Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Are YOU Working On?

They say writers love to talk about themselves. I used to laugh at this. I'm generally quite shy, and don't tend to be a conversation starter. I certainly avoid being the center of the conversation. If you've ever attended a writer's conference, you can just imagine my discomfort at certain times.
Pitching, for instance. Yes, I know, you make your appointments, go sell your stuff. Nobody forces you to do it.
Ahem. I beg to differ. You all know who you are.
Then there's the meals. I usually dig in and keep my mouth fairly full so when my turn comes I have an excuse not to talk. But usually, at some point over five days, somebody is bound to ask, "What are you working on?" or "What do you write?"
The latter is much easier to answer. Spit out a genre and move on. But what am I working on? This second? What did I come here to pitch and hope to get a good response for?
I need to work on my marketing skills. And a bunch of other issues I have.
If I ever do sell a book, it's pretty much going to have to be one of those million dollar babies that just sells itself. I'll be the reclusive writer hiding away in a cave in an unknown land, such treacherous territory that only the stupidest of journalists would brave the terrain to get an interview.
That's my dream, but it's not very realistic, is it?
So I thought we should all band together, suck it up, and get some practice in here. We've only got nine months until the next ACFW conference!

You can do a full pitch if you want, or just tell me what you're working on at the moment. I'll be nice, I promise. I've had coffee.
I'll go first.
I'm working on a short contemporary romance that we'll pitch to Steeple Hill. It's an old manuscript that I'm rewriting, pretty much completely. So far so good. I haven't worked out a pitch yet. Ha. Good excuse, right?!
I'm also working on getting down some ideas for a new book idea that's rattling around in my brain. It's going to take place in Thailand. I think.
And I'm working on finding a home for my Vietnam book. Am I a little masochistic or what? Time will tell.
Well, that's me.
What are YOU working on?

This post is cross-posted over at My Blog
Why? Because I'm lazy. And I'm actually supposed to be writing all day today, not writing blog posts.


Eileen Astels Watson said...

You go, Cathy. Write your story and blog posts, all's good!

I'm working on a nano project as we speak, err, type. It's the story of a Victorian Innkeeper struggling to make a living, and thinking she needs a rich man to help her along. But, of course the man that attracts her most is a local missionary working for very little money!

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm working on nano too - I'm trying out a new genre and it's a lot of fun :)

Jan Cline said...

I am working on my second edit of my first novel, an historical romance. The story is about an orphan growing up in 1800's England. There are several sub plots involving social issues and tragedy. I'm also working on a woman's bible study and of course, working on learning what I need to know to pitch a book. I really appreciated your honesty about how your personality affects how you approach marketing. I am new at this and getting a little nervous about it myself. I have done a fair amount of public speaking, but still, it sounds scary to me to pitch to a professional!
Thanks for asking!

Gwen Stewart said...

I'm working on a complete rewrite of my contemporary long romance about a songwriter and a high school teacher.

And I think part of the reason writers love to talk about themselves is that we must write from what he know...or at least, what we can imagine. With ALL the writing going on these days: FB, twitter, blogging, makes us seem more self-centered than we really are. At least that's my story (and I'm stickin' to it LOL).

Have a great day!

Molly Noble Bull said...

I'm deciding what to work on next.

Jerolyn Bogear said...

A parenting book that my husband and I wrote together was published in October. So I am in promo mode. I totally understand your feelings about pitching. I hate this part. Give me a computer and an idea and leave me to be. But I suppose if anyone is going to read what I've written, I have to let them know about it.

While in PR mode, I'm also writing 60 daily basic theology lessons/devotions. I'm at about #34. Then looking at some companion projects to go with our present book. I also am itching to write a novel, but not sure where to begin. No fiction training since college too many years ago. In the meantime the non-fiction is keeping me busy.

Jerolyn Bogear

P.S. Guess I should tell you the name of my book. See? No PR in my blood. Faith Legacy: Six Values to Shape Your Child's Journey. You can get it at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles online or in December on

Carla Gade said...

My victorian novel is about Ba beautiful gypsy dancer, Saviya, who is the daughter of noble heritage that was kidnapped as an infant. She was later rescued from a burning Vardo by gypsies, who were framed for the crime. The only life she has ever known has created much conflict in her heart as secrets unfold - ones kept from her and others she harbors from a new family who offers her refuge.

Saviya is falsely accused of murder and ends up posing as a Christian lady and mentor - ironically she has always longed to be a true lady and intends to become one. She needs to be vindicated of the crime, restore trust, a discover her true self.

Her superstitious nature carries over into the new Christian beliefs she is trying to embrace, presenting some strange thought processes that need to be rooted out.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cathy -

We are two of a kind. The question, "what are you working on," is enough to make my eyes glaze over at a conference.

At the moment, I'm working on a futuristic suspense novel. It's my second manuscript in a three-book series. (No aliens and no contract yet.) Someone suggested the genre Christian speculative fiction.

I look forward to reading your book. :)


Jungle Mom said...

I am writing my memoirs of our years spent living in the jungle of Venezuela as missionaries.

Catherine West said...

Your ideas all sound amazing!!

Deborah Ann said...

Well hello, fellow writer! You have a very nice blog here...

Donna Casey VanCleve said...

I've always struggled with how much I should be doing and what do I leave up to God to do. Oh, to be able to hole up and write full-time and let God handle the PR and marketing... won't have to self-promote... won't have to get out of my pjs... But I learned book sales seem to be linked to that, doggone it. Then a friend of mine told me a few months ago that God can't steer a parked car, so that goosed me to crawl out of my hole and try to at least show up online occasionally and even make a few events here and there. Book 5 is rolling around in my head - it's historical fiction in Texas at the turn of the century; plan to start on it over the Christmas break. Waiting for the illustrations for my first picture book, Feathers, that will appeal to teachers who are trying to get their students to make the connection between school and that they're preparing for real life. You'd be surprised how many are clueless about that.