Friday, February 20, 2009

Mark Your Calendars- My First Signing!

If you can make it to the St. Louis area at 1 p.m. April 11th, I will have my first official signing/reading at the Chesterfield Barnes and Noble on Clarkson Road.

Yes, it sounds a little odd to have my first signing so far away from my hometown. My parents live in the St. Louis area and my mom has been talking the book up to anyone who will listen. She also handed out promotional bookmark to people on the streets of New Orleans last week. She's a one-woman maternal promotion machine.

So remember:
1 p.m. April 11th
Chesterfield Barnes and Noble
600 Clarkson Road
Chesterfield, MO.

My publicist will be scheduling something in Paducah soon.

Hope to see you there!
Molly

Monday, February 16, 2009

Question of the Day: Creating a Writing Schedule

I'm starting to get some interesting comments and questions on mollyharper.com's comment feature. I'll be turning some of them into blog entries. So if you want to know something, just drop me a line on the site. Here's the first one:

Hi Molly,
I read about you on Janet Reid's excellent blog and I think your book will be the first vampire-related book I've ever looked forward to reading. The reason I'm writing is that I'm inspired by the fact that you wrote this book while raising a young child. I work full time and I have a two year old and my writing pace can only generously be described as glacial. How did you do it? Did you decide sleep was optional?... I would love if you blogged some day (or wrote me back) about how you managed to write PW starred quality writing while caring for a young child. Thanks, Karen


Dear Karen:

I wrote the first book in 2006, while we were living in what I called the Apartment of Lost Souls. We were building a house, my husband was working nights, and every single night, something broke. The dishwasher vomited soap on the floor. The washing machine started smoking. I was losing my MIND. Normally, I read when I'm stressed, but all of my books were in storage. So every night, after my daughter went to bed, I wrote something I would want to read. Writing NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS took about a year, finding an agent and selling it took a little under six months. Now that I have my "universe" established, it's taken me less time to write the sequels.

I'm not going to lie. Between working a full-time job and raising two you children and trying to make sure my husband doesn't feel totally abandoned to my wild ambition, it's tough. It was even tougher after our infant son was born. And every time my husband's schedule changes, I have to re-adjust my writing routine. But it's all about the routine, developing the discipline.

I write at least 1,000 words a day, no matter what. Even when I'm sick, tired, stressed, I get those 1,000 words in. They don't even have to be brilliant words, I can go back and fix them. Just the discipline of making time and building your story, that's what matters. I have to admit that it helps that I have a newspaper background. When I was reporting, I couldn't exactly wait around for the muse to strike when I had an angry editor standing over me, demanding to know when I was turning in my story. You learn to get beyond the need to get "inspired" and just write.

I try to get all of my daily chores done before the kids are in bed. (laying out my daughter's school clothes, prepping/replenishing the baby's diaper bag, dishes, laundry, etc.) so as soon as they go to bed, I'm ready to write. I generally work from about 8:30 to 11 or 12, depending on how well things are going. If it's really flowing, I'll stay up until 2 or 3. But I try not to do that too often, because I'm a wreck at work the next day.

It's difficult to get a routine going, but once you have it established, it's a lot easier to channel your creativity into that part of your day. I also keep a notebook in my purse to jot down random ideas.

I hope this helps.
Molly

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Glamorous Life as a Author....

So, I got a little full of myself today.

Still a little jazzed from the Publisher's Weekly thing, I went to a small writers' group to talk about how I went about submitting NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS to agents and publishers. The meeting went really well. I did a short reading and the group members laughed at all the places where I'd hoped they would. It was a nice sort of "focus group" to test how readers would react to the book. So I drove home feeling really good about myself.

And then I walked through the door at home. There were baby bottles to sterlize and laundry to fold. My daughter came running from her bedroom to ask whether I'd picked up her conversation hearts for the preschool Valentine's party. And I was brought crashing down to reality.

Oh, yes. When it comes to glamour, Danielle Steele's got nothing on me.

I am a writing wife/mom. I work on my books at night after my kids go to bed. Really, my life hasn’t changed all that much, which is why it’s still sort of difficult for me to believe I have a book coming out. I still get up at dawn to get my daughter to daycare. I get up for 2 a.m. feedings with our infant son. I am still the same boring old person I was before I signed my publishing contract.

It’s easy to stay humble when you have spit-up in your hair. And it's good to have those reminders when my head starts to expand a little.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Starred review in Publishers Weekly!!

OK, I swore that I wasn't going to post every single positive review of NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS, but ... today my publicist let me know that I received a starred review in Publishers Weekly!! And then she had to explain to me that this was a pretty big deal. So I'm very proud (and slightly boggled) and I wanted to share.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Any Club That Would Have Me as a Member...

The League of Reluctant Adults, a fabulous consortium of paranormal authors, (picture the mob only snarkier and less prone to monochromatic silk suits) were foolish enough to invite me contribute to their blog.

Find it here:
http://reluctantadults.blogspot.com

Or check out the link on the right.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back from the land of ice and (insert frustrated expletive here)

Sorry for the extended absence people. For the last week, I have been stranded by an ice storm, living in my inlaws' living room, without electricity, with my two children under the age of 5. We all made it out alive, but just barely.

I just moved back into my newly electrified house about an hour ago. I will never ever take showering with the lights on, cooking indoors, or sleeping without keeping a flashlight nearby for granted again.

If you've been watching the national news coverage of the ice storm, most of it has been based in my hometown of Paducah, KY. My husband, a local police officer, just barely missed being interviewed by the Weather Channel's Jim Cantore on air. Thus, his man-crush on Cantore continues unrequited.

Thousands of people remain without power more than a week after the initial storm hit Paducah. People here are tired, cold, cranky and progressively ill-groomed. Unable to blow-dry my hair or dress in a well-lit room, I've gone to work looking like Carrot Top for the last two days. I drove through my neighborhood yesterday and saw one of my neighbors shaving his head in his driveway. I sincerely hope that was related to the lack of electricity and not just a personality quirk I'd never noticed before.

I found myself going into survival foraging mode on Thursday, when I finally got into a grocery store. After going to four stores that didn't have formula, I bought about three months' worth of formula and baby food for our four-month-old in an all-out pioneer-woman-who-is-only-allowed-to-go-to-the-general-store-once-a-year raid at K Mart. Still, I heard tales of desperate neighbors, exhausted by five days without power, buying a $1,200 generator to power their home- only to get electrical service rebooted on Sunday. So it could have been worse.

The good news is, being trapped, by frigid, icy weather, in the dark, in a small enclosed space, really helped me get in the mood for making copious notes for my next project, a werewolf romance set in Alaska. Over the course of the week, I wrote about 20 pages of notes Abe Lincoln-style. (Meaning by candlelight, not that I had a crazy spouse or bullet wound to the head or anything.) I'm hoping to start working on this book as soon as I put the finishing touches on the third book in the Nice Girls series, NICE GIRLS DON'T LIVE FOREVER. More on that development later.