cj Sez: Are you
on a deadline? How’s that going?
Today’s Lyrical Pens guest, author KATHY KREVAT, shares her experiences with her 5 Stages of Deadlines. Kathy’s latest book, THE TROUBLE WITH MURDER, is scheduled to launch December 12 so all of these deadline
stages are fresh in her mind.
I just finished writing my fifth book for publication and
realized that I continue to be bad at the whole planning for a deadline thing.
I know that other authors have their word count scheduled out and,
listen to this, they actually stick to
their plan! I don’t how they make that miracle happen.
I have tried that. I start off with a detailed spreadsheet
for how many words I have to write in order to complete and edit my manuscript
before my deadline. I prepare an outline. Some of it is quite specific and some
is rather loosey-goosey. Okay, more of it is loosey-goosey than it should be.
But that doesn’t matter, because then I start writing and ignore that silly
outline thing anyway. Which works out fine because I usually come up with a
The problem is that I ignore that word count spreadsheet.
For far too long. (Just ask my poor critique partners.)
I ignore it until I figure out, usually by accident or when
my critique partners ask, how much time I have left until the deadline. Then I
update the spreadsheet with my new, much larger daily word count, and it still
seems reasonable for me to finish on time. So I ignore it some more, until it
becomes almost impossible. Then I kick into high gear and work many, many hours
of the day for the months running up to the deadline in order to finish on time.
Someone who knows about these things said it was because I’m
a Sagittarius. I’ll take whatever excuse I can get.
Like a lot of authors, with each book, I worry intensely
about readers liking it. Even Harlan Coben just posted this to Twitter:
(Please say you love it, please say you love it, please say
you love it)
And every time I forget that the only way for me to fight
that anxiety is to write. It works every time. And walking. Walking helps me
too. I come up with a lot of ideas that solve the problems in my stories. I use
the voice memo app on my phone to talk to myself. Later, I’ll listen to and
write down story ideas mixed in with reminders to call the plumber, mail a birthday
present, and schedule my mammogram.
While walking this week, I realized that my deadline
protocol kind of follows the stages of grief. I came up with my own tongue-in-cheek
attempt at explaining my coming up to deadline process:
Denial – La-di-dah.
No deadline in sight. It’s totally okay for me to spend hours looking at cat
videos and reading the latest political news on Twitter. I’ll write this
Anger – How can
anyone expect me to write a whole book this fast?
Bargaining – So
if I go to my moms’ night out tonight, I’ll wake up super early tomorrow
morning and get all of my word count in before sunrise.
Depression – I’m
NEVER going to finish this book. My publisher is totally going to fire me.
Acceptance – Authors
do this all the time. I can do it! All I have to do is eat junk food, mainline
coffee, not shower and I will finish this book!
Then I send the book to my wonderful editor who sends back an email with a bunch of smiley face emojis and I start all over again.
|Author Kathy Krevat|
Kathy Krevat is the author of the GOURMET CAT MYSTERY series
featuring cat food chef Colbie Summers and her demanding cat Trouble, the
culinary muse behind her recipes. Kathy also writes the bestselling CHOCOLATE
COVERED MYSTERY series under the pen name, Kathy Aarons.
Kathy lives in San Diego with her husband of twenty-five
years in the perfect location – close to Philz Coffee and the beach, and within
visiting distance of her two grown daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s an
advocate for youth arts education and president of Partners in Crime, the San
Diego Chapter of Sisters in Crime.
Single mom and gourmet cat food entrepreneur Colbie
Summers thought she’d escaped her tiny California hometown forever. But when
her father needs her, she packs up her adolescent son, their finicky feline,
Trouble, and her budding business. She knows change is tough—but she doesn’t
expect it to be murder . . .
Between dealing with her newly rural life, her grumpy, sports-obsessed father,
and preparing to showcase her products in the local Sunnyside Power Mom’s trade
show, Colbie has more on her plate than she bargained for. Luckily, she has her
official taste-tester, Trouble, by her side to vet her Meowio Batali Gourmet Cat Food line.
Things look promising—until one of the Power Moms is found dead—with an
engraved Meowio specialty
knife buried in her chest.
As the prime suspect, Colbie needs paws on the ground to smoke out who had
means, motive, and opportunity among the networking mothers—including a
husband-stealing Sofia Vergara lookalike. And the cat’s still not out of the
bag when a second violent death rocks the bucolic community. Trouble may have
nine lives, but Colbie’s only got one to clear her name and stop a killer from
pulling off the purr-fect crime . . .
cj Sez: Junk food and coffee! So true, so true. Thank you, Kathy. I am now encouraged to set my
derriere back down at the computer because I can expect it to all work out if I just
keep working at it. Congratulations on
the upcoming launch of THE TROUBLE WITH MURDER. Best wishes for great sales and raving reviews. And most of all, I pray the fires in California miss your home in San Diego.
Okay, Lyrical Pens reader-writers, did you find a been-there
kind of nugget in this post? Leave Kathy a comment and let us hear how you meet
“Bad Day at Round
Rock” short story in The Posse
sign-up at email@example.com
Bodies in Motion — 10 book
publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)