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Mood Boards

Have you ever heard of a Story Mood Board?

I hadn’t, and I’m part of a Authors Challenge on Instagram that asked me to make one. I handled it like I do all things, I made one, posted it, then days later researched them. A bit backwards, but that’s the way I do most things. In the end I think I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. I assumed it would be similar to a vision board however it needed to evoke the feel of my book. I chose to do one for Unbelievable since its the first book in my series.

Vision Boards

I’ve never been big on vision boards. I guess it’s because I’ve put a lot of darn work into getting what I want out of life and it’s hard for me to believe that by cutting out little pictures of my dreams they would come true. The more I learned about them, the more I realized how it benefits to many. Although you can find an equal amount of studies showing how they don’t work, many still love making them. My thoughts? It doesn’t hurt to try. 🙂 Vision boards are the process of gathering images of what you envision for yourself over a specified time frame. My niece recently did one for school, it had everything on it from volleyball to walking down a runway. The idea is that if she looks at it often she will keep her goals in mind. Not a bad idea for a 15 years old.

Mood Boards

Like vision boards, mood boards can include just about anything you would like. The idea of a mood board is to evoke a specific feeling or inspiration. Creators use them for everything from design projects, to writing books. I chose to make one for Unbelievable and I actually found it helpful. Dare I say you may be looking at the new color scheme for my books? Only time will tell. Although, I have to admit I like they way it all came out.

Mood Board for Unbelievable

Something to Consider

Mood Boards are definitely something I will consider for my upcoming projects. When I design graphics for marketing, my website or book covers I always get nervous with color. If you ever meet me in the real world you will find my house is decorated with natural woods, gold, black etc. My wardrobe is full of clothing options that are about 95% black. So when it comes to designing I always lean towards black and gold. I love those colors but they don’t always portray the mood for the project I’m in. All and all, this was a learning experience that I’d recommend to anyone. Whether it is a vision board or a mood board you are working on give it a try! It helps get those creative juices moving.

Have you made one before? Comment below and share!

Happy Reading.

-Nikki Rome

Ready and Waiting

Trying to keep cool.

How do you keep from losing it when you are supposed to be acting cool as a cucumber? Waiting is something I’ve never done well. I learned years ago not to waste wishes on patience because I would just be faced with more opportunities to be patient. When I have a book ready and I’m waiting I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. I sit on the edge of my seat waiting for my phone to buzz, I obsessively check my emails and keep track of when I followed up with my beta readers last. It’s tough to be anxious and not come across like a crazy person. Trust me, I’m am speaking from experience.

How to be patient?

If you Google how to be patient the first thing you will find is a post telling you to “Make yourself wait.” Well gee why didn’t I think of that? I wish it was easier done then said. Personally I try to find distractions. Reading it a good one, writing it another. I’m currently working on a short story that will be provided free to people who are subscribed to our newsletter. However, even with things that need to be done, and things I simply want to do, my distractions don’t even help sometimes.

Setting the right expectations up front is probably a much better way of handling this. However for me I am too scared to share with people my anxieties over my books. Well, I’m scared to share them with people in real life. All my internet friends seem to know the whole story. But how weird is that? Why is it that so many of us are are willing to be our true selves online but not in real life? I guess that’s a conversation for another day.

New commitments to myself…

I’m making some new commitments today. I’d call them resolutions but let’s be honest, I’ve never fulfilled one of those in my life. Instead I’m putting them here, in writing, on my blog. I will have absolutely no excuse but to follow them, or at least not one I can think of right now.

  1. I will write my daily commitments in my fancy, overpriced planner every morning.
  2. I will finish edits on Unbelievable and get it ready for release.
  3. I will write daily, even if it’s only a couple 100 words.
  4. I will read, I will read, I will read. Because I love it.

Well there it is folks! I’ll let you know how it goes. Doesn’t look too bad but when life kicks into gear I want to stay focused on things I can control, since waiting is something I can’t control.

Happy Reading.

-Nikki Rome

A Clean First Draft

If anyone ever saw the first draft of my first book they would have been horrified. Following the advice of others, I never edited as I went. Instead, I wrote gibberish but I was happy as long as I got the story out. Riddled with spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors, editing that draft was the single most grueling task I have encountered since deciding to publish. It was miserable, and if you don’t believe me scroll back on my Twitter feed and you will see how many times I complained about it. Believe me, it was bad.

It’s all a learning process…

Everything I have worked on over the last year has been a learning process. From building my own website and starting social media accounts, to editing and formatting my books I have had to google, research and rely on others for help. (A quick thank you to all who have endured my numerous questions.) As time has gone by I’ve coming to learn what works for some, doesn’t work for me. The dirty, awful, no good, very bad first draft that took me what felt like months to edit, wasn’t working. That’s when I started to listen to the advice of others. The ones who don’t shout from the rooftops the “right way” to be a writer. It was the mention of it in a podcast, then another mention in a blog post, finally the topic that came up in a video I watched. Slowly but surely I learned not all writers wait to edit. Many of them do it as they go. Most of the ones who do, just happen to be a Pantser like I am.

Editing while writing…

Since I don’t plot and outline my books I don’t usually know what is going to happen next. This means I have no choice sometimes but to go back to previous chapters and rewrite a scene or even name a unnamed character. It’s never bothered me to do that but what I didn’t realize is I was already editing as I went. Editing has multiple steps and I am by no means a expert so I won’t try talking about it here. However, there are a lot of resources online if you’re looking. If you have been following along for a while then you know I have a contemporary romance series that has already been written. I am working on revisions and edits. Needless to say all of my first drafts are pretty messy but with book 2, titled Unstoppable, I made edits as I was revising. Let me just tell you, it made a world of a difference.

The Final Read Through

I feel that every time a writer reads through their story they should enjoy it. I’m currently doing my final read through for Unstoppable and I genuinely love the story. Which is a great feeling! I’m sure I will have changes once my beta readers get their hands on it but I can honestly say it feels good to have a finished product I’m so proud of. Each time I revised it or made changes it continued to get better and that’s the way it should be. I know not every book will go this way, I’m sure I will have a love, hate relationship with some of my characters but for now I’m pleased, and I’ll take it.

If you are a writer how did your final read through go? Were you in love with your story or did you feel like it still needed a lot of work?

Happy Reading.

-Nikki Rome

An Author’s Tragic Story

As a reader I have learned of the tragic lives of many well known authors. Riddled with stories of anxiety, depression, suicide and addiction, it often makes you wonder if you can be successful without facing tragedy. Many contemporary authors seem to pride themselves on their caffeine addled brains and comparing how little sleep we all get, unable or unwilling to discuss the real struggles. (I am 100% guilty of this myself) But what we fail to realize is that the stories we write aren’t always spun from tragedy. So when tragedy strikes how do you come back from it?

Dealing with Anxiety

About two weeks ago I went to see my doctor for hives and left with a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. I was a bit confused at first, but what she had to say about what I was experiencing made sense so I went with it. Ironically enough hives are a major symptom of anxiety. When I would wake up from a sound sleep with an array of strange symptoms, I was suffering from panic attacks, and I didn’t even know it. I’m sure you are wondering what all this has to do with tragedy. A anxiety diagnosis is about as common as the flu now a days. Well it doesn’t have anything to do with tragedy, it’s just the icing on the cake.

I have suffered my fair share of loss and difficult times throughout my adult life. It’s not something my husband or I broadcast to people because they are things we face as a couple. Working together through the hard times is just part of being married. In my eyes, going through life with a best friend, someone who is simply your person, is the best part of marriage. However, last week we faced a situation that could be explained only as a tragedy. It is something that has turned our entire lives upside down and we still are trying to figure out which direction to go from here. It’s one of those experiences when the people around you keep asking what you need and you can’t even answer them, because you still don’t know.

Creatives and Tragedy

The problem is, when I read and learn about people like Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, and Virginia Woolf it makes me wonder how they made it through. When faced with tragic events, social unrest, and unkind humans my default is wanting to curl into a ball and ignore the world. When everything happened last week my world came to a crashing halt. I didn’t publish my blog post, I ignored social media, I didn’t edit my WIP, I barely made it through my day job and, I didn’t even pick up a book to read. Instead I did my best to breathe, sleep and feed my family. That was all I was capable of. This leaves me wondering… how did they do it? Or didn’t they? Were these amazing works of art created in the good times or the bad? During the highs or during the lows? Maybe a bit of both?

There are many people in this world with struggles far greater then my own, however at the end of the day it isn’t a requirement to become a successful creative. These things that happen are terrible, they require life to stop and dreams to be reassessed. Goals need to change and writing, reading, and self care all has to take a back burner until things are set on a new path. In today’s environment you can’t always handle things quietly on your own. Instead your personal struggles are blasted all over social media by others who feel they are “doing good” with no idea what those repercussions are. It makes creativity seem impossible because life is all consuming.

For those of you who have struggled, what have you done to heal? How did you work through everything and get back on track? Is it even possible?

The more we can share with each other the less alone we will all feel. It’s time to reach out to a friend and say, I hear you… that may be all they need.

I am a Pantser

According to the Urban Dictionary a Pantser is a person who fly’s by the seat of their pants while writing. Yup, that sounds about right. I am a Pantser and I’m not afraid to admit it (anymore). I’m also not afraid to admit that until about five minutes ago I was not only spelling it wrong but also saying it wrong.

How Did I Know?

As soon as I jumped into the #Writingcommunity on Twitter I saw all sorts of crazy lingo being thrown around. Most of it I was able to Google. Let us all say a quick thank you to the lords of Google. But some of it I had to rely on others to teach me. After some time, I not only sat back listening but also watched videos on writing, read books on writing and listened to podcasts. There was one common thread, they all were teaching people to plan (or Plot) a book. The whole idea of it gave me hives, literally. Early on I kept thinking to myself, if I can’t plan this book in advance, make a outline, a story board and all the other things people are teaching me and I even a writer? Spoiler alert… I am.

Yes I am a Writer

Writing doesn’t have to follow a liner path that someone set out for you. Not everyone writes the same, and for those of us who can not pre-plan… that’s okay! The Plotters of the world may unite and teach us things but we have a few things that could help them too. I have met Plotters that have spent years plotting their books, developing characters, drawing maps of worlds and although that may work for them, and never getting it to a place they are comfortable with publishing, it takes some years to even start writing. Sometimes you just have to sit down and let things flow.

Let me take a second and explain my process. Usually an idea will spring to mind, like a voice in the back of my head. Sometimes it’s just a name or a idea. Then after a couple days it won’t go away. Enter my characters. They turn up the volume in my head where I can hardly concentrate on another thing until I pick up my laptop and write their story. It comes hard, fast, and messy (much like some terrible boyfriends of the past) however when it’s over I feel a huge sense of relief and nine out of ten times I really like the story I wrote. Very prescriptive huh? I should write a book on this.

A Look Back

Today I took a look back at the creation dates for each of my books. I wrote book one at the end of 2018 and it just kind of sat around as my own guilty pleasure. Between August 27th and September 20th in 2019 I wrote the next four books in my series. Thinking I was done, I would read them occasionally for my own enjoyment. You can read one of my first posts on Deciding to Publish for some more info on what came next. Then in February of this year came the story of Cage and Hope. Once again I had this idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. The two of them felt like the perfect ending to my series, and so their book was born.

Writing Fast Isn’t All Rainbows and Butterflies

The only problem with what I have done in the past is, by the time the story is finished it still needs a lot of work. Revisions and edits have been the most difficult part of the process for me. However, I have committed to myself to learn how to write cleaner first drafts. The general advice most writers give is to just write and worry about edits later. This may work for some but it doesn’t work for me.

It’s almost painful rewriting a book because the ended came out different then I expected. A Plotter knows their ending before they start. I do not. So by default I end up needing to go back and make adjustments. I always felt so guilty because I wasn’t following the advice of others, but I’ve come to learn I need to just do what works for me.

If you are a new writer, or even one who has been writing for a while; what advice have you been given that just doesn’t work for you?

Happy Reading.

– Nikki Rome

Writing With a One Track Mind

While I was waiting on feedback from my Beta Readers I began edits on book two of my series, The Heroes of Calvano Security. Sounds like a great idea, right? Well… maybe not so much. Let me explain what happened.

One Story at a Time

The books in my series are individual stories that intertwine but could technically be read as stand alone books. What I mean is I don’t have six books that tell different portions of the same story line. This means each book is different then the last. Once I jumped into book two my brain was dead set on finishing up the edits on their story. I love each of my characters but the chatter in my head from them is pretty clear and often annoying. I need to listen. (Yes, I know this sounds crazy… fellow writers tell me you get me?) Anyway, the edits and notes started coming in on book one and I quickly realized I wasn’t going to be able to get into them in depth until I finished what I started.

Let’s Talk Benefits

So let’s start with the good. Since I have a one track mind when it comes to writing I get a entire book to a semi completed phase before I even think about starting the next one. Now, don’t get me wrong they need revision and edits but the story line is there. On average my books around 50,000 words. A the first draft I am normally around where around 30,000 and the rest gets added in revision. This is something I desperately want to change because I am working on cleaner first drafts but for now, this is how it works for me.

While I am writing the first draft of the current book the other characters will come to me. But I always, always finish before starting the next. This makes my writing process pretty liner. I may jot down some names, or an idea on the plot, but that’s it. The rest of my attention is focused solely on the book I’m living in. Since I’m not a degree holding writer I have no idea if I am doing this right. It works for me though, and I’m okay with that!

With Every Up There is a Down

So let’s talk about the downside. During the beta reading process I have had multiple calls and emails exchanged with one of my main readers. This has provided me information that is helpful for edits on all of my books. Things like, recommendations on how to handle dialog, past and present tens with POV and more. While I was waiting for my manuscript I began applying some of these concepts to the second book and I could already tell it was better then the first.

Each book takes multiple read throughs, right now my goal is to just get book two done so I can read the detailed notes from book one. Here in lies the problem. If there are big juicy changes needed in book one that may effect book two! Clearly no one warned me of the potential complications on writing a series. I’ve had to come up with a plan for myself and I’m going to stick with it. As much as it’s killing me to hold off on book one edits I know I won’t be successful until I get book two where I want it to be. Once it is with my beta’s I’ll work on book one. Then edits will start again on book two. Are you following me yet? Honestly, even I’m confused. Regardless I’m hoping for the best! Wish me luck. 🙂

Has anyone else struggled with this? Maybe it’s not even writing, but something else in your life you struggle to follow the process with. If so share below! I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Reading.

-Nikki Rome

Why I’m Not Publishing My First Book

So I’ve spent the last week removing all of my “Coming in Summer 2020” comments on my website, social media, and newsletters. It was equal parts upsetting as it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I suppose I should start at the beginning.

Summer 2020

I never chose a specific release date for my first book. In fact the idea of releasing in Summer 2020 was an idea I just pulled out of thin air. My first book has been written for a long time and was something I enjoyed reading. Then I began editing and found I didn’t love it as much as I thought I did. As years went by and I went on to write five additional books my writing style has changed, the remaining characters in my series were born and some events needed clarification now that I knew what was to come. You see, I’m a panster (more on that later). In short this means I don’t really have a plan in place when I begin a series. It comes to me as I begin writing. These changes over the years means my book needed a complete rewrite. So I got started.

The First Rewrite

I did a rewrite in May 2020 and shortly after sent it out to my Beta Readers. You can read more about that experience here: Working with Beta Readers. The feedback I got was amazing but I still wasn’t 100% pleased with the book itself. Some of the feedback made it clear each readers liked the book, many even loved the story line but it was also clear they had some of the same struggles I did when reading it. In my first rewrite I added the missing scenes and character development that was needed. This is common while rewriting however my new stuff wasn’t meshing well with the old. The start of the book was repetitive and didn’t move the story line fast enough. As a avid romance reader the last thing I wanted was my readers to skim or skip ahead like I do when a story drags. It was clear, I still needed to do more work.

Learning from Others

I have met a lot of people in the Writing Community over the last couple of months and the advice and knowledge of these individuals is amazing. I met S. R. Severn via Twitter after listening to her and Sarah Bailey share their very vivid and hilarious opinions on their Podcast, Made in Romance. If you are looking for a fun podcast with some conversations about the romance genre then you really should check it out.

As we were chatting online and bonding over Pillsbury Biscuits (Check out the episode called What Not to Use in Sex Scenes…trust me) we got into a conversation about my upcoming book. Sab had shared a bit in one of her podcasts about her experience publishing a book too early and what she is doing about it now. Even though I had some background information on her story from the podcast, what she shared in our chat that day really stood out.

She said one thing she learned during the process was to “…always do the most to ensure you get the quality you deserve.” They were pretty powerful words, we went on to talk about others she knew who also released early or without a final read through and how it effected them long term. Her last words to me on the topic were, “Don’t ever do yourself or others a disservice just to meet that publication date.”

I realized then, many have learned hard lessons in the past so who was I to question the advice?

I Knew I Could Do Better

My final decision to hold off on releasing my first book was simply because I knew I could do better. One of the reasons why I wanted to self-publish was so I would have more control then if I went the traditional publishing route. In my mind it was so I could release books faster however it turns out it’s also helpful sometimes to release books slower.

My manuscript with change recommendations from one of my readers is in the mail and I’m expecting it tomorrow. To say I’m excited would be a understatement. The adjustments I’ve made during this rewrite are exactly what Unbelievable needed. I can’t wait to get the rest completed and back out to for another round of beta reading!

Stay tuned for more! I promise for updates as they come. Unbelievable may not be releasing in Summer 2020 anymore, but the finished product will be amazing.

Happy Reading.

-Nikki Rome

Working with Beta Readers

Well, I was feeling pretty good about myself for a while. Then I got Beta Readers! All jokes aside I have finally shared my writing with others and wanted to take some time to gather my initial thoughts about the process.

What are Beta Readers?

If your like me and your completely new to this writing process then you may have never heard of the term “Beta Reader” A beta reader or first reader, is someone you provide your writing to for feedback. I have learned through my own research there isn’t any hard and fast rules about who to ask, or how it should be done. There are also many different ideas as far as how many people to provide your work to. All I can share is my own decisions and how things are going so far.

I decided on three beta readers, I had asked for some feedback via twitter and someone posted that they recommend three people. By having three I knew that I could determine if there was a trend in the feedback I received. For instance, if I heard the same thing from two or more beta readers then it was likely an area that I needed to work on. But if it was only one person’s opinion then I needed to decide if it was worth changing or not. Since I am writing a series of romance books there are things I know are coming in future books that my readers may not know. The hard part about writing a series is trying to figure out if it’s something they need in book one or something that can wait. For me, this was one of the main reason’s I was hoping to find beta readers.

Who I chose…

I made a couple decisions early on. I didn’t want to pay for beta readers so I decided to spread the word that I was looking for some people to read for me. I have one friend who is a reader of all things and decided to see if she was interested. Honestly, it came up in a conversation and I just threw it out there. To my surprise she not only agreed but was excited to see what I had written. I also have a friend who is a author of fantasy and she connected me with a romance reader who is also a writer and was interested in helping me out. Lastly, I am part of a writing group and one of the members asked if I would like her to read as a critique partner. Critique Partners known as CP’s offer detailed feedback but normally read as you go. My situation is a bit different because my book was completed.

Receiving Feedback

Feedback is tough. I try my best to always look at feedback as a gift but it can be hard sometimes. When it comes to my writing I have become very attached to my characters and my work. When I think back over the years I can say I have spent more time with them then I expected. I now have 6 books at different stages of completion and focusing to get the first book ready to publish has been very difficult. When I my book at a point where I felt it was as good as I could get it I sent it out into the world.

I have received general feedback and very specific feedback and in truth it has all been extremely helpful. Now, I have to do something with it. I will say my friend who loves to read provided general feedback that was very encouraging. She loved the story and plowed through the entire book in three days. Since she is my ideal audience I am trying to keep that in mind as I review the feedback from my other betas who are writers. Here’s the thing, every little bit of advice I have received has been a blessing! I decided not to hire and editor but it’s very important to me that my book looks and feels as professional as possible.

Some Common Feedback

Three people seems to be the sweet spot for me. I did receive common feedback about my hero that warrants some rewriting. I want him to be liked however, the way he is portrayed in the beginning of the book has made my readers think he’s either mean or a stalker. Which both made me laugh, knowing what I know about him. This was a big learning point for me. What I know about my characters isn’t the same as what my readers know about them. It’s going to take me sometime to make these changes. Now I need to determine if it makes sense to try and push for my original release date or not. Another thing I need to work on is showing not telling. If you are a writer of anything then you have probably heard this before. Since it is still something I’m working on I can’t provide much advice here. Maybe someday.

These are tough decisions but I know in the end I want to be 100% certain that my first book is what I always hoped it would be. After my first round of feedback I don’t feel it’s ready and I can’t help but feel a bit discouraged but I need to get over myself and move forward.

If you have had experience with Beta Readers I would love to hear how it went, comment below and let me know!

Happy Reading.

Nikki Rome

Deciding to Publish

Making a decision that could… or could not change my life.

About a year ago I met a new friend. As an adult I have to admit, I’m not one to make friends often, but we had some shared experiences that pulled us together and we became friends. When we first met I knew she stayed at home with her son but after some time I was shocked to find out that she was a published author. In a conversation one day I admitted I had six romance novellas just sitting on my computer. Her first response was something along the lines of “Are you going to do something with them?”

I didn’t really know how to answer. When I wrote The Heroes of Calvano Security the books were for my own entertainment. I would reread them from time to time, but I never thought I would share them with anyone else. They didn’t even have titles! I just had them each saved on my computer by the name of the main characters. For example, Unbelievable was simply titled, Jason and Christy. I enjoyed writing but the idea of doing it and making money was a foreign concept to me. After a long talk, over a long walk I learned enough to make me interested.

Like most potential authors I loved the idea of someday having my books on my own bookshelf. Unfortunately, they were short and messy and there was no way I would be able to find a publisher. On our walk I learned about Indie publishing, going wide verses just selling through Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. I was learning bit by bit that there was a lot more I needed to learn. When it came down to it I realized that writing didn’t have to be a painful difficult process. I could keep control, hire out what I wanted, and publish my own books right online.

The Romance Genre

One of the most important things I had to decide was how I was going to start this out. As a romance reader and writer I had a interesting perspective. Romance readers, like me, plow through books in record time. Once I realized what Kindle Unlimited was and how it worked I fell in love with reading online. Don’t get me wrong, I have a massively large bookshelf filled with books, but when it came to my favorite genre I could read a book a day and not need to worry where to store them or running out. I knew after some additional research that sticking to a digital medium was going to be the best option for me.

For someone who didn’t make a conscious decision to write, I had a lot to consider if I was going to try and publish. Once the decision was made there was no turning back. I found videos, articles, podcasts and everything I could get my hands on to learn more about self-publishing. My inner control freak was immediately smitten with the ability to make all the decisions for myself. Traditional publishing is great for so many people, but for me self-publishing was the direction I wanted to go.

Now, I have my first book edited (by myself, which may have been a bad idea… more on that another day) and it’s with my first ever Beta Readers! Needless to say if I don’t make it past this I’m already pleased with how far I’ve come. Only time will tell how the next chapter of this adventure works out. But I promise to keep you all updated here.

Happy Reading!

-Nikki Rome

Check out my first post on Deciding to Write.

Deciding to Write

A night of restless sleep…

I wish I could say I studied writing, or that I aspired to be a writer for years, however my story doesn’t go that way. In truth I was a avid reader for most of my life. I remember being convinced as a child that I hated reading because I didn’t like spelling. Little did I know that a wonderful thing called spellcheck would one day exist and prove me wrong. As embarrassing as it is to admit my love of reading came during a summer where The Babysitters Club series became popular. I read each and everyone of those books at a speed that shocked even my parents.

Fast forward one too many years later and I stumbled my way into reading romance. Fun, flirty books that almost always ended in a happily ever after, took over my bookshelves and eventually my Kindle. You see, I am a sucker for a happily ever after. It’s bad really, if an author doesn’t give me what I’m looking for then I won’t touch another of her books. If I do get what I want, then I will proceed to read everything else she has ever written, regardless of genre. Even the bad ones. (And yes, good authors write bad books sometimes)

A few years ago I found that as I was reading books written by others I keep thinking about different ways I would like to see the story go, or different characteristics of main characters I was unknowingly creating in my mind. It was late one night and I had just finished reading another romance when it hit me. Maybe if I just wrote it down I could get these people out of my head and move on to my next book. I wrote a story of a woman named Sophia who left her partner of years after finding herself pregnant and knowing he didn’t want kids. It was right up my ally. I wrote it, closed the Microsoft Word doc and forgot about it.

I should clarify, when I say wrote it I obsessively sat in front of my computer for about three days and nights as I pounded out a 30,000 word story. It was insane. I didn’t know if it was good or bad, all I knew was I had written it. So you see, for me, there really wasn’t a decision to write. Just a driving need to tell a story that wouldn’t leave me alone. It was a story I liked and something I would read but I didn’t have a plan to do anything with it. So there it sat, on my computer minding it’s own business.

Or so I thought…

It was a couple years later that I decided to try again. I pulled up the saved files on my computer and couldn’t remember what I saved it as. I had a million things on that computer and opened literally every word document on that thing. I could not find it! After much frustration I gave up and took it as a sign. Here’s where the story gets better. Eventually months later I found it, and I saved it again, and saved it on a flash drive! Then that computer died and the flash drive disappeared. I can’t make this stuff up.

I’m Italian, which comes with a certain amount of superstitions. I was convinced that it wasn’t meant to be. I mean who finds and loses a book twice! Me… I do. I’m still holding out hope that some day Sophia’s story will turn up again. I have even toyed around with the idea of just rewriting it, but I haven’t. When gave up on Sophia I found Jason and Christy. It’s their story you will hear first. Unbelievable should release later this summer and I am beyond excited it’s come this far.

So for those of you out there thinking some grand gesture, formal education, or writing on the wall needs to happen… I’ll share with you today that it doesn’t. It just takes an idea and a bout of insomnia.

Happy Writing.

Nikki Rome