Today we welcome back one of Romance University’s founders – TRACEY DEVLYN! To those of us still struggling to write and sell our “freshman” book, it’s easy to forget there are more hurdles to come. Here’s Tracey with a reality check on the “sophomore” book!
So glad to be back at Romance University—Becke, thanks for sharing your week with me! Today, I’m going to talk about the challenges of writing the third book in my contracted 3-book series. Yep, I’m calling it a series, rather than a trilogy, because my contract has an option clause for two additional books.
Growing up in RWA-land, it doesn’t take long to hear about the sophomore book. You know, the one you have to write on deadline for the first time and it has to be as great (or better) than your debut novel.
Well, writing my second book (aka sophomore book) wasn’t quite so streamlined. I worked on #2 for a couple months while awaiting feedback from my agent and editor regarding A Lady’s Revenge (#1). Once I received the developmental edits for #1, I had to set #2 aside for several months while I went through a couple rounds of edits. Then I went back to #2 and continued until I finished the manuscript. Confused? Hang on, there’s a method to my blathering madness.
For #3, I had a specific time period in which to complete my manuscript. I tell you, I had it all scripted out—650 words a day, excluding days for vacations, conferences, family get-togethers, etc. I even thought if I could do more words on the weekend that I might be able to hand in the manuscript early. *snort* Oh, pardon me. Sucked a bug up my nose.
What I didn’t account for was having to slosh my way through the middle. Yeah, I hit the middle muddle. It was wicked awful, but I finally made it over the hump and wound up writing something like 30,000 words in the month before my deadline. For a girl who barely ekes out 650 words a day, 30K was, um, an interesting test of determination. LOL
At some point, I was commiserating with Adrienne Giordano about my struggle and she admitted to having many of the same issues with her current manuscript. Which, on the surface, made no sense because she was working on her 5th book and I on my 3rd. After a bit of digging, we realized we were both working on our second contracted book with a deadline. Sounds a lot like another sophomore phenomenon.
So, to answer my own question of what’s worse than the sophomore book? The second deadline book. J
I’m the proud owner of a shiny new advance reading copy (ARC) of my second novel in the Nexus series, Checkmate, My Lord. If you’d like a chance to win my little beauty, please answer the question below. I’ll use Random.org to select the winner tonight at 10:00 pm CST. Please leave your email address with your answer.
What is your most wished for present this holiday season?
Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you have a joyous end to 2012!!
On Monday, December 17, author DONNA CUMMINGS joins us.
Tracey Devlyn writes writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. Her debut novel, A LADY’S REVENGE, released April 2012 (Sourcebooks Casablanca). Book Two, CHECKMATE, MY LORD, will be available February 2013.
For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website. She also loves to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter. Want information about Tracey’s new releases to be delivered to your email inbox? Consider signing up for her newsletter.
- Weekly Lecture Schedule, December 10-15, 2012
- Jack Russell Returns to Interview Tracey Devlyn
- Benefits of a Book Doctor
- Surviving the Ever-Changing Career of a Debut Author By Tracey Devlyn
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for August 9-13, 2010: Katharine Ashe, RWA Nationals, Jennifer Greene, Build-a-Blog