Monday, January 14, 2019

Self-Sabotage

I just realized I self-sabotage myself. Those of you who know me well may have already figured this out about me. You’re probably also thinking that I’m pretty slow if I just figured it out myself. Well, that’s just the way it goes. But for the rest of you, let me explain.

Writing is my job. According to the IRS, it might only be a hobby, but I treat it like a job. I have times dedicated to writing, marketing, editing, etc. I invest in classes to improve my craft. I even feel guilty when I don’t accomplish enough in one day. 

I whine when people don’t take what I do seriously. Yet, at the same time, I am the first one to push my writing commitments aside in favor of someone else’s time. And when those people apologize for interrupting me, I say, “Don’t worry about it.”

Ugh!

I’ll admit, my writing is not going to save anyone’s life or solve world hunger. It’s not more important than my family’s health. It does have to sometimes be set aside so I can do other things that also need to get done in a more timely fashion. But that doesn’t make it unimportant. And there’s absolutely no way I can expect other people to take me seriously if not only do I not take myself seriously, but I also give them an out. I did that for many years, placing myself last on the priority list. Even when my husband, who is my most supportive person ever, bar none, suggested I take more time write, I found other things to take precedence. And my writing suffered.

Two years ago, I changed all that. I dropped everything that wasn’t giving me joy and was taking me away from my writing. And I published several books. But I haven’t changed my mindset. And that’s my priority now. This year is going to be a rebuilding year for me. I have lots of writing plans, but I’m not sure where or how they will be published. So, while I write, edit, polish and query, I’m also going to work on my attitude.

There are plenty of people who take what I do seriously. It’s time for me to start believing it too.


Monday, January 7, 2019

The Making of an Audio Book


The audio version of Addicted to Love came out over the holidays. I thought I’d tell you a little about the process of creating an audio book, since it’s my first one. 

Once I signed a contract that let my publisher know I wanted Addicted to Love out on audio, they submitted it to the voice company they work with and we waited for audio narrators to express interest. I was sent a number of narrator auditions, and I listened to them trying to envision them telling the story. For a writer, this is tough, because we have a voice in our head telling the story and there is no possible way a real person is ever going to sound like our imaginary voice. But finally, I received an audition from Meaghan Parent. While she didn’t sound like the voice in my head, she infused the characters with emotions and was pleasant to listen to—you’d be surprised at how many narrators sounded like they were reading a grocery list.

My publisher sent her the book and Meaghan began recording. My book was challenging because the characters are Jewish and there are many Hebrew and Yiddish words sprinkled throughout. So to make things easier, I created a list of all the words and phrases with their English phonetic pronunciation. She sent a few sample chapters for me to listen to and I sent back a few corrections. Then I left the book to her.

When she was finished, she sent it to me and I listened to the entire thing, looking for mistakes or things that needed to be re-recorded. It’s really strange listening to someone else read your words, but I knew it was good when I was able to disappear into the story. There were a few places that needed fixing—the trick isn’t whether or not she says every word on the page; it’s whether or not there’s a glaring error that pulls the listener out of the story. I didn’t follow along with the manuscript. I listened as a reader. Totally new experience for me, but fun!

Once the corrections were made, it was another two weeks until the audio book was complete and available for purchase. If you’re an audiobook listener, I’d love you to try it and let me know what you think, because I need to decide if I want her to narrate my other books in the series. So let me know!