Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Year in the Life of an Author: January

Hi! I'm Elizabeth Boyle, historical romance author and I was asked to write a year long blog series about what I do on a month by month basis to show not only the progress of a book, but the work an author puts in over the course of a year.

No, sorry, it is not all bon bons and lap dogs.

And there is so much more that has to get done than just writing pages. So what did I do this month?

I started January with a writer's retreat with my dear friends, Jane Porter, Megan Crane, and Liza Palmer. We took over a lovely condo in Palm Springs--which turned out to be sort of an equal travel distance for the four of us. We spent the four days writing, talking about writing--process, page production, music tracks, and plot points and more writing. And a lot of eating and laughing. It was a perfect way to start 2012.

After that page-o-thon, I went back to finishing up the tasks that had been put aside over the holidays--mostly, reading page proofs. Now you might think for an author, a task that involves sitting around and reading would be like candy to a baby. But most authors will tell you, reading page proofs is a drag.

This is because we've already read the book. We wrote the book. And we are now re-reading it for about the 20th time. I had to do page proofs for four different books this month: my June release, ALONG CAME A DUKE, and the ebook rerelease of my first three books, BRAZEN ANGEL, BRAZEN HEIRESS, and BRAZEN TEMPTRESS.

I am currently going through the Brazen books for the third time in two months to give them one last once over. In between all this reading, I've been plucking along and writing pages on my 2013 release, AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE.

What I found interesting about reading a book I had just written and the three books I wrote at the beginning of my career is how much I have changed as an author. I am still mulling over the things I like now, and the things I like from then that for whatever reasons, I haven't been doing of late. Always good to start the year with a little self-evaluation.

I am doing that in spades. As I move into February, not only will I be carrying those evaluations forward, but I am also hammering out the details with my publicist for my first multi-city book tour in June.

2012 promises to be a year of growth! What about for you?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for a lovely blog post!
It always surprise me how much energy one gains from writing retreats - I love it, but haven't gotten away on any as of late. Perhaps I should make the effort this year!

Self-evaluations are always good, as long as they are constructive! I really like it how you reflect over how you've evolved as a writer over the years (or perhaps I should say 'throughout the books'). That's how it should be :-)

For me, yep, 2012 will definitely be a year of growth. I have set my goals, and this year, I will see them through!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Lizbo! Lovely to see you here! Looking forward to your next book!

Renee said...

I love hearing what a writer goes through in the entire writing/publishing process. I can't wait to continue to read it.

As a teacher, I try to explain this to students, but alas, they are not interested unless they aspire to become a writer. I do make them self-evaluate in their writing. That is the most telling day as they realize how much their writing has grown.

Di said...

This will be interesting to follow you thru the year. As I was reading about your re-review of your books I wondered if you have anyone else read it over for you too? I've never written a book, but I use to write long memos and documents, and I found that I would miss things because it was almost like I was reading what I was expecting rather than what was actually on the page.

Elizabeth Boyle said...

Di, I do have someone who reads my book--in the page proof stage, so she helps me catch the typesetting errors that I am often blind to at that stage.

Allison Edney said...

I enjoyed this blog. Looking forward to reading it throughout the year. I too feel like 2012 is a year of growth, change, power and optimism. What a gift to be able to see your growth as a writer and to share that with us your audience in a blog. Thanks,

Rebecca Thomas said...

I'll look forward to reading this throughout the year. Thank you!

Michele L. said...

Wow what an inspirational blog! It spurs me on to want to write and do more creative things. I am also looking forward to a better 2012. 2011 was a bad year for me and my hubby. Let's all hope for a better year! I am definitely anxious to read your next blog!

therese patrick, author said...

A year in the life - great! This will clear up the instant glamour and riches myth. :D
The writing retreat is motivation for me to shift from aspiring to career writer.

Mary Preston said...

This is going to be very interesting to see how your year progresses.

SusannahC said...

Lizbo, I'm looking forward to reading about your activities (and self-evaluations) this year. I've recently been doing something similar, although my first and most recent books were written only a decade apart.

Cynthia said...

This year I've decided to explore my creative side. I've started piano lessons and doing some writing.