I spent May working diligently to finish the first draft of my next book–and I did it! I’m not a fast writer, even at the drafting phase. I find when I write fast, I write trash. And since I’m what some call a “pantser”–i.e., I write by the seat of my pants instead of plotting or outlining in advance–I have to go slowly so my story and characters have time to evolve. Sadly, writing the draft slowly doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Even though I do polish a bit as I go, I often find I have to throw out lots of precious words on revision because they don’t serve the story. And I’m not 100 % certain of what the story is until I finish it. So I will be spending June making the book as good as I can before I send it off to my editor.
This is the first book in a new series. I’m keeping the whole thing a bit close to my vest until I see what my editor says about it. The current plan is to have the book–and a novella–out next year. The novella–which I haven’t written yet!–will come first, so I suspect that may mean further revisions to the book. I will post more as events unfold.
In the middle of May, I took a break from writing to attend the RT Booklovers Convention (RT for short). I’ve been going every year for a while. I enjoy it. I like seeing other writers and meeting readers and other book lovers. But I do it on my own terms, which means I skip most of the parties. I know–I’m boring.
This year RT was in New Orleans, as you may have guessed from the picture above. I’ve been to Baton Rouge and Many, but never New Orleans, so I and Mr. M, who also had never been to NOLA, went a few days early to sightsee. A local NOLA reader, Judy, sent me suggestions of places to visit after I sort of freaked out about Bourbon Street, lol! And then I was busy with conference stuff, and Mr. M was on his own. He fled the hotel as often as he could. With all the conventioneers–mostly women–the decibel level in the lobby bar was rather astonishing.
One of the events Kensington, my publisher, participated in was a Mardi Gras-like parade. I was brave–or foolish–enough to wear one of the available costumes. I’ll admit it smelled a little funky. Those are two men standing with me in the picture. (Now I know what the Kensington publicist meant when she said there’d be “walking heads.”) My writer pal Vanessa Kelly took this shot. If you want to see my pictures, I have them up on my Facebook page here, as well as some other photos. You don’t have to be on Facebook to see them–I checked that out by having Mr. M, the anti-social media guy, try the link. If you click on a picture, you’ll be able to read my commentary. And you can see I was trying out my selfie skills. Clearly I have to work on my technique!
I should be popping out for one public appearance in June–Saturday, June 14, from 2-4 pm, at the Takoma Park (DC) library for a talk with another writer pal, Emily Greenwood. I’ll be posting more information shortly, but if you’re in the Washington, D.C., area, you might want to pencil it onto your calendar.