First of all, I will note that I’m an incredibly lucky girl where time management is concerned. I’m continually impressed when I read other authors’ blog posts about balancing writing with the rest of their lives. These women are raising families, working at fairly exhausting jobs, and still making time to do great work—and by comparison, I have it easy. I have an eight-hours-a-day desk job, no pets, no kids, parents who have their own lives several states away, and a boyfriend who can and does feed himself, bless him. If I can’t do a decent book or two a year, I really have nobody to blame but myself!
That said, I do have my own commitments: I have dinner or play games with friends a couple of times a week, I often go down to see some old college friends and professors, I go to the gym regularly, and I spend the odd weekend or three with friends in the woods, pretending to be a fantasy character. (I’m a pretty huge geek, really.) I also like to travel a lot. These aren’t the kind of time constraints that family life or a job as an ER doctor might put on me, but I have to work around them.
My biggest ally in that struggle has been modern technology. I can type a lot faster than I can write—I had a weird Dickensian childhood where playing Typing Tutor on the school computers was all the entertainment that existed some days—and that certainly helps, but that’s only the beginning. I write all of my novels in Google Documents these days, which means that I can access a draft in progress from any computer, as long as it has an Internet connection. That’s a huge change from a year or two ago, when I had to constantly email drafts to myself, and an even bigger one from my youth, when transferring something as big as a novel between computers meant dealing with floppy disks—and God help you if your school used Macs and your home computer was a PC!
And now I would like a cane, so that I can wave it at kids and tell them to get off my lawn.
I wrote a lot of No Proper Lady at what was then my job, while I waited for people to call or email. I made many of the edits in a car with my parents, going down to Pennsylvania for Christmas vacation—Dad, ever the technophile, got one of those mobile wireless hot spot things—and I’ve written bits of the sequels at friends’ houses, at Internet cafes, and even on the commuter rail in Massachusetts. I’ll never get the complete trifecta of planes, trains, and automobiles—air travel makes me too nervous to write—but I know I finish books about twice as fast as I would have done a few years ago.
Which takes me back to people who impress me: anyone who wrote in the days before the Internet, before computers—or the days before typewriters! I don’t think I’d have ever finished a novel, let alone published one, if I’d had to rely on my handwriting.
I know no editor in the world could have read my stories, anyhow.
NO PROPER LADY BY ISABEL COOPER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2011
It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism.
England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and in 200 years demons will destroy it all. Unless Joan, a rough-around-the-edges assassin from the future, can take out the dark magician responsible. But to get close to her target she’ll need help learning how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.
Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.
ABOUT THE AUTHORDebut author Isabel Cooper lives in Boston and maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing. She only travels through time the normal way and has never fought a demon, but she can waltz. Her next book, No Honest Woman, will be in stores in April 2012. For more information, please visit http://isabelcooper.wordpress.com.
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