Thanks for having me here, Lady Scribes! I’d love to share with you ten valuable lessons I learned while writing my debut novel, THE RUNAWAY COUNTESS, which released March 6.
10 Oh-So-Easy Steps for Crazy People:
How To Write A Novel During Your Spare Time. (In my case, naptime.)
1. Tell your friends you will see them in two years. If they would like to talk to you while you are doing the dishes, cooking dinner and/or in the shower, they need to keep their phones nearby in case you call sometime next month.
2. Schedule your next hair appointment for 2014. The same goes for mani/pedis and shopping trips. Your heroines can look fabulous. You will look like a crazy woman. Exercise, healthy food, sunshine, these things are good. Anything else gets weighed against page count and word goals.
3. When it is time to write, turn off the phone, turn off the internet, and write. If possible, go to the library. (This is especially necessary if you are working at home and your husband needs to ask you a million questions about matching baby socks and the recipe for pb+j.)
4. The time leading up to writing is your launch pad. Make use of it. Whether it is driving home from work or waiting the million hours it takes for a baby to fall asleep, focus on your story. When you last left your characters, what were they feeling? Where do you need to take them today? When it is time to sit your butt down and write, hit the ground running. (Hmm, that metaphor doesn’t exactly work, but you get what I mean ;)
5. It is not possible to do a load of laundry while also writing. I do not know why this is. I simply know it is a Law of the Universe. A load of laundry will become a million other chores and reasons why you should not just write. Don’t do it.
6. Ah, tired. It would be so nice to take a nap, especially while a baby naps. Lots of sage advice about this. It goes something like “Nap while your baby naps.” I have nothing to say, other than you cannot write a book while sleeping. It is terrible, but there it is.
7. It helps to write a bit everyday. Even if you only eke out a few hundred words, it will pay off the next day. Take three days off in a row, and when you sit down to write again it will be like you’re relearning the English language.
8. Give yourself a lot of time (it took me two years to write THE RUNAWAY COUNTESS). Writing a novel during break time is a bunch of little baby tortoise steps. Sometimes, it feels like you are going nowhere. Sometimes, this is true. It helps to set weekly word goals and stick to them. Just know what is realistic (and I’m not talking about magical realism here.) Know what you can do, do it, eat your reward cookie, get some sunshine, rinse and repeat.
9. “Some may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Elvis said that. Wait… Know that you are not alone. A lot of writers begin their career during break time. A lot of moms write their first book while balancing family responsibilities. Find other crazy people who understand. Join RWA. Chat online (just not during your writing time.) Dare to dream.
10. Just write.
What about you, Dear Reader, how do you squeeze in time to write (or read)? One lucky commented will win a digital copy of THE RUNAWAY COUNTESS!
(Winner chosen at random at 9pm EST on March 14 and will be announced in the comments section, as well as under the CONTEST WINNERS tab at the top of the page)
Thanks for joining me today! You can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Visit my website at http://www.LeighLaValle.com
Once the darling of high society, Mazie Chetwyn knows firsthand how quickly the rich and powerful turn their backs on the l
ess fortunate. Orphaned, penniless and determined to defy their ruthless whims, she joins forces with a
local highwayman who steals from the rich to give to the poor.
Then the pawn broker snitches, and Mazie is captured by the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. A man who is far too handsome, far too observant…and surely as corrupt as his father once was.
Sensible, rule-driven Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford, is certain the threat of the gallows will prompt the villagers’ beloved Angel of Kindness to reveal the highwayman’s identity. But his bewitching captive volunteers nothing—except a sultry, bewildering kiss.
And so the games begin. Trent feints, Mazie parries. He threatens, she pretends nonchalance. He cajoles, she rebuffs. Thwarted at every turn, Trent probes deep into her one vulnerability—her past. There he finds the leverage he needs and a searing truth that challenges all he believes about right and wrong.