Friday, January 07, 2011

Friday Fun Facts

The best fun fact of the day is that we're enjoying our first snow day! Would have had one last week with the big storm, but we were already on Christmas break. Having it on a Friday, making for a 3-day weekend, is a little sweeter.

That also means, since school just started up again, I don't have any paperwork or grading to do, so I can devote myself to writing for much of the day. Hooray!

And just because I love Joshua Radin and this new song of his...Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: Dedicating Novels

Dedications - they're always a fun part of putting the finishing touches on a novel for me. I have 5 books in print, and my 5 dedications have been, in order to the following:

1. My parents & my 5th grade teacher
2. My husband
3. My sister and my best friend
4. My father (after he passed away)
5. Two of my oldest and best friends from childhood/college

My mom emailed to ask me about that last one, after she'd finished Summer's Song. She wondered if I'd told my one friend it was dedicated to her. I hadn't, partly, because by the time a book makes it to print, I've sometimes forgotten about the dedication. And partly, I'm not in close touch with that friend anymore. But it did get me to thinking - since I thought enough of our friendship back then to name her in the opening pages of a book, I probably should let her know, hm?

Fellow authors, what about you? How do you choose your book dedications - and do you always let the person know when you've chosen them?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Monday Mentionables: The Pressure of Publication

"To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift." ~Franklin Roosevelt

For the first time in 4 years, I'm looking at a new year that doesn't have a book scheduled to come out. That is not really a good thing. True, I spent much of 2010 working on a Young Adult and promoting my two other romance releases, but I still can't believe I let a year+ slip away without signing a contract for another book.

It's tough, especially when you are juggling a full-time job along with writing, but here's the thing to be aware of: if you are a new or aspiring author, it's really important to look at your career and build a steady backlist of books. Your name grows with every new release (as do your sales and royalties). Readers grow to wait for your next book, and if it doesn't come, well...

In a very practical sense, I also heard recently from a fellow author that she'd been "fired" by her small press since she hadn't signed a contract with them in 2 years. Now, this doesn't mean a whole lot except that if she chooses to resubmit to them, she can no longer submit to the editor she worked with before. She has to submit through the slush pile along with everyone else. Maybe not as terrible as having rights revoked or being blacklisted from the publishing company, but it's still a step backwards. And that's a step I don't want to find myself taking in a few months!

So my goal is to finish (yes, really finish) Entwined and submit it by the end of January. I'd also like to rework a novella that's about 22K right now and submit that as well, by the end of March. Those are my two goals for the first half of the the spring I'll reassess.

What about your goals, writing or otherwise?