When a Project Needs Some Air

This week we’re blogging about second novels. I don’t have a whole lot to say because, well, my second novel is on hold at the moment. I completed a draft of it earlier this year, and have been rewriting and revising ever since. But even with the input of my agent, editor, and beta readers, I’m still not sure if this is the novel I want to go out with as a follow-up to VINTAGE.

I got so focused on my deadline that I forgot to stop and let the project have some much-needed air. It reminds me of that scene in Tommy Boy where Chris Farley loves his pet so much he squashes it.

          “Hello there, pretty pet. I love you… I killed it!”

So, to avoid crushing the life out of this manuscript, I’m taking a step back to let it breathe. And, while I’m at it, maybe I’ll take a few breaths, too. I tend to be a person that goes, goes, goes until I can’t go anymore. Recently, my body and brain said, “You know what? We’ve had enough.”

In the last couple of weeks, instead of running circles around revisions, I’ve been enjoying things like lying the hammock with my son, cooking up big meals with my husband, and taking friends out on our boat. Like this recent evening (see pic below) where I caught up with fellow Madison author friends. Since we all talked about books and writing, it counts as “work,” right?

Authors on a boat from left to right: Susan Gloss, Erin Celello, Michelle Wildgen, Susanna Daniel

Authors on a boat from left to right: Susan Gloss, Erin Celello, Michelle Wildgen, Susanna Daniel


Book 2 Is Coming Soon, Eventually, Someday…


I love that we titled this week’s topic “Progress” on our new works. I have to chuckle/whimper when I see that. It’s about the same noise I make when people ask me how my next book is going, even though I’m still doing events, promotion, and all-around worrying/looking after Chasing the Sun. The truth is,…
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Little Pretty Things for Everyone: A Second Book Gets a First Draft


Update on the second book? You want an update? YOU GET AN UPDATE. “The. End.” Typing that Sunday night, last night—after so much thrashing and kvetching—is as satisfying as it gets. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s a steaming pile right now. I look forward to revision, for the chance to make it something you’d…
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News Flash: Target, Readings, Conferences, and OOH LA LA France!


Congrats to Pearl, who won a signed copy of THE ISOLATION DOOR from Anish Majumdar! From the 2014 Debs… Susan Gloss is thrilled that the paperback version of VINTAGE will be available in Target stores in September! Lori Rader-Day had a great time in St. Louis at Left Bank Books, and also stopped by the new…
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Renee Swindle on Letting Go of the Rules + GIVEAWAY of A Pinch of Ooh La La!


In looking back at our launches this week, many of us have also looked ahead to Book 2. Our guest today, Renee Swindle, recently launched A Pinch of Ooh La La—not her first or second book, but her third—so of course, we were thrilled to get her perspective on what she’s learned along the way. A…
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Looking Back is a Historical Author’s Favorite Past Time, Unless We’re Talking Launches


I’m one of those people who analyzes and picks apart, and reanalyzes something until it’s practically gray matter. So when I think about looking back at my debut launch (even though it hasn’t been that long ago), it all seems a little fuzzy. The weird thing is, I’m a historical writer and I really love…
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No Looking Back

dont look back

It’s hard to look back and say what I’d do differently for my next book when I feel like I’m still in the process of launching the first. VINTAGE comes out in trade paperback on Sept. 2 (look for it in your local Target store and wherever else books are sold!) I’m in the middle…
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The One Thing I Hope to Do Differently for the Next Book

Stop pacing, stop fretting, stop worrying, stop sweating. Some of the best things happen when you just let go

I thought this post would be much harder to write because, like Lori, I don’t quite feel like quite enough time has passed between now and my launch to effectively look back and reflect. But then I realized we don’t always have to let a lot of time pass before reflecting. We can look around…
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Hindsight Isn’t 20/20 on a Work in Progress


Hindsight? My launch was less than a month ago. I haven’t looked in the rearview mirror yet because I’m still barreling down the highway. And if that metaphorical highway looks anything like the roads I’ve been traveling in real life this week, there are construction hazards blocking half the lanes. Back to the metaphor? I…
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