What I Learned Releasing Eight Books In One Year

The Challenge

In late December 2014, I had a thought, seeing I had written seven books this particular year, that I should try to release eight books in 2015. It seemed a little crazy and maybe unwieldy to undertake, but, I decided to give this a try. It was definitely going to be a challenge, but, I felt like I was up to it, and wanted to see how it would turn out (and how I would go about doing it).

PATRICIA'S HOLIDAY AFFAIR

PATRICIA’S HOLIDAY AFFAIR

In January 2015, I composed a blog post whereby I outlined five of the books I wanted to release in 2015. I decided not to state that I would be releasing eight books, as I myself was not entirely certain if I could live up to this pronouncement! Instead, I mentioned five of the books, as I was in doubts about the other three books, being, which ones I wanted to write, and, how I would go with time.

In February, I released THE ANNOUNCER, in March, THE CHAUFFEUR came onto computer screens. I had decided by this time that the final two books for the year were not the ones I originally envisioned, but ANGRY CAMERON (October) and EARLE’S GRAND DESPAIR (November) were not leaving me alone early in the year, so strong was the pull for me to write them. The other two books I wanted to write have been postponed for a later date, which worked well for me. In very late December 2014, the concept for BRANDY’S SUMMER IDOL (August) began to be developed, and in early January, I took three weeks away from twitter and other writing to compose the rough draft. Originally slated to be written over two weeks, life and other things slowed down the process a little, but it was now done.

THE KIDNAPPER

THE KIDNAPPER

Generally, I had a release every two months, and once one book was delivered, another took its place. I surprised myself by how organized I actually was during the course of this year, but, there were several things which had to give way to the books. I began to tweet less, reverting to every fourth day, and when this proved difficult time wise, I then tweeted every second week, which has afforded much more time to writing and other book related activities. I am very happy for automated tweeting and retweeting, as it also freed up time to take care of other matters without having to be in front of the computer all the time.

HARVEY HANDSOME

HARVEY HANDSOME

I also did not play around on the computer much for recreation, just concentrating on the books. The increased writing load also played a great effect upon reading time. The number of books I read was down considerably compared to previous years, as I just did not have the time to read as much as I wanted to. By the end of the year when all my books had been released, I read some short works to lift my reading numbers slightly, but, I was unable to read a longer work this particular year.

In all honesty, I had started to write some of the eight books at the end of 2014 over the November-December period. PATRICIA’S HOLIDAY AFFAIR (May) was written over Christmas, and THE KIDNAPPER (June) over February. HARVEY HANDSOME was begun in October 2014, but released in April 2015. As I always do, though, I let these ‘sit’ as I either worked on a book, editing and refining other books. I did not enter 2015 with any books entirely done, but THE ANNOUNCER was 90% ready, as I always edit right to the end.

What I Learned From This Exercise

While it was an interesting, testing experience, and I learned a lot about time management and other matters, I do not think I will again release eight stories in one year in the near future (though never say never!) The books were composed of two novellas, three novelettes,  and three shorter stories (it would have been impossible to achieve if the books were all full-length novels!) The maximum number of books I will do, to keep everything and life on an even keel, from 2016 onwards, is six. This number works perfectly for me, as it is enough to keep me stimulated writing, and sufficient for balance. Six books also takes into account reading and other writing related activities such as editing.

It is good to find a happy medium with whatever we are doing, and if it works for us, we should run away with it. As a result of everything, I also became more in touch with myself, making sure that I am eating properly, drinking sufficient water, and taking the time to rest. Knowing when to stop writing or editing to recharge one’s batteries is also something I learnt more about this year. Afternoon naps are always helpful, but in this particular year, have been a godsend!

I hope that my experience has been interesting and helpful to read, and welcome your comments about your own writing experiences and challenges which you have set yourself.

Interview with author Carmen DeSousa

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Carmen DeSousa, author of romantic-suspense stories: SOUTHERN ROMANTIC-SUSPENSE series; the CREATUS series; THE LIBRARY; short stories, THE DEPOT and THE PIT STOP; and coming soon a women’s fiction/chick lit series, starting with SOME LUCKY WOMAN; and THE WATERMEN series, amongst her many works, and welcome her to my blog.

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Welcome, Carmen!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Like most writers, I’ve been writing as long as I could hold a pen. As a child, I would write little short stories, bind them with bread ties, and then present them to my grandmother. In college, I wrote a novella, and had planned to make a career as an editor in New York, but life got in the way. I ended up in a sales and marketing career. Thankfully, six years ago, I found my way back. In the last six years, I’ve written and published fourteen novels. And I have two more coming out soon.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: Oh, my, yes! All of my life experiences, good and bad, are included in my novels. The trick when you read is to figure out what situations I base on my actual life events or someone I know, and which ones come from my twisted mind. :)

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: I used to, but again, life has a way of getting in the way of best laid plans. 2015 was a trying year for me, and 2016 isn’t starting out much easier. But as soon as possible, I plan to get back to the plan that allowed me to pen so many books.

Chat with my peeps on Twitter and Facebook over coffee. Then no later than ten a.m., TURN OFF THE INTERNET, and plant myself in my chair until 12:00 p.m. Chat with my peeps while eating lunch, then get back to it from 1:00 until 4:00. My goal is two thousand words a day.

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I love anything that isn’t too graphic in nature. I’ll read anything, and I have. From A Game of Thrones (historical, supernatural, action, thriller) to Crazy Little Thing (contemporary romance / chick lit) to Hunger Games (dystopian) to Twilight (paranormal romance). And oddly enough, I write the same way. Although all of my stories have a common thread: romance, mystery, and suspense, I enjoy writing everything from romance to mystery, paranormal to chick lit.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: When I was in college, I loved Sidney Sheldon. We’re so spoiled right now. When we finish a book, the author usually has their next one coming out in a few months or so. Back then, I’d have to wait a year or two for Sheldon’s next book. To me, he was the inventor of romantic suspense featuring a female heroine.

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Q: From my reading experience of THE DEPOT, it was a highly suspenseful, intricately crafted story with well-timed shocks and great hints of romance. What inspired you to write this story?

A: Ahhh…yes. I enjoyed writing that short story. The Depot is actually based on a real ghost story of a place where I worked. I actually added the story at the front of The Library, the follow-up novel to The Depot.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: She Belongs to Me… But if I told you, I’d have to kill you. LOL! But really, She Belongs to Me was my first published story. And as I’ve told others, it took me all my life to put that story together. Some folks read it and think that it’s unbelievable… Between you and me, though… most of it is true. ;)

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: Growing up, my favorite was I Dream of Jeannie. It was sweet and romantic with a paranormal edge, something I love. As an adult, I rarely watch TV, but a couple of shows that I’ve been faithful to and have watched every one is Friends, and now I’m a huge fan of A Game of Thrones.

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: I love the outdoors, and it’s something I like to share with my readers. I especially love to hike and kayak.

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Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the fantasy, romance and suspense genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: Yes. In fact, as I mentioned above, I just finished a women’s fiction/chick lit. I wasn’t sure if I could pull off writing humor, but my beta readers said I did, so…we’ll see.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: Right handed. BUT…all of last year, due to two shoulder operations, both on my right arm, I had to learn how to blog and write not only one-handed, but also with my left. Hey…maybe that’s where the funny story came from. :)

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: Always! Along with the two mentioned above, I have a new series I’ll start working on near the end of this year. I can’t tell you what it’s about, but it’ll be the first time that I place a female lead as the “cop” type. The genre will be romantic thriller, but more on the thrilling part. I want to write a strong female lead, who’s also tender inside. Even though she’ll be too busy to ever let it show. I’ve already written the first chapter, which is usually how I start a book. If I like the character after the first chapter and still want to continue their story, I continue the book. I don’t plan out my books, so characters have to be able to sell me on their story just as much as they have to sell the reader. And I’m a tough sale.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Carmen today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Carmen, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook page

*Amazon.com

*Carmen’s website/blog

– Carmen’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below. Apart from THE PIT STOP, Carmen’s full book catalog is available to read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa

A Preview of my new books for 2016, and a cover reveal

Happy New Year for 2016 to everyone, I hope that it was a pleasant 2015 for you.

I am starting the New Year with a preview of some of my new books for 2016, and, a cover reveal for one of these, which I hope you enjoy.

Marcia

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MAXWELL SLADE HAS VANISHED (April 2016) Cozy Mystery-Suspense Novelette

Fitness entrepreneur and personality Maxwell Slade goes missing one evening, this devastating his wife Beverley, and loyal staff at his company Maxwell’s Fitness. The police suspect he has been kidnapped, but cannot work out why the well-liked Maxwell is in this position, as he has no known enemies. A staff member at Maxwell’s Fitness, Allison Parker, firmly believes that Maxwell is alive, despite protests to the contrary by Beverley. Spurred on by Beverley’s lack of faith in Maxwell, Allison will deeply delve into Maxwell’s disappearance, but will her intervention in this matter place her life in peril?

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GRANT’S ANGUISH (June 2016) Romance Short Story

Grant has just returned home to discover that his wife of fifteen years has left him, and is devastated. He was planning a romantic time with her as his vacation leave has just begun, but this is cut short. Their marriage, though, has been on the rocks for a while due to their lack of relations, which his wife Marion blames him for with a passion.

One windy evening Grant goes for a drive to get away from everything which is going haywire in his life, and ends up on the beach. He is spotted there by Samantha, a practical, sensuous woman living beachside, who takes an immediate liking to the handsome Grant after seeing him in pain on the beach. Samantha approaches the hesitant Grant, who is caught between a rock and a hard place, and tries to become friendly with him, with uneven results.

Is Samantha the antidote to Grant’s life which he cannot fully comprehend, and, will his doubts consequently drive a wedge between them forever?

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Here is the cover for HEARTBREAKER, Romance Novella available February 2016.

HEARTBREAKER

HEARTBREAKER

Ethan Wainwright is a specialist in affairs of the heart – he has made a habit of loving beautiful young women, bringing them to soaring heights of happiness, and just when they believe they are in heaven, leaving them in a state of utter dismay. He has a left a string of broken hearts in his wake, but an unexpected incident brings him crashing back to earth, making him question his acts. The sister of one of his love victims seeks revenge for the wrongs Ethan committed upon her sister, but will this young woman extract her retaliation upon Ethan, or fall prey to his irresistible charm?