Freestyle Friday: Project Publishing World Domination, Month 1

Hey, everyone! I had intended to use this morning’s post to write about the Love Inspired Reader luncheon I attended yesterday, and while I touch on it liberally, I wanted to contemplate what I’ve accomplished thus far in 2014 and set some goals for February. In other words, DANGEROUSLY LONG POST AHEAD! Here are the moves I made towards Project Publishing World Domination (henceforth known as 2PWD):

I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit:

  •  I bought the domain for this site, I’m so excited about this! I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Right now, this serves as my author site until I can get something else going.
  • I received books to review and booked blog tour stops to add to my Copywrite1985 offerings. I’ve received and began reviewing several Entangled Publishing Offerings, and have started the process of acquiring some Harlequin Heartwarming titles for review, among others. I hope you all are enjoying seeing what I’m reading, and hope you find a title or two to add to your TBR pile. Don’t worry; they won’t all be romance (at least, I don’t think so)–I have some non-fiction in the works as well.
  • I attended the Love Inspired Readers’ Luncheon. Oh, readers! This was amazing! The lovely Debby Guisti (pronounced, I learned, Juice-Tea) of Seekerville and Love Inspired Suspense fame gifted me a ticket to this event and proved herself to be a warm, wonderful woman filled with love.
The lovely Debby Guisti signing copies of her March Love Inspired Suspense release, The Agent's Secret Past.

The lovely Debby Guisti signing copies of her March Love Inspired Suspense release, The Agent’s Secret Past.

All of the authors were sweet women, and I enjoyed getting to mix and mingle with so many authors (nine in total). I also got to meet the Senior Editor for the Love Inspired line, Melissa Endlich

Ms. Endlich giving the opening remarks

Ms. Endlich giving the opening remarks

and Publisher’s Weekly’s Barbara Vey. Hopefully one day soon Melissa Endlich will be approving a cover for one of my books, and Ms. Vey will feature my work on her Publisher’s Weekly blog, Beyond Her Book.

The quote of the day belongs to Marta Perry. When the authors were asked how they write the male perspective during the Q&A, they all said men were easy to write. “The men we write are idealized,” Ms. Perry commented. “If we wrote them as they are, there’d be no dialogue.” The lone male in the room, operating the audio visual equipment, grunted in dissension. “See,” Linda Goodnight pointed out, “there wasn’t any dialogue in that.”

The Q & A Panel--Marta Perry, Linda Goodnight (coolest name ever, BTW) Missy Tippens, and Debby Guisti

The Q & A Panel–Marta Perry, Linda Goodnight (coolest name ever, BTW) Missy Tippens, and Debby Guisti

Fun times. Here are the authors signing my books:

  • I entered a contest to attract the attention of agents. The contest is the Blind Speed Date Contest that Cupid’s Lit Connection puts on. The purpose of the site is to connect writers and agents in literary love matches (what a fun concept!). The bouncers for the contest choose 40 entries to be posted to the sight and agents (using Honorary Cupid names) shoot arrows at entries when they would like to see a partial or a full of the manuscript from. I won’t know if I made it past the bouncers until the 12th, and there’s a week of voting before the winners and the agents are revealed. So prayers and the like are appreciated.
  • I attended my first RWA meeting. The short version: learned quite a bit and can’t wait to go again.
  • I bought a subscription to Writer’s Digest. I had one before, but I decided to start it up again (after about 10 years) now that I am actively pursuing publication. I have the first issue on my kindle which, fittingly, spotlights publishing.
  • I bought On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels (a favorite romance writer of mine). There are a ton of books out there on writing and quite a few on writing romance, but I have read and loved Leigh’s books over the years. I trust her writing ability and ability to sell to Harlequin, so I want to read how she crafts her books, synopses and queries. Hopefully it’s a good tool.
  • I started the follow up to my NaNoWrimo book. The follow up to Delivering Justice, thus far, is known on the internet as Mr. Last Name Basis. I came up with this name because the character goes by his last name more than his first name and wasn’t letting me get close to him. He’s opening up a bit now, but I like the moniker. I have a title, but not sharing. I hope you will love this prickly character and his spunky heroine. I’ll share more when the book develops more.
  •  I identified the necessary revisions I have left to NaNoWriMo book. In order for me to make it the best story possible, I know I have to expand two key scenes and add two scenes, as well as add in a detail here and there. The chapter swaps with my critique partners has gone well. Both of my critique partners were offered publishing contracts this month!! I’m among a group of talented women.
  •  Outlined two different series I plan to write.  One series begins with Delivering Justice, and has three other books. The other is an eight book series.
  • Generally kicked butt.

When I see it all written out like that, it’s a wonder I’m still kicking! Not as much writing as I would like this month, but moving the dream forward.

So what’s on the agenda for the month of February (the awesome month that includes both a day all for love & my birthday)?

My second RWA meeting. I am going to use some extra funds this month to officially join RWA and my local chapter. I’m so excited about this step!

I get the results of the Blind Speed Date Contest I entered at Cupids Lit Connection–good, bad or indifferent–mid-month. If speed dating doesn’t work out, I’ll be submitting Delivering Justice directly to publishers. On my list of possible submissions: Harlequin, Lyrical Press, Entangled Publishing and Avon Books for sure.

I have nearly a week off for my birthday–during which time I hope to get a huge chunk of book two of my series written, continue planning publishing world domination, and relax my face off. I also want to get in there and finish my Love Inspired So You Think You Can Write entry revisions.

As you can see, I don’t have as many things planned for February. I like to think I’m leaving room for this short but special month to surprise me in the most positive, life changing ways.

How did you do on your writing goals for the month of January?


The Writing Show Must Go On…

Sorry for missing my usual Wednesday morning post, but I was out sick from work this week and couldn’t stand staring at the computer typing my life away.

So now that the madness of NaNoWriMo has been over for a week (ten days for me), what do I focus on, writing-wise? How do I move forward from a great accomplishment instead of getting stuck right here and not seeing it through? I’ll tell you how–I keep on writing.

I’ve flirted a little bit with the marriage kit book (which is almost finished), reading through a large portion of it and researching some of the holes I still need to fill. I found all the material I had written for Some College, my memoir about the year I spent in between my junior and senior year of college, and I contacted a good high school friend for his help with an area of the book that involves some things from our high school days. Going back to my high school reunion really opened that door wide for me. I’ve even started writing out some “treatments” for “scenes” in the other story I outlined before NaNoWriMo, and began trying to develop an outline for my next book in the series that this year’s NaNoWriMo book starts.

What I’ve managed to do is to stay far away from my NaNoWriMo manuscript, Delivering Justice. I’ve given myself ten days away from it, and I am chomping at the bit to start revising it. I said I wouldn’t look at it again until the 10th, but I think it’s time to get back into it. I know a few of the issues that I’ll need to address from the beginning–passive voice, weak verbs, an adverb explosion–and I’m sure I’ll discover a plethora of other problems that I’ll need to tackle, but I’m ready to dive back into it.

I spent some time on the boards for Harlequin and discovered that Delivering Justice should  be targeted toward the Intrigue line and not the Romantic Suspense line, at least from what I’ve read and been told. I’m glad, not only because the word count is lower, meaning I don’t have to find a subplot or fluff my story out of recognition, but because it means I don’t have to tone down the suspense and play up the romance as much as I initially thought. My story doesn’t have to be contorted into something unrecognizable to fit the mold, and that makes me feel even more certain that this story is exactly what it should be.

I never heard anything back from my So You Think You Can Write entry, but I’ve reworked the beginning and I think I’ve written some really good material since the opening chapter. I’m not sure exactly where the story will fit, but I would love to finish it sometime next year.

I’ve thought of at least three other books in the series DJ starts, with two possibles. Once I have eyeballs back on the story, I’ll get an excerpt up for some critique.

How’s everyone else’s writing coming along? Anyone close to submitting/publishing? Anyone revising?



So You Think You Can Write?…I Did!

You guys, sorry for the LONG hiatus, but I’ve been busying doing a few writer things I think you should know about. First, I’ve been writing reviews over at I have loved Harlequin romance novels since I was a teenager, and I jumped at the chance to review their books on a site. I get at least nine books a month to review, which means my plate is always full of exciting new books to read and review. You can find my reviews by looking for reviews with a tag of “Erica.” My latest review is of A Beauty Uncovered by Andrea Laurence. I will be establishing a page where I will provide links to my reviews, etc.

Secondly, I did something slightly spur of the moment and submitted my 2011 Camp NaNoWriMo romance to Harlequin Mills Boon’s So You Think You Can Write Competition. There are over six hundred entries, and only 50 full manuscripts will be requested, so I don’t know how far I will get, especially since I didn’t let myself think too much before I wrote the pitch and hit submit on the last possible day, but I really believe in this story. If it doesn’t win and I don’t hear anything back from editors by the time they have followed up after the contest, I will publish it here. If you want to read the pitch and first 5000 words (and leave me some comments!), you can read it here. Stay and check out some other first chapters; I’ve read a few really good ones myself.

Lastly, I have been trying to finish my final edit for the book before I pass it to an editor for the final FINAL edit. It’s hard letting go, but I can see that the parts I’ve finished have been polished as much as they can be before I cross the line into over editing. I am hoping to have it turned over in another week or two.

Between all of this and increased work responsibilities, I’ve been neglecting my blogs, but I wanted to let you all know what’s going on with me and pledge to be a much better blogger. I will return at least once a week for Writer Wednesdays, to share progress, ponder writer issues, and just hear all about what’s going on with all of you. Promise.