Wednesday, February 4, 2015

HAUNTED SOULS is Finished! #amwriting #romance + ghostly #suspense

Haunted Souls, like Gull Harbor,
is set on beautiful Cape Cod
Today, I typed the final sentence of HAUNTED SOULS, my fourth novel.  I'm still kind of in a daze...I wrote this novel very quickly.  It's now complete at 80,000 words, another steamy romance mixed with a suspenseful haunting, which is my favorite type of book to write (and read)!

I finished my first Young Adult novel, DIVINE FALL, in December of 2013.  Between edits for that book and author events for my other novels, I didn't have a lot of time or energy to work on anything else.  But I did have an idea brewing, and as writers know, eventually the characters and the story win out.  I did mountains of research, pages of timelines and character Goal-Motivation-Conflict charts, and managed 20,000 words before the summer release of Divine Fall.

A haunting mystery intertwines
with a reunion romance in
Haunted Souls
After that, I was toast.  New release promotion plus tons of events in October (a huge month for me, as all of my novels have a paranormal element) left me zero time for anything.  I didn't even buy a pumpkin until a few days before Halloween.  But all the time, those characters were relentlessly creating dialog in my head, and my mind was constantly spinning plot twists.  As busy as I was, I felt empty without a work-in-progress underway.  That file with 20,000 words entitled "Novel #4" stared at me from my desktop.

So, I decided to use the start of NaNoWriMo as inspiration.  I told myself when November 1st hit, I'd start writing again, full-force.  I had no expectations of finishing in one month--that's not the way I write. But it was great motivation and I managed about another 20,000 words--not bad for a month filled with my son's birthday and the Thanksgiving holiday.

Then, in December, I entered the first page of Haunted Souls into a contest, and it won an exclusive submission to a literary agent!  How's that for motivation?  But of course, agents can't do much with partial manuscripts.  I decided to wait to submit until I had it finished.

Now I knew I could do 20,000 words in a month.  And I did it--60K by the end of Dec., even during the crazy holiday rush!  A little over a month later--today, February 4th, I finished the last chapter, and it clocked in at 80,078.  I'd done another 20K in about 30 days.  Whew!

So, tonight is celebration time!  I'm going to crack open a bottle of champagne when my hubby gets home.  It almost feels like I'm returning to the land of reality, after submersing myself into my characters' world so deeply for so long.  Soon, I'll feel that familiar ache that comes with the story being over.  But tonight, I'm over the moon.

Tomorrow, I'll think about that dreaded synopsis...yep, tomorrow.

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