This has been one of those weeks! And I do believe I have ‘more' of those weeks coming. Finally got my contracts, signed them, and slipped them in the mail to my agent. Seeing those dates in black ink is a great motivator, especially when surrounded by legal language. I have to finish a book and write a proposal before conference. Eeek! Better get busy, right?
It's funny, but before I sold a book, I really wanted to be just like my favorite authors — writing books in my jammies, hobnobbing with agents and editors, chatting with my best writer friends about our books and which lists we were on, etc. And though it's seriously cool to have a book coming out, and to have books that someone is waiting to publish, it's also a JOB. More of a job than it was when I wasn't published. Because if I got stuck then, I could just nip out to the mall and engage in some retail therapy. Or drop everything and go to lunch with a friend. Or garden, rearrange my furniture, read blogs all day, etc.
I've realized that though I LOVE my job, it's not just fun and games. There will be good days and bad, there will be pressure, and sometimes you have to sit at that keyboard no matter how sunny it is outside and how much you want to frolic through the grass. Life does not magically change the instant someone wants to buy your book. No, it's cool, and you will be very happy — but it's still work. My favorite authors are sitting at their desks, doing the same things I'm doing. They aren't indulging in margarita lunches everyday, or flitting through Neiman-Marcus looking at designer clothes.
Darn. Something else to add to the misconceptions list, right? If you aren't a writer, what's your dream job? And if you are a writer, what's your dream writing life like?
(If I wasn't a writer, I'd want to be an interior designer. You would laugh if you saw my home's interior, but hey, it's a DREAM.)
Monday's winner: M.V. Freeman! M.V. wins a copy of Jessica Anderson's Nightkeepers for her very own. Yay!
Now that I'm a published romance author, with two books accepted and hard at work on the third, there seem to be a few misconceptions I need to clear up. Mostly, these are misconceptions of acquaintances, neighbors, and various assorted other folk. List style because it's easier:
1. No, I am not rich. No, my husband won't be retiring from his job. No, we aren't moving to a mansion. I know Castle (on ABC) is fun, and that he's a wealthy writer type following the PI around, and I know that Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling probably never have to lift a hand to do dishes again a day in their lives. My reality is a bit different.
2. Okay, now go to the bookstore and tell me what you see. I'll wait……..yes, TONS of books. Do you know who any of those authors are, or do you just know Meyer, Rowling, and Stephen King? Most writers are not wealthy. Please drop this misconception NOW.
3. Yes, I write romance. No, this does not mean I wear a feather boa, or crank up the whips and chains when I want to do a little research. I have written romantic suspense too — do you think I researched murders by committing them?
4. I love my husband. I am not thinking about trading him in on a cabana boy, no matter how much I might joke about it.
5. I am not famous.
6. Yes, I have a literary agent. No, I can't ask her to read your work just because you know my second cousin.
7. Same goes for my editor. I'll tell you what I know, I'll tell you how I got to this point, but I can't give you the secret handshake because there isn't one. Or, if there is, nobody bothered to tell me.
Why do people believe these things? Wish I knew. And I'm sure I'll have to deal with a few more misconceptions as time goes by…..
What misconceptions have you encountered as a writer? Or even as a reader of romance novels? You know the ones — those books are fluff, that's not literature, how can you read that junk, etc… And what would YOU tell those clueless folks if you could?
I'm feeling the pressure to have something interesting and fun on the blog! It's so pretty now, and there's that snippet which appears on the home page, set off in a lovely pale gold, that just begs you to read. But what if I don't write something interesting?
Alas, I can't be interesting all the time. (Or maybe not ever, depending on your outlook.) Instead, I'll tell you what I did yesterday. My writerly schedule, as it were. Let's do this list style, because it's easier. 🙂
1. Made coffee.
2. Ate cereal.
3. Went to office with coffee.
4. Opened up Firefox.
5. Wasted entirely too much time doing online things.
6. Finally realized nothing was getting done in the WIP unless I left the house, and therefore my internet.
7. Starbucks. Ah, what is this orange mango smoothie thing they have now? Yum!
10. Check email on iPhone.
12. Write some more.
14. Peek at iPhone.
16. Reluctantly cut some stuff from the WIP. Realize it's better without all that mess. Feel happier.
17. Write some more, think maybe I can do it after all.
18. Eventually, leave and pick up a sub for dinner. Stop at grocery store.
19. Eat dinner, send rotten chapters to lovely friend.
20. Work out.
Yep, the glamorous day of a writer. What's on your schedule today?
Be sure to check out my guest blog over at Romance Magicians. It's about behaving professionally as a writer.
Tuesday's winner: Nicole S. Contact me with your address for your copy of Heaven, Texas!!
More giveaways next week! I hereby designate Monday and Tuesday as prize day. For now. 🙂
Yes they are! I promised a funny (not literally) story about the roses in my header and at the bottom of the page. See, when I contacted Croco Designs last winter (December, I think) and asked if they could build a site for me, Frauke said sure and sent me a questionnaire. One of the questions was about color. I said I wanted red. And I wanted dark words on a light background.
She asked if I wanted her to use photos or a graphic design. I said I was fine with photos. See, I'd done my homework and clicked over to many, many of her sites. And I loved the moody sensuality in each of them. Many of them had photos of hunky men. And I kind of assumed I would get something with a glamorous couple — maybe a ritzy car, a city background, champagne, diamonds. I had no idea, really!
So when Frauke revealed the design to me recently, I was surprised to see roses. And very pleased — because I hadn't thought about that at all! But here's the funny thing — in my office I have a framed poster. This poster:
What a coincidence, huh? I figured it was meant to be. And she's ever so much smarter than I am, because the hunky men and gorgeous women are already on my book covers. They won't ever compete with people in my header.
What's your favorite flower? Favorite color? Did something ever work out in ways you didn't expect, but turned out to be perfect?
Winner from Monday: Colleen. Email me through my contact page with your address and I'll get the $5 Starbucks card and a book from my stash out to you ASAP!
Stay tuned for more prizes!!
Hopefully, you found your way here easily enough today. Things have changed a bit, as you can see. 🙂 My website and blog went to the salon rather frumpy and out of date and came back sleek and gorgeous. Oh if only it were that easy to do the same for me! 😉
Reminds me of another rather frumpy person who today, one week after she became a YouTube sensation, is a global star. Not that my website — or I — can claim to be mega-stars.
The web is abuzz, of course, with many many articles about Susan Boyle. About her appearance, our expectations, the hope and triumph, etc. I won't bother adding links because unless you've been in a cave, you've seen this stuff out there. I do like the articles that take us to task as a society, however, for not expecting this kind of pure beauty in such a rather ordinary, even — alas — mockable, appearance.
With that in mind, I offer this song of Susan's that is the only recorded song she's ever done. Made for a charity CD, of which only 1000 copies were made. Click the link, close your eyes, and tell me this isn't the voice of a sultry chanteuse. Gorgeous, gorgeous. I will most definitely be buying this woman's first album when it comes out.
Sometimes, getting a makeover is about perception. In Susan's case, it was the judges, the audience, and now the world who got the makeover.
And now back to MY makeover. Well, my site makeover. 😉 Leave a comment to win a copy of one of my absolute favorite makeover romances of all time: Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
You can read the Decatur Daily interview with me here or here.
The WordPress switcheroo is on hold for now. Not because I don't adore WP, but because I don't have time to figure out what's up with my webhosting and WP talking to each other. I would love to point you to my new WP blog with the dot WP addy, but then that would simply confuse a lot of things when I get it working on the domain. So, sigh, no new blog for now. Hope to fix that soon…..