My Writing Journey

My Writing Journey

If anyone is interested more about me (like, way more than you care to know) or just need a little motivation to keep you writing, here’s a summary of my writing journey. (Forgive me if I got a little “preachy” in the piece.)

Thank you E. Paige Burks (and Infinity Flower Publishing) for hosting me on your blog. I really enjoyed writing this piece.

Here’s a little snippet:

My Writing Journey – Perseverance – Joynell Schultz

The quote, “You are your own worst enemy,” sums up my writing journey and affects many artists. Heck, I think everyone struggles with this to one point or another.

As far back as I remember, I loved writing. My favorite part was looking at the finished product and saying, “Hey, I created that OUT OF NOTHING!” Each story always brought me some emotional satisfaction. The characters, their struggle, or just the way the plot was crafted. Not that I’m brilliant…far from it.

I think nearly anyone can write. It’s just a matter of how much work you’re willing to put into the story. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago I had this revelation.

… Read the whole article here: My Writing Journey – Perseverance …

Have a fantastic rest of your day!

–Joy

 

Cover Reveals or Cover Input?

I’m partaking in a HUGE event right now for writers and lovers of stories of suspense called Mystery Thriller Week. (Check out the giant calendar of events HERE.) Somewhere during the preparation for this event, I was asked by author Bryce Gibson if I would host a cover reveal on my blog.

Cover reveal? What’s the purpose of that?

Frantically, I went to my favorite reference (google, of course) and did a little preliminary research before I explained to Bryce that my blog is more about the writing journey…then thought that a post on what cover reveals are would be an interesting topic.

So here we are. As followers of my blog know, I’ve never done a “cover reveal” with my own novels. I always ask for input on my covers. Here were some of the graphics I’ve created in the past when I was seeking input from various social media channels:

which-cover-do-you-like-better_-1 which-catches-your-eye-first_-1

I know this way of feedback isn’t perfect, but it’s better than me picking which one I like best. (BTW-I have terrible taste.)

So…on to the point of this blog post.

What is a cover reveal? A cover reveal is a planned day, before the release of your novel, for you to give the world the first glimpse of your story.

What are the benefits of a cover reveal? As I’m learning, much of the marketing of a novel is done BEFORE release day. A cover reveal is another outlet to start pre-publishing advertising. To begin to get readers excited for your book. If you’ve read anything about marketing and advertising, a potential customer needs to see something many times before they decide to make a purchase. (Some say 7 times, other say the magic number is 20. Wow.) A cover reveal is another way to get branding and image in front of the reader.

So…on to the cover reveal I have for you today.

Drumroll…

the-reading-buddy-cover

I don’t know about you, but this definitely makes me want to read the blurb. The Reading Buddy will be up for pre-order on Amazon in April. You can watch for it on Bryce’s Amazon Author Page or by following him on any of these social media channels.

 

 

 

About author-photothe Author: Bryce Gibson writes Southern fiction that takes readers to charming and oftentimes sinister areas of the The South. He has a degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina, works full time as a farmer, and lives in South Carolina with his wife and their dog.

Bryce is the author of the Young Adult thriller, Perennials, and the Southern mystery, Unclaimed Acre. His next book, The Reading Buddy will be available in 2017.

 

 

And finally, to answer my question in the title of this blog post: Cover Reveal or Cover Input?

Well, I think it depends on your platform. For me, I’m sharing each step of my journey, which includes me wanting to share the actual design and selection of my cover. (And the multiple failed attempts in between.) If I didn’t blog…and had a professional design team, I’d probably go with the cover reveal.

What are your thoughts?

Is Your Book Done Yet? (Part 3)

Maybe the question should be, “Is this blog series done yet? Ha Ha! No. Not yet. There’s so much information I want to share. Check out PART 1 or PART 2 of this series if you’re just joining now.

The question I’ve been asking all week, “How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?” My official answer to that question is this:

I wrote Love, Lies, & Clones in 8 or 9 months, but I was also working on two other novels in that time that will come out in 2017 (“Blood & Holy Water” and “Superhero Wives”). I get tired of one project and need something else to take my mind off of it, so I can come back with a fresh eye.

But how long should it take me? What if I want to keep my “fans” happy? 

I’ve been overhearing that the best way to have people notice your novels is to write another…and another. Keep giving them new material to read. In this article HERE, it says many authors publish four books a year. Wow…but ouch!

I ask, what QUALITY were those books? I’m sure many authors are completely capable of producing four fantastic, well-written novels per year, but I am not. And that’s okay.

I say it’s a balancing act. Keep getting fresh material out in the world, however long it takes you, so that you don’t sacrifice quality. A fan will be happier waiting for a well written novel than reading the next hacked-together installment quickly. But that’s just my opinion–one I need to keep telling myself as I (slowly) plug away finishing my works-in-progress.

Now, if you’re looking to have writing be the method in which you earn your living, then four novels a year is probably a necessity. I imagine, the more you write, the easier they get.

Okay, here’s the fun part. Some authors speak out on how long it took to write their novel(s).

Today’s Spotlight: ROMANCE / WOMEN’S FICTION / ANTHOLOGIES Authors

Note: You can CLICK any book cover below to learn more. You may find your next novel to read!

QUESTION: How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

Beneath

 

 Kyla Stone: I’ve had the idea bouncing around in my head for over a decade. From outlining/plotting, through the rough draft, revisions, final, editing, etc. took six months.

 

 

amnesiaRunaway Marissa Marchan: With this novel, My Runaway Bride, it took me a little over three months. But it actually took longer to edit the book than it did to write it. Even after I got it back from the editor, I still went through a round of self-edits until I finally satisfied. All in all, it took me eight months before I entered it to Kindle Scout.

Mask

 Laura Greenwood: My most recent published is What Lies Beneath the Mask, which I started in late January and published on the 1st December. It took me about 2 1/2 months to write the first draft, around my day job and other commitments. However, the last novel I wrote, Siren’s Storm, took just under a month (I had a slow start to NaNo!) So that’s pretty much the benchmark now!

Lil

 

 

 Ruth White: The time actually spent writing was about six months. Planning it in my head and researching took a few years.

home whit 

L. Virally: It took me several years, and I don’t even know the exact count. I had to stop and start many times due to some difficult life events.

 

 

Ideal Girl

 Unhappyhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G2NVJJY/ Paris 

Jenny O’Brien: Englishwoman in Paris, which was released three weeks ago took four months from the germ of the idea to publication. 

What are your thoughts on multi-part blog series, like this one, and spotlighting Q&A with indie authors?

 

Other Spectacular Novels to Check Out!

Winter Christmas Merely Players Blackwelder Whyte Love From Mars flowers

Is Your Book Done Yet? (Part 2)

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that question… well, I’d have made more money that I’ve done self-publishing so far (Ha. Ha. But that’s a topic for another blog post). But, seriously, how long does it really take to write a book? Check out PART 1 or PART 3 of the three part series.

Comments from Part 1 of this blog post series asked about writing vs. editing time. As a new writer, I had no idea how long it took to polish a novel once it was written. What was really eye-opening to me is how quickly I can put words down on a page and call it a novel. The real magic happens with rewriting and edits. One of my favorite authors, Michael Crichton has said, “Books are not written–they’re rewritten.”

Here’s the real timeline breakdown of Love, Lies & Clones.

  • February/March–Wrote “Draft Zero” which was a 50,000 word ROUGH, ROUGH draft of the novel.
  • April–Camp NaNoWriMo Project–First round of edits/revisions to try to have it grow from 50K to 80K.
  • May/June–Two rounds of beta readers and edits.
  • July–Put this novel away. Wrote Blood & Holy Water for Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • August/September–Another round of beta readers.
  • October–Editor/Prep for Kindle Scout
  • November–Kindle Scout Campaign. I read through the novel one more time, and still caught issues! (And I attempted to win NaNoWriMo with another novel.)
  • December–Published! Horary!

How about other self-published authors? 

Today’s Spotlight: Mystery / Thriller / Crime Authors

Note: You can CLICK any book cover below to learn more. You may find your next novel to read!

QUESTION: How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

The Olympus KillerThe Church MurdersDeath of a BrideLuke Christodoulou: I give myself a year for each book. I finish earlier than that though, giving plenty of time for the book to go to my editor and for my proofreaders to provide feedback.

A Jar of Thursday

The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes A House of MirrorsLiz Hedgecock: I write the first draft quite quickly, but I’m pretty thorough in the edit. I wrote the draft of A House Of Mirrors in 6 weeks, then put it away for 6 months, and took a month to edit it.

The SplitWarriors

Carey Lewis: It takes me about a month, and that includes research and two rounds of edits on the manuscript. Then I’ll put it away for a couple of weeks and give it another couple of edits with fresh eyes.

The Adoption

Greg Merritt: About 8 months.

How much of your time is devoted to writing opposed to editing/rewriting?

Please post in the comments.

Is Your Book Done Yet? (Part 1)

Over the past nine months, everyone kept asking me, “So… is your book done yet?” Ugh! Really? How long is it supposed to take to write a novel? I thought I was moving along quite quickly.

How long should it take to write a novel?

I did what I always do when I want factual information. I googled it. (Ha. Ha.) Do you know what I found? Famous novels took a variety of time. From 2.5 days (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) to 16 years (Lord of the Rings Trilogy). Click here for a nice infographic on famous authors / books.

But those are super FAMOUS people. What about everyone else? Those authors without huge publishing contracts. Those who perhaps balance a day job as well as writing.

Well, I met a whole crew of awesome authors during my Kindle Scout campaign. I thought I would throw that question their way.

I’m going to spotlight some of their answers in a three part blog series this week. (Read PART 2 or PART 3) I hope you enjoy the feedback and meeting some new writers–people who have been super supportive of me and my writing adventures.

Today: Speculative Fiction Authors (Fantasy / Science Fiction / Horror)

Note: You can CLICK any book cover below to learn more.

QUESTION: How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

Simulation

 

M. Black: Simulation is my most recently finished book. I just finished Quantum State, but it hasn’t been edited and reedited, and beta-read yet. It took about 3 months as most of my books take.

 

Beyond the Forest

Kay Ling: I spent at least two years rewriting and polishing Beyond the Forest, a novel I wrote and then abandoned in the 1980s due to my time-consuming career. So, I suppose I could say it took me three decades to write it!

Different

 

Bill Hiatt: Full-length novels typically take three to six months, depending on their length and complexity, as well as upon how many other demands on my time there are while I’m writing.

Dreams

 

Steve Vernon: Too long. Way too freaking long.


Sam

 

J.P. Cawood: I wrote my first two books in a year and a half. Six months of that were full-time and the rest was while juggling a job.

Othello

 

 

Aaron Frale: It takes about six months to a year depending on my life outside of writing.

 

Have you written a novel? How long did it take you?

Please post in the comments.

 

(Other stellar novels to check out in these genres)

 Graveyard Raven Newcomer Tres  Generation    Awakening Christmas. Snpw    Daly Past. Darkness