On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Someone's reading YOUR book while you're in the room.

This is happened to me twice and it's been nerve wracking -- mostly because I know the people. Once was last night and that's why I'm bloggling.

On Writing and Publishing -- how do you handle this. My advice, be cool and pretend not to notice...Of course, I am also of the opinion that 1. I never ask a person whether they've bought my book 2. If I know a person has bought my book, I don't ask them if they've read it or enjoyed it. (I have done this twice and regretted it.)

The first time someone read my book in the room was my MOTHER. It was my first copy of HeartMate, my first book, and I'd purchased the copy online from bn.com who had no concept of "release date" -- which was the first Monday of December and they shipped before Thanksgiving (consequently they ran out before the holidays and pointed people to other books -- have I forgotten, NO, which is why I'm not one of the authors who rant about amazon). Anyway, my author copies hadn't come from Berkley yet.

Ahem, yes, I took my first copy to Mom's at THANKSGIVING and when stuff was winding down she began to read it. NERVE WRACKING. She looked up about 3 pages in and said "You have notes on all this stuff?" "Yes." At this point of time my Mother had never read my work (I actually believe she never thought I was seriously writing). Since then, she's one of my best supporters.

Last night I was at a party at Mile Hi Con and a sister of one of my good friends was reading Guardian of Honor. I also had a panel in about 30 minutes, wanted some sort of food, wanted to wind down from the non-event of signing, and talk to my friends and change my clothes and stash my stuff since I didn't have a room...you get the idea. Again, nerve-wracking, esp. since she was reading the ending, and I think actually finished the book...of course since I'm a coward, I don't know whether she liked it.

So -- my advice was above, keep cool, and to let you all know that this DOES happen.

May you write rockin' scenes today!


Blogger Jeri said...

Good advice, Robin.

It's especially nerve-wracking when you write comedy, because you're waiting for the laughs or at least a chuckle or (quickly glancing over) a smile or two.

Having mothers read one's work is hard. My mom thinks everything I write is somehow based on my life experiences. Well, some of it is, but, um, none of the saucy bits, I tell her.

Hope MileHiCon is a good experience for you.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Kelli McBride said...

I do know what it's like to have someone reading an essay or poem of mine. It's the same feeling - especially when it is a colleague. And if they don't say anything, then you worry that it's so bad, they don't want to damage your friendship by telling you the truth!

6:48 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Oh, yeah, Jeri and Kelli! The end of Guardian of Honor zooms, so I was glad she was reading and not paying attention. And I guess it's nerve wracking with comedy. And the friendship thing...I avoided my neighbor for a couple of months...


7:34 AM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

My mom reads my stuff daily as I write it. (I type it up, then print it out.) I need the immediate feedback, maybe cuz this is my first one, but I can't be in the room when she reads it. She usually reads in the middle of the night and lets me know what she thinks in the morning.

It IS nerve wracking because she's really honest. The other day I had been sort of forcing the flow a bit and she commented on several things I had been questioning myself. The next day she said I was dead on and that confirmed what I felt about that days work.

Hearing the critiques balances the compliments and lets me know she's really telling me what she thinks. It means more that way. And it's good to know when I'm on target because this is a new experience for me. Plus it's really cool when she's happy with a rough draft version that's in the works.

10:26 PM  

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