Right off the bat, let me get this out there: I am not a mom. I have never had children. I have never given birth.
That said, Tuesday was release day for my new erotic contemporary, Take What You Want, and so many wonderful people were kind enough to wish me a “Happy Book Birthday” on the occasion. And it occurred to me as I was smiling at those much-appreciated good tidings, that, well, yeah. It was my book’s birth day.
And damn did I ever feel like I had just finished going through labor.
Since we talk plainly here at BGW, I thought it might be helpful to people just starting this journey to get a sense of what’s involved. Warnings: it will take longer than nine months. It will hurt. And no one will give you an epidural. Also, this is just my experience with this particular book. Depending on your luck and your publisher, your results may vary.
December 2011: Conception – Much like with real baby-making, this was the fun part. Rather than picking up a guy at a bar, I picked up a random writing prompt off some web site somewhere, which suggested writing a story about a “spring fling”. Sadly, I’d never had a spring fling, but the prompt got my wheels turning. A character popped into my head, followed swiftly by another. A conflict, a twist, an idea for a first sex scene. Eureka! And I was off and running.
January-March 2012: First trimester – Plot bunny and loose outline firmly in hand, I started writing, writing, writing. I was a little tired, a little nauseated from time to time when I looked at my rough draft, but basically I was doing okay. Writing is fun! Except when it’s work. But mostly it’s fun. And work. And fun. Fun work!
March 2012: First ultrasound – Sent this bad boy to my critique partners. Found out it had two eyes and nose, and was generally healthy, but there was room for improvement. Finished some important rewrites, did some polishing, formatted it up, and got it submission-ready.
April 2012-May 2012: Second trimester begins – Now, I’m skipping a couple of steps here because I’m already published, and I love my editor and my publisher to death, so I decided to go with them again. I put together a query letter and a synopsis (yes, even when you already have a relationship with a publisher, they often still want these things so they can get an idea of what the book is about before diving into the pages), and I sent it off. And then I waited. (Editors are busy, folks. Patience is key in this game.)
May-June 2012: First kick! – My editor loved the story. Huzzah! She sent me an offer, I signed a contract, and we got busy working on the official blurb for the book and putting in our request for cover art.
Sepember-October 2012: Third trimester begins – Edits. Edits edits edits. Multiple rounds of them, both with my editor and with a proofreader. Things start to get uncomfortable, but it’s okay, because look! It’s a Final Line Edit! And then a galley proof! And oh my God! This is really going to happen!
December 2012-March 2013: Final preparations / packing a go-bag – With an Advance Review Copy (ARC) and a firm release date in hand, I went about lining up promotional plans. This means asking book bloggers for reviews and contacting other authors and book bloggers to ask if they’d be willing to host me for a guest post. It’s sort of like cold-calling, with the one consolation that at least I know the people I’m contacting are vaguely interested in what I’m selling. Maybe a third of people say yes. It’s a little disheartening, but that’s okay. Things are in motion!
Early March 2013: The calm before the storm – Any minute now. Any minute now. This baby is due and it’s coming out whether I’m ready or not. The anticipation is killing me!
March 12, 2013: Book Birthday!!! – It finally happens. The book comes out. I tweet like mad, put finishing touches on guest posts, and then sit back and bite my nails, hoping to high heaven that everyone else thinks that damn thing is as adorable as I do. It’s a proud, proud, nerve-wracking moment.
And I wouldn’t give it up for all the world.
And now for some shameless promo:
She needs an escape…and he’s exactly what she had in mind.
College senior Ellen Price spends every spare minute studying to get into medical school. Until spring break yawns before her, as empty as her wallet.
With no money to hit the beach, she fills her empty to-do list with a plan: for just one week, she will become the kind of take-no-prisoners woman she secretly wishes to be, starting with the hot guy at the bar. It’s a no-risk situation: at the end of break, he’ll head back to his campus, and she’ll go back to hers. No muss, no fuss.
At first, Josh Markley isn’t sure what to think when the quiet, intense beauty from his pre-med classes approaches him for a night of casual sex. Even more mystifying, she doesn’t seem to return his recognition. But if she wants to play “strangers in a bar”, he’s game.
Their passionate night is a welcome respite from life’s stress, but afterward, Josh realizes he wants more—from himself, from life, from Ellen. Except she still thinks he’s a one-off she’ll never see again. Confessing the truth now—before she figures it out on her own—could shatter the fragile beginnings of just what the doctor ordered. A forever love.
Warning: Contains mistaken identities, a sometimes-glasses-wearing hottie, deep questions about figuring out what you want from life, and a red-hot college romance.
To celebrate, I’m giving away one $10 gift card to your choice of either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. To enter, do what RaffleCopter tells you to. A winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday. Happy book birthday to me, and best of luck to you!