Ah, the blank page. That’s what’s facing me down right now as I prepare to start a new novel. I’m super excited about this book, which has been living inside my head for the past few weeks, percolating away. But at the moment, I have not committed a single word to the page and though I’ve been here many times before, I always forget how intimidating this writing process is.
I have my basic manuscript template, which has served me now through five published novels, but I’m thinking of mixing it up for this one. So now the big question is, to Scrivener or not to Scrivener. I know writers who swear by Scrivener and I know others who swear at Scrivener. And having viewed the tutorial and then trying to go it alone, I can see why.
The features and capabilities of Scrivener are many and impressive. The thought of having all my research right at my fingertips and the ability to move a chapter or scene with a single click is oh so tempting. But the corkboard continues to baffle me as well as some of the other sophisticated Inspector offerings. And then there’s my own personal process and my silly romantic notions of what organic writing is supposed to be. How does that fit in with something so calculating and systematic as some cold, impersonal software designed to make me writer faster, better, easier?
I’m not an outliner. I will start this book—as I have with my previous novels—having a vague sense of what the book is about. I will write myself into 20,000 word corners, I will create and destroy secondary characters, I will establish and abandon sub plots and secondary story lines. And when I turn in the final manuscript I will go back and look at the proposal I submitted to my editor and hardly recognize the original concept. That for me is the magic of writing and I fear that I might lose some of that fluidity by going the Scrivener route.
So here is the question I throw out to you—should I or shouldn’t I?
About two weeks ago my publisher, Berkley, began running the first Goodreads giveaway for WINDY CITY BLUES– 25 advance copies looking for a good home. This giveaway ends in two days on November 23rd so I figured I’d better hurry up and post this to my blog.
As you’ve probably long suspected, Giveaways have become a “thing” in the publishing world. It’s a great marketing tool. A way to announce a new title, get readers interested in an upcoming book, or a way to boost interest in a book that’s already been out for a bit.
As I was pursuing the giveaways up on Goodreads, it’s interesting to see all the offerings. Some are giving away 100 copies or more. Others offer 1 or 2 copies. Some are running their giveaways for a couple months, others for a couple weeks. A few only run for a few days. Some the giveaways are sponsored by the big houses, others by smaller independent publishers and some offerings are self-published books.
While looking at all those giveaways, I got to thinking about all the giveaways I’d entered and never won and then out of the blue, I was actually selected as a Goodreads Giveaway winner. I won an advance reader copy of Daily Goodwin’s VICTORIA which hits bookstores, laptops and smartphones tomorrow. I receive a lot of ARCs but winning one was truly special. Look for my Goodreads review coming soon!
So with the clock ticking and the last two days of the Giveaway underway, I wanted to say thanks and wish good luck to those who entered for a chance to win an advance copy of WINDY CITY BLUES. And for those of you reading this, I hope you’ll enter!
Greetings from the Book Bunker. I’m just taking a break from editing to share the cover for my new novel, WINDY CITY BLUES, based on the true story of Chess Records and the birth of the Chicago Blues.
Heading back into the Book Bunker but would love to know what you think. If I hear from you, I may even start blogging about all the behind-the-scenes stories that went into researching this book! Thanks!!!
About Windy City Blues
The bestselling author of White Collar Girl and What the Lady Wants explores one woman’s journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution.
In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.
But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked…
Leeba doesn’t exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.
With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba’s Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.