*originally posted in the August 2017 Lemmon 15 newsletter
Q & A
I had several good Q's, so instead of picking, I'm doing a flash round. Let's get to it.
Which book took you the longest to write?
Rescuing the Bad Boy. It was my first "real" attempt at writing a book from scratch and has had several rewrites. I shared the details in this blog post, or you can check out photos of the mansion that inspired Donovan's home here.
How long does it take you to write and publish a book?
It takes about 4-6 weeks to write a first draft. From there, it's off to my editor for a round (or two?) of edits. After the final copyedit (and galleys if it's a print book), you can expect to see the book in the shelf about 6-8 months later. It varies, but the process takes around 12-18 months to execute.
Which part [of writing] is the most difficult part?
Lately the black moment (the part where "all is lost" in a romance novel) has been the most difficult part. It has to be believable, not feel contrived, but not be too horrible that it can't be resolved in the last 15% of the book. Challenging!
How do you decide to write the book in first or third person?
The Real Love (Candy) books came to me in first person. For the type of easygoing, punchy storytelling, first was exactly right. Other books, like the Bad Boy Billionaires feel more natural in third person. For the upcoming Harlequin (Dallas Billionaires Club) books, I was given the option to do either first or third. I thought I'd attempt first there as well, but when I sat down to write it, the characters came to me in third person. The short answer: I follow my instincts.
Have you ever had a character appear on the page and you considered writing their story but then realized there was no story (at least long enough) to tell?
OFTEN. I receive emails from readers asking "what about ____?" (Fill in secondary character's name here) and I feel their pain. Often they come to life for me on the page but for many reasons don't have a story. A perfect example is Lucas and Gena fromThe Billionaire Next Door. I loved them! Many readers asked about them. But I write romance and their romance had unfolded already. What we see on the page is after the Happily Ever After.
What is the one crazy storyline you really want to write but aren't sure it would go over well?
OH! OH! I have one! It's about angels and demons and heaven and hell and would probably be shelved in the fantasy section of the bookstore. Let me know if paranormal makes a comeback, k?
Can we get a special epilogue or Christmas novella featuring all the Cranes and their significant others? Pretty please?
I have to admit, the idea of writing more about the Crane brothers is SO, SO, SO intriguing! In order to do it (and do it right), I'd want to make sure I had the time to dedicate to the writing. Would you want it in novella form as an ebook? Or a special story available to newsletter subscribers only? Hmm...
*How do you go from a spark of an idea to a whole story with enough conflict and momentum to fill all the pages?
Ho boy. This is like explaining how to eat the proverbial elephant, so I dedicated an entire blog post to it. I’m sure if you asked this question to twenty authors, you’d get twenty different answers. I’m tackling this question in parts–since Jody did a great job of phrasing the question, I’m going to use Spark, Conflict, and Momentum as my jumping-off points... (keep reading)