She had only read about pages from a very early draft of the story, and it was a really long time ago, so I had no idea if the story would sit well with her. I've felt a whole new kind of pressure with this one, being the sophomore book. You always hear about authors writing a great first book, then people not being happy with the follow-up. Not that I have any control over how people react to my books, but the goal, obviously, is to continue putting books out there that readers can connect with and that fit together well as a whole.
Book 3: I've been thinking ahead to what book I'll do next after Hurricane. I know, it's crazy to think that far ahead, but since we're already into edits with Hurricane, it really is time to be thinking about what comes next. Plus, I'm getting the itch to write again. Back in , I was working on another book that I thought might be the follow-up to Hideaway. I decided to go with Hurricane as the follow-up, so this other book is still here with me, and I think I'm going to submit it as my book 3. These characters have stayed in the back of my mind these last couple of years, and I keep thinking about the setting and the premise.
I just sent a summary of the story to my agent, and I thought I'd be digging back into the draft of the story, but now it looks like it'll have to wait a few weeks while I work on edits for Hurricane. Suffice it to say, I'm seriously going to need to work hard these next few weeks of school to get as much done as I can before summer hits and the kiddos are out of school.
I long for summer for so many reasons hello not having to make school lunches at 7am every day but it's also hard because of the small amount of time I have during the day to write. I think I saw something a few days ago that said my youngest Sela has 17 days of school left. So I have 17 school days to crank out as much as I can! If I can just get myself off Homewood Trading, that'll be a good first step toward not wasting so much time I'm loving Karen White's newest book. And isn't that cover gorgeous? It came out the same day The Hideaway did. She's such a master of telling a great southern story.
I think this will come next. I've read her first two books, The Historian and Swan Thieves, and I've been waiting for another one from her. The Historian is SO good. I've read great things about this next novel. I don't know what I expected this day to feel like. Way back when, when I first started writing and dreaming of publishing books, I imagined the life of a writer to have a touch of glamour. I guess I was hanging onto images of writers as sitting in cafes, congregating together to talk about the art of writing and their place in the writing world. I imagined what it would feel like to hold a printed book with my name on the cover and what it would feel like to see it on a bookstore shelf.
I know now that the writing life isn't glamorous, that some write in cafes or anywhere with free wifi and preferably free refills of coffee though I prefer my own quiet house or the library. I also know writing is mostly a solitary pursuit and you're lucky if you find other writers in real life and not via the internet who you can talk to about the craft and difficulty of writing, and maybe laugh about it a little. Incredibly, I know what it feels like to hold a printed book with my name on it, and I guess today I'll know what it feels like to see my book on a bookstore shelf.
Little Professor, here I come. So all in all, at one point, I probably expected this day to have a little more pomp and significance--but that was back when I still thought the writing life was glamorous. Not too long ago I heard an author talking about release day as an incredibly normal day other than the fact that all over the place, people are seeing the book in stores and seeing their pre-ordered Amazon box on their doorstep containing your book.
After all the build-up--the writing, editing, revising, hand-wringing, beta readers, query letters, rejections. After more edits, editor phone calls, marketing information, cover reveals, excitement, line edits, proofreads, more proofreads. After all the articles and essays you write to get your name out as much as possible, after the reviews start coming in At least I imagine it will be.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, as my daughter Kate would say. Except that now I'm a published author.
Alma Cogan:Hernando's Hideaway Lyrics | LyricWiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
And man, that's just completely wild. I'm not crazy about a lot of attention on me--I get nervous and awkward and sort of forget how to sound like a normal person, but I'm not nervous about attention on The Hideaway. I still, after all this time, love the story and I'm really excited about people I know and don't know meeting Sara and Mags and everyone else. I'm a tad nervous about the follow-up coming next year, but I'm sure after my editor Karli gets her hands on it and makes her careful, insightful suggestions, I'll end up in this same place--loving a group of people and a little place in the world that doesn't exist outside my imagination and the confines of pages of paper.
Huge thank you to those of you who've been on this journey with me from the start. And for newcomers, I hope you like The Hideaway enough to stick around to see what comes next. What my life looks like these days although imagine more cardboard boxes and dust. Lots of dust. A few days ago I was cleaning out stacks and drawers of papers writers have LOTS of random stacks of paper hanging around and I found my very first draft of The Hideaway!
It was like finding an old friend I'd lost touch with. Along with it was the first timeline I drew to figure out Mags's life and random notes I jotted down on a piece of construction paper because I couldn't find real notebook paper. It's good to keep reminders of all the work that went into The Hideaway.
As if I could forget! I'm going through all these papers and closets and kitchen cabinets and under beds because we are moving. As if digging into revisions on book 2 isn't enough chaos in my life, we decided now would be a good time to move. Just kidding--a little. It is a good time to move--we are outgrowing our sweet little house and want more room to spread out--but I have to work to keep from panicking that I'm spending my time working on the house and not on revisions.
I have started revisions though--the break from the story over the holidays was wonderful and I'm kind of excited to be getting back into the story, even though I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me. Three months until this second book is due to my editor. And three months until release of The Hideaway! I'm still waiting on the advance copies and can't wait to get them in my hands.
I have no idea what life will be like as the day approaches, but I'm excited to find out. I have heard from other authors, however, that the actual release date is quite anticlimactic. You've worked so hard to reach that day then it comes But I'd imagine it will still feel pretty unbelievable.
This woman lived quite a life and had an extraordinary career including seeing the start of WWII from under a flapping sheet of fabric that delineated the border between Poland and Germany. This article features authors talking about how you can write a bestseller and still hardly make any money--or at least, not for a long time.
Chris Stapleton? I'm way behind the times. I just discovered him today on Amazon Music and wow--he's pretty great. I'm not generally a country fan so when I hear about a new male country artist, it tends to go in one ear and out the other because they all seem to be part of the "bro-country" trend yes, that's apparently a thing, and it perfectly describes the type of country music that really grates on my nerves!
But this guy isn't that at all. He's the real deal, a throw-back to great country-rock artists from decades ago , but also really fresh and new. Here's a video of him performing on SNL. I leave you with Jim and Dwight. Here in Birmingham, we are sitting at about 50 degrees outside, but word is tonight an arctic front is blowing though, plunging us into the 20s. As a certifiable "cold person," I'm already cold just thinking about those temps. In fact, I'm pretty darn cold here in the 50s, so there may be no hope for me come tomorrow morning.
The upside is that it does help foster the Christmas spirit, since it just feels like it should be chilly around the holidays. In the deep south, we know all about Decembers when we run the AC like it's September, so the crisp air is sort of nice. Since I last posted here, I finished the first draft of book I finished it a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, but a few days later decided I wasn't ready to let it sit just yet.
I went back in and reworked a couple bits that I knew needing fixing, then officially typed "the end. What have I been doing with the extra time on my hands? Reading--a lot! And it's been fabulous. Since I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn with my brain firing on mostly all cylinders, I've been waking up to read.
I still have to wake up early. Even though the kids are in school, I love the early morning quiet hours. Plus, I don't want to get out of the habit of waking up early since I'll be back at 5am in Jan. Right now, I'm going through a couple different Advent readings. I'm also really enjoying the Advent readings in this month's selections in Seeking God's Face. I couldn't put it down. Ah, this book. First book in a long while that's kept me up reading til the wee hours. All I'll say is it's about a spaceship carrying 6 astronauts home to Earth after a two-year trip to Jupiter.
Two years there and back. It's also about a man and a young girl stuck in the Arctic tundra. I cannot overstate how much I loved this book. Here's a link to my review on Goodreads. I just finished Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I don't read much YA, but this was an unexpectedly charming story. The short chapters sometimes just a page made reading "just one more chapter" really easy, and Madeline and Olly are adorable.
Almost Rainbow Rowell-adorable. It was a quick read, full of loss and life and longing. Smartly-drawn characters, witty, sweet romance. Unless I find something tempting on the library shelves this afternoon when I go with the girls. Talk about a great Christmas gift! Can't wait to hold it in my hands. April will be here very soon. Also, I met Jake Reiss of the Alabama Booksmith a few weeks ago, and he's just as nice and lovely as everyone said he was.
Birmingham is lucky to have him, and book people in general are lucky he's in business.
This may be it for me here until after Christmas. I'll try to get another Bookish People Interview up, but it may be January before we have hte next installation, so stay tuned! It's morning and the house is momentarily calm. I just started a cute new book and my mug of coffee is full. It's like a respite before next week starts. I know it's only October 30th my parents' 40th wedding anniversary!! The pages are designed and basically look like they'll look in the book. I think some of the typesetting may change, but other than that--and any proofreading errors I or anyone else finds at this point--it's pretty set.
Advance reader copies will come later this year, hopefully before the holidays. I can't wait to hold the thing in my hands. The cover is so pretty, I can't wait to see what it'll look like "in person" and not on the screen. The idea is to have the holidays T'giving through New Years to take a break from Betsy, Ty, Jenna, and these other characters I'm spending my days with. Then when I go back into it in January, I'll be a little fresher and can look at it a little more subjectively. Still though, easier than pulling words out of the air! BOOK 3??? I keep having these bits and tendrils of an idea for my next book.
My mom was sick, life felt unsteady, and everything was chaotic--no wonder writing was really hard. I made myself stick with it long enough to give it some sort of an ending, but it was super rushed and didn't do justice to the characters I really loved and still think about. We'll see. Can't do any significant thinking about it until at least next summer. In her adventurous, no-fear way, she somehow pulled a table on top of herself a few days ago, fracturing her nose and giving herself a concussion. I won't go into details, but it was terrifying and terrible.
She is so brave though and so tough. She feels fine physically, says nothing hurts, but her face is quite a sight. I'll keep her home for at least a few days until the swelling goes down and the bruises aren't so And I'm sure the ENT will tell us when she can get back to normal. She's chomping at the bit to ride on her scooter and her bike, play on the swingset, etc, and it's hard to tell her no. On the other hand, I want to wrap her in bubblewrap and walk right next to her with my hands around her head, making sure nothing comes close to bumping her face. Coming up, we have birthdays, a trip to Gatlinburg with family, and those deadlines I mentioned.
At home, I get way too distracted with laundry, dishes, etc. I'm also walking as much as I can these days--walking to and from Sela's school, walking in the morning on my own, etc. I've been missing my regular YCross class at the gym, so I'm trying to fit in as much activity as i can, which is hard when I spent a lot of time with my rear in a chair and a computer in front of me.
Natalie and John, don't give up on me--I'll be back after Thanksgiving! It's very good. It's nonfiction, which I don't read a lot of, but this book pulled me in from page one of his author's note at the beginning, and that was before hearing him speak at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville a few weeks ago. I just saw that the book is 3 or 4 on the NYT Bestsellers List and I felt so happy for him and proud of him, which is strange since I don't know him at all. He was just so down-to-earth and humbled and shocked by the attention his book has been getting.
It's a really good, important book. I think I'm giving up on a YA book I was trying to get into. Sometimes I crave a good angsty YA book, with all the romantic feelings, the "I love him but can't have him" drama, and whatever life disaster that's throwing these kids into a tailspin. This one is called Delirium, by Lauren Oliver. I've heard her speak a couple of times in Nashville and she's so cool and interesting and smart.
I really wanted to like this book, but I'm just not getting into it. I realize though that it's likely me and not the book. I bought it at a library book sale and thought it sounded cute despite the title so southern, it might as well be dripping honey and sweet tea.
I'm only a few pages in, but I like her humor. I'll see where it goes. Bernadette is one of my favorites and I've only read good things about this new one. The woman can write a funny book. I'll be back soon with my next Bookish People interview and hopefully a report that I made my two November deadlines! But I returned it to my editor Karli about a week ago! Her letter was lovely, truly. It was four pages of comments, kind praise, suggestions, and questions.
I was incredibly relieved because I've heard of huge editorial letters with pages of changes to be made, including big things like plot points, characters, whole POVs, etc. In contrast, Karli's edits were light. As I read her letter, I kept nodding, thinking, "Well, of course, this is a great suggestion. Why didn't I think of this?!
I'm SO excited about getting this story out into the world! Next, Karli will read through the manuscript with my changes, then hand it off to the line editor. If Karli has more suggestions for me, she'll lump them in with the line edits, and I'll get those all back somewhere around the end of August, I think.
I'm excited about being able to use it, and the logo my name along with it. The thought of self-promotion feels weird and foreign to me, but I know it's part of the job. And Sara Beth has provided me a really classy way to do it ;. So, by that word count, you'd think I'm pretty close to being finished. And I am pretty close to being finished But that last third has been royally kicking my butt.
I am really liking the rest of the story, but that one character's POV has been beating me in the head these last few months. Thankfully, I'm back with my wonderful writing workshop group and they are helping me untangle the knots in my head and sort this character out. And I think it's working. My goal is to finish the book by the end of the year.
Buy for others
Then I'll have basically 3 months for more revisions. But because of this awesome group of writers I hang out with on Tuesday nights, when I get to the end of the book before Christmas, please Lord , it won't be a huge mess--it'll actually be in pretty decent shape. Other things going on: School starts, unbelievably, in two weeks.
I'm excited about first grade for Kate and 4K for Sela. I think this time next year will find me a little teary, with my baby going on to kindergarten. Time marches on and that's a good thing, but it doesn't mean I don't want to hold onto the reins a little tighter. I'm split on how I feel about school starting back up. On one hand, I'm ready to have some of my time back--time to myself after having the kids with me basically all day, every day, and time to write for longer stretches of time.
But I'm also really not looking forward to the early morning time crunch: "Hurry, hurry, hurry! Eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, where's your bag" etc etc. And just the chaos of the school year. Summer is a nice break from all that. But there's something to be said for routine and structure--for all of us. Yesterday, I cleaned the downstairs of my house for two hours. Not too farfetched a story until you consider we'd just gotten back in town twelve hours before.
We were gone for two weeks. How, pray tell, does a house specifically the floor get so dirty when no one is home?? This is what I was asking myself as I swept, vacuumed, mopped, and straightened each room. Then I remembered that in the three weeks leading up to our two-week vacation, we had three other trips out of town PLUS me trying to squeeze in as much writing read: hand-wringing and panicking on book 2 as I could before the editor's letter came back for The Hideaway.
So suffice it to say, not much housework had happened in about a month, save for quick sweeps with the broom and some surface cleaning when necessary. Fast forward to yesterday morning when I was doing all this cleaning. Kate and Sela were playing together happily, thank the Lord, and I had unhurried time for the first time in what seemed like forever. We didn't have anywhere we had to be, nothing to pack for, no trip to plan. It finally felt like summer. Even as I write that, it sounds sort of silly--after all, since school let out, we've spent a decent chunk of time at the beach, which is the epitome of summer for me at least.
But trips out of town also can be hard--everyone off regular schedules, kids' bedtimes all screwy, early morning writing time interrupted by early wake-ups, etc. It's always nice to getaway, but sometimes it's nice to come home too. I'm glad that after trips galore, we've finally reached that part of summer where we can rest. Or maybe it's just me who's finally resting. I usually have a hard time resting when things are messy. For example, I'll spend 45 minutes of the kids' quiet time straightening up and getting my "nest" all set up, only to find ten minutes later, it's and the kids pour out of their rooms ready to rock and roll.
To show you my progress, right now, this is what my living room looks like:. That's the leftovers from a morning campsite, complete with about 45 stuffed animals and dolls and every blanket in the house. And a tent. There's a tea set somewhere in there too. Instead of cleaning it up before I sat down for a few minutes of my own quiet time, I just stepped over it, poured myself a drink no, not that kind , and put my feet up.
Play Tents Barbie Classic Hideaway Play Tent Playhut
I have about 20 minutes before we're up and moving again, but I'm determined to take these minutes for myself. Remind me of this in the probably near future when I'm hurtling through my house trying to make it all neat and organized and wasting precious sit-down time. I need a lot of reminders.
The first month of summer I felt like I had my hair blowing back all the time by activity. These last 5 weeks really?! I'm a multi-tasker at heart reading while cooking, checking Facebook while watching TV, thinking about plot holes while washing my hair but I just recently heard a great quote: "There's a temptation to multitask everything but you can't multi-task presence. After quiet time, we have a bag of flower seeds to plant and pink hydrangeas to cut and bring inside. Then maybe popsicles. I think that's a good start. As I've said above in my "About" section 9 to be specific , I am generally a bad scrambled egg maker.
As my husband likes to say, I tend to leave about whole egg stuck to the bottom of the skillet, and when I'm only cooking two eggs, that's a problem. Enter The Green Pan. It's my new very good friend in the kitchen. Oh wait, you don't see anything? That's because there's nothing there. The eggs slid out and the pan was clean as a whistle. I've also cooked meat and veggies in it and it works just as beautifully and cleans up super-easy. They come in a couple of sizes and you can find them at Target.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you've never heard Josh Ritter 's music, look him up and listen. If you've heard him but have never seen him live, he's on tour across the south and other places right now and into the fall and I promise it will be worth it. On second thought, maybe just skip the live shows. Saturn was packed with happy people because Josh is such a happy guy on stage. Seriously, my cheeks hurt at the end of the night.
And he ended with Kathleen , which was perfect. Update on The Hideaway: We're getting really close to a cover! I'm so excited because the one we me, my editor, my agent, and others on the publisher's marketing team are all leaning towards is soooo pretty. It would make me pull the book off the shelf just by cover alone. That's what I was hoping for.
- Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) Travel Guide - Sightseeing, Hotel, Restaurant & Shopping Highlights (Illustrated).
- See a Problem?;
- Hideaway (Nightforce Security, #1) by Keira Beck.
I wish I could show it to you now, but stay tuned We're getting close to my new author website too! The talented Sara Beth Cobb of Nimblee is designing it. Everything she creates is beautiful, so I'm so excited to see what she comes up with. Again, stay tuned I got really close to the end, then stopped because I have to go back and rework one of the three points of view. I start back on my fiction workshop in July, so hopefully by then I'll be almost finished.
I say that, but with Sela already out of school and only four more days of school left for Kate, it'll take a lot of creativity and good time-management skills on my part! Having grown up in Mountain Brook, Katherine Clark writes very honestly about both the good and the bad associated with the beautiful, secluded suburb of Birmingham. In the book, the school is called Brook-Haven and the teacher is Norman Laney.
At first, I was unsure I'd be able to really get into it or connect with this character but I was pulled in immediately. Everyone should be so lucky to have had a teacher like this in your corner trying to push you to be your best, fullest self through education and "civilization," as he calls it. I've been hearing about The Nightingale for months and it's finally time to get my hands on a copy. The Kind Worth Killing isn't a book I'd typically pick up, but after my friend Anna mentioned how good it was, I've been hearing about it all over the place.
I've heard the ending comes out of now where and is a big surprise. I'm going to give it a try. Have you read any of these or anything else good you'd like to share? I love recommendations! Unfortunately, it'll still be a couple of months before I get the editor's letter back, but at least it's out of my hands. I'm very curious to see what Karli my editor has to say about it when she finishes reading it.
I re-read it a week or so ago just to double-check everything and make sure I hadn't left any misspelled words or punctuation errors. I was happy to find I still love the story! Only a year to wait for it. In Book 2 news: I almost abandoned it. And frankly, that option isn't totally off the table.
I probably won't, but it was close there for a few days. See, I got to the dreaded middle. It's the same thing that happened with the previous book I wrote the one I thought was going to be my book 2, but I got to the middle and completely freaked out and lost the thread. Maybe I'll come back to it one day. I probably hit the rough middle in The Hideaway, but I just don't remember.
Honestly, I look at The Hideaway through rose-tinted glasses. In my head, the process was smooth as lake water without any middle-of-the-night panic attacks over how much I still had left to do. Anyway, about middles, Dani Shapiro says: "Middles are where you have to tough things out. Ideas fall apart. All that promise vanishes when facing the cold, harsh light of making something out of it. Just as in life. I will try not to abandon this story for another something else shinier, easier, lighter.
Because this is the story I'm telling now. It's possible I just found my way into the a difficult character in my story--a character I'm having a hard time figuring out. If I go down this new path, it'll probably mean trashing several thousand words, but it may be worth it. I won't know unless I try it. Y'all, writing a book is HARD. What was I thinking, getting myself into this? I'm kidding. I read yesterday that success when writing books, at least is writing the book you meant to write.
I truly believe I did that with The Hideaway--it is just what I wanted it to be when I first started writing. Now, to do it again with another book? Although, many of these stories are closer to 1, words. I write flash fiction stories in various genres and combinations of genres, such as suspense, crime, humor, horror, fantasy, and adventure.
- No Running, No Petting - A collection of five erotic stories.
- P & Q!
- Getting With Gods Program Expatriates in International Ministry: A Critical Appraisal from a Missionary Kid/Mission Director;
Also, check out my longer short stories. Download your FREE copy of my 86,word short story ebook All of my short stories through the year Robert Burton Robinson Fiction Writer. Blackmail by Voicemail. Is Halloween all about the candy? Yvonne Anderson writes First Love. Minda's marriage is over. The finality hits her and she decides to write herself a new life beginning with a tiny house in the woods. Will she be able to find answers by going back to her hometown? Dash of Pepper by Kimberli S. McKay tells the tale of Nina Pepper. A young woman wanting to escape her hometown.
When the man she wants to marry leaves her without a backwards glance, Nina must accept this. But her growing attraction for a certain police man has her wondering if she really wants to leave. Rafe is a big time magazine reporter who feels that writing about the tiny house craze is beneath his abilities.
However, when he finds out who the story involves, his interest is piqued. Will a certain red head be able to change his mind? But the walls seem too invisible and the area too remote when yellow marbles begin to appear out of nowhere. In a fight for her life, Julia finds her sanctuary has been violated. With each of these stories involving tiny houses, the reader really comes to see that peace and quiet can be found in small places. I really enjoyed the collection and look forward to reading more books by these authors. I do believe some follow up stories may be needed.
The stories were diverse and it was interesting to see how each author used a tiny house in unique ways. This a great collection. I highly recommend this book. Chapel Springs Series.
Stand Alone Books. High Cotton Series.