What Readers Think I Do vs. What I Actually Do
I was asked to write about what people think I do all day and contrast it with what I actually do. So first off, let me say this.
For my FAMILY, READERS, EDITOR, AGENT and any publishing professional, this is what I do all day:
I get up at the crack of dawn and sit down at my computer.
I am working so hard, my forehead bleeds from my deep thoughts.
It takes hours and hours every day of writing to create my work
I have to write it, re-write it, and craft it so hard my fingers also bleed
If anyone suggests anything different–like I sleep till noon and eat chocolate all day, well…okay, they’re right about the chocolate–but for everything else, they are wrong, wrong, wrong! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Okay, so here’s the TRUTH of what goes on. It’s more like this: whine, sob, moan, pout, and sometimes a nap. Elizabeth Hoyt and I regularly resolve to ditch it all and become plumbers. Sadly, neither of us wants to deal with sewage, so we return to our manuscripts. Just kidding, we return to complaining about how damn hard it is to write something that makes sense, is fun to read, and will hopefully pay for a semester of college for our kids. Maybe. One day. More likely, it will feed my coffee habit which is a good thing all around.
Now what I REALLY do goes like this, starting from the beginning of the manuscript to the end.
Outline/concept stage: I stare into space for days on end. I whine and moan and drink tons of coffee. My husband stays far away from me and throws chocolate when he needs to talk to me. I usually tell him, “No more chocolate. I’m getting fat.” I usually say this while eating the chocolate.
First draft stage: I mainline the coffee before I start typing. I alternate between periods of giddy euphoria when the pages go well and despair when they don’t. I know in my heart that I cannot take a day off. If I do, it’s 10 times harder to get back to it the next day. And 100 x harder on Monday if I enjoy a full weekend of leisure. My husband hovers in the doorway to see if I’m smiling. If I am, he offers chocolate and gets a wonderful reward. (He lives for these days. We both do!) If I’m not, then he throws chocolate and runs away.
Second draft stage: This is characterized by long moments of denial. Of course, I tell myself, my first draft is perfect. I read through and fix typos, smooth out strangeness, and replace all those //// with the name of the gardener, or the hero’s cousin’s name, or a description of that place near the cathedral where the h/h sat on a bench and talked. My husband is most relaxed at this time because–like I said–truly major flaws in the manuscript are lost beneath the denial. Minor flaws are easily fixed. He offers chocolate at the door and we have normal evenings of dinner and tv. Amagical time.
The waiting: This is a bad time. It’s after submission but before editorial response. Sadly, this time can go on for months (eons) and is doubly damned because I’m now in concept stage for the next manuscript. It’s ugly because I know deep down that I lived in denial land while in the second pass and I dread the editorial response. I growl at people. I mainline coffee and then throw it away because I’m not sleeping. I obsessively check email and social media. And I get annoyed when my editor tweets that she just enjoyed someone else’s manuscript. Bitch should have been reading mine! Husband leaves chocolate gifts and stays away.
Revision: Editorial response has been awful. Btw, the definition of awful is: Not Completely Glowing. Revisions appear and they’re usually painful, detailed, and damned annoying. Why? Because I’m not perfect, the manuscript was never close to perfect, and changing something that is already written is hard. Every change sparks another ten changes. It goes on forever and I am known to call up my friends and beg them to recommend plumbing schools. They send chocolate to me and condolences to my husband.
Publication: You would think that this is a time for happy dancing. And yes, it is. Right up until the point where I face the blog tour, the publicity events, and the inevitable wait for sales numbers. This is like the whole manuscript process in microcosm. I flow through all of the above stages every damned day. My husband has learned to time his chocolate gifts for the happy times. After decades together, he’s getting pretty good at when to throw chocolate and when to offer it with a big smile on his face!
WHAT THE GROOM WANTS BY JADE LEE – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2014
An honest love…
Radley Lyncott has been in love with Wendy Drew as long as he can remember. When he went to sea, she was too young to court. Now that he’s returned to take up his Welsh title, he is appalled to find that debt has ruined the Drew family, and—even worse—Wendy is being courted by another man.
Or a dangerous attraction?
Family comes first for seamstress Wendy Drew, who is forced to settle her brother’s debt by working nights at a notorious gambling den. But her double-life hasn’t gone unnoticed—she has captivated none other than Demon Damon, a nefarious rake who understands Wendy’s darkest desires and is hell bent on luring her into his arms.
To Purchase What the Groom Wants:
Up for grabs is 1 copy of What the Groom Wants to one lucky maiden!
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