Alphabet Dating is set in NYC!
I wish procrastination was an art that reqped rewards. I'd be a multi-award winner, I tell you.
I know lots of people procrastinate and where writing is concerned the thing I put off and dance about and make myself sick worrying about and avoiding is editing.
Today I've done a massive edit of Alphabet Dating. Why it has taken me until today to do it I do not know. I think I work better with tight deadlines. Also I avoid things I'm not naturally good at.
I love the blank page and the possibility of heading off on an adventure with new characters as they weave their way through adventures and chaos. Re-writing those adventures, conceding that you've overused certain words or under-written ceratin sections, well, that's a whole lot less fun for me.
I have a close friend who works in the corporate would and she says "we're not finishers, Mon." We'll both work on a project for a year and then put of writing the final report, which might take a matter of hours. I'm the same when it comes to invoicing for my day job. You'd think, givenI won't get paid if I don't invoice I wouldn't put that off right? Wrong!
I think I dislike editing because it holds a mirror to the flaws in a novel - I do realise the whole reason you edit is to fix them - but I think it makes it very real. This book has been two beta-readers. It's been given a good edit. I'm re-editing it. Then once I finish I'll then send it to someone else to re-edit. And then maybe someone else as well. After that however there's nothing left to do but send my baby out into the world...I think that's why it's scary and why we put it off...not just me, loads of writers do it.
I think that's why editing and procrastination are natural friends especially if like me, procrastination is pretty natural anyway...why do you procrastinate?
Serena’s friends have a plan to get her dating again - 26 dates in a month - one for every letter in the alphabet. What could possibly go wrong?
When Serena Sanders reluctantly agrees to participate in the Alphabet Dating Plan she knows it will be tough but there’s so much she hadn’t factored in. Who knew men were so complicated? Not Serena.
As she begins dating her way through the alphabet she starts to learn more about herself and her friends than she ever expected as secrets and hidden agendas are revealed. Alphabet Dating is a love story – a tale of lost love, unrequited love, platonic love and ultimately it’s about learning to love again.
My 3rd novel Alphabet Dating will be due out in April - leave a comment here to go in the draw to win an e-book
So this week should be an exciting one here on the blog because I hope to be able to reveal the cover for Alphabet Dating at long last. I'm really hoping you're going to like it.
I'm also going to run the blurb and an excerpt so you'll know loads more about the book by the end of the week.
I can tell you that while Serena the main character is Australian the novel is set mainly in and around New York City.
Much more to follow in the coming days....
So far in my books I seem to have incorporated little bits of my own life into the lives of the main characters. In Mr Right and Other Mongrels Allegra and I have that dog-phobia in common.
In Hearts Afire Cassie found herself alone on a tropical island where she met got to know Jack. Well I met my own husband on a tropical island not at all unlike the one in Hearts Afire and we're living proof that 'holiday romances' (as we call them in Australia) can last - because today we've been married for nineteen years. (Yes, yes I was a child bride!)
So how did I end up alone on a tropical North Queensland island? I was not left at the alter, I can tell you that much.
When I twenty two I got glandular fever. (It's called mono in the US...or the kissing disease. Sadly I didn't get it kissing anyone and I had already had it before and not even known about it, at least according to my doctor).
I had it so badly it turned into chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS....(we pretended I didn't have that because there was no cure and back then if you said you had that people thought you were nuts...but I guess that's another story).
Anyway, I had it pretty badly. After a couple of months in bed. I went back to to work but only worked four hours a day for quite a few months. I literally got up, got dressed, drove to work and came home again. .That was my life. That and watching Beverly Hills 90210 on a Friday night. I was living at home and my mum threatened to hand out hospital masks to visitors. I'm happy to report visitors came anyway.
That was my life.
Still I had fantastic friends (one of whom is the model for Justin in Mr Right and Other Mongrels) and I started to get better although it was a rather slow recovery. One of my friends and I were also planning to go to Europe together back-packing the next year (refer to the bit about ignoring chronic fatigue above!) We planned to leave in about March and I was saving like crazy. If you ever find yourself sick make an audacious plan - somehow it always gets me through.
In late September she called me and said due to job changes she'd decided to go to Europe right away with her boyfriend instead of going with me the following year.
Of course I understood but to say I was devastated would be an understatement. You know how things hit your harder when you're down? I didn't have anyone else to go with. I needed a new plan and I desperately needed a rest.
A few days late,r in my lunch break, I walked down the street to the nearest travel agency and asked the girl there where I could go alone for a vacation that was warm and wouldn't be full of too many young families or people in love. Seriously, it's scary enough going on vacation on your own so you don't want to also pick the wrong crowd to hang with.
She gave me a choice of three islands in northern Queensland and I chose one on the spot.
A couple of weeks later I found myself alone on a tropical island and I do draw heavily from that experience in Hearts Afire. For example I did phone a friend crying and wondering what I had done and she did send me to the bar to get a cocktail of the day. I did sit at "The Joiners Table" for dinner and I did make some really fun friends that week as a result. I had a great time and unlike Cassie I had no desire to leave early.
As an extra bonus I also met my husband...but that's another story...and that part isn't in any of my books...well, not yet anyway. And honestly if you hear him tell his version and I tell my version I sometimes wonder if it really was each other we met...it's like we were on two different islands...
So from experience I believe you can find love on a tropical island and sometimes your negatives can become gr
Note: My friend and her boyfriend went to Europe and had a great time and they're married now with three kids and we're still friends.
Hearts Afire is available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009V2UKWQ
Guess what day it is! Yes feeling a bit retro so I thought I'd add a bit of music to the blog.
Busy day today interviewing some fascinating people for my day job. I just spoke to a fellow who sometimes drives through the Kakadu National Park to get to one if his offices...pretty amazing!
I've also helped a friend tweak her book synposis, worked on a website design and reviewed the cover for Alphabet Dating.
That's my Monday.
Tomorrow will be Tuesday and I hope to have a treat or two for you!
Sometimes when writers write a book they plan a sequel or a whole series. When I wrote Mr Right and Other Mongrels I didn't do that.
Since publishing it I've had lots of people ask me abouta sequel and so I'm planning on writing one. It won't be out till next year, I don't think.
Still I need to get started on it. I have it mapped out generally but of course novels take their own twists and turns when you write them and new ideas spring forth. Quite often the characters have their own ideas and you just have to follow them on their journey.
I am planning a quick trip to L.A later this year to do some research because at the end of the novel Teddy is moving to California to host a garden makeover show.
So if you have the novel do you ahve any thoughts on some fun things Teddy and Allegra might get up to in L.A?
I have a few good ideas myself but I'm always open to suggestions fo fun dates or even some dramas.
If you haven't read it click the picture below to buy it on Amazon.
Just like in sports where players have lucky underwear or other charms, or they have to drive to the game the same way or they'r e determined they will loose, so too many authors have writing rituals.
Some people have a whole process they go through before they write. It may be setting themselves up ina a fvaourite spot, getting their favourite beverage (I know a good many who guzzle the Diet Coke) or putting on their favourite music.
I think because so many writers write at home it helps them to get into their writing zone.
If you are a writer who struggles at doing this there is a wonderful article in this month's O Magazine by Matha Beck that discusses in detail some great ways to set yourself up for success in this area.
I really only have one ritual and it's pretty simple. I need a nice capuccinno to get me in the writing zone - OK a latte will do. I like the ritual of getting my espresso machine going and making the coffee. It gives me time to think about where I'll start and then I sit myself down and begin. I write best between about 10am and about 12.30pm and between 3and 5pm. Is it a coincidence that I like my coffee at 10am and 3pm? I don't think so.
When I'm focussed I certainly write at other times (and I write for my day job so of course I must!) but for optimum productivity and focus those are my zones.
Now I have my mugs with my own book covers I love to use those to inspire me but that's not a ritual. I'm as lickely to choose the Minnie Mouse Mug I bought in Disneyland back in 2000. (Yes that mug is a survivor!)
If you write. What are your rituals?