This week I’ve been plugging away on the third and final installment of the “Forever After” series, the prelude to A Symphony of Cicadas and Forever Thirteen. This novel (working title is Prelude to Forever) will tell the story of John and Rachel, focusing on when they met and what it was like for them to blend a family. If you know anything about me, you can be sure that I’ll be pulling from some familiar experiences, having been blending my own family for the past several years. This book has been a story I’ve wanted to write for a while, and I’m really having a lot of fun with it.
Another reason I’m having fun with it – I’m handwriting the whole first draft. You read that right – a pen, a notebook, and me. So far I’ve written approximately 18,000 words (about 74 pages at about 250 words a page), and I’m still going strong. There are several benefits to working this way: I don’t have easy access to the distractions of the Internet (if I throw my iPhone across the room), I don’t have to deal with computer issues, I’m less apt to go back through my work to re-read (thus, letting my inner critic take over and tell me it’s all crap), and I won’t be bogged down by formatting, etc. Also, it is much easier to lug around a spiral notebook than a computer that needs to be plugged in. Last, I will have a clean rough draft to work from as I retype all of the pages I’ve written, going over the whole manuscript word by word.
Reason #137 why this is proving to be a good option for me – my computer crapped out last week.
I kind of stressed on that last point. Not only did I plan on writing my next book immediately following the release of Forever Thirteen, but I just took on the Editor’s position for my regional writing club, Redwood Writers. To be without a computer at this time was kind of terrible. No, not kind of. It’s devastating. I just don’t have the money to buy a new computer right now – I spent it all on releasing a book! Thankfully, I found a “for now” computer on Craigslist. I say “for now” because it is the most basic of basic Dells, doesn’t even have Microsoft Office on it, and freezes up when I try to do more than one thing on it at a time. But it’s a computer, and it will work for what I need it to work for. Plus, it was only $60.
In other news, some people are wondering why I started writing my next novel so soon after the last one. To be fair, it really isn’t that soon….to me. Forever Thirteen has been written for about 6 months now, and I’ve spent the last 6 months preparing for its release through tweaking the manuscript, working with the cover designer, gathering promotion materials, getting the word out…. Once it was released, I was ready to start on the next part of the story – John and Rachel’s story. But there was a second part of that equation.
I wanted to keep writing so I wouldn’t focus so hard on sales.
Has it worked? Not totally. But it’s something. Sales have been somewhat decent in the fact that my family and friends have been grabbing a copy for themselves in the past few weeks (which is so awesome and supportive of them!). But getting this book into other people’s hands has been quite the challenge. I’m a bit of an introvert, so breaking out of my shell to contact people I don’t know to write about me and my book is a bit daunting. Plus, what do I offer them so it’s worth their while? So far, my cash-strapped self has connected with one book blogger and offered a free download of my book. But is that enough? I just can’t offer every blogger I contact a print copy (which would be preferable, I know). It’s just too much. So the digital copy will have to do.
Last bit of news, I managed to land some freelance work without even trying. A friend of mine who works for the city I live in found herself in a desperate situation. Seems they are one week away from needing to finalize this year’s publication for our town’s popular parade and festival, and their writer fell through. She contacted me in her bind, and I enthusiastically accepted. Now I need to write a creative article on what ‘Home Grown‘ means to my country town, referring to different businesses, people, food…. It’s going to be a bit of a stretch to get all of this done with such a quick turnaround, but I’m excited to be a part of it. :-)
One final note: I have placed A Symphony of Cicadas, the first book to the “Forever After” series, on sale for Kindle users for 99 cents, only for as long as I feel like giving it away for free. That’s hardly anything! I hope you’ll take advantage of this deal. :-) Link to Amazon page: http://amzn.to/1bM5s2u