Merry Christmas in July

Calling all holiday-themed readers! It’s more than evergreens and twinkly lights at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s fifth annual Christmas in July Fête. 44 Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday-themed books featured plus a chance to win a $75 Amazon (US) gift card.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, Holidays, Inc, is featured on today. Wait until you read what I love most about the holidays. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this event and tell your friends:

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/holidays-inc-cijf

Summertime Set Sail Sale, Love Overboard only $0.99

Can a tiny lie sink destiny?

Forced to share a stateroom with her ex-fiancé, Caitlyn fakes amnesia to stay on board her dream Alaskan cruise. Torn over deciding his future, Cruise Director Gregory tumbles into helping her. As they grow closer, unspoken secrets threaten to rip them apart, for good.

Check out the reviews:

  • “With interesting and complicated characters, a strong off-ship presence of both plot and characters and plenty of conflict with the third-wheel-ex-fiance I found this to be a well written, interesting and lovely full length story.” – Long and Short Reviews
  • It is character development at its finest, and a nice change in a familiar genre. The read is light and fun, full of warmth and humor, a wonderful sweet romance.” – InD’tale Magazine
  • Finalist 2020 International Digital Awards Short Contemporary Romance
  • Finalist 2021 RONE Awards

If you haven’t read Love Overboard yet, now is the perfect time!

The ebook is on sale for only $0.99 at:

Six years later: what’s easier? What’s more difficult?

In May 2015, I self-published my first novel, Anchored in the Bay. In May 2021, my latest release, Hope for the Holidays, will publish. When I first started, I heard the advice make a five-year plan on repeat. My short-term goal was simple: keep writing. Six years later, I’m still going strong. (check!)

On a walk with my dog, I started thinking about everything that has changed as I’ve continued to write and publish. Some things are easier, others are harder, and you might be surprised by what falls in each category. So I thought a self-reflective post might be interesting for any fellow author/aspiring writer.

Easier

  • handling criticism
    • I have learned what opinions matter. While the advice to avoid reviews is still sound if you’re sensitive, I appreciate hearing from my readers. Not every book connects with every person, but if I missed the mark for my audience, I need to understand what happened so I don’t let them down in the future. It’s also important to understand that not every person in your personal life gets to have a say. I only care about five people’s opinions and, of those five, only one reads my books.
  • processing edits
    • The first time I received edits on my self-published book, I was too scared to open the email for several days. As time goes on, and I’ve built a solid trusting relationship with my editors, I process the notes and changes much faster. I’ve divorced my identity as a person from my work. I love writing. It’s my passion. But whether or not Chapter 2 has to be rewritten has nothing to do with who I am. This sounds simple, but this might be the biggest area of growth.
  • getting the work done
    • I’ve built my process and, while it could definitely be more efficient, it works. I started outlining and plotting my first drafts to teach myself discipline. Even if I don’t want to write, I can. I know what needs to come next in the story. Sometimes, I have several hard chapters in a row, but I keep going. Eventually I’ll have an a-ha moment and the writing flows. Figuring out my time and when to get the work done is key.

Harder

  • writing a first draft
    • As I’ve become a better self-editor, I’m also a harsher critic of my work. See above about getting work done. Because I set goals and deadlines (or I’d never finish anything), I know I have to absolutely start typing. I can eventually give myself a break if my words aren’t perfect but not always. And that’s okay. The most important part is finishing the draft and fixing in edits. I’ve come to love those rounds when I really develop the characters. But the first draft is difficult.

My goal for the next five/six years is the same as the first: keep writing.