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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 35 - Rinse and repeat

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 15 September, 2021 at 1:20 Comments comments (0)

I am not a Mac person. I tried. I'm happy with my PC, but formatting books without a Mac is complicated, and I'm not a fan of complicated. For this reason, a few years ago, I asked Santa for a Mac (yes, I was a good girl), and installed Vellum, a book formatting program. I do like the sound of the Mac keyboard though... Clack...clack...clack. I would love it if my laptop made the same sound (I'm not sure why that sound makes me feel more productive).

However, because I don't use either frequently, formatting takes me longer than other people. But, I do love the look of the program, and that it creates files for all platforms including print.

Check list for the end of night:

- A Perfect Plan formatted

- loaded on all platforms

- sale price activated

Now to repeat the process with An Imperfect Engagement.

Day 34 - Cliffhangers

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 14 September, 2021 at 1:20 Comments comments (0)

Sunday night I decided I wouldn't stop until I'd completed the revisions to A Perfect Plan. As I was reading, and remembering how much I enjoyed writing the story, I wondered how often other authors read over their published works again.

Is Stephen King sitting with a cup of coffee and a copy of The Shining in his lap thinking, "should I have used the word 'slashed' instead?" I'd like to know.

By completing revisions to A Perfect Plan tonight, that puts me on schedule for tomorrow's Google edit (which shouldn't take that long), and formatting. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

There's one concern in my mind as I finish up tonight. Before the sale goes live, I'm ensuring every blurb states that this story ends on a cliffhanger. I hate to make that announcement, but readers don't seem to like the surprise of a cliffhanger.

Now, you've been warned...TWICE.

Day 33 - Signs

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 12 September, 2021 at 16:40 Comments comments (0)

I got my sign!

This morning a notification went out that my co-writer will be unavailable next week.

My ever-shuffling brain pushed out the edits for the final nine chapters of the historical co-write by one week and slotted in the revisions to the Wiltshire Chronicles (this is three books in total and the idea that I can read through the full series in a week is daunting, but I will go one page at a time).

I was so excited that I got to spend my weekend in Wiltshire that I stayed up until 2 am reading with this big stupid grin on my face. A Perfect Plan is my first book and holds a special place in my heart. I made it about halfway through and had to throw in the towel, but only because the words became too blurry to read.

Day 32 - Which way do you want to go

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 11 September, 2021 at 11:10 Comments comments (0)

If you've been waiting to hear that I completed chapter 29 of the historical co-write, I'm pleased to announce that I did just that. Thursday night I had time to finish this three thousand word chapter (that's my average length) and do the first read-through of that chapter. It goes into queue for first round edits.

As I'm shutting down for the night, I'm still unsure which editing direction I'm going. With the next ten chapters of my historical co-write revisions completed, Saturday night is a question of which historical time period I will be visiting.

I suppose I'm waiting for a sign.

Day 31 - I'm surrounded by overachievers

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 10 September, 2021 at 3:05 Comments comments (0)

18 chapters. She edited them all, and the work that I expected to do for the historical co-write tomorrow night has now doubled in size.

Why does this bother me?

A Perfect Plan (which has been pending revisions for three months) is slated for a deep discount sale in a week. I intended to finish chapter 29, read the next ten chapters of the historical co-write, and then revise A Perfect Plan. However, with the arrival of all eighteen chapters, I'm now faced with the decision as to whether I will edit all eighteen chapters or edit only ten, so that I can jump into A Perfect Plan.

However, neither of those choices are important at this point, since I still need to finish chapter 29 of the historical co-write, and that is my only goal tonight.

Day 30 - Serving two masters

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 9 September, 2021 at 18:25 Comments comments (0)

At six o'clock Wednesday night my brain reminded me that I was supposed to complete my administrative boxed set tasks today, and now we've hit the problem of serving two masters, since I am obligated to both my set mates and my co-writer.

I suppose if I had a different type of personality, owing work to someone else wouldn't be a stress-inducing issue, but for me, it is (the same way that owing money bothers me). So, somehow I have to figure out how to do both things at the same time.

Recently, I've learned that double-duty is actually less productive for me. Remembering this, I focused on one task at a time, first completing my boxed set duties, then working on chapter 29, and although I really wanted to finish the chapter tonight, with the additional work, I have resigned myself to completing my 500 words. The conclusion of the chapter will have to wait until tomorrow... at least my heroine isn't in imminent danger right now.

The next set of edits for the historical co-write will have to wait until Friday night.

Day 29 - An upcoming crossroad

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 8 September, 2021 at 13:25 Comments comments (0)

In two days, I'm receiving back the next ten edited chapters of my historical co-write. If I stick with this current pace, then I'll have to wait until Friday to read her notes. Of course, this could be a good thing, since that moment before opening an edited document carries a bit of stress.

Once edits are completed on chapters 11-20, I'm at a crossroads as to what to do next. Ideally, I'd like to simultaneously begin the final chapter on the co-write and read through the returned edits on A Perfect Plan which having been patiently waiting for my attention. However, neither of those activities are currently at the top of my list. 500 words is.

So, I pushed all those worries aside and focused on tonight's goal, which I reached. I even gave my poor heroine a way to escape... But she's going to have endure a bit of pain, because the path to true love is never smooth.

Day 28 - Back to the routine

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 7 September, 2021 at 23:50 Comments comments (0)

During the week, our household runs on routine. With the addition of our newest family member, sticking to that routine is extremely important. Therefore, Monday night finds me back in front of my laptop, typing away, and my cute little ball of fuzz is back to help me. However, this time, I gently took his paws from the laptop and tucked him into blanket on my lap. He fell asleep with his chin on my wrist.

Typing with a kitten chin on your wrist is quite difficult (and very cute), so my speed was much slower than I intended. However, I got some good words in, left my heroine in a precarious postion, and reached tonight's goal. A chapter and a half to go and this book is completed.

Day 27 - Orange fluff

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 6 September, 2021 at 18:40 Comments comments (0)

Tonight's distraction came in the form of a two pound ball of orange fluff, also known as Gizmo. We rescued him from the shelter today and he's been having a grand time getting acclimated to his new house.

However, when it came time to write, he decided he wanted to help me (actually he's fascinated by the pointer indicator on my laptop, I guess that's why it's called a "mouse").

Okay, that was cheesy (I'm just making it

While sitting in my lap, he set his paws on my laptop, and hit the touch pad. When the mouse jumped, so did he...and repeat.

After 40 words, I gave up. I'll try again tomorrow.

Day 26 - It's getting hot in here

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 5 September, 2021 at 19:40 Comments comments (0)

With the heat wave settling in on Saturday, I'm reminded that no matter how much I want it to be fall, it's still summer. As hit days are rare, we don't have air conditioning, and tonight finds me downstairs, surrounded by the family, laying in front of the fan.

Bedtimes are not strictly enforced on the weekend, so inbetween turns of fortnite monopoly I wrote a sentence or two. This is not the most productive way to write, but this way I'm spending time in both worlds (2021 California and 1604 England).

After my little man won the game and I tucked him into bed, I stayed up to finish my 500 words, because, let's be honest, it's hot, and I'm going to sleep any time soon.