Writer Words

Q&A Sunday: Process

Welcome back for another question! Rachelle has a good one for me today!

How long does the writing process take from the original idea to publishing the book?

I think I have to answer this question in two parts because it’s different things for me. I have so many ideas that I can write for years, honestly, and not run out. I have books planned through the next three years, with potential ideas to get me into year four. If a new idea popped into my head today, it would be many years before it would become a book or a series.

That’s another distinction for me. I plot a series at a time. I have an idea of how many books a series will be. Each series gets tied together in one way or another, like Raise A Glass where all the books are linked because the characters are cousins. I had the idea for Raise A Glass three years ago. I knew it was going to be nine cousins. That they would all have to work on the vineyard in order to inherit it. I knew who each cousin would fall for and how they would all come together.

But it took me three years to publish the first book.

The second part of the answer is actually writing the book. Once an idea is in there, and the book fits into my schedule, then I can start writing. Start to finish depends on how long a book is, obviously. The Raise A Glass books take me about five weeks from start to finish. The Big & Beautiful books take a little more than three. In that time is also two to three days of plotting the entire story. When it’s done, it has to be edited, and the time that takes can vary, but in general, after a book is written, it’s published within a few weeks. There are always exceptions, but that’s pretty typical for me.

If you’re thinking of writing a book, stay tuned for next week’s question!

Thanks so much, Rachelle, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A Sunday: Inspiration

Welcome back! I have a question from Rachelle to answer today!

What books did you read that inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always been a reader. I grew up with my nose in a book. I read everything from RL Stine to The Babysitter’s Club to Michael Crichton to John Grisham. Romance? Nope. Not growing up.

Eventually I started reading chick lit. Emily Giffin was one of my favorite authors when I was in college. I loved the modern stories of people falling in love. I guess I’ve always been a romantic, but romance novels didn’t interest me for a long time.

Four years ago, my kids were finally at an age where I could sit and read a book again. That was when I finally found true romance. The first book I read was Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis. At that point, I was starting to think about writing, and it really pushed me to take the plunge.

As I kept reading other contemporary romance novels, I found that I truly loved it. I loved reading it, and writing it, and I knew I found my calling. I love every last bit of it, and I’m very lucky to have found a career I love as much as I love writing romance!

Thanks so much, Rachelle, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Happy Mother’s Day

I still remember my first Mother’s Day. I was pregnant with my daughter, enough that it was very obvious I was pregnant. Everywhere we went that day people said Happy Mother’s Day to me. It was the first day it finally hit me that I was going to be a mom.

My first Mother’s Day after she was born was the weekend she said ‘mama’ for the first time. She said ‘dada’ for a long time before, but it felt like my Mother’s Day present to have her say ‘mama’ for me. Of course, she still says daddy is her favorite!

I’ll be celebrating with the kids today, but I need your help… I’m out of questions! If you have a question you want me to answer right here on my blog, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) or leave a comment here.

Thanks! And Happy Mother’s Day to you moms out there!

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Q&A Sunday: Alphas

I gotta confess, I love this question from Jeannie…

How did you go about creating your first alpha, Ethan? Are you surprised at the positive response of readers to Ethan? What are your plans for more Alpha characters?

Curvaceous & CaptivatingEthan was a different sort of character for me. Obviously. I’ve toyed with alphas before, but Ethan was the first one I went for this wholeheartedly. I had a vision for Ethan. I knew I wanted him to be powerful and a little edgier. He had a rough childhood and it made him hard. Dangerous.

He knew what he wanted. He wasn’t one to back down from anything. He had to be tough in order to break through Olivia’s unwavering stubbornness. I had a pretty clear vision of Olivia, so creating Ethan was all about creating a man who could handle her. An alpha was really the only option!

I am surprised by the response Ethan got. I was told to remove parts of the story where Ethan went a little more alpha, but kept them in because they felt right to me. I read a lot of alpha books to make sure I knew how they needed to act. Apparently, I read the right ones!

I do enjoy alpha males. They’re powerful and demanding and sexy and will not hesitate to tell you what they want. The Big & Beautiful series is almost finished, but I’m planning a spin-off series. And yep, they’ll be alphas. I’m excited about that series. I haven’t talked about it much, but it’s going to be a wedding series, set in Hawaii, told entirely from the alpha male’s perspective! What do you think?

Thanks so much, Jeannie, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

Q&A Sunday: Writers Conferences

It hasn’t been long since I talked about this, but it came up again. Vicki wants to know…

If you could go to any writers convention or conference (money’s not an issue) which conference or convention would you go to and why?

There are tons of conferences out there. Small, large, and in between. Some are geared toward writers. Some more toward meeting readers. Some can be overwhelming and others a little… underwhelming.

In a way, I think the question should be, what do I look for in a writer’s conference? That makes the question much easier to answer.

I have gone to one writer’s conference. The Romance Writers of America national conference. It occurs every July in a different area of the country. This year’s conference is in Orlando, Florida, and I can’t wait.

I like RWA Nationals because it’s a huge conference chock full of information. Some of the biggest names in romance attend every year. It’s a chance to network and make friends and learn a ton of information about writing, publishing, and marketing, to name a few. I love it, and will go every year as long as it’s possible.

Of course, the question was if money wasn’t an issue.

I’d go to RWA Nationals every year. If money and time weren’t a problem, I’d probably add in New Jersey’s Put Your Heart In A Book conference. I’ve heard very good things about that one as well, and it’s not too far from where I live.

There are tons more conferences out there. Tennessee, California, Washington, Florida (a cruise!), Texas, I could go on. I’d love to cruise with the Florida Romance Writers’ and their Fun In The Sun cruise. I’ve taken my computer on a cruise before, and it was an awesome environment to write.

At this point in my career, I enjoy learning. Some writers have moved on to where there isn’t as much for them to learn. They go to conferences that are more geared toward readers, like Romantic Times. Hopefully I will get there one day, but I’m a big believer that I can always learn something.

Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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