By the time I’d driven home, I knew what I had to do. You see, the only time I struggle with writers block is when I (okay, some part of me, let’s call her the adult manager in charge of my head) insists I write whatever Ms. Manager has decided I must.
No matter how hard Ms. Manager insists, it doesn’t happen.
The little kid in my head who makes up the stories simply stops making them up until she is once again allowed to tell her stories, in her way.
Read more about how I discovered my next novel while having a day at a spa.
Every part of self-publishing is an adventure. I’ve been working with a group known as Deranged Doctor Design and we’ve been working on the paperback version of the second novel. Isn’t it beautiful? I especially love the beach on the back cover.
The part requiring the most revision was the color of the spine and the insert on the back. I was determined for it to be orange, so the designer suggested a more transparent look I loved, but no decision is without ramifications. The cover for the first novel, One of One, was finalized a few weeks ago, and it doesn’t match.
Or at least it didn’t. Now it’s been revised and we’re on a roll.
The first draft of the cover for book three should be done in about a week. I can’t wait to see it.
I’m going through much of the same process re-birthing my second novel as I went through with the first. The first draft of the new cover was good, but my shape shifting protagonist couldn’t have facial hair, and I wanted more of a feel of the tropics.
I loved the background of this second version, but didn’t like Zane’s new head. As someone else put it, he had too much of a “Jersey Shore” look to him.
Once again, the third time was a charm.
Read more about this process at Almost my new cover and at Fun With Covers.
The newly named and highly edited new version will be out in mid-February. I can’t wait.
I had great fun working with a pro to design a new, genre appropriate cover for One of One. Here’s what the first draft looked like.
The second draft was much closer, and needed only a few more tweaks to get there.
This final version combines the best of both, I think. I’ll be proud to release it, along with the streamlined and updated story, on January 17.
Check out my original two posts about this process of making this cover at Not My New Cover and Almost My New Cover
Today, I face the fact that one of the reasons I write is to leave something behind.
“Oh, so you want to be immortal?” you ask. No. I’ve studied too much astrophysics to think anything in this universe will last forever, and enough history to know that few humans leave a noticeable footprint more than a few generations into the future.
The key word to me is noticeable.
Somewhere in my heart, I think if you leave something of value behind, it will affect others who will do the same and so on. Yes, I’m enough of a realist to expect the effect to diminish with time, and to recognize our life expectancy as a species probably isn’t all that long, anyway.
So? It’s not an influence that lasts forever I’m after. However, the idea of leaving a little of me here for awhile is something I’m driven to do. Like I said, individual tastes do vary.
Read more at Remember My Name.
(Read more posts about why I write at The Number One Reason I Write Books, My Eye-opening Second Reason for Writing , I write because it’s cheaper than therapy, Nothing cool about modest ambitions, I love to be loved and What’s the Point?)
I write books. Why?
It is a reasonable question. I recently started participating in writer’s groups again and much about them has got me thinking. A women well into her second novel told me of an acquaintance who has made it to the New York Times Best Seller list. Wow. Something to be in awe of, of course. My critique group-mate is also in awe of the woman’s process. To paraphrase, she read the top ten fiction books at the time, analyzed what they had in common, and wrote the perfect hybrid book, designed to succeed. And it did.
All I could think was “what a miserable way to write a book.” That brought me round to the essential question of this post. If I’m not writing to make a best seller list, what am I doing? I tried to be brutally, unflatteringly honest and I came up with seven reasons I choose to spend most of my free time on my laptop creating books. Some of them are pretty stupid.
This post is about the first answer that popped into my mind. It may not be my biggest reason, but it may be the one that keeps me writing novel after novel.
Read more at The Number One Reason I Write Books.
I knew I didn’t want the image of Teddie, my hero, to be a photo. This was a book about out of body experiences, and a clear likeness seemed too stark. I wanted something vague, more like a sketch. She had to be young, dark-haired, and there had to be green involved. I didn’t expect a lot of results when I combined all these search parameters, and I didn’t get them. However, the one image I got had potential.
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 4.
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 1, part 2 and part 3.)
I was sort of like someone who wants to fire a few BB’s at a squirrel to scare it off the lawn and gets handed an AK-47. Before I knew it, I had dozens if not hundreds of relevant images and so many cover ideas that my head hurt. Take a look at a couple of the wild combinations…
I had to make a decision. I picked something that I thought would please everyone a little and my novel first appeared with the cover below.
It took me no more than a few days to accept that I did not particularly like it.
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 3.
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 1 and Designing your own book cover, part 2.)
It was time to contact the graphics people at Mother Spider, and see if the same magic could be performed on this cover that had happened with my first book, xo. I explained to Jennifer, the owner of Mother Spider, that the novel was about the grown-up adventures of a boy who had once taught himself to shift his appearance while watching his pet chameleon. I had to have the boat, the sunset, the fire-dancing imagery, at least one chameleon and an orange cover.
“We’ll see,” was all she said.
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 2
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 1 and Designing your own book cover, part 3.)
But wanting to do something and knowing how to do it well are two different things, as you can tell by looking at my first version of the cover to the right. I knew my book needed to be red …
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 1.
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 2 and Designing your own book cover, part 3)
But because the stories I tell myself are never told from a single point of view for very long, how could the stories I tell others ever be? One of my greatest fascinations with a tale is how differently the events appear to various characters. So if you read something I write, be prepared to hear the plot unfold through several sets of eyes.
Read the entire post at Point of View.
(For more excerpts from my new novel visit Am I sure I’m Sherrie?, Worry about those you love and write about what you know, Cease worrying when you can and write about what you know, and The Amazing Things I Get to Do.)
You’ve noticed a lot of things we don’t have a word for. And, if you play word games like I do, you’ve also noticed a lot of reasonable letter combinations that don’t make a word. I mean, I get that wiqxm isn’t going to be in the dictionary. But what about lete? or dife? These would make excellent words. Why isn’t anyone working to pair these two needs together?
Well, it turns out that there are people who are.
Read the entire post on my d4 blog at Words we need.
I am fascinated by mountain climbing, even though I have never done more than hike to the top of a mountain with a good trail. You can’t pack everything that intrigues you into one life, and this is something that didn’t make it into mine. So when I had the chance to climb a major peak in the Himalayas, in my imagination, along side my character Haley, I welcomed it and relished the research that went with it.
Read the entire post on my c3 blog at “Everest” and “Into Thin Air” and armchair mountaineering
Somewhere between meaningless uses of the word like “I’m crazy about you” and serious, perhaps even crippling, mental health issues is a world of sort-of-comic, sort-of-sad neurotic behavior that we lightly refer to as crazy. We use it to mean that you (or I) have crossed that fuzzy boundary that surrounds normal and you (or I) are now happily dancing around naked in pig shit singing songs from “The Sound of Music” while making funny faces. You know, crazy.
via Going Crazy