I cannot tell you how excited I am for Lucy’s work in progress to hit the charts! There’s no release date or title, the book isn’t even finished yet. But when Lucy is so excited about a project, I know it’s going to be an epic book! One evening back in August Tammy Becky, Lucy, and I named characters plotted tropes and conflicts, and it was the most fun ever! That’s how Brick and Remi were named, just spitballing over messenger to see what stuck! Here’s a peek at a behind-the-scenes screenshot!
Several weeks ago, in a panic of “I have nothing to write about” I clued you lovely readers in on the pre-writing part of my writing process. And since zero people told me how boring and lame it was, it’s your fault you’re getting Part 2: How I Write. You have no one to blame but yourselves!
Take all of this with a grain of salt. This is my “perfect” day of writing when I’m behaving. I don’t always have a perfect day and I rarely behave.
The process usually starts at noon. (Yes, I wish I could start earlier and get more done earlier in the day but so far I haven’t found the magic bean or right motivational meme to get my ass in the chair earlier. Whomp whomp.) I check my to do list for the day, leave my phone and smart watch in the kitchen. Next, I sit down at my hopefully cleaned off desk with my water and possibly some coffee, then I turn on my noise canceling headphones and cue up my playlist. I am a very distractable pers—did you just see the squirrel that ran by the window with an acorn the size of my face???
Where was I? Oh yeah. I use headphones to block out as much of the world as possible. For the most part, I listen to the same writing playlist (The Killers, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Macklemore, Chris Stapleton, Queen, etc.) every day. By the third song I’m not really hearing the music anymore because it works as a trigger to shift me into writing mode.
Next up in the “block out the world” strategy is setting my Stay Focused app on my computer to block the internet (or the most distractable parts of it) for X number of hours. If I can’t get on Facebook, I can’t accidentally lose 2 hours to it.
I’ve found it incredibly helpful to take a notebook and freehand write what happens in the scenes I’m writing that day. Sometimes it’s just bullet points. Sometimes dialogue pops into my head. Sometimes it’s a brand-new idea that wasn’t even on the outline. This usually takes 5-10 mins unless I’m on a major roll in which case I follow the muse.
The Actual Writing
I have no concept of time. None. Every time the oven timer goes off, I’m convinced it malfunctioned because there’s no way 30 minutes just passed. Anyway, I keep a Time Timer with a white board on my desk. I set it for 25-minutes and I write. I’m ONLY allowed to write for those 25 minutes. No getting up for a snack. No checking email. No answering the video call from author friends. No pee break. Just writing.
If I’m stuck searching for a word or if I have an idea for something important I add a ** to the manuscript, describe what I need to fill that spot and move on. I do this for character names, descriptions of buildings, adjectives I can’t come up with. “What’s that color you get when you mix blue and red? Pink? Puce? Periwinkle?” I don’t wait for purple to pop into my head. I leave a **blue and red you idiot note to myself and keep going. The ** notes generally do not get fixed in the first draft.
At the end of every 25-minute sprint, I mark down my new word count in a spreadsheet that Mr. Lucy designed for me. This way I can see how productive I’m being with my time. It’s a real kick in the face when I see that yesterday at the same time I wrote 500 words in 25 minutes and today I only managed 32. Once I’ve recorded my word count, I set the timer for five minutes and get up and move around, snack, pee break, switch the laundry over, look at the squirrel.
Then I sit back down and it’s time for another 25-minute sprint. I perform really diligently when I’m sprinting with another author, but that means I either have an ongoing text convo or I have to keep opening Facebook and both of those are big no-nos. So I’ve been training myself to compete against myself and I started asking Mr. Lucy to check in on me periodically. That way he can yell at me for spending 40 minutes watching squirrels instead of writing.
I like to aim for between 6 and 8 writing sprints per day and can average 500 words a sprint WHEN I’M BEHAVING AND DOING ALL THE THINGS I NEED TO BE DISTRACTION FREE AND COMMITTED.
The End of the Day of Writing:
I try to aim for a certain word count within a certain number of sprints. Sometimes I hit it. Sometimes I don’t. I feel like a hero who just vanquished an evil villain when I’ve hit my goal and I feel like a big squirrel obsessed dope when I don’t. Every day is structured around hitting my word count goal within an allotted amount of time. Because if I miss my goal too many days in one book, it messes with the whole editorial calendar and creates even bigger headaches for Mr. Lucy than the ones he already has just from living with me.
And that’s how I write. It’s a constantly evolving process.
P.S. I feel like I should clarify that there are A LOT of squirrels in our yard. And they are very loud and attention-whorey. I don’t actually have a bizarre obsession, I just can’t help but notice them. There’s this one that wears his tail like a hat and when I asked him why… never mind.
A few author pals (Hey, Kelsey Kingsley, Alley Ciz, and Kait Nolan!) tagged me in a Facebook author game called EIGHT TERRIBLE TITLES, which went terribly wrong awfully fast.
The rules: ”Scroll through your manuscript. Let your cursor fall where it may and bam—you’ve got yourself one terrible title. Repeat this seven more times. Let the good times roll. Tag eight others.”
Spoiler Alert: This game worked well for everyone EXCEPT ME. Also, I had to cheat a little because some of the lines I initially landed on were not public appropriate WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE.
Here are eight terrible titles from my upcoming WIP for the moment titled Grumpy Grump Face, which is still better than all of the following:
- Did I look like the kind of person who would drop-kick a homeless dog?
- Fabulous and somehow classy in a debauched, naked kind of way.
- “You’re blinking weird.”
- Are you taking me somewhere to murder me?
- Take the edge off of Vagina Exploding Vest Guy
- I wasn’t asking you for a relationship, you dipshit.
- Miscalculating the windspeed of an excited chocolate lab
- If I get hemorrhoids from this I’m gonna be pissed
Lucy Note: Grumpy Grump Face is tentatively scheduled for an April 2020 release. Protecting What’s Mine, my small-town firefighter romance will be out January 16, 2020!
Oh, my beautiful reader pals, Moonshine Kiss (Bootleg Springs #3) is live and ready to claim your weekend! Bowie Bodine is a spectacular book boyfriend specimen and Deputy Cassidy Tucker doesn’t make it easy for him.
Check out the series on Amazon and get sucked into the steamy love stories, the small-town hilarity, and the unsolved mystery of Callie Kendall’s disappearance. Things are heating up in Bootleg Springs when journalists descend on the town to wreak havoc. Can Bowie and Cassidy stay friends while on opposite sides of the investigation into Bowie’s father’s involvement in the cold case?
Moonshine Kiss brings back all your Bootleg favorites including:
- the entire Bodine clan
- town chicken Mona Lisa McNugget
- bar fights at The Lookout
- nosy neighbors
- and of course, gems like this one “I vaguely remembered Devlin and Bowie making me shake Misty Lynn’s stupid hand that had probably touched sixty percent of the penises in town.”
Read for free on Kindle Unlimited or enjoy the launch week special price at $2.99.
You guys, I’m so excited! On December 7, we’re all going back to Bootleg Springs where the investigation into Callie Kendall’s disappearance is heating up. And so are things between good guy Bowie Bodine and sheriff’s deputy Cassidy Tucker!
I’ve got a cover and a blurb for you to drool over, my friends!
All those years of adolescent fantasies and this was how Bowie Bodine first touched my boobs. And he apologized. Real life was stupid and unfair.
Small town deputy Cassidy Tucker’s dating life is a train wreck on repeat. All she ever wanted was a solid partner. A man to share pajamas with. The handsome, big-hearted Bowie Bodine. Wait. Scratch that. Mr. You’re-Like-a-Sister-to-Me is not welcome in her fantasies.
She and Bowie aren’t going to happen—that’s been clear for a long time—and as for the rest of mankind? Cassidy’s officially giving up on love and adopting cats. Good thing the cold case disappearance of Callie Kendall is heating up to keep her distracted. Except the investigation is testing her friendship with all the Bodines—Bowie in particular.
Bowie knows he can’t have his little sister’s best friend. He made a promise and he’s determined to keep it. But putting distance between them isn’t easy—not when she lives right next door.
Having her poke around trying to prove his father’s guilt isn’t helping either. All Bowie has ever wanted is to shed the No-Good Bodine reputation. It’s looking like he’ll never be free of that shadow.
But one nocturnal animal, a feverish against-the-wall kiss, and absolutely zero pajamas has a way of changing everything.
If you’re feeling antsy about waiting until December 7, jump back into Whiskey Chaser and Sidecar Crush to refresh your memory and your Callie Kendall conspiracy theories!
Claire Kingsley and I met via Facebook when a reader pal messaged me saying she thought I would be the right kind of writer friend for her friend Claire. And boom! A commiserating, sisterly writer bond was born. We both write romance full time, both love the beach, both of us have hubbies who are unbelievably handsome and supportive. I mean, we’re basically the same person.
Except Claire gets way more done in a day than I do. She homeschools her three kids and whips out high quality, funny, sweet, hot reads faster than I can drag my ass out of bed in the morning.
Lucy: Give us a nutshell view of your life (family, hobbies, etc).
Claire: My life is a little bit crazy. I’m married and I homeschool my three kids. That keeps me super busy—but it’s good busy. Other than that, I love to read (although I don’t make time for enough of it), and I’m a fan of geeky stuff like Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and superhero/comic book movies.
Lucy: What kind of an effect did publishing your first book have on you?
Claire: That was a badass moment. I decided I wanted to be a writer a long time ago, but I spent a lot of years focused on other things (having babies not the least among them). I wasn’t sure I was good enough to even finish an entire novel, and I carried that fear around with me for a long time. So when I not only finished my first novel, but went through the entire feedback, revisions, editing, etc. and then publishing process, it was amazing. It was like I’d kicked that doubt to the curb and proved I could actually do it.
Lucy: What does your writing process look like? How much swearing is involved?
Claire: All the swearing.
My process is messy. I start with brainstorming and lots of note taking. I have a few people I like to brainstorm with; kicking around ideas with another person is really helpful for me. I figure out who the characters are, what sort of backstory they have, the theme(s) I want to explore, the sources of tension and conflict, and so forth. Then I start outlining actual scenes/chapters. Usually I get partway done with the outline and start writing. From there, I go back and forth between writing and planning/outlining. Sometimes I write stuff completely out of order, simply because I have ideas in my head and I want to get them out. I’ve been known to write endings before I’ve even gotten to the middle of a story. Or I’ll write a little bit of dialogue for a scene and go back to it later. It’s very non-linear, but somehow it seems to come together at the end.
Lucy: What’s one thing that you think you should do but don’t/aren’t/never will?
Claire: This is a hard question! I can’t think of anything big or important. For the most part, I think I should be better about creating a schedule for work/family/life, but I’m bad at routines and schedules, so I probably won’t.
Lucy: A case of writer’s block hits. What do you do?
Claire: Depends. Writer’s block usually means one of two things for me. Either the story or scene is broken and I need to figure out why, or I’m getting burnt out.
If it’s a story issue (this is usually why I get stuck), I have to spend some time figuring out what went wrong. If there’s something that doesn’t work in the story, I can feel it. Maybe there’s a piece that’s inconsistent, maybe I’m going off on a tangent that doesn’t work, or maybe it’s just boring because I haven’t figured out how a particular element moves the story forward. I’ll talk it out with one of my brainstorming people. Sometimes just explaining that part of the story to another person is enough for me to figure out what’s not working. If not, usually pinging ideas back and forth will help me fix what’s broken.
If I’m burnt out, then I just need a break. I tend to write every day and I don’t take days off very often. Usually that’s fine—I love writing and I get twitchy when I don’t. But there are times when my brain gives me a big, fat NOPE and I need to give myself permission to take a real break.
If I’m only a little burnt out—fatigued, maybe—changing scenery helps a lot. If I’m at my desk, I’ll take my laptop to another room. Sometimes I’ll go for a drive by myself—listen to music and clear my head. That kind of thing.
Lucy: What’s the biggest adrenaline rush you’ve ever had?
Claire: Probably downhill mountain biking. My husband likes to do crazy stuff like that. We went to Stevens Pass (ski area in Washington) in the summer and rode the ski lift up, then biked down. That was intense.
Lucy: If you weren’t a writer, what else could you see yourself doing?
Claire: At this point in my life, if I wasn’t a writer, I don’t think I’d have a different outside job. I’d still be staying home with my kids (and theoretically have actual free time, LOL). Other than that, I honestly don’t know what else I’d do. I had a corporate-type career before I had kids, but that feels like a lifetime ago, and it’s not something I’d go back to. I think if I didn’t write, all that spacey daydreaming I do would just go to waste.
Lucy: What do you admire most about your hubby?
Claire: I love how he’s unapologetically himself. He doesn’t spend a lot of time or energy worrying about what other people think. He is who he is, he likes what he likes, and other people’s opinions don’t matter to him very much.
He’s also very random and spontaneous. I’m one of those people who needs to mull things over (sometimes too much—I’m a terrible overthinker). But he can just make decisions on the fly and roll with it. He keeps life fun.
Lucy: Favorite trope in a romance novel?
Claire: That’s a tough one. Friends to lovers is a big favorite. I love it when one of the characters (the hero, especially) is crazy about the other, but thinks they can’t be together. There’s so much angst in that type of unrequited love—spending time together, having to watch them date other people. When it’s done well, the payoff when they make it to their HEA can be really rewarding.
I love the opposite too—enemies to lovers. There’s so much room for the characters and the relationship to grow when they start out hating each other.
Lucy: What drives you insane and/or murders your soul?
Claire: When people are shitty to each other. Life is hard enough without making things difficult for other people. I like to take the immortal advice of Bill and Ted to heart: be excellent to each other.
Claire’s newest release, Hot Single Dad, is a swoon-worthy standalone that you should grab immediately!
“I loved this book from the beginning. I couldn’t get enough. This is literally one of my all time favorite books now.” ~ Sassy Southern Book Blog
Looking for your next book hangover? I’ve got just the thing: Gannon King.
I always like to do a blog about my new book right around its release date. But thanks to a vacation, a move, and a really great launch, I dropped the ball on the blog! But you’re all too busy reading Mr. Fixer Upper to care about a blog post, right? Right!
I don’t need to blab all about all the reasons I love this book. So let me give you the highlights.
- Gannon King is the grumpy, fiery kind of hero that I LOVE. He reminds me a bit of Mr. Lucy if you know what I mean ;)
- That. Shower. Scene.
- Paige is one of my favorites. She undergoes a transformation throughout the story that I really enjoyed writing. She’s smart and a little cool and has lady balls. But she’s lonely and doesn’t always speak her mind. At least not until a temperamental, loud mouth Italian contractor who hates being on TV comes along and drives her insane.
- The slow burn. This is not a love-at-first-sight story. This is co-workers who don’t like each other. But where there’s smoke—or in this case, sparks—there’s freaking fire.
- Home renovations. I can’t get enough of those shows so I wrote a book about it!
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to these really smart folks who loved Mr. Fixer Upper and aren’t even related to me or on my payroll!:
I started Mr. Fixer Upper right after work at 5:00 p.m. and I finished it at 12:30 p.m.. My family had to make a run to town to get supper because I was not going to stop reading. I laughed, cried and according to my husband gasp a lot. – Ptacekjill
As is always the case with Lucy Score, I laughed and cried through the whole book. If there is one thing that gets me every time, it’s a strong character showing vulnerability. – Joyce Hiebert
Sexy and snort-laugh funny, just as you’ve come to expect from Lucy Score. – E. McLeod
Stay tuned for lots more news (INCLUDING READER INTERVIEWS!!), information on Blue Moon #5, and a peek at my brand new office in our new house! Keep reading, friends!
The idea started last year when a handful of readers came to me and where like “Yo, Lucy! We want to read John and Phoebe Pierce’s story.” I, of course, was like “Uh, y’all know that John dies, right? And Phoebe gets remarried and lives HEA. How am I supposed to write John??” They were like, “You’ll figure it out. Do it!”
And damn if they weren’t right.
I decided to write the book as an experiment to see if a) it could be written and b) if it should be written. And as soon as I started it, I realized this was the perfect story and the perfect time for it. There were so many overlaps to the rest of the Blue Moon series, so many connections between John and his sons, and Blue Moon circa 1985 to present day.
I got to really dig in to why this community is so much more than just a collection of neighbors. And I’m so happy and grateful and blown away that you guys asked for this book… and that I delivered. *patting self on back*
Anyway, if you haven’t read it yet, here’s what I want you to know:
- You’ll probably cry. I did. A lot. But I think there’s enough funny and enough happy and enough hope in there to still feel really good when you close the book.
- You get to meet all your Blue Moon favorites as much younger characters. I.E. The barf fest on Pierce Acres and that time John had to have THE TALK with his boys.
- If you like the show This is Us, you’ll probably like this book.
- This is the prequel to the Blue Moon series. I strongly suggest that you read at least the first 3 Blue Moon Books before this!!
Here’s What Readers Are Saying:
It is 2:20 AM and I just finished Where It All Began… Tears trickling down my face. THANK YOU Lucy for something that is truly a very special, emotional story…a once in a lifetime book for me as a reader. — Caroline
Holy cannoli what an amazing blue moon book. Got up super early so that I could let the tears flow without my family staring at me like I’m a nutcase. I love this series to the core. Thank you for taking us back to where it all began. —Robin
Damn you Lucy Score!! You made my heart full today and of course you made me laugh and cry too! — Clair
So here it is and don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!