The Riders are thrilled to have J.L. Wilson cruising along in the convertible with us on this Leap Day (despite the rain and snow; we put the top up). J.L. has had a VERY busy year. I think my head is spinning just reading about it. Let’s chatter about some busy years we’ve all had. How do you manage it all?
11 in 11: my head was spinning
Thanks to the gang for letting me post here. I know many of the Riders personally because we used to live near each other in MN, but now I’ve moved to a new place so I don’t see ’em any more. It’s fun having writer-friends around, even virtually!
My move was one of my big experiences in 2011. The other is that I had 11 books released, most before July 1. Huh? How did that happen?
Here’s the list:
- January: Leap of Faith (digital and print, the last book in the New Humans series)
- February: Lie to Me (digital)
- March: Penance (re-release of an older title in digital)
- April: Lilacs, Litigation, and Lethal Love Affairs (digital and print, kicking off the Deadly Landscaping Romance series)
- May: Foxgloves, Fancy Fungus, and Fatal Family Feuds (digital & print, book 2 in DLR)
Vengeance: (re-release of an older title, digital and print)
- June: Daisies, Deadly Force, and Disastrous Divorce Disputes
- July: Shadow of Doubt (print)
Compassion (re-release in digital of older title)
- December: Mist (digital and print)
Lie to Me (print)
Rather than embed a bazillion links, here’s a link to my web site where you can find info about all of these titles: http://www.jayellwilson.com. There are 3 different genres in that list or 4 if you want to get picky: romantic suspense (Lie To Me, Shadow of Doubt), romantic mystery (DLR series), time travel/reincarnation (Penance, Compassion, and Vengeance) and futuristic (Leap of Faith). For the time travel books, I had to find a cover artist, a person to format them for me, learn about indie digital publishing, and get them uploaded. The rest of the books were handled by my publishers.
While these books were releasing, we were house hunting remotely (with several 500-mile round trips to view houses), prepped our house for sale, eventually bought and sold a house, moved 250 miles, unpacked, settled in, got threatened with a lawsuit (which hangs over our head to this day, don’t get me started unless there are alcoholic beverages nearby), and had visits to and from family (in other states). Oh, and yeah: I work full-time as a technical writer and we had a MAJOR release that year.
So how did all of this happen at once?
The move happened because it was the right time for it. Stars aligned and it just made sense, then we found a house, then we found a buyer, and before you know it, in July we moved. In terms of books, my publisher for Deadly Landscaping wanted the books to release back-to-back, so I chose spring for my release date because hey, they’re set at a garden center and spring=gardening, right? My re-released books were my experiment in self-publishing. I could have delayed release, but I got a deal on cover art and formatting (3 for the price of 2), so the copyright dates were in there, and I thought, heck, go for it. The other books were from another publisher and they needed those books in the release schedule. And for my Day Job, well, that release date slipped and slipped and slipped until it was smack in the middle of our move. Sigh.
How did I manage it all?
First, I always keep in mind: those books are always there, always “fresh”. They do release on one day and I need to promote them then, but I’m talking about them now and will talk about them into the future, so there wasn’t pressure on me to get out there and promote.
Second, I love my day job and have an excellent team around me. I had all my writing done before deadline so I had ample time to incorporate changes that ALWAYS come up at the last minute (as we say in the business, writing software means you never have to say you’re finished. So true).
Third: I’ve moved (at last count) 27 times in 42 years. I once moved our household 4 times in one year, and for 2 of those moves my husband was out of the country. I know how to move with the minimal amount of hassle. It’ll be a pain, but it’s doable if you know how to organize. Need tips? I have a “Moving FAQ” I’d be happy to send you.
And finally and most importantly: I just kept in mind that it’s all good. It takes discipline to juggle it all, but I want it all, ergo, I have to juggle. Every day my priorities shift and something new moves to the top of the STD (Stuff To Do) list. So every day is new and (hopefully) fun and a challenge.
This year is a piece of cake: we’re settled (except for the Don’t-Get-Me-Started-Maybe-Lawsuit), my next major Day Job deadline is November, I have 4 books written and 2 are just waiting for release (probably in summer and late fall), I have 3 books waiting to be edited for next year, and I’m working on 2 books for release sometime in the future. It’s almost spring (and time to start talking about the DLR series again). I have a new landscape to design and I have new adventures awaiting me in a new home.
All I have to do is take a deep breath, check my STD, and get going!