This past weekend (October 20-21, 2017), I attended the Word Nerd Writers Conference in Troy, Michigan at the Detroit Troy Marriot hotel where I pitched two books to one editor who requested fulls of both. I am elated. The editor: Tara G. from Crimson Rose Publishing. I really like her personality as it meshes with my own. I’ve been looking for an editor to take me under her wing and help me grow as a writer. I think I’ve found my editor in Tara G.
Here in Marshall Michigan at a rented home for a writers’ retreat with 12 other women from Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America group. At this retreat I plan to write and read about writing and just relax. It is just after 1 p.m. the first day of the retreat and all ready I have my next book plotted out. Oh dear! What to do now! Think I’ll go get some lunch.
June 30, 2017 I submitted under 6,000 words of my short contemporary romance book with the working title, The Cattle Barron’s Redemption, to Pages From The Heart Contest. I don’t expect to win. All I want are the comments on the work I submitted. I’ll know something in late September…I think.
In the meantime, I continue to work on the story. I know there are problems with it such as not enough internal dialogue. Still I submitted the story to find other areas that need improvement.
I think too that the conflicts need work so they are more intense. Romance novels are notorious for pressing the issue of conflict. I think readers can grasp subtleties, but that is not what I’m seeing in my reading of published writers works. They keep hammering away in different language as to what the central problem is with their characters. Ugh!
I’m on chapter 6 in the editing process of my contemporary romance book. I’m enjoying rereading it very much and have forgotten a lot of the book, which makes it refreshing to read. Actually, I finished writing the 50,000 word book December 8, 2016 and never looked at it until now–now that I’m editing it. Six months later I’m editing. It feels really good to look back at my work and enjoy reading it. That’s a bright positive for me on my editing path. How different it would be if I hated reading my own work. (Pitch it out the window I say if I hate it). Well, not really literally pitch it out the window but that is the first thing that came to mind just now.
Saturday, June 17, 2017, I met Kevin Spall the CEO/President of Thomson-Shore books. I met him in a restaurant in Ann Arbor where I pitched him my latest contemporary romance book with the working title: The Cattle Baron’s Redemption.
This was the first time I have pitched a book to anyone. I wasn’t nervous. I was intrigued by the process. I wondered what he would ask me. How did I come to this place of writing romance novels? I think I blacked out when he asked me that. I know my lips were moving and something was coming out because I could hear the sound of my voice droning about something. I think I said something like, I read a romance novel a couple of years ago and thought I could write something like that, so I did. Ugh! Well! Of all the nerve. Not anything about my love of reading romances and my interest in their stories or my interest in crafting a good story–at least I think it is a good story. My mother (and two cats) seem to think so.
I was caught up in the moment. He wrote something on the top right corner of the two-page synopsis I brought along and gave him. I wonder what that something was. Now having gone through the process of pitching for the first time I look forward to getting to pitch more often to other book industry insiders.
I keep trying to tell myself that I might have bombed the pitch, but daily, even sometimes hourly, search my email for a message from Thomson-Shore. I sent a thank you note today with a logline for the longer novel. I hope, I wish, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep checking my email for a response from Kevin Spall.
I was determined to start and finish a 40,000 word novel during the NaNoWriMo month of November 2016. I didn’t do it. Instead of taking me one month or 4 weeks to write a novel it took me 6 weeks. I’ve basked in this accomplishment for far too long. Last night I thought about starting the editing process, but need to print out a full manuscript before I start revisions just in case something goes very wrong with the process so I have a hard copy of the book to refer back to.
Writing is hard work. I wrote my first inspirational historical romance novella in 15 days. It just seemed to flow from my fingers. It also helped that I had no clue how to write a romance and so had no mental constraints as to what to include or exclude in the story.
Now that I’m trying my hand at a longer inspirational historical romance novel and with plenty of research as to the romance genre under my belt (though I don’t wear belts as my stretchy pants have no loops for one), I’m finding it much harder. I followed the 90 Days to Your Novel plan (it’s a book title and is supposed to be underlined but I dog gone it I cannot find the little underline icon). I started following the 90 days to your novel plan last year in July. It is now the end of January and I finally started writing the novel Dec. 31–Happy New Year to me. Writing more is one of my New Years resolutions (though I don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions but just had to this year because I really do want to write more).
What I’m finding is unlike the novella that just flowed I am having a hard time wracking up 1,000 words a day (thank you Stephen King or was it James Patterson?). Is it because I now have more knowledge as to what the format of a romance novel should be? Yes, yes it is. Specifically I’m having trouble balancing the internal with the external. I have plenty of external but just how many ways can a person gaze at someone else and admire their figure? Or the cut of their jaw or whatever? Ugh!
Also I’m bound by my outline. I’ve deviated some from it to fill in spots around the main points, but when I wrote the novella I didn’t have an outline and just wrote. Now that I have an outline I’m struggling to fill in those gaps in order to stretch the story out to 70,000-90,000 words. So far I just cracked 12,000 today. I love the idea of an outline. I’m wondering if my outline and the story in my head can be told in 90,000 words. What if I run out of words and ideas at 50,000. I think, no, I know fear is behind all of this. So how can I break fear? Keep writing and struggling to get to 1,000 words a day and in 90 days I’ll have a full blown novel…or in 50 days I’ll have a really good start.