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Friday, July 1, 2011

Here I Am!

I went ten whole days without Tweeting or blogging or Facebooking. TEN DAYS. (Although I did retweet things Mark Hoppus and Neil Patrick Harris said last week, because I wanted to).

Side note: Did you see the most awesome thing in the universe?
(In case you're wondering the significance of said tweet, it's that my heroes are John Hughes, Jim Henson, Mark Hoppus, and Batman. Out of those four, Mark Hoppus is the only that's still alive and not fictional. So... that's awesome.)

Anyway, back to the story. You may ask, why did you go ten days without using those things? Were you trapped in a cold dark cave without any internet?

So I'll recap for you what my life was like for the past ten days:

Last Tuesday, I left to go on a houseboat with Eric and my dog Elroy. The plan was to get away, relax, enjoy nature, and finish my book. I'm going to make a long story short but what ended up actually happening was that we got on the boat, parked to take a nap, and woke up to find ourselves stranded with a dead engine, no radio, no cell phone service. We were completely stranded, and our only means of escape would be swimming several miles to Canada.

After several days of this, we were rescued by some nice people who saw us waving from our boat. After that, we decided to cut our trip short and return home.

On the boat, while suffering fear of my imminent demise (and frequently muttering, "This sorta thing would never happen to J.K. Rowling"), I got no writing done. And I still had much to do.

So when we got home, I decided to keep the internet ban that had been imposed on me on the boat so I could work without distractions. I would pretend I was still on the boat, but I could call 911 if I fell down and cracked open my skull. Well, I probably couldn't call 911 if I cracked open my skull, but Eric could. And that's what counts.

At any rate, that's what I've been doing. I've been finishing Wake, the first book in the series that St. Martin's purchased. I've gone through it twice, for edits and revisions, and Eric's gone through it once. He just finished reading it twenty minutes ago, so I'll be going over that with him and seeing where he thinks I can improve stuff.

Then next week, I'll send out to the book to my lovely editor Rose and find out what she thinks of it. (Fingers crossed she doesn't hate it).

I'll be honest - this book took me an awfully long time to write. I'd been about half-way through with it for months. I started it back in February and was working on it really well into my life started blowing up publicly. Then I really slowed down and didn't work on it much until recently.

Don't get me wrong - I love the story. I'm really excited about the premise and the characters, and I think it has a lot of potential to be a really awesome series. It was just that whole "butt in the chair" thing.

Every time I'd get my butt in the chair to write, I'd start surfing around on the internet, and I would start thinking about how I needed to write a really good book. The good people at St. Martin's Press have been ridiculously supportive of me, but there is a sense of pressure on me that I didn't have before. Not from them and not even really from my readers. Just from me.

I feel like I really had to prove myself with this book, and it's hard to focus on the story and get any perspective when you're thinking, "This has to be the best book I've ever written."

When I finally got out of my head and forced myself to sit there and write, then it all just came together. I write because I enjoy writing, and sometimes that's easy to forget when writing becomes your job. But once I started, I was on a roll of awesomeness.

For those of you who want to know more about Wake, I don't want to really say a lot at this time. Also, since I have St. Martin's with me on this, I don't have write blurbs for it anymore (true story - writing blurbs is harder than writing books). So when they come up with a blurb, I'll share that.

All I can really say is that it's a young adult paranormal romance and things happen in it.

I did make this fancy soundtrack to go with it, though. And you can listen to that. (My soundtracks consist of the 15 or so songs that I listen to while writing the book that fit the best with the book itself. I think.)



Anyway - I'm glad to be back. Believe me when I say I missed you more than you missed me.

54 comments:

  1. one of the greatest sounds EVER to go along with WAKE.... you've got my attention!

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  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one who needs a musical marinade for my brain when I write. :) It really does make a HUGE difference, especially when the words seem stuck.

    I'm glad you finally got the draft done, even if the housebot idea flopped. Congrats!

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  3. Yay! Congrats on finishing it and bummer about the boat. We are happy to have you back!

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  5. So glad you are back! I missed reading your new posts for 10 whole days! I can't wait until your next book comes out :)

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  6. Actually, that sounds pretty terrifying to be stranded like that. I'm glad you, Eric, and Elroy are all okay. I'm thinking J.K. Rowling will think twice about a houseboat vacation after she hears about this. Also happy that Wake came together for you in an awesome way.

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  7. "I write because I enjoy writing, and sometimes that's easy to forget when writing becomes your job."

    That's a scary observation. Like too many scary things, it's probably very - sadly - true. I'm a lawyer by day and a writer at every moment I can snatch away from my job and my family.

    Writing full time is my dream. But the thought that writing would feel like work if I did it full time? That shivers me timbers. And I don't even have timbers (much).

    Good luck with getting the book done and I hope you'll keep us updated on your progress. I'm very interested in the blurb - the cover - and whether you get to keep your title!

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  8. Welcome back, and I look forward to reading Wake.

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  9. I think I would have pissed at the person whose boat I borrowed/rented. I hope you didn't have to pay someone for your terror. How did you and Eric hold up? Were you at each other's throats or did it bind you even closer together?
    I don't know how you waited another week to blog that. I would have been blogging it as soon as my cell reception came back.

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  10. Glad to have you back! Best of luck with Wake, and thanks for the music list!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  11. Glad you made it back okay. Looking forward to reading Wake.

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  12. Holy crap!!! That "vacation" didn't go as planned. Glad you're back and ok. :)

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  13. Yikes about being stranded, how scary! Always looking forward to reading your books.

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  14. It's been a while since I've heard that song and it reminded me how much I love it!! Congrats on finishing the book. How long does it usually take to finish the editing and publishing process?

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  15. what the heck? u make it sound like no big deal! were u scared? did u ever doubt u'd get rescued? omg. PLEASE elaborate on that if u dont mind. oh, and i sure did miss ya alot! i kept coming to ur blog hoping i had missed a tweet/fb msg... never realized how much i look forward to hearing about what ur doing and stuff. dont leave us again!

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  16. So glad your all fine after living through a harrowing experience. Just remember, what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger :)

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  17. Can't wait to read it! Wishing you much success. :-)

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  18. Well, life experience makes you a better writer and now you know exactly how it feels to be stuck in the middle of nowhere on a dead boat. Could definitely be a story in there somewhere!

    Glad you got some work done. I need to follow your example and get my fingers working, too.

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  19. just as my experience Amanda..
    http://joyfulcherie.blogspot.com/2011/05/silent.html

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  20. I'm like a stalker without the actual stalking I checked your blog a million times. Glad to see your back I love your writing and your story is inspiring. I just hope one day I'll finish my novel and have even a quarter of your success.

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  21. It's good to be disconnected from the internet once in a while. It cleans our the cobwebs and gives you some perspective.
    Good luck impressing the editors!

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  22. We are all glad you three came back safely. Maybe sometime soon you three will have some time to take a real relaxing vacation. I think you are a wonderful storyteller/writer and so whatever you come up with your fans will love it.

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  23. Great story for the nice people who rescued you - "We saw these people stuck on a boat and went to help, and who do you think it was? Amanda Hocking!"

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  24. It definately is a true story that blurbs are harder to write than the book itself. Wish I had someone to write mine for me :o). Good to have you back.

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  25. It's very true that something you love to do becomes harder and more tedious when you are doing it for a living. I used to love to sew. Once I started taking orders and living on deadlines, I lost the enjoyment and relaxation it brought for me. I'm glad to hear you were able to shake that feeling and produce a story you seem very happy with! I can't imagine the pressure you must feel to have to produce something even better than what you have already done...bc what you have already written has been fantastic in my opinion! Good luck to you!

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  26. Glad that you, Eric and Elroy are OK. That sounds terrifying! But I'm sure you'll make something positive out of it and turn this experience into a really cool story.

    In the meantime, can you tell us more of what happened to you guys?

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  27. Sounds like a story. And Good Luck with Wake!

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  28. Oh wow. Glad you were rescued! I'm actually reading Robinson Crusoe right now. If you haven't read it before, you might want to now. Or not. lol.

    About the soundtrack thing--I did that with my first book and I think what I need to get my third written is to make that soundtrack. Just hearing the music would trigger the muse.

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  29. As Garrison Keillor says, "Nothing bad happens to a writer, it's all material." Sounds like you picked up some new material there. I've been testing that statement myself lately. Enjoying your blog. ~ Melora

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  30. I hope that you considered putting a scene in one of your books concerning a character being stuck out in the middle of nowhere on a houseboat!

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  31. I'm glad you guys were o.k. from being stranded in a houseboat! Robin E. is right, you should use that experience in a new book.

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  32. shades of Gilligans Island.
    Glad everyone is safe

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  33. First time commenter, but I'm on your fifth book in three weeks so I had to come check out the girl behind the words. So sorry to hear that you got stranded! I'm glad it worked out okay. I'm so excited for you getting Mark Hoppus talking on twitter! You know you're a real celeb when other celebs are promoting you. :) Keep doing what you do. It's really encouraging to all us trying to go the indie route.

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  34. Awesome, Amanda! Can't wait to read it!

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  35. You know, I find that I do that too - when I sit down to write, I start surfing the net. Best thing to do is to have a computer for web stuff and have a computer for writing only, where the internet connection is turned off. I know of another writer who does this. It works.

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  36. WOW being stranded is pretty scary - been stranded in the middle of nowhere in a car but have never been stranded on a boat. Congratulations on overcoming the ordeal and accomplishing your goals!

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  37. Definitely have to turn off all distractions. I've been working on my zombie novel for 4 years, and some of the delay has been because I was surfing the net for research and then got caught up in something else. Clicking through links gets me in trouble every time, LOL!

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  38. Oh crap, look at me now! Am I working on my novel? No? Well, at least I am in good company... :)

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  39. Ok the boat thing sounds scary~ Glad you're ok. The Mark Hoppus quote..awesome! Hopefully that made up for being stranded!

    And the soundtrack is made of awesome! Anything that starts with Alanis Morrisette has gotta be good!

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  40. I check everyday for a new post, FINALLY! I'm glad you go some much done!! =) I can't wait to read more of your books! I found its hard for me to read anything from anyone else because I compare them to yours =) So I have found a few authors I really love, but none as much as you!!

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  41. RIP John Hughes. You made it cool to be from the Midwest.

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  42. I was at my upstate house for 4th of July weekend and didn't have internet that entire time, so I understand how terrible it feels.

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  43. I am glad that you and Eric made it back safely. I love the water and when I read that you rented a houseboat I was like hmmm..maybe I should rent a houseboat. Now after your experience, I am thinking of a must have checklist before actually renting one. BTW, I loved your muttering, "This sorta thing would never happen to J.K. Rowling." I know it wasn't commical at all at the time.

    Cheers! ~Steve

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  44. Amanda, you've got to start living like a rich and important woman. Your new publisher would have a fit to hear about your houseboat experience. Point #1: I'm no techie, but there are devices that you can buy that enable you to be always online, no matter where you are. You want to be able to call for help. #2: Don't rent cheap boats, planes (remember Buddy Holly!), cars, skateboards, or any other moving vehicles in which you can get lost or killed. Take the Rolls-Royce, or its equivalent in whatever you rent or buy next.

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  45. Blurbs? Tell me about it. I find it hard writing a compelling blurb because I don't want to give away much but want to get the reader hooked at the same time. Anyways, congrats on the completion of your book. I know what it means to finally finish a slow project. I hope to send mine to an editor soon as well. Good luck dear.

    Kind Regards
    Kelvin
    http://icire.blogspot.com

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  46. Love the title of the blog... Where Amanda Hocking Says Things About Amanda Hocking

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  47. Bring a sat-phone next time lady! =) Or just go on a cruise and let someone else do the driving for you. ^___^

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  48. Holy freakin' crap, Amanda! And dude, the houseboat thing just sounded so cool--in theory. . . oh well. Live and learn. Glad you're still around to entertain us though. I seriously would have been so bummed to read the headline . . .

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  49. Hi Amanda. Just felt like saying hi. Just one of the faceless people out in the world you've become famous to through who you are and your blog. Haven't read any of your books yet, but have much appreciation for your journey and the way you share who you are.

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  50. wow! what a story about you being stuck out there in the sea. glad you are both back ok.
    maybe you really needed to have radio station over there or even hire somebody to introduce you into boating for the first time?

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  51. I'm thinking about J.K. Rowling will think twice about a houseboat holiday perfect after she hears about this
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  54. I did make this fancy soundtrack to go with it, though. And you can listen to that. My soundtracks consist of the 15 or so songs that I listen to while writing the book
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