Friday, July 11, 2014

And Just Like That . . .

So finishing a book feels wonderful, which means that starting a new book should feel awful, right? Sort of.

I started my new book last week. And let me tell you, those first days can be overwhelming . . . and sometimes terrifying. What if I'm all out of words? Or good ideas? What if the characters I wrote about in the outline for the book don't come to life in my head? Worse, what if they don't come to life on the page? 

Still, midst all the fears and angst, there's this tiny flutter of excitement inside me. I have a new story to tell. New characters to meet. I think about them day and night, watching their story unfold, trying to figure out which parts to share with the reader. I spend a lot of time coming up with ways to delay sitting down at my computer (like many writers I know) but when I finally read my email and make the choice NOT to check Facebook or order something online, I find that I'm eager to read what I wrote the day before. I'm eager to write the next couple of sentences, paragraphs, scene. And once I get going, the words really do come.

At least they did today. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Friday, May 2, 2014

One Star

I never search the Internet for reviews of my books. I do read some of them on Amazon, mostly because my mother tells me to.I think I've talked about this before. Anyway, I turned in a book Wednesday so I'm playing hooky until I start the new one on Monday. How do I spend my free time? I'm making a Minecraft cake for my niece (I'll post a picture) and . . . I was checking out Amazon and changing my author bio. Mostly because I didn't have the title right on my next book.  AS CLOSE AS SISTERS will be a November 2014 release. While checking the site, I noticed that JUST LIKE OTHER DAUGHTERS had quite a few new reviews, so I read through them. 

I've received my first one star, out of 5, review. When I read it, I smiled to myself. I suppose I should be upset-- someone didn't like my book. No, they hated my book. Which translates, for most writers, to mean that someone hates me. Worse yet, hates my baby. My darling. Fortunately, I don't look at reviews that way. I have a story to tell that I tell. Some readers will like the story, some won't. I think the important thing to me is, did it touch the reader in some way? Was there something about the book that made them think about it later? Or mention it to a friend? 

As a reader, I like books that touch me emotionally, negatively or positively. I like books that make me think, even if it's to think I don't agree with that character's thoughts or actions or I don't agree with how the author saw that issue

It also occurred to me that getting a one star review on Amazon once in a while is probably good. Otherwise, wouldn't readers be suspicious? I'm suspicious of a book that EVERYONE adores.

So, I'm not upset about the one star, but I am going to call my mother, who's also a writer, and tell her someone doesn't like me. She has to like me; she's my mother.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Done! Tied! Fini!

Nothing feels better than finishing a book. Not a good review, not even a royalties check. I've typed the words THE END for almost ninety manuscripts-- around a hundred if I count the novellas I've written over the years. Yet there's still an amazing thrill when I write that last page. Talk about a weight off my shoulders. I can physically feel the release.  

This week I finished CLOSER THAN SISTERS which will be out in November 2014. It's another "women's fiction" book, whatever that means. (By the reviews posted on Amazon for JUST LIKE OTHER DAUGHTERS, I can see that men read this type of fiction, too.) I still have to read the whole book through again; now I'm just touching it up, primping it, preparing it to go out in the world.  But it's done and I'm amazed that I wrote a book. I know that sounds crazy because that's what I do. I write books.  But like most writers I know, when I start the first page, the end seems so far in the distance, I can't imagine ever reaching that last page.

But I did.

AND in other good news, Kensington is reprinting JUST LIKE OTHER DAUGHTERS.

So, I'm feeling rather successful today. Too bad it only lasts a day! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oh, The Places You'll Go

My 21 year old daughter is in India for 5 weeks and has been blogging to keep family and friends up-to-date on her adventures. You can check out her travels at:Morgan goes to India! Warning, her mother doesn't always approve of her language, but the photos are so amazing, I'm going to let her slide. 

So, I'm looking at her incredible photos and thinking to myself that never, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined going to India and seeing what she's seeing, experiencing what she's experiencing. Not at her age, at least. I wonder what makes some of us more adventurous than others? What makes some of us brave enough to get on a plane for 19 hours to sleep on a cot "the size of a Triscuit cracker", freeze in the mountains of Nepal and fret over the possibility of monkeys coming in our window, just to experience what we haven't experienced before?

So Morgan rode an elephant yesterday through a game park and I worked on chapter 23 of my next book, Closer Than Sisters. And dreamed of the places I might never go. . .

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Writer Hibernates

I have a confession. I know that most people, at least in cooler climates, don't love January and February. I do. As a writer, they're my most prolific months. And probably my most creative. I'm like a bear in hibernation. I can go days without leaving the house where I have my office. I've been known to still be wearing my flannel pj bottoms at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  I get up in the morning, make my tea, chat with my mom, (also a writer) read my email and then I get to work. My normal writing schedule is Mon-Fri 9-5, but in January and February, I often write on Saturdays and Sundays. I also write into the evening. I can skip meals and my yoga class.  After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the cold months are my down time, which oddly enough, become my up time. I feel as if I recharge my creative batteries in the winter. While friends and family complain about the lack of sunlight, and bitter days, I secretly wish it would stay dark and cold a little longer. And I could stay inside my cave. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Review!!

As a writer, reviews are a fact of life.  Most writers I know definitely have a love/hate relationship with reviews.  I have writer friends who read and reread their reviews, obsessing over them. Particularly the bad ones. I'll be honest, I don't always read my reviews. (I'll have to get into the psychology of that another day.) It's not that I totally ignore them.  My mom (also a writer) reads them for me.  She chooses tidbits (positives and negatives) to share with me.  Today she found one by Avid Reader at Rabid Read Reviews and insisted I read it. I reluctantly agreed and was glad I did. I was thrilled, not just because it was a positive review, but because I realized that I had managed to touch my reader's heart in the way that my story of Alicia and Chloe touched my own heart in Just Like Other Daughters
As I work on my new book, Closer than Sisters, I keep thinking to myself, how can I touch my readers, again?
A except from Rabid Read Reviews: Avid Reader  . . . "Readers will think of the novel’s description that they’ve read this story before. You have not. Faulkner’s approach is fresh and new. She takes chances from which a less experienced writer might shy away. Whatever happens in the course of the story, the reader is left with the sense that this is a mother who truly loves her daughter and truly wants the best for her. Sentimentality isn’t usually my chosen genre, but I could not put Just Like Other Daughters down. The course seemed obvious but as the tale progressed I simply had to know what would happen next."