You Can’t Bask In Yesterday’s Glory

The thing about writing is this, you can’t bask in yesterday’s glory. As soon as you complete one book, you must begin the next. And as a writer, this is not a bad thing, since I lovefullsizeoutput_1bd7 what I do. I’m always writing in my head anyway, I may as well put it down on paper. But lets face it, it’s easier to think up a story than it is to actually write it.

For years, to help myself go to sleep at night, I have made up stories in my head. It would help me not to think about the problems that I was facing or plans for the next day. These things could wait until morning. I would pray about them, leave them with God, and instead of needless worrying, I would distract myself by making up a story, falling to sleep in the middle of it, and then picking up where I left off the next night. Sometimes I’d work on the same story for months because I’d fall asleep before I had gotten very far. Of course, there were times the story was so captivating, I found myself fighting sleep because I wanted to finally finish it. Since I was a pre-teen, I’ve made up these bedtime stories in my head. I wish I could remember them all, but, alas, it isn’t so.

For much of my life, only traditional publishing existed, and it was extremely difficult to find a publishing company that would even want to look at your manuscript. However, self-published books are all around us now, so I decided to take the plunge and finally write out an entire story. I had no idea of all it would entail. I didn’t even read much about writing before I started. I simply started writing in one of my favorite genres and I attempted to write the type of book I enjoy reading. As I was doing so, I realized I had to research to make the story more realistic. So I researched as I continued writing. Each time I encountered a problem, I Googled for a solution and found it. It’s amazing how we have all the answers at our fingertips now. Then I edited and edited and edited before sending it off to be edited by others. I had a few people read it and give me their input before I published my first novel. Thankfully, anyone can publish a book today and there are even free publishers like Kindle and Create Space that make it easy for new writers to get their books out to the public.

Once your book is out there and people like it, they begin to ask you when the next one will be published. The pressure is on and, if you want to make a career of writing, it will always be on your mind. While you are writing one book, you are already deciding which character you might use for the next book in your series. While you’re promoting your last book(s), you are researching, choosing character names, background, personalities, scene, etc., and when you finish with all of that, the writing process begins all over again.

I heard a helpful YouTube this week with Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn as she interviewed Michaelbrent Collings on the topic How To Write Faster And Never Get Writer’s Block. What stood out to me was the fact that Michaelbrent Collings said, “I go in and begin to start typing and I don’t stop for eight or nine hours. And sometimes I write total crap, but that’s what the delete key is for. But even with writing the total crap, I learn how to write better the next day.” He goes on to explain that writing becomes your life. Everything you experience, watch, observe, hear, or read can potentially help you when you sit down to write. BUT…he works on writing EVERY DAY!

And that’s the KEY to writing. And I’m not there yet. I’m doing so much better, but I can do much better still. With my lifestyle, I doubt I’ll ever be able to write 8 to 9 hours a day, but I’ve read other successful writers who disciplined themselves to write one hour each day. They may not publish as many books at Michaelbrent Collings does each year, but they will continue to publish books on a regular basis.

My first novel, Reluctant to Wed, has been published and is getting great reviews. As I’m basking in the glory of this moment, my fingers are on the the keyboard pounding out the next novel in this series. It’s what I must do. It’s what I love. I’m a writer.

Do you write every day? What time of day is your best writing time? Are you an early bird or a night owl? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Preview of What’s Inside the Cover

Here is a little taste of what you will find in Reluctant To Wed:
fullsizeoutput_181c“Lord Houlton would like to see the deed accomplished as soon as possible. He’d like the banns read next Sunday. Do not delay. Your betrothed should have the opportunity to meet you before she gives you control of her life. All of that should be able to be accomplished two months from next Sunday.”

“What?! That’s ridiculous!” Devon exclaimed. “I need time to get to know the lady. To see if we are even compatible.”

“I thought you said you had no choice. If that’s the case, what does it matter if you’re compatible or not?”

 

Paperback Has Been Released!!

Reluctant To Wed is now available on Paperback and Kindle! Order your copy here.

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Emma, an American, and Devon, the Earl of Devonport, are strangers compelled to wed by the machinations of family members. To keep her family from losing their farm, Emma agrees to an arranged marriage. Devon understands his obligation to his title and to his father. He has no choice but to take Emma as his wife. While her heart longs to be loved, his longs for freedom. When they meet, sparks fly. Each must make an effort to understand the other. Faith in God gives Emma hope when the path to love is not an easy one.

If you enjoyed the book, please leave a review here or on Amazon. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Reviews

Reluctant to Wed has received great reviews on Amazon. I’m so tickled about it! Here are some of them:

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~ Love this book! I read it every spare moment I had until finished. I felt like I was watching a PBS miniseries as the story unfold before my eyes in full color. I felt an immediate connection with the characters. Some of them were worthy of great love, well others stirred deep emotions of another type. The book definitely spoke of a love that goes deeper than physical attraction. There were threads of faithfulness, forgiveness, and redemption that flowed through the pages of Reluctant To Wed. Great read! Buy it you won’t be disappointed.

~ The story line and characters in this book leaped off the page and carried me along in a gripping tale. I felt I was right there in the English countryside cheering on the characters and wishing I could smack a couple of them. Hurry! Get this book!

~ I enjoyed the story, the characters and the writing. I could not put it down once I began reading. I will be looking forward to more from this author.

For your copy, just click Reluctant to Wed (Arranged Marriage Series).

Be Yourself, Even If You’re Quirky

I had the privilege of attending a banquet recently where the guest speaker was a comedian. He was a hoot!! I mean, he was so funny people held onto their stomachs laughing so hard. His humorIMG_0629 was clean, so no one felt awkward. What made this guy so humorous was that he was truly being himself. He shared stories from his childhood and more recent experiences, too. He had learned to laugh at himself, and then gave us the opportunity to laugh with him. He was a great storyteller.

Years back, before internet, I received a letter from my sister while I lived in another country. Each sentence was truly my sister. The way she processes her thoughts were in every line I read. My heart squeezed with longing. I laughed at her humor and missed her as much as she said she missed me. The letter was special because she was being herself. Her essence was in every word written.

As a writer of a novel, blog, or letter, it’s important that I’m genuine. That doesn’t mean that I cannot develop my character and become a better person. It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t need to learn more about the craft of writing. It simply means I shouldn’t try to copy someone else’s voice or personality. Fake will show itself and turn readers away. Genuineness will delight, inspire, and pull the reader in. Of course, their will be those who do not like who you are. That’s okay. You cannot please everyone, so don’t try. But more people will be drawn to your writing if you are genuine than if you try something that doesn’t come natural to you.

Nothing is more painful than to have to listen to someone trying to be funny when they are completely out of their element. You want to laugh because you feel so badly for them, but it almost hurts to force a chuckle out. If you’re better at drama, then please delight us with a heartwarming story. We enjoy those, too.

Here’s another reason to be yourself. It’s difficult to be fake all the time. As an author, you will be meeting your readers face to face before long, and they will soon be disappointed that the person behind the book is very different from the person standing in front of them. But if you are genuine, you’ll be more of what you’ve already shown in your writing. You will be able to connect better with your audience when face to face. Those that are drawn to who you authentically are will most likely also be drawn to your writing.

 

Book Recommendation

Whenever I read for entertainment, I want something that will make me chuckle but also have some depth to it. Basically, I want something similar to my life, but a guaranteed happy ending. Entertainment shouldn’t make me cry tears of sadness for too long, and especially not at the end. That’s just my opinion, of course. If I should ever have a need to cry, there are plenty of true stories I can read. But if I’m going to read a fiction, then let it have a happy ending. And if the writer can cause me to laugh and shed a gentle tear in the process of reading the pages of their novel, all the better. Emotions are part of life, but a happy ending is what fictions are made for. I want to feel good when I get to the end of the book.

Having said all that, I wonder if you’ve ever read a regency novel by Kristi Ann Hunter? I was doing a search for Christian historical fiction authors and came across this writer. After reading her description about herself on her website, I decided to read one of her books. She had humor and even sarcasm in her bio, and I wanted to see if her books are as entertaining as she is. The book pictured above is the one I purchased and I was not disappointed.  Funny thing is, when I looked through my Kindle library, I saw that I already owned another one of her books. I liked that one too. However, let me tell you about this one since it’s only $1.99 on Kindle currently. If you click on the book above, it will take you to Amazon so you can purchase your copy while it’s on sale. This is what it’s about:

Trent and Adelaide are forced to marry after finding themselves in a compromising situation. Trent’s dream was to have a love match like his parents. Unfortunately, as a gentleman, those dreams had to die in order to save Adelaide’s reputation. But being willing to marry her is not the same as truly accepting her as his wife.

Adelaide has virtually no experience of life in London society. She’d been left in the country while her mother focused all her attention and resources on bringing out her beautiful, older daughter. Even after the older daughter marries, Adelaide continues to be left in the country. So when Trent takes Adelaide to London following their wedding, she has much to learn about what is expected of her and how to be a wife.

I enjoyed both main characters. The book was often hard to put down because I was curious to see how this marriage would succeed. Adelaide is a sweet and patient young lady. I found it fascinating to see this couple work at getting to know each other while letting go of old dreams. By trusting God, we always find He uses unpleasant situations in our lives to work out His purposes for us.