2017 Writing Update

January 13, 2018 02:58 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

As promised in my last newsletter, here’s my rather lengthy update on my writing activities in 2017 (or lack thereof :-)). I’m sure you’re all eagerly waiting for me to publish a new book, and I swear I’m working on it. In all honesty, I wasn’t being a total slacker in the writing department last year. I just had some unexpected things come up, as well as some things that simply didn’t go as planned.

As you all know from my Bookaversary celebration this month, I published my third novel, Butterfly Serenade, in January of 2017. Normally, I try to do things at a steady but leisurely pace, because I have an anxiety disorder and my brain has a tendency to revolt if I put too much pressure on it. Although I managed to stay sane, I did push myself pretty hard in the months leading up to the release in order to meet my goal of getting it out by mid-January, which left me a little burned out. Even after that, I had a lot of new release marketing to take care of, so that was what I focused on for the next couple of months.

In March, I eased back into things by writing my first children’s book. I had planned on releasing it by the summer or fall, at the latest, and figured that would give me plenty of time to secure an illustrator and get that part of the book finished. I found an illustrator who happened to have worked on the children’s book of an author friend. I liked her style and her price was extremely reasonable, so I hired her on the spot. Sadly, about four months later, she had to drop out of the project due to health problems. I completely understood, but since she had only been able to produce a few rough sketches during that time, her unexpectedly bowing out put me right back to square one. Unfortunately, since I hadn’t really researched illustrators before hiring her, I didn’t know that the price she was charging wasn’t just reasonable, it was phenomenally low. Despite doing quite a bit of searching since then, I have yet to find someone who is both affordable and whose style I like. So, at present, this book is on hold until I can find the right person for the job. I hope to start looking again soon, so we’ll see what happens. As soon as things start moving on this front, I’ll let you all know.

In the meantime, I wasn’t just twiddling my thumbs. I knew the next book I wanted to write was the third novel in my Loving Hearts series. The only problem was that my muse wasn’t cooperating. I’m not the type of writer who has to plot a story out in minute detail before beginning, but I do need to be able to see most of the major events, how they fit together, and how it ends. While I could see most of the important pieces of the story, the glue that held them together eluded me. So, I started doing some research, hoping it would wake up my muse. Well, she woke up all right, but instead of filling in the missing pieces of the book I wanted to write, she decided to fill in some of the missing pieces on another book series that’s been brewing in my mind for a while. Not wanting to forget anything she was showing me, I, of course, had to follow her onto that rabbit trail and write it all down, which took a little while. Once I’d cleared that out of my head and finished my research, Ms. Muse finally got down to business with the Loving Hearts book. Unfortunately, though, it was August before that happened.

While all that was going on, my youngest and only daughter graduated from high school in May, and then got engaged in August. I knew both of those things were coming, so none of it was a surprise. However, when she started planning for a November wedding only one week after her fiancé popped the question, my anxiety kicked into high gear. I’d been thinking I might have at least six months or more to adjust to my baby leaving me to start her own life and before I had to help plan a wedding, so I felt like I was suddenly taking a ride on a runaway freight train and wondering when I could get off, maybe even thinking about jumping.:-) After a few panicky days, I somehow pulled myself together enough to get down to the business of wedding planning, and as you all saw in my November newsletter, it all went off without a hitch.

Somewhere in the midst of all that chaos, I found time to get back to writing a little. I spent most of September working on character sketches and a detailed synopsis, which is my alternative to outlining, for The Key to Her Heart, which is Alex and Ryan's story. Then in October, I started actually writing the book. I worked on it off and on for about a month and a half, before I had to set it aside again to deal with last-minute wedding stuff and holiday planning. Now that the craziness of all that is finally over, I’m back to writing more regularly again, and I’m actually excited about it. Most of the story has really come together for me and is eagerly waiting to get out of my brain and onto the computer screen. I hope to be able to release The Key to Her Heart sometime this year. Since I’m still early in the process, I don’t have a release date yet, which I know might be disappointing to some of you. I just humbly ask for you patience. I will try to keep you all updated on my progress via the newsletter and perhaps occasionally give you a teaser or two to whet your appetite. Thank you to all of my readers for hanging in there with me during my crazy year, last year, and for indulging my fickle creative side. If all goes well, I hope to have one (or maybe even both) of my works in progress into your hands at some point in 2018.

Categories: News, Writing

Tags: The Key to Her Heart