Monthly update – December 2016

dec 2016Over the past several years, I’ve made it a tradition to post my working hours every month to keep myself accountable and to give you some insight into what’s going on behind the scenes, so to say.

I spent the last weeks of December on vacation at a lovely beach with gorgeous weather, so I only now took a look at my December numbers.

Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last month of 2016:

I got the edits back for my latest novel, Falling Hard, which is a medical romance between an interracial couple. Luckily, there wasn’t that much that needed to be changed, so the manuscript is now with my publisher, and all looks good for a publication at the beginning of April.

At the moment, I’m already working on translating Falling Hard into German so that my German readers don’t have to wait so long to be able to read the novel too.

This is what my numbers looked like in 2016:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL1,256 hours778 hours312 hours187 hours323 hours2,856 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours
May136 hours54 hours---79 hours14 hours283 hours
June108 hours101 hours---4 hours21 hours234 hours
July67 hours66 hours---46 hours36 hours215 hours
August48 hours80 hours78 hours11 hours68 hours285 hours
September149 hours49 hours46 hours---13 hours257 hours
October162 hours41 hours------18 hours221 hours
November83 hours53 hours------27 hours163 hours
December78 hours27 hours------68 hours173 hours

As you can see, I spent a lot of time on “admin stuff” in December. That’s because I sat down and made plans for 2017, 2018, and 2019.

In publishing, you have to plan ahead and set deadlines because you have to book editors, cover artists, and proofreaders ahead of time. So I have to give my publisher an idea of which manuscript to expect from me and when. I already have a pretty good idea what my novels for the next three years will be. Among other things, I’m planning a sequel for the Portland Police Bureau series (Conflict of Interest and Next of Kin) and a continuation of my shape-shifter series (Second Nature and True Nature). There will also be contemporary romances that won’t be part of a series. So I’m hoping to have something new out for each of my readers.

I’m wishing you a 2017 with a lot of happiness, laughter, and good reading material!

Jae

Review of my 2016 goals and my writing goals for 2017

2016 was a year that was challenging and stressful, but at the same time also very rewarding.

 

Review of my goals for 2016

 

A year ago, I posted my writing goals for 2016, which were:Heart Trouble_Jae

 

1. Write and publish two English novels, Shaken to the Core, (historical romance) and one that is tentatively titled Connected (contemporary romance).

I did achieve that goal. Shaken to the Core was published in June, and Heart Trouble (which got a new title during the writing process) came out in October.

Both received great reviews, so readers seem to be as happy with how these novels turned out as I am.

Another highlights of the year that I hadn’t planned for was the publication of Under a Falling Star in audiobook format.

 

 

2. Translate and publish two German novels, Im Scheinwerferlicht, (translation of Damage Control) and Affäre bis Drehschluss, (translation of Just Physical).

I actually met and surpassed that goal by translating and publishing not two but three German novels this year: Im Scheinwerferlicht, Affäre bis Drehschluss and Herzklopfen und Granatäpfel (the translation of Heart Trouble).

It’s great to be able to reach readers in two languages!

 

 

Coverentwurf_final

3. Write a novella and/or a couple of short stories.

I didn’t write a novella (and maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t try, because I probably would have ended up with a novel, wreaking havoc with my writing schedule). But I did write a short story for Ylva Publishing’s anthology Finding Ms. Write. The title is “Sex Sells.”

Despite the title, it’s not erotica, but it sure was fun to write!

 

 

4. Write and publish one nonfiction book for writers, Writing a Series.

This is another goal that I met and surpassed—well, kind of. I did write and publish two nonfiction books for writers, but I didn’t tackle the topic of how to write a series. Instead, I focused on the two most important craft aspects of writing: Point of View and Show, Don’t Tell.

 

 

5. Attend the GCLS conference, which will be in the Washington D.C./Alexandria area in July 2016.

I did attend the conference, which is always a highlight of my year. We spend a couple of days sightseeing in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, met up with old (and new) friends, and I ended up taking several Goldie Awards home with me, among them one for my paranormal romance Good Enough to Eat, which I co-wrote with Alison Grey.

 

lesbos

Great Lesvos Lesfic 2016 group

 

6. Attend the lesbian book vacation on Lesbos in June 2016.

This was one of the best weeks in 2016. A week of beach, books, wonderful food, and great people. I also held two workshops for writers, which were well received.

 

 

 

7. Find more time to read in 2016

Okay, I admit it. I totally failed with this goal. I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted. Although the year ended with a great beach vacation, where I read at least half a dozen novels that have been piling up on my Kindle.

 

My creative goals for 2017

goalsAfter meeting most of my goals for 2016, here’s what I’m planning to do in 2017: 

  • Write and publish two English novels. The first novel I publish in 2017 will be a contemporary/medical romance titled Falling Hard. The second one will be a romance novel with an asexual main character.
  • Translate and publish two German novels. I’m already in the process of translating Falling Hard. The second German book for 2017 will be either the translation of the still untitled novel about the asexual main character or a translation of Shaken to the Core.
  • Write two short stories. I would love to contribute to an anthology for which the profits will go to the GCLS to help educate, promote, and recognize lesbian fiction. I’d also like to write a short story and make it available for free to my readers.
  • Attend the book fair in Leipzig in March and the book fair in Frankfurt in October. I’ve attended the largest book fair in the world—the one in Frankfurt—every year for at least four or five years now, but I’ve only been to the one in Leipzig once, so it’ll be great to attend again.
  • Attend the GCLS conference, which will be in Chicago this July. I’m looking forward to catching up with fellow writers and readers of lesbian fiction.
  • Continue to mentor new writers and give back to the community of LGBT writers. That includes being a mentor in the GCLS’s Cate Culpepper Mentoring Program.
  • Become a more healthy writer. Since writing is such a sedentary activity, I’m trying to stay fit by exercising more and eating healthy.
  • Last but not least: Finally do what I didn’t achieve in 2016 and read more books for fun. I’ll get started on that one tonight since I’m in the middle of reading Captain of Industry, Karin Kallmaker’s newest lesbian romance.

 

What are your goals and big hopes for 2017? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Monthly update – November 2016

lipovina-1166176_640Jeez, it’s December already, and Christmas and the New Year are knocking on our doors!

I’m leaving for a vacation at a hopefully sunny beach in about two weeks, so I’m pleased that I managed to finish revising my work in progress, Falling Hard. I just sent it off to my editor yesterday.

Here’s what it’s all about:

Dr. Jordan Williams devotes her life to two things: saving patients in the operating room and pleasuring her latest conquest in the bedroom. Her idea of commitment is spending a few hours together in bed.

Single mom Emma Larson is Jordan’s polar opposite. Family and fidelity mean everything to her. After an ugly divorce from her wife, a plastic surgeon, she and her five-year-old daughter move in next door to Jordan. While she finds Jordan undeniably attractive, falling in love with another womanizing surgeon is the last things she needs.

When a bad fall leaves Jordan in need of assistance, Emma decides to help her while she recovers.

Could those six weeks turn out to be the beginning of a happily ever after, or will they both end up with a broken heart?

 

I’ve also been working on polishing and revising my novel Something in the Wine, which will be published in a second edition with a stunning new cover next week.

So here are the numbers for November:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL1,178 hours751 hours312 hours187 hours255 hours2,683 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours
May136 hours54 hours---79 hours14 hours283 hours
June108 hours101 hours---4 hours21 hours234 hours
July67 hours66 hours---46 hours36 hours215 hours
August48 hours80 hours78 hours11 hours68 hours285 hours
September149 hours49 hours46 hours---13 hours257 hours
October162 hours41 hours------18 hours221 hours
November83 hours53 hours------27 hours163 hours

I’ve had several friends from all over Germany visit me this month, so as a result, my working hours were more reasonable this month :-)

By the way, if you missed it, I’m giving away three audiobook copies of my holiday-themed novel Under a Falling Star. There’s still time to enter the drawing here.

My publisher, Ylva, also offers one e-book for free each Sunday in Advent, so you might want to visit the Ylva Publishing website on Sundays and on December 24.

We’re also participating in Women & Word‘s big Hootenanny, which gives you a chance to win a lesbian fiction book every day for twelve days, starting on December 12.

So, plenty of chances for free reading material!

Jae

Monthly update – October 2016

heart troubleOctober and Halloween are over, and we’re heading toward Christmas and the year’s end already! Hard to believe, isn’t it?

October was a record month for me. I had several new books out:

My contemporary lesbian romance Heart Trouble is now available through all major online bookstores.

I also published two nonfiction guides for writers: Show, Don’t Tell and Point of View.

And my holiday-themed romance novel Under a Falling Star is now available as an audiobook!

So, as you can see, I had a lot of reasons to celebrate in October–and I did…cheesecakewith cheesecake! Yum!

I also spent most of one week at the book fair in Frankfurt, the largest book event in the world.

Oh12144751_1152051578162256_5457885689979025011_n, I almost forgot: Another reason to celebrate was that my historical romance Shaken to the Core received an honorable mention at the Rainbow Awards, which means that it’s a finalist.

When I wasn’t traveling or eating cheesecake, I mostly worked on my new novel, Falling Hard. I just finished the first draft, and now I’m revising it. It ended up at about 120,000 words, so it’ll be a typical long Jae novel with a lot of time to get to know the characters and enjoy their interactions.

 

So here are the numbers for October:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL1,095 hours698 hours312 hours187 hours228 hours2,520 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours
May136 hours54 hours---79 hours14 hours283 hours
June108 hours101 hours---4 hours21 hours234 hours
July67 hours66 hours---46 hours36 hours215 hours
August48 hours80 hours78 hours11 hours68 hours285 hours
September149 hours49 hours46 hours---13 hours257 hours
October162 hours41 hours------18 hours221 hours

Check back later this month for a giveaway—or make sure you don’t miss it by subscribing to my updates. All you need to do is enter your e-mail into the box in the right-hand menu. I promise not to spam you.

Jae

Monthly update – September 2016

tee-1698272_640It’s definitely fall here, but since I’m lucky enough to live in the sunniest city in Germany, I still get to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine.

And speaking of enjoying… I’ve been reading the early reviews of my new novel Heart Trouble, and it seems readers are enjoying it very much. It’s already available at the Ylva webstore and you can pre-order it on Amazon. It will be out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores this Wednesday.

I just got the edits for the translation of Heart Trouble back and all looks great for a release in late November/early December.

I’ve also been on a writing spree, making my 2,000-word goal every day since I started working on my new novel. The title will probably be Falling Hard. I’m over 60,000 words in, and I’m really enjoying these two main characters and their interaction. Jordan (who was a supporting character in Heart Trouble) is a surgeon and a pathological flirt while Emma is a single mom who just went through a divorce and so she isn’t very open to the idea of getting involved with Jordan.

I also picked up my research again. One of my 2017 novels will have an asexual main character, so I’ve been researching asexuality. Most people don’t even know what it is, but I really found it fascinating to learn more about this sexual orientation.

So here are the numbers for September:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL933 hours657 hours312 hours187 hours210 hours2,299 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours
May136 hours54 hours---79 hours14 hours283 hours
June108 hours101 hours---4 hours21 hours234 hours
July67 hours66 hours---46 hours36 hours215 hours
August48 hours80 hours78 hours11 hours68 hours285 hours
September149 hours49 hours46 hours---13 hours257 hours

Check back later this week for the publication of Heart Trouble—or subscribe to my updates by entering your e-mail into the box in the right-hand menu.

Jae

Monthly update (June & July 2016)

lesbosI realized that I was so busy in June that I didn’t post my monthly update. There’s been a lot going on these past two months. In June, I spent a week on Lesbos for a “book holiday”—writing workshops, readings, book discussions with readers, beach, and great Greek food. By the way, Lesvos Lesfic will be an annual event, so if that sounds tempting, check it out!

In July, I spent two weeks in the US or, to be more exact, in the Alexandria/Washington, D.C., area for some sightseeing and attending the GCLS conference. It’s always great to spend a few days surrounded by readers and writers who are just as interested in lesbian fiction as I am. I was also honored to travel home with two awards in my suitcase, one for Good Enough to Eat (paranormal romance) and the other one for Don’t Be Shy (erotica anthology).

In between traveling and attending conferences, I have been working on several projects. Most importantly, I finished revising my upcoming lesbian romance Heart Trouble. It’s my first medical romance, so I can’t wait to hear what readers will think. The novel will be out in September. You can find out what the book is about here.

Other than that, I’ve been working on two nonfiction books for writers. One is about point of view, the other about one of the most important rules of writing, show, don’t tell. They will be out this fall.

So, here are the numbers for the last two month:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL736 hours528 hours188 hours176 hours129 hours1,757 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours
May136 hours54 hours---79 hours14 hours283 hours
June108 hours101 hours---4 hours21 hours234 hours
July67 hours66 hours---46 hours36 hours215 hours

Please check back next month—or subscribe to my updates by entering your e-mail into the box in the right-hand menu—to find out what my next novel will be about.

Jae

Writing hours in April 2016

May has started, and I’m about to leave for a 4-day mini trip to Cologne to see a musical with my sister and a friend. But before I travel, I wanted to let you know what I’ve been up to in April.

heart-799138_640The most exciting thing is that I’ve started writing the first draft of my new novel, Heart Trouble. It’s a really unusual novel–a contemporary romance in a medical setting (an emergency department), but it also has a paranormal twist. No vampires or shape-shifters, but… well, I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

I’m about 45,000 words into the story, so I might be about halfway through. Hard to tell, but what I can tell you is that I’m having a lot of fun with this novel.

In other good news, I did the final proofread on my upcoming historical romance Shaken to the Core. All looks good, so it’ll be just a few more weeks until the novel is published.

On the editing front, I edited several of the short stories for our “book people” anthology, Finding Ms. Write, for which I also contributed a short story. I also had the pleasure of working with fellow Ylva Publishing author Catherine Lane on her upcoming lesbian romance Public Domain.

So, let’s take a look at my working hours in April:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL425 hours307 hours188 hours47 hours58 hours1,025 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours

Check back at the beginning of June, when I’ll be getting ready for another trip–the Lesvos Lesfic book event in Greece.

Jae

Writing hours in March 2016

It’s April 1–April Fools’ Day! But don’t worry; I’m not going to fool you. I’m just reporting in with what I’ve been up to in March. :-)

Shaken to the CoreI’m very happy to say that I just sent the final, edited and revised version of my upcoming historical romance Shaken to the Core off to my publisher. My editor really liked it, so I hope my readers will too. The novel now also has a cover, which I really like. What do you think?

Other than some last revisions for Shaken, I worked on finishing the translation of Just Physical in March.

I also translated my short story “Sex Sells” into German. The German version is available for free here. My English-speaking readers will have to wait until it will be published as part of the Finding Ms. Write anthology.

For the most part, though, I spent March doing research for my next novel, a contemporary romance titled Heart Trouble. I’m hoping to start writing the first draft this weekend.

So, let’s take a look at my working hours in March:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL309 hours220 hours162 hours47 hours47 hours785 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours

Check back at the beginning of April for news on how the writing of Heart Trouble is going.

Have a nice weekend, and don’t let anyone fool you today!

Jae

Writing hours in February 2016

Even though February had one day more than usual, the month is over.

And boy, it’s been a busy month!

I’m very happy to say that I wrapped up my historical romance Shaken to the Core. It ended up at 126,000 words, which I think is a perfect length that will satisfy my readers and not make my publisher want to jump out of a window. All that remains to be done is the copy editing and proofreading.

Other than last-minute revisions for Shaken, I have worked mostly on the translation of Just Physical last month. The German title, Affäre bis Drehschluss, roughly translates to “fling until filming ends.” A direct translation of titles rarely works.

I also wrote a short story for Ylva Publishing’s upcoming “book people” anthology, Finding Ms. Write. I really had fun with my contribution, titled “Sex Sells.” Here’s the blurb:

Lesbian mystery writer Mara McKinney has had a crush on her editor, Hayley, for ages, even though the two have never met face-to-face. When Hayley calls her to suggest she introduce more romance into her novels, this might be Mara’s chance to work on her own happy ending.

I also spent some time doing research for my next novel, a contemporary romance titled Heart Trouble. I guess you could call it a medial romance with a twist.

On the editing front, I’ve been working not just on the Finding Ms. Write anthology, which I am co-editing with Jove Belle, but also on a new romance by Catherine Lane and a dystopian novel by May Dawney.

So, let’s take a look at my working hours in February:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL244 hours140 hours67 hours47 hours34 hours532 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours

Check back at the beginning of April, when I hope to start writing the first draft of Heart Trouble.

Have a nice week!

Jae

Writing hours in January 2016

Two “writing hours” posts in two days… That has to be a first! :-)

The first month of 2016 is over. It wasn’t the most pleasant start into the new year–the cold from hell kept me up with almost no sleep for several days in a row–but all in all, I can’t complain.

I crossed the 100,000-word mark in my work-in-progress, Shaken to the Core, on the last day of January.

Here’s the shiny new blurb for the novel:

Kate Winthrop, the only child of a wealthy shipping magnate, has the course of her life charted for her by her parents. She’s expected to marry well and produce a successor to the Winthrop empire. But Kate has a very different path in mind. Her true passion lies with photography—and with women.

 

Alone in the city after losing her brother, Sicilian immigrant Giuliana Russo starts working for the Winthrops as a maid. Despite their different social status, Kate and Giuliana become friends, much to the dismay of Kate’s parents.

 

As the connection between the two women grows, a devastating earthquake hits San Francisco, and fires break out all over the city.

 

Will the disaster shatter their tentative feelings for each other, or will they find the courage to save each other’s lives—and their hearts?

 

Join Kate and Giuliana on a journey of danger and discovery in the action-packed historical romance Shaken to the Core, set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

What do you think? Does that sound like a novel you’d be interested in reading?

So, let’s take a look at my working hours in January:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours

Check back at the beginning of March, when I should have wrapped up Shaken to the Core.

Have a nice week!

Jae

Created by Krystel Contreras & Jorge Courbis