It's great to be here talking about books! For those who don't know me, I've been writing for publication since about 2006, and I just celebrated my 25th book release. I write mainly mystery/romance, but I also have a reincarnation/time travel series, and a futuristic series. And I'm working on a mult-book futuristic series that I hope to release in 3 volumes, with 3 books per volume.
Yep, I've been busy!
People often ask me how I manage it: I have a full-time Day Job (which I truly enjoy), and I write at least two books a year, usually three. Plus I have a very active social life, travel life, and conference life (I'll be seeing you at RomCon next year, I'm sure). So how do I manage it without tearing out my hair?
I have a few hard and fast rules.
BICHOK. Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard. I know, that sounds too easy, right. But it's true. You can't publish if you don't write. I manage a minimum of an hour a day on my writing. Lately I haven't been able to squeeze in more, but when I can, I manage at least 2 hours a day.
I don't get much time, so it means that I have to maximize what time I get. I've learned some tricks that help me write quickly and enjoyably -- and 'enjoyable' is really the key to writing quickly. You have to have fun while you write. If you're struggling, then maybe you're in the wrong genre, or the wrong POV or the wrong time period. Find what makes you happy to be sitting at the keyboard and focus on that.
Don't be afraid to shake it up. I write in three different genres -- paranormal, futuristic, and mystery. I switch back and forth often and I think that keeps me from being bored or falling into a rut.
Connect with other writers when you can. I moved to a new town a year ago and I missed having a local writer's group, like I used to have. But I soon found some other like-minded people and when I can, I meet with them once a month. None of them are published, but it's fun to be around those who enjoy writing as much as I do.
Learn the craft of writing. Take online classes, or read books, or enter contests -- but always keep learning. Writing is like any good craft. It requires a mix of talent, determination, imagination, and basic skills. Learn the skills and it makes writing much easier. I've developed little tips and tricks that help keep me on track. Develop your own, or borrow mine -- they're at my web site if you'd like to see them. Go to the Pub Tips part of my web site (http://www.jayellwilson.blogspot.com/p/writing-tipspublishing-tips.html) and grab what notes might help you. And my plot ideas? Where do I get those? Those are all around us! In my latest book, Gilt, I read about an arson investigation that had been re-opened. That led me to consider the widow of the fireman who died in the fire. What if his ghost came back to her? And what if she felt guilty about his death?
And what would happen if ... And so on.
One time I was at a casino with friends and I said, "I wonder if someone could kill a person in a crowded casino and get away with it." And we promptly plotted the book (Shadow of Doubt).
There's the time I plotted how to kill off somebody during a busy book signing, and I plotted the death of a male model on the beach, and ...
I'm inventive when it comes to my murders, if I do say so myself.
If you'd like to see for yourself, please comment! Two lucky readers who comment on my blog will be randomly selected to win a copy of Gilt and a copy of one of my backlist titles (print or digital edition, your choice).