I've wanted to be a writer since college--I started out wanting to be a journalist, then I wanted to be a technical writer. When I discovered historical fiction and particularly historical romance, i knew I'd found the genre I was passionate about, but I sure as heck wasn't passionate about the writing process. It was arduous, painful, and darned inconvenient! Now, years later I realize I was only learning to write. I spent years as a dance teacher and I knew first hand that learning an art form was painful, but somehow I never made the connection to writing so I was always slightly resentful that it didn't come easier. It took me years as a dancer, but I reached a point where I could choreograph a group dance in a couple of hours instead of weeks. Now I have finally reached a point where I can make the words come more smoothly. The point being, whatever you do, don't forget to give yourself some slack for that learning curve!
A few updates since I've had several desperate requests for when the next book is out!
Just last week, I finished "The False Countess," which is the story of Lord Dunsbury and Catherine Purcell. <Spoiler alert!> You may remember that Lady Eleanor's (of "The Lady's Secret") mother was trying to push Eleanor and Dunsbury together. But of course Eleanor was already in love, and so too, as it turns out, was Dunsbury. To be honest, at the time of writing "The Lady's Secret," I thought Dunsbury was simply a minor character, facilitating the action. But of course, those are the one's who knock on the inside of your brain and say, "Hullo, remember me? I've an entire backstory of my own!"
Now, five months ago, I finished Sarah's story. No, I do not have a title for it. I hate coming up with book titles--would prefer to write an entire manuscript than come up with a title (or write a blurb). I am desperately in search of a title that lets readers know it's a Regency romance and yet encapsulates a bit of who Sarah his--which is NOT your typical gently-bred lady! <Spoiler alert!> If you've read "The Lady's Secret," you know Sarah was a larger secondary character, but a secondary character nonetheless. Before I'd even finished writing "The Lady's Secret," Sarah had done more than knock on the inside of my skull, her story practically punched a hole in it. I wrote her book in four months, finishing in December of last year.
And so, here we are today! I am doing a strong first edit of "The False Countess" (this book was ridiculously easy to title) to add in all the little bits I realized I'd left out since I didn't at first know things like--oh wait, no more spoilers! As soon as that is done (within the week, I should guess) and those edits entered into the computer, I will return to Sarah and work her story over. I find that letting them rest, marinate, as it were, allows me to look at them with fresh eyes and edit objectively. Sometimes when one is in the throes of dialogue--external and internal--you know what led a character to say this or feel that, but you might have forgotten to actually share that knowledge with the reader! Even on a first re-reading, you may have that knowledge in your head and completely miss a gaping plot hole. But four or five months later, it's much easier to read the story and say, "Wait! Where did that come from?"
I really liked Sarah's story--of course I feel like a learn a great deal from every book and hopefully my writing improves as a result--and so I'm going to try something different with this one. I'm going to submit it to a few publishers. I've done this innumerable times over the twenty-plus years I've been writing. I've had editors ask for manuscripts, I've had an agent, I've had another agent I met at a conference tell me my manuscript was just what she'd been looking for, but then after she got back to New York, decided she wasn't representing romance any more. It's only partly having a good product, it's largely being in the right place at the right time. I know, this is true for most of life, but after years of the months-long waiting process only to receive another rejection, I thought, "Screw it! I'm going to publish this sucker on my own." I've been really thrilled with my books' reception through Amazon's Kindle program but I really would like the marketing powerhouse of a publisher. There are so many books out there and the whole marketing game changes on the daily with algorithms, social media, and advertising constantly evolving.
Sarah's story may yet end up on Amazons KDP list--it's important that you get to know her exciting--and slightly tragic!--background. But in the meantime, I'll attempt the "traditional" route one more time. If you know of any agents/editors who might be a fit, please email! Right place at the right time and all...
To reach me directly: michelle morrison writes (all smashed together) at gmail
Every writer is asked where the ideas come from and most of us say, "I have no idea," because the whole creative process is, well, a bit of a mystery sometimes. This is not to say plotting and character development is not a craft to be honed, but honestly, things pop into my head sometimes that make me go "Hmmm..."
However, the song "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol did spark an idea for a scene that years later became a pivotal scene in The Lady's Secret. For some reason the line "if I lay here...would you lie with me and just forget the world," evoked an image of someone cast out of society and wanting the one person who mattered to remain by his/her side. I must have listened to this song dozens of times on a roadtrip years ago imagining that scene. Now that I'm curious, I just looked up when this song came out: 2009! Which means that idea fermented in my head for about six years before it finally hit paper. This scene evolved a bit from that original imagining, but the essence of it remained!
Great, all I need is one more reason to procrastinate! As if Instagram wasn't enough...