How Long Does it Take?

Some dreams seem to happen over night, others take many years to come to fruition.

The Advance Reading Copy of my upcoming book this fall, A Sure Cure for Witchcraft arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

Isn’t that the same book I just finished the edits on and weren’t the ARCs just sent off to the printer a few weeks ago?

Yup.

Wow!

And didn’t I just launch my latest book The Family Way last month?

Yup.

Did I mention I have another book due to be published next fall?

Probably so.

Sounds like I’ve been writing up a storm lately.

Um nope. No more than usual. In fact, I’ve got plenty of things taking me away from writing these days.

Here’s the thing. I wrote the first draft for A Sure Cure for Witchcraft in the summer of 2009–eleven years ago and the book that’s coming out next fall, I started back in the 1990’s.

But stories are like that. Sometimes I work on one for awhile and then I need to give it space. I go back again and again. Sometimes I decide they’re not worth continuing. Other times, I decide to change the tense or the POV. And almost always, the things I think are going to happen change as the story goes off in a totally different direction from what I expected.

But then there are all the years of writing before that first acceptance came. During that time, I was learning with each word, sentence and paragraph I wrote and rewrote and rewrote. It took time to find myself on the page and to learn how to write a story that I was ready to share with others. And there is always more to learn as I discover each time I work on edits for a book. My first published short story was way back in 1993. That was a long time ago! My first book didn’t come along until 2009.

I guess what I’m saying is that the book people read has been written and rewritten, smoothed and polished as much as possible before it ever sees print and sometimes that can take years or decades. The fact that I’ve had several books come out in a relatively short time is because I’ve been jumping back and forth between stories rewriting and rewriting over the course of many years.

Right now I’m working on a YA novel and I have a couple adult fiction novels on the go. The YA novel I’ve been working on for a couple of years now, the other two novels for over twenty and if I’m being honest I have a couple of Middle Grade novels thrown in there too. Will they soon see publication? That I have no idea about. I hope, but time will eventually tell.

What I do know is that I’ll continue writing as often as I can for as long as I can. The stories that need to be told, will end up being told. There are some things a writer has no control over.

I will say that there’s a certain satisfaction in finally holding that finished book for the first time, knowing that I stayed determined and focused, and worked damn hard to make it happen. Of course, if it was an easy thing to do there would not be that same feeling of accomplishment I have when I finally get to hold another baby in my arms.

A Time for Everything

Since my first book was published nearly twelve years ago, my life has been filled with a lot of firsts. Today, I had my very first virtual book launch for my fifth book. It was an interesting experience. This pandemic has given us many opportunities to do things in a whole different way. While I love being able to see people in person, it just wasn’t meant to be this time. I feel fortunate to be launching another book– pandemic or no pandemic. When the things we want come our way, we shouldn’t be choosey.

I can well remember all the years I longed to be the published author of a book. While I’d had many short stories published, something inside me said there had to be more. So for many years, I wrote stories, and tried to improve upon my writing. And for a lot of years the “big prize” seemed to be so far off in the distance.

But then the right time came, and things fell into place and my first book came into the world. All was right in my little writing world.

But one book left me longing to have another book. What if that first book was just a fluke. You know what they say about everyone having a book in them. Maybe that was my one book.

I kept writing. Four years later my next novel was published. I started to believe that first book wasn’t my one and only book. Now my fifth book is here, the sixth comes out this fall and number seven in 2022.

I wanted to share this YouTube video with you all from way back in the sixties–The Byrds.

I love this song. It causes a very nostalgic feeling to stir inside me. I remember it from when I was a kid. If you’re of a certain age ( or if you were a Forrest Gump fan) you probably know this song. I wanted to share it because it’s my favorite verse in the Bible and because it’s something I do strongly believe. There is a time for everything. There are times when we need to wait and be patient for that right time to come.

I feel the same way when I’m writing a book. I always know when the right time comes, I’ll start writing the story that’s been circulating in my head for weeks or months. And when that story tells me to pause for a time and start work on another project, I do. Even when I’d feel a need to complete a certain project.

Can’t rush the story, I always say. And you can’t force creativity–or at least I can’t. Every writer is different. For me, trusting in the story to come to me when the time is right seems to work well. At least for the moment. I’ll acknowledge the fact that all that could change in time because there is a time for everything and everything in it’s own time.

Launching The Family Way

Saturday May 22nd is the official launching of THE FAMILY WAY. The event is on the Nimbus Facebook page but anyone on or off Facebook can join us. So, that means even if you aren’t a Facebook user you can tune in.

I’m a bit disappointed not to be having an in-person event this time but there’s not a lot that can done about that. Hopefully, in the fall, when A SURE CURE FOR WITCHCRAFT is launched, things will be different. But that is something we won’t know until fall.

I’m reminded of my very first book launch at the community centre here in East Dalhousie, (HERE) and how different this one will be. But different just means that– different, and all I can hope for is to have the best darn virtual launch I can have. I have no idea what to expect and I don’t consider myself particularly savvy when it comes to this online world we’ve been pushed into thanks to the pandemic. But I’ll do my best. That’s all I can do.

Hopefully, some people will tune in to hear me read and maybe even ask a question or two. I hear there are two free copies of THE FAMILY WAY up for grabs and Nimbus is offering a 15% discount if you order one of my books through them. Sweet!

Guess it’s not proper to say I hope to see you there (because I won’t actually see you)–but you know what I mean. Right?

And the Winner is.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Atlantic Book Awards were held last Thursday and GOOD MOTHERS DON’T was nominated for The Dartmouth Book Award. While I didn’t end up with the prize that evening, I still ended up feeling like a winner when these arrived on Saturday afternoon from my publisher.

So, the actual winner of the award was Lesley Crewe and her book THE SPOON STEALER. I’ve met Lesley and she’s so nice and funny, and I’m happy for her. Coincidentally, we both have the same publisher.

Today, I sent off the ARC queries for A SURE CURE FOR WITCHCRAFT to my editor. This means, the ARCs will soon be going off to print. It’s been a crazy busy time with two books coming out in one year and with last year’s book still getting some attention.

This Saturday, I’m set to do a virtual book launch for THE FAMILY WAY which is another first for me. It’s something that anyone on or off Facebook can attend. I’m not sure what to expect but I guess I’ll be soon finding out.

Now, it’s off to work on my next book. I’ve a few in the works but so it’ll be a race to see which one makes it to the finish line first.

Atlantic Book Awards and Festival

Some of you might recall that my novel, GOOD MOTHERS DON’T has been shortlisted for the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for fiction along with THE SPOON STEALER by Lesley Crewe and THE SILENCE OF THE VESSEL by Brenda MacLennan -Dunphy. I’m honoured and thrilled that my book has been nominated in this category along side these two gifted writers. Coincidently, all three of these books have been published by Nimbus Publish and Vagrant Press!

If anyone’s interested in joining the online awards gala that will be talking place tomorrow evening, May 13th at 7:00 here’s the link. HERE

I’m wishing all the nominees good luck.

Keeping Busy

“Being busy and being productive are two different things.”

Having a certain amount of years under my belt, I have to say there’s a lot of truth to the above quote. My days have been super busy since I retired from my day job, and I’m grateful for that, but I don’t always accomplish the things I’d like to in. Mind you, I always manage to meet deadlines and most times actually beat them. But there’s always that “What if?” question dangling above me.

What if I used my time more efficiently? What if I set small, reasonable goals each day?

This week, I’m juggling several writerly things while trying to keep a balance in my personal life.

I also find myself on one hand, thrilled to have another book published, yet disappointed that this is my second published book during a pandemic. And I ask myself: Will THE FAMILY WAY even stand a chance in that scary COVID world? Regardless of the circumstances all author hope that their book will make a bit of a splash when it enters the world, not just a tiny ripple. Will this pandemic allow for splashes? Or will the many restrictions only allow for a ripple or two?

Today I was working on some preparation for the ARC for my upcoming book this fall, and I had to wonder what the future holds in store for that one. Will it become a third book released during a pandemic that doesn’t want to seem to go away?

Still, there’s not a thing I can do about it. Some things are out of my control. This is one of them. But I don’t intend to let this get me down. I’m not about to let this pandemic rain on my parade. I’ll just keep my head down and keep plugging along. What will be will be.

The Atlantic Book Awards

It’s that time of the year again when the nominations for the Atlantic Book Awards are announced. I’m honoured and thrilled that Good Mothers Don’t has been short-listed for this year’s Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, and thrilled to be in the company of such gifted writers.

The winners for all the awards will be announced later in May. Wish me luck!

The Family Way Book Trailer

In my last post, I mentioned that I’d be sharing the book trailer my oldest daughter made for THE FAMILY WAY. We had a blast working on it together, long distance. It was challenging but fun. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Release Day for The Family Way

Release day has finally arrived. But what does that mean? What it means is that the book is just newly back from the printer and a few copies are being distributed. But what does that mean? That it will be awhile before THE FAMILY WAY is lined up on bookshelves, readily available. But soon, real soon. I promise.

Not only am I excited to have another Cammie book coming into the world, but I also have a brand new book trailer to share with all of you. But not just yet. My sources say Thursday. My daughter and worked on the trailer–long distance this time, choosing music, video clips and photos, editing and reediting and reediting the small bit of text. Believe it or not, the least amount of words seem to take the most amount of time. Condensing an entire novel into a few sentences is challenging as are all the other components involved. But we had fun working at it.

So, that’s it for today. I’ll be sure to share the trailer with you when it’s available. I hope in turn you’ll share it on your social media and beg ask others to share it as well.

April-I Fooled You

I got thinking today about an April Fool’s blog post I wrote about nine years ago–yes nine! Saying that just sounds crazy to me, like how fast is time going? Sheesh. Anyway, back to said blog post.

The entire post was meant as an April Fool’s joke in which I announced that at 51 we were welcoming a new addition to the family. That post got the nearly 700 views and a ton of comments. I’m sure mainly because a lot of people thought I was off my rocker. An addition to the family that late in the game! Enquiring minds just needed to know! Anyway, it was exciting to watch the stats that day. If you’re curious, here’s the link to One’s On the Way.

I couldn’t have hoped for a better way to announce that I’d signed a contract for my second book, FLYING WITH A BROKEN WING.

So why is this relevant at this time, you might ask? I guess because little did I know when I wrote that post the joke was really on me. It should have actually said, Three’s On the Way.

Nine years ago. I had no inkling that the story of a spunky visually girl would actually end up being #1 in the Cammie series. How’s that for surprises? And while #3 THE FAMILY WAY is about to make it’s debut into the publishing world in just thirteen days, who’s to say where that series will eventually end up. Will it stop at three or will there be a four or even five? Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that myself. That’s the marvelous thing about being a writer, all the surprises that we encounter along the way.

So Happy April Fool’s Day. I hope you encounter a surprise or two along the way.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Follow Laura Best on WordPress.com
  • coming April 13 2021

  • Laura Best

  • Blog Stats

    • 91,306 hits