Thursday, January 10, 2008
Felicia Donovan is the author of THE BLACK WIDOW AGENCY series of mysteries featuring four raucously funny gals who use computer forensics and women’s intuition to help other women. SPUN TALES – A BLACK WIDOW AGENCY MYSTERY, will be released in July, ’08 from Midnight Ink Books where the girls will again, fight chocolate cravings, hot flashes, and people bearing ill will.
Two books published, one book ready to go to the publisher, two more in progress. Not a bad run for the last three years. Of course, that comes after a lifetime of dabbling none too seriously in writing and thinking how nice it would be to get published. Good stuff happens and sometimes it happens literally, overnight. I’m thrilled that THE BLACK WIDOW AGENCY series is doing so well. What a kick it was when just the other day, a friend recounted that she was on a bus to the airport and saw someone across the aisle reading BWA.
Ah, this writing life… We spin words, create new worlds. We twist endings and create characters that are charitable, dastardly, devious, heinous. It’s exhilarating. It’s exhausting. And it takes an awful lot of time…
I never quite realized just how much time it would take between writing, editing, marketing, more marketing, signings, even more marketing, and trying to always keep a work or two “in progress.”
When life forces a schedule where you have about an hour a day to dedicate freely to your craft and you’re trying to keep on a schedule of at least one book a year (if not more), finding time to read is one of the first pleasures to go. It’s not that I don’t have books to read. I have plenty. I just don’t have the time and that’s not a good thing. The day job is very demanding. Life is demanding. Family, dogs and house are demanding, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my priorities straight – family first, everything else second.
Mind you, I love to read. I grew up in a household of voracious readers in which books were considered as necessary as the linens on the beds. Like most writers, books hold a special emotional appeal. They take me to places I’ve never been, evoke feelings I’ve never had, remind me of the existence of good and evil and the struggles of humanity. They make me laugh with tears, cry with tears and stimulate my brain into existential realms, flights of fantasy, murderous mysteries.
But now I find myself in the strange dilemma of not having time to read and that bothers me…a LOT.
Last year, I tried to make amends by taking a “book-a-day” vacation. Every single day I had off, I read a new book. My mind was refueled, restocked, replenished – but I didn’t get much writing time in and one week later, it was back to the old grind.
For a while, I took advantage of audiobooks and listened to some wonderful stories while driving, cleaning the house, working out, but even that seems to interfere with the time that I’m usually plotting and thinking about a story idea.
Surely I can’t be the only author facing this situation. Does your writing life interfere with your reading life? Do you find yourself torn between the paperback lying on top of the TBR pile and the laptop waiting to be turned on? Does your TBR pile spill out across the nightstand onto the floor collecting dust and fighting for attention? Is there nothing more frustrating than to have these literary carrots dangled in our faces and not have the time to chew on them?
Felicia is a recognized cybercrime and law enforcement technology expert who has assisted the FBI on cases involving child pedophiles. She has used computer forensics to recover deleted files from computers involved in cases. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the International Association of Crime Writers, the New Hampshire Police Association and the International Association of Chiefs of police. She is also the founder of CLEAT (Communications, Law Enforcement and Technology).
Visit www.feliciadonovan.com or www.blackwidowagency.com for more information.