The Revision Process in Gifs

Revision is a long, unwieldy process full of insecurities, small setbacks, and large improvements. It is, to be frank, the emotional equivalent of the tilt-a-whirl. In the micro sense, the process is different for every book because you always manage to screw up in new, colorful ways.


In the macro sense, however, there's a fairly predictable path that can be summed up pretty well in gifs. Like so...

Step One: Sending the book to beta readers:

Step Two: Waiting patiently:

Step Three: More waiting, because your beta readers have lives or something apparently, and didn't drop everything to read your book. Alternatively, it's because the book is a garbage fire:

Step Four: More waiting because now they're just fucking with you. 

Step Five: Finally going through the beta readers' comments:

Step Six: Thinking about your beta readers' comments:

Step Seven: Deciding your beta readers are picking on you and you're going to ignore them forever because they're jerk-faces:

Step Eight: When time and perspective make you realize you are not only wrong...

...but an asshole.


Step Nine: Looking at the Garbage Fire that is your book with an honest eye:

Step Ten: Looking through the millions of possibilities and suggestions for the clues to success:

Step Eleven: You want to be an deep sea diver. You want to be a kindergarten teacher. You want to jettison this manuscript into space, because...wait. WAIT. What if...what if you move that to there, and do that there, and then he does that with him...BREAKTHROUGH.

Step Twelve: Oh, yeah. You got this. You got this so hard:

Step Thirteen: Channeling earnest Robin Williams:

Step Fourteen: Re-reading the new, revised, brilliant ART that your beta readers selflessly helped you create, despite your self-indulgent, narcissistic tendencies:

Step Fifteen: Sending the new draft to your editor:

Don't worry. Eventually you'll get back to Walter White levels of confidence again. Just in time for the release date.

My Search History is Going to Get Me Arrested

A romantic suspense author's internet search history is a terrifying thing. Because we're constantly doing research so we can write from the perspectives of all sorts of heroes and villains, if something exists under the sun, chances are we've googled it, whether it's sexual, violent, or just plain weird. And we can yell to the heavens about the fictional purposes of the thing, but that's not going to keep anyone who takes a peek at our laptops from thinking that we're either a) psychotic, b) pervy, c) criminals planning a major crime, or d) all of the above.

The nature of my research habits can be summed up with a simple look at my browser's (Chrome, in case you care) search suggestions.

For example, the other day I needed to know whether all Canadian police were Mounties or if Mounties were a special group of law enforcement officers within the larger framework, and this is what happened.

I started by typing "Can," planning to type in "Canada and Mounties." Simple, right? 

But before I got any further than "Can," Google took a look at my previous searches, made some guesses about the kind of person I am, and offered the following:

"Can I shoot someone who enters my home even if they're unarmed?"

And, "Can I get avoid getting extradited?"

And, "Can I get STIs from unprotected sex with a prostitute?"

And, "Can you score a goal and still have a 0 +/-?"

Okay, that last one is legitimate; it's about hockey stats. Everything else is the product of previous work-related searches. I swear.

For the record, the answers are as follows: #1 --yes, if you live in Colorado, as long as the person is using some form of force against you, although 'force' is vaguely defined, #2--it depends on where you go and what you did, but I wouldn't recommend you get legal advice from anyone but a lawyer regardless of your location or activities, and #3 is yes, you can potentially get an STI from any unprotected sex you engage in, no matter who your partner is. I hope you already knew the answer to #3, but I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't, because sex education in this country is a joke. If you want to do your own research, Teen Vogue is an excellent resource for healthy, sex-positive info and education about messed up crap like "stealthing."

Oh, and on a less-creepy note, the answer to the hockey question is yes. +/- provides (flawed) insight into who's scoring while you're on the ice. If you score a goal (yay!) they give you a point, but if you're on the ice when the bad guys score (boo!), they take a point away. So yes, it is possible for goals to cancel each other out, giving you a big, fat donut hole for your troubles. I actually already knew the answer to that one, because I'm a hockey nerd who reads about this shit for fun, but anytime Google wants to help me out with WAR analytics, sign me up. That stuff's confusing.

But I have really digressed. The point is that I've clearly been lumped into a very select group of searchers, and I'm not sure it's one that'll be good for my reputation if I don't make it clear somewhere that these searches are for fictional purposes. I do not plan to shoot anyone or commit a crime and run away to another country or have unprotected sex with a prostitute. Or any kind of sex with a prostitute, as I'm married to someone who is not a prostitute. So far as I know, anyway.

It's fiction! Hello, FBI? It's FICTION.

Night Owl Reviews Summer Fun Event!

I'm a sponsor for the Night Owl Reviews Summer Fun scavenger hunt this year! Woo!

But what does that mean for you?

Prizes. Lots of prizes in the form of Amazon gift cards. It also means a fun game where you investigate the site to find not only the pieces you need to win, but to learn about great books that've come out recently. 

Need something new to read? Need to beat other readers into the ground because you're that competitive? Need a new blender and a gift card is the only way it's gonna happen? 

Join one of us...

Congration! You Done It!

This is going to be a packed month.

For one thing, we're moving at the end of June. We'll be heading back to Colorado, where my husband and I were both raised. This is both good news and bad--good because our families are there, and they mostly like us, and bad because moving sucks, especially when you're crossing a third of the country. Driving one of those big trucks while towing a car is basically my worst driving nightmare (I'm a nervous driver--too many accidents because of other peoples' mistakes. Teenage boys fiddling with the radio, I'm glaring at you.). 

Moving means packing, of course. And cleaning. Which is the sort of thing that can definitely be done in a month, except for the fact that both my husband and I are sort of career-having at the moment, and our careers sometimes take up a lot of time.

My husband is in the final stages of getting his Ph.D, which means he's running around half-panicked trying to finish his dissertation and preparing for graduation and setting up his defense. There's booze in the evenings these days, but because he's a lightweight, his commitment to abusing alcohol is shaky at best, so that typically means two or three hard cider bottles to recycle in the morning and a few tipsily-sent pictures of fuzzy baby animals to wade through in my email because he knows I like those.

Finally, according to my schedule, I need to have my first draft done by June 30th or risk missing my deadline, and right now, that's looking easier said than done. It takes time to put together a comprehensible draft, even a first one, and my betas deserve more than a bunch of pages of nonsense interspersed with lines of text that say "INSERT FIGHT SCENE HERE. IT'S GONNA BE SUPER DRAMATIC. YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT. ONCE I'VE WRITTEN IT. WHICH I HAVEN'T YET. OBVIOUSLY. THANKS, BYEEEE."

I'm also supposed to be doing promotion for Loose Cannon, and blogging and tweeting and, well, none of that stuff comes particularly naturally to me, so it's all sort of a stressful mess at the moment. I love talking to readers, truly,  but I'm always worried that I'm going to say something that reveals how deeply un-cool I am, and that's, well, a bit nerve-wracking unless I've had a lot of caffeine.

Plus the Stanley Cup Final isn't over yet, and let's be honest, short of homelessness, nothing's getting me to turn that TV off early. 

I feel like I'm complaining. That wasn't my intention. I was aiming for more of a whiny vibe, you know? Hmm. Note to self: practice whining.

So to some it up, let me just say that I am busy as a bee, and I would welcome any volunteers who are willing to 1) do my job for me, 2) pack up my house and 3) shepherd me across state lines in some measure of luxury. Any takers? No?

Sigh. Being an author is hard. (A-HA! Nailed that whine perfectly!).

This is the cake equivalent of what my draft will look like if I don't budget my time well.

This is the cake equivalent of what my draft will look like if I don't budget my time well.