My goal for August was to complete the first round of edits for book 13. I set myself the challenge as it's my least favourite job and usually I drag my feet but yesterday, I completed my task with one day to spare! Never before have I managed to complete such a task in anywhere near that time. Note to self for the future, me thinks! Anyway, I took the rest of the day off as a reward and mooched around the garden.
The next step is to plug the gaps which I’ve noted whilst editing. I have several specific chapters to write, need to reinforce the theme and tweak some character arcs – which sounds a lot but once I get started I’ll be ticking those beauties off my list. I’m aiming to complete this task in a fortnight, leaving the remainder of September for polishing.
Tomorrow is the 1st September so I have a new project to wrangle with alongside Book 13. It might come as a surprise but I’ve switched projects from the one I was planning to start to a brand-new idea. Nothing’s ever wasted in this game so the ‘other project’ will need to be patient and wait in line; I will get to her. But starting tomorrow, I’ll begin planning a new idea from scratch. Planning a project alongside the ‘gap writing’ for Book 13 should work nicely for a couple fo week, so I’m not worried - my brain loves to juggle with ideas.
Though it goes without saying, I’ll be spending less time at my desk as my ‘hibernation’ is over just in time for autumn, my favourite season!
Come and chat all things bookish at Redditch Library on Saturday, 30th September from 11am - I promise to entertain with stories of my publishing journey, inspirations and insights behind my published books. Plus, there'll be a fresh brew!
This library event is free - no ticket or booking necessary!
If you bring your paperback books, I'll happily sign those at the end.
My latest book 'Christmas Wishes at the Lakeside Cottage' will have been published for just one week - so I'm bound to be in the Christmas spirit! Available for preorder: press here
It seems unbelievable but it has actually arrived - week 12! I have endured three months of isolation and a near solitary existent in-order to protect my recovery and health. It feels quite strange, when I think back but I set a routine and stuck to it! I have seen just 2 people during that time. Seriously, I have! I am eternally grateful to the two precious souls who have kept me going during this time - I cross my heart and promise, I will pay you back whenever necessary. #ThankYou
Occasionally, I'm asked by book bloggers if I'd answer questions about my publishing journey. Today, the lovely Karen Louise Hollis has my interview showing on her website. So why not grab yourself a coffee, settle in a comfy chair and enjoy a blog read elsewhere.
Press here: to visit Karen's blog
If other book bloggers are interested in hosting an interview - please contact: ErInGreenAuthor@mail.com
There are many occasions, usually after my research trips have finished, that I seek inspiration about a specific location chosen as a book setting. I'm a visual person so browsing Pinterest is second nature; be it a face, a dress design, buildings and interior furnishings allowing me to save an image for later reference. From now on, I'm going to share some of those images with you because it might enhance you enjoyment of the books - I can't promise.
Pinterest link for Erin Green Author: press here
Christmas Wishes At The Lakeside Cottage - published 23rd Sept
The Carmichaels are gearing up to make this festive season the Christmas of all Christmases, as this blended family gathers at the Lakeside Cottage for a Boxing Day wedding...
Lowry can't help but think her mum's whirlwind marriage is more than a little rash. But after she raised her single-handedly, Lowry is determined to be there in return.
Helen has watched her ex-husband remarry three times already. The fourth might succeed in breaking her heart. Or it might force her to finally move on.
Martha has worked for the Carmichaels for over three decades and has guarded all their secrets. Now she has a secret of her own. Admitting it will be the hardest thing she's ever done.
These three women will do anything for their loved ones. But as revelations come to light amongst the stunning snowy countryside, the greatest lesson will be learning how to live for themselves too.
Available to preorder: here
My edits are going well; it's half way through my challenge month yet I’ve past the midpoint in this book – which feels good. I can’t explain how much I dislike this task in the book writing process, but I truly do. Give me a blank page any day, I’ll fill it. I have to make editing as enjoyable as I can in order to complete the job as swiftly as possible. I opt for many psychological tactics appeasing to my ‘reward system’ which have evolved and worked in the past. I’d hate to count how many times I ‘good girl’ myself in any one day!
So far, I have rearranged the scene order, increased the pace in the middle, introduced some new elements for a couple of character by tying my story into a big knot before unscrambling it, so far! I'm sure it'll resemble a giant knot at least twice more before the month ends.
The downfall of editing each day is that my brain doesn’t wish to focus on the text instead she wants to tease me with a brand-new sparkly idea. A new idea that needs to line up behind the previous brand-new sparkly idea that arrived a few weeks ago. Seriously, brain, one book idea at a time, please! As usual, I duly noted the basic premise, so I could mull it over whilst I edited. Sadly, or gratefully as I am eternally thankful for my imagination, that wasn’t enough for her. Like a sulky child, she kept on interrupting my editing time by throwing snippets of the idea to such an extent that it risks becoming a distraction to what I’m trying to complete. I’ve actually set aside time later today so I can have an hour of plan playing enabling me to jot the details on post-it notes – in hope that’ll it quieten my head allowing me to focus without getting derailed from my current editing. I’ve already got my idea for November’s NaNoWriMo, so this fresh idea will simply need to patiently wait in line. Hopefully after my ‘play session’ I can settle for the remaining two weeks and complete another read through of this manuscript before deciding the next steps.
After many weeks recuperating at home, without stepping across the threshold or even wearing shoes - I actually pulled my trainers on yesterday and managed a ten minute walk around the block. Despite still donning my snazzy NHS socks, which I hid, as I've another three weeks of this ridiculous fashion accessory! Go me!
I left the dog at home, much to his dismay, for fear I'd topple over if he got too excited - I could only cope with one of us showing such emotion.
It felt incredibly strange. Not only for seeing the various houses and gardens, which I haven't seen since the beginning of June, but because my legs didn't work how they ought. There were several moments when I felt like Bambi on ice, but I told myself - I have to accept it, for now. Strange to think I jogged 7km the day before my operation!
So tell me, when did the buddleia bloom, and die? Who repainted the fencing? And the house on the corner still hasn't sold!
I was mighty relieved to spy 'home' having managed a grand tour of just three short streets. Ah well, I managed it - same again tomorrow. Thankfully, the sun came out to greet me!
I hear many readers say they never write reviews having read a book. I always do, always have and will continue to do so fora variety of reasons. The main reason being, its my way of 'thanking' an author for the entertainment that they've brought to my day. Be it an hour, here or there, over a few days or weeks, they've entertained me with their imagination, spoken gently to me on my darkest days and made me laugh when others failed. I'm grateful for the role books have played in my life, at every stage of the game and I hope that continues long into my future.
Since being published, I now know the sheer delight of seeing my books reviewed and discovering a gem of a comment that makes my day! Seriously, some of my reviews have genuinely made my heart sing, cry and smile all day on reading them, and rereading on certain occasions.
In our modern world of algorithms and on-line marketing the once meagre star review, overlooked by many, has become a powerful player in determining the showcasing of our books. For Amazon, the magic number is 50! If a book doesn't achieve this number of genuine reviews it will begin to fade from view as it is deemed that the general interest and traffic for that item is insignificant on their website. Hit 50 reviews and beyond - magic starts to happen. Depending upon the amount of footfall traffic, on-line purchases and interest paid Amazon begins including the title in their on-line publicity. Publishers are offered specific price costings, authors see their books offered for monthly deals or specific sponsor opportunities are suggested.
And all this happens because a reader left a simple star rating - it doesn't have to be a page and a half of detailed analysis that would please an English literature teacher! Though I would be quite pleased, but don't expect me to mark and grade it - see what I did there? So next time you finish a book, anyone's book not just mine, log-on to Amazon and Goodreads - even if you didn't buy the book from them, just do it - decide what's a fair star rating and leave it as your 'thank you'. I guarantee there's a very grateful author. If it's one of my books - I'll probably dance around the lounge, smile repeatedly and even cry, if your review touches on my reasons for writing that book. A note regarding my reviews on Amazon.uk.co - if you see there's one 'like' underneath your review - that's me, saying I've read and appreciate your time.
Now, go back and study the photo of my latest book ... 46! Finger crossed, I'll have reached the magic 50 after the weekend.
P.S. that's not an invite for certain 'unkind' types to leave their infamous 1 star and no comment reviews!*
* one day, I'll tell you a story about a reviewer who stalked me!
So far 'Week one' of editing has gone well. I've cleaned up my manuscript ensuring that notes to myself are visible and aren't lost within the text. My manuscript is always written in pink, blue and green font - a colour for each main character. I avoid black font as it never signals fun to my brain! Whereas my rainbow manuscript is far less scary. I've checked that each character has her correct font colour for each scene, as that throws me in a ridiculous fashion when I'm scooting through looking for a particular incident. I've also tidied the font size, font choice, heading alignment, margins and paragraph indents, all in the name of tidy and ship-shape. Ironic, given that I'm about to start ripping it apart, reorganising and resequencing the action when I find a scene either in the wrong place or a conscious shuffle adding pace to the story. But that's just me, I need order in my creative world! In a practical manner, I need a document that I can show a third party and they'd have a chance of understanding the story, the characters and the occurring conflict before reaching 'the end'. Right now, you could read the basic bones of my story and imagine the finished book. The vital ingredients is there, what I need to do is highlight the specifics by providing additional information be it emotional, physical or thematic flavourings to complete the reading experience.
I follow a set pattern whilst editing, as it isn't my favourite task. I'm more a 'Willy Wonker' imagination type writer, who's never happier than when lost in the zone and my fingers fly about the keyboard. This cut, paste and moving the building blocks of a story frustrates me as it's never the whole scene that needs moving, but part of it. And the conversation that was mid-scene needs knitting in elsewhere as it contains vital info. But where? And you end up changing details to fit its new position in the story. I find that frustrating, like puzzle solving. It's also exhausting for me - when plain draft one writing is exhilarating. I don't get a buzz from editing until further along in copy editing when I see my book emerge from the pages. I think of draft one as a stone mason blocking out a basic figure shape and the editing process as the fine chiselling creating the detail. Proofreading is the final polish, of course.
Because my creative spirit isn't fully engaged whilst editing I tend to couple this process with planning for my next book. This enables me to visit my 'Narnia' place and indulge my imagination. Otherwise I end up being a moody-mess without the creative outlet each day. I lean heavily on the arts, crafts and music during this time but nothing beats creating from afresh. In the coming months, I'll be asked 'what I wish to write next' so I might as well maximise my time. My intention is to have the majority of a book planned out by the time I finish editing this current project. No doubt it'll be my NaNoWriMo project for November - surprise, surprise!
From this point onwards, I'll be rereading my current ms and jotting down notes as I read: questions, queries and additional research that's needed. Simply notes and snippets that are blatantly obvious to me that need addressing before I move forward. Depending on what comes to light - determines my next move. If it's research then I need to question how much? Do I need a complete new topic threading through the manuscript or is it the finer points of a topic which need my attention? Have I lost my way with a particular theme? Has the theme that's evolved better than what I'd planned? Or do I prefer the original ideas? In which case how do I strip back and amend? This is where the 'experience' card plays its hand. What have I learnt from writing my previous books, what mistakes did I make and what cost me the most amount of time? What I'll want to avoid is lengthy research or sidetracking, loads of additional writing only to be unhappy with the final drafted chapters and to rip them out!
The essence of editing for me is starting with an orderly manuscript that evolves into a creative mess - which some how is finally reordered to create a book. Its like rearranging your house - there's always a point when you stop, look around at your possessions and wonder why you even started the task as you'll never find homes for all these belongings! If you plough on it all comes together and you're happy with the final result.