Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day (and Happy Second New Year)!

Happy Labor Day to my American readers, and I hope you're having a relaxing weekend as you prepare to head into the fall season.

To me, September has always felt more like the start of a new year than January, no matter what the calendar, not to mention my own January 1 birthday, tells me. I was a student for seventeen years, after all, for most of my working life my day job has been in academia, and now I have a fifth grade daughter. So September is all about new beginnings.

It just so happens that this year it's fresh start time for me, too. I spent June and July up to my ears in edits for my January release, Freedom to Love. It was far more intense a process than editing usually is for me after the editorial team and I agreed that the book would be better if I took some of the events I'd been planning to use in its sequel and made them part of this book's ending. The manuscript grew a good 20,000 words longer, and by the time I'd turned the almost-final manuscript in about a month ago, I needed a break, so I took most of August off from writing and the business aspects of my writing career.

So today I'm starting a brand new manuscript, in a brand-new-to-me genre, contemporary romance. I've been saying jokingly for years that I'm going to write a series about small-town girls who moved to the big city for work and DON'T go back to their hometowns only to realize they never should've left and their high school sweetheart was the only man for them after all. Since every time I mention the idea, I get a chorus of "Do it!" from friends, I decided to make that my project for the next two months.

That's right, two months. I'm going to try to complete my rough draft by 10/31. I'm trying out Book in a Month, only stretched over two months because I also have to get ready for my November and January releases and avoid over-stressing my still-fragile neck and shoulder. Assuming it goes well, I'll do the same thing in November and December for Freedom to Love's sequel and have two manuscripts to edit and submit come early 2015.

I'll keep you all posted on how it goes. Good luck with your own fall projects!


  1. I am so excited about the big city romance! It did occur to me that perhaps the city-girl-goes-small-town narrative is prevalent as a reaction to the man-goes-to-big-city narrative that's so dominant in literary fiction. If lit fic is coded as urban, masculine, and challenging, then it makes sense for resisting texts to skew more feminine, rural, and comforting.

    That said, within romance, the conservative impulses of the small town romance formula deserve subverting.

    1. Interesting...I'd never thought of that. What I *have* noticed is that most romance small towns are more like the places a city or suburban person might go on vacation--cute spots in the mountains or at the beach with lots of quaint, touristy businesses--than like the majority of small towns. So their popularity is probably more about readers wanting to take a sort of mental vacation than being reactionary and anti-urban life. I still want to write about the city as a GOOD choice, though.