Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas chaos

Hi to all of you madly rushing around to get everything ready for the big day. Those of you that know me know what a huge deal Christmas is around our place. We've got four trees decorated plus a 9 foot by 5 foot arbor, and every nook and cranny of our Victorian gingerbread house is full of trimmings for the season. I swear my husband would love to be Santa Claus. Starting in November, he pesters everyone we know with emails about how many days left until Christmas.

In between all this holiday merrymaking and looking after our little guys (who think everybody celebrates Christmas this way), I've somehow found time to revise my third manuscript in my series with TWRP. No Turning Back features Ben and Samarra, who you'll meet in Cover of Darkness. I'm going to submit it to my editor in the first week of the New Year, meeting my self-imposed deadline. Bet no one's really surprised by that, control freak that I am.

It's snowing like crazy here today, so I'm going to make myself a mug of cider, turn on the fireplace by one of our trees, and get another hour of editing done before my little guy wakes up from his nap.

Wishing you and your family a wondrous Christmas season,
Kaylea Cross

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Waiting Game

Well, it's been a busy fall so far. Attended a writer's conference here in Vancouver a few weeks ago, and one NY agent requested my full MS, which is great, but between them and some others with partials, I must sit on my hands until they get back to me. Every writer knows how frustrating this stage is. You love it, other people seem to like it, but...Can NY sell it? Historicals right now are only big if they're Regency period. Time will tell if The Vacant Chair, my Civil War romance, will find a home. In the meantime, I'm madly finishing off the third romantic supsense in the series with TWRP, while the first, Out of Her League is due out in print on Dec. 5th, and my editor is currently working on the second, Cover 0f Darkness, which should be out next spring. Busy, busy, busy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall is around the corner

Summer is waning here in Vancouver, but we've been blessed with a few last weeks of radiant sunshine to sparkle off the bay and dapple through the canopy of soon to be turning leaves on the trees. Fall makes me want to curl up with a good book and a mug of hot cider and bake treats with my little guys. As far as my writing goes, I have my second MS under consideration by the senior editor of The Wild Rose Press, and should hear back within the next couple of weeks on whether they want to pick it up. The third book in the series was at a standstill--apparently my muse went off on summer vacation somewhere, but I think she's back. As soon as I hammer out the fine print of the outline, I'll be able to whip off the rest of the first draft. Maybe it was meant to be like that, because now when the skies turn gray and the rains come, I can hunker down inside with my laptop for a few hours and not feel guilty about being inside.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Overcoming obstacles

My "career" as a writer started when I was about five years old. I spent hours writing stories on my thrift store typewriter for my parents, and they read each one faithfully. They must have been relieved when I started entering writing contests in high school, just so they wouldn't have to keep gushing about my writing. As an adult, even though I am finally a published author (or at least I will be when the e-version of my book Out of Her League comes out August 29th), my family tends to go into a coma if I bring up my writing too often.

Sure, they were excited for me when I signed my contract, and sure, they're supportive of my career goals, but they can only take so much. Hence, my journey into cyberspace and the world of self-promotion.

Promotion is not something I'm entirely comfortable with, but like all challenges I've faced in life, I intend to meet it head on. That's just how I am. Overcoming this obstacle is just getting over one more of life's hurdles, and I'm sure to learn something along the way. Like my writing, for example. I've learned a lot about that, too. I was so proud of my first book, and after speaking to a successful author at a local writer's conference, I took his advice and went hunting for a freelance editor to take me on. He told me if I was serious about doing this for a living, then I'd better make sure I wrote like a professional.

Sure, I thought. That makes sense. I'd already written a book, hadn't I? I thought that was the hard part, until my editor sent back my MS and it was hemorrhaging red. I happened to be on bed rest at the time with my second child, and to this day I'm not sure how I didn't lose the baby when I saw that first edit. I'm sure my blood pressure quadrupled.

What did I do? After I had a quiet freak out (didn't want to alarm the baby), I had nothing else to do, since I couldn't even sit up, so I took my medicine and hacked my way through it one page at a time. Believe me, it was painful, slow work. As I worked through my shock and humiliation, though, I began to realize that my editor really did have good points about the plot, pacing and my technical writing ability. Or lack thereof. I learned a ton, the most important of which being I wasn't really that great a writer. Yet. But then and there, I made up my mind to improve with each day. Maybe, just maybe, I would someday be good enough to find my books on the shelf of a local bookstore.

Being as I had another six weeks in bed all by myself, I re-wrote that first novel twice more, and after that, I found a publisher that loved it. I'm now working on my fourth book, and I think it's safe to say I'm a heck of a lot better at writing than I used to be.

Those are my thoughts for now. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! To everyone working on a rewrite: I feel your pain. Stick with it! You just might get it published.
Kaylea Cross