Tag Archives: book

A Writer’s Struggle

I often read articles about writing as a business: how to get sales, how to market, is it worth it? Some of these articles say the same thing, and though I would hope against the truth, much of what I find is the same.

No. Published or otherwise, a writer may not be able to support herself just by writing books. If you’re making money as a writer, it’s not because you’re writing fiction. You’re writing non-fiction How To books and freelance articles for blogs, dealing with subjects that don’t matter to you at all.

I’ll be honest: Lately, I’ve been thinking about giving up. In fact, I’ve been at that place many times in my life. It’s always just a phase, but the truth remains: I’m not able to support myself as a writer, and I may never be.

Writing has been a struggle for a while now. I’d say it has been for the past 2 years since I started my current job. It’s not always a question of what I should write – I do have a few ideas put back – but it’s finding the time and focus when there is so much else going on. At some point you realize that you’re an adult with an adult life, and no matter how you slice it, a part of having an adult life is always going to be bills.

The honest truth is that what you do with your life all comes down to money – the stress of needing money from somewhere and not making enough to pay those dreaded bills. And this applies to doing anything you love. Sometimes you just can’t manage to get paid for it.

In the midst of these thoughts, I was out one night after work, thinking that I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wondered if all my effort was worth it, and if I gave up writing, could I move forward? What else was out there? I looked at my phone and saw that someone had tagged me on Twitter. I checked it out and there was a link that led me to Instagram. There, I saw a picture of the books in my Nevermor trilogy. A book blogger was doing a post challenge, and when asked which author she would like to meet, she chose me.

I actually started tearing up. It just meant so much to me to see my books like that, in print and in someone’s possession. To have someone say that they love my work certainly makes me feel that I don’t regret what I’ve done and am doing.

It really does seem that every time I start feeling down, something like this comes along to lift me back up. What I am doing is not at all for naught, though it has been difficult to find time for it.

Things are harder now. My day job requires so much attention that I can’t even think about anything else, develop plots or ideas. I have approximately one serious writer friend, and now we have both become so wrapped up in having day jobs that we barely talk, let alone write together. Lately and for a while, the only thing my brain can think about is making money. How can I make money with my books, and do people really do that? From what I’ve read, even most published writers struggle.

The truth is, I don’t need too much to live right now. That may mean a downgrade from the life I’m currently living, but I believe I could do it. I think I could be perfectly happy without a job, but how to get there? What is enough for happiness?

I have 10 books for sale right now – 10 beautiful books – and a few more that I wrote in my twenties and haven’t released yet. I honestly want nothing more than to be able to support myself with writing.

The night after the Instagram pic, I dreamed an entire plot, and I was so excited about it! It felt so good to know that there was still something there, almost like a sign, that my own mind was telling me ‘we’ve still got it’.

I’ve started thinking: maybe writing can still be accomplished if I try to make time in my life for everything. A schedule. Everything has a time and place. Because of how inspiration strikes, this may not be completely possible, but there must be some way to organize this instead of me wasting so much time moping because I’m unhappy and worrying that the spark is gone. That happens with you overthink everything.

I’m happy to say that I’m writing again, and it feels good. Does it erase all the stresses that life in modern society brings? No. But maybe with more effort and learning, I can finally get to a place where everything balances out. I’m looking forward to finding that.

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THE NUTCRACKER BLEEDS Hardback Edition is here!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, and I apologize for that. I’ve been busy, and unfortunately only part of that has been with writing, but I’m hoping that I can do a little better in 2015. I know there are a few things I really need to address – mostly about the Nevermor trilogy – but I’m going to save that for another post and stick to the matter at hand.

I have not yet shown any pictures on the blog of The Nutcracker Bleeds hardback copy, so I’m going to do that now!

IMG_0478[1]IMG_0484[1]IMG_0480[1]IMG_0485[1]As you can see, the book looks great! It’s 6×9 black linen casewrap with gold foil lettering on the spine, with matte dust jacket on the outside.

The binding is sturdy, the printing looks nice, and I’m very happy with it overall. In fact, if I can find the time, I plan to sit down with it myself and have a read to get the full experience on Christmas.

This edition of the book is only available through Lulu.com, and can only be purchased by US buyers. but the ebook and paperback have both been set up for extended release, so those should be widely available by now. If you want to find it, (or my other works) just try doing a search for ‘Lani Lenore’ at your favorite online bookstore and see if I show up. (If you need links for different countries, let me know and I’ll see what I can come up with.)

A reminder: there is a coupon code for Lulu right now that will save you 25% now through Christmas! Enter KTP4 at checkout to get this deal (also may have to set up an account with Lulu).

Each time one of books is printed and sitting on the shelf in front of me, I feel so excited, and I just hope that others have that feeling as well. I know that some of you do. 🙂

Another year is winding down, and it has been another great one for me and my books. Thanks to all of you for your continued support, and I hope I can make next year just as great! I’ll be back with more Nevermor news as soon as I can get my affairs in order. (I’m moving soon, so my life is in a bit of disarray, but I hope to be back to normal after the holidays.)

If I don’t manage to post again before the end of the year, I hope you all have a great one, and you’ll hear for me again soon!

Project Nevermor: Second Anniversary – What’s Next?

And so, I’ve now been here with the blog for 2 years as I work my way through this book project. Started in September 2012, and here we are in 2014. It’s exciting on some days, very heavy on others, but all in all, it’s been a lot of fun and completely worth it.

After a 2 month hiatus, I’m feeling zealous about writing again. Because of that, I’ve been doing some thinking about what remains for my books in the last portion of this year. I’ve made some decisions, and here’s what’s going down:

1. I’m taking a break from Shadow Sun. (don’t freak out)

2. I’m coming back to Wattpad! (sort of)

3. I’m going to start working toward finishing one of my older, unfinished works. (which one, I wonder…)

4. I’m going to publish a new book soon! (which is also one of my older books, actually) And then another one after that!

Here’s the full explanation: If you’ve been following the blog, you know I’ve been struggling a bit with writing Shadow Sun, and to say that also means I’ve been struggling with writing in general. Then, one day, I simply snapped out of it and I’m obsessed with writing right now! (Yay!) This is excellent, but it doesn’t fully solve my issues with Shadow Sun, so I’ve decided that what’s best is to take my mind off it for a bit and focus on something else. I need time to meditate on it – or maybe a break from meditating on it, not sure.

Lately I’ve been pushing myself to have a look at some of my older works – to edit them and get them ready for release. So far, that seems to be helping with my writer’s block, and within 2  weeks I’ve been jumping back and forth between several stories, making progress! So, at that, let me say that I’m pleased to announce the upcoming release of the fan-favorite, Jack and Jill.

Jack and Jill coverI promised this a while ago, but didn’t follow through, even though I did begin editing it several months ago. Since it is one of my older stories, of course I wasn’t very happy with it, and I was thinking I might rewrite it a little, but in the end, I wound up keeping it mostly the same. Mostly. There are a few differences, and I think I added at least one new scene, but I decided not to make it more than it is. As many of you know, this story is not very long, and so I’m not sure about it being in print right now, but it will be available as an ebook (at least through Kindle) on September 9th, 2014. (less than a week!)

If that’s not good enough news, I also have plans to release The Nutcracker Bleeds in November, but I haven’t set a date yet because I’m not done editing. As you know, it’s one of my personal favorites, and I want to do it right, but I do want it to be released before Christmas, and this one will very likely be in print as well at the same time.

Okay, so beyond all that good news, I mentioned two other things: that I’m coming back to Wattpad and that I’m going to be working on one of my older stories that I never finished. Those two things go together.

Let it be noted that I’m not putting my other stories back on Wattpad. Those will remain as previews, but I’m going to add one new story which I will post as I write. It will be free to read, like in the old days, and when it’s finished, I will have it printed and for sale. There are a few things I hope to accomplish by this, but I think it will be good and fun for all of us. I will give you more definite details soon, because I plan for this to be on the way shortly.

Which story might I be talking about, you ask? Those who already know of it will recognize the title, but for those who don’t, I think this image ought to give you a pretty good idea:

dark depths cover

 

 

Enough said.

 

Nevermor: Read It Again, Learn Something New

We live in a world where everything is speedy. People want it NOW. We want instant gratification, don’t want to take our time, and if something doesn’t catch our attention right away and hold on for dear life, then it slips from our minds to be replaced by the next shiner thing.

I believe the same is true for books. There are A LOT of books out there. New ones come out every day, and there are a plethora of unexplored volumes. Take Goodreads, for example. On the Goodreads site, you can make a list of books you’d like to read/plan to read, and perhaps unless reading is your favorite hobby, it’s easy to let that list get away from you. And just trying to tackle one when you have all these other books lined up behind it… I think it leads to the same result: me (or you) wanting to rush through one book to get to the next one – especially if the one I start with tends to drag a bit.  I can’t say I’m not guilty. I certainly do it too.

That annoys me about myself, and also about books these days. I think so many are written to accommodate for this – to propel us through at a quick pace, push us out the other side, so we can move on to the next… But does any of it really stay with us? Do these books that entertain us for the moment and leave us feeling the exact way we started really even leave residue in our minds?

I think a good book is worth reading. I mean it’s worth slowing down for.  It’s worth indulging in, taking one’s time to examine and live through – over and over again if need be. I’ve read books that I couldn’t WAIT to be done with. I’ve abandoned books in the middle because they annoyed me, and some didn’t make it very far at all. And then there are a precious few that have urged me to savor every word – that I truly could not put down – even a couple that I started reading again immediately after finishing because I simply knew there was more to it than what I saw the first time.

My mission statement, as a writer, is to create something worth reading. The books I write are not always meant to be read quickly. They are designed to immerse and lead, to be brilliant within themselves and as a group (if a series). I design them so that they can be read more than once, and dare I say: be even better the second time.

I’ve seen a few comments about Nevermor, where people have believed that there is a lot of ‘filler’ content (in #1 especially). Maybe so, or maybe everything has its place – its purpose. How many times have you read a book that you wished had more than just the bare facts? Or maybe the plot was good, but you wish there was more detail?  Because it’s not enough to simply say that the world is round. Personally, I like to spend a bit of extra time with the details (but there is a right way and a wrong way to do that, to be clear. Don’t give me 3 paragraphs describing the exact shade of a character’s eyes, for example.).

In Nevermor, as with all my books, I try to offer something more. I use subtleties which may not even make sense at the time, but everything I do is for a reason. You may have to get through the entire series to see those things, (and true, some things are done simply for the sake of timing), but every sentence is helping to paint a larger picture. Because I want the second reading experience to be as good as the first – better. I want to create works that can be read again and again, and the reader can see something new each time – tie things together within each book and within the series as a whole. I want readers to have a moment, weeks later, when a light bulb goes off and they think ‘Oh my God, I just made a connection with that thing that happened in book 1, and that’s why (blank) happened in book 3!’ (that’s not a hint, by the way…only an example).  But anyway, you get my point.

So, if you have the time, read it again. You’ll probably notice something new. 🙂