Tuesday, August 04, 2009


by Jennie Bentley

Yeah, this is the same post title I used last year, when I announced my debut. Today is the official release of my second book, Spackled and Spooked, #2 in the Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries, which I have on good authority - specifically, from Joyce - has been available in Pittsburgh, among other places, for a few weeks already. Apparently some stores received their shipments of August releases on July 16th and didn't see any reason to wait to offer the books for sale. So when a friend of mine in Delaware went to her local Barnes & Noble this weekend to look for my book, they were - get this - sold out!

No biggie. I don't really care when people buy the book, just as long as they do. And sold out actually sounds like a good thing.

Anyway, I'm using the same title again because, although it's not my debut today, my ITW debut author buddy and fellow Berkley Babe, Diana Orgain, is visiting the Stiffs today, and it's her D-day. Bundle of Trouble, featuring brand new mom and PI Kate Connolly, hits stores today, and sounds like a whole lot of fun. Without further ado, here's Diana:

I Should Be Writing...

In writing this post I’m trying to answer the number one question I get asked by moms (or other writers) – how I find the time to write. I have three little ones. My oldest is a girl, 5 and I have two boys ages 2 and 5 months. The honest answer is “I don’t know.”

Right now, two of three are playing with a tea set and the third, the baby, is chewing on a teething toy and working on kicking his socks off. It’s Sunday and we’re getting ready to go to my mother’s for dinner. My brother and his family are there and my kids are getting antsy to go play with their cousins. I’m writing this post between fixing socks, doing dishes and packing the diaper bag.

All the hub-bub is typical around here. Both my husband and I work from home and we squeeze out every productive moment of the day we can. Kindergarten starts in a few weeks, and although I’ll miss my darling during the day it means I can write during nap time (since my five-year-old no longer naps but the boys do).

So what is my advice for working or stay-at-home moms who want to write? You have to really really want it. It means early mornings (even earlier than those early morning feedings) and it means late nights (even later than those late night feedings) you get my drift. Caffeine is an absolute pre-requisite for me.

In fact, I’m so addicted to coffee that I even found myself wishing to leave for my mother’s house a little early (she makes a great cup of coffee!). But alas, before I can go have Sunday dinner I still must answer the question of how.

I think as writers (or anyone pursuing a goal) you have to make the time. Yes, you can use found time wisely – but for bigger projects you have to make the time appear in your schedule. Commitment is a huge part of it and enrolling others to help you. For instance, I am very fortunate to have such a supportive husband and mother. My mom is always willing to take my kids to the park for a couple hours so I can write.

And then, once you have the time you cannot squander it. That is one thing I absolutely still struggle with.

Suddenly in an effort to find time to write, I arrange for my mom to have the kids and husband is out of the house on errands and then I am curiously alone.

The house is silent.

I can write in peace or…or I could…gasp…I could actually nap!

Yes, sleep is so good for the brain. I can think up a writing question, like say, what happens in Act II or “whodunnit” and fall asleep and the answer will suddenly magically appear. So that is not really like not writing, because I will definitely still be working on the story…only…it’s just that I’ll be asleep.

Hmmm. So you see. It is a struggle. Always juggling and balancing priorities.

When I completed my first book, Bundle of Trouble, someone told me to join Facebook and Twitter as a way to promote the book. Now, I must guard that I am not on these sites chatting when I should be writing.

Do you find yourself wanting to do something else when you know you should be focusing on a big project, dream or goal? What do you do? How do you bring yourself back to the task at hand? I’d love to hear your thought and tricks!


So there you have it. To learn more about Diana, Kate Connolly, and Bundle of Trouble, visit Diana's website, www.dianaorgain.com. There's even an excerpt you can read!

I'll be back on Friday with an update on my doings and undoings. Until then, enjoy my ITW debut author buddies and fellow Berkley Babes the LaPlantes, AKA Allyson Roy, tomorrow - you don't mind my calling you a babe, do you, Roy? Alice? - and ITW debut buddy Sophie Littlefield on Thursday.

Till then!


Joyce Tremel said...

Glad to hear your book is selling out, JB! That has to be good!

Welcome, Diana! My big time suck has to be the internet--and I'm not even on Facebook or Twitter. I'm trying to limit the time I spend online, but it's not easy to do. I have the "I'll just check one more thing and then I'll write" syndrome.

Dana King said...

Congratulations on the new release.

Since you write DIY mysteries, I should let you know you were thisclose to getting a free story idea from me after I spoent eight hours over the past two days replacing a shower diverter. I would have sent it to you as soon as I was out on bail awaiting trial.

Jenna said...

I'm with Joyce - the internet is a horrible time suck, and I am on both Facebook and Twitter. (Yes, I took the plunge this week. Still figuring it out.)

Dana, LOL. Who were you thinking of murdering? The manufacturer?

Diana, thanks for doing a guest blog for us today. And congratulations on D-day! Feels good, doesn't it?

PatRemick said...

Yay Jennie, yay Diana!

As for what do I do when I'm tempted away from my WIP, I usually give in. So I'm not much help -- but I sure could use some hints from others!
This week I'm on medical leave and doing a lot of napping, but trying to finish reading "the Breakout Novel" while on meds.... and itching to get back to the WIP if I could concentrate, which I guess is a good thing. I think Diana hit the nail on the head (intentional diy renovation pun here) that you have to really want it......I DO want it, but I also want to DO everything else!
Thanks for stopping by!

Diana Orgain said...

Oh you guys make me laugh! Yes, Pat, I want to do my project and then I want to do everything else too - I also suffer from the multi-tasking syndrome - nothing makes me happier then "thinking" I'm doing two things at once. Of course, you know the story -if you're trying to do two things at once your're probably not doing either well.

Kristine said...

Congratulations, Jennie and Diana!

Diana, as a work-at-home writing mom, I can totally relate to your situation, although I only have one little one at home. I squeeze in time whenever I can, and I never underestimate the importance of a good nap.

Annette said...

Hi, Diana. Sorry I didn't stop in yesterday to say HELLO, but I was doing the making time to write thing. I have no idea how you do it with three little ones. Congratulations on the new release!

Bradi Nathan said...

I'm in total agreement with you in terms of "finding the time." There are too many women who become defeated before they've even started claiming, "I don't have time." I launched a site this past January... when it's truly a labor of love there is no such thing as not having the time.
So, kudos to you and your mom/hubby for helping out :)

Dru said...

Jennie, I'm so glad to hear that you're working on book #4. That means there's more to read inthe future.

Diana, congrats on the release of your new book. I picked it up when I went on a book shopping spree and look forward to reading it. BTW, I love the cover.

I love Facebook and yes it keeps me from doing other things, but then again, it's a good thing. I love interacting with the authors that I love to read.