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Q: What Do You Say To Pushy Readers?

November 15, 2019 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , , , ,
A Josie Bates Thriller/New Release

A: Thank you .

Lost Witness is in preorder. It will publish December 1 and I am stunned that this book is a reality. To explain why we need to rewind five years.

In October 2014 Dark Witness, the seventh – and I thought last – book in The Witness Series was published. Originally the first book, Hostile Witness, was presented to publishers as a stand alone novel. When an editor at Penguin/Putnam offered a three-book contract I accepted even though I had never written a series.

Silent Witness and Privileged Witness followed. In the three years it took the publisher to bring those books to market editorial direction changed hands, the marketplace started shrinking and the series progressed no further. My rights to the three books were reverted and, after writing for twenty-five years, I thought that perhaps it was time for me to kick back and retire. That was when my husband said: “Have you heard of this thing called Kindle.”

Fast forward to a career second wind as an indie author. I republished the first three books of The Witness Series and they spent over two years on Amazon’s thriller bestseller lists in the U.S. and UK. Over 2 million copies of the series have been downloaded to date. I continued to add books and finally penned Dark Witness. Not one for bow endings, I left one character walking into the sunset assuming my readers would imagine an ending for him to finish the story.

For five years while I wrote two more series – The Bailey Devlin Trilogy and Finn O’Brien Crime Thrillers – I got emails from readers demanding to know when the next Josie Bates book would be published. They wanted me to write the ending or the next chapter in these characters’ lives. They wanted the adventure to come from my head, not theirs.

I wasn’t ignoring these pleas; I simply had a horrible case of writer’s block. I loved Josie and Hannah, Billy and Archer, but I was terrified of making a big decision about their lives. I was also afraid that I didn’t have the skill to reclaim their unique voices.

At the beginning of this year I received one more email about Josie and the reader convinced me that it was time to meet the challenge of the next book head on. At first the dialogue was creaky, and the plot meandered.  One day inspiration hit. I suddenly knew how to begin the book. I knew the end of the story. I knew the last words that had to be spoken. I had been ‘lost’ and because of the readers insistence I found my voice.  In doing so I reclaimed Josie’s wisdom, I heard Hannah’s compassion, Billy’s unwavering devotion, and Archer’s steady guidance. I was home again and it felt darn good.

I want to thank the readers who pushed, prodded and cajoled. I didn’t know that I was missing Josie Bates, but the readers did. This Thanksgiving I am thankful to them for making Lost Witness possible.

PREORDER LOST WITNESS now ($.99) and join over 2 million fans of The Witness Series.

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Books That Helped Me Start Writing Again #amwriting

July 17, 2016 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , , ,

I’m finally writing again after a long hiatus, thanks to the wonderful Speed Writing class I took this year, taught by M.M. Pollard. Here are three of the books that helped me to get back on track.

The 8-Minute Writing Habit: Create a Consistent Writing Habit That Works With Your Busy Lifestyle
(Growth Hacking For Storytellers)
by Monica Leonelle
Spaulding House, 2015

This book was recommended in the fabulous online Speed Writing class taught by M. M. Pollard for OCCRWA, and it’s the method that helped me break a long-standing writers block. I tried the 8 by 8 Challenge, which required me to write at least 8 minutes every day for 8 days. After the first couple of days, I was writing for more than 8 minutes. And now I have a first draft of my novel. Color me happy.

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
(The 99U Book Series)
by Jocelyn K. Glei
Amazon Publishing 2013
I’ve been listening to the audiobook in the car, and I am really loving this book/ I expect I will read/listen to it more than once. Glei includes lots of ideas from other people, to wit:

Featuring contributions from: Dan Ariely, Leo Babauta, Scott Belsky, Lori Deschene, Aaron Dignan, Erin Rooney Doland, Seth Godin,Todd Henry, Christian Jarrett, Scott McDowell, Mark McGuinness, Cal Newport, Steven Pressfield, Gretchen Rubin, Stefan Sagmeister, Elizabeth G. Saunders, Tony Schwartz, Tiffany Shlain, Linda Stone, and James Victore. Plus, a foreword from Behance founder & CEO Scott Belsky.

I’m not familiar with most of these people, but their ideas are thought-provoking and useful. For instance, setting time aside in your weekly schedule for those big projects, and if someone wants to do something else at that time, just tell them, “Sorry, I have an appointment.” It’s okay to make an appointment with yourself. Another compared time to a jar of rocks. If you put the big rocks in first, the little ones will squeeze in around them. If you fill the jar with little rocks, sand and water, there may not be any room for the big rocks.

A similar idea to that last one is…

Eat that Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
by Brian Tracy
Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2007

I’ve only read about 20% of the book, but am finding it quite interesting. The frog quote comes from Mark Twain, who said that if you have to eat a frog, do it first. If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first. In other words, tackle the big, important tasks first while you have the energy to deal with them. Good advice. Too bad I don’t take it more often. Guess I better finish reading the book!

But first it’s time to tackle those revisions!

I’m re-working a sensual Western historical romance called Lily and the Gambler. An abbreviated version of the story was published by Amber Quill Press as a mildly erotic romance. I’ve lengthened the book considerably, revised the plot, and plan to self-publish it some time this year. It really does feel good to be writing again.

Linda McLaughlin
aka Lyndi Lamont
website: http://lindalyndi.com

 

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