Friday, April 16, 2010

Dreadlines and Publication dates

I know that a lot of people reading this blog are would-be New Writers (as the RNA labels them) People who are aiming to be published, partway there, trying to learn the ropes etc . . . The sort of people I was talking about in my We Write Romance post yesterday.

But of course as soon as you reach that wonderful, magical day when you get 'The Call' and are told that someone is buying your manuscript and turning it into an actual published book, then everything changes. You become a published author, not just a writer, you enter into contracts, you have revisions, proofs, dreadlines. . . Writing becomes A Job. Not just the wonderful sit down to write when you feel inspired/want to write way you've been working up to now. Later, people will read your book, review it - some people will love it but not everyone will find it fits with them. Some of the reviews over on Amazon - or the new 5 star rating on the Mills & Boon web site are evidence of this. And guess which reviews are the ones that stick in your mind - the ones you just can't forget?

There have been some great posts on this topic out in blogland recently - over on the Pink Heart Society Mira Lynn Kelly was talking about the first year after acceptance on Wednesday and yesterday Michelle Styles had a good post about Deadlines and making sure you have a life. I so agreed with this - one of the first pieces of advice a friend of mine was given by her newly-acquired editor was that you must have a life - or what will you write about?

I'm at that stage in my writing right now. The latest book is delivered, the next one is brewing and growing , and I have a little time to breathe. It is important to breathe - this writing game isn't a sprint, with a mad dash to the winning tape and then you're done. It's a marathon run where you need to pace yourself to keep on keeping on. It was something that was brought home to me again when I was talking to the Airedale Writers' Circle and others in the past few days. After all, I'm still celebrating that 25th anniversary of being first published and I thought I'd come back to that for a few posts - because for me it wasn't just 'Now you're published, you're settled and all you have to do is to keep writing the books. . .'

More about that later. But I was also wondering about what to blog about now I have a little more space in my schedule - anyone got any particular topics they want to know more about?

But of course the other part of the heading to this post refers to one of the greatest moments an author has in their writing career, one that never gets any less exciting even as the years go by - and that's the publication date of a new book.

Although I've actually seen it out and about on the bookshop shelves already, today is officially the publication date for the 3 in 1 By Request book Claimed by The Sicilian.

So to celebrate I have a copy of this book to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning, just email me with the titles of the 3 Sicilian books that are reprinted in this special anthology. You have just over 24 hours to get your answers in - at noon on Saturday (UK time) I'll get Sid to pick a winner Put Claimed by The Sicilian in the subject line so that I'll find your answers easily.

I have to admit that I'm getting an extra special thrill from seeing this book out there with all three titles of my books in it!


Caroline said...

Great post kate. Very thought provoking since my writing has somewhat stalled at the moment! As the song says "Blame it on the sunshine...." Caroline x

Donna Alward said...

"one of the first pieces of advice a friend of mine was given by her newly-acquired editor was that you must have a life - or what will you write about?"

Not long after I made my first sales, I had coffee with Paula Eykelhof. We talked about writing and we talked about life. She said the same need to balance writing with living. I've never forgotten that conversation!

Rachael Johns said...

This post really resonated with me Kate - although I'm not published yet :) But I think we rush to try and achieve and I'm sometime in danger of missing out on the rest of my life in my drive to be published. Thanks for the timely reminder that no matter how wonderful writing is, there's more to life!

And congrats on your By Request release!


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