*waves* Thank you so much for having me here today to help me celebrate the release of my latest novel, The Truth As He Knows It. If you like tortured heroes and the guys who help bring them back into the light, this is probably the book for you.
//end shameless promotion
Anyway, I was asked to chat a little bit about my writing schedule and how I get things done. And the truth of the matter is, I don’t have a schedule. Sometimes I wish I did, but I’d probably spend more time surfing the internet than actually being productive, so a non-schedule works well for me. It’s also pretty necessary, because my day job is in retail, and my schedule there changes weekly. My days off are never the same week to week, and the hours I work (morning versus evening) always switch around.
I’m also not a morning person, so I’m not the type to get up an hour early to write before getting ready for work. I’m more the person who sleeps until the last possible second, after hitting snooze at least twice, and is usually running about five minutes late getting out of the house. Thank goodness I have no spouse or children, or we’d be screwed when it comes morning preparedness.
I find that I’m at my most productive when I work the day job in the evenings. This gives me a block of about three to four hours in the morning/early afternoon (depending on my rise-and-shine time) to write. Knowing my time is limited is often a good incentive to sit down and write before I have to go in to work. Writing in the evening after working an eight-hour day is more difficult. I find it harder to focus, but I can get a few hundred words in if I try.
Writing on my days off from the day job can be a struggle because I get distracted so easily thinking about all of the other things that need to be done. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Cooking for the next few days (I’m a meal planner). Vacuuming (which I hate, so it’s not as big of a distraction as other things). The Internet. TV shows I’m behind on. Movies I want to watch. Books I want to read. The new magazine that came in the mail yesterday. My dad calling me on the phone because his computer is being fussy again. A cute cat who wants attention.
So many distractions.
The surest way I’ve found to stay focused on a book is the characters themselves. I write characters with secrets and dark pasts, and those secrets are often kept from their romantic interest for a long time. Knowing the chaos-causing, relationship-altering Big Reveal will happen if I just keep making words drives me to keep plugging away at a story. It’s what helped me write The Truth As He Knows It in twenty-three days, pretty much exactly one year ago this month.
The strong sense of not wanting to stop writing my characters’ journey is the very best way for me to stay on track and away from distractions. It’s addictive, like that awesome book you’re reading and simply can’t put down until it’s over.
What was the last book you read that wouldn’t let you go until you’d reached The End?
Author Name: A.M. Arthur
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor
Pages or Words: 83,000 words, 255 pages
Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.
When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.
Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.
The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.
Noel grinned, flashing those dimples. “I’d like that too. My work schedule is pretty weird, though. I’m first shift, which is eleven at night to seven in the morning, five days, starting tomorrow.”
Shane worked that one around. It gave them daytime hours, and evenings on Wednesday and Thursday. He worked at the deli tomorrow, and Saturday was off the table. Probably Sunday too, for good measure. “When do you sleep?”
“Usually when I first get home, from about eight to two or three. Sometimes longer, depending on the night.”
“So you’re usually free dinnertime until like ten?”
“Pretty much.” Noel cracked an unexpected yawn. “Sorry, my schedule is a little off after spending the day with Tristan. I try to keep similar sleep times on my days off so I don’t get too screwed up.”
Shane stood, surprised. “How long have you been awake?”
“About thirty hours.”
“Shit, why didn’t you tell me that?”
“Because I wanted to do this tonight. I’ve been thinking about you all week, and I’m glad I saw you at Mineo’s today. Really glad.”
“Me too.” Shane draped his arms around Noel’s waist. “And since this has been a fantastic night, I’m going to go before you pass out from exhaustion.”
“Do you want to get together tomorrow?”
He considered it for about two seconds. “My weekend’s pretty booked with work and stuff. Monday? We could maybe go out for real this time?”
“Sounds good. I’ll call you when I get up Monday and we can hammer out the details.”
Shane collected his clothes and dressed, taking his time because Noel was watching. The opposite of a striptease, and Shane kind of loved the novelty of it. He meant his good-night kiss to be soft, quick, but Noel held him tight and devoured his mouth until Shane was breathless and half-hard. God, he could kiss Noel for hours and not get tired of it. But he saw the fatigue in Noel’s eyes, and it was time to leave.
“See you soon,” Shane said. “And thanks for dinner.”
“You’re welcome, cowboy.”
Shane strolled back to his car with a bounce in his step, positive he’d never be able to hear the word “cowboy” again without thinking of Noel Carlson.
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
Where to find A.M. Arthur:
Contact her at email@example.com with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/), as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur), and Facebook (A.m. Arthur). A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.
E-book of ‘Truth As He Knows It’ plus an additional book from A.M. Arthur’s Backlist
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