What I Didn’t Do on My Summer Vacation

I only remember once having to write the dreaded Summer Vacation essay in grade school. My mom had worked as a housekeeper for the family of another student in my class. I talked all about hanging around her house while she ignored me or played mean tricks on me. Yeah, that was fun. Continue reading “What I Didn’t Do on My Summer Vacation”

Advertisements

Introducing Ivy Nelson

Part of my enjoyment of on-line writer communities comes from getting to know new and evolving authors who bring enthusiasm and a fresh point of view along with their talent.

Ivy Nelson is a 30-year-old romance/erotica/mystery writer living in Houston, Texas with her husband. Ivy has been writing for as long as she can remember and read her first romance at the age of fourteen. You could say it was love at first site. Since then, Ivy has read anything she can get her hands on. While she has always loved writing, she let that hobby sit on the back burner while pursuing a degree in political science and higher education. The love for writing never left. In 2015, Ivy decided to give up her day job and focus on writing the type of thing she loves to read. Her first book will be available for purchase in the Fall of 2016. In her free time, Ivy enjoys cooking, travel, wine tasting and singing really old country music at karaoke bars. You can find her at:

http://www.Ivynelsonbooks.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/Ivy_Nelson_

I had a chance to ask Ivy a few questions.

071016 Ivy Nelson

DH. Your blog page is really cute and topical. I see you are participating in Camp NaNo (A summer version of National Novel Writing Month). What are your feelings on NaNoWriMo?

IN. NaNoWriMo has a very special place in my heart. I participated for the first time in 2013. The story I wrote was awful but for the first time, I actually finished something. I now participate in the November event every year and I also take part in both the April and July camps. I think NaNoWriMo works for me because it brings out the competitor in me. I’m not competing against anyone but myself  though so there are no hard feelings. It’s also a very social event if you want it to be. I attend write-ins when I can and I always take part in the word sprints that are hosted on Twitter. This camp I’m working on a brand new series that I’m really excited about.

071016 nano
DH. So, what have you written?

 IN. I have written a handful of short stories that are currently being workshopped before I publish them. The series of short stories I’m most excited about is my wine and sex series. Each story is a piece of erotica that involves a glass of wine. I explore a number of sexual themes and I’m excited to start publishing them. I’m also in the editing phase of a novel that is the first of three romantic thrillers set in Washington D.C. There is a heavy BDSM theme and there is plenty of action (in every sense of the word). Finally, I am working on a series called Vegas Vigilante. I’m not ready to reveal any major details on that yet.

DH. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

IN. During NaNoWriMo, I aim for at least 2,000 words a day. The rest of the time I just aim to write something every day. I’ve found that if I force myself to sit down and start writing I’ll always hit at least the 1,000-word mark.

071016 author at work

DH. Do you prefer to write series or stand-alone novels?

IN. So far everything I’ve written has been in series form. I’ve got a 50 novel plan in which all of the novels will be connected in some way. The cool thing about them is that readers won’t have to read them in a specific order. There will be some that could be considered trilogies within the set of 50 novels. When they are all done, they will take readers on a fun journey across the U.S. and around the world.

071016 difference between

DH. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

IN. I haven’t officially published anything yet but I am planning a big launch and some kind of press release. I’m also trying to get a blog tour together.

Thanks, Ivy, and thanks everyone for reading. I’ll be back on Thursday.

At the Hop!

Compared to getting publicity about your books, writing is easy. It’s just you, your imagination, and some form of recording your ideas in story form. When you finish your novel, or any length story, you have the huge task ahead of you to get it edited, perfected, sold (if going traditional), formatted, uploaded, and accepted on the various self-pub platforms (if you are self-publishing). Still not all that difficult, mostly. Continue reading “At the Hop!”

Aching to Write

Writing is my drug. I write a lot of non-fiction just to have something going on. I rarely run out of ideas for blogs, and I love posting things on Facebook. That said, there are days when I am aching to write on my Work In Progress (WIP) and can’t because I need a blog. I guess I have two levels of my drug. One is the write anything but keep writing drive, and the other is the write the characters and get them into trouble drive. Continue reading “Aching to Write”

Seek and Entertain

Somewhere in the wide reading world, you know there is an audience looking for the books you write. There are book-a-day readers who want a hot romance with a fireman, or a sweet romance about a woman farmer, or a sci-fi romance about planets exploding, or male/male romances set on a pirate ship. Now that I mention it, that last one sounds pretty good! Continue reading “Seek and Entertain”

The Blog Bog and Other Writer’s Problems

Some years ago, I thought it would be a lot of fun to write a blog about my parrots. So I started one, and it has been a lot of fun. Then I became involved in a humor blog called You Suck at Craigslist (YSaC to the in-crowd). As I got to know the intelligent and funny people who published the blog, I was privileged to be given moderator duties and to help out now and then. I had a blast.

Next I joined RWA and learned that a blog about being a writer was an absolute must if you want to be taken seriously. Ta-da, this is that blog. I got active on Scribophile and found that many new writers are afraid of blogging. So I started a group blog with a dozen or so writers who get to have on blog up every six weeks, because we post twice a week. I made sure to put it on other days than when I do my two blogs.

Recently, the intelligent and funny people at YSaC realized how much time they were putting in to the site, and how little return it provided. There is a huge and caring community involved in the site, and that is one of the greatest returns ever. Still, as young professionals they needed to trim down their extracurricular activities. YSaC ended.

I couldn’t take it. Not have a place to be snarky and laugh at the lowlife posters on Craigslist? So I started Welcome to Fabulous Sparkyville. If you are counting, that’s four blogs of which three I am the sole person responsible for the content, and one that is my responsibility to keep going.

The conclusion: I Am Insane.

I have a sequel to Regency Banquet Appetizer: Pure Seduction to finish, have critiqued, edited and published. I have an anthology to get in gear and the next story for the next book in the anthology to write. I have a completed manuscript of a Regency Romance to query or decide to publish myself, and I have a shape shifter paranormal romance to finish.

Luckily, a wonderful writer named Rachel Aaron has information on how to take your word count per day from 2000 to 10000. http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html The first step is to write out where the story is going. Not outline, not summary, just for yourself, an idea or road map of what needs to happen, where it needs to happen, and why. I did this for all my pending stories, and it has helped so much. Lots of plot twists I didn’t know how to resolve were sorted out.

Next, Rachel Aaron said to start recording your writing time, the word count, and where you are when you write. I made a very simple Excel spreadsheet and have diligently used it to keep track. My average writing time is an hour before I become distracted by something or have something that needs to be done. My average word count is 550 words per hour. Yikes! No wonder my projects seem to be standing still.

The reason you would include the place you are when you are writing is because going to a library or coffee shop might prove to be interruption-free compared to home. At this time, I don’t have the option of writing elsewhere. There will always be solitaire games waiting for me, and friends to chat with. But I have a new computer just waiting for the time for it to be installed, and that will free up my laptop. And even if I don’t get to go to the coffee shop to write, I can create a space in the spare room for writing on the laptop, with no internet access. And that will solve all my problems, right?

I can’t wait to see what the third step is. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back on Thursday.