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I’m in between novels. Here’s what that looks like.

A little over a week ago, I finished the first draft of the fourth book in my “Pine Mountain Estates” series, Finding Dalia. What does a novelist do after finishing a novel? Dive right into editing? Take a well-earned vacation?

I can’t speak for other authors, but up to a certain point in my novel-writing year I have a previous novel to edit and proofread right after I get done writing the latest novel.

See, once an author finishes the first draft of a novel, they need to set it aside for a few weeks so that when they return to edit and proofread it, they can look at it with more objective eyes. Since I write in series, I almost always have some editing and proofreading to do of a previous novel in the series upon completing the first draft of the latest novel.

That takes me about a week. Then what? If I have not yet completed the novels I planned to write for that year, I start to outline the next story. If I have completed them all, I take a break for a week, then do some more editing and proofreading for a week, take a break, and so on, until I’ve gone through all the novels for the year three times. At some point in there, I start planning out my next series.

And, of course, all along the way, I’m marketing my previously written books and – with the help of my husband – creating covers for my latest novels.

That may sound like I’m working hard year-round, but I’ve scheduled it so that I’m writing novels from the beginning of October through the beginning of June. A traditional school year, I guess you could say, with plenty of vacation time for four months. The editing and proofreading I’ll do in a day only takes about an hour, so the weeks that I’m doing that task are still pretty laid-back.

There ya go. A peek into my life as an author.

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