krossat-glas

I’ll just have to pick up the pieces next year

2016 is almost over and it ends with a crash when I run headlong into all of my deadlines without any finished books. It’s been an intense year for me, this first year in my new role as an author. It’s even difficult to write that word, since so many people think that it doesn’t count if you haven’t been published by a traditional publisher and they don’t consider me an author, despite the stack of books on my desk filled with stories that I wrote.

Well, I don’t care, they can call me what they want. Mostly, I just think of myself as tired. That’s the only label I’m comfortable with. The only thing I can be sure of. That I didn’t sleep well last night, and I won’t sleep well tonight either.

Tonight I’ve got a very good excuse, though, since I’m staying up to binge watch six hours of TV goodness. The Gilmore Girls are back and since I haven’t been able to find a TV show that satisfies me in the same way that Amy Sherman-Palladino’s masterpiece did, I have no intention of pacing myself. I have nine years of unsatisfactory TV watching to make up for. Since I’m a poster child (woman) for instant gratification, there’s no way that I’ll watch one episode a week or something like that, like we did in the stone age. No, I’m going to watch the entire thing in one sitting. I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll throw sofa cushions on anyone who tries to get between me and the TV.

But what about the writing? you ask. What writing? My good computer has been in the shop for three weeks and I’m using an old stone-and-chisel type replacement to hack out this blog post and keep up with my day job.

I had such big plans for this year. I was going to have the entire Scandinavian Winter Series done, and several shorter stories to use for marketing and, well, just for fun. But the year has not been a good one, writing wise. It’s been a struggle to make room in my day-to-day life for this new career without the rent-paying day job or my beloved family having to pay the price. Mostly I’ve paid it, in stress and lack of sleep. Not that much sweat, sorry, Debbie Allen! But the year is coming to an end and I’m going to have to accept the fact that I couldn’t do it. I  kept thinking I could catch up, all year. I even planned to try and keep up with the NaNo:ers this November and maybe finish a project or two, but nope.

Now, if I’d had a publisher, they would probably have dropped me when I didn’t make my deadlines. But since I’m doing this more or less on my own, I only have my readers to answer to. I’m hoping you won’t be too disappointed when Hold On isn’t out in time for Christmas, as promised. I’m hoping you’ve got other books to read until I manage to get some quality writing time and can dive into Susan and Lynxx’s relationship. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever to get to them. But it just wasn’t on the cards for 2016. 

To be fair, I had the entire universe against me. And no, I’m not being melodramatic. It’s just been one long uphill slog this year, and one thing after another has gotten in the way of my writing. Lots of work, health issues, computer issues, you name it.  And just when I was beginning to hope that my computer would soon be fixed and I could get back to writing, I got an email from the publisher, moving up the deadline on my current translation from mid-January to a week before Christmas. And I’m not stupid, I understand when the Universe sends me such not-at-all-subtle signals. It’s telling me to NOT WRITE ANY MORE BOOKS THIS YEAR.

It’s telling me to finish this blog post, work hard on that translation all day and then watch TV aaaaaall night long.

Yup, I can take a hint.

Sorry about the mess!

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Sorry about the mess! I’ve moved the domain to a different web hotel and somehow that messed up the re-directs so bad that I haven’t been able to fix it. Instead, I’m making a whole new website with all the old content, hopefully at least as good as the old one, but it is going to take a while to sort out images, links, fonts etc. Please forgive the mess and I hope you can find what you came here for.

The Story That Wouldn’t End – An Author’s Worst Nightmare

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Wow, fall/autumn is here. It’s not very cold, but I’ve found my legwarmers and bought some new cardigans (completely destroying my romance author cred along the way — what I meant to say was that I had to put on a silk robe over my negligee and snuggle up to a warm-blooded hunk! Oops …). This morning I went for a long walk in the rain to clear my head. I’m not sure that it did, but at least it woke me up so that I didn’t fall asleep at the keyboard when I got back and started working on my Halloween story.
I think I might have to give up on that one, actually. It feels sad after all the hard work I’ve done but the story has just completely gotten away from me and I think that I might have created a monster. It was supposed to be a short story, something fun to use for promos at this time of year. Now it’s about 33K words and there are still several scenes that I’ve only sketched out that needs to be properly written. That will add several thousand words before I’m done. It’s a crappy length, too long for a short story and too short for a novel. I’ve never written anything like this before and I’m not sure if it’s any good or not or if there’s any point in keeping on writing. If I should ever finish it, I’ve no idea what category I should put it in. If I try and market it as a romance, I might get slammed because of the whole ghost thing, but it’s not scary enough to market as a ghost story. Also, there’s way too much sexystuff, but I can delete those bits. Or maybe I should add some more and step way outside my comfort zone?
I don’t know. I haven’t slept well this last week and that immediately gets me in a really funky mood. I want to finish this story, but I don’t think I’ve got what it takes right now. I can barely scrape together enough words for a blog post! I think I’ll just crawl under my electric blanket (read: rakish insatiable stud) and hibernate until spring.
See you in six months!

Haunted by Halloween

It’s October!!! How come no one told me?!? I’m not even almost done with my ghost story, so I’d better get to work. Johnson and the ladies of Mustang Creek will just have to wait …
after-death-do-us-part
I’ve changed the title because well, duh. Until Death Do Us Part makes no sense as a title if he is already dead! So very dead … But then, there’s this other dude, and I’m thinking he will get the HEA instead of ghost dude, because living with a dead dude forever is just not as romantic as literature is trying to make it seem.
I’ve been writing at an almost frantic pace and gone off track with the plot completely more than once. I really hope that I will get this done in time and that I’ll manage to patch the plot holes in a way that the story makes at least a little sense to the reader. I’m changing it to First Person POV, to be able to really get under Lisa’s skin and create a more immediate feel to the events that take place in the story. I also really need to amp up the scary, I think, if this is supposed to be a Halloween novella. Anthony’s just too hot and tormented to be scary as it is now. Someone is going to have to die! (Hint: Not the dead dude!)
I have another week or so before I need to get this to the editor. Otherwise, I won’t get everything ready for publishing in time for Halloween. I already missed the deadline for the big Halloween promo 🙁  but refuse to give up on getting the story out there in time for the spook fest. Since I’ve been planning this since Easter, I really feel that I need to get it done.
How I’m getting along with the Christmas short story? Please, don’t ask …

Back at the old homestead

Well, I’m back in the real world and starting to catch up with both sleep, work and play. It might take a while to get entirely back on track, but I’ve had a couple of good writing days this week and that always makes up for a lot of the other missing stuff.
Surprisingly (or not, if you know me) it is the story that I least need to finish right now that is insisting on being written. This western romance or whatever I’m supposed to call it doesn’t fit in with the rest of my stories in any way and I’m not sure where the heat level is going to end up, but I just can’t seem to shake these characters. I went for a long walk on Tuesday and before I got back home again all the pieces had fallen into place. Now, I just have to write it. And that might sound easier said than done but a few more days like this one and it will be finished.
dagsverke

To make myself focus and better be able to picture what type of book I’m writing, I made a quick mockup of the cover (This is not the finished cover!!!) and started on the description. It goes something like this at the moment but will change a thousand times or more before the book is done:
the-women-of-mustang-creek

Johnson is on the run from the sheriff and his men, frightened for his life and desperate for a place to hide. Gwen is struggling with the hard everyday life at the small homestead, feeling lost and lonely and desperate for a baby of her own. Patricia is determined to create a new life for herself, frightened of losing the love of her life and desperate to keep the secrets of the homestead at Mustang Creek from the good folks in town.

What would you be willing to sacrifice for the person you love? How far would you go to keep your home and family safe? What boundaries would you be prepared to cross, just for a chance to be loved for who you are? And if you did all that, would it be enough?

Doesn’t sound too cheerful, huh? All right. Back to work …

Sleepless in Gothenburg

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Ok, so I’m not a seasoned traveler. It’s 2.30 in the morning and I’m sleepless in a hotel room in Gothenburg. My third and last night here, but I still haven’t gotten the hang of sleeping in a strange bed, in a strange room with this insane silence that comes from not having a snoring husband on the pillow next to me. How do people sleep like this?!?
You would think that after hours and hours and absolute infinite hours of walking around looking at books, listening to interesting discussions, standing in line for book signings and meeting up with fellow writers for intense and interesting talks about our book projects and plans, I would be exhausted and fall asleep as soon as my head touch the flat hotel pillow. But no. It’s been difficult falling asleep and I keep waking up over and over again, all night through. Well, at least now I can get some blogging done while I’m still here and remember what actually happened.
alexandra
I listened to an interesting discussion about the happiness myth that is keeping women in a constant state of feeling inadequate and dissatisfied, led by the incomparable nightclub queen Alexandra Charles. Their conclusion: Try to shake off the “comparison-itis” and enjoy the good things we have instead of constantly chasing the next “must-have” item on the list.
simona

 

romance

Something a lot of Bookfair visitors probably had on their “must-have” lists for this weekend was some of these new romance reads. Above: Book 3 in Simona Ahrnstedt’s latest series (Book 1, All In, was released in the US and UK this summer)

To the left: Lina Forss’ Arvtagerskan (The Heiress) and Samantha Olofsdotter’s Kärlek på öppet hav (Love on the Open Sea).

Below: Sofia Fritzon was the winner of Harlequin’s novel contest with her book När drömmen slår in (When the dream comes true).
sofia-fritzon
The last seminar of the day was on Romance. On the panel was Katerina Janouch, Lina Forss, Maria Nilson and Simona Ahrnstedt. The discussion was moderated by Lotta Olsson, book reviewer for Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.
romance-seminar
The discussion was interesting enough, although a bit predictable. I thought it was sad that even though there was much talk about Romance being a sanctuary for women, a place in literature where women don’t need to fear being victimized, raped or murdered and where problems can be overcome and dreams can come true, there were still very dismissive voices heard. I wouldn’t mind it so much if it weren’t so obvious that the critics hadn’t actually read any current romance novels and had no clue about all the different voices and subsections within the genre.
After closing, I went out for a bite to eat with some writer colleagues at a nice Italian place a short walk from Svenska Mässan. The food was lovely and the company was even better. I’m already looking forward to seeing them again, even though it might be six months or more.
So, who cares about sleep? When there are such wonderful people and so many lovely books out there? I’ll sleep when I get back home, lulled to sleep by my husband’s snores!

A party – and books, lots of lovely books!

party-dog
Summer still lingers and this weekend is all about a party that I am very excited about. For once I am in the mood for a party right when it is actually happening and not the week after or two months before … The weather is going to be nice and we can be outside and there will be balloons and decorations and a mystery game and lots of treats and fun will be had by all. (I’ve already decided that. It’s my party. I decide things. That is the rule.)
This week has been a pretty good one, even before the party gets started. I’ve been writing almost every day and that always makes me happy for some reason. I’ve also, for once, managed to do it without dropping all the other balls that I’m juggling. Good for me.
Another reason for my good mood is that I’m going to the Gothenburg Bookfair on Thursday, so next week I’ll be blogging on location! It’s an intense 4-day book fest with seminars about books and trends in books, panel discussions with authors and publishers about books and the book business, authors being interviewed on stage about their books and their writing habits and lots and lots of books being sold directly by the publishers at bargain prices. Did I mention that there would be books? Oh, there will be so many books. And so many of them will want to come home with me!
This year I’m excited about a seminar on romance, the first in all the years I’ve been going (more than I care to remember), with Simona Ahrnstedt who released her All In in the US and UK this summer, Lina Forss who has just released the first book in the trilogy Stockholm romance called Arvtagerskan (which translates to The Heiress but the book is as far as I know not available in English), Katerina Janoush who just released some erotica short stories and my old professor from Linnéuniversitetet Maria Nilson who has written a book on romance called Kärlek, passion, begär (Love, passion, desire). Quite the line-up. Should be interesting.
The Goodreads Giveaway is wrapping up this weekend, on Sunday, so there’s still time to sign up if you would like a paperback edition of Until We Lay. More than 600 people already have, and that’s nice. I know that most of them will probably never get around to reading it, but it’s nice that they considered doing it at some point. There are so many books, after all, and so very little time to read them in.
A sad thought, but this is not the time to be sad. This is the time to party! Now, where is my party hat?

The Goodreads Giveaway is LIVE!

Sometimes it’s like wrestling with a manic anaconda, trying to get a computer to do what you want it to. And as soon as the computer starts feeling cooperative, the internet connection begins to falter. That small and easy task that was supposed to be done in twenty quick minutes ends up taking all morning and you have to break for lunch even though you’re not quite done because if you don’t eat something that brings your blood sugar levels up from the floor, you might just chuck the whole computer out the window. Without opening it first. The window, that is.
Other than that, I’m fine, thanks for asking … No, just kidding. I took an early lunch and now I’m sitting here with a cup of tea and feeling much better. Things don’t always turn out the way we had planned, but who’s going to care in a hundred years time? 
Not me!
It is Friday and that means that my first Goodreads Giveaway is LIVE! Since I’m not very good with computers, I’ll try and paste the little widget thingy right here in the post where it probably won’t work, but hey, it’s the thought that counts. 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Until We Lay by Sara-Lisa Andersson

Until We Lay

by Sara-Lisa Andersson

Giveaway ends September 18, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Oh, and if you haven’t already read Fool Me Thrice, it’s FREE on Amazon today.

They’re here!

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The books are here and everything that was wrong with the proof copies has been fixed. The box stands next to my desk and I keep glancing over there, stopping whatever I’m doing just to smile and feel good about the fact that I’ve got a whole box of books that I wrote! I hope that feeling never grows old, no matter how many books I write.
Yesterday was day-job deadline day, so today is a catching-up type of day when I wrestle with my printer and fill out forms and sort papers into binders and do all the little things that I don’t have time for in the Deadline Dungeon. If I’m good and work fast, I should have a good few hours of writing time before the family comes home. Better get cracking.
I’m sort of split between my different projects at the moment. I should get started on Scandinavian Winter 2: Hold On, which I’ve plotted out entirely (a whole new way of working for me), but I also need to finish the ghost story in time for Halloween (working title: ‘Til Death Do Us Part). And then there’s the silly western story (working title: not sure but it should have the word ‘stallion’ in it) that I have no idea what I’m doing with, but it’s the one that I’m most drawn to at the moment.
So many books, so little time to write them in!
I’ve set up a Goodreads Giveaway for Until We Lay, but you need to book it a week in advance, so it won’t start until next Friday, more about that later.
This weekend (3-4 September) you should head Down under and check out all the great books in Patty Jansen’s Science Fiction and Fantasy promo. This month everything is 99 cents, (even the box sets!) and there are links to other retailers as well, if you’re not a Kindle type of person. Just choose your favorite store below the image and see what books are available there.

What we in Sweden call Gäsp!

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A bit muddled in the old brain today because I didn’t sleep much at all. Again. And I’ve got a day-job deadline next week and day jobs wait for no woman, unfortunately.
I might be a little behind on the day job since I spent some time this week sorting out the new files for the paperback edition of Until We Lay, the very first of my Scandinavian Winter Romances, but I really wanted to get them sorted and get the book out there. Createspace printed up my own copies in no time (just a few hours, actually) and the first box of actual book books are on its way across the Atlantic to me as we speak (type). Estimated delivery is Thursday but I’m hoping they get here sooner. The proof copies got here in record time, so fingers crossed!
The minute I’ve unpacked that box and hold a copy in my hand, I’m scheduling a Goodreads Giveaway (it says in the fine print that you have to have the book that you’re giving away in your possession) to see if I can spread the word about my book to some nice new readers. So far the feedback has been good, but sparse like the readership, and it is no wonder when you think about all the books that are published every day. Thousands, probably. I’m not expecting to sell a gazillion paperbacks, but they are great for signings and for Giveaways and for putting on the shelf next to my desk and making me feel like I’ve actually accomplished something. It is so wonderfully tangible!
I spent part of my sleepless night on my Halloween story that I plotted months ago but never had time to write. Another couple of thousand words in, it still works but I need to pick up the pace if I’m to have it done in time. I’m worried that I won’t be able to put it in Romance, since the Hero is … well, dead. That kind of puts a spanner in the HEA, some might say.
But I figure there must be some leeway in a ghost story, or in most Paranormal romance for that matter, because I bet there are tons of dead or even undead love interests there. My guy is just a regular dead guy, haunting the house where he killed himself, so it should be fine. But I’ve got a nice neighbor waiting in the wings that can step in if I find that I need a real, live hero in the end. And I just figured out how I can make that work, romantically. Bam, problem solved!!! Thank you, you’ve been a great help! Now I’ve got to get back to work! Or perhaps take a little nap …