Monday, November 28, 2011

Liz's Lair: Please Welcome Mystery Author Rochelle Staab

Please help me give a wonderful M & M welcome to my friend and fellow Book Cents Babe, Rochelle Staab. I met Rochelle at a conference a few years ago, and we quickly became fast friends. She's like the author you want to hate but can't. I like to tease her by saying she took one stinking class, wrote one book, finaled in the GH, got an agent and sold before you could say "helluva" author. There was a little more blood, sweat, and tears involved, but not much. Her talent quickly shot her right to the top. She's here today talking about her whirlwind month. ( I tried to warn her!)

Writing Through the Holidaze

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be here with my friends at M&M, enjoying the post-Thanksgiving leftover afterglow, ready for the next four weeks of ho-ho-holy-cow-it’s-the-holidays.

The seasonal jollies blew into town this year like a hurricane, splattering every street, mall, lawn, and TV commercial with red, green, white, or blue (four colors I won’t be wearing between December 26 and February 1). Radio stations are chirping out nostalgic holiday songs to sing along with (until December 25 when The Little Drummer Boy will pound on my nerves). The world is filled with cheery promises of magic and good will.

I’m in! I’m decking the halls! Running up my gas bill with an oven churning out cookies and brownies! Wearing glitter to the market! It’s good! It’s happy! Pass the eggnog!

What? How’s the writing going? Um, make that spiked eggnog, please, and pass me a box of Kleenex. I, uh, need a plan. I have a red stocking filled with excuses for why I haven’t written a damn, novel-related word since October 28. Who Do, Voodoo? came out November 1 and I’ve been busy promoting. The launch was a success, but my internal editor is nagging in my ear, “Where’s the book that’s due next, sister?”

Since I’ve been making lists (gifts, groceries, decorations) for the past two weeks, I might as well make another one on how to get my draft completed. Here goes:

1. Drop a note to Santa. Easy. I can do that now: Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is 50,000 new words by New Year’s Day. 2012. In order. I’ll help.
2. Set the timer for two hours of writing every morning before I check email or the news. Start tomorrow.

3. Get in a summery mood. My story is set in August. Baseball and bikinis anyone?
4. Write. Hah! Sounds easy, right? Inspiration, don’t fail me now.
5. Schedule small rewards that don’t involve going to the mall. Maybe a hot bubble bath for every ten pages written? A foot massage at the Chinese Massage Parlor on the corner when I reach the halfway mark?
6. Quit worrying. Think positive. Follow the plan.

I could edit the whole list down to “quit worrying and write” but I keep thinking there’s a trick to output volume I don’t know yet. You know, the Sooper Seekrit Shortcutz For Writing Under Pressure? And for the pre-published in the crowd—no slacking off for you, either. Writers write. Period. Get on the bandwagon, or in this case, the sleigh.

If you have a juicy tip for writing survival over the holidays, please leave a comment below. One lucky commenter will be chosen to win a copy of Who Do, Voodoo? (an excellent stocking stuffer, by the way!) US residents only.

A big hug and thank you to Liz Lipperman for inviting me to vent share here today. I wish you all a joyful and productive season. May all of your holiday dreams come true.
And remember—books make marvelous gifts!

Book Cents author Rochelle Staab, a former award-winning radio programmer and music industry marketing executive, blended her fascination with the supernatural and her love for mystery in Who Do, Voodoo? the first novel in her Mind for Murder Mystery series on Berkley Prime Crime. Bruja Brouhaha the second novel in the series will be released in August 2012. With the help of Santa and a good kitchen timer, she’s writing the third in the series now.

Find her at:


Liz Lipperman said...

Welcome, Rochelle. It's so nice to see your book has already taken the mystery world by storm, and you are already a best selling author. (I'm so freakin' jealous!)

But as I warned, promotion takes a lot of time and energy, as you are finding out. Apparently, it has paid off well in your case.

We are all so proud of you.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Hi Rochelle :-) Waving madly from central New York. Promotion DOES take a lot of time, but is fun as well. So glad both your book and Liz's are doing so well. Loved them both!

Okay, back to the writing cave for all of us :-)

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Rochelle! You're on fire with this blog tour and I'm glad to see you here. Oh, your list struck a chord with me. I'm going crazy with all the NOT WRITING. I'm just wrapping up my blog tour and I find it's almost impossible to get any writing done. And now the holidays are upon us. After my blog tour is over, I'm going to go into my writing cave, stay off my loops for a while, sit my butt in the chair and just write.

Marilyn Sue Shank said...

Ah, the holidays.

Writing? I'm supposed to be writing?


Cassy Pickard said...

Rochelle! How great, truly great to have you here. I am thrilled to see your release doing so fantastically well. Pull my name off the give-away list for I already have bought a copy. Love it!

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Rochelle. So nice to get to know you. Writing? I'm trying to catch up after convention and Thanksgiving.

Promotion is a time eater as the girls have already said, but it does help.

Lindsay said...

Hi Rochelle,
Writing tip during the holidays? What holidays? That's how I do it. Everyday is the same, just different.

Rochelle Staab said...

M&M really does feel like my home away from home. All the BC babes gathering to chat, Liz pulling my chain, and I know it's bad but I'm kind of happy to know everyone is in the same writing boat. Nice to hear I have company!

Liz, yep, you warned me, but wow! I found that book release promo is like getting married—you don't really know what you're getting into until you've done it once.

Hi Kari! Flapping my hands from L.A. You're right. The promo was fun. I met so many nice people, dedicated and interesting readers and bloggers. I loved it. (See you in the cave in a sec.)

Anita—amen and well said, 'crazy NOT writing.' I know you've been busy, we've been stalking each other over the Internet the past few weeks :) Personally, I'm calling a media blackout until I get my groove back. It might not work but media blackout sounds like a good threat to my thoroughly distracted subconscious.

Marilyn—LOL. Nah. Please do what you want this month. PLEASE. One of us has to :)

Hi Cassy! I'm sooo happy to BE here! I hope you enjoy WDV and have a wonderful holiday. Here or in Italy?

Vicki—hi! So nice to know you, too. The promo really does help and it feels good to be visible. I'm happy you came by!

Lindsay, you're awesome. Send me some of that discipline, will you?

Donnell said...

Rochelle, I'm in awe of anyone who can focus soley on writing right now. I keep pulling away to research. So far so good on not getting surrounded by the hype, but pretty soon the kids will be home. And you're promoting like crazy, so don't be too hard on yourself. That timer idea? It's a pretty good one. And be sure you put a big bullseye on your calendar that says "Deadline".

You're doing great! Congratulations

Lynn M said...

I like the bulls eye on the calendar idea and the spiked eggnog.

I am still wondering what happened to Halloween, much less Thanksgiving of Christmas.

Maybe 2012 will be better!

Lynn from Goshen CT

Rochelle Staab said...

Thanks Donnell, you're always the voice of reason. I think the bullseye is plastered on my forehead! Credit goes to Avery Aames for the timer idea. It works. And the promo is winding down, whew. The research pit is sooo tempting. I do love that part of the process. Now if I can just gather my characters and have a powwow.

Rochelle Staab said...

Lynn, LOL. Right? Wasn't Halloween yesterday? I'm counting on 2012 being better. I hope to have a stronger writing muscle by then :) Thanks for stopping by!

Jane Sevier said...

That sounds like a great system, Rochelle. Sure wish I had applied it during NaNoWriMo.

The carrot I like to dangle for myself when I'm working on a manuscript is reading a book that I'm holding back as a reward for finishing. I'm eager to complete the draft of my WIP so I can settle down on the sofa with WDV. Then I'm going to read Erica O'Rourke's Torn, which has been signaling to me from my Kindle for much too long.

Meanwhile, speaking of NaNo . . . .

Rochelle Staab said...

Hi Jane! Thanks for stepping out of the NaNo cave to visit. I'm doing my own, personal version of NaNo during December. If I can create the output that you and the rest of the NaNo group accomplished this month, I'll be a very, very happy writer. Love your idea of delayed gratification. I have to think of a good one to shoot for...sleep, for one. A whole day of relaxing with a good book ranks very close to the top. Ah, something to dream about. Sending strong NaNo inspiration to you—you're so close! Go for it!!!

Stacie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacie said...

Congratulations Rochelle! It looks like a really fun book. I can't wait to read it. I loved reading this blog entry as it gave me, as a reader, an insight into what an author goes through trying to write an amazing book and still juggle the everyday pressures of the real world. The holidays are hectic enough without a deadline to meet. Just know that your readers appreciate all that you & your fellow authors do. Your characters become a part of our family & we eagerly await the next book to be released. I loved the letter to Santa idea. Let me know if that works :)

Liz- I really loved Liver Let Die. The clueless cook is one of my new favorite series. I can't wait until July to read the next one. What book are you working on now?

Thanks for the giveaway! Happy holidays to all!


Rochelle Staab said...

Stacie, thank you so much! Readers like you keep writers like me going through crazy times like this. Knowing that our characters come to life for people is all the encouragement I need and when you have the chance to read WDV, I hope you enjoy it!

Isn't Liz Lipperman's series fun? I can't wait to read the next Clueless Cook book too.

Have a fabulous holiday. I'll let everyone know if my letter to Santa works. He's been pretty good to me in the past but I don't know how the big guy is with plots :) I guess the magic is in believing!

Liz Lipperman said...

Stacie, how very sweet of you to tell me this. BEEF STOLEN-OFF comes out in July and is about the ever-growing cattle rustling business in the West. It's become the new car jacking. In some ways, I think this one is better than LLD since I didn't have to spend so much time developing the characters.

I'm working on MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT right now with a February deadline. That one will come out in January of 2013. Jordan and her friends are on a Caribbean Cruise where she is judging a cooking competition (think Top Chef meets Clueless Cook!) I'm having fun writing it.

Again, thanks for the comment. We LOVE readers on this blog. And just for your sweet comment, I'll send you an autographed bookmark. If you're interested, go to my website and email me your snail mail address.

Liz Lipperman said...

And the lucky winner of Rochelle's book is Stacie. I'll be in contact with you.

Congrats, and thanks for commenting.