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Alyssa Drake Novels

Steamy Romance with a Twist

Journey into the mind of a writer on deadline...


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Day 25 - Home stretch

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 4 September, 2021 at 3:15 Comments comments (0)

I went into Friday's writing session feeling a second round of edits was exactly what the historical co-write needed. With that concern tucked into bed, I refocused on the last two chapters, which carries a different concern...The wrap up.

I feel that melancholy that accompanies finishing a book, and although I'm staving off the book hangover by jumping into book two of the series as soon as book one is done, I've already began thinking of how I can return to this world. There's a secondary character who's captured my interest, and depending upon reader reaction to them, they may get their own story (a subject I've already broached with my co-writer).

That was vague, right? I did get my 500 words done tonight, so I'm logging off before the gremlins catch me awake.

Day 24 - Goosebumps

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 3 September, 2021 at 12:30 Comments comments (0)

Thursday morning I received notification that revisions had been completed on the first ten chapters of the historical co-write, so instead of writing new words, I read through those chapters again. After completing chapter one, I sent my co-writer a message.

Now, I cannot tell you what I actually said, because I'm not revealing any secrets, but I will say the word "goosebumps" was used (good sign). I read all ten chapters in one sitting (also a good sign), and was disappointed when I had to stop (extremely good sign). Seriously, how many times does an author actually admit they want to read through edits?

However, it's about time to rescue my heroine from that blasted pole and ensuing inferno, I only hope she forgives me when she discovers I'm not quite done with her yet...

Day 23 - A light at the end of the tunnel

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 2 September, 2021 at 17:00 Comments comments (0)

We. Have. Words. 500 words to be exact, and that was my goal for the day.

I do not feel guilty about not pushing for more. Wednesday and Thursday are busy with administrative duties including a takeover at a release party, my newsletter, weekly duties for the historical boxed set, and the announcement of the Summer Reading program winners.

I'm hoping Thursday night will be a bit calmer. I've got roughly 5,000 words left to go between the two final chapters, and I'm forcing myself not to rush through the climax, despite seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Since this is the first book of the trilogy, I'm writing a happily for now (not quite a cliffhanger, because the heroine and hero are together, but there will be a major unresolved plot point).

For now, I'm pleased with my progress and will be aiming for another 500 words tonight.

Day 22 - The compliment sandwich

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 1 September, 2021 at 3:15 Comments comments (0)

At some point in life, I was told about the importance of the "compliment sandwich" (one good thing, one thing to improve, one good thing) during performance reviews. It follows along with the idea the people remember the middle item the least.


If I were to compliment sandwich Tuesday, here's how it would go:

1 - Harbor of Secrets (contemporary romantic suspense) was selected to be featured on a certain vegetable reading platform, and the promo will run through Labor Day. 

2 - The first chapters teaser book for my historical boxed set, the one that was top of my task list, has been pushed out to January to give people more time. Deep breath. At least there's one thing I'm ahead on.

3 - I completed my realignment edit of the historical co-write and now I can go back to writing.


Which one did you remember?

Day 21 - When to say "When"

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 31 August, 2021 at 11:50 Comments comments (0)

I headed into Monday knowing that finishing one-quarter of the edits in one night would require one of two things; a perfect manuscript (such high hopes) or forgoing sleep (never a good thing). So, I set a more realistic goal and said as long as I finished four chapters, I'd work until I was tired.

And I did. When the words started to swim around on the screen, I knew it was time to stop...

One chapter to go. One Itty, bitty, little three thousand word chapter. Ugh. At this point I'd like to acknowledge that not all work is good work and having to redo tomorrow what I pushed myself through tonight means all I did was cost myself sleep (and let's be honest I should probably recheck the one I just finished).

Day 20 - A small inconsistency

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 30 August, 2021 at 11:35 Comments comments (0)

The most peaceful time in my household is after 11pm. Everyone has gone to bed, including the dog, and the only sounds I can hear are the fan (white noise) and the waves (sound machine to trick my brain into believing I'm at the beach). It also happens to be the most productive time because there are very few distractions.

After tucking everyone into bed, I fired up my laptop to complete a few more chapters of the historical co-write realignment edit, and found a consistency error. This is exactly what I'm searching for, and, although it was a minor discrepancy in location, I'm happy to catch it prior to finishing the story. Correcting the discrepancy took more time than I anticipated, since I had to scroll backward to edit previous chapters. I ended up leaving myself with the last quarter of the story to complete Monday.

Day 19 - Who hit the shuffle button?

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 29 August, 2021 at 10:35 Comments comments (0)

I kicked off the weekend with a bit of good news, and a bit of added pressure to the speed of my plan. The Most Important Activity list is meant to keep me on track, but with this new opportunity, I need to reshuffle the order to hit a mid-September deadline. There are a lot of steps which need to be completed by then, and I don't want to rush, so I'm debating whether to wait on redesigning my Wiltshire covers until next year. This keeps percolating in my brain as I'm working on the realignment edit for my historical co-write, and it is pulling my focus.

After reading four chapters, the mental noise became too distracting, and I switched to my admin side to randomly select the reader whose name will be one of the characters in my next Paranormal Tales from Firefly Island release (which I'll announce in Thursday's newsletter).

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday, and I may not be able to sneak any edits in (it's much easier to write on my phone than to edit), but I do get to have birthday cake and that's almost as good as getting to write.

Day 18 - My favorite place to be...

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 28 August, 2021 at 8:45 Comments comments (0)

I had no intention-NONE-of looking at the first chapter edits that I received back for the Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction boxed set until I completed the co-write. But, I was still feeling at little raw from the previous day, so I opened the document.

You would think a document filled with corrections would make me feel worse, except for two things. One, grammar isn't my strong suit, and getting a document back with corrections only shows my editor is doing her job. Two, there were no comments on the side questioning plot or noting unclear areas.


So, I spent my Friday in Wiltshire editing the first chapter. I'll return to my co-write tomorrow with fresh eyes, and kinder heart.

Day 17 - The dark side of writing

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 28 August, 2021 at 2:45 Comments comments (0)

I debating posting Thursday's blog because this is the first time since I've started recording my progress that I hit the dark side.

There's a meme that's been floating around for a while that uses Rapunzel to depict the mental stages of an author during the writing progress. It usually makes me chuckle, but this time it feel a little too real. Instead of celebrating by reaching the halfway point of the realignment edit, I was overcome by a thickening melancholy that caused me to shut off my laptop.

This concept, historical blending paranormal, is something I truly enjoy, but I ended the night thinking I just wasn't doing my characters or the story justice. When that happens, I stop working, because the inner criticizing voice drowns out the muse. So, I wrapped birthday presents instead.

Day 16 - Amusing the Muse

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 26 August, 2021 at 14:45 Comments comments (0)

Sometimes I can't explain why the music playing in the background is the genre my muse picks, however, today's station is Halloween music.

First, I had no idea there was a full station dedicated to Halloween songs. Second, I'm frightened by the number of songs to which I actually know the words. Third, I started adding song to the station because I wanted to hear them. You'd think I would be really great at naming that tune, but I'm terrible at remembering names (and yes, that can be a detriment when writing).

I created a condensed character bible for easy reference when writing. It's organized by series, and then by book, since my characters have a tendency to pop up in each other's stories.

Wednesday finds me one-third of the way through my realignment edit of the historical co-write. That's not where I'd like to be, but tomorrow is another day.