Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Writers' Wednesday: Beyond the Call

This Wednesday at The Pink Heart Society Harlequin Romance author Fiona Harper returns to tell us about the rollercoaster life of a newly-published author...

Phew! It still seems like only yesterday that I discovered I had sold my first book. In reality, almost two years have gone by. And it’s been a pretty exciting time too! I’m starting to feel less like I’m in at the deep end without a lifebelt and more like I’m learning to doggie-paddle.

Here are just a few highs and lows of the last 22 months:

High: Meeting my editor and getting a look round the HM&B offices in Richmond finally made me realise that it was all real and not just a dream!

High: The dreaded second book syndrome seemed to have bypassed me as I sold the next book with no revisions.

Low: Actually the dreaded second-book thingie thing was a just book late and I got horrendously stuck on the third. I still shudder just thinking about it.

High: Seeing my first book on the shelves!

Low: Then getting so excited/terrified about it being out that I couldn’t write a thing for month – not so good when you have a deadline looming.

High: Seeing someone take my book off the shelf and put it in their basket! I did a little happy dance right there in the shop!

Deep, dark low: I got RSI (repetitive strain injury) typing just a little too much a little too fast.

Warning! Mini-rant about to take place: Take care of your body when you are writing! Don’t assume, as I did, that you’ll notice the warning signs. I had none. One day I could type normally and the next I was in pain – and it takes months for those ligaments etc to heal. I’m still not back to normal, although things are getting slowly better. So, take breaks, make sure you have your workstation set up for minimum stress on your body and get a good chair! That’s an order.

High: Being nominated for various awards and even winning a couple!

Low: Copy edits. Bleach! Going through the whole book, word by word, punctuation mark by punctuation mark, to make sure it’s perfect. I’m not normally over the “I’ve read those words so many times I’ll vomit if I have to do it again” stage by the time they arrive. And I even had to take one set of proofs on holiday!

Low: Realising that writing doesn’t get any easier. Maybe, somewhere in the back of my head I thought I’d reach a point where words would effortlessly flow from my fingertips. Yeah, right!

High: Realising I get stuck at similar points in each book. This may not sound like a good thing, but it is. Now, I just tell myself to stop whining and keep writing. Without fail, the turning point where things will get easier is only a handful of pages away.

High: Meeting other authors and getting a chance to talk about our favourite subject: Hugh Jackman - in a towel…No! I meant writing, honestly I did. We talk about writing. Always.

Fiona's latest release "Break Up to Make Up" is available online at eHarlequin, Mills& and Amazon.

To find out more about her and the inspiration for her books visit her website and her blog.

Are you in to try and win tonnes of goodies with The PINK HEART SOCIETY TREASURE HUNT???

Today's Birthday Present for the Lil Pink Dancing Guy can be found at Jennie Adam's Blog...



  1. Fiona,

    Boy, could I relate to your post! Not 2 years yet since my first Harlequin acceptance but those highs and lows are so familiar.

    I hope you're over the RSI - commisserations! Congratulations too on your latest release.


  2. Oh Fiona, you're still looking fresh and bright and I'm looking a little weary in that picture! LOL

  3. I love this, Fiona! Thanks for sharing the highs and lows. It made me grin. Especially the part about seeing someone actually buy your book!

    How did you restrain yourself from running over to her and saying something along the lines of, "I wrote that, I'm the author, do you want me to sign it? Thankyouthankyouthankyou for buying it!!!" I can't even imagine how I would lose my self-possession (and my common sense, and basically my mind) in that kind of situation! Kudos to you for doing the silent Snoopy dance with grace and style, instead of turning into a slobbery ecstatic mess I fear I would be.