Iâ€™ve mentioned in my blogs here before–no, complained!–that Iâ€™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
Okay, so much for my keeping the New Yearâ€™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 Iâ€™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 didnâ€™t mind since thatâ€™s sometimes part of the process. The only problem was that Iâ€™m on a March 15 deadline for my 7th Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery, and didnâ€™t accomplish as much as Iâ€™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 wasnâ€™t that bad. As Iâ€™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 isnâ€™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 Iâ€™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
Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.
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
by Linda O. Johnston
I’m really excited to be joining the wonderful writers who blog on A Slice of Orange. I write romance and mystery, sometimes suspenseful romance, and sometimes romantic mystery. I’ve also become an experienced blogger. I blog weekly on KillerHobbies.Blogspot.com and, since I write the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the “hobby” I blog about is pets.
Of course, I consider pets family, not just hobbies. But the topic is fun and versatile.
So what do I hope to talk about here? I think one focus will be the fun of switching between genres. I started out writing mystery short stories, moved to time-travel romance, then romantic suspense, then back to mystery–novel-length, but also, still, occasional short stories. And I continue to write romance, too. In addition to my Kendra series, I’ve sold a paranormal romance to Silhouette Nocturne, although its publication date hasn’t yet been established. Why do I switch? How do I switch?
Well, come back and visit me on the sixth of every month, and I’ll tell you all about it! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Linda O. Johnston
When family ambition turns deadly Chase Garrett must keep Harper safe and both of them alive.More info →
A warrior maid & a hot dragonshifter set out to save the kingdom; together they can prevail, but at what cost?More info →