These 5 tips for balancing your creative life and your published author life might just help save your sanity. Every day when I wake up, I wonder whether I should be the writer or the author — should I spend my time on my new work-in-progress or promote my novel, The Renaissance Club. Creating and promoting are two different mindsets, thiough both involve creativity. More
I was thrilled to be part of the first Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly Author Happy Hour, sharing secrets of success — and lots of the struggle along the way — with three other wonderful novelists who have recently published books.
Click the link above to watch the Youtube!
We laughed and talked about the whole process of writing and publishing, the writing life, and our own unique formulas for approaching the creative act. More
Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate?
That’s the question my main character, May Gold, has to ask herself when her adventures in Italy in The Renaissance Club bring her face-to-face with her idol, 17th century genius sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. She has always admired — maybe more than admired — the fiery, expressive artist who could make marble come alive. What would you do if you could meet the historical person you most admire?
Click the link below to get a preview:
I’m thrilled to share that you can pre-order it, in either ebook or paperback, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Delivery date will be the official release: January 23. If you grab a copy now, you’ll do a sort of time-traveling yourself, having it in your hands in January, when it releases. You can congratulate your past self for giving you a New Year’s present! Perfect for a cozy read during winter nights.
For the decades that I’ve been writing, I’ve often wondered why writers wait so much. We wait for inspiration, we wait for writing time, and excruciatingly, we wait for responses from publishers and agents. Sometimes I’ve waited months for a reply to an agent query or a literary journal. Is it just me and my writing? What makes them hesitate and delay? Or is the publishing industry so clogged with writers pitching their writing that editors and agents must read on their phones while commuting, just to keep up?
Waiting for responses has at times torn me apart. The worst was when an agent I wanted work with was reading my full manuscript. Worst-of-the-worst was when I resubmitted the novel to an agent after a year-long, exclusive revise-and-resubmit. That waiting was capped with a most painful rejection.
Cover Reveal Day
Today I’m doing the happier waiting. This waiting is for an event to publicize my forthcoming novel, The Renaissance Club (January 2018). Tomorrow will be my novel’s “cover reveal day”. Sponsored by the publisher, a number of book review blogs will unveil the new cover, along with a short synopsis, an excerpt, an author bio, and perhaps a giveaway.
Actually, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, except that tomorrow, I’m free to use my book cover in any way I want! So I will post it here, and add a giveaway contest.
What Writers Do While Waiting
/also, writers wait so much because we want our book to be the best book it can be, the perfect book. We want it promoted in the best way. Waiting often involves editing. Yes, even if agents and editors are already reading, I continue to edit a book. Or I edit the publicity materials, my blog posts, and social media plan. If I can see something to fix, I’m going to fix it.
Now I’ve passed the anxious waiting and reached the excited waiting! Still, I’ll follow the Golden Writer’s Rule: While Waiting, Write! My goal this week is to finish expanding a chapter of my work-in-progress novel, The Romantics. While writing, I forget everything — even that I’m waiting.
Author platform: what is it, do I need it for fiction, and other brain-freezing topics. There’s so much written about this ugly word (I keep thinking of those awful shoes you can literally fall off and break your ankle), that my research has frozen my mind on the topic.
So here’s my hopefully refreshing take on Platform for Novelists. You don’t need one. No, you just need to be your most authentic writer-self, and in public, without asking people to do things for you. No sales pitching, no bragging (or only subtle and elegant bragging), and stuff to offer to help and amuse your fellow writers and readers. Assume you have readers and you’re all sitting around in one of those gatherings that used to be for workshopping, and how has become the circle of your favorite people to hang with and discuss life and books. Those people are your (platform) audience.
See? It’s not hard at all. It’s pleasant. It does have to be done regularly, but it can take any form that satisfies you and amuses you. I like coming up with pithy poetic fragments and coupling them with nice photos I’ve taken, usually of plants and landscapes and yes, my adorable dog. Of course, I refuse to aggressively hawk my books (except once in awhile to offer discounts but mostly through email), but I do like to talk about my three books and my WIP, a novel involving time travel and the great Italian Renaissance/Baroque sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini.
And I also like finding and sharing writing resources for my hard-working writer colleagues. That’s why you can go to http://racheldacus.net and find under Resources a long listing of literary journals and presses that accept submissions without charging contest fees.
You can scroll down here at Rocket Kids and find links to all sorts of my favorite literary and publishing resources. And here’s the soothing picture:
|Is she in ecstasy or torture?|
Does she look like she’s in ecstasy or torture? She must be a writer of fiction conteomplating current avenues of publication because where there was once a clear path to authorship, fame, and fortune, now … 100 articles on how to publish OR see a fabulous, must-own publishing guide by The Book Doctors and Jane Friedman’s advice on publishing.
So you studied all that, and now you’re ready to query, submit, do the waiting, make the changes, query, resubmit, keep an open mind without losing your vision, and … WOW! You got a nibble, an offer, or even YES! a contract.
It’s time to break out the champagne, do the Fred Astaire ceiling dance, throw a party, think up your next creative project, and in general be a happy writer for all of a week.
|Then comes the acceptance|
And then reality sets in.
This is not the end of the publishing adventure. Not by a long shot. There’s the marketing, the supporting a new book, figuring out the whole social media thing, how to get the word out to your friends and theirs. It’s all so confusing, so daunting, and so … MUCH.
And remember, we’re in this together. We’re writers and readers, and we can do this.
If all that is making your eyes cross and your brain hurt, just stare at this image for 20 seconds, close your eyes, and mediate on #booklaunch #success and remember your writing will find readers. Believe!
Waiting. Publishing your writing is so full of waiting to hear from an agent or editor that medieval torture begins to seem like a diversion to inflict on yourself while enduring the greater agony. I’m at another waiting stage with my novel-in-progress, The Renaissance Club. I’ve been working on this for so long that I can’t look at it right now without guidance. I need an agent or editor to hold my hand and tell me what I’m reading. I’m waiting to hear from an agent, and the longer I work on this, the slower time seems to go. It’s going slower than for this 19th century girl with her print book in hand.
One of the things I’m doing while waiting to hear from the agent is blog. Here, for example, is my Baroque rockstar bad boy hero, Bernini, in his self-portrait. I’d also add an image of Rome as I remember it on my first day when, like May, I couldn’t wait to get out into one of the most incredible cities I’ve ever seen. And here are my first two paragraphs:
The other thing I’ve done while waiting is to plan a new novel (that’s a no-brainer — if you’re hooked on writing fiction) and to research publishing and its future. Trying to peer into the crystal ball is something it seems few in the industry really want to do. It’s very scary because this is an industry on the brink of The Unknown. A thing far scarier than anything in a Stephen King novel.
If you’re curious, here are two great publishing-futurist gurus who are lively, intelligent, and crazily informed:
WARNING! If you are device-averse and print-dependent, do NOT peruse these. They will make you uts. But I’m the daughter of a rocket engineer and I do love my technology, so I find this endlessly fascinating.
Stay tuned for the future of The Renaissance Club. What will happen when May stops being a realist and encounters her adored genius?
When I #amwriting either prose or poetry, I first write long and thin. By that I mean a lot of words to say not as much as I will wind up with, compressed. Having just finished what I hope is the final revision of a 400-page novel, I know the meaning of short and long, thin and fat. I started with what I’ve come to view as a 300-page outline of my novel. Twelve months later, working with an amazing set of editors, I’ve fleshed out the action and compressed the verbage until at 416 pages, I have more scenes, less dialogue, more description, less flounder, and much deeper characters.
It’s amazing what taking out leaves room to put in. If you’re writing an #novel or a #shortstory, try drafting longer and longer and then get out the shears and the dictionary of muscular verbs. (I just made that up, but wouldn’t it be nice to have one?)
If you’re writing #poetry, take out the connective tissue until you reach “terse” and then begin adding adverbs and adjectives. That’s right, I’m recommending to add modifiers. They’re a bridge. You’re going to cut them, but for now see them and consider if you’ve picked the right verb. Verbs are everything. Nouns are a little something. All other parts of speech incline away from making an impact, so are best used sparingly.
Anyway, that’s my #recipeforwriting.
What’s with all the #hashtags? I’m learning. Shortly after I publish this post, I will remove 50% of them.