Category Archives: Writing Nightmares

Author Talk Disasters: Don’t Let These Happen To You

Previously published on Girlfriends Book Club

Cindy Jones impersonating a celebrity author

Did I remember to tell them what the book is about?

Since publication of my novel I have been honored to speak to book clubs, literary guilds, and library groups. The Writer’s League of Texas Annual Agents and Editors Conference invited me to serve on their faculty where I offered a breakout session and participated on a panel discussion.  Although my talks generally went well, there were some glitches I could have avoided with a little more planning and attention to detail.  I’ve provided the humiliating details below to save you from making the same mistakes.

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Trespassing for Fiction: How I Stole a Manor House for My Novel

Previously published on Girlfriends Book Club

Since we are discussing setting I will reluctantly work past my discomfort to share, not only how I obtained realistic details to create the manor house in my novel, but also how a sense of poetic entitlement caused me to behave badly.  Ahem.  (Sound of me clearing throat).  I avoided arrest and have purposely omitted names in this post in order to protect myself.

Posted in Avon/Harper Collins, Cindy Jones, Jane Austen, Living in a novel, My Jane Austen Summer, The art of writing..., Uncategorized, writing exercise, Writing Nightmares | Tagged | Leave a comment

Twitter: I’m Turning Myself In

I also know what a selfie is and how to take one.

I also know what a selfie is and how to take one.

Some of you may be surprised to learn that I know how to tweet, and even more surprised that I know how to create a hashtag that will change my life. Yes, I, who never had a problem sitting down and facing my literary problems am so far off track, I’m surrendering myself to the mercy of the very social media frontiers I intended to ignore.  With Twitter and a hashtag, I can be held publicly accountable for my writing time and output.

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The Truth About Book Signing

I have been signing books for a month now and want to go on record to say that signing books is not as easy as it looks.  Several times I messed up and had to start over with a clean book.  Sometimes I get carried away and gush.  (New nightmare:  reading old inscriptions in resale copies at Half-Priced Books).  But my all-time worst fear is that a friend will present a book for signing and I won’t recall their name.  Even if we rode to the event in the same car, book signing dynamics cause names to disappear faster than a teenager with a driver’s license.  This is why sticky notes and pens and lines were invented.      

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Inside Story: The Title Diet

 

Teenager Not Playing Video Games

 

My Writing Teacher warned us not to waste calories worrying about titles for our books.  Editors replace working titles–in a heartbeat–at the appropriate time.  Nonetheless, I secretly wasted calories worrying about titles.  I burned calories I could have used writing a sequel.  

FYI:  Title Worry consumes the same number of calories as enforcing time limits on Xbox players.          

I descended into title madness between 3 and 4 am on select nights, generating a vast graveyard of titles too embarrassing to exhume.  Example:  DITCHED BY JANE AUSTEN which I submitted to Editor before First Reader was awake one morning.  Sadly, some of my working titles came within a mere word of the winning title but I couldn’t close the gap, as if my synapses weren’t quite up to the challenge.  Was this a symptom of a deeper affliction?  An inability to grasp the meaning of the 90,000 words I’d spent five years writing?    

Posted in Agent, aging synapses, Editor, First Reader (aka Husband), My Jane Austen Summer, My Writing Teacher said..., teenagers, Writing Nightmares | 3 Comments