Diamond State Romance Authors

Deadline Hell

This year at Romance Writers of America’s annual conference, I received my 25-book pin from Harlequin.  I spent a week in Atlanta attending the conference while my work piled up at home. Deadlines grew tighter with each day I was at conference. But it was worth it.

Now, I have two weeks to write 50,000 words. Yes, I’m on an insane deadline schedule, but, by golly, I’m gonna make it! And to do that, I’ll keep this post short. Can’t spare the extra words I need to put into my manuscript.

What can you do if you’re on an insane schedule and have to get those words out?

Walk the dog?

Water the plants?

Do the laundry?

Write? Hmmm….what a concept!

Frankly, you can do it all. You just have to make it happen. When I’m on deadline, I set my goals for the weeks, then break them down into the days and attack them one day at a time. If that’s not good enough to get me motivated, I get online with a friend of mine and sprint to get those words out. We give ourselves 45-60 minutes and write like our hair’s on fire and report back in as to how well we did. I visualize playing pool when you have the eight ball in sight and you’re aiming for the corner pocket. Call it. Eight ball in the corner pocket. One hour, one thousand words. Then go!

And don’t stop until you get that 1K in 1 hour or that 5K in a day. If you slogged through a plot point and wasted half your day on a scene, you stay up late and work until you get those words done that you set as your goal for the day. If life happens and you end up losing that day or part of that day, think Weight Watchers! Make up for it by writing more the next day. Or bank your words if you know you won’t be able to reach goal the next day. That means write more the day before to make up for the words you’ll miss because you have a doctor’s appointment the next day. You do what has to be done, because you don’t want to be the author that turns their work in late. And if you’re setting your own deadlines on your path to being published, you’re getting in good practice and forming habits for when you do have publisher deadlines.

It’s all about discipline and desire. If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. I’ll have 7 books out with Harlequin next year and at least 3 under my other pen name Myla Jackson. It doesn’t happen unless I put my fingers to the keyboard and write!

Now, I need to get to work. It’s 5K today or die!

Taking Aim

Covert Cowboys Inc, Book #2

by Elle James

This was my 25th book published with Harlequin. I’m working on number 29 now.

A kidnapping offers an FBI agent a second chance at redemption in Elle James’s Covert Cowboys, Inc. miniseries.

After witnessing the murder of his partner, former FBI agent Zach Adams suffers the weight of his own guilt. An unexpected assignment hunting down the members of the Texas gang responsible—who have kidnapped a local woman—could offer long-awaited revenge.

Zach understands the danger of tracking the cartel, but it’s his desire for the sister of the missing person that he fails to anticipate. Determined to find her twin, Jacie Kosart is as strong-willed as she is alluring. But when Zach’s ruthless search for the kidnappers lands Jacie in the crosshairs of deadly enemies, Zach realizes he’ll risk everything to keep her alive…even if it means confronting the demons of his own past.