I debated on just a 'it's out!' blog or actually writing about something while I had your attention. I decided to write. (BIG surprise, right? Yeah. I love to write!) So what is the topic of today's blog? I thought books would be appropriate and since I have a new one coming out, BINGO! Blog topic about my books and writing. LOL. So... here goes.
I'm ALWAYS trying to improve as an author. I take every edit as a lesson. I make notes. I also read feedback from readers about my books. YES, I know...I'm admitting that I'm stalking sites for feedback. I want to know what people have to say. As an example, a lot of readers hated the overuse of Babe in Propositioning Mr. Raine. NOTED! I put a 'post it' sticker on my forehead for a week. LOL. (not really...my kids would have laughed and yeah...the people at McDonalds I see every morning to buy iced coffee from would have tagged me with some funny name) The point is I listen. I care. I try really hard to learn and grow as an author. I think there's a big difference from when I wrote Ral's Woman to say... Redeeming Zorus, as an example. Editors are goddesses, I swear. They point out my bad writing habits and I make notes so I don't make the same mistakes over and over until they want to nail a post it note somewhere painful on me. (they wouldn't really but yeah...I imagine being chased by someone with a nail gun...LOL) The point is, I listen. I take things to heart. I try to improve as an author.
Some authors are super impressive. I read blogs and they tell how they uses plot boards, carefully plan each book out before they write it, and I'm in awe. Really. That sounds so organized and I'm so not! I admit that freely. I literally think I'm going to write about (insert name here from insert whatever series), open up a blank document, and allow my imagination to go wild. I don't even know what's going to happen in the next chapter. Sometimes I surprise myself. Really. I'll sit back after writing something and think...'where the heck did that come from?' Only I don't use heck. If you've read my books you know I use curse words. Yes, NOTED! LOL. I try to scale it back now when I edit a book on curse words. Some readers have complained about that. I can't remove them all though. LOL. I do cut a lot of them these days. The characters just appear inside my head (I don't need meds, swear, the voices I hear are characters for books and they aren't telling me to join a cult...) and they form into real people to me, in whatever world they live in, and they breathe life that comes out in a book. I just try to type fast enough to keep up with what they tell me.
I also envy authors sometimes who write one book at a time. I don't do that. I can literally have anywhere from two to six book projects I work on in a week. I'm a 'mood' writer. If I'm having a bad day, that bar fight scene in book five is awesome to write because my character can break some heads. Sometimes a book story will grab me and I become obsessed. Literally obsessed. I can't stop. Here's an example. Ral's Woman. I wrote it in six days. I put in about twenty hours each day, barely slept more than three hours (giving myself potty breaks and food breaks for an hour in that day), but it just grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. When I become obsessed I tend to daydream about the storyline if I'm not typing it out. I may as well put in the hours and write it, right? And I do put in some series hours. I also never suffer from writer's block because if I get hung up on one book, I can work on another. I never know which book will finish first. It all depends on which one grips me the hardest at the time, depending on my moods, and that's the method I use. LOL!
Some people warn me I'll burn out or that they don't think it's healthy. I disagree. I really LOVE writing. It's fun for me. Like taking a vacation every time I open up a book. WHEEEE! Here we go! I'm Alice jumping into sexy Wonderland. I'm always careful to spend time with my family. My office is IN my living room, the central hub of our home (it's 1,200 square feet and we don't have a den or family room so yeah...they see me plenty and interact with me). That's why I write with headphones and loud music. I have to write over them playing video games sometimes. Nothing is more distracting than them grouped around the TV playing something like Halo, bombs exploding and guns firing, them yelling at the screen, while I'm trying to write something. LOL. It's kind of crazy but I wouldn't have it any other way.
I do have some 'weird' habits. I drink 3 iced coffees a day. I take the kids to school, swing by McDonalds, buy them, and put 2 in the fridge. I sip them all day while I'm writing. I have amusing things on my desk. I splurged on my desk. It's a huge L-shaped monster with a hutch taller than I am. I bought gargoyles and werewolves, sexy sculptures, and even have some cute stuffed animal bats hanging from the hutch that were Happy Meal toys. (Total cuteness in my defense). I live in 'comfy' clothes. T-shirts, baggy pants, and hardly wear shoes. I won't spend $60 on a pair of shoes but I'll totally drop $100 in stock photos. LOL! With every book I try to make a screen saver to reflect the character(s) I'm writing. Sometimes it's just some hunky guy. Sometimes it's a couple. Sometimes it's an entire group of men or couples in a series. Sometimes I just have a book cover up or even...ALL of them. I have a 24" wide screen monitor. I want to be comfortable and I spend a lot of time at my desk.
I totally went above and beyond to have a comfortable workspace that I love. I am probably weird about that because I've written in some uncomfortable places. Nothing like trying to balance a laptop on your lap while sitting on a floor with kids crawling all over you. Been there, done that. I used to have a 'hand me down' laptop that died every 20 minutes. It overheated. I also remember when we lived in Texas my computer was set up in the kitchen with a chair that compared to sitting on a rock. The back door was drafty. In other words, I'd huddle in a jacket, freezing my uncomfortable butt off, and trying to ignore how miserable it was while I wrote. In the summer it was sauna time in that same kitchen. Sweat pouring off me while I wondered if I could accidentally electrocute myself...LOL. Yeah. Now I tend to make having a comfortable 'writing zone' for myself. One day I'd love to have an actual office. A room I could close the door to. One that I didn't have to always glance over my shoulder to make sure one of my kids didn't stop behind me to glance at my screen. They don't do that. They know better. But I am a parent who still worries that it could happen. I write erotica after all. LOL!
I hope everyone has a terrific week!!!