• Tag Archives novel
  • That time I wanted to quit writing so I started four books instead

    21330_10153236342647863_3032047020217510560_n

    Writing is hard.

    Marketing is harder.

    I’m just going to be honest here. I pretty much want to quit writing about every other week/day/hour. Thankfully, I have several good writerly and readerly types who talk me off the ledge time and time again.

    I quit this week. For an entire week, I made up my mind that I was done. It just wasn’t worth the hassle. I didn’t promo tweet. I didn’t write. I watched TV and sat on my couch crocheting cat butt coasters.

    Not even kidding.

    Hell, no one would really even notice that I’d quit except for Jennifer who asks me about Reap & Reckon, book four of my Reaper Series, EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE HER.

    Not gonna lie. That feels good.

    Every time I think about quitting, someone sends me a curiously timed note of encouragement or an awesome review. Maybe it’s the Universe, nudging me to keep going.

    Even during the week I quit, I couldn’t turn off the stories. So many stories. Of course, most of them are just ideas. Sparks in the dark. The work of turning them into more is both exhausting and magical. When books are selling, it’s rewarding and exciting. When they aren’t?

    Yeah, that’s when I want to quit.

    Sometimes I wonder what I ever did before I started writing five years ago. Well, I was craftier. for example, Facebook reminded me last week that I did THIS…

    spare time project

    But you know what? This year so far I’ve earned $5,200 from my writing. Last year with a traditional publisher and two books out, I made $300. Of course, I’ve already reinvested half of this year’s proceeds back into editing, book covers, and marketing etc.

    I’ve never made any money off of my crafts. One look at my cat butt coaster below, and you’ll see why. #crochetfail

    What they should look like.
    What they should look like.

     

    What mine looked like.
    What mine looked like.

    So really, I have no room to whine

    I’ve done ALL THE THINGS an indie publisher is supposed to do. You can actually download a cool checklist here: http://bookmarketingtools.com/blog/

    All I need is a tipping point.

    10914388_513629142110446_970804606_n

    Yeah, I don’t want to be that bottom guy. Boo! So instead of giving up. I started a couple of new books. Now I have four works in progress. Yep. go big or go home…erm…or something like that.

    I guess this falls into the ‘try harder’ camp of thought.

    Works in progress 1 & 2Works in progress 2 & 4

    I have no estimated dates of publication. You’ll be just as surprised as I am.

    Your best bet? Sign up for my newsletter http://eepurl.com/9Zhcz and I promise you’ll be the first to know when a new book drops.

    stay drunk on writing

    Write on.

     


  • Harlequin E Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Box Set Releases March 2014

    Shivers Box Set 3D

     

    At long last, I have a first peek at the box set. It seems surreal but sure enough, there is my book. I am pretty dang excited! I’ll have a cover to reveal soon!

    Even more good news as of today, I have an awesome street team in place called Medley’s Marauders who will be helping spread the word about my books.  Go, Team!

    If you signed up, GREAT! And thank you!

    If you wished you had signed up, fear not. There will be other opportunities coming up.

    If you’ve been following my blog you know it’s taken a while to get here. The magical thing is that we ARE here. And I couldn’t have done it without your support.

    If you’re new to the blog, here’s the timeline to publication and a snapshot of how it went down.

    July 15, 2011 Started Reap & Repent

    January 2012 Finished Reap & Repent.

    August 2012 Started Reap & Redeem.

    September 2012 Entered the first 5,000 words of Reap & Repent (then titled Reap ‘Em & Weep) into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Contest against more than 700 global entries.

    October 2012 Was selected for the Top 28 in Harlequin’s SYTYCW Contest.

    November 2012 Lost contest.

    December 2012 Sadness ensued.

    January 2013 Finished Reap & Redeem.

    January 2013 Received the Harlequin CALL from Toronto and a contract for Reap & Repent in their new Harlequin Digital First imprint now called Harlequin E thanks to an angel editor named Mary-Theresa Hussey at Harlequin who had forward my book to them.

    June 2013 Started Reap & Reveal.

    June 2013 Signed the contract for Reap & Redeem & Reap & Reveal.

    December 2013 Finished Reap & Reveal.

    December 2013 Started Haunt My Heart.

    March 2013 Reap & Repent is PUBLISHED.

    In between all of that was editing. Lots and lots of editing.

    Some days I just can’t believe how lucky I am.  My hope is that one day I can actually make a living a this gig.

    The seeds have been sown. Let’s reap.

     

     


  • Reaping What We Sow: Join Medley’s Marauders Street Team

    Do you enjoy reading about monsters in love? Do you like your romance to bloom while your hero and heroine are fighting against the things that go bump in the night? Join my street team, “Medley’s Marauders”, and you could receive ARCs  (advance reading copies – means you read for free!) and earn prizes just for reading, writing reviews and spreading the word about my books and upcoming events.

    Team member duties:

    • Reading my books and then writing and posting reviews of my paranormal romance/urban fantasy works on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Harlequin. (Don’t worry if you’re new to reviewing. I’ll send you a ‘How To’ tip sheet!)
    • Tweeting
    • Sharing and posting on your Facebook
    • Other creative ways that you devise to spread the word

    Benefits include:

    • Author review copies of my new releases
    • ARCs of backlisted books on occasion (when I HAVE a backlist, ha!)
    • Opportunity to win gift certificates to Amazon (a points-based system)
    • Special monthly prize drawings for gift certificates
    • Extra entries in ALL contests I run on my blog

    Qualifications:

    • Must enjoy reading sometimes steamy romances about sexy heroines and dominant heroes in all sorts of supernatural situations 😀
    • Writing and posting reviews of my paranormal/urban fantasy romances
    • Must have a Twitter and Facebook account
    • Other social media connections helpful, but not required.

    To apply:

    Just fill in the contact form below and say “Sign me up, Lisa!” in the comment box!

    Special note: Existing Medley  Marauders will receive 10 points during this promotion for referring a friend who joins the team. (Have your friend follow the instructions above AND mention your name in the body of the email).

    The first release will be Reap & Repent, an urban fantasy romance to be released by Harlequin E in a paranormal romance/urban fantasy box set with three other authors in early March. New members who join now will receive an ARC mid February with pre-order buy links so they can post reviews as soon as they finish reading.

    Thanks for sharing in the dream! Let’s do this!

    P.S. Book reviewers may also contact me on the contact form below or at lisamedleyauthor@gmail.com Reap & Repent should be available on NetGalley soon!

    [contact-form to=’lisamedleyauthor@gmail.com’ subject=’Medley%26#039;s Marauders’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]


  • Prepping for a New Year of Writing: Plotting 2014

    jano_logo

    I’m working on my third synopsis this weekend in advance of two of our local writing groups’ upcoming events. As I wait for my beta readers to return their feedback on Reap & Reveal before I send it on to Angela, I’m looking ahead to what might be coming next.

    I’ve had an idea for a ghost romance rumbling around my brain for a while now. It came to me one night when I was trying to fall asleep and was failing miserably. The bad thing about working late into the night (and sometimes morning) is that often my brain just won’t turn off when I walk away from the keyboard.

    The night of the ghost romance idea was the perfect example. I grabbed my iPhone and typed away with my tired thumbs from bed as I expelled the basic elements of the story into the Notes app. It turned out to be a pretty long note! It tried twice to fall to sleep before I had to grab my phone again and add a few more details.

    Purged of the mental Post-its, I finally fell asleep. I printed it out a few days later and added to my Novel Ideas folder.

    When I pulled it back out Friday night to finally begin fleshing out the story, I got more and more excited about it. Researching the writing of a new novel is a rush. So many possibilities! The hardest part, once the ball is rolling, is reining the thing in.

    I ended up with a four-page synopsis I feel really good about 🙂

    Next I moved on to an idea I had for a new Harlequin E Erotic Vacation subgenre. It would definitely be a departure from my other books, and I could only rustle up a one-page synopsis for it. The expected word count is much smaller 15-50K. Right now it feels like it might flesh out to 20-30K. It’s hard to tell until the thing takes flight. 

    The third synopsis is for a fourth book in The Reaper Series. I’m tentatively calling it Reap & Reclaim. There were several loose ends and unanswered questions lingering from book three. I’m thinking that all of those Reaper Authority Force reapers, who were coincidentally named after angels, aren’t quite what they appear. It may take a few books to reveal their true origin and mission.

    Right now, I keep coming back to Haunt My Heart. It’s my brain squirrel at the moment. Every few minutes I find myself Googling something else dealing with HMH research instead of my Reclaim synopsis. I’m taking it as a sign.

    January first is the launch date for #JANO2014. JANO is like NANOWRIMO only sponsored by Sleuths’ Ink and Ozarks Romance Authors, the two bestest writing groups in the Ozarks.

    JANO officially begins January 1 but gets a huge push at our 3rd Annual Mega Critique & Write-In. It’s a fun day of writerly fellowship and high word counts.

    Anyone can attend. We’ll even feed you lunch!

    If you’d like a sneak peak of where I’m headed with Haunt My Heart, you can check out my Pinterest board.

    It’s good to be Queen.

     


  • Book Two is in the Harlequin E Queue

    IMG_4745 (1024x791)

    Book two of the Reaper Series, Reap & Redeem, is all wrapped up, copyedited and on it’s way to Harlequin. Book three, Reap & Reveal, is out to my beta readers and awaiting its turn.

    Reap & Reveal is due for submission to my editor Jan. 31 so I have a few more tweaks to make to it before I hit send. Hitting send on book three is just as scary as hitting send was for book one.

    Some days I wonder how all of this actually happened. As I was reading through Reveal for the umpteenth time, it seemed like someone else entirely had written it.

    Apparently, birthing books is a lot like birthing babies and you pretty much immediately forget all of the pain and discomfort they caused you all those long months the moment they finally appear, fully-formed into your world.

    And now I’m ready to do it all again.

    The books birthing, not the baby birthing. I’m all good on that front. I don’t feel the desire for a series of real babies.

    What I do have is a burning desire for is a BACK LIST. And the only way you get a back list is if you continue to write and publish books.

    I’m spending the remainder of December brainstorming and working up synopses (what a weird word that is) for three ideas which have been scurrying around the nether regions of my brain. Plotting a book is a heady thing.

    I spent all afternoon last Sunday working on a ghost romance idea. As you can imagine, there are some obstacles to romance to overcome with that idea but it’s fun trying to figure out how to make it happen. I already have a working title, hero/heroine names, settings, and the beginnings of a playlist. And yes, the plot is coming together.

    I went to bed at midnight Monday morning and couldn’t turn off my brain. Those characters are already pounding at the door wanting to tell their story.

    I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve discovered through the years I am a great STARTER but sometimes have trouble SUSTAINING. With writing, I get to enjoy the best of both of those worlds. Brainstorming new novel ideas feeds my organization and STARTER self while 75-80K seems to be just about the end of my SUSTAINING capacity. If I had to write longer books, I think I’d lose interest before I ever completed them.

    Writing a series right out of the gate has been challenging. Keeping ALL of those details straight would be impossible for me without the help of my beta readers and my fantastic editor. I really lucked out when Angela was assigned to me.

    The ghost romance will be a standalone book.

    Plotting a new book is a lot like working a puzzle without having the picture on the box to look at for guidance. Right now I’m gathering all of the pieces and working the framework. I know it’s say, a picture of birds and flowers, or in this case a ghost romance but the rest is revealed as the writing progresses.

    I know what the general picture is going to be but there are lots of details that won’t take shape until much farther into the story. I think that’s what makes writing so exciting.

    QuotesCover-pic67

    It’s true!

    I’m trying to resist writing those first lines until I have worked out more of the framework but it’s hard!

    I thought I’d take a break but I think, writing something new and different and taking a step back from the reapers for a bit will re-energize me and enable me to see where the reapers are headed next.

    Sometimes you have to leave the forest to appreciate the trees.


  • Reaping The Benefits: Tracking Book 3 and Book 2 Edits

    IMG_3928 (1024x768)

    I received my next two contracts from Harlequin in the mail last week and diligently filed them away. I can’t believe this is becoming routine.

    Monday, August 12, I’ll get my structural edits for Reap & Redeem, book two of my Reaper Series.

    My goal (admittedly impossible) was to finish writing book three before the book two edits arrived. That did not happen. Life happened.

    What did happen is that I wrote 24,646 words in fifteen days, and now I’m sitting at 61K on book three. I still have to write the ending and the entire first draft feels thin to me. After my book two edits are finished, I’ll be ready to tackle it again. I need to be over 80K at completion. And I have to turn it in by October 31.

    Now THAT is scary.

    I have a problem with all of my books actually ending around 70K then I tack stuff onto the end. Apparently, I should be writing 70K length books. But the contract says 80k and that’s what I’ll do. Originally I thought I would write maybe ten books in this series but it’s feeling more like a trilogy.

    I have plenty of characters I can spin off into a new direction however, so we’ll see.

    After I finish with book three, Reap & Reveal, I plan to take a break and wait for at least one of them to publish. It looks like Jan-March will be the likely time frame for Reap & Repent. Reap & Redeem should come out three months later. I can’t wait to have a book out so I can start sharing and promoting it!

    Although, I don’t think I’ll be able to stay away from the keyboard for long.

    I have two other book ideas eating a hole in my NOVEL IDEAS folder. One is a ghost romance and the other is an erotic vacation romance. I also plan to write a Reaper short story to post on my site or sub to an anthology once the books start publishing.

    Once the writing Kraken is released, it won’t go easily back into the dark night.


  • Anything I Can Do You Can Do Better!

    Gosh. Today another email from Harlequin magically appeared in my inbox–for the next two Reaper Series books. One, Reap & Reveal, I’m working on right now.

    Okay, so right now, I’m screwing off on the internet and writing a post…you know what I mean.

    My friend Beth Carter, author and marketing guru for our group, says that marketing is not bragging. Sometimes, posting about these amazing successes does feel like bragging, but I sincerely hope no one else sees it that way.

    My intent is to journal the process and the progress–good and bad. Because if I can do this, you can too. If you’ve ever had a germ of an idea float through your head that you just couldn’t shake or even a passing desire to write, what are you waiting for?

    Granted, publishing a book is not like winning the lottery. Most books don’t make 50 Shades of the Harry Potter Games money. There are many other rewards, however.

    Who knows were the path might lead you.

    Join us in Springfield, Sept. 21 at the fabulous University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center for ORACON (Ozarks Romance Authors Conference).  Let us motivate you and help you along your path to publication.

    Register now, right here and start writing TODAY.

    A year from now, you’ll be so glad you did.

     

     

     


  • Keep On, Keeping On

    I started book three in The Reaper Series.

    This is Nate’s story. It’s called Reap & Reveal. To be honest, it’s felt slow and painful here at the beginning. Today, I finished at 12,259 words. I’m not sure why this one has been such a herky-jerky process.

    I actually made about five pages of notes before I even began. Maybe that’s the difference? Maybe trying to convert from pantser to plotter has its consequences. Sucks some of the magic out of it?

    Reap & Repent is still out for copyedits and no news on a release date. Reap & Redeem is with the HQ acquisitions team, and I’m waiting anxiously to see if they’ll officially pick it up. I felt good about book two. It was the easiest to write so far because I was a little in love with Kylen. He’s a dark and tortured hero.

    After getting some editor feedback on it from Angela (nothing official), I realize I tend to write fast and furiously up to the 70% point of my story, then sort of run out of steam and tack stuff on at the end. I’m going to work really hard on this one to NOT do that.

    The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same things and expect different results, yes? I want to do it right the first time.

    I’ll probably never do it right the first time.

    But I will keep trying. I’m hopeful that my story will break over soon and then I can ride its wave. I continually alternate between thinking it’s total crap and okay. The author’s curse in all its glory. This is the EXACT reason authors become alcoholics. 

    Lucky for me I don’t really like booze that much. Sure a gin and tonic with a twist is nice from time to time, but give me a bag of chocolate… Good God, man! I could put a hurt on that.


  • RT Convention 2013 & Book Two is in the Wind

    IMG_3379 (1024x768)

    So…this happened.

    May has already brought so much writerly awesomeness, I couldn’t wait any longer to post about it.

    The first week of May, I attended my first ever big writerly, book lovers convention hosted by the Romantic Times Review Magazine. If you love romances in any or all flavors, you should subscribe. They review hundreds of romance novels every month, and you get sneak peaks and previews of what’s on the horizon. It will do your bookshelf and your Kindle good.

    The pic above was taken with the fabulous cover models of Ellora’s Cave. I wasn’t going to have a pic taken but then thought, Carpe Diem, baby! They are called the Cave Men by the way. Yeah.

    I knew going to this convention would be intense. I signed up for one craft workshop after another and was booked from dawn until well after dusk. I hit every party and mixed and mingled my butt off. It was FANTASTIC!

    IMG_3383 (1024x768)

    Luckily for me, it was in Kansas City this year and the spectacular A.M. Buxton (an Ozarks Romance Girl) was my roomie. The fabulous Cara Bristol was also my partner in crime at more than one event.

    IMG_3393 (624x1024)
    Cara & I took our shoes off to wait in line for the ball. I can’t do high maintenance footwear for very long.
    IMG_3399 (768x1024)
    I look like an Amazon next to the cute little Cara Bristol!

    Cecily White, ORA girl and author of the new YA Prophecy Girl got to SIGN in the GINORMOUS BOOK FAIR. Look at me, dropping names like they’re hot. And they were!

    IMG_3404 (1024x768)

    Our Ozarks Romance Authors are on fire this year. We’ve had so many books published I’m losing track!

    The book fair was incredible because I got to put faces with names and Facebook/Twitter heads. I even got to shake hands and meet several authors in person. It was so cool. Maybe next year…I’ll be there.

    IMG_3403 (1024x300)

    I’m not generally ate up with the whole autograph thing, but I came home with a dozen signed books. In fact, the swag factor was a little overwhelming. I’m not sure how effective swag is in the long run, but in the short run people were collecting it like it was gold. I came home with a bagful myself but mostly in the spirit of education.

    IMG_3405 (768x1024)

    Here is my haul of FREE books. There were 50 paperbacks, and I still haven’t made it through the pile of postcards with free ebooks yet.

    Most of these will go to ORA for raffle baskets at our Sept. 21, 2013 convention in Springfield. A few I’ll keep for SOMEDAY. Yeah, my to-be-read pile is ridiculous.

    On the writing front, I turned my structural edits in to my editor Angela Polidoro before I left for the convention and weeks ahead of time. Angela had some fantastic suggestions to restructure my plot. I basically rewrote the last hundred pages, but it was worth it.

    Now she’s sent the line edits and a few comments to HQ headquarters and as soon as they get back to her I’ll dive into those. I pulled the trigger and sent book two to her after taking one more pass through it and writing the most painful synopsis known to man.

    I really stink at a synopsis. All the details seem so important. It’s tough choosing the high points. Instead of agonizing over it, I whipped it out and hit send. I hope it’s okay.

    I did have the pleasure of meeting Malle Vallik, the director of the Harlequin e (Harlequin Digital First line). She bought me a drink (very grownup I know!) and filled me in on the happenings. I’m excited to be included in the beginnings of this venture. Malle thought Reap & Repent would publish as an ebook sometime between January and March. Book two, Reap & Redeem, could publish as quickly as three months after that.

    Now my mission is to begin book three, Reap & Reveal. I have some good notes and plan to dive in this week. Hell, I might even actually plot this one.

    I know, crazy time. Right?


  • Editing Redeux: Round One

    I just hit SEND on my first round of official edits.

    It feels great.

    And terrifying.

    I had no idea what to expect since this is the first time I’ve ever worked with an actual, real-life, official editor. Angela gave me some fantastic suggestions of ways to combine the two main plot lines of my story so my action would build tension instead of rising/falling/rising then falling again.

    She also had some terrific advice as to how I could layer in details and build depth in my hero and heroine. I worked for two weeks, a few hours at a time, weaving in the details she suggested. Then last Saturday in one twelve-hour marathon session, I reworked the last hundred pages of the book. Sunday I spent nine hours reading through the book from start to finish so I could hold it all in my head for continuity.

    This week, I reread through the last hundred pages twice more tweaking and correcting.

    I feel like the story is much stronger now. My girlfriend, Dawn, read through it again for me after I made the changes and helped me clean up the loose ends. Now, it’s in Angela’s hands as I head to the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City next week.

    It’s such a relief to be going to this conference to learn and socialize instead of trying to sell my work. I’ve never been very good at sales, but I do like meeting new people and this convention is going to be filled with readers and writers. I know it will be inspiring.

    The best part so far is Friday I got an invitation to a Harlequin luncheon to talk about the new digital first series. My book is one of the first acquired in the Fantasy/Fantasy Romance genre. How cool is that? Very, very cool.

    On another note, you may have noticed, the title is changing. I loved the title Reap ‘Em & Weep but the new title is more appropriate for the story AND it is more consistent with the series titles I have coming up. So Reap ‘Em & Weep becomes Reap & Repent.

    The second book in the series is Reap & Redeem. I finished the first draft of it in January and as soon as Reap & Repent is completely out of my hands and heading towards production, I’ll go back and begin my work on book two. I have plenty of ideas to plump it up and make it even stronger.

    Book three notes are compiled, and it’s impatiently knocking on the basement door of my mind. I’ve been able to keep it at bay since I’ve been concentrating on book one so much, but I’m pretty sure it’s ready to burst out as soon as I crack that door open.

    It’s an exciting time. I can’t wait to see what’s in store with the new Harlequin Digital First imprint. They are accepting submissions for so many cool new genres there is something for nearly everyone! Shivers (Gothic), Horror, Intrigue Noir, Space Opera, Reckonings, Erotic Vacation, Big Book Melodrama, Pop, Mystery, Time Travel, Time Travel Romance, Fantasy & Fantasy Romance, Science Fiction and Science Fiction Romance, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Teen Romance, Your Brilliant Idea*.

    If you are a writer, you should definitely check them out. They accept submissions 10K and up in most of the categories.

    Get your words on and come play with me at Harlequin.