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So Many Writing Events!

May 6, 2008 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,


I’ve come to the conclusion that there are too many writing events and not enough time! (Does time seem like a recurring theme in my Slice of Orange entries? I think I’m obsessed!) I recently returned from Malice Domestic in Crystal City, Virginia (near Washington) and the Mystery Lovers Festival in Oakmont, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh). The Romantic Times BookClub conference was held in Pittsburgh earlier in April, and I considered attending since I grew up in Pittsburgh, but couldn’t do all of them. By choosing Malice, I got to network with editors and publicity people from my mystery publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, plus see my agent and meet her new baby. However, I missed the L.A. Times Festival of Books, and I didn’t go to the Edgar Awards in New York, partly because I needed to get back here not only to write, but also because I was on a panel at the Palm Springs Book Fair last weekend. Of course going there meant I missed the Sisters in Crime meeting, and I also wound up not having time to attend the special Julia Quinn workshop held by the Los Angeles Chapter of RWA on Saturday.

Upcoming are BEA (Book Expo America) here in L.A., plus the American Library Association conference, also in this area. I’ll be in the Chicago area for a bridal shower for my future daughter-in-law (yay!) and it happens to coincide with the Printers Row Book Fair hosted by the Chicago Tribune, so I’ll have an opportunity to sign my newest (June release) Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery there, DOUBLE DOG DARE. I’ll be back in time for the next OCC meeting.

I’m registered for the Romance Writers of America annual conference in San Francisco, and hope to actually attend despite all my other plans for this year. I don’t have time to go to Bouchercon or Thrillerfest, and I missed Left Coast Crime this year, too, although I’m considering going next year since it’ll be on the Big Island of Hawaii. I will, however, be giving a talk during the Kern County Library’s adult summer reading program, as well as another talk for the new East Valley Chapter of RWA. I’ve been enlisted for a panel at the West Hollywood Book Fair and am also scheduling authors for the Mystery Writers of America booth… only I may wind up missing it since that may be the weekend my older son gets married.

Did I mention I have a couple of book deadlines? I’ve already blogged here about how adorable –and time-consuming–my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are these days, especially with the new puppy. Oh, and I’m still engaged in my “temporary” part-time law position…

Well, DOUBLE DOG DARE is about cloning. Maybe I can figure out a way to clone myself.

Linda O. Johnston
www.LindaOJohnston.com
www.KillerHobbies.blogspot.com

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime–and has 2 Silhouette Nocturnes upcoming!

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Time Management

April 6, 2008 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

I’ve mentioned in my blogs here before–no, complained!–that I’ve become less efficient with time management as I get older. Of course I still manage to meet my book deadlines… sometimes as extended. I have two facing me now, one on April 15 for the manuscript for my seventh Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery, called, at least for now, NEVER SAY STY. Then comes my May 1 deadline for a revised proposal for my second Silhouette Nocturne, which stars a Valkyrie.

So what do I do to try to increase my productivity? I adopt a new, very lively puppy as a good friend to our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lexie. Little Mystie, also a Cavalier, is a handful. And time-consuming.

So, will I meet my deadlines? Yes. But a little piece of advice to anyone else considering taking in a new pet. Expect delays in everything!

At least pets are absolutely worth it.

Linda O. Johnston
www.LindaOJohnston.com


Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.

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Multiple Hats on the Same Day

February 6, 2008 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

Okay, so much for my keeping the New Year’s resolution I proposed in my last Slice of Orange blog–becoming more efficient in my writing. Where did the last month go?

It may have passed so fast for me because I was on a delightful cruise to Australia and New Zealand for almost 3 weeks. I think. I lost track of time because of crossing the International Dateline a couple of times.

The great thing was that, while traveling, I got word that I’d sold my second Silhouette Nocturne! The not quite so great thing is that the sale was on condition that I make some significant changes to that Nocturne proposal, which I really didn’t mind since that’s sometimes part of the process. The only problem was that I’m on a March 15 deadline for my 7th Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery, and didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped on the cruise (big surprise!)–although my 2 talks on writing went well.

Fortunately, my Silhouette editor was quite accommodating. I was able to schedule a date for providing the proposal revisions several weeks after my mystery manuscript was due. But I still needed to prepare for a brainstorming telephone call with my editor that occurred soon after I got back. That meant switching writing hats from light mystery to dark paranormal romance each day during several succeeding days as I thought through the Nocturne changes yet continued to write my mystery. Not to mention going to my downtown LA law job each weekday morning. Yikes!

Well, it really wasn’t that bad. As I’ve said often before, the ability to change between genres is something I feel strongly about. My mysteries generally contain romance, and my romances contain mystery, or at least suspense. And changing from fiction writing to contract drafting isn’t much of a stretch. In any event, I met the challenge. My editor seemed to like the revised direction I proposed for the new Nocturne. And I’m making progress with the draft of my new mystery.

How about you? How many hats do you wear on one day?

Linda O. Johnston
www.LindaOJohnston.com

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.

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Pets, Romance and Lots of Suspense

January 6, 2008 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

Happy New Year! Have you made any resolutions regarding your writing this year?

I have. For one thing, now that I have a part-time law job I’ve become less efficient in the use of my remaining time. Of course I still write a lot, but I get annoyed at myself for not making the best use of the time I have available. Solution? I’m going to put myself on a better writing schedule.

Okay, maybe I’ll convince myself of that one. In any event, I intend to continue to write in multiple genres as much as I can. Why do I do that? Because, for me, it’s always been fun and a challenge to be able to change how I write. I used to be in journalism, advertising and public relations, and then I became a lawyer. And during all that time, I’ve also written fiction. It’s a kick to be able to change types and tones of writing from one minute to the next: a feature article to a short story. A contract to a chapter of a novel.

Why else do I do that? Well, being able to move from one genre to another also opens up extra possibilities, especially since trends in what publishers buy seems to change so often based on what they think readers are looking for. Plus, it’s fun!

More about that, and changing genres, in my future Slice of Orange entries!

–Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston
www.LindaOJohnston.com


Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.

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