Research for an author can be both mundane and fabulous. My research is normally pretty easy. If I have a technical question about something specific involving ranch life, I can usually remember from when I grew up or if I can't, I just call my brother. It's great having a real-live cowboy as my go-to guy.
And then there is the best kind of research...at least in my opinion.
This of course involves finding someone to base your character on, or at least provide inspiration. As many romance authors will tell you, this is one of the best parts of the job.
So in order to find this elusive character, I did what any other modern woman would do...I trawled the internet.
Please enjoy the results as much as I have.
In about 2 days I will be sitting at a table with fellow authors at the Harlequin Authors Dinner, a preempt to the Romance Writers of New Zealand's annual conference which starts on Friday.
This is my favourite time of year. Well, besides Christmas (nothing beats Christmas). I spend all year waiting for the next conference to roll around; and finally it's here.
This year is extra exciting!
I have two books as finalists in the Koru Award, short and sexy category. The Koru award is a reader choice award, aimed at recongising excellence in published romance writing. I must add that 1) I took the description from the RWNZ website and 2) this contest is open to all published writers, not just those from New Zealand. So you can see why I'm so pleased.
I find out the results at the Awards Dinner on Saturday night. The competition is pretty amazing and I'm so happy to see my names next to theirs. They're both authors I admire and look up to. Maybe I am getting closer to my dream after all.
The two of my books that made it through to the finals are the first two in my Copeland Ranch Trilogy, I Choose You and Because of You.
First things first, Happy New Year!
Now that the crazy season of Christmas and New Year is over, I feel as though I can finally take a breath and regroup.
2014 was an amazing year. One that was beyond my wildest dreams! Looking back, I find it hard to believe all that I accomplished. Two whole books written, two books edited, two book launch parties (for the same book!), one writer's conference, one self development course plus everyday life with the kids, my wonderful husband and my great friends. I feel incredibly grateful.
I won't pretend, however that it was all sweet and fluff. There were (many) moments of panic and 'what am I doing?' and self doubt. My family had to endure a crazy woman and extremely messy house for probably most of the year. I had to ignore my friends when my deadlines loomed. My poor husband wrestled all three kids away from me days at a time so I could quickly type the last words of my manuscripts or pull off my edits in time. There is no way I could have gotten through this year without the help or understanding of a very good man.
I was blessed with a visit from my mom and her sister when my first book released. They stayed for two weeks and we had the BEST time. (except perhaps when my car-sick Aunt had to endure New Zealand roads!)
Just before my kids finished school for the year, I managed to complete the manuscript for my third book. I was so happy to get it done before Christmas. I was able to take the whole of the Christmas/New Year season off writing and just be, and enjoy my family. Until yesterday I hadn't gone to town since the 21st of December. Ah, bliss.
I have many goals for 2015. The first one is to complete the next two books of my contract. By the end of this year, I could have three more books out into the world. I also want to spend my time more wisely. At the end of last year I started getting up at 4 am in order to get a few hours of writing in before the kids got up. I NEEDED to do this because I am the Queen of Procrastination there was no way in hell I was going to complete my manuscript by my deadline if I didn't. I don't want to be THAT author who always asks for extentions. This year, starting tomorrow, I will reinstate my early mornings, but this time I am going to get up at 5:30 instead of 4 am. I can always adjust my time as I see fit. My next book is not due to my publisher until May so at the moment I'm not all panic stations. Talk to me in a month and my tune may have changed. :)
I would like to finish my novel with more time to spare in order to edit it more in-depth before sending it of to my editor. I fear some things I send her are very rough.
One of my other big goals is to tackle book marketing. I will be the first to admit that I am absolute crap in this area. I am conflicted about what exactly I should be doing. I don't want to be one of those annoying people that only talk about their books and shove Buy links in everyone's faces. But I also don't want to be the author that no one knows about because they never even mentioned to anyone they wrote a book. Okay maybe that last one I will never be accused of being, but I don't want to slip into obscurity because I don't make any effort.
On top of all that, I have the very lofty goal of reaching the New York Times Bestseller list. At the moment, as things are going there is no way this is going to happen. But you know what? 18 months ago, I thought there was no way I was going to be a twice published author with another book soon to be released and two more on contract. So why not dream big? Isn't that what life is about? Who wants to stay in the current situation they are in? Doesn't everyone want to strive for something better? I do. I know what I want. I might not know exactly how to get there, but I know that anything is possible. 2014 proved that to me without a doubt. We are all meant for greatness. We just have to find what it is we are meant to be great at. I am an author. That's all I need to know.
I am an author and this is my story.