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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Monday, September 22, 2008

Pacing -- Story Set Up - Style

With the issuance of Heart Fate and finishing the galleys of Echoes in the Dark, I've finally accepted that I may go on too long with the set up of the book in the front and speed too fast at the end. I have been trying to watch my endings, but now I'll be more aware of the beginning chapters.

In Heart Fate I probably didn't need all the testing I put in, and I know I probably should have cut at least one scene of Jikata "learning" in Echoes in the Dark. So I'll watch that more, especially since I'm still in the set-up part of Heart Change. I did work on a scene today that might not be needed in the book, except I want to use a bit from it in the ending. Not sure how that will work out...

In my own defense, I'll say that if I had had a few months to think about each book before turning it in and doing revisions, I would probably be more detached from those scenes in the front that I think I needed and would have cut them.

So, my current schedule is: Heart Change due end of February, out beginning of November (near my birthday next year ;) ). Heart Journey due, I think, in December 2009, and the last due in December 2010. This should be an easy enough schedule that I can work a couple of more book proposals and even books into it.

Well, I'm caught up in my chronological writing of Heart Change, and now can do new stuff in chron order or out.

May today be pleasant for you.


Blogger Tannun said...

Do you have an agent? I ask, because it seems to me that some of the things you've posted lately should be his/her headache. Shouldn't they?

Or am I wrong in what duties an agent has.

Shouldn't they be selling your books? Working to get the type and number of press runs done so you have a chance at that best seller list? And if this isn't the job of agent, then what is their job, and why bother having one?

I hope you have someone that is in your corner. If not, maybe it's time you did?

12:13 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, I have a wonderful agent. The problem we had last year was when we were given a take-it-or-leave-it offer of 2 books instead of 3 with equally take-it-or-leave-it deadlines (ok, I got a month longer -- 5 months instead of 4 for Keepers of the Flame). I wasn't ready to walk away in the middle of the Luna series.

There is only so much cajoling an agent can do when the publisher has the numbers (and though Berkley has been pretty good about sharing those numbers, not all publishers are). Bottom line is the number of readers I have. A fantasy romance series OFF Earth is a niche market. Again, my career is growing, mostly by word of mouth. The trade paperback size has been good for me, getting me more reviews and more notice.

So that's how it works...

My agent has been excellent at selling the book proposals and pitching the proposals once I have them done.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm a big fan of your Heart books and I have to say it is not easy for new readers to find your Heart books. Heart Fate is not on bookshelves in Chapters Books yet(I live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia) - you have to go to their kiosk to order it so they can ship it over from their warehouse.

I myself only discovered your series through a second-hand bookstore (Heart Duel was the first one I read)and then I had to order all the other books through Amazon.

FYI, they did have Heart Dance at a Chapters in Victoria (Vancouver Island).

I do agree your career is definitely word of mouth and I am glad that the Heart series is popular enough for the publishers to want more stories.


9:41 AM  

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