This past weekend I had the chance to go to my first author signing event – Naughty Nashville. It was exciting, crazy, informative, exhausting, overwhelming…and I totally loved it! I went for two reasons: 1) because I’ve never been to one and I’d like to eventually start participating in them, and 2) to meet T.S. Joyce.
I’ve been publishing for four years now and have begun to think about taking next steps. I was astounded at how many authors at this event were in the same place as me. It was so exciting to meet authors who knew where I was coming from and where I was at. A few of my favorites: Sadie Gruber – she and her husband were hilarious and so friendly. I laughed so much while talking with them. (If you’re curious – google “I licked it!” and Sadie Grubor – hilarious tagline!). Also, Mickey Miller – a man who writes romance! I know, I know – I’m sure there are many of them out there. It’s just not as common. At first I kind of felt sorry for him being surrounded by so many crazy females – but he took it in stride! I’ve already ordered several of his books and really look forward to reading them! The third author of mention is Faith Gibson – oh, my goodness! She and her assistant/friend were a riot!
There were so many new books to discover! But now I have to pace myself – I do have my own books to write. I keep telling myself I can’t disappear down the rabbit hole of living in someone else’s world until have a solid schedule set to finish the next Tip of the Spear novel for you all!
And finally – the highlight of the day – meeting T.S. Joyce. OH MY GOODNESS!!! The line to meet her was so long that they handed out tickets and only called people ten at a time. I would have waited all day just to say hi. T.S. Joyce is single handedly responsible for my love of shapeshifter novels. Her Hell’s Canyon series is one I never tire of rereading. And I was so happy that she is bringing them to print! She was funny, cute, tiny (!!!), and so friendly to her fans. She had something to say to each of them. As I move forward in my writing career, I am determined to keep her attitude present in my mind – that is definitely the way to treat your fans!
Now it’s time to start researching author events and putting a plan in place to get out and start meeting you all!
I have struggled this week with self-motivation. I have always been a procrastinator – the one who waited until the night before a paper was due to write it… the one who waited until the final deadline to submit a project. Honestly, it drives my mom nuts! Which, of course, is why I originally liked to do it. But there comes a time to break the habits formed in youth. Unfortunately, I am a creature of habit and I detest change. How do I manage to complete a book, you ask? Well, mostly through determination, bribery, external influences, and character persistence.
First, is my determination. I have always enjoyed writing. I have an overactive imagination and can easily get lost in a daydream for hours. Now, I make myself write down those daydreams. They become the stories that you will hopefully one day read.
Next is bribery. Sometimes, it’s a matter of ‘finish this chapter and you can have a brownie.’ Other days, like today, it’s ‘write 500 words and you can have a gummy bear.’ My bribes are not always food related. Sometimes it’s watching television, or going for a walk, or going out to dinner with friends. My goal today is 10,000 words. When I’m done, I get to have dinner and see The Martian at the movies (and let’s face it, Matt Damon is a reward all his own!). Great motivation, except that it’s taking the gummy bears to get me there.
External influences help as well. I can tell myself, “You have to have this book done by Oct 15, or else.” But that doesn’t always work. So I usually make a reservation with my editor to have the book to her (or him…) by a certain date. Of course, it needs to go through the beta readers first, so I try to leave a little room for that – sometimes that gets close. Having someone else waiting on me keeps me motivated to hit that deadline.
Finally, my characters tend to be persistent. Once I have dreamed a character to life, they aren’t happy being left to languish in whatever state I previously left them. They like their HEA and are downright demanding that I get them there as quick as possible. Sometimes, I have dreamed several characters at once and I have to take a little time to write down the basics of one while I develop the other into a story. But I know if I don’t write it down, the character will pester me until I go slowly insane…
That’s pretty much how my books get written. Of course, I am supposed to be writing a story now, instead I’m writing this blog… do these 500 words count toward a gummy bear? I think so!