Archive for the writing life Category

Scripts, Giveaways, and a TV show?

Hello again

I promised Part 2 of the update, so here it is.

When I got back from Costa Rica, I struggled for a while to regain my energy and focus. (I think I had a little PTSD.) We spent a lot of time in Vancouver with the kids, helping them adjust to their new home and dealing with all the aftermath. Such as a call from the FBI… because we’d been accused of kidnapping. And a call from the state department … because we’d been accused of international child abduction. Neither was true, so we’re not in any trouble, but it was still distracting and stressful.

Then, when I tried to get back to writing the Jackson story, I couldn’t focus on it. The Costa Rica episode kept playing in my head. So I finally wrote a script about our rescue adventure. Getting the story down was cathartic, and I was finally able to get back to work on the Jackson book.

Meanwhile, I’m also marketing the script. And the good news is that two producers (one at Lifetime!) are currently reading it. A well-known actor has shown interest too. Fingers crossed! My purpose in trying to sell this script is to raise money for the kids. They’re doing well, but they need a lot of medical and dental attention, among other things. (A place to donate, if you’re inclined.)

Another interesting bright spot: In the middle of writing the Jackson book, I got a call out of the blue from a production company, asking me to host/narrate a true-crime TV show. Say what? I still had to audition for it, and so far, I made it past the first committee. Now I’m waiting for the next-level approval. This is just how the TV/Hollywood business is. Slow and usually disappointing. So I’m not counting on it, of course. But if it works out? Fun!

I’m also plotting my next script. Because writing them is fun too.

The blog title mentions a giveaway, so here it is: If you haven’t read THE GENDER EXPERIMENT, a thriller featuring Agent Bailey, you can download it for free here.

It’s also free on Amazon today (5/16).

 

 

Considering a Collaboration

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, J.T. Ellison and Catherine Coulter, JA Konrath and each of his writer friends—everywhere you look, authors are teaming up.

The trend seems more prevalent than ever, and I suspect it’s because authors are operating more independently now and because they have to work so hard to reach new readers. Collaborating with another writer brings a whole new readership to each partner, at least for that story or series, and hopefully with spillover to other works.

I never thought I could work that closely with someone. I don’t even have a writing group because it feels too collaborative. Of course, I count on my beta readers (and editor) for feedback, but that’s after I’ve nailed down the main story.

But I was approached recently by a friend about doing a collaboration, and I surprised myself by being receptive to the idea. Now that I have an FBI agent with her own series, a collaboration that brings Agent Dallas together with another established protag seems like a productive idea.

The other author has a kickass male FBI character and large readership of men, so the project could bring male readers into my Jackson series or, more likely, the series I’ve started with Agent Dallas.

We’re already brainstorming a plot, and I’d love to tell you who the other author is. But I worry that it might not pan out. We each have our own series we’re committed to, and we each have family responsibilities that may take precedence over a secondary writing project. But I want to do this and I hope we can make it work.

Ever since I decided to self-publish my newest story (with Agent Dallas), I’ve been getting my head back into indie mode and the marketing creativity it requires. It’s work, but it’s also fun and challenging, and this collaboration seems like a good way to expand my comfort zone and my readership.

What do you think? Have you collaborated with another author? Do you read books that are collaborations? Am I crazy?

Amazon and Amelia

The last six months have been quite busy! In addition to writing a new Jackson story—which seemed to take forever—we’ve been doing our usual daycare for two little nieces, and loads of daycare for our new baby granddaughter, Amelia. She’s a joyful child and I feel blessed to have her in my life. But I’m definitely not writing as much or as fast as I used to. I hope we can all learn to live with that.

The good news is that I have a solid first draft of my next Jackson story! And I’ll send the final version to my editor within the month. The other good news is that my editor works for Amazon Publishing, which bought my entire backlist and my next two stories. For me, this means security, and my readers will benefit too, because I’ll be able to keep writing instead of going back out and getting an office job when book sales get weak. Which they do every summer/fall.

And I’ll have some help with marketing, which will free up writing time for me. I’m very excited to have a publishing partner. It’s been a lot of work and stress making all this happen on my own.

The only sort-of bad news is that this new Jackson book won’t be published until the end of the year. Amazon plans to release their versions of all the Jackson stories at the same time, and they need a few months to produce them. So I appreciate your patience!

Meanwhile, here’s a video of our granddaughter Amelia. She’s the giggliest baby ever, and you can see what I’m don’t get much done when she’s here.

Amelia Hides the Remote

Amelia Likes to Bounce and Laugh

NaNo, Goals, and Motivation

nanowrimo_participant_06_100x100I  participated in National Novel Writing Month for the second time. Last year, I had the first half of a book written and I used NaNo as a motivation to quickly finish the second half. I was successful in doing that. This year, I had an outline and a first chapter of the next Jackson story, but I’d been out of new-story writing mode for a long time, so I signed up for NaNo as a motivation to write a good chunk of the book. Read more

Liberation!

In a post about how e-books are changing the publishing industry, Timothy Hallinan, author of the highly acclaimed Poke Rafferty series, said: “I’m writing two books I don’t even plan to try to sell through the usual channels; they’ll go direct to readers. I have a list of a dozen more I want to write. It feels as though I’ve been cooped up in a small room for years and the walls suddenly fell down. There’s space to swing my arms. I don’t have to reject exciting ideas because they’re not ideas I can sell.” Read more

New Level, New Possibilities

workshopI taught my first workshop on Sunday at the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland. And actually got paid. My first paid gig as a speaker! It’s a small thing, yet I feel like I’ve hit a new level as a writer. How it will translate into future success remains to be seen. I got terrific feedback on the workshop, titled Your First Draft Doesn’t Have to Suck and based on blogs I’ve posted Read more

Writing the Right Novel

Have you set aside a novel in progress because it was just too hard to write at that point in time? I just did. The futuristic thriller is on hold and I’m back to working on the fifth book in my Detective Jackson series. I feel so relieved.  I still plan to write THE ARRANGER (set in 2023), but I’m not in the right space to do it now.

It’s hard for me to admit something is too challenging, but that’s the truth of this situation. Because I’m still a full-time freelance editor, Read more

A Good News Week

I’ve had a terrific couple of weeks as upcoming writer, and I have to make note of the positive things because there can be many setbacks in between. Here’s my feel-good news.

  • A  store clerk recognized my name and said, “You’re the author…” Then she started talking about Detective Jackson like he was a real person and went on to quote lines from SECRETS TO DIE FOR. My heart about burst. Read more

Book Giveaway Winner

And the winner is…Carol M who “loves mysteries.” Congratulations! E-mail me with your address. Thank you, everyone, for participating and for the supportive comments. If you’re curious how authors randomly pick a name from a bunch of blog comments and e-mails, here’s how I do it: I copy and past all the comments into a Word document, then print it, then cut the comments into equal-size strips and fold them into squares. I put all the entrants into a bowl and let my husband draw one. Read more

Character Naming Contest

In the course of writing a novel, you have to come up with at least 15 names, possibly as many as 40, depending on the genre. Police procedurals (my current genre), with lots of suspects and neighbors to interview require an endless stream of names. For minor characters, I often go with whatever pops into my mind. Sometimes, it works out and sometimes not so much. Read more

Five-Time Readers Favorite Award Winner!

LATEST REVIEWS

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The characters were compelling, the procedural work was dead-on, and the story was enthralling. Definitely recommended.”
~Michelle Gagnon, author of Boneyard
The author expertly intertwines multiple story lines, presents readers with fully realized characters that readers will feel they know, and keeps the action and suspense levels high. That’s a lot to expect from an author but L. J. Sellers delivers.” ~OverMyDeadBody
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