How does a book get written?

Perhaps you’ve read my newest book, “Mowed: An Erotic BBW Comedy Romance” and you’ve wondered how the heck it came to exist.  I will share my writerly process.  (Yes, I know writerly is probably not a word, but Microsoft Word is not correcting me, so we’ll go with it anyway).

STEP 1:  Have an idea.  I was mowing the lawn at my mom’s house and I looked across the street and got to thinking, “What if….?”  Once an idea enters my brain, sometimes it won’t leave and just stays there nagging at me until I pay attention to it.  So I mulled over this new idea and asked myself the major questions, “But who are the characters?  Do they have backstories?  Are there any minor characters?  Do they also have backstories?”  Of course the major characters spoke the loudest, but the minor characters had a voice too.  And they all had backstories.  I’m all about the backstory.  Then I had to come up with a plot formula.  I generally use the following:  unique meeting….build-up to first bedroom scene…conflict arises….conflict is resolved….happily ever after.

STEP 2: Hand write a complete outline.  Beginning, middle, and end.  Random bits of dialogue pop into my head throughout the day.  I have to write them down on little scraps of paper so I don’t forget.  I generally build the plot around random bits of dialogue.  For this reason, I always have a notepad and pen in my car.  I guess my mind wanders while I drive.  This is very dangerous.  I should really break myself of that habit.

STEP 3: Write the book.  This is difficult because it involves forcing myself to get stuff done and to stay off Facebook.  I enlist the help of my Facebook friends to yell at me and keep me off the internet.  Ana is good at giving me insane word counts and yelling at me (she also tells me she’s proud of me, which I appreciate).  Julie is good at complaining that she wants her porn stories.  Aidan likes to freak out until she gets the first chapter sent to her and then comes up with pictures for the characters (she’s damn good at that).  Marla likes to make random conversation and has no clue that I use it for plot suggestions (You can thank her for the BBQ scene).  So I have people constantly buzzing in my ear telling me to “hurry UP!”  This pressure helps aid the writing process.

STEP 4:  The end.  The book is written.  Then it gets printed out and sent to editing.  My preliminary editor is my mother.  She does not hesitate to tell me what sucks.  I’ve actually changed things based on her suggestions.  Usually she tells me that my sex scenes are filthy and that’s how I know I’m doing something right.  She does basic edits like finding missing words and extra words (for example if I write “took to house” instead of the correct “took to her house”) and then gives it back to me for the real edits.  This happens at my kitchen table with a highlighter and red pen.  I re-read the book from start to finish and change what doesn’t flow, paying close attention to punctuation.  For some reason, I love this editing process.  I have no clue as to why.  Then I put all the paper edits into the computer word doc.  I also pay attention for good quotes to use when making graphic teasers for book promotion.  I also found a wonderful friend on Facebook who gets a copy once the book is published and who is kind enough to read it for grammar issues.  She is amazing at spotting things that I miss!  (Thanks, Steph!!!)

STEP 5:  Miscellaneous.  I make a cover for the book by finding a picture that’s CCO Public Domain and licensed for use by anyone for any purpose for free.  I edit the picture on CANVA or PIC MONKEY and add a title.  I usually also do graphic teasers at this time.

STEP 6: The Blurb/Synopsis.  I hate this part with a passion.  I’m extremely long-winded and have a giant problem condensing a 62,000 word story (Mowed) into a two paragraph synopsis.  Honestly, “Mowed” came together like a miracle and I wrote the blurb while sitting in the dentist’s office waiting room before my appointment.  I also had the title right away and finished the cover when the book was a few chapters in.  I had a hell of a time with the blurb for “My Dirty Detour” and both the title AND blurb for “Nights in the Fast Lane.”

STEP 7: Formatting.  I convert the Word Doc to an epub file using free Calibre software.

STEP 8: Upload the file to Amazon.

STEP 9: Sit back and wait for the next idea!

Ok, in reality Step 9 is actually “try to do a half-assed job at marketing and promotion.”  I personally feel that I suck at that, so I’m not the best one to give any advice in that area.  It’s all a learning process and it honestly gets a little easier with each book.  You develop a system and meet more people and the word slowly gets out.  I launched my very first book in January of 2016 and when I look back and realize EVERYTHING that I’ve learned in such a short time, I’m truly amazed.

So that is my writing process.  I don’t agonize over whether people will like what I’m writing or not.  I just type what’s in my head (and my heart) and hope that the reader will be able to relate.  I also don’t pay a penny out of pocket for editing or book covers or blog tours.  The only thing I’ve EVER paid for is marketing in newsletters ($22) and two fiverr campaigns ($10).  I also paid for gift copies of my first book to send to reviewers before I realized I could send mobi copies for free (oh…the money I wasted!  Such a doofus!).  I guess I also paid for printer paper, ink, and flash drives.

I’ve also paid with TIME.  I’ve spent countless hours writing three books and promoting them and busting my butt to get my name out there.  But you know what?  It’s been a hell of a good time!

What’s next?

My fourth book of course!  Back to step one……

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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