So, what's your book about?

The picture you're looking at is a picture of the complete first draft of my first novel. It's in need of some serious editing, as any first draft should be, but it's done. I actually managed to put all the action that's been going on in my head onto paper.

I know you're probably thinking, 'Wow, big deal. We all write books. Hell those NaNoWriMo people do it in a month." And maybe you're right. But, have been working on this book off and on since shortly after I married my husband. In the time that it's taken me to get this plot out of my head I have;

  • had two babies
  • changed jobs three times
  • been laid off TWICE (1 company went out of business, 1 eliminated my department)
  • bought a house
  • started a small business
  • survived postpartum depression
  • wrote and self-pubbed two short ebooks
  • and beat myself up about eighty gazillion times for not finishing the book sooner

It finally took my younger child going to school to give me enough hours in the day to actually move the needle on this thing more than a millimeter at a time.  Once I was able to treat it like a job, albeit a part time one, it only took me a little over a month to fill in the blanks on this outline I've been toting around for the last year or so. And now, I've finally done it. Now my head is filled with visions of possible covers and book trailers and marketing plans.

"So, what's your book about?"

I confess I am frequently flummoxed by this question. Seeing as I've lived with these characters in my head for over a decade, I really should be able to sum it up easily. But if I say what the whole series is about, then I'd give away some major spoilers. If I say what inspired it, that would probably just be confusing to people who aren't Scotia-phile  genealogy folklore and politics nerds like me. That would also totally skip over the spiritual aspects of the journey that the main character is on. If I described it from that purely academic standpoint, you would never get that at it's heart it's a romance but not the kind that most people think of when they hear romance. There's a mystery, but it's not a mystery. There's paranormal stuff and some romance, but it's not a paranormal romance (No vampires or werewolves. I promise). There's danger, but I don't know that I'd call it a thriller. There's a love story...sort of.

Clearly, if I'm ever going to market this thing, I'm going to have to get a lot better at the 30 second elevator speech. I'm hoping that the editing/rewriting process will help clarify things. And I might want to settle on a title.

In the meantime, you can find some excerpts here.

Out of the mouths of babes...

I sing a lot, not just in the shower but in the shower, the car, the kitchen while cooking or doing dishes, folding laundry, spinning yarn, just about anywhere. I've pretty much always been that way. Being a word nerd who loves to sing, I have a high appreciation for a well-written song. So, I tend to treat (they might call it something different) my family to a lot of Jackson Browne and Nanci Griffith among others. I even sang in a choir when I was younger. Although my husband says I'm always slightly off key, I don't think it's entirely unpleasant to listen to. Lately, like most folks I've found myself singing along to a lot of Adele, and my children have very patiently ridden in the car with me while I belted out songs like "Rumor Has It" and "Chasing Pavements". Today, as I was depositing my newly purchased fern on the deck  I was softly singing "To Make You Feel My Love" (Click Play on the video below and listen while reading the rest.)

I got to the line that says, "I can make you happy, make your dreams come true."

My daughter who is 5 was on the deck with me and interrupted, "Mom, is that song true?"

"You mean, can Adele make you happy and make your dreams come true?"

"Yeah."

"No, baby, but she's very entertaining isn't she?"

"My dreams never come true." she said with bottom lip sticking out.

"Well, the only person who can make your dreams come true is you and it usually takes a lot of hard work."

When it comes to these philosophical parenting moments, I try to tell my kids the truth as I see it, and sometimes, it takes a little one's question to remind me of a truth that I aught to be acting on in my own life.  I've been feeling a little adrift for a couple of weeks on the marketing front and I really need to get back in the groove.  In fact, I need to get back in the groove on a number of things. I guess I've had spring fever or something because the last couple of weeks progress on everything seems to have slowed. My novel writing has been a bit like the Little Engine That Could trudging uphill to the end of the second act with agonizing slowness. I've let the frequency of my blog posts slip. I've only promoted my ebook shorts sporadically. In short, I haven't been making it happen. It's not like I haven't known this. I've been castigating myself the whole time for being lazy and unfocused, but it took the innate simplicity of a conversation with my five year old to snap me out of that self-defeating mode and make me get up off my duff.

So thanks, T, you're just the inspiration your mama needed today.