Friday, September 24, 2010

That author

Today I decided I really needed to focus on proofing my next novel since it's due by next week. The problem is that if I read more than about twenty pages at a time, I get too caught up in my storyline to notice any potential typos. (I know, it's weird that I can lose myself in my own books. I guess I'm easily entertained.) Anyway, I decided to take a break and visited the Frog Blog to read Kerry Blair's newest post.

As always, I only made it a few lines before Kerry had me chuckling to myself. In it, Kerry discussed the oddity of being an author. It is a strange profession, one that everyone is convinced they can do if only they had the time...and the big break...and maybe a story idea. It is also a profession of extremes.

When I am writing a new novel, I sometimes hide in my office for several weeks straight, only coming back to reality for brief periods of time when my stomach is so loud I can't hear myself think or when I realize that the blood curling scream echoing through the house wasn't made by a fictional character. Other times, like next week, I get to travel across the country, do some signings and school visits, and hopefully meet people who have at least heard of my books.

Of course, transitioning between the two extremes of this business can be a bit tricky. Some authors need to get out and meet their fans. Others would love nothing more than to avoid any and all book signings, prefering to stay at their keyboards and hope fan mail will find its way into their inboxes.

Personally, I like both sides of the business. In moderation. I love meeting my fans, coming face to face with people who enjoy the same books I do. I also love getting lost in a story I'm creating, experiencing that incredible rush when my fingers can't keep up with my characters.

Transitioning between the two is the hard part. I'm always afraid to get too deep into a new novel until I'm sure I really have at least six to eight weeks I can commit to it. If I have other obligations hanging over my head, I simply can't stay focused. So, for the next week I'm going to proofread Smokescreen one last time and enjoy my travels. When I get home, I'm determined to convince Charlie Whitmore that it's time for his story to be told.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Organized chaos

Today I am looking around my house, at my cluttered desk and the toys on the floor. The dirty dishes on the counter and the two bags of groceries on the table I have yet to put away after last night's trip to the store. And I'm starting to wonder, do I have to get organized before I can organize my thoughts?

I admit, the last couple of weeks have been a bit overwhelming. School started right after Labor Day and I was really excited about getting a lot of things done. Unfortunately, I didn't really consider exactly HOW MUCH I needed to get done. So I've decided it's time for me to get serious and set some priorities.

I was trying to put my work-in-progress as my first priority (after my family and church, of course), but now I'm realizing that I'm having trouble focusing on it because there are too many other things pulling at me. I took care of a few things this week, but these are the big ones I still have to take care of before I can get back to my book.

1. Clean my house, preferably with the help of the three children I still have living at home. I'm not talking about a serious spring cleaning, but at least enough tidying so that the kitchen looks the way I want it to and the floors are no longer an obstacle course.

2. Prepare for my upcoming class at The Book Academy in Utah on September 30th as well as my planned visits to two high schools, Summit Academy High School in Draper, Utah and Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, Arizona. I have a lot of ideas of what I want to do, but I need to get them down on paper (or in computer) so that I can feel more organized.

3. Organize a few more details for my upcoming high school reunion. (I'm still not sure exactly how I ended up in charge of it.)

4. Take care of some administrative issues for my high school swim team before our first team/parent meet.

5. WRITE! Or rather, rewrite. Either way, Charlie Whitmore is demanding that his story get finished and I'm ready to find out what really happens.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Race for Backlash

As my family can attest, I am always very excited to get the box from my publisher that contains my new books. Now that I've been through the waiting game a few times, I know that I probably shouldn't expect to see the FedEx truck heading for my house until after I've received at least a couple of online reviews or emails from people who have already read it. This time was a bit different.

The first indication that my book was out this time was a text message from an old college roommate (so thank you Lori!) I was starting to wonder if Backlash was really on the shelves or if it was perhaps I was off by a few days on the release date. Then Jon commented on my last post (thank you Jon!) and I started feeling a little more confident that my newest release really had been released.

This weekend started a chain of events that was definitely new to me. On Friday my college age daughter went to the bookstore at BYU-Idaho and sent me a picture message of my book there. Then, with her wicked sense of humor, the same darling daughter bought Backlash and successfully gained possession of it before one day. The stars aligned here in Virginia on Saturday and when I returned from driving one of my other daughters to her ACT exam, my box of books was waiting for me. :)