s a pretty quick turn around but there’s a reason to my madness.

It’s NaNoWriMo time, baby!

What’s NaNoWriMo you ask? Well, you could head here to read all about it, but I’ll explain it for you briefly: NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) is a really cool program started to encourage people to write a novel (at least 50,000 words) in a month. The goal of the program is not necesarily to create something publishing worthy, but rather to get people to turn off their inner critic, not worry about the outcome, and just write. I’ve wanted to participate for years but have never gotten my act together. I figured that since this year I had already wanted to get my next novel done early, taking on the challenge of NaNo is a natural fit.

My books tend to be a bit longer than the 50,000 word length. Does that mean I’m aiming to hit 50,000 and finish later? Heck no! My goal is to have an entire first draft of Three Girls and a  Leading Man finished by November 30th. That puts me on a writing pace slightly faster than I have done before, but I think the extra motivation will help me. I have this book pretty well mapped out, which should also help. The grand plan is to then spend December in rewrites and editing to have this book out for people by Christmas.

Two months from the beginning of the process to publishing is really fast for me (like really, really, crazy fast). Baby took me almost four months and Wedding was about three months from start to finish. But I like challenges! I’m taking this writing experiment of mine very, very seriously. If I want to take over the world and be a writing rock-star, I have to get my ass in gear. And the best way I can think of to do that is to write like there’s no tomorrow.

Of course, if I find, or if any of my beta readers find, that quality is suffering due to the speed at which I am producing, I will take a step back and slow myself down. There is nothing more important to me than writing a good book–not NaNo, not a self imposed deadline, not even the lure of all those people who are gonna get kindles for Christmas this year. The quality of the book comes first, hands down.

But I feel like this story is already within me. I’ve mapped it out, dreamt about it, and imagined it fully. All that’s left is to get it down on paper. I plan to devote every waking minute (that I don’t have to spend at work) on writing this book. I even went so far as to cancel my cable (sob!) so I should have nothing to distract me. Remember what I said about taking this seriously?

So if you try to contact me and I don’t answer, I apologize. I might miss out on bar nights or get-togethers–save me a beer (I’ll take a Newcastle please) and I’ll meet you in December. For the next three and a half weeks I’m gonna be a crazy hermit author lady, hiding in my house and kicking out ridiculous amounts daily word counts. Wish me luck!