Deadlines, Summer, and Catching Up

I like having a routine, a schedule. I don’t get things done without one.

Summer usually decreases my productivity significantly. Not just writing, but cleaning, weeding, organizing, etc. The kids are home, projects around the house and yard on going on, trips are taken, a million random things need done and distract you from your original tasks, and on and on.

79420-calendardeadlineI need deadlines.

Some people don’t work well under pressure. For me, it’s the only way I get anything done sometimes. Those deadlines might be more vague like, the kids get home by 3 o’clock. I need to finish this chapter by then and get the dishes in the dishwasher. Or they might be more concrete, like when my publisher wants edits back by a certain date.

The first half of this year we were selling and buying a house and moving. That pretty much takes up all your time. I didn’t get much writing done and release dates I had a vague imagining of drifted past unnoticed. Then summer hit. We’ve been out of town more then we’ve been in town it feels like. I had extra classes I was teaching and the kids had activities and my husband was super busy at work.

The writing I did was sandwiched in between other things and done late at night when my husband was out of town and I was too chicken to go to bed by myself. I worked on half-finished projects from last year that had been abandoned or never started, but I was scattered and distracted easily.

Blogfest Banner 28 DaysOne of the projects I wanted to get back to was The Ghost Host, but I was having a hard time focusing on it. When my good friend Apryl Baker put out the call for her annual YA/NA Blogfest this August/September (GOING ON NOW!!) my first thought was to feature something already finished. Less stress on me, right? Sure, but also a heck of a lot less projects getting wrapped up.

Even though I still had about 25% of The Ghost Host to write, not to mention revisions and editing, I signed up the Ghost Host as my featured story and told myself that whatever day Apryl gave me, that would be the pre-order release date. With as hectic as things have been lately, I knew I was taking a risk, but guess what? IT WORKED.

Echo The Ghost Host NEWAfter getting the date of Sept 2nd from Apryl, I got to work and finished the last quarter of the book in about two weeks. It’s off to beta readers now and it looks like I’ll make my pre-order date of Sept 2nd and release date of October 6th, 2015. Thanks to my awesomely talented photographer sister Kassondra Sturtevant (Mystereah Photogrpahy), I also have a new cover model and was able to finish the cover art. You can get a sneak peek of THE GHOST HOST on the YA/NA Blogfest Sept 2nd.

I’ve always known that I work better under deadlines, but I guess I’ve just been lazy about actually setting them and making myself stick to them. I have a lot to catch up on, so that’s going to change. In the hopes of being more productive, I’m going to push myself a little harder. Readers have been asking me when on earth I’m planning to release Wicked Revenge and even though I’m not going to make an October release because I already have two other books releasing that month (The Ghost Host and The Only Shark In The Sea), I am now determined to have Wicked Revenge out before Christmas.

The third Escaping Fate (Oracle Lost) has also been requested and I’m setting a firm time to have it ready by March 2016.

Somewhere in there the fourth Date Shark book (Shark In Troubled Waters) will also come out, but that one’s up to my publisher.

Torino Dreams Coming SoonSince Torino Dreams is a standalone and I only need to make a few small revisions to that one, I’m going to start prepping for an early February 2016 release.

Memory’s Edge needs a sequel and I want to release them close together, so my plan is to set a deadline of having the first draft of the sequel to beta readers by the beginning of March and to release these two in April and May 2016.

Clearly, I have a lot of work to do, but setting deadlines is going to force me to stop wasting time on Facebook and get some writing done. Wish me luck!

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