It's hard to believe it's July already. It really is true what they say—the days are long, but the years are short. July is my birthday month. I don't do a big party or lots of presents, but I do try to do something nice for myself every year on my birthday. I hope you do that for yourself, too. I think it's a great time to pause and reflect on all the blessings in our lives.
I'm also very much looking forward to another type of birthday—the book birthday of When We Found Home on July 10. It's a standalone novel. Well, for the most part. One character stuck with me so completely that I felt compelled to write a novella for her that I think will come out later this year. I think Keira will touch your heart, too, and you'll be glad to know what happens to her when she grows up.
Readers often ask me about my daily routine. Now, keep in mind that every writer is different, and there are as many unique writing processes as there are writers. As long as you end up with a story that readers will love, it's all good.
My routine changes a bit, depending on where I am in the story. When I first start a new story, it's often slow going as I get to know the characters and immerse myself in their world. I start each new book by writing one scene from each main character's point of view, until I feel I know his or her personality. In the case of When We Found Home, there are four point-of-view characters because there are two romances in this book. (And may I say, they are wonderful! Each romance develops so beautifully and distinctly. You're going to laugh when you see how discombobulated ladies' man Santiago becomes when he meets The One.)
Then I stop writing in order to plot the book. For those of you familiar with writing terms, I'm way at the plotter end of the plotter/pantser spectrum. My plot notes are basically the world's shortest first draft. This is where I iron out any major problems with the story line. I mostly do this at home, unless the cats start playing with my notecards. Mostly Alex. Lucy is almost always hiding somewhere.
In that case, I go to what I call my "faux office," a very utilitarian room with no internet, no pets, and not even any artwork on the walls. In other words, no distractions. I hate it there, which motivates me to do my work as quickly as possible so I can go home.
Once I get rolling with a story, I set a goal of writing 15 pages a day. I stay at my computer until I finish those pages, whether it takes two hours or ten. (It rarely takes ten, thank goodness.)
After I finish my pages, I'm not done for the day. I take a play break with the animals, and then when they're tired out and napping, I take care of the work part of being a writer. (Writing is the play part. Writing is still what I love to do best, even after all these books. The most fun, the most rewarding, the most emotionally fulfilling. I love everything about it.)
I also think about you, my readers, every day. Because you love my books, I get to keep doing what I love best in the world. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
FIND ME IN SEATTLE
On July 10 at 7 pm, I'll be at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, WA to celebrate the release of When We Found Home—my only planned 2018 public appearance! I'll do a little chat, a Q&A, and give away some fun door prizes, and then we'll start the book signing. I'll happily sign all books purchased from Third Place Books, but out of respect for the bookstore, we ask readers not to bring books from home. Refreshments will be provided.
WHAT: When We Found Home Book Signing
WHEN: July 10, 7 pm
WHERE: Third Place Books, Town Center at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155