What I have learned so far as a debut author

Hello friends! I am back with another installment of my journey as a debut author.  I have completed my 2nd round of edits and my manuscript is now going into the copy edit stage – yes!  Rumor is that it will be released in June . . . but that isn’t written in stone.

Oh – and the title changed from SOUTHERN COMFORT  to A NIGHT OF SOUTHERN COMFORT.  Cool huh? It evokes more of the “one night stand” trope of my book.

Okay . ..  back to my post.  I decided that I would share with you the top five things that I learned during my edits process. So, here we go:

1. I write like I talk . . . alot!  I’m Southern, so it’s no big surprise there. But, I was shocked when my editor pointed out all of the extra (I say necessary – but she won the arm wrestle) words I use in my writing. So, she was absolutely essential to help me see that. Has it changed the way I write? A little bit but I still use LOTS OF WORDS on my first draft.

2. I can crank it out on a “real” deadline.  Yeah, I set goals for myself but I also let myself cheat, so there was a moment of panic when I saw the deadline. But, I work well under pressure and being the first-born and Type A – I need to please. ‘Nuff said.

3. I am not “hot shit”.  Okay – I never thought I was but this whole experience showed me how much I still have to learn.  I soaked in my editor’s comments and put them into action. No ego. No hard-headedness.  Just being open and honest with myself.

4. Trust is key.  I trust my publisher, Entangled – so I trusted the people they assigned to work me.  My managing editor and editor wanted me to succeed, wanted my book to be great and everything they did and said made that absolutely clear. It was easy to make revisions when I knew that fact.

5. Reading is sherbert for my brain.  When I got stuck or had to work through a problem I needed something to “cleanse my mental palate”.  That was reading for me.  I could shut my mind off and let my subconscious work on the problem while I relaxed.

So, now I’m working on a book proposal for the new Covet line and am waiting to get a R&R letter on a second submission.  Meanwhile, juggling the business side of the of the writing business is taking up lots of time.

So, that is where I am. Thanks for joining me once again as I talk about my favorite topic – me! ; )

As a thank you, I’m giving away a copy of the book that gave me such a boost when I needed it.  Harper Fox is one of my absolute favorite authors and her new release, SCRAP METAL, left me tender, raw, and joyous when I read the last word.  She does that to me every time.

fishy kisses,


35 thoughts on “What I have learned so far as a debut author

  1. Robin! I can so relate to this. I completely write like I talk and southern too. One of my editors tried to change my voice by editing all my words. I had to get a different editor b/c it wasn’t me. My critique group (which includes an Agatha Award winner and New York Times best seller) couldn’t believe how much the editor changed my voice which completely changes my story.

    1. Tonya – yep that was a huge worry for me. But Ann, my editor, was great and respectful but really showed me how to cut back without losing “me”.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love all of this, but “I am not hot shit” – cracked me up. Not because you’ve ever acted like you thought you were – but its amazing to go through this process – the roller coaster of emotion, time commitment, family, the next book, wow! I can’t wait to get there, but at the same time, I hope I have your spirit and ability to seize the day (as they say:)! But more so the maturity (not talking about your age, girl) to handle this whirlwind with so much style and honesty. Love this post.

    1. Denny – Thank you. I’m trying to lay it all out there and hope that it resonates with others on their writing journey. I posted on FB recently about a rejection from a publisher and how I wanted to not only share the ups but also the downs of this business – because is aint all puppies and rainbows. I got a message last week from a fellow writer who received a rejection and she went back to my post and knew she wasn’t alone in this.

      Damn, that felt really good.

  3. Hey, Robin! Great post, and I’m really honoured to be the author who gave you that boost. It’s nice to have been someone’s brain sherbert! 😀 Yes, I too write very much out of my own north-British voice in a first draft, and it’s a good and skilful editor who can isolate the spirit of that and retain it while still keeping me on the straight and narrow as far as reaching a wide readership is concerned. Keep up your brilliant work. It’s a scary lifestyle but there’s just nothing to beat it in the whole wide world. xxx

    1. Harper – thank you for be-friending this newbie from the colonies! ; )

      I’ve told you before but I’ll share it with the other readers – I read your books, red them again and then analyze them from cover to cover on how you do it so well. I’ve learned so much about writing craft that way. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Robin,
    Congrats for finishing the revisions. I can’t wait to see the cover!
    No matter how far you get in your publishing career, you can always learn more. We had this conversation at dinner last night. My 11-year know-it-all made a comment about she knew “everything” about a school subject to her siblings. My husband told her that no matter what your profession, there will always be someone out there that knows more. So learn more. 🙂
    Congrats again! Let us know when the cover is revealed…

  5. Robin,
    Congratulations again on your book deal. It must be exciting to know it’s coming true!

    Keeping us informed on what really happens is inspiring. To know that once the story is finished and picked up is only the beginning . . . in some aspects is a little crazy. So thanks for letting us in on the ‘behind the scenes’!

    Good luck to you and all the best! 🙂

  6. Robin, As a newly signed author with Entangled, I loved reading this post. I’m excited and nervous to go through the revision process. Thanks so much for taking the time to share what you’ve learned so far! Congrats on your success.

  7. Can’t wait to see the cover! Glad I’m not the only one who ‘cheats’ when I set a deadline. Sometimes it works…other times that Criminal Minds marathon wins out. xD

  8. I’m glad the ‘first round’ of edits are done on for my contracts. I’m hoping to get to the ms I just finished last month and start editing that as well.

    So many things to get done on the business side of the journey. Thanks for taking us along on yours…


  9. I disagree with #3 because I totally think you’re HOT SHIT! There, I said it.

    I sooo can’t wait to read this book and I’m so happy for you! Big smoochies. 😉

  10. I just want to read this so badly!!!! Congrats Robin and thank you again for sharing with us. 🙂

  11. Robin~
    Those are life lessons too! I have to re-learn them almost every time I do something new. 🙂
    Can’t wait for your book! And btw, that cover for Harper Fox’s book? Awesome.
    Congrats and enjoy the ride to come!!

    1. Kris – thank you for stopping by! I wouldn’t be here without your support along the way! Yep- life lessons all the way – never too old to learn.

      And yes, that cover . . . Meow!

  12. Darling, you SO are hot shit!

    Enjoy every moment of it. And keep sharing the journey so we can channel the heck out of you until we get there.

    Good luck! I can’t wait for the cover– no idea why but I’m developing this thing for Romance book covers 🙂


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