Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Guest Post: How to Write a Book in Two Months with Author Lois D. Brown
Today I welcome mystery author Lois D. Brown, who will share with us how she wrote a book in two months, something I bet all authors wish they could do. Since it takes me years to write a book, I'm especially intrigued with Lois' accomplishment. Lois also has a special contest to tell us about with a grand prize of 3 nights in a vacation townhome in Kanab, Utah, thirty minutes from Zion Natinal Park. Read on!
About Lois D. Brown
Lois Brown's love of all things fantastical began at an early age when her five older brothers made her watch television shows such as “Dr. Who” and “Lost in Space.” (Yes, the originals.) Her passion for science fiction continued when, at age 12, she spent an entire summer buying “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” collector cards. As an adult, she has appeared on television shows such as “Myth Hunters: The Curse of Montezuma's Gold” and “American Unearthed” discussing Montezuma’s treasure and Freddie Crystal in Kanab, Utah. If you’d like updates on Lois’s adventures in writing and treasure hunting, please subscribe to her newsletter at www.loisdbrown.com. Other novels by Lois include: Cycles (a top five finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Indie Books of 2012); Spaces; and Catching Katil (a tween mystery set in the 1980s.)
Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Lois! Please tell us how you wrote your mystery Robbed of Soul in two months.
Two years ago it took me almost twelve months to write a middle grade book that was 30,000 words long. This past fall I wrote an 85,000 word adult mystery in two months. What made the difference?
Point #1: Like your book
First off, let me say that to write a book, and to write it fast, you need to like your idea. I wasn't so jazzed about writing the middle grade book. I thought it had a good premise and was marketable. However, I was completely passionate about Robbed of Soul. It’s set in a real town, Kanab, Utah, which I love to visit. It includes legends about Montezuma’s gold and historical tales from treasure hunters in the 1920's. And the protagonist is a woman who survived eight months in solitary confinement in Tehran. All of these are things that fascinate me. So much so that I've actually appeared on a television show about Montezuma's treasure.
Point #2: Make it a competition.
I contacted a friend of mine who was about to write her second book. (If you don’t know someone personally, there are tons of online author support sites that would work too.) My friend and I made writing our books into a competition. It made all the difference. Every few days we would check up with each other. We’d send a quick text asking how many words the other had written that day. It was fun. First she was ahead. Then I was ahead. Then she was ahead. Yes, she finished the book before me, but it didn't matter. We both finished writing rather large novels in less than ten weeks.
Point 3: Get rid of distractions
I created an atmosphere that was conducive to writing. Our family’s main computer is in the kitchen. I like it there because I can see what my kids are doing on it. But, it really makes it difficult to focus. The fridge is about six feet from my computer chair. It whispers to me all the time. I knew I had to change where I wrote Robbed of Soul. I set up a desk in the corner of my house the furthest away from my kitchen as possible. I also put my cell phone in a different spot than where I wrote.
Point 4: Write while you do chores
There is a free app for iPhone called Dragon Dictation. It's easy to download and it's simple to use. While it's not perfect, it does a good job of transcribing everything I say. I use it for outlining. I write dialog with it. I'm even using it to write this blog. I speak into my cell phone while I'm riding in the car, when my hands are tired of typing, even while I walk around the house picking up messes.
Point 5: Stay awake!
Caffeine does a number on me. I really don't like consuming large quantities of it. However, I found Crio Bru to drink. It has a great natural stimulant in it, tastes good, and I feel like a legit writer with my steaming mug of brown liquid at my side. Another natural stimulant I use is an orange essential oil. I like the brand doTerra. I keep a small bottle of this essential oil right next to my computer. When I started to feel drowsy, I open the lid, pour a drop on my hands, and rub them together. I then breathe in deeply and have an immediate pick me up. And it makes my keyboard smell good. (No, I don't own stock in either of the companies.)
About the contest
Do you like books? Do you like Zion National Park?
Join the ROBBED OF SOUL book launch giveaway
and you may win 3 nights in a vacation townhome in
Kanab, Utah. (Thirty minutes from Zion.) A $450 value!
(Or a $100 Amazon gift card if preferred.)
Rescued but psychologically damaged from a failed mission, ex-CIA officer Maria Branson takes the job of police chief in the quiet town of Kanab, Utah. Rest and relaxation are the doctor’s orders. She gets neither. Instead, a missing mayor, the spirit of a dead Aztec warrior, and the over-confident-yet-attractive head of Search and Rescue await her in a town whose past has almost as many secrets as her own. As Maria investigates a modern-day murder, she disturbs a world of ancient legends and deadly curses. Yet most lethal of all is Maria’s fear someone will discover just how empty her soul really is.