If you are a full-time writer then being organized is crucial and that doesn’t just mean your work space, but how you manage your timetable. Well, when it comes to being organised I’m at the OCD end of the spectrum, as a 100% certified starter/finisher!
So, what does that mean when it comes to writing a full-length novel like The Secrets of Villa Rosso? Well, I’ve never been the sort of writer who can write a couple of thousand words a day sitting at a desk. I often wish that was the case, because it’s much easier to accommodate within the wider timetable. After all, aside from the current work-in-progress, most authors will also be working on edits for their next book due to be published, setting up promotional events ready for launch day and making frequent, daily visits to social media.
My actual working day begins at six a.m. I tend to open my eyes and reach out for my iPad – which is always within reach! If it’s one of my ‘normal’ days then I’ll do an hour on social media before I begin writing. I’m lucky enough to get coffee delivered to me in bed every day by my lovely husband, for which I’m eternally grateful!
I usually write for a couple of hours, then shower and change to do two walking circuits of the outskirts of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean. It takes me past stunning views of the forest, through the town centre and along a road that looks out over the river Severn. Then I head back to jump online. Sometimes the planning involved with an upcoming launch means I don’t get back to writing, but often I’ll forego TV and go to bed early to write. But, if the weather is reasonable, I do another two circuits first, as I’m on a mission to lose a little weight. Too much time sitting down isn’t good for you and besides, it’s my planning time and I always take a notepad with me.
If edits arrive I tend to drop everything and work solely on those. It can take two or three days as I like to do a read-through on my Kindle before I send the file back to my publisher.
When I hit the twenty-thousand-word mark in my work-in-progress I simply want to sit and write so I need to discipline myself. Once I get to fifty-thousand words then I’d happily stay in bed until it’s finished – literally. Even if that’s three, or four, days and I have done that. I do try to take frequent breaks to stretch my legs, aside from breaking off for my walks. But that’s just the way I write and it’s difficult because although it means I always deliver in advance of deadlines, I then have a lot of catching-up to do elsewhere.
But my head is so full of the story at that point, that I can’t really rest until the words are down on paper. I tend to edit as I go, so once it’s done I do several proof reads on my Kindle before it’s ready to send off to my publisher.
On Tuesdays, I look after a three-year-old and do the school runs for a soon-to-be seven-year-old. It’s a long day away from home but it’s wonderful because it gives me a break. Well, this week that involved six stints on the trampoline so that’s why I can’t say it’s a rest, but it’s physical and I laugh a lot. Weekend sleepovers are the best, but I get very little sleep ha! Ha!
If we don’t have family stuff to do at weekends, and we haven’t just moved and I’m up to my eyes painting or upcycling furniture (sixteen moves and counting), then I’m happy to stick to my normal work-day routine. My other half is usually busy in the garden and in between our regular walks, we might pop out for lunch, or do a forest walk. But the focus of my life, outside of family pursuits, is writing and I have a hectic schedule planned for 2018 and 2019.
Overall, though, I am super-organised so that the things that MUST get done on the work front, and things like cleaning the house, fit nicely within my timetable. When we take our frequent trips to see family in North Wales, for instance, it’s never a panic to simply take a couple of days off. So, while I do spend a LOT of time in my PJs, I am working – honest!
Some places stay with you forever…
When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.
It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?
What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.
The Secrets of Villa Rosso is available to pre-order now: http://smarturl.it/SecretsofVillaRosso
About the author:
Linn writes chick lit, cosy mystery/romances, romcoms and women’s contemporary fiction – written from the heart, for the heart.
Bristol-born Linn, lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is all about family, friends and writing.
Most weekends I can be found either in the garden weeding, or with a paint brush in my hand – house renovation and upcycling furniture is another passion of mine! Oh, and I do enjoy the occasional glass of White Grenache…”
Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under the Stars also became a best-seller in November 2016 and A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love in January 2017.
Linn is published by Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press. Linn is rep’d by Sara Keane.
Twitter: @LinnBHalton FB: Linn B Halton Author
2 thoughts on “A day in the life of writing The Secrets of Villa Rosso”
Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.
I love reading how other authors use their days… just to check I’m not forgetting anything, I suppose!