Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Title and Cover Reveal for New Novel

Now that NaNoWriMo is out of the way, it's on to the publication of the fourth novel in my John Ross Boomer Lit series. 

And today I reveal the title and cover of the book, which will be published by Wings ePress on Feb. 1. During the past year, I've written about the novel, from rewrites to edits to working with the cover artist. It seems like it will never end, but eventually, it does. 

The cover is like icing on a cake, the final stage in the creative process. If done right, it captures the essence of the novel and presents it in a way to attract readers, much like folks want to sink their teeth into a delicious piece of cake. 

So here it is!

Trisha Fitzgerald-Jung designed the cover; she also did the artwork on my previous novel, New Horizons

Pat Evans produced the cover for the first book in the series, Old Ways and New Days, and the late Richard Stroud produced the cover for the second book, Darkness Beyond the Light. I've been fortunate to work with such talented people at Wings.

Cover by Pat Evans

                                                        Cover by Richard Stroud

Make Room for Family will be available for preorder on Jan. 1 as a trade paperback and e-book.  I'll have information about that once I get a link (you might want to click the "Follow" button on the right margin). 

Until the next time . . . 

Monday, November 30, 2020

NaNoWriMo Update: Crossed the Finish Line

I've earned my third NaNoWriMo winner's badge!

This morning, on the final day of the 50,000-word writing challenge, I crossed the finish line with 50,177 words. Over the course of 30 days, and I cranked out a daily average of 1,730 words. 

As I expected, my output increased along the way. After 10 days, it was 1,358. My 20-day average was 1,587. And during the past 10 days, it was at a 1,844 clip.

Winner's Badge
I made it a point to write every single day. A few days my output was only 900 or so words, but they still count. I made up for that by writing more than 2,000 on other days. The important thing was to write each and every day. For me, if I don't write for a day or two, it makes it easier not to write the next day. And that piles up to no progress and probably giving up.

This is part of the first draft of my next novel in the John Ross Boomer Lit series. I'll continue writing every day until I'm satisfied with the story. After that, I'll go through the rewrite and editing process. It will probably end up in the 80k range.

I've had two previous NaNoWriMo efforts result in novels: The Bully List in 2012 and Old Ways and New Days in 2014.

The fourth novel in the boomer lit series will be published on Feb. 1, 2021. I hope this effort will be released in late 2021. We'll see.

I hope other NaNoWriMoers crossed the finish line with me!

Until the next time . . .

Friday, November 20, 2020

Penultimate NaNoWriMo Progress Report

We're two-thirds of the way through the annual National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, endurance race. Only 10 more writing days remain before the figurative finish line.

After 20 days, I'm sitting at 31,737 words, an average of 1,587 words a day. I should be averaging 1,667 so I'm a bit off the pace. I need to average 1,826 words from here on in to reach 50k.

I'm determined to reach the goal so that's not really a concern of mine. When I set my mind to do something, I generally do it. There could be some unforeseen things happen between now and Nov. 30, but I going on the assumption that I won't be struck by lightning, get struck by a train, or become debilitated by some illness or activity.

To be honest, there's not a whole lot going on in my life to distract me from writing. For the past week or so, I've written in the morning and the afternoon in an effort to increase my word count, and it's worked. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting most of us in various degrees, I haven't been out and about other than quick trips to the supermarket.  I won't be spending time with relatives and friends on Thanksgiving Day. I don't do Black Friday (will anybody this year?). 

So I'll be sitting here in front of my computer, focused on reaching (and surpassing)  50k words. And then I'll have the first draft to the fifth book in my John Ross Boomer Lit series. (Psst! The fourth book will be released on Feb. 1, 2021, by Wings ePress).

Good luck to others participating in NaNoWriMo. We can do it!

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

NaNoWriMo Progress Report

We're 10 days into National Novel Writing Month and it hasn't been as smooth as I would have liked at this point.

I'm averaging 1,358 words a day; it should be 1,667 if I'm going to reach 50k by Nov. 30. I'm not concerned because I generally write in big bursts, sometimes 3,000-4,000 words a day. 

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm using a rough outline to keep me somewhat focused on the ultimate goal. I've veered off it a few times as the characters took over in places. That always happens as I delve deeper into a story.

This work-in-progress will be the fifth novel in my John Ross Boomer Lit series. The fourth book will be published on Feb. 1, 2021. The first three were Old Ways and New Days, Darkness Beyond the Light, and New Horizons (you can find them on Amazon, B&N, and other websites).  If all goes well, I hope the latest will be released in late 2021 by Wings ePress.

My biggest distraction thus far has been the election on Nov. 3. I found myself watching TV and reading news reports about the outcome of the presidential race in several states. I was relieved it finally ended five days later but it still lingers day-to-day with court threats and probably recounts. I hope it ends soon so we can get back to some degree of normalcy.

And then there is the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths—in the U.S. and worldwide—and it almost becomes an overload when trying to write. At least there was some positive news this week about a possible vaccine.

At my age, I get more mentally exhausted at times. Writing is often an escape from reality, much like reading can be when getting lost in a good book. The key is finding a good balance in life. I try to do that by what I watch and read as well as daily exercise and other activities.

The happenings of the past few months, taking a lot of things into account, would make for an interesting novel. No doubt you've heard the expression, "life is stranger than fiction." Don't be surprised if some of the novels published in the coming months and years reflect these crazy times. I'm not sure if I would want them on my reading list because peace of mind isn't always 2020.

Until the next time . . .


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Pre-NaNoWriMo Post

 National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, blasts off tomorrow for thousands of writers around the world. 

At the starting block

I'll be at my trusty keyboard bright and early in the morning, primed and ready to begin producing an average of 1,667 words a day to reach the goal of 50,000 by the end of the month. I'll have a steaming cup of coffee to kickstart my endeavor. I've accomplished the desired word count twice, both times producing nice first drafts that ended up as novels (both over 70k words after rewrites and edits). Those books were fruits of my labors. I'm sure others have similar testimonies. 

This attempt will result in the fourth book in the John Ross Boomer Lit series. If I sound positive, it's because I don't involve myself in activities that I don't plan to complete (a reason I never participated in marathons). By the way, the third novel in the series will be published on Feb. 1, 2021. More on that in the next week or so.

In the past two weeks, I've worked up a light outline to guide me through the project. It serves as more of a guidepost, getting me from the beginning to the end. There will be a few side trips along the journey, which are subplots as the characters have their say in the process.

I've also created a list of characters that include names, characteristics, backstories, and their relationship to the protagonist. 

I've been asked by readers if this will be the final book in the series. Only if it's the last book I ever write. My goal is to continue the series until I keel over. I hope that's not soon because I enjoy writing about John and Sally Ross and their escapades, be it from their home in Lexington, Ky., to Budapest, Hungary, to New York City. 

It's been interesting to watch them develop and grow in what I've often referred to as a coming-of-old-age series. 

I hope others will consider joining the NaNoWriMo challenge. Even if you don't finish, you'll have the makings of a short story or novella. 

Good luck with your writing!

Until the next time . . .


Monday, October 12, 2020

Return to NaNoWriMo

 I'll be returning to NaNoWriMo on Nov. 1, the official start of the international writing event. It also will mark the official beginning of my 11th novel.

I've participated in National Novel Writing Month twice, both times resulting in young adult novels—Shooting Star and The Bully List. This time it will be for the fifth book in my John Ross Boomer Lit series.  I'm excited about getting started on the new novel. And as a former news reporter and sportswriter, I like working on deadlines.

There are several reasons I like NaNoWriMo:

  • It keeps me focused for 30 days in reaching the goal of 50,000 words. That's a doable 1,600 words a day.
  • I get energized leading up to the first day, my creative engines revving up for the event.
  • As already noted, I feel I'm at my best when working on a deadline. 
  • I'm basically a pantser so it fits my style of writing of letting the creative juices flow and going back later to clean up the scattered messes. 
  • It's fun being part of a collective effort involving writers around the world. I like to be supportive of other writers, especially those who are developing their writing chops. 

While I'm a panster (letting the characters run wild wherever my subconscious plot and subplots take them), I will have a few notes jotted down to get me going in the right direction on the first day. And whatever I write will probably change, hopefully for the better, during rewrites.

One more thing. I've become somewhat of a procrastinator in my twilight years. You can't procrastinate in NaNoWriMo. You have to write each and every day. The organization also provides tips to prepare for the writing blitz.

For those who like challenges, I encourage you to sign up for NaNoWriMo. For more information, check out this FAQ.

Good luck!

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Writing Update

I've finished the edits on my manuscript and now it's time to move on to the galley proof to see if there's anything else that needs to be fixed before publication on Feb. 1. 

It's not a rewrite but feels like an abbreviated one. What I'll be looking for are typos, stretched-out words on a line, orphans and widows, misspellings, and anything else that appears out of kilter. 

So I'll be reading the 95k words again, possibly for the last time. I don't know about other authors, but after awhile I'm ready to move on. 

By the way, I have a title and cover for the novel, the fourth in the John Ross Boomer Lit series. I'll let you know after I finish this step.

And speaking of that, I plan to be involved in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. I've participated on two previous occasions, both resulting in published novels. You might give it a shot; I find it invigorating to keep on pace to produce 50k words in 30 days.

Between going over the galley and NaNoWriMo, I'll do some research and notetaking to prepare for my next novel. I'm more of a pantser than a plotter but I do like to stay somewhat focused at the start of the writing process, then the characters take over.  

Until the next time . . .