Exciting Stuff!

Today, I got an exciting email from my publisher.  The cover of my book has been finalized and I now have been assigned an editor.  I have done everything I can on my end until the editor is finished, then I will make the suggested changes and so it shall go back and forth between me and the editor up to three times before it gets sent to proofreading.

The editor-in-chief wrote that now, depending on how fast the editing goes and how many changes need to be made, we are looking at between 3-6 months before launch.  I have 30 days to make the first round of edits per the contract, and then I guess we will see how it goes.

One of the most exciting parts of the news is that it has already been changed to book format.  I am so excited to see what that looks like!  I played around with it while I was writing and editing it myself and I was shocked to see how much longer it was when it was not just on regular 8.5 x 11 paper.

I am a bit nervous to see what edits will need to be made.  I have re-read my story over and over, tweaking it and making changes, so I am obviously very attached to my manuscript and like it the way it is.  I love my characters and feel like they are friends; however, I also realize that I am looking at it through my eyes and I know what I was trying to convey, but there may be things that need to be cleaned up or reworded to make it flow differently to be better understood.

There is something surreal to see a proof of the cover of my own book.  It still hasn’t sunk in all the way that it really is all me who did this.  It is crazy that something I did for fun; stress relief that allowed me to escape my reality, something to do to while I sit hooked up to machines to help me breathe better and to keep my fingers nimble and moving when they are stiff and swollen.  I did this!  I wrote for fun, sent my queries in to publishers just to see if anyone liked it.  It is bizarre that it has translated to this:  IT IS MY NAME ON THE COVER OF A BOOK!  (You can’t see it, but rest assured, I am doing a little happy dance!)

I don’t think that I am supposed to show anyone what the cover looks like until the launch, so everyone will have to wait.  But, I will say I think the cover accurately conveys the storyline.  It had to be 400+ pages condensed in one image.  That’s a lot of pressure to pick the right one.

I had to choose 5 potential covers.  The publisher then had final pick and they added the title and my name.  I am relieved that they agreed the picture represented the story as much as I did, as they are the experts.

For some reason, seeing the cover made it feel so much more real! This is really happening!

The Process Continues…

The last two weeks have been filled with adventure in preparation for the publication of my first manuscript.

I have sent my social media links, a summary of my book, a biography, the dedication and acknowledgements, a photo for the back cover, and chosen my cover art, as well .  The whole thing seems surreal.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like my photo taken about as much as I like a tooth filled without Novocain and out of all of my appointed tasks, this was the one that I dreaded the most.  However, thanks for the help of a fabulous hair stylist and a marvelous photographer, even this requirement was surprisingly painless.

I found out today for sure that for sure my book will be available both in eBook and hard copy versions on many different retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  I know that overall eBooks are actually better sellers nowadays, but for those who know me personally, it seems as though most want a hard copy, which kind of surprised me.

As of yet, there is no news about when the book will be released.  Now, the next step is making changes based on the edits suggested by my assigned editor.  I am a bit apprehensive, but excited, about what they will want me to fix.  I will have thirty days to make the changes and get it back to them per my contract.  I am glad that the kids will be starting back to school soon, so that I can work on it undisturbed.  One thing I have learned in this whole process is that it is definitely easier to concentrate when the interruptions are few and it is the biggest reason why I write late at night.

I still have moments when I am struck with the thought, “I am being published!”  After a year and a half of writing and trying to find an agent or publisher, it still shocks me when I remember.  I can be in the car, at the grocery store, or even as I cook dinner and I am not embarrassed to say that I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.  It is crazy that a woman from a small farming community in rural Nevada took a chance to write a book and then tried to get it published.  It just doesn’t seem like something I would do, and yet…  here I am!

I will let people know as the publication date looms nearer.  Until then, it is back to the grindstone to try and finish my third book, as my mind is already brewing ideas for my fourth and fifth books, as well as thinking about trying to find a publisher for my second.

 

 

WooHoo!

Well, today was a shocker!  I casually opened my email and saw a message from a publisher to whom I had recently submitted my first manuscript.  I didn’t think much about it, expecting it to be another rejection.  In fact, I almost just dumped it without opening it.

But, I didn’t, and when I opened it, I almost fell off my bed!  We had just come home from a pool play date and I was hot and sticky, tired and a bit cranky when I just absentmindedly decided it wouldn’t hurt to click on it to mark as read before I sent it to the trash.

Imagine my surprise when I read the following:

Dear Majken Nilsson,

Thank you for sending us “A Good Kind of Crazy”.  We love it and would like to offer you a contract on it.  We have the contract attached here for you….

Wait..  WHAT?

So there it is, folks!  A real, live publisher wants MY book!  I have a contract!  After reviewing the contract, I have decided that I am going to go for it.  So, watch this space!

 

Fan Fiction

A few days ago, I started a Fan Fiction story on a Fan Fiction site for a show that my thirteen year old daughter and I watch together. In case anyone isn’t aware, Fan Fiction is when people take already known TV shows, movies and books and expand and develop new story lines which they then write based on the premise of the original works. You know how when you are reading or watching something and it takes a turn you don’t like and you wish you could make it go in the direction you wanted it to go?  With Fan Fiction, anyone can do just that.  However, I did it as a way to put my writing out there to see what other people thought about it; people who didn’t know me and wouldn’t feel “obligated” to say they like it, etc.

At first, it was only going to be a “one shot”: Fan Fiction slang for a short story with no extra chapters. That is all I was brave enough to put out there. But, the feedback was good! More than good! It was FANTASTIC, with people asking me to please continue the story.

I have now written 9 chapters, and I am pleased to say that the feedback continues to be better than I ever could have imagined. People are not only complimenting my story line, some even saying they wish that it would be the story line of the next season, but also that they really enjoy my writing style!

I have gotten comments about how people can’t wait for the next chapters, how it deserves to be read again and again and how they have read all 9 chapters in one day. I cannot believe how AMAZING it feels to receive that kind of feedback and how active the feedback has been: In 8 days, I have gotten as much or more feedback as other stories which have been on there much longer.

I am not one to toot my own horn too often. (At least I hope not… Someone please tell me if I do!) But this… this has been incredible! I am so happy that people are enjoying what is coming out of my mind!

I wasn’t going to do this, but I will post the link to my story below, in case anyone is curious.  I will warn people that while this is a Hallmark show, this story is NOT Hallmark rated; think more along the lines of a CW show.  Fifty Shades of Grey it is not, but it is not squeaky clean, either.  So, be forewarned and read at your own comfort level.  Even though my daughter and I watch this show together and it has been a wonderful way to bond with her, I have not let her read this story.  As I tell her, she may know what is going on, but her mother doesn’t need to be the one who shows it to her!

I will now add the disclaimer that I own nothing about When Calls the Heart, except for my own words. The characters, the premise of the story, etc., all belong to people who are much better known and famous than me!

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12523181/1/Homecoming

To Self Publish Or Not To Self Publish; That Is The Question.

So, after talking to several literary agents, it looks like the type of books I am writing are not what the publishers are looking for right now. (Which are namely regency historical fiction/romance, supernatural or erotica, which mine are none of these things…)

Therefore, since I am done with two books and half way through my third, I have decided that I think I will try to self-publish my first on Amazon and see how it goes. (I know. That is about the most wishy-washy statement ever written. I have decided that I think I will try… But, it is not an easy decision for many reasons.)

Now comes the fun part: I have a friend who is an English teacher who is going to look over manuscript which I have read and edited already by myself 10 times.  (It is amazing how many mistakes you miss when you read what you wrote!)

Then, I need some cover art. I am debating asking my oldest daughter to design something for me. I thought she might like to be involved and have a stake in what I created. She loves art and has good vision. She has been supportive about my writing and even done some herself. She keeps bugging me to read my books, but I tell her not quite yet.

I will admit I am nervous to do this. I was hoping to find an agent who would help me find a publishing house who would then give me an editor and a cover artist. I was also hoping for the publicity behind a publishing house. Now, that all falls to me. Everyone who reads it says that they really enjoyed it and would recommend it to their friends. I am still wondering, though, if I can gather enough steam behind me to sell any more after those my family and friends have felt obligated to buy?

Some crazy number of books, I think I read recently that the number is in the thousands, are released daily as self-published on Amazon. There are over 4 million titles available in the Kindle store. So, what makes one stand out? That is the magic question. There has to be a hook; something that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to share the story with others. For 50 Shades of Grey, that “something” was sex that bordered on BSDM. Certainly, that is not my cup to tea to write and even read. But, I must be in the minority, because what started out as FanFiction ended up self published and then getting picked up by a publishing house which almost NEVER happens. But, what is my hook? I don’t know what to say, other than it is a well-rounded story. I am sure that there are tens of thousands on Amazon that can say the same thing. So, all I can say is that I wrote this one, so of course I think it is good!

We have all heard the story of J K Rowling: Down and out single mother who wrote Harry Potter by hand on what has mostly been described as scraps of paper who got rejected by many literary agents before finally finding one and getting picked up by Bloomsbury. But, this happened in the 1990s: Publishing has changed a great deal since then.

With self-publication has come the ideology that anyone can write. (Even I fell for it!). Add in the ease of writing on computer and it gets even more possible for people to think they are the next Hemmingway. So, literary agents are now inundated with submissions and then they have to find a publishing house, which are all quaking a little in their boots as they have seen their business tank after the advent of electronic books and self publishing, when they find something that might possibly attract enough attention to warrant the investment in it. In other words, self publishing, while a great idea, has turned the world of book publishing on its ear and the whole industry is still trying to find its

So, I am at the crossroads: Do I keep trying to find an agent when I have been told by several that no matter how great my book may be, there just isn’t a market at publishing houses for the kinds of stories I am writing?  Or, do I take the leap and hope and pray that my book becomes the little (well, not really little at over 300 pages) book that could? Do I trust that there will be some sort of gentle momentum as people who read it then recommend it to others with the hope that it will grow in popularity? The answer is I just don’t know…

I have been accepted by a hybrid publisher, which is publishing without the risk for the publishing house. They take care of the editing, cover art, press releases, etc.; but the author pays for these costs upfront and then the publishing house does not take any money out of royalties until the author’s investment has been recouped through sales. It sounds like a great set up and it would be, if I had the extra $3000 to invest. It is truly the best of both worlds for publishers, because they do what they do best: Sell books. But they don’t’ have to front their own money, so if the book is a flop, they haven’t lost anything.

So, I sit and ponder about which way I should go. I read today that only 40 authors have “made money” by self publishing on Amazon. However, that definition of “making money” is that someone has had over a million dollars in sales. I certainly think that “making money” for me would be a lot less than that and I am perfectly okay with that, because I ultimately did this for me: My own sanity, my own respite from the real world. I have shared it with a few people who have said that they would recommend it to their friends and to me this is the greatest compliment I can receive. To know that someone liked what I created enough to pass it on to others is high praise indeed. I just don’t know how far that net will spread past the recommendations of friends, however, and therein lays the rub.

I guess being a native Nevadan, life is about gambling. I should be more willing to take that risk based on my Wild West spirit that developed in the shadows of the looming casinos of my beloved home state. But, risks take courage. They take forethought and planning. I have seen how many who take risks lose everything. But, mostly, they take just take a leap of faith.

Some Feedback Might Be Nice…

By now, I have gotten enough rejection letters that I have noticed that they are all pretty much the same:

Dear Writer,

Thank you for submitting your book.  It is not quite what I am looking for…  Best of luck on your endeavor to be published.

Sincerely,

Another Random Unnamed Literary Agent

Though I really do appreciate the agents and publishing houses who do take the time to at least write back, versus those from whom you never hear again, I really do wish that there would be some constructive criticism.  Is it that they didn’t like the book; the story line?  The writing style?  The formatting?  It is like hiring managers of companies that get so many resumes that they divide the pile in half and just dump them without really looking at them?  Is it that they read the first line or two and decide to dump it from there?

What are they looking for, exactly?

Just a head’s up out there for anyone who may read my books at some point and care:  I do not write 100% G rated books.  They aren’t even PG, honestly.  They may be stretching the PG13 rating:  In my first book, I do meet the quota of the allowable “F” words, (one to be exact), but the sex might be a bit over the top to qualify it as PG13.

That’s not to say that I have written the next 50 Shades, either.  As one friend who has read what I wrote put it yesterday, I try to be “classy” in my description of the physical endeavors of my characters.  These are, after all, books about grown up life and all that happens in it.  As I told a friend on Facebook Messenger this past week, sex is truly about the only real perk of being an adult that I can see, besides maybe going to bed whenever you want, (which when given a choice as an adult is generally way earlier than you would have been told to do as a kid-joke’s on us), and getting to eat desert first (if your kids don’t see.)  A total score as an adult is when sex and desert first (or only) happen at the same time.  Anyway, I digress….

I have noticed that after 50 Shades hit the scene, sex scenes in books have become a lot more explicit overall.  It seems to be what the readers of today want, I guess.  However, as a writer, I strive to maintain a sense of dignity in my sex scenes because, well, honestly, people I KNOW will read these, including my own mother.  And, someday, quite possibly my children.  As much as people apparently like to read about BDSM, I would like to think, perhaps naively, that there is still room in the world for sweet, awkward, loving sex, with both people bumbling through it the first few times without either one of them being akin to a porn star and without  accourtements being shoved into various orifices.

My second book is written in the late Comstock Era of Nevada.  Sex then was still all tied up in an uptight Victorian package (no pun intended) and even though hormones and desire haven’t changed much, what people could do and say about them sure has.  BDSM sex certainly would be even more out of place in this story.

So, back to my original point:  I want to know what it is about my books.  Are they not raunchy enough?  Are my sex scenes not hot enough for today’s audiences?  Is it my writing style?  It is too juvenile?  Too “wordy”?  (Still one of my all-time favorite lines in a movie- “It has too many notes!”-Amadeus.)

My books are long.  I am a windbag and apparently that extends to my fingers, as well.  I love a good, long book full of the characters to whom I can relate. I recently had a publish author tell my books were WAY too long at over 170,000 words each.  But that is how long it took me to get my characters’ stories out of my head and onto the computer.  Apparently in this day and age of raunchy, hot, explicit sex, there is a sense that stories involving it need to be short and fast, as well.

But, my point is, I will never know without some feedback.  I wish I could ask exactly WHAT about my stories didn’t fit their bill?  I got brave enough to try once:  I sent a response asking for some constructive criticism to a publishing house and got back in return a canned email explaining how to submit one’s work to their literary machine.

So, thus far, all I have gathered in this journey is:

  1.  All literary agents and publishers have different rules and styles for submitting work.
  2. You are VERY lucky to receive any sort of rejection because usually you hear nothing.
  3. You will not get any feedback about why “your work is not what they are looking for.”
  4. The whole process takes an extraordinary amount of time.  I have spent more time trying to find someone who might want to take a chance on representing me than I did on my first two books combined.
  5. Writing is a LOT more fun than trying to get published.
  6. At this point, I don’t really care if I get published or not.  I am writing for my own mental health and stability.  Of course, it would be great to get published and maybe even make a few bucks from my efforts.  But, as it stands now, I am okay with just doing my own thing, quite honestly.

As always, thanks again for following me on this journey.

So… Rejection Sucks!

I have slowly but surely been peddling my book to various literary agents across the US and world.  Every week, I send out my query letter and whatever amount of the book they are asking to see in their submission guidelines.  So far, I have only done so with the first book and not the second.  I am hoping soon to remedy this, but for the time being, it is what it is.

I am discovering that the literary world is very difficult to break into.  I guess I could liken it to what friends in acting have said:  You go to audition after audition, hoping and praying that you will finally be what they are looking for, but knowing it is akin to a once in a million break.  It was never “easy” to get published, but since the advent and take off of self-publishing, it has gotten close to impossible.  Some statistics have said that one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be traditionally published in this day and age.  But, I do live in Georgia and there is a lightning storm going on as I speak, so I will take it as a sign to keep on plugging.

Everywhere I have looked in my research about how to obtain a literary agent, it all states that just like any interview, it helps greatly to have a “in” with someone whom the agent already represents, like a recommendation.  It makes sense, I guess, in that if someone who is already published likes what someone wrote, it seems like it is less of a risk.  The hard part is finding someone who is already published who would be willing to “introduce” me to their agent.  It isn’t that they aren’t willing; it is that I don’t know very many people who are published.  In fact, I know no one directly, and only have a loose connection through friends to a few others.  It is definitely not a situation where I am comfortable asking them to present me to the person who guarantees their bread and butter.

I got a rejection today from a small press that does their own publishing.  It was my nicest rejection yet:  Many of the literary agents don’t even ever respond.  They said that my book “sounded intriguing, but was not what they were looking for at the present time.”  I knew this publisher was a long shot, as they clearly state on their website that they only publish a few books a year, but it was still nice to hear that even though it wasn’t right for them, they seemed to like the premise of my story.

I am still considering self-publishing, though I have my reasons for not going that route as of yet.  I actually have been accepted by a hybrid publisher, but that isn’t really an option at this point, either.  But, it did bolster my confidence enormously when they said that their editors had read both of my books and loved them.

Meanwhile, more friends and acquaintances have read them and are giving me good reviews.  The best part is that they are being honest:  They are telling me what works and what doesn’t for them and I appreciate their candor.  I know that their constructive criticisms are not to tear me down, but to ensure that I have the best product out there to try and sell.  Because at the end of the day, that it exactly what I am doing:  I am an artist who is trying to sell my work for a profit.

I have just sent out another big wave of queries and hope to hear something soon.  As I wait, I continue to write my third book and I am pleased with its progression thus far.  But, for me, this is not just about selling something.  It is about expressing myself and giving my emotions a voice.  So, honestly, if I can find someone who wants to invest in my creations, great.  If not, that’s okay, too.  I am ultimately doing this for me.

The things we do for love…. (Or sanity!)

When I first started this journey of writing books a little over a year ago, I just had an idea.  I was standing in the shower, feeling panicked about life and wondering what was next; where I was supposed to turn.  Then, the idea for my first book came to me.

Next came the figuring out how I would actually get to writing.  We are a one computer family, with the computer in the living room, where anything anyone does is out in the open and accessible.  I knew I could write while the kids were at school, but that is not when it would be most convenient for me to do so, as that is when I get all of the other things that moms need to do without the hassle of being disturbed every few seconds.  Then, it hit me.

Our children went to a Montessori school for a year.  During that time, while in 5th grade, our oldest needed a computer for word processing.  We found him an old Toughbook and got it up to speed.  Once we moved to a different state and the children once again were in public school, he no longer had need of his private laptop.  So, I found it and plugged it in, wondering if it still worked.

It did work!  It fired right up and I began to get excited.  I dared to think that maybe, just maybe, this may be possible.  Then I looked at the keyboard.  There were several keys missing.  But, by this time, I was too excited and anxious to get started to let the condition of the machine get me down.  I started pounding away and my first book began to take form.

I wrote on the broken down, beaten up laptop in the evenings once the kids went to bed, at my daughter’s OT appointments, at doctors’ appointments.  Typing with a broken keyboard was no easy feat.  But, I was determined to get my story out.  Eventually, my husband took pity on me and found that we could order a new keyboard online.  It came and he changed it for me.  As grateful as I was, I still marvel that I managed to write over half of my book on a machine with 4 missing keys.  To me, it is representative of my desperation to get my story out and how once I decided to do it, there was not much that could hold me back.  My computer, like me, was broken.  It was imperfect; it was damaged.  And yet, it could still turn out the words.  It was still capable and willing, even if the journey required more effort and struggle.

The keyboard is me:  I am missing pieces.  I am old, I am beaten down, I am worn out.  There are newer models, fancier versions and prettier interfaces.  But, this computer became my beacon of hope.  It became my sanity, my safety net, my refuge and my strength, like an old security blanket.

I have since upgraded to another, slightly newer machine, because the old one just wouldn’t connect to the internet in a timely manner.  That became the biggest hurdle for my progress. But, I will always keep it in order to remind me from where I came and how I started and how sometimes even the most broken of things can produce amazing results.

 

Laptop book

They Like It!

One of the hardest things an author can do, I think, is turning their work over to a friend.  It is hard enough to face rejection from strangers, but when it is a possibility from those one likes and respects, then the stuff gets real!

I let a friend of mine read my books because she has a connection to the publishing world through an agent.  I thought if she liked them, she may be able to pass them along to her contact.

I waited on pins and needles for several weeks.  I have a few people to whom I have sent the first book and have never heard back any feedback, but when I ask, they say they just haven’t read it yet.  But, this time, when I asked, my friend promised she would read it the next day.

I was thrilled beyond belief when the Facebook Messenger app started pinging and I read her first reviews.  She wasn’t even done and she felt the need to let me know that she was thoroughly enjoying it, forgetting that it was a friend who wrote it and how she was so involved with the characters and the storyline that she was even reading at stoplights.  My heart swelled with joy when I realized that yet another test reader was liking my work!

She is in the process of beginning the second book, A Twist of Faith.  In some cases, this book is my favorite, because it deals with the history of my home state.  I feel a connection with it deeply and vividly visualize the landscape before my eyes.  Another test reader read it and said that she could envision exactly what my brain had pictured when she described it.  But, on the other hand, my first book, A Good Kind of Crazy, is my favorite, because I can see the scenes before my eyes with that book, as well, and it there are more elements of “me” in that story than the second one.  If I had to really choose which one was my favorite, I don’t think I could.

I am grateful for my test readers because they come from different experiences and backgrounds and when I get positive feedback from all who have read my books, it truly makes me feel as though I have struck gold.  As I write, I see the events laid out so clearly, it is like I am watching a movie playing in my head.  I see the scenery, the people, the clothing.  The facial expressions of each character is always present in my mind. I truly understand why my favorite professor while I was obtaining my geography degree at the University of Nevada, Reno was always going on about the importance of a good sense of place.  Sense of place is what allows our minds fill in the blanks between the words on a page and the scenes in our heads.  The feedback I have gotten is that people are able to envision what I did, and it feels amazing.  Several times test readers have told me that they could see the two books as movies.  I can’t imagine how thrilled I would be to see my work come to live on screen!  I wonder if everyone else’s visions would match my own.

Everyone likes to get atta girls, but for me, it is more than that.  To get the confirmation that people are so invested in my stories that they can’t put them down makes me know that my goal has been achieved.  Books should offer an escape:  The reader should feel like they are watching everything unfold before them and get lost in the characters and their lives.  I know for myself, I cried when both books were finished because I felt the loss of the characters occupying my mind very deeply.  I want my readers to feel that way, too.  I want them to be so invested that they are feeling the shock of having to return to reality when they reach the end.

I am grateful for my test readers and the feedback and suggestions they give me.  But, when so much of it has been truly positive, I can’t help but feel like I am on to something!

The Motivation Can Be Hard to Find Sometimes…..

I have decided that I would MUCH rather write than try to get anything I write published.  Writing is fun, creative, relaxing.  Trying to find a literary agent takes time, isn’t fun, is stressful and can bruise the ego, too.  So, my way to deal with this since Christmas was to essentially not do anything.

In all fairness, I didn’t do much writing for the last 3 months, either.  I opened up my newest book to get reacquainted and found I had only written 9 pages and that the last time I saved anything was on October 31, 2016.  This makes sense to me, as Halloween has always been the official “unoffical” start to the holiday season.  It is when other things occupy my already limited time and my brain’s creative juice turn more to how to give 4 kids a good Christmas on a shoestring budget than to write.  The limited time I did have was spent re-editing (again) my first two books, creating a webpage and starting this blog.

But, man, did it feel good the other day to re-open that book and get started.  I thought I had lost my momentum, but instead, in two days, 8 more pages have come pouring out.  That doesn’t sound like much, I know, but for the 1 hour I have been able to spend on it in the past two days, I think 8 pages is actually a pretty decent showing!  I picked right up where my characters left off and I am excited about where it is all going.

Stress is a funny thing, though.  It has a way of creeping in and diverting priorities.  It also changes a writer’s mind.  It is interesting the things I focus on in my stories depending on the day I am writing.  On the days were I am full of turmoil, my characters experience more angst.  The days where I feel stress’ grip lessen for me, I write more light-hearted events in the story.

My writing speed is also driven my my stress level.  When I am very stressed and writing becomes my outlet, the words fall out faster than my fingers can type.  When I am stressed, but focusing on other things, I am slower than molasses in December in the Antarctic.  Stress also affects my ability to write romance.  When I am too worked up about anything, my mind is just not in a romantic state.

For now, because of what is going on in my personal life, I will, for the most part, continue on my hiatus from trying to get published and instead just write for the sake of channeling my nervous energy somewhere else. I know that I should keep on with trying to find an agent, but at the same time, it seems like it would just add extra stress and that pretty much defeats the purpose in why I started writing in the first place.

The fact of the matter is that it is incredible that I wrote two novels in the course of 1 year and started on a third.  In fact, I actually wrote two novels and started on a third in 10 months.  We aren’t talking short novels, either; my two finished manuscripts are both around 350 pages on 8.5 x 11 paper, so in book pages, that is closer to 550 pages.  I am still amazed what came out of MY brain…  MY imagination.  I kind of don’t really care if they ever get published or not, honestly.  The people who have actually read them seem to like them, but I don’t know if I care enough about getting them out there for others to read that I am willing to take on the stress of getting them published when instead I can focus on what writing was supposed to be in the first place:  An outlet.

So, I have chosen to put writing ahead of publishing.  I will still be looking for agents and if I get published, wonderful.  But, my focus needs to be on creating right now for my own sanity!