Thursday, May 25, 2017

Finishing One Book & Starting Another

In March I published my eighth book, Amaryllis for Phyllis, which takes place in January. My books all go by the months of the year. I took longer writing this book than any other book except for my first book, The Blue Rose. In March 2016, I’d just published my seventh book Blood Red Poinsettias shortly before going to Malice Domestic.
San Francisco Bay. We always go to Fisherman's Wharf.
I’d spent a lot of time writing it so I decided to wait a while before starting a new book. As I wrote in an earlier blog, the year 2016 was busy filled with an ex-husband moving in with my son next door after his third wife died, and then his death in October. There were several trips including camping with my sisters, and going to California to visit my daughter. I hosted two reunions at my house, delivered Mobile Meals, attended two book clubs and writers’ group meetings, a graduation and a few birthday parties. This was in addition to my daily chores of weeding and planting my gardens, mowing my extensive lawns, and feeding my critters.

The corrected cover

Sometime in October I started my eighth book which takes place in January – Amaryllis for Phyllis. I put a lot of time into it in between having my California daughter come home shortly after her father died, and later getting ready for Christmas and other things that always keep me busy. But with the weather no longer pleasant, I had more time to work on the book keeping at it until I finished it sometime in early February. Then I had to wait and wait until my step-granddaughter finished the cover. She had a hard time finding a picture I liked of a woman in a wheelchair like I wanted. Finally, she went to a hospital with her mother and had her pose in a wheelchair. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I settled for it. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice she’s misspelled Phyllis’s name. She spelled it Phillis. I didn’t notice that until I opened the box of twenty-five books I had ordered. It took a while to get in touch with her and have her change it, and then it took some time to change it on Create Space, because she hadn’t sent the correction in a PDF file. Finally, she did that. I still have to order some of the corrected books. Ellen Eckhouse at the Village Bookstore that sells my books said they’re collector editions and will be worth money someday. So far those who like my books don’t mind the ones with the misspelled title.

They're in the barn nights, & have shelter days if they want it.

Because the winter was a mixture of cold, snow or lots of rain and wind, too, I couldn’t do much outside except care for my ponies and chickens. So I started writing my ninth book for the month of February Red Roses for Valentine’s Day. I was on a roll with that book. It pretty much wrote itself once I got started.  On Friday, I wrote chapter forty – my last chapter. Now I have to start the job of doing one final edit and then reformatting it into a 6” by 9” book with opening pages, etc. And then I’ll be going over each page again when it is put into a book that size because there will be pages I have to edit to make it look better, as well as some lines or words that are misspelled that I didn’t notice, nor did my critique partners at the time. 
She's using the picture of my aunt & mother
My step-granddaughter is already working on a cover for it as well as a cover for a memoir a ninety-three
year old member of my writing group wrote. My friend Laura edited her memoir, and I reformatted it into book size and made some edits, too. I’m hoping I can get her book published soon.

 I have a few ideas for my March book, but I think I’ll wait a while before I start that. However, I may start it sooner than I planned if I get a really good idea for it. Still there’s a middle-grade historical fiction book I started with a young ghost as the main character in the town of Hiram, Ohio where I taught third grade for years. I want to get back to that, too. Another thing I haven’t done for a while is write short stories for contests. I probably should work that in, too, when I’m not weeding, planting, mowing or camping, and the other things that keep me busy.

If you’re a writer, how do you feel when you finish a book?

Are you eager to start another one?


  1. It takes me much longer to complete a book than you, Gloria. I need several drafts to polish the story and writing to my expectations. But because it does take a long time from start-to-finish, including rest periods for the manuscript, I always have another novel started before the last one is completed.

    ~ Jim

  2. I am a writer and I would like to know how it feels to finish a book! LOL Gloria you are my inspiration. -- Laura

  3. I'm always impressed with all you do, Gloria!
    How do I feel after completing a book? I thought I would feel like dancing, but there was just a feeling of slowly dawning accomplishment when I typed THE END. Plus a bit of disbelief! And of course, Jim is right - typing THE END is just the beginning of revisions and edits. I don't know if I feel truly finished with any writing project - I just feel like it's time to stop.


  4. Jim, normally it takes longer to finish a book for me, too, but this time probably because of the weather, I wrote at least two or three chapters a week. I still need to do the final editing of half of the chapters, and then after I reformat it into 6" x 9" I'll do a final

    Laura, I hope you soon find out. I've been after you for years now, you know. You have the talent, you just need to sit down and get at it. I enjoyed editing what you had written earlier, and I think you could still find a way what you already wrote into a new book.

    Shari, I can't wait to read your book. No matter how many edits and revisions a book goes
    through, there's almost always that typo or some little thing wrong. I say this because as an avid reader I find those little mistakes in well-published books, too. Not as many, but they're still there. If your book is the first in a series, I'm betting you'll be eager to start a new book and bring back the characters who are now your friends.

  5. I'm deep in novel revisions, just had a germ of an idea for the next in the series and might grab the time this weekend to put what I have into a word file. And I always have a short story or two on the back burner.

  6. Whoa. You are amazing. Re: your question, I rarely feel like a book is finished. Or when I do, it turns out I have another revision to sort through. But once it's gone to press, I'm excited and scared and excited. Good luck with March!

  7. When I finish a book I feel a bit anxious that I won't be able to write the next one.

  8. Margaret, I used to write a lot of short stories, too, but I've not written one for a while
    now. The last two I wrote were about two young precocious twins who are characters in my series.

    Carla, my one question for you is are you going to write more Caleb Knowles mysteries. I so loved them. I think your standalone The Stone Necklace was awesome, too.

    Warren, Probably it's because you don't write series, Once you write series you have
    characters you're familiar with who seem like friends. With stand alones it's sort of
    like writing short stories when you have to come up with new plots and new stories.

  9. I find that some stories and novels have been rattling around in my head for a while, and practically write themselves, while others need more planning.

    What never changes is the need to edit, revise, rewrite--then edit, revise rewrite again, and...

  10. I hear you on that, KM. I think only writers know how much work it is. It's not something any one can just rattle off and think it will be perfect.

  11. Gloria,
    Your busy life leaves me gasping for breath.
    As for books—I'm close to finishing the second book in my Haunted Library Mysteries series. I've started the third of a trilogy of my young YA Rufus books. I've also written part of a sequel to my ghost mystery, Giving Up the Ghost. I must write more sequels for my Golden Age of Mystery Book Club mysteries and Twin Lakes mysteries series. And so I've plenty to do for the next several years.