Thursday, September 27, 2012

Karen White: Gone With The Deadline



I’m on deadline.  Besides meaning that I’ve got about 200 more pages to write in a little over a month, it also means that I haven’t showered since yesterday, I’m dressing like a homeless woman, and if I don’t wash my hair soon my dog will start complaining.  Welcome to the glamorous life of an author.

 How did this happen?  Well, I was on book tour this summer for 7 weeks in addition to having a son graduate from high school, start college, and getting my daughter ready to head to Scotland for the first semester of her Junior year.  I also finished a book in January (SEA CHANGE—which came out in June), reworked another book (AFTER THE RAIN—December 2012), wrote three chapters and a synopsis for the final book in my Charleston mystery series (RETURN TO TRADD STREET—January 2014), AND had to come up with a brand spanking new story idea and write the whole book by November 1st.  This book will be my first hardcover—THE TIME BETWEEN—and will be out in June 2013.  I’m ecstatic that readers are clamoring for my books and reading them and telling me how much they’re enjoying them.  It really is a dream come true.  I’m also very, very tired.

My daily routine consists of wake up, feed dog, caffeinate self, then write at least three pages before I allow myself to eat.  Then I spend about an hour answering email and dealing with the business side of my writing career.  Then I write a few more pages before I get to eat lunch.  Then I take dog for walk (hoping I won’t run into any neighbors because I’m still wearing the homeless person outfit I threw on—or slept in—when I heaved myself out of bed) take 20 minute nap and write more pages before husband comes home for work.

We’ve been married 25 years so he’s learned diplomacy.  He knows better than to say, “Hey, Karen, weren’t you wearing that same thing last night when you went to bed?” or “Do you think you might shower today?  The dog’s starting to complain.”  And he especially knows not to ask, “Aren’t you done yet?”  Instead, he just quickly walks past me with a brief greeting, not wanting to see my head start spinning in a 360.  Kinda like in The Exorcist.  Thank goodness my kids are away at school---because that would mean two more people who have to tiptoe around me in my Deadline Dementia state.  My husband says he’s going to enroll in college in time for the next deadline so he can live elsewhere for a while, too.

After a dinner that my husband has graciously prepared (and after my evening workout—either Pilates of Zumba), I write a few more pages before heading back to my computer for more business-related emails, blogging, Facebook, etc.  I normally collapse into bed around 11:30 at night, nearly comatose, but need a fix of Jay Leno before I can go to sleep.  It’s the only time during the day where I’m not compelled to do anything for anybody, and nobody expects me to email or call them at that hour, either.  I sleep like a dead person and am up with the sun the next morning to do it all over again.

I am very, very fried.  I hope I can survive to celebrate the completion and publication of this book—and not from the inside of an asylum.

In October, I’m going to the beach for the entire month.  I don’t expect it will be relaxing seeing as how my book is due November 1st.  I imagine my routine will be similar to the one I have here at home, but I’m hoping that the change in scenery will give me the necessary mental boost I need to power through until I reach the end.

I’ve got to end this blog now.  I’ve got at least two more pages to write before I can go to sleep.  I love to write, I really do, but deadlines are different. Staring at my laptop each morning is a bit like staring at the freezing cold water of a pool. You know it's going to hurt when you dive in, and be horribly uncomfortable for a long stretch, but after a while you'll warm up and remember why you like to swim.
               
Giveaway: Karen White is giving away two copies of FALLING HOME (the prequel to AFTER THE RAIN) to two lucky commenters!

***Karen's winners are Louise and Jackie!  Please email totebag@authrosoundrelations.com with your mailing details.  Thanks!***

28 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm exhausted just reading about your day. I hope you get to enjoy the beach when you go and don't have to spend all your time working. October is a good month to take a vacation.

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    1. I'm going to try to finish the book a little early so I can enjoy so down time while still at the beach. Fingers crossed!!

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  2. Love the picture of your dog - absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy your October holiday, sounds like you need it!

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  3. Have a wonderful and much deserved vacation. Enjoy this special time. Your dog is a sweetie. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. Best wishes on your new releases. Your schedule is demanding but worth all the effort and time that you give it, so that we can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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  5. Like what they say, love your work and your work will love you. We love you! :D

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  6. The cover is another stunning one! I want to read Falling Home and have it on my wishlist. I didn't know there was going to be a sequel but I'm glad to know now. Life seems to be full of deadlines in between the hectiness :) I wish you a productive and wonderful week. You're almost there...getting closer...closer...done! When you are done I hope you celebrate with many, nice relaxing days.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you. :-) I measure each day by how many pages I've written! Sad, really...

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  7. Your day does sound hectic Karen. I'm also guilty of walking out of the house in the same outfit as I went to bed in sometimes. I do this with my ipod plugged into my ears. This way I can get away with not stopping to talk to the neighbors. They might/probably will see the weird clothes but I can later claim innocence. "Did I really wear that Mrs Johnson?" *Looking surprised*. "Surely you mistook me for someone else".

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  8. Good luck and continued success with your
    writing! I know it is a difficult career
    but so many, including yourself, will
    benefit! That October vacation sounds
    great!

    Pat C.

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  9. Karen, I am exhausted just reading about your days. Also loved the picture of your dog. You deserve a nice vacation, and October is a wonderful month for vacationing.

    kscathy@yahoo.com

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  10. You've basically got the average author's day from hell. Just think of how you'll feel, sitting in that lounge chair while you're on vacation. With your tablet or laptop in front of you FB'g and Twittering about the new book, building up the suspense till it comes out. Doing author interviews in advance..

    All from the comfort of your lounge chair.

    And yes, I'd love to win a copy of the prequel Falling Home so I wont be lost when the next book comes out and I grab it from the store's shelf.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. WOW... busy! I don't know how you do it :) Your book sounds amazing... definitely going to go check it out!

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Sorry to be on so late!!! All day long I've thought today was still Wednesday. Honestly, I don't know how I make it out of bed anymore... My husband's been gone pretty much all month in Europe on business so I have nobody telling me what day it is so technically, it's his fault, right???
    :-)

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  13. Did I mention that my sweet Quincy is coming to the beach with me? He ADORES the thick white sand--but not the water. I've already bought him a new beachy collar which looks very handsome on him. :-)

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  14. Love, love, love your books. Can't wait to read the new one. The beach in October is so lovely. Your doggie is adorable. Push on through so you can have a chance to relax at the beach.

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  15. I just discovered your books when I picked up a copy of Sea Change while vacationing at Amelia Island Florida this summer. I was instant hooked and can't wait to dive into more!
    Robin @ Pink Coupon Cafe.com
    pinkcouponcafe@gmail.com

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  16. I would love to win a copy of Falling Home! I love all of your books!

    Linda
    greiss@bellsouth.net

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  17. How lovely to have you here Karen!
    I just love the beach! I live 5 minutes from Lake Michigan and I love to walk along the shore. It is so refreshing.

    You definitely need a relaxing vacation after all the hours you put in writing your book. I can't wait to read it though! Your stories are always fantastic! You are so talented Karen!

    Talking about your moods when you are working on a deadline, that sure sounds like me too. I zone out when I am concentrating really hard. My husband likes to scare the crap out of me. He thinks I am funny when I jump and scream at him. Weird huh? Men!

    You have a great Friday!

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  18. I had to laugh. I could totally picture you writing away. Hiding from the neighbors. Scaring the dog.

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    1. Glad you liked that. :-) Just be glad you don't have to live with it!

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  19. Ah, Karen. Sometimes it's just one of those days..weeks..months..YEARS! I do hope being on the beach brings you energy and perfect sentences on the first try. Since it's a new place you probably don't know neighbors so you can go outside any which way and no one will know. Probably :-)Glad Quincy will be with you. Then you won't be talking to yourself.

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    1. Actually--it's worse when Quincy's with me because then I carry on a two-way conversation, and he even has his own "voice!"

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  20. I think the beach in October will be a perfect place to give you a boost and a change of scenery is always inspiring, and am sure the dog will love it too-I have a black Lab and she loves it when we drive her anywhere near water!
    Your day sounds quite similar to my own at the moment as I normally throw on my gym clothes first thing, make breakfast, and lunches and then am taking an online Accounting course as a first step toward my own business and I have to say there has to be a lot of will power and self discipline involved in managing time and deadlines, and I too hardly get a shower in and then I try and stay awake for a little of Jay Leno's opening monologue before I crash :) (I just finished reading On Folly Beach, loved it and am not visiting the bookstore till I finish my course!)

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    1. Staying away from bookstores---now THAT takes willpower!! Good luck with your course!!

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  21. enjoy your holiday and writing, karen

    love your dog and the cover of your book :)

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  22. Good luck with your deadline and congratulations on all the success that has brought you to your exhaustion.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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  23. I absolutely love your books, Mrs. White. I am a mom of disabled children and a full time teacher/ part time instructor. Your books are an escape from my stressful life and I so enjoy them. I just finished the third Tradd Street book and now I can't wait until number 4 comes out. Your characters are so real and I like how they are a little flawed but resilient and strong. So, enjoy your vacation, but hurry up and write some more. Some of us are hanging on for every word you write. Take care.

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