May 23, 2014

state of writing 2014

While I've whined about my wanderlust and envy, told you about what I want to read this summer (see the list here and here) and shared my favorite chick lit novels, I haven't been too open about the latest developments in my writing career. Because this is a blog about books and writing (specifically my writing journey), today, I give you my official "State of Laura's Writing."

Rather than getting into education reform or economy like some other state addresses, I'll share what I can about books in various states of publication and production. Unfortunately my vice president and speaker of the house (better known as Bingley and Jane) were unable to make it (they're napping -- like usual), so I won't have them backing me up. We'll also skip any number of other traditions usually associated with a state address.

That being said, get your hands ready for clapping and your knees ready for a bunch of rising and sitting for plenty of gratuitous standing ovations.

What can I say? I live for the applause. (Applause, applause...)

Thank you for that stirring introductory music, Lady Gaga. You sure know how to make a girl feel welcome. Let's begin, shall we?

Published Works

My first full-length novel, Hard Hats and Doormats, was published in December 2013 with Marching Ink. For the next couple of months it's available exclusively from Amazon and the publisher.

In November 2013, Merry & Bright launched, featuring my holiday novelette, "Twelve Drummers Drumming." It's available in eBook only on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes in case you'd like to have a little Christmas in summer.

Last month, "Oh Baby," a follow-up to "Twelve Drummers Drumming," was released in the anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage. You'll find print and ebooks in the usual places, and all proceeds will go to support the Guthy Jackson Charitable Fund.

In Editing

I rewrote my second full-length novel this winter. As we speak, a lovely team of beta readers are giving this new draft a look. I made several pretty big changes, which included adding a couple of new characters and scenes and removing lots of overused words and trimming down scenes. I also created two new major plot points, which I hope make the finished product more exciting for readers.

The title of this book is... To be announced. I'm crazy about the current title, but I don't like to share story titles until there is a contract and publisher approval. With any luck, I can make an announcement about the title and its publishing future sooner than later.

I have dropped a few hints about the story, but in case you missed it, Book 2:

  • Involves weddings. Lots of them.
  • Is inspired by a Jane Austen novel (but I won't tell you which one).
  • Has a television and technology element.

I also listened to this song a lot during the writing, re-writing and editing process.

In Production

I started writing Book 3 for National Novel Writing Month in November, and promptly put it on the back burner while Book 2 edits took forever. I'm finally back to work on it, and would guess the first draft is about two-thirds of the way complete.

Again, I'm not sharing too many details about it, but I can give you a few hints. Book 3:

  • Uses several of the names submitted in the Name That Player contest held last fall.
  • Is set in Seattle.
  • Features lots of men in supporting roles.

I've been listening to this song a lot while writing.

I've also decided on a new name for this book... not that I'm going to share it just yet!

I also have another holiday story in the works. I'd originally planned to make it a novel, but I'm thinking a novella would be a better fit for this particular story. Like Book 2, I'm hoping to finish the first draft of Short 3 some time this summer.

In Pre-Production

I have quite a list of story ideas I'd like to tackle, but kind of like when you go to a buffet, I've loaded my plate a little too full for the moment. That being said, I'm pretty excited by the idea of doing a full-length novel for Autumn and Tuck, the characters in "Twelve Drummers Drumming" and "Oh Baby." I've been playing with an idea for this novel since I wrote the first short. In the past few weeks the story has really taken shape in my mind, and I've started the outlining process.

This might be NaNoWriMo 2014 book, or it might be something I start during the second session of Camp NaNoWriMo. We'll have to see how editing and drafting those other stories goes first.

That concludes this State of Laura's Writing Address. Until next time, God bless books and God bless America.

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