Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Novel - Update

Hey, everybody. I wanted to take some time and lay out an update on the novel I'm writing. Folks have been asking, and while I've been pretty strictly advised NOT to leak anything specific regarding the book, I can tell you this...

This novel is kicking my ass. Not in a bad way. More in a WRITE ME, BITCH! kind of way. And that is not stated in a bad way - more in a I AM SOMEBODY! I AM WORTHWHILE! WRITEMEWRITEMEWRITEME! WRITE ME! kind of way.

Sometimes the novel says, GET UP. YEAH, I KNOW YOU'RE SLEEPING. GET UP ANYWAY. WRITE ME. I'm waiting for the time it says, WAKE UP AND WRITE ME. NAW, ITS ALL GOOD, I GOT YOU STARBUCKS.

This novel is intense. The story line is everything I'd like to see in a book. The elements are every bit real world with enough NO WAY elements to keep even me engaged. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back...

I came off of Authors After Dark at the end of last September knowing I would write this book. I already had notes on it. Ideas scrawled into my journal, a basic outline in my head. Ideas for characters written down. As I drove home from NYC, I felt on fire to get writing. But I had book events and workshops all through October, and I knew I had to stay present with A Tale For All Seasons in order to support it properly.

November then, I thought. Friends began asking me if I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo. I had no intention of doing so, and said as much, until it hit me. NaNoWriMo offered serious writing motivation (made up of publicly tracking your word count, thereby setting yourself up for public success or public failure). Perfect! It was ON. (Oh, I blogged about it that month - read it HERE. And HERE'S my NaNoWriMo page.)

It worked out. It really did. Things were humming along, I was going at a nice clip, staying true to that outline I had in my head. And then... the novel began to build itself out. Writers may know what I mean by that. My novel began to take twists and turns I did not anticipate or plan.

Now don't get me wrong, that's how I roll. I like to write intuitively, allowing the story to unfold, the characters to inform me as they reveal themselves. I don't plot or create outlines very often, although that process is in my training. Some authors think I'm nuts. It works for me. Moving on.

So but here's the deal. Characters created as mere bridges from one scene to the next, one development to the next - literally self auditioned for a more prominent role. Oh, I'm serious! I would wake up in the night and so-and-so would be talking (reading lines?) as if she/he were auditioning! And I'd realize: Yes! This has to go in the book! So all of a sudden, BAM! Starring role for bridge characters A, B and C.

One character managed to establish herself as so valuable that I simply had to tell her story. This chick revealed so many intriguing bits of her past, psyche and current life, that I had to give her a leading role. She's sharing the spot light with my main character right now. Its okay, they met, and they're friends. Moving on.

I decided to go back to my roots on this one. For this novel, I have actually created a writer's ARC of sorts - consisting of (get ready!) a proper outline, character profiles and other stuff to keep my writer's brain pointed at true north. I then put all of that in a nice plastic folder with a window to showcase my mock cover which will later be ridiculed by the cover artist (who's already signed on! OMG, right??).

Then guess what happened? Once I created that baby, I fell in love with it! Put it on my dresser, picked it up and fingered it lovingly often. At present, a beta reader (starting to hyperventilate...) has my writer's ARC of sorts (reaching for a paper bag...). I'm okay with this. Not really. It took me a couple of weeks to give it to her! There really is a creatress-child relationship that forms when an author writes a book... any authors know what I mean?

Also in the month of November, the trailer for my novella, Becoming Jac (produced by my editor, Michelle Nati), won Author J.K. Coi's book trailer contest, which was a pretty huge deal. I wrote about it, HERE.

In the month of December, I managed to get my novella, Phoenix Rising released for Kindle. It was reviewed a bunch of times - really well! I'll rally all those links and post them in the near term. The Phoenix Rising book trailer was produced by my website designer and is HOT AS HELL. In a good, smoldering way. Haven't read the book yet? Dear God! Well let me hook you up with some excerpts. HERE'S chapter five, and HERE'S chapter seven. Enjoy. :) We're in the process of preparing the entire book for print. Then you can get it. (Right??)

Back to the new novel. Yes, this will be a stand-alone. It will be different from what you've read of my work thus far, but you'll still know its me without a doubt. But I'm warning you now - I push the envelope a bit. I mean, COME ON, I'm interviewing a lead investigator from one of the Paranormal Investigation teams I admire most, as research! Oh, man - that may have constituted TMI as far as my editor is concerned. Oh, well. Teaser's leaked. Too late now.

So if you, my beloved reader, are wondering where I am... why I'm not tweeting, posting or interacting as much - now you know. I am sequestered in my house, hibernating in the writing cave here in the frozen northeast, creating a book I hope you will love. I'm here, completely immersed in the creative vibe, cooking a lot, beading some, doing artsy cultural things to keep me in that mindset and... writing... A LOT.

In closing, I know what you're wondering... And the answer is, we're hoping for a Summer, 2010 release. :)

Love and Moonbeams!



Gwen Hayes said...

I spend a lot of time wishing I could plot. Like--with 3x5 cards and pretty office supplies. It just never works out. The closest I've gotten is character sketches and a synopsis after I've written 100 pages or so. And the syno is never close to what really happens.

Follow your bliss--your writing process doesn't have to please anyone but you, and it sounds like you're really happy with it. I'm glad you're enjoying this book so much.

Nadia said...

JoLynne thank you so much for the update as well as the peek into your creative process. As someone starting out on the writing path, it was great to read and now know that the drive, the idea that wont be put on pause ...is a very real part of the process.

Ann said...

Oooooooh goody thanks for sharing, Jo Lynne. I've been biting my tongue not to ask you since I didn't want to step over any boundaries or bother since I know its still under construction.

But yay, now we got a little glimpse. Oh yes and I did not miss that reference to the Paranormal Investigator. YESSSSS!!!! I know I'm gong to love this book already! Mss Jo Lynne's gonna continue keeping it REAL!!!

Sam said...

I'm very new to this whole writing thing, but I was beginning to think it was only me who sat down with a vague idea and then had my characters come by and write the story themselves. Sometimes it really feels like I just hold the pen for them.

And why is it the best ideas always come when you have so much else to do? Never when you have plenty of time to write.*sigh*

It certainly sounds like your new novel has a mind of its own. :)

Ben said...

When do you think you might have it for pre order Jo Lynne? I'd like to get a signed copy. Who's doing the cover art? Can you say that?

Helen said...

Very nice, Jo Lynne. I knew you were working hard on your new book but I had no idea it was this in depth. I can't wait to read it. Summer you say, eh? Please let us know if there will be any advance copies! Hugs, Helen

iwrite92 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iwrite92 said...

can't wait to hear more about the new novel :]

i've been busy with my debut novel. it took me months too write the plot,characters && all those other things that go with writing a novel. i totally get were the whole WRITEMEWRITEMEWRITEME NOW!!!!comes from i have the same exact feeling lol. i still need to do some research && hopefully will start writing soon.

i did start writing another book idea a couple a months ago but it just didn't feel right so i stopped with that one.

the new idea came quikly && i have very good feeling about it :D

Chasing the Moon said...

That's so exciting! Good luck to you and enjoy the creative journey. Yay!

Izzy said...

I love that I got a glimpse of your creative process because I sort of wondered all this time. Thanks so much for sharing, lately I've been trying to write but it seemed as if everything else would get in the way. Can't wait to hear more about your new novel which sounds kick-ass just how I like it..haha :)

Much love Jo

Jo Lynne Valerie said...

Hey everybody, I just had to pop in and say THANK YOU for the support, the interest, hell - the tolerance. You guys positively put up with me *rambling* about this book... and for that I thank you.

I've decided to post BRIEF updates as I go - particularly once I have clearance to start promoting it. This is going to be fun! Thanks again so much. You truly warm a writer girl's heart. :)

- Jo Lynne