My Writing Playlists

Confession: I used to *never* write with music. I couldn't. Then, over the last several years something changed and now I have to listed to music when I write. For most of my books, I put together a soundtrack that I listen to for inspiration when I'm writing that particular story - songs that evoke a certain feeling, or harken to how I view my characters, or are just great songs that make my fingers fly over the keyboard.

I was recently asked if I had to name ONE song for each book I've published what it would be. This was a no-brainer. (Except for The Ties That Bind. I was still listening to other playlists while I wrote that one.)

  • Lucky Star - All of Me by John Legend
  • Trying Sophie - This Town by Niall Horan
  • Ruck Me - Perfect by Ed Sheeran
  • Ashes to Ashes - Vice by Miranda Lambert

Want to listen to the playlists yourself? Click on the buttons below.

My Writing Process and How It Came to Be

I keep seeing all these "how to" posts that will help authors write faster but no matter what I try or how often I try it, I'm just not wired that way.

I believe my approach to writing - slow and methodical, editing as I go, going back and re-reading to make sure all the details match up from one chapter to the next - stems from when I first started doing PR and was given an opportunity to write a press release. I had a time limit but I wanted to impress my manager when I passed it off, so I was meticulous about its content, flow, and pacing. The only thing I got wrong? The title (headlines are still a problem for me).

Then, as I moved up the ranks and I was the manager and became responsible for ghost writing technical articles that would be published in outlets like Computerworld and Business Week, there was no one above me to double check what I'd written before it went to the client for approval. I was the last line of defense in delivering something that wouldn't have to be re-written, which would have wasted their time and ours.

So it's no wonder then as I sit here with a chapter from Ruck Me open, I've gone over the first 1000 words with a fine toothed comb - not once but three times over the course of as many days. That paragraph about Aoife's career fair shenanigans? I've re-written a sentence four times to make sure it sounds perfect when I read it aloud.

The chapter where Eoin scores his first professional try? I watched thirty minutes of rugby footage - play, pause, rewind, play, pause, rewind - to make sure I described his movements exactly right. Eoin didn't just catch the ball and get over the goal line. He side stepped his defenders, strong arming them in the process, as he marched steadily toward his target, dragging two men behind him, his powerful thighs flexing with the strain of nearly 30 stone trying to hold him back before finally crossing that thin white line.

So yeah, that's why you'll never get a book every other month from me. Or heck, every three months. It's a miracle I've been able to write as much as I have this year.

An Update on American Hero: A Wounded Hearts Novella

Earlier this summer I was contacted by a well-known entity to write a romance novella for a new venture they were launching. I had a few calls with their PR team to discuss the particulars, pitched my story idea, and then signed a contract to deliver my work in mid-August. Now, because I'm an over-achiever and work best with deadlines and timelines, I delivered the novella *before* it was due to much fanfare and praise (they told me I was one of the only authors they were working with who delivered exactly what was discussed and they *loved* my story). 

At that point, I submitted my invoice to their legal team and was told the venture would launch in September. Then October. Then I received a note from my contact telling me they were handing it off to another group who I'd hear from in "a couple of weeks." They also asked to know how I planned to help promote the launch (remember, this is the PR group) and they were excited to hear what I was doing. I received another email that indicated (1) I'd be paid 60 days after invoicing and (2) the expected launch was now scheduled for November.

YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING, don't you?

Here we are nearing the end of December and (1) I haven't received *any* communications from the new group, (2) the venture *still* hasn't launched, and (3) I haven't been paid. 

Because of what I used to do for a living, I understand that major launches can hit roadblocks and things can be delayed. Trust me, I've had to talk to more reporters than I can recall, trying to explain why a product wasn't going to be launched until the following quarter. I GET IT. What I don't get is why there's been *zero* communication from the new group detailing where we are in the process in order to re-set expectations. And I can't be the only author who is wondering what the heck is going on. I've written to my first contact and asked for more clarification and to obtain an email address for the person who was supposed to have followed up with me because this is absolutely unacceptable.

The thing that makes me most upset though - aside from all of this - is that the story is contracted to them so I can't do anything with it. I was so excited to share it with all of you in the autumn (and then in the winter) but now I don't know if it'll ever see the light of day. It was something I was proud of.

Now, you might have noticed I've taken down all reference to it from my website because I've had people asking me when it was going to be available but the truth is, I just don't know. It might not *ever* be available at this rate and that's a shame. I'm going to have a lawyer I know look at the contract and see if there's any wiggle room there. In the meantime, I hope to have an update soon on where the venture stands. What started back in May as an amazing experience I was so excited for has actually turned into something that makes me sad. I'm almost wishing I'd never gotten involved. :-(