My journey writing ‘Reunion of the Heart’

RotH-Cover

I publish Reunion of the Heart tomorrow! Woo hoo! I can’t tell you how excited I am. It’s taken me a while to get to this point and today I wanted to write about… well how I came to write it.

When I published my first novel, The Inheritance, slightly less than a year ago, I did it as a kind of experiment.  It was my second completed novel (the first will never see the light of day!!) and although I knew it was far from perfect, I wanted to have the experience of publishing a book and just see how it went.

My husband encouraged me to publish it – he felt it would be a good experience for me.  And it has been.  Although I will say that I was disappointed by the lack of sales.  However I think that one of the main reasons that The Inheritance didn’t sell that well is because it doesn’t fit easily into a genre.  The best genre description for it is a family saga.

I did pretty well when I put The Inheritance on free promotion a couple of months after I published it. But I was disappointed that the free downloads didn’t translate into sales.

I’ve always felt with my writing that I want to write about what I want to write about, if that makes sense.  I don’t want to feel confined to writing in a certain way.  But if you’re writing a novel that’s going to be hard to market, you’re going to have problems, as I found with The Inheritance.

Reunion of the Heart is a contemporary romance, so it fits much more neatly into a genre than The Inheritance did.  However, with Reunion of the Heart, as with The Inheritance, I was writing about what I wanted to write about.  I didn’t simply choose to  write a romance.

With my latest as-yet-untitled work in progress, it’s been more of a conscious decision to write a romance.  I am very much enjoying writing this new one though, so I’m going to stick to romance for the moment.

So now while I’m writing, I do have one eye on my marketing: am I going to be able to market this book, does it fit well into a genre? OK so you might say that that attitude takes all the fun out of it. Not for me.  I’m loving writing romances and it started with Reunion of the Heart.  Writing it was a lot of fun, especially the editing (yes really!) and making it more romantic on the advice of my wonderful beta readers.

Writing Reunion of the Heart has given me so much more confidence in myself and my writing abilities. The pre-publication response has been wonderful.  I’ve had many people tell me they really want to read it.  Well that is just so encouraging.  I think often in life it’s easy to feel like you’re the underdog, that everyone’s doing better than you, while you struggle away and nothing comes easily.  I feel it’s especially true of indie authors: we can feel as though all our fellow writers are doing so much better than us while we’re struggling with that one paragraph or chapter that we just can’t get right.

With Reunion of the Heart I feel that even if it’s not as successful as I’d hoped, at least I’ve given it my all and had some great responses to it.  This writing journey I’m on isn’t always an easy or happy one, but it’s certainly an exciting and rewarding one.  Even though The Inheritance didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, I’ve had a number of sales and nearly 9500 free downloads.  So people have read it and that’s the important thing.  In publishing Reunion of the Heart I have nothing to lose.

See you tomorrow for the launch!

 

 

A new version of an old scene

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday!  I hope you’re all happy and well. :)  I’m OK except my husband has given me a cold – isn’t that nice of him? – and I seem to have it worse than he did. :-S

Anyway I’m not exactly at death’s door and since I’m currently not working – in between jobs, but I am looking for another one, honest! – I’ve had plenty of time to be working on editing Reunion of the Heart.

And all I can say is ‘I get it!’  I finally get what other authors mean when they say they’re so into their stories, it’s all they can think about and the characters are so real to them!  I’m rewriting many of the scenes between my two main protagonists, making it more romantic.  I’m enjoying it so much! :-D

My characters are really coming alive; it’s a cliche but it’s true.  I’m thinking about them a lot, especially the two MCs and imagining exactly what they look like.

As I said I’m rewriting a lot of the scenes between my MC and the guy she ends up with – I’m also cutting scenes and adding them. So it’s not simply editing, it’s rewriting whole passages!!  But yes I’m really enjoying it and – because I’m quite slow at all this – I hope to publish Reunion of the Heart by the autumn at the latest.

It partly depends on work; if I get another job soon, if I have time to work on my writing without being too tired etc.  So we’ll see. But at the moment I’m making the most of the time I’ve got to spend on my writing.

So on to today’s scene.  I may have shared part of this scene in its old version before.  For today’s date, I’m giving you 14 lines .  To give you an idea of what’s going on: my MC Anna is at a party her two friends from her school days have thrown to celebrate the opening of a new shop of theirs.  Anna knows that the guy who bullied her at school, Will, is going to be there, but she’s decided to go anyway.  This is when they see each other there:

‘So we meet again,’ a voice said in her ear. 

Anna turned around.  It was Will.  As she looked up at him, she was struck again by how tall he was and his looks were certainly arresting.  He was dressed simply yet smartly in black trousers and a deep blue shirt.  His clothes accentuated his figure in all the right places.  Annoyed with herself for thinking like this, she saw that he was smiling at her. 

‘I’m here with Melissa,’ she found herself saying.  ‘She said you’d be coming with Cathy.’  She shut her mouth as if to stop it from saying anything else without her volition.

‘So you knew I was coming, but you came anyway?’ Will was looking directly at her, his expression serious but his lips curving upwards slightly in a half smile.  Anna didn’t reply for a moment, feeling her stomach fluttering incomprehensibly.

‘Um… well… yes,’ she said finally.

You too can take part in the wonderful weirdness that is WIPpet Wednesday by posting on your blog anything you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Then put your details here.  Oh, I should add that your offering needs to relate in some way to the date.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel, Queen of the Flying Monkeys, for being our gracious hostess. ;)

Update on ‘Reunion of the Heart’

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these past couple of days.  Nothing is majorly wrong, I’ve just got a bit of a virus and it’s making me feel low.

The upside of that is although I haven’t felt well enough to do strenuous things, I have felt up to doing some work on Reunion of the Heart, my WIP.  I told you here that I’ve had it back from my beta readers, who were all fabulous BTW.  My mum has offered to proof read it for me when I’m done, which is great as she’ll do it for FREE!! (And I know she’ll be amazing at it!)

At the moment I’m going through it, alternating between changing minor words or paragraphs that my betas have flagged up, and changing parts, even rewriting them.  It’s a lot of work but it’s going so well!  I mean there’s a lot to do, but I’m loving just getting back to writing after my false start with the job that didn’t work out for me.

There is something with regards to this story that I’m in two minds about.  It’s how much romance during the story I should have between the two main protagonists, and how much I should leave till the end, especially as there’s a third party involved – it’s a bit of a love triangle!

Now I must say that this is a bit of a rhetorical question.  At this stage, having had the novel back from the beta readers, I don’t really want too many more opinions saying ‘do this, don’t do that’.  In a way I’ve kind of gone past that stage.

But I’m still interested to hear, from those of you who write romances, how much romance you have between the hero and heroine in your love story before their tale is resolved at the end?

Thanks as always for your comments.  They’re much appreciated. :)

Editing, editing, editing…

So as the title of this blog post suggests, I’m editing my latest novel, Reunion of the Heart.  But I was wondering – what’s your method of editing?  Do you go chronologically through your story and edit that way or do you do what I’ve been doing and kind of flit about from passage to passage?

The thing is I had eight wonderful beta readers read my novel and comment on it for me, so I’ve got eight different opinions on it already, which is great.  But I’m wondering do I change every last thing that every one of my beta readers has suggested, if even if they might contradict each other?!

Or do I take elements of what each of the beta readers have said to me and follow my intuition, change what I feel from the general opinion I’ve been given is right?  So far I’m doing the latter, but I’m not sure that’s the right course to take.  It’s so confusing!!

But actually so far, having said all that I’m not doing too badly with it.  So wish me luck!  Oh and any info on how you approach editing gratefully received. :)

Call for beta readers

Hi everyone.

I’ve finished the first round of editing of my novel Reunion of the Heart and I’m currently reading through it again, correcting and amending as I go.

I would like to send it out to beta readers soon, so if you would be interested in reading it and letting me know what you think, please get in touch.

I only need a few people to beta read, so really it’s on a first come, first served basis.  This novel is very much a romance, so won’t be to everyone’s taste.  But if you think you might like to be a beta reader for me, please let me know.

My email address is: elaine (dot) jeremiah (at) gmail (dot) com

Thank you! :)

When to send to beta readers?

Question

I’ve just finished my first round of editing my novel.  I’m wondering when would be the best time to send it out to beta readers (who I’ve yet to find!)?

Do I go over it myself as many times as possible before I get to that point?  Or is it better to send it out now and get the feedback I so desperately need as soon as possible?

There’s a certain element to my novel I’m not sure about.  Not going to say what it is but I definitely need some guidance.

So I’m asking all of you who’ve written a book (admittedly this is my second novel but I’m still unsure about this) what you’ve found to be the best time to send your novel out to be beta read and get those all important second opinions?

I must confess I’m not great at making decisions.  Also, if you all tell me a million different things, that’s going to be even more confusing!  But I’m willing to take the risk with this cos I really need to know.  And even if you don’t have a definitive answer, I’d be interested to hear your stories about editing and how it all went for you.

It’s definitely an exciting time for me having the publication of my second book on the horizon less than a year after the first one was published. :)

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.  Book number three is in the planning stages… (BTW it’s not a series!!)

 

 

 

Well I’ve finished my book… kind of

This week I hit a new milestone on my journey as an author.  I finished the first draft of my second novel which I’m calling ‘Reunion of the Heart’.

It’s been a lot of fun to plot and then write and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the world. :)  But as the title of this post suggests, it’s not finished yet.  Those of you who are writers will recognise that I  need to edit, edit, edit before I release it.  And of course I need to have other, dispassionate eyes on it so that I can make it the best that it can be.

So at some point I’ll be putting out a request for beta readers, but NOT YET!  There’s lots that I need to work on by myself first.  I may well tweak scenes and/or insert scenes.  I realise that as a story it does need a lot of tightening up.  I feel like there’re potentially a lot of holes in the plot, things I haven’t caught yet in my writing process.

Yes, I know that’s where beta readers come in, but I want to finish reading it all through first as my initial edit.  I want to make sure I’ve ironed out any obvious mistakes before I (fearfully) hand it over to be read by other people for the first time.  That’s a scary process, for sure – handing over your precious WIP to be scrutinised by other eyes for the first time.

If you’re a writer, I’m sure you’re familiar with that feeling.  You desperately want your WIP to be read by other people… and yet at the same time you’re scared ****less at the thought of other people who aren’t you reading and potentially being critical of your work.

But it needs to be done and so I’m working towards that point when I can finally hand it over to some generous people to read and make comments on.  I want to be the best writer that it’s possible for me to be.  I feel I’m improving and growing in confidence as a writer all the time.  As I’ve said before, the online community of writers has transformed the way I write and my confidence in myself.

So thank you once more.  And I’ll keep you all posted as to my novel’s progress.

By the way… are any of you working on editing?  How are you finding it?  I’d love to have your comments. :)