I’ve gotten the chance over the last few months to get to know Janet Reid, an up and coming Historical Romance writer. Her first full length novel, Northern Skies is set in a time and location that has always captured my imagination, and I look forward to getting to read each chapter. (I love being a critique partner for some amazing authors.)
Her sharp wit and hilarious sense of humor has me laughing most of the time I spend with her. The rest of the time, I’m impressed by her insight and positive outlook. She’s a refreshing, WYSIWYG* type of person.
J.W. To start, do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day
J.R. My day to day routine with family, work and other life commitments doesn’t make this possible or realistic, so I target to complete a chapter every 1-2 weeks instead. Weekends are my life savers to catch up when I had a busy week with little time to write!
J.W. I understand how that goes. I’m glad you can finagle some time in on the weekends. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
J.R. I guess a bit of both. I outline and plot in my head when I’m driving or doing mundane everyday tasks, even lying in bed before I go to sleep. When I’m writing my first draft, I’m always 2-3 chapters in front in my head, but I usually have a firm idea of what the overall plot and main scenes will be. Sometimes, that left-hand-field idea hits you unexpectedly and upsets the whole process, but the good ones are always worth the effort to adapt and incorporate!
J.W. Boy! Isn’t that the truth. And the ones that aren’t are handily rewritten. LOL What do you feel is the easiest thing about writing?
J.R. Thinking you can write a novel before you’ve ever started or tried to write one! But lucky for me, despite the realisation after years of research and learning about the craft that writing really is anything but easy, the underlying enthusiasm of wanting to write a Romance novel and the belief in myself that I can do this, still comes naturally and requires very little effort to keep me going.
J.W. I bet many of us marvel at your unflagging self-confidence. Don’t ever let it go. So
now I have to know, when you’ve finished the first draft, do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
J.R. By the time I’m done with the first draft, it’s been months since I’ve written the first chapters, so this happens by default and not because of my cleverness! Once I’m done with the second draft, I’ll let it stew until the first draft of the next book is done. Since I’m in the process of writing my first ever full-length novel, this is only the plan at the moment!
J.W. That is monumentally exciting. 😀 And it sounds like a great plan. How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
J.R. I have a specific traditional Romance publisher in mind and I’m writing for that publisher so to speak. If they don’t bite, I might consider a few other publishers with similar requirements. But with the emergence of independent publishing and its growing popularity and acceptance–it’s definitely shaking the image of only ‘second grade’ writers self publish–indie publishing will always be part of this consideration. Traditional publishing is my first preference because of the professional feedback on your writing and despite all the benefits of indie publishing, being accepted by a traditional publishing house is very concrete confirmation that there is something special in your writing.
J.W. I understand that. There’s something very validating about having a major publishing house on your book. I hope they pick you up.
I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. It’s always fun to get another writer’s take on the processes.
J.R. This is only my pleasure, you’re more than welcome! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you.
Janet Reid started reading Romance novels at the age of 11. Three decades and hundreds of novels later, she figured she knew enough to write one. A full time professional, with a family and two adorable Dachshunds, Reid uses all the spare time she can find to write. Despite her first love being Regency Romance novels, she plans to release the first of three Historical Romance novels set on the English-Scottish border in the 16th century soon. She currently resides in Washington State near the beautiful and busy city of Seattle, but her home is and always will be Perth, Australia.
*WYSIWYG – What you see, is what you get.