May – Write Paranormal, Submit Paranormal
Last May started with a workshop that resulted in my finishing the first draft of Sarai’s Fortune, which I had a bit of a start on, but only the first 50 pages or so. (Yes, both Reaching Out and Black Orchid came out that month.) That was the beginning of the crazy. 🙂 During that same month, I took two actions resulting in more crazy. First, I participated in the Brenda Novak Auction where you bid on various awesome opportunities with agents and editors offering up sweet deals. Second, I submitted my recently (at the time) self-published novel, Andromeda’s Fall, to The Wild Rose Press for consideration (with no expectations).
June – Uh-Oh
At the beginning of June, while working on Sarai’s Fortune 2nd draft, I first received word that I’d won one of the raffle prizes – a critique from a senior editor at Harlequin. I knew just what I was going to submit to her…Andromeda’s Fall. But whoops! 1 week later I had interest in that book from Wild Rose Press. By the mid-month, I was in the process of contracting that novel. That left me with nothing for the Harlequin raffle – an opportunity too good to pass up. I had until October to send her something, so time to start writing.
July – Write 1st Contemporary
Really, this started in June, but I set aside the 2nd draft of Sarai’s Fortune, and started writing a book for the critique opportunity. It started out as a ghost story, but the relationship between my hero/heroine was so fun, I kept forgetting the ghost parts. By mid-July I realized this book would be my first contemporary – Saving the Sheriff. I finished the first draft with about a week of July left to go.
August/September – Rewrites & Drafts
Finished the 2nd draft of Saving the Sheriff with a decent amount of rewriting and non-stop effort in August. Sent to Wendy for her input mid/late August. Finished with her end of September. Did a final grammar sweep and I submitted to the editor for the critique at the end of September. Phew!
October – More Edits & Polish Paranormal
In between edits on Saving the Sheriff, I kept going on the 2nd draft for Sarai’s Fortune. I finished my own drafting at the beginning of September. And started working with Wendy as a Beta reader, getting it ready for submission my editor at The Wild Rose Press. Luckily, no major rewrites on this one, just some tightening up.
YAY!!! – Sarai’s Fortune was contracted by TWRP. In the meantime, while waiting for my critique on Saving the Sheriff, I insanely decided to do NaNoWriMo. You’d think I’d have been exhausted by this point, but nope. I finished the first draft of another contemporary – Falling for Kate – in the first two weeks, and spent the rest of November working on the second draft.
December – Rewrite City
I received the critique from Harlequin on Saving the Sheriff. She had great feedback for me to help bolster the conflict in particular.
However I was already in the process of rewrites on Falling for Kate, working with Wendy. It’s a paid process and I had momentum there, so I wanted to wrap it up. I’m talking major rewrites on that sucker. I gutted it. I think I redid that ending at least 4 times. Concentrated effort for 2-3 weeks of December (I mean other than time set aside for my kids/family, this is ALL I did for hours), ended up with a version I’m super happy with. Submitted to Carina Press after interest from them during #PitMad. (In hind sight, was idiotic for me to submit that book at that time. Honestly didn’t think I’d get a nibble given how many people submit in that event. Thank God for Wendy who helped me in the concentrated effort department. You live you learn.)
In the meantime, I received interest on Saving the Sheriff from an agent I’d queried in October. Ack! I still needed to apply the changes suggested from my critique. Luckily the agent agreed to wait a few weeks, giving me time to do so. Okay, back to the grind stone. Another 2-3 weeks of total concentrated effort (yes – hours and hours in the middle of holidays) has resulted in another semi-rewrite of that book. Not nearly as much as the rewrites for Falling for Kate. Mostly the ending with smaller adjustments throughout to lead up to the new ending. I’m very happy with the changes. I’ll take another 3-4 days to re-review it and do a final grammar sweep with my awesome mom (ex-high school English teacher who does grammar checks for me for free!) before sending to the agent. Fingers crossed!!!!
January – Time Out
I am taking the rest of the month of January off. You heard me right. After 7+ months of non-stop concentrated effort, it’s time for a needed break. My version of a break at least – which means no new projects.
Granted, at the very least, I will likely get edits on Sarai’s Fortune back from my TWRP editor. Depending on how the agent and Carina Press react to the two contemporaries, I may have more edits on those, but likely not in January. Then in February I’m going on an RWA cruise where I will probably get started on Imogen’s Fury (Shadowcat Nation #3).
Phew am I pooped!!! And yet, I’m honestly having to force myself to stop this month. There are 4 or 5 new ideas competing for my attention at the moment. So tempting to pick one and get started. 🙂 But nope. Time for a rest!
***Drops head to desk. Kerplunk.***