Saturday, October 15, 2011

An Obsessive Writer’s Schedule

Recently my husband said to me, “You have so many writing projects going at once.  How do you keep everything straight?”

I answered him, and he said, “You should tell your readers about how you work.  I bet they’d love to know how you do it.”

I don’t know that you’d really care to know how I get books written.  Then again, maybe you’re curious.  If so, this blog is for you.

I have at least three projects going at any one time, usually more.  The bare-bones schedule consists of one book being outlined, one in first-draft status, and the third in its second/third draft.   From outline to sending the book to my proofreader takes about six months:  two months for character development and story outline, two months allocated to write a book’s first draft, and two months for the second and third drafts.  I often work even faster than this, especially during the last two rewrites.  This production schedule allows me to send out a new book to my publisher every two to three months.

Here’s an example of how current projects are fitting into this itinerary:  The Font, a vampire erotic novel, is being outlined now.  Netherworld 2:  Blood Potion No. 9 is in first draft status.   And Alien Slave, Clans of Kalquor 5, should be in its final draft before going to the proofreader, but I got excited as usual and finished it ahead of schedule.  The proofreader has completed her read, I’ve made necessary changes, and I’m putting it in final formatting now.

That shouldn’t be too bad, right?  And it wouldn’t be if that’s all I had going.  But writing is my crack cocaine.  I’m absolutely addicted to it.  When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.  Wishing I was writing.  So there’s more.  Much more.

I’m also working a little every day on Alien Interludes, the short story compilation I’ve mentioned before.   Plus Megan Zeise and I are co-writing The Phucket List, which means half the time I’m chugging along on that.   Then there’s this blog, which I devote a good bit of time to. 

There’s still more.  I recently signed a contract for a non-erotica mainstream science fiction book.  This will go out under another name, as erotic writers tend to be given short shrift by the ‘serious’ literary community.   So now I have to work on building a new brand under another nom de plume.  That means writing more books to build a base for a new persona.  For my alter ego, I have another science fiction story in outline, a horror novel in first draft, and a horror novel in final rewrites.

So here’s my writing day right now, arranged in order of priority: 

1.       Final formatting of Alien Slave to send to the publisher
2.       If it’s my turn to work on The Phucket List, this is next on the agenda.
3.       Final re-writes on mainstream horror novel
4.       First draft of Netherworld 2:  Blood Potion No. 9
5.       First draft of mainstream horror novel number 2
6.       Outlining The Font
7.       Outlining mainstream sci-fi novel
8.       First drafts of Alien Interludes short stories

That’s where I am these days.  Eight, count ‘em, EIGHT writing projects going on right now.  Plus this blog.  But wait … there’s potentially more to add to the mayhem.

I also write training films for the federal government one to two times a year.  And I have a producer looking over an award-winning screenplay I wrote.  A television pilot I co-wrote is in pre-production.  If the scriptwriting takes off, that means more work to fit in somewhere.

Did you get all that?  I hope so, because I don’t have any more time to tell you about it.  This obsessed writer has to get back to work.


  1. congratulations on the mainstream sf and horror! always good to diversify. if possible, drop a title or name hint when release gets close. I started with sff before adding romance etc to my reading. I'd probably have to skip the horror, poltergist + the thing + a couple of King novels all too close together made me realize that I don't do horror well.

  2. Thanks! I will probably post an 'interview' with my alter ego here when I find out a release date. I'm starting to feel like a split personality!