Saturday, July 24, 2010

On "not" Writing

At some point this summer--after I finished the spring semester and before I began teaching the summer class--I stopped working on my current novel.  I guess "delayed" is a better term.  I always feel guilty and grumpy (the "two G's," as in Mom has "the two G's") when I don't/can't carve the time to write a few pages.

I've consoled myself by considering other kinds of writing (blogging, commenting, letter-writing, check-writing, password-typing, etc) as useful and necessary.  But I do need to learn to balance my novel-writing time not only with family time, but also with non-novel writing time.

This whole marketing pre-publication business made me very uncomfortable this past week.  "What?! Ask my friends and family to actually buy my novel? Egads."  (It's what several marketing books and author sites say is non-negotiable.  It makes me feel "eek.")

But I've crafted a note, with as much humor as possible, to my F&F (friends and family).  Half the letters are sent.  I have to get over feeling weird about it, I guess, and hope no one thinks our friendship is based on their expressing any interest in my work. Just wanted to document this tottering step in the publishing process. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

"What Form Rejection Means to Me"

The Rejectionist wants to hear what we writers think of Form Rejection letters...

What Form Rejection means to me,
This is my theme for English B.

I used to keep form rejections in a binder.
Three-hole-punched them
As a reminder
That someday I'd get published
and use "Dear Author,
Thank you for your recent submission,
but" for toilet seat covers.

I did get published, and now
I don't have the heart
to soil them. They remind me
that rejection (after rejection)
can be followed by something
and sweet.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Debut Novel, Debut Contest!

Surprise, Readers!

We’re going to start the countdown to publication with a good, old-fashioned contest. Who can resist a contest with free prizes? You’ve never won a contest you say? Well you’re in luck, because there will be several winners, and it could be your lucky day!

The prize: Any current New York Times Bestseller novel (a book of your choice!) and I’ll refund you the price of my debut book, Song of the Orange Moons. Pretty sweet deal, huh?

It’s as easy at pudding pie. All you need to do is pre-order my debut book (you knew there was a catch, didn’t you?), become my Follower of my blog (you can create a comment to this post, too!), and email your confirmation receipt to loriannstephens[at]gmail[dot]com, and you’ll be entered into the giveaway. That’s it!

1. Pre-order my book (or two or three, for your best friends) from Amazon, Borders, or Barnes&Noble
2. Follow me by clicking on “Follow” on the left
3. Email your receipt to me so I know where your order originated.

Then start browsing the bestseller list, because you know you’re going to win. You’re just lucky that way.

Please feel free to share this post with your friends, family, and colleagues. The more the merrier (and the more prizes I’ll send out!) And I promise to exercise fair drawing practices.

The contest ends in two weeks, on August 4th. That's when I'll email the winners and ask you for your specialized NYT book order. Good Luck, book lovers!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New digs

Hi Folks.
Forgive the new digs. No more vivid blues, greens, and dandelions.  I'm keeping it simple because things are going to get fast and furious now. I hope you like the new format; it's a trial run, so please let me know if links don't work yet.

I've spent the last few days doing behind the scenes work on Song.  Today, I have some exciting news.
I have an outside publicist!  I did some research on other writers' blogs and decided that I "think I sort of desperately needed her maybe."  Her name is Crystal Patriarche, and she'll be helping me navigate the new and expanded world of readers. Hiring an outside publicist is up to the novelist, not your publisher in my case, and there is some valuable discussion in the blogosphere on "to hire, or not to hire." See Allison Winn Scotch's blog for more info.

The ARCs are still in the process of being printed, and I'm so antsy, I'm dancing like a little toddler who's got to go.  When I see those darlings in a big brown box on my front porch, I'll declare Christmas early.

In the meantime, stayed tuned for some exciting contests and prizes (yes, goodies!) for writers and readers who pre-order Song of the Orange Moons! Save those confirmation emails....

Thanks for keeping up with this long journey toward publishing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

When procrastination gets ridiculous...

You know it's ridiculous when you find yourself reading the illustrated complete Book of Genesis by R. Crumb instead of writing.  I've been putting off writing a particularly difficult scene in my current project.  I like the word "project" because it makes the chapter sound as difficult as it has been to write it.  Some days, the words just come tripping off my fingers, and I'm all champagne-blooded. Other days (or weeks), I open the Word document, and wait for inspiration, or just one good word (like "project"!). These are the days I have to log back in nine or ten times because I've let so much time pass before writing a single word.

So, my computer and I have been on non-speaking terms for whole days at a time.  It's on these evenings that I'd rather curl up with a Paris Review, for instance, than spend my time hitting the delete button on that chapter that really does need to be written. Last week, I read an interesting interview with Crumb in the Paris Review, and my partner, extraordinary as he is, had already ordered Crumb's newest book, The Book of Genesis, so I could truly appreciate the interview. For the past five nights, I've been pouring over Crumb's illustrations and that ancient text instead of writing that delicate and upsetting love scene/fight that really needs to happen in Chapter 10. 

On the other hand, Crumb's book has been a pleasant diversion. My suppressed desires to relocate to the French countryside (where Crumb now lives, somewhere in the south of France) for the summers have been renewed .  I just need to win a Pulitzer, my French partner reminds me.  Oh yeah, that Pulitzer requirement again.

In the meantime, I'm listening to Fleetfoxes.  "Lay Me Down" is a good one to start with.  Each chapter has an artist that plays on an endless loop until the chapter is finished.  The last chapter was music from The Hours (Phil Glass).  The first chapter was the soundtrack to Amelie.  My current chapter is definitely Fleetfoxes. I'm open to suggestions for other good background music for writing.  After all, once Chapter 10 is written, I've got Chapter 11 and 12 and the rest.  Anyone?