Haste Makes Waste… an interesting thought for the day, really. Today we’re told that haste makes waste in publishing, so be careful what you write when writing quickly. Isn’t that the truth? And here I am, hastily blogging about that subject.
I’ve recently switched WIPs away from contemporary – which was fun (my promotional short story Tessa Takes a Chance will be available soon from Wild Rose Press – YAY! 🙂 — so, I’m back to re-writing a White Rose Historical – set in the golden era of Hollywood. It was one that was tabled and reviewed by Harlequin ages ago – but never made the final cut due to (looking back on it now) some hasty writing that was long on dialog and short on research and historic detail. *How mortifying to admit to this! but I was young. What can I say?*
What I love about writing historicals – is that you must research a subject, know it, practically live it before you can etch one word – rather than just streaming it all down off the top of your head. Granted, we are living in contemporary times – but I digress.
When researching All or Nothing – I made a home for myself in the reference room at Fort Lowell Museum. Now, I have my favorite online research sites I haunt on a regular basis; there’s nothing like hesitating mid-sentence to wonder: What sort of underclothes would my heroine be wearing? What does her hat look like? Her hair style? how would she voice that particular thought? The deeper I research, the more in tune with her I become, and the better able I am to weave her plights, and share in her victories!
I remember Jude Deveraux once saying that she was always most interested in underclothes and where people went to the bathroom. Think about it. What’s more intimate than that? I’ve also read that with regards to setting – the worst thing a writer can EVER do is to jar their reader out of the universe you are creating. Setting is such an important part of that universe. As is avoidance of all anachronisms.
So, perhaps the internet allows historical writers to conduct our research a little more hastily – however, it also enables us to get the details spot-on as we don’t have to stop writing, get in the car, drive to the library, get sidetracked by the new releases, etc. and so on.
Finally, this begs the question: Where do you, as readers, find yourselves most intrigued when diving into a historical? What gets you flipping pages? What do you want to know about – regardless of the time period you are reading? Do you want to know how they cook? sew? gossip? shop? how much things cost?
Please comment – I’d love to know your thoughts
SO, now the real work starts. All or Nothing – a historical romance, set in the American west – the story of RuthAnne Newcomb and Bowen Shepherd – the patriarchs of the Shepherd clan – whose story I hope to continue writing.
BUT, here goes. I’m the mother of two little girls. Rachel’s 4, and Elizabeth is 2. They are my world. The girls, and my sweet husband – who took us all to Disneyland on Friday to celebrate All or Nothing’s recent success. 🙂 Sounds corny, but yeah. I got my first book contract, and I went to Disneyland!
At any rate – I also work full time for a large corporation and spend most of my days attempting to be a professional person. If they could only see me in my home office. We joke about my going to work in my bunny slippers and robe. Some days, it isn’t far from the truth. NOW, Rachel goes to Preschool, so I have to get my butt out the door – wearing clothes and makeup and having actual conversations wiht real adults. It’s kind of exciting for all of us. Let alone, that she’s learning sweet little songs like “Where is Jesus?” and making friends that I’ve never met. I’m loving it, and hanging on a little tighter to Ellie all the while. Their childhood is not something I want to rush. Four years already, and I feel like life is on fastforward.
Still, in the past year, I’ve refound my ability to write. Something I lost except in fits and starts since the kids came. Last year, I wrote a shortstory that won an award. I completed www.NanoWriMo.org, and I finished All or Nothing. It’s been in revisions every since. And now, after some divine inspiration, stepping out on trust, and the support of my phenomenal writer’s group – TWRP has put their trust in its success.
Here’s to the future. Here’s to a budding career as an author. Here is to RuthAnne and Bowen. For all of her strong will and his hard headedness – they found each other. A story wove around them, and the bandit they worked to capture. And here we are. As my mentor Nancy Taylor Rosenberg said, “Writing is re-writing.” and you know what? It’s okay by me.
Tomorrow, the contract goes in the mail. I continue to attack the dreaded POV and weather report issues that I’m sure plague my story. I continue plotting WIP #2 “The God Quotient” and WIP #3 “Mammoth Secrets” – we’ll see which one takes off first. And, another day goes on. I am so blessed to have a hubby that is behind me, even if all of this process mystifies him to no end, and two little girls who hang on me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have never been more nervous or excited all at once.
Well, it finally happened today. I think I’m having an out of body experience. I’m really doing it. I’m getting published. I am an author. I did it. I have an editor who believes in me, my ability, and everything I’ve read and researched about them is wonderful. My editor gets back to me, she is giving me great advice, I have my notes and I’m off to start the next revision.
She sent the contract…and all of the paperwork… and I didn’t get one of those knife-in-the-heart moments, when the rug gets pulled from your feet and you realize they want money from you. Not a moment’s hesitation while reading the contract, wondering, are these people for real? It is just good business. An excellent plan. Talk of cover art, edits, galleys, and production.
I’m doing the happy dance! All or Nothing is going to be published… BREATHE.
Thank you, Wild Rose Press for believing in this book!
Now, the real work starts. Once again – I’m thrilled to do it. I have reams of papers to read and fill out, and edits to begin.