“I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty.” ~John Waters
Thanks for stopping!
Thanks for stopping!
Readers come in all shapes and sizes.
Some readers, like me, only listen in audio because physically reading feels like work to me.
A few readers actually still love the feel of turning pages.
And bunches of us have jumped into the world of digital bookshelves.
Samhain Publishing is putting my Boot Knockers Ranch series into audio books, and they sound soooo good! I encourage you to listen to a sample even if you’re not a huge audio book person!
Since I was so excited to hear my books narrated, I set about finding a narrator for some of my indie cowboys–the Dalton Boys. Some of you might remember Hank, Cash, Witt, Beck and Kade.
The process for me was a lot of trial and error. The division that runs Audible, ACX, invites you to place your manuscript up for an audition. Meaning a narrator can come by, check out your work, read it if they like it, and bam! You’ve struck a deal to split royalties!
No such luck in my case. It might be because, like my men (I want a hot tattooed biker professor who loves horses), I’m picky. Here were my demands:
can do multiple voices, male and female
doesn’t mind reading hot sex
doesn’t mind cussing
Believe it or not, nobody jumped at the chance to read COWBOY CRAZY for me!
So I had to find a reader who I could actually afford. Narration is time-consuming and difficult work, and they deserve every single penny! These readers depend on their voices, so if they have a cold, guess what? They can’t work. So what they charge is spot-on for their profession. Still, I’ve got kids to feed, so I had to be thoughtful about what I was willing to spend on this endeavor.
After some trial and error, I was lucky enough to land a great reader for my Dalton Boys. Now I’m happy to bring them to all the audiobook lovers AND give some away too!
ENTER HERE to win a download of COWBOY CRAZY!
And check out my other audiobooks on my website! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
I admit that I don’t know what you people all do in your jobs either, so feel free to post your misconceptions about your nurse/dentist/accountant position in the comments!
Here are the top misconceptions about authors:
2. We can call in the middle of the day to talk for two hours because she isn’t working–Hi, Mom. No, I’m not busy…I’m just working. Go ahead and tell me about your dinner last night. I’m not actually distracted right now. No, I’m not painting my toenails. Really–Bo’s dead? I haven’t seen that episode of Days, Mom. Was it good?
3. They earn squillions of dollars a year on their books–I once had a post office worker say well if you’re an author, then you must be rich. I just blinked at him and wondered if I should tell him that I’d spent more on promotion that year than I’d actually earned.
There’s a reason Lovecraft, Melville, Poe and Wilde died poor. It wasn’t because their investments went sour. The average author brings in less than $400 a month on writing income. Those who are lucky enough to pull in more are very grateful, believe me!
4. All writers do is write–My kids say all you ever do is type! True, my fingers are never still, but nobody can continually generate word count for eight hours a day let alone for the longer work days most of us put in. In between, we’re marketing, editing, dreaming up ways to promote our books and brands, Tweeting, searching for contacts who will help boost our careers into the stratosphere and trying not to read any crappy reviews.
5. Writers think they’re better–As a general rule, I never, ever tell people what I do. I cannot tell you how many bitchy looks I get or eye rolls. Suuuurrrrre, Em! Last week I flew to Paris to model too!
Writing is the best gig in the world, but yes, it’s a real job. And like real jobs, it has less glamorous moments. Like when your computer crashes and you’re cussing like a trucker. And I don’t think I’m better than you–AT ALL. This is what talent God gave me, just as you have patience with kids you teach or a steady hand to stitch up a wound.
It’s insane that I’d avoiding shouting out something I’m so proud of just to make the PTA moms more comfortable with their hangups, but there you have it.
6. Writers are alcoholic, depressive night owls–That’s like saying all waitresses are gum-popping, perky morning people.
Okay, I’ll agree with the night owl part, but I’ve been avoiding the sunlight since I was a newborn. A friend of mine says he writes his grittiest, best stuff when going through a dark time. Some people say to write drunk and edit sober, but I’ve professionally edited some of that crap, and I don’t recommend the strategy.
7. If you piss off a writer, she’ll kill you off in her next book.
Oh wait, that’s true.
Now you know the facts. I’d love to hear some of the strange and funny myths about your careers!
I recently read an interview with a musician who talked about how he went through his creative process. I love reading things like this because it makes the person you enjoy seeing/hearing/ PSSST!–reading someone real.
So I thought I’d try to share little bits of my process as well.
Soon I’ll be starting a new book. It’s a little like eating an ice cream cone. Some people lick it. Some make sure they keep that little curl at the top intact because a cone ain’t a cone without the curl. A few people (who use Sensodyne toothpaste) can bite their ice cream. And you usually see little kids eating it from the cone up and letting the ice cream run all over their hands.
None of these methods are wrong. You still get all that creamy goodness in your belly.
The way I eat my ice cream–or write a story–is very straightforward. I’ll start by telling you what I CAN’T do.
* I can’t skip around and write the ending then go back and fill in. And I definitely cannot skip sex scenes and write those later. They’re a huge part of the emotional journey in my books and leaving them out would throw the whole book off!
* Wing it. Nope, I am not a panster (a person who flies by the seat of her pants). I need solid goals for these characters so I know exactly what messes they’re getting into. How else am I going to help them figure out how to get out of it?
* Write at all hours of the day and night. This girl doesn’t wake up at 2 am and pound out a scene. I have in the past, but as the years have gone by, I have learned that I have a window of time to do this thing called SLEEP. So I take it!
My process looks a little like this:
The title is just as important to me as a character. Plus, I’m a realist. I’d like to believe I could throw up a great book with a crappy cover and dull title and still sell enough to keep my kids in Rocky Road. But life doesn’t work that way, folks. I think up a great title and make it as catchy as I would like to see if I were browsing a bookstore.
Then I take out these little character worksheets that I made up.
DOWNLOAD YOURS HERE:
If you’re looking at this worksheet, you’re probably shitting your pants. Don’t panic or think I’m superhero. I don’t always fill in the whole sheet. I’m not THAT ANAL when it comes to planning, even if I have been known to pencil in a shower on a busy day’s to-do list.
Now I search for a great name. Since I had 5 kids, I have a whole shelf of baby name books. Who knew they’d come in handy later in my career? (Tax write-off? Where are those receipts?)
Now that I have these details ironed out, I can let myself daydream. This is the most important part in my method. I stop thinking about the book for a while, and pretty soon the characters are telling me their stories. I don’t need to do much besides work out a detail or ten.
And here’s the best part of my process: I usually bounce these problems off a buddy. My friends are indispensable when it comes to my life! Not only are they here for moral support and three hundred laughs a day, but they’re so helpful.
Thing I can’t live without while writing:
I used to wear a thug hat but it’s too damn hot nowadays (shut up, it’s not perimenopause)
Pandora radio shuffled between country and folksy indie rock
Thank you for stopping by and getting a glimpse of my writing process! I hope you’ve enjoyed and I’d love to hear your comments!
We’ll try something fun today! Copy and paste into the comments then fill in the blanks!
Can’t wait to hear your answers! xoxo
It’s my birthday and I’ll have a green phallis-shaped bunch of balloons if I want to!
Today I’m 42 years old, folks. And actually, I’m NOT gonna cry about it.
I’ve got some saggy skin and a crease or two but overall, I’m saying 42 is the new black/25/best year of my life. I’m going to embrace the good with the bad and find happiness in each moment. I’m going to take my kiddos for a matinee viewing of my favorite ever Alice in Wonderland. We’re going to gorge on popcorn and overpriced candy. Then stop for more sugary Fro-Yo on the way home. To me, it sounds like the best plan ever.
Who wants a balloon?