Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Looking back

2013 is coming to an end. This has been a busy year for me and a lot has happened. But of course, with me being me, I started thinking about all the things I didn't do, which brought on a whole slew of negative emotions. (Mostly guilt and shame. Plus I felt guiltily lazy over not working out again like how I had promised myself.) And then yesterday it hit me.

Amelia had just gone down for her afternoon nap so I hurried to get some house work done. I was sitting on the floor in the living room, dusting the bottom of the coffee table. I was thinking about everything I had wanted to do but hadn't gotten to yet and was becoming increasingly upset with myself.

I was (ok…still am) behind on blogging. I suck at running my FB page. I want to put together more giveaways. I have 16 chapters left of edits to through in STAY. I hadn't gotten to ride Mystery as much as I wanted to this fall and now it was cold and snowy and icy. My Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse cosplay dress is hanging in my room and only halfway done. I had Oreos for breakfast and watched 4 episodes of Dr. Who while snuggling my baby…and I had only written two books this year.

That's where I stopped myself. Two books. One year. Really, it's not that bad. On average, it takes about a year to write ONE novel, I had to remind myself. And then I remembered all the other stuff I had accomplished in 2013.

I became a nurse, passing my NCLEX exam in the beginning of the year. I got my first job as a nurse and was working full time while writing. I signed a 4 book deal with Permuted Press. I was pregnant for more than half of the year (while working full time and writing!). And then of course I gave birth to our beautiful daughter and had spent the last 4 (almost five!!) months taking care of Amelia and being a full time new mommy.

So those two books suddenly became pretty impressive.

One thing I hardly ever do is appreciate me. It's just not something that comes naturally to me. I'm always critiquing myself, pushing myself to be better or do more. There is always room for improvement and I'm rarely satisfied with my own work. Going over this past year and appreciating everything that happened was…nice.

I still want to get my shit together and blog more, be more involved with my FB page (I REALLY love talking to fans and readers!), host more giveaways and be more efficient in editing and writing. But I'm not going to be so hard on myself.

I don't want to rush through life just so I can check things off a list. There will be times in the upcoming year where I spend the day watching TV and cuddling with Amelia. I will forget to blog for weeks at a time. There will be (many) days where I eat junk food and not work out.

And that is ok.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whohoo, it's done!

So, yeah. I finally finished STAY. The novel I've been working on for-freaking-ever. I'm this excited.

I think I wrote chapters one and two before Amelia was born and one scene that comes later. It might have added up to around 5K words. Not very much, I can say that for certain. It was an easy book to write in the way the story came to me. The subject matter was difficult to write at time and I had to take a break. (The novel is about human trafficking, FYI.) Writing about horrible things happening to people in paranormal/zombie books is hard to do too. But that's a type of fiction that isn't likely to happen. (Never mind the fact that I have canned food surreptitiously hidden in a box marked 'Christmas decorations' so no one will take my provisions in the ZA…) 

What I mean is that human trafficking DOES happen. It IS happening. I was shocked to learn that people are sex trafficked in my our county. There was a pretty large bust in a near by town not that long ago. Around 30 girls were involved. 30 innocent girls. It's so scary. The things that were done to them were so horrible. STAY is inspired by these true events. I hated what I put my characters through but I wanted this book to be realistic. Several times I had to close my computer and turn on something funny to get my mind off being kidnapped and raped. Adeline (the MC) goes through so much. I got sucked into her head (like I always do when I write) and felt her emotions. Hence the break needing. 

But the HARDEST part was finding time to write with a newborn!! I wrote the majority of this book in the wee hours of the night after Amelia was in bed. I'm looking forward to taking the rest of the week off from (full time) writing and going to bed at a decent hour!
So what's next? Well, the manuscript is getting a read through by the editor. Once major changes have been made, I will enlist the help of betas. In the mean time, I am working on a Contagium character novella and then I am starting the FINAL Contagium novel. 

I'm excited and sad to start this book. Orissa and Hayden have been a huge part of my life for the last two years (holy shit, it's been that long??) and I'm sad to finish their story. This book is going to be long, and it's going to be epic. Not everyone will make it to the end. It's going to be heart breaking and exciting, and suspenseful, and…
I can't handle it. I might cry at the end. Seriously. Though, I was discussing this with a friend recently and I might consider writing another full length novel from Hayden's point of view that starts with him getting off the plane and discovering that the world has gone to shit. It would be fun to write about how he came to the compound, met up with his buddies, and see just why Fuller favors him so much. So knowing that I CAN write more Contagium if I want to helps. Just a little.