When your pants won’t cooperate!

Plotter vs. pantser……I never really knew which one I was. I suppose it depends on the book. While writing Bake my Day, I was a complete pantser, but with the two I’m currently working on, I can’t seem to follow that same format.

In the past, before writing Bake my Day, I thought in order to have a solid story and for all of the storylines and such to flow correctly, I needed to have every scene spelled out ahead of time and follow along with my notes. But I never finished a story I started.

Then comes NaNoWriMo! I decided to participate in too short of time to plan, to sit down and write an entire novel in 30 days with no outline and no planning. As soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, I knew I had a story in me that was dying to get out. I began typing and the words came with little to no blocks along the way. While there are many people out there that cannot do that, I was pleasantly surprised that I could. I felt as though I had more freedom to be creative without a “plan” already in place that I felt I had to follow.

Now that I am trying to write more stories, I feel like I don’t have the same flow as I did on the first. I’m not sure if I’m thinking too hard, or if I’m taking too long in between writing sessions where I can’t remember where I left off in order to pick it back up again.

As frustrated as I am with it, I will not give up on the process. My plan for this evening is to read through my novella that is currently in the works and take notes on what I have written so far. I’m hoping that will help me to pick it back up again and get this first draft finished. My goal is to have this one out before the next novel planned for late 2017.

As a planner in every other aspect of my life, I truly enjoyed the process of “pantsing” my last novel. I think it is important to look at both methods along your writing journey, or any other journey you may be on, and figure out what works best to get you to the goal you have set for yourself.

Be sure to check back later this week for a great interview I have coming up with author Courtney Walsh, getting to know her and all about her wonderful new novel Just Look Up, releasing on July 4th!

Shannon

Back online

We are finally settled into our new house!! As much work as it was to hammer out everything right away, unpacking the hundreds of boxes, I’m so glad we did. I think we have 5-6 boxes left that may or may not be labeled as “misc junk” that I plan to deal with later, but for the most part, every room is set up and its starting to feel like home. The kids are so happy here and they have so much more space to run around in, including their own rooms.

We’ve been in our new place about 2 1/2 months now and we just figured out how to get wifi from our phones. Yes, I know, many people do this and how did I not know about it. Well, I didn’t. But, I really enjoyed the break and felt very unplugged. We have had dvd’s and local channels only on our tv. It was really nice to have minimal tv access as we found we spent more time doing activities instead of sitting around watching shows. My kids tablets sat with drained batteries for months and they played more with their toys and each other. I now allow them very limited wifi access every couple of days, but not even close to what they had before. I have enjoyed having access to my laptop again, probably the only thing I really missed. With summer coming, we will continue to keep a low profile in the electronics area.

I’ve finally started falling into more of a routine, one of them being my writing. I have been plugging away at book 2 for a few weeks now and it’s going well. I had a novella planned in between, but tucked it away once we put our house up for sale. I wasn’t sure I could give it the time it needed with the busyness of life and with another full length novel in progress that I was hoping to release Fall of 2017.

Well, I pulled the novella out last week and started reading through it again. After reading through my notes, I remember tucking it away when I got to a tough spot and got stuck. Funny thing about writer’s block; it eventually goes away all by itself. I picked up right where I left off and was able to finish my outline and the major parts to move the story along. Though novellas are much shorter, I’m still worried about the time it will take to finish and the timeline I would like to release it if I am able to finish.

I’m still going to use the time that I can to plug away at them both, hoping to keep them moving along at a steady pace. The novella is in it’s first draft, while the novel is in it’s second. Working on two projects at the same time seems a bit intimidating, but the one perk is when I get stuck on one, I can place it to the side and pick up on the other. They are both set in Maple Falls as the first one was, so I am having a lot of fun writing the same characters as well as introducing a bunch of new ones.

Hoping to update again soon!

Shannon

 

New Year, New Book, New House

Happy New Year! I hope the first month of the year has been good to you all. It has been a very busy start for my family so far. We put our house up for sale just before the holidays and will be moving soon. Between packing boxes, I’ve tried to squeeze in a little work on book 2.

I participated in NaNoWriMo again back in November and luckily was able to power through my first draft. A couple days ago, I reached the end of chapter 2 on my second draft. While I wish I could find a little more time than I am giving it right now, I know soon I will be able to. I have quickly found out that moving a family of 6 takes a LONG time and a LOT of boxes! My new house will have an office overlooking the front yard and I can already picture myself writing there…

A little bit about book 2! It will be taking place in Maple Falls again, surrounded by some familiar characters, as well as a few new ones. The main character in this book will be Mary Bradford. If you read book one, you will remember her from the coffee shop. She is Linda’s (the owner of the coffee shop) daughter. She was briefly introduced in the craft night scene and again later at the coffee shop. It will be set around Christmas time may or may not be wedding bells 🙂  More to come about book 2 soon!

Back to packing more boxes and praying for warmer weather closer to the move. Moving in winter in MN is anything but ideal, but I did happen to see a few 40’s peek in to the forecast coming up.

Have a wonderful week and I’ll update again soon!

Shannon

One Year Ago…

Exactly one year ago, I made the decision to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those of you who are unfamiliar, November is national novel writing month, with the goal of writing 1,667 words a day for 30 days, ending with 50k words and a complete first draft of a novel in a month.

Many people who choose to participate plan for a month or more beforehand, plotting, outlining, developing characters, etc. Being that I decided the day before to do it, this is what I had planned out to start my novel:

Main character: Cora

Yep, that’s it! I had no outline or characters to go on, I just knew that I wanted the character’s name to be Cora. It was amazing how when I sat down to write, the story just came out. It definitely changed (a lot!) from first to final draft, but I was able to get a story down on the page and ended with 51k words on Nov. 29th, one day early.

My novel was not finished at that point, but I completed the goal for the month. I got busy with my shop literally two days later for the holiday season and was not able to pick my book back up again until February! I ended my first draft around 70k and then let it sit for a month or so and started all over again with the second draft.

I have no doubt that NaNoWriMo is the reason I was able to publish Bake My Day. Without the daily goals, the wonderful writing community, and all of the accountability that comes with participating, I would probably have never seen it through to the end.

That being said, a couple of days ago, I decided to participate in it again this year!!! I wasn’t going to, but I know that it worked for me last year so why not use it again to write book 2? The book I am going to write starting tomorrow was slotted to be book 3, but I am leaning more towards setting the other book 2 aside and making this one book 2.

I’m happy to dive into Maple Falls again and revisit the characters, seeing where life has taken them since Bake My Day! Yes, I know they don’t actually exist, but I think it must be a writer thing 🙂

I will update weekly on my progress and hope to “win” this year again, completing another 50k in 30 days!!

Shannon

Cover Reveal & Pre-Order!

I am SO excited to finally share my final cover for Bake My Day with you!! I spent many hours looking for the perfect picture and I love the one I chose. I, of course, had great feedback and input from my family. Here it is!!!

bakemyday-graupman-ebookweb

In other exciting news, the kindle version of Bake My Day is now available for pre-order!! You can find it HERE.

I am getting my print preview on Tuesday so the print version should be available for pre-order hopefully by the end of next week. I will definitely let you all know when it is.

My official release date is November 10th. I knew that it would be released in early to mid November, and after looking at the calendar, I knew that would be the day. That date has very special meaning to me so it made sense to choose it.

November 10th is going to be 14 years since my husband and I went out on our first date when I was just 19 years old. That day will now be even more of a special celebration for us.

I hope you love the cover!!! Stay tuned for more information on the print version coming soon!!

I hope you all have a great week!

Shannon

Cover Proof Day!

Today was the day I have been waiting for!! About 3-4 weeks ago, I started setting up my book cover with my designer. I sent her the photo a couple of weeks ago and today was the day that she sent me my first proof of the Ebook cover and the Print cover. Let me tell you….I LOVE THEM! She designed them better than I could have hoped for and I have no changes to make.

Her communication has been phenomenal and she has been so helpful with all of my questions having never been through the process before. She usually emails back within a few hours and always has the answer. I have been following along with her premade covers for months now and I knew that I wanted her to design mine.

Over the weekend I purchased my ISBN number. I opted to buy the 10-pack vs only 1. The cost of two single numbers was the cost of a 10-pack, no brainer in my book. My designer offered to put my ISBN number on the back cover for me along with the barcode for no extra cost.

Once she places that on the back, I will be able to approve my final cover design and she will then be able to make my matching title page and chapter headers. Once I receive those, I will be able to forward them on to my formatter and she will be able to get started. Without those, she can’t do anything. Once she starts, both books (Ebook & Print) should be finished within 5 business days!!

I’m hoping both the cover and formatting will both be complete by the middle of next week so I can begin to upload it on Createspace. I believe I then will be able to order a proof copy and review it, making sure the spine, text, covers, etc all line up in the way they are supposed to.

I cannot wait until I get that book in my hands!! Holding it will be surreal I’m sure.

If you are looking for an amazing cover designer, check out Paper & Sage Designs.

I can’t wait to share my cover with all of you when I get the final copy!

Shannon

Bake My Day!

I am so excited to share some information about my book with all of you! The title of my first book is Bake My Day, set in the small town of Maple Falls.

See below for the back cover blurb!

Yesterday, I finished going through my edits and officially have a final draft! Something I have never had before after writing so many stories over the past few years so the word exciting doesn’t quite cut it.

This week I am working on finding a person to format my book in a print form and also for an e-book. I think I have found a great candidate to do it for me, I am just waiting for the quote to come in.

Next week, I will be getting my first proof of my cover. On Monday, she will be emailing me the first proof she has already been working on. After that, we will tweak a few things if needed and go from there. By Friday of next week, I should have a complete cover design ready to go!! I cannot wait to share it all with you next week.

Everything is starting to come together and I am getting close to the home stretch. These last steps I need to take are a little stressful but I know will be worth it in the end to see a finished product and be able to hold a physical book that I actually wrote in my hands!! Thanks to a very sweet author friend, I feel like I will be able to do this…with a little help from her 🙂  Thanks Harley!

And now…I leave you with my back cover blurb! I would love to know what you think!

           Cora Westerling thought she finally found the one. But as her relationship slowly starts to change, she is forced to make a tough decision. Giving her two week notice at her job, she packs up her life into her tiny car and decides it is finally time to live the life she has always dreamed of living. As a true believer of signs, she follows them along the way until she stumbles upon the small town of Maple Falls. Could this town hold everything she has been longing for?

Bradley Harper is a local police officer in the town of Maple Falls. After losing his wife, he was forced to raise their young daughter Lily all on his own. Working long hours and relying on his parents help, the last thing he has time for is a relationship. Could a new girl in town change all of that?

When the two of them meet on her first night in town, there is something about him she cannot stop thinking about. As their paths continue to cross and the love for his daughter grows in her heart, it seems like fate may have more in store for them than they both realize.

Comment below and let me know what you think 🙂

Shannon