Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Should I take a break? Can I? #amwriting #romance

Since 2008, a very large chunk of my life has been writing.  I began Silver Lake during an 8 hour car ride, once a friend had given me the final push I needed to get started (if you don't at least try, you'll never know...words to live by).  The entire first draft took me two and a half years, because at that point, it was mostly a distant dream.

During that time span, we remodeled our home, including the kitchen...so for six months, I awoke every day to different people stomping around the house before I even got dressed.

A giant hole in the yard
was just the beginning

I'd trudge down in my pajamas and ask where they put the coffee maker that day, because that and the toaster oven were the extent of our working appliances.  Usually it was sitting on a step ladder somewhere, and occasionally I had to find an extension cord to get it working.  Let's just say it wasn't the most conducive environment to write romance.  If I even tried, invariably a contractor would show up within five minutes, asking me where I wanted the light switches to go.  Huh?  Put them where you think they should go.  I'm trying to channel the ghost of Brandy.

It was worth it!  ^ This stool is
where I write.
But once I began querying publishers and agents with Silver Lake, writing became more of a compulsion than a hobby.  I had editors interested who wanted to see changes.  I rewrote and rewrote again, and every time I had to endure the painful wait for feedback, I turned to my new story.  By the time Silver Lake was contracted by The Wild Rose Press, I ecstatically told myself it was time for a break.  But I couldn't do it.  I was deep inside the fictional Cape Cod town of Gull Harbor, helping Claire deal with both a dangerous spirit and her ex-boyfriend, Max.

Gull Harbor was finished--and contracted--in record time.  Certainly it was time for a rest.  But I had two new stories tugging at my imagination--which to pursue?  I decided it was time for something different, and I embarked on a journey into the world of Nephilim in my first YA paranormal romance.

Nine months later, I had yet another finished full length manuscript.  Three in five years...not bad.  Since my current publisher does not handle YA, I began the query process all over again.  That in and of itself is quite a daunting and time-consuming process.  Surely now I should take that break, relax, and hope an agent or publisher is interested in Divine Fall.

I'm trying.  Really.  But I feel strangely adrift.  I miss my characters.  I miss living in their world, experiencing their next moves as the intricate plot comes to life in my mind.  Jamie and Dothan will have their incredible story told, and I'm sure I'll be back with them when it's time for edits.  But in the meantime, can I just sit back and wait?

Again, I'm trying.  But that other story that took a backseat to Divine Fall is beckoning.  The first three chapters are there.  The preliminary research is done.  Emily and Brett are waiting, and so is Jonah's ghost.  I know on some level my brain needs time to recharge.  Somehow, I need to get that message to my characters.  Their time will come.  They'll have to be at least a little bit patient.  And I'll admit, I'm not usually one to advocate patience--it's not my strong point.  But in this business, it's a necessary virtue. 

So I'll tackle my To Be Read list while I try very hard to take that break from writing.  Judging from the long blog post I just joyfully typed up, it should be no problem.  Wait...


  1. I know you're trying to wait, but I have to say the image of you walking into your kitchen every morning in your pj's looking for the coffee maker would make an excellent scene in a new book ! I've tried to wait before and to me all it leads to is the dreaded b-l-o-c-k (whispers). I think that you should keep writing as long as it flows. By the way, beautiful kitchen.

  2. Thank you Angela! Lol, I think I've tried to block that part of my life out...it was crazy! I spoke to the contractor on the phone more than my husband, and he was in my kitchen just waiting around every morning. I guess I should be glad the words do want to flow...I admit I wrote down some new dialog today! Happy New Year :)