Category Archives: Writer’s Life & Journey

Writing Versus Working Out

BY COLLETTE CAMERON

I have a confession to make.

When I write, I do something odd. Actually it’s something I’m trying to integrate regularly. Because I sit so much, as we writers do, I realized my regular workout routine wasn’t gonna keep me in shape. So, I upped the ante and started setting a timer. When it goes off, I sprint up and down the stairs a few times and do 3-4 minutes of exercise of some kind.

At least that’s the plan.

The truth is, I often get so immersed in writing, I turn the timer off after the first or second  annoying little beep, and I forget to turn it on again. It’s the neatest thing, though. The more time I spend writing, the easier it is, and the better writer I become.

Treating Writing As A Job

BY ELLA QUINN

When I began my writing journey, not quite two and a half years ago, I dreamed of having an agent and a NY publisher. Which is exactly what I got. I also dreamed of having my first book published much sooner than this, but that was before I knew anything about the publishing business.

The questions I was asked this year at RWA Nationals boiled down to how did I do it? Quite simply, I treated writing like a job. The type one does when it matters. Having been in the Army, I knew something about that. A friend told me to write three books. Don’t stop to make the first one perfect. I thought that was wonderful advice, and still do. Little did I know at the time that many writers write a lot more than three books before they get published, I had my nose glued to the grindstone. I no longer watched TV, and my husband took to making dates with me so he could have my undivided attention.

Writing from the Circus

BY AMANDA BERRY

Or maybe the madhouse would be a better choice. Between juggling writing, being a mom, and being a wife, there are things that should not be dropped. Though my clowns (the boy and the girl) are older now and more independent, they are still excessively silly and messy. During the day, I’m left taming the wild animals (the dog and the cat) most of the day and cleaning their stalls. Wherever the circus goes, a mess is left behind. As their janitor, I’m left pushing the broom long after the audience has left.

Guatemala – Land of Eternal Spring

BY PATY JAGER

Guatemala has been termed the “Land of Eternal Spring”. This is due to the fact most of the country has temperatures that range between 64-82° F and humidity is rarely a problem. The temperature does cool significantly during the night. However the coastal areas and Petén jungle lowlands are hot and humid. The combination of hot and humid can drain you. The temperatures in the jungle are above 85° F giving the lush vegetation the perfect conditions to thrive.

Working Writers

By CAT JOHNSON

My writing career had a less than illustrious beginning. At least, I’m sure the true creative types, those authors who live by the muse, would think so. Over twenty years ago, I started out in the write-for-hire world of YA series. The publisher and/or packaging house gave me the series bible (setting, characters and key events already written by other authors), then they handed me a one or two paragraph synopsis of what they wanted to happen in the book I was to write, a deadline, and a check. Then it was off to write. I did this for twelve books total as part of 3 different YA series for 3 different publishers over the span of a few years before the packager closed its doors and the series I was working on directly for Western Publishing wrapped up.

One “man’s” impressions of RWA12

By DON MCGOWAN

It’s 3:05 pm. Friday, July 27. I’m due to present at a workshop attended by tens if not hundreds of professional romance novel writers in 10 minutes. I desperately need to find a men’s room.

And the one I’ve just found has flowers where ordinarily I would… water the flowers.

This could be a problem.

Maybe I should take a step back and tell you how this unlikely scenario came to pass.

It’s March. My good friend Serena Robar, author of the Half-Blood Vampire novels and Giving up the V, asks me to go to have beverages with her to discuss a workshop she’s giving at RWA. (I know the truth: I am a legendary drunk and she wants to hit my wine cellar, but I’ve accepted my shortcomings.) Over a bottle of Cabernet that in retrospect should have been better considering the favor she was about to do for me she tells me that she’s working up a panel on how to convert your book into a Web series or movie or TV show, which makes sense considering she just closed a deal to do a series with Anne Heche, and could she bounce the legal stuff off me. This makes sense too: I’m an entertainment lawyer and also teach it at a law school, and so my ego makes me think I might know this stuff even if maybe I don’t. After a few minutes I say, “You know, I could just go do your workshop with you.”

Double Advantage

By KATIE PORTER

There is something freeing about sitting down and telling yourself, “We’re writing this for fun. Who knows if it’ll go anywhere, but we’re going to have a grand time at it.” No expectations. No weight around your neck about how you’re going to feel during revisions or goodness, what happens when you send it out fifty times trying to entice someone to love your book the way you do.

Carrie Lofty and I were at a double advantage when we sat down to write Double Down and the other books that we have since written as Katie Porter, our co-writing name. We were operating from a state of faith in each other’s writing, since we were both multi-published, though in historical romance.

Somebody That I Used to Know

By EMILY RYAN-DAVIS

If you listen to the radio in the car, read Forbes magazine, watch Glee, or tweet, you’ve heard—or heard about—the hit duet featuring Gotye and Kimbra. And you probably know what you’re listening to, whereas up until about two weeks ago, I had no clue. No clue that I could nail down, anyway, because I existed in a pop culture void for the last four months, learning to live with a newborn baby. While in my void, the one predictable element was the opening melody of “Somebody That I Used to Know”, which popped up on the radio every time I got in the car.

After four months of telling myself to remember the lyrics and look up the artist, I finally did…and had “A Moment”.