RU co-founder Kelsey Browning gives us a month-by-month peek into her first year as a published author.
Okay, I’m going to fudge a little and tell you about the past 15 months because it’s been a wild, wooly, wonderful ride. Although I began writing seriously in 2007, co-founded Romance University in 2009, networked extensively, and wrote six-ish books before getting a contract, I still didn’t know exactly what to expect from this whole being published phenomenon.
October 2012 – Cell phone rings, but the number is from somewhere in the northeast. Credit card people, I figure, so I let it go to voicemail.
Pick up message later and listen to Angela James from Carina Press tell me they want to contract four books. Holy shit!
Call Adrienne Giordano and say, “I think I just got the call.”
To which she replies, “Yeah, dumbass, you did!”
Immediately run to the cabinet for a foot-high stack of brown paper bags. Proceed to breathe into them one after the other.
Mid-December 2012 – After a number of freak-outs and what-the-hell-was-I-thinking-wanting-to-be-an-author breakdowns where I say things to myself like “These people think I can write” and “I’ve lied to them,” I return content edits to Deb.
Breathe momentary sigh of relief.
Late-December 2012 – Receive additional developmental edits from Deb.
Force myself not to become a frequent flyer at the neighborhood bar.
January 2013 – Return second-round edits and get an atta-girl pat from Deb.
Want to fall into a stupor, but must deal with line and copyedits.
Also, she expects book #3 at some point, so plot it (as much as I ever do!).
Co-draft book #1 in a completely different series (The Granny Series) and genre (cozy mystery).
February 2013 – Receive final edited Word doc of Personal Assets!
Feel almost as much pride as I did after birthing Smarty Boy after 10 hours of induced labor.
Begin drafting Problems in Paradise (book #3).
March 2013 – Get the news that Carina is branding my four-books series as Texas Nights!
Receive developmental edits for book #2. Not as bad as book #1.
But decide to torture myself and rip 10k words from the end of the book and completely rewrite.
Developmental edits take a mere month again.
April/May 2013 – Work on line and copyedits for Running the Red Light.
Continue to co-write In For a Penny, The Granny Series book #1.
Continue drafting Problems in Paradise, Texas Nights book #3.
June 2013 – Receive final Word file for Running the Red Light.
Go into major planning and execution mode for Personal Asset’s release in August.
July 2013 – Turn in Problems in Paradise with high hopes.
August 2013 – Receive Problems in Paradise developmental edits on a day when I already needed a bottle of wine. They are bad. Think about crying, but let the Chardonnay do it’s magic.
Personal Assets releases on August 26. It’s like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose. Fun, but overwhelming.
I’m published – hell, yeah!
September 2013 – Turn in the hellacious developmental edits that make Paradise a much, much better book.
Say a little thank-you prayer for editors like Deb.
October/November 2013 – Do line and copyedits for Problems in Paradise.
Try to get my social media and other business affairs back under control after my debut. Hysterical laughter ensues.
Draft Texas Nights book #4.
November 2013 – Receive final Word file for Problems in Paradise. Three of the four books are in the can!
In For a Penny (The Granny Series book #1) releases November 5.
Remember I have another book releasing in January. Work on promo plans for Running the Red Light.
December 2013 – Finish the ugly draft-baby that will become Texas Nights book #4. Promise myself I will make it shine in January.
Finalize promo plans for Running the Red Light.
January 2014 − Clean up final book in the series.
Running the Red Light releases January 6!
For those published authors, did you experience a similar debut year? For those who WILL be published, is this at all what you envision happening after the call?
RU contributor Ruth Harris joins us on Wednesday, January 22nd.
Running the Red Light (Carina Press – January 6, 2014) After wearing a “Least Likely to Succeed” label all her life, Roxanne Eberly is hell-bent on making her Red Light Lingerie store successful. Although the residents of small-town Shelbyville, Texas, are a little…lingerie-resistant, she’ll win them over eventually. So when a former employer sues her, putting a major wrinkle in her careful plans, she reluctantly accepts help from hot-stuff Houston attorney Jamie Wright.
Jamie’s on track to become his firm’s youngest partner, but discovers an unwritten prerequisite—marriage. Turns out, the only woman he wants is Roxanne, but peddling thongs and sex toys isn’t a suitable career for the spouse of an up-and-coming attorney.
Jamie’s tangled up in Roxanne’s lawsuit, her life and her lingerie. But if they’re ever going to make it work, Roxanne’s big-city boy will have to decide what he values more: the career he always thought he wanted or the woman he never thought he’d fall for.
Bio: Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and cozy Southern mysteries. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a Canine Companions for Independence puppy. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series. Give her a shout at Kelsey@KelseyBrowning.com or drop by www.KelseyBrowning.com. For info on her upcoming releases, subscribe to her Sass Kickin’ News.
- 8 Tips for a Successful Co-writing Partnership by Kelsey Browning
- Kelsey’s Teaching “Texas: A Whole Nother Country” in October
- 5 Secrets to Writing Success by Kelsey Browning
- Behind the Scenes: Editing
- Breaking In as a New Writer