Category Archives: Writing

A Release Day Walk Down Memory Lane

Detective's BrotherIt’s finally here! Today is the official release day for The Detective’s Brother and I wanted to celebrate by telling you about how it came to be. Some of you may have already heard all about it, in which case you can head over to my Facebook page and enter to win an autographed copy by checking out the pinned post.

To give you an idea of how important today is to me, you have to go all the way back to 2011 (previously I might have said 2009, but I went back to the original files and checked the date. It just feels like that long). I wrote it in about two months and adored my characters. I did my research, went through a couple of different settings, and was extremely cruel to Simon Creed. I edited it and sent it to beta readers, who enjoyed it a great deal, then in about 2012 I started querying agents. After a couple of false starts, I decided to try small presses.

By 2014 I was certain that my only option was self-publishing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with self-publishing but I also have a full time day job, which leaves little time for marketing, designing, and learning the ins and outs of publishing, and definitely no time for writing. Then I was scooped up by a little startup in Canada called Sinnful Ebooks. We got a contract signed, a bonus paid, and a cover. Then they shut down abruptly, leaving Simon and Quinn stuck in literary limbo.

I submitted the story to Booktrope on a whim after seeing a couple of author friends talking about them and a few months later they accepted it! I was so happy about it that I had to keep checking my email to make sure it was true. Not gonna lie, there were times I thought that there must have been some mistake. After so many rejections, it was hard to believe that someone really wanted to publish it.

So today I’m looking at my name on a book cover that’s up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and thinking to myself wow, it’s real. Pretty soon I should have a box of paperback copies and I’ll offer them here for anyone who’d like an autographed copy. I’m nervous and excited, and I hope people read my story and at the very least are entertained for a few hours.

If you’re so inclined, stop by my Facebook party tonight and meet some awesome authors, win some prizes, and just generally make me feel like a princess on my release day! And if you’re not a Facebook person, you can still get your copy of The Detective’s Brother for $0.99 here:

Amazon.com – The Detective’s Brother

Barnes and Noble (Nook) – The Detective’s Brother

 

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It’s Getting Closer!

Detective's BrotherI am so excited right now! Tuesday is the big day – the release of The Detective’s Brother from Booktrope! It’s an event almost 5 years in the making and I am just over the moon with happiness that I’ll finally be able to share it with you all.

Tuesday evening, we’re having a Facebook party for the release, so if you want to swing by my Facebook page between 5 and 9 PM, there will be a giveaway and all sorts of fun things courtesy of me and some of my very good friends.

Tomorrow I’m also part of a Facebook event called Passion in the Pages, and will be talking about my book, myself, and giving away ARC copies of The Detective’s Brother to two lucky readers. There will also be teasers, snippets, and maybe even a fun game! It’ll be my first event so I’m hoping it will go smoothly, but you never know what will happen!

If you go to my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/rebeccalovellbooks), I’m having a contest! For the first two weeks The Detective’s Brother will be $0.99 on Amazon and if you comment on the pinned post and provide proof that you bought an ebook copy, you’ll be entered into a drawing for an autographed paperback copy. Easy, right?

So meet me back here on Tuesday and I’ll tell you a little more about why this is such a huge thing for me, and I’ll also have some buy links so you can pick up your own copy and enter the drawing. See you on Tuesday!

Behind the Scenes

Open Book BH 2

After a couple of weeks of hiatus, I’m back on the blog hop!

This week on the Blog Hop, we’re pulling back the curtain and giving our readers a glimpse behind the scenes of our writing.

I don’t talk about it much but I work a full time job in the medical field, which means I’m on my feet 10-12 hours a day with no time to think about anything besides vital signs and drug dosages, and I come home tired and wanting to doze off on the couch.

As a result, I do a lot of my writing in short bursts just before bed. I won a Kindle Fire in a raffle and gave it to my husband, so he usually sits with me and catches up on his reading or sometimes plays video games so that we’re spending time together even if my head is back in 1885. I also get some tidbits written over my lunch hour, though they’re usually more disjointed scenes that I put together later when I have more time.

My favorite place to write is on the couch with my feet up while a horror movie of questionable quality plays in the background. I get more writing done that way on my days off, and I’ve actually amassed quite a collection of horror movies that I’ve seen so many times I could recite the script. If it’s too quiet I invariably end up getting stuck on things that I would have flown past.

When I was in college writing fan fiction (also of questionable quality), I did my best work in the University Center with Tri-Sigmas talking about their sorority drama or professors complaining about their office hours. I couldn’t get anything done in the library, so my laptop was my best friend back in the days when a laptop weighed ten pounds. I still carry my writing computer with me everywhere just in case I get a stroke of inspiration when I’m in the cafe waiting for my husband to get off work.

Speaking of my writing computer, it’s a cute little blue number with only the most basic software needed for writing. I don’t use it for music or movies, just work, which limits the distractions I face when I’m trying to write. The two programs I use almost exclusively are Word and Scrivener, switching back and forth between them as I go, and Scrivener keeps me moving forward along my outline but also gives me the flexibility to add scenes and info whenever my characters decide to do something completely out of left field.

When I get an idea for a story, it’s usually not more than a single line or two, and the first thing I do is fire up Scrivener and start making notecards. I start filling in the blanks later but once things start falling into place it happens quickly. One thing that isn’t hard and fast for me is chapters. Sometimes I’ll feel like a chapter needs to be added or switched around, and Scrivener lets me do that easily. Almost too easily sometimes. And once I start doing research, it’s all over for me. I’m neck deep in a new story and I won’t see daylight for a couple of months.

Want to know how some of my other author friends do their work? Check out some other stops on the blog hop!

Delays and Triumphs

Great news! We’re finally getting close to publication, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I had a little bit of a bump in the road recently when my amazing book manager Patti had to resign from the project due to family problems, and I met with my new book manager Chelsea for the first time this week via phone. She’s very enthusiastic but has a little bit different style of marketing than I’ve gotten used to but I think we’re a good fit for one another.

Further complicating things is the fact that the system was acting wonky. My proofreader finished proofing the manuscript in two weeks but it didn’t upload so we were a week behind by the time we got things sorted out. I did the final pass and committed all the changes, then uploaded the final manuscript to the grid to head to layout and I’m super excited to finally be finished with it. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m ready to get Simon and Quinn out of my head for a little while.

I was hoping to have a late March release for the book but it was looking more like it was going to be the middle of April, so I was a little disappointed. Patti put me in touch with a few people before she left and I had set up some Facebook marketing events under the impression that my book would be out in late March. After my first meeting with Chelsea, we have determined that I can still manage not only the late March release but also the book signing I was wanting to do the first weekend of April! I’ve never done this sort of thing so I’m a little nervous.

We are also planning to reveal the cover for Detective’s Brother in the next week or so and I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally share it with you! The fonts alone…gorgeous.

In actual writing news, the pirate project continues at full speed. I couldn’t wait to start writing it and now I can’t stop. As a matter of fact I’m writing this post as fast as possible so I can get back to writing it. I’m about halfway through and it’s super exciting. Maybe next week I’ll have a little excerpt I can share with you!

Up Next: Proofreading!

I finished the outline for the pirate story and have been working on the character sheets, which goes back and forth between being one of my favorite things to do and one of my least favorite things to do. I’m kind of chomping at the bit to start writing the story but am doing my best to wait until the characters and research are finished so I don’t have to go back and do a rewrite.

Scrivener is, as always, an amazing asset. The ability to move scenes and chapters around if I think they’ll be better somewhere else is wonderful, and the fact that I can have all my research and character sheets in one place is even better. I’ve gotten pretty good at navigating around it with the keyboard too! If my editor and publishing process didn’t use MS Word, I’d use the compose mode but I don’t want to write an entire novella in Scrivener just to have to transfer it to Word later and possibly lose my formatting.

As far as editing this work in progress, I’ve decided I’m going to use my editor Carly again. She’s awesome and we really clicked during the editing of Detective’s Brother so I trust her with this one as well. It’s going to be published a little differently, though, so she’ll be able to get it finished quickly with her usual sharp eye.

Speaking of Detective’s Brother, now that the edits are finished and uploaded I can get it to the proofreader for the final read. Then it’s off to formatting and finally publishing it! It really has evolved since I wrote it and I’m very pleased with the finished story. I think I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned from Carly and rewrite Framed a lot more effectively.

The book cover concept has also been approved and as soon as we get that my designer will finish it up and get it sent off. It looks really nice and I can’t wait to see how it looks stacked up on a table at a book fair. I guess I’d better practice my fancy author’s signature!

Final Edits and New Projects

The last two weeks were really exciting for me, writing-wise. My editor, Carly, got the second half of the edits back to me when I was just finishing up the first, and suddenly I was on a deadline! I spent all my days off staring at a screen and sitting on the couch working on the edits. There were some rewrites she wanted again, and of course the usual line edits.

This is my first time with an editor, so it’s been an interesting experience to have someone else reading through my work and telling me what little things I needed to change. It was the first time I’d ever used the Track Changes function on Word too. Since I’d never had anyone else working in my files, I’d never had a reason to use it. It’s actually a pretty great function! I could see what she took out and her comments, both of which were really helpful. It did make things a little hard to look at when I wrote my own changes but once all the changes are accepted/committed, it’ll look much better.

She got the last of the changes to me yesterday, so I forsee myself sitting on the couch and working on them all day tomorrow. I want to get them back to her before the weekend is out but I haven’t looked at them yet to see what needs to be done.

I have to say that my story has improved a lot since Carly came on board. This is my first romance novel, so there were some definite things that needed work, but I feel that I’ll be able to take everything she’s given me and make the ones I have in reserve better right off the ground. Of course, the second is going to be one that I already finished that is in need of a major rewrite. Maybe a project for Camp NaNoWriMo in July?

Speaking of Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m glad the first session is coming up in April because I’ve got a new project to work on!

My book manager Patti – the hardest working woman I know – introduced me a little while back to some other historical romance authors and we’ve gotten along well. Thanks to their encouragement, I’m working on a new project the likes of which I’ve never tackled before!

Up until now I have been writing exclusively historical Western romances, so this is going to be a little different – it’s still historical romance but this time it’s pirate-themed! It’s going to be pretty exciting, especially since I don’t know a whole lot about pirates. That’s what research is for, right?

What does this have to do with Camp NaNoWriMo? You can set your own word count goal, and this story is going to be closer to novella length. Plus, I’ll have friends to cheer me on and word sprints to help me get where I’m going. Of course, I’ll share some snippets with you until I can announce more about the project. I can’t wait for you to read it!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go do some editing and research pirates!

Roundup!

Once more I have slacked off this week! I almost finished the scarf I was working on for the gift basket but that’s not terribly interesting. I didn’t finish the baby sweater and haven’t started on my coworker’s gift, which basically means I need to go hide in a corner until they’re both done.

The main reason I slacked off was because my editor finally sent me half the edits for Detective’s Brother and I’ve been working on those. She has some great suggestions and I’m glad to have her input. I really feel like she’s helping me polish my work into the best possible story, and I hope my readers feel the same way.

I’m also trying to work on an outline for a new Yeah Write series. I’ve got the idea, I just don’t have the time to work on it right now. Maybe after I send back these edits I’ll be able to do it, but for now it’s on the back burner.

And in the last piece of writing news, I found myself a new cover artist! She’s really great and her portfolio is amazing. We were bouncing some ideas off each other and I think she’s a great fit for the team. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

That’s pretty much it for this week. Hopefully I’ll have more to report next week, but for now it’s head down and back into the edits!