Monday, August 3, 2015

What I Learned (Am Learning) Writing Murder Mysteries

As an historical romance novelist, my pages are filled with angst, longing, yearning, the promise and hope of love, and the absoluteness of happily ever after. As a first time murder mystery writer -- there's none of that.

First and foremost, I thought writing a murder mystery would be semi-easy. I wouldn't have to do much research on word choices, I could use contractions, I pretty much grew up where the novels are set, and I have a couple of yearbooks where I could pick my character's names from. The plot lines were supposed to be fun -- I had killed a half dozen people in my head over the course of my lifetime. Bad bosses, a couple of frenemies, not to mention nasty ex-boyfriends. How hard could it be?

*cue the laughter*

Research Is Killing Me

Killing people takes guts. It also means you have to know about guts, and physiology, biology, science, chemistry. You need to know where bullets holes go in and out, what happens when a particular body part gets hit by a bullet, the difference between the sizes of bullets to make bigger or smaller holes, and how long it will take to recuperate from said bullet wound. And that's just for starters.

Do we want to talk about poison? Chemical reactions? Deterioration of evidence? Chemical compounds? Knife wounds vs. bullet wounds? Yeah, I didn't think so.

To put it simply, you can't just write whatever you want. People will laugh. Especially people who actually protect this country from bad guys for a living. And I hate being laughed at. So research it is. I'm finding I research when I need to know, not before. Also, what you think is simple common sense, isn't.

For instance, my MC has a gun. The gun has a magazine for the bullets. In researching, I found out that most police officers don't call it a gun, they call it a weapon. They don't have bullets, they have rounds. They don't have magazines, they have clips. (Or vice versa, I forget.) They also don't call cars, cars, they're called vehicles. They also don't generally say "10-4" anymore. Real life isn't Adam 12. (How many of you remember that show?)

Research takes time, and for anyone who wants to write (anything), if you're not going to do the research, don't write the book. (This statement also applies to the blog post I wrote last week. Thanks to VR Barkowski for reminding me.)

Writing About Murder is NOT for Sissies

The first book (novella) I wrote, was this crazy idea I had one day because the characters in my head would not shut up. I said, "Okay, if I get this out, will you please leave me alone?" They all agreed and so I wrote it from start to finish in 17 days. It was a rush, and I felt proud that I did that quickly. (Not exactly a sucky first draft, but after two critique partners read it, I know what's it's missing and where it needs to go.)

The characters begged me to write another story. I figured, hey why not. I can blast out another one. It's summertime after all. I'm on vacation. However, this story was different. The plot was about a cold case murder that had been languishing in the police department for forty years. My MC finally gets a break in the case and he learns pretty much what happened the night of the murder. Suffice it to say, it was not pretty. What the murderers did to this poor girl had me depressed for DAYS. And she is only a character.

I was absolutely distraught because, well, I knew what happened to her long before anyone else did. The problem was, now I had to get it down on paper (laptop). Writing that scene was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to write. In the first book, the murder had already taken place and I only shared the details sparingly throughout. In this book I had no choice but to make the murder scene/sequence as real as I could get it. Yikes.

This book is not going to end with a happy ending or even a clear resolution to the murder. I'm dreading that scene as well, but it will have to be written. Police work does not always bring the bad guys to justice. And that's hard for a writer who's used to writing happily ever afters.

Slitting My Own Throat

Overwriting is the bane of my existence. I want these stories to be tight, well-worded scenes that flow from one chapter to the next. I want the writing to be hard and fast, in your face because that's how I want to write it. That's not the case. I'm finding I'm heavy with dialogue, explaining everything twice (because one character knows something that another character doesn't). And because I'm a pantster I don't follow an outline. Editing is going to be a nightmare because it's all about the clues -- who knows what when. I want to make sure it's all in there. I don't want people to say the story dragged or that they missed something because I inadvertently cut it out.

I also want my characters to sound realistic. One of my biggest challenges is that most cops, most real people of my acquaintance swear. I don't want to offend my readers, not that these books are rife with F-bombs, but peppered with shit, hell, damn it, son-of-a-bitch, bastard, and asshole. In this day and age, are those considered swears? I hear them on tv all the time. And I don't even get HBO. I hear them in the grocery store. I hear them at the gas station. I use them myself.  If my hero gets shot, he's not going to say, "Oh, drat." He's not even going to say, "Damn it!" He's going to use strong language. Right now, I'm leaving everything in. And yes, I've read detective/mystery/thrillers in which no offensive language is used. Amazed and shocked was I that it could be done. But that's not me. It's not my voice. However, when I go through edits, I'm sure most of them will go. It's a fine line between realistic and offensive.

The Kiss of Death

In writing this series of books, (what was I thinking writing a series!) my MC the detective has a deceased wife. She's been gone five years, and only now, since he's met the psychic does he think about women again. He doesn't want to become involved because he thinks he's not good enough. He's a small town detective, she's a once-famous celebrity. He also doesn't think he's ready to let go of his deceased wife. Love, and all its complications, must play a role in these books. Why, you may ask? Because love is the glue that holds people together, whether they're together or not.

I also have several other characters who are in the midst of breaking up or trying to stay together. Why am I sub-plotting all this craziness? Why drag the romance into murder mystery? Because most murders are considered to be crimes of passion. (more research). Passion is the element that lies underneath love and hate. It's all very psychological bouncing passionate murders against passionate lovers and I don't quite understand it all, but I like the idea of it, and well, it's my series, and I'm writing it that way.

Killing My Darlings

Why am I doing this? I'm supposed to be writing another historical series, not messing around with murder. I'm also supposed to be finishing up a contemporary romance I've had kicking around for years. (That I totally promised myself I would do at the beginning of the summer.) Why am I killing myself trying to write books in days rather than months?

Because it's fun.

Writing the historical romance series was fun in the beginning. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just writing, writing, writing, books that I wanted to read because I couldn't find any historical romances that were like Jane Austen's. (I'm sorry, I just don't like Georgette Heyer.)

Writing this detective series is fun for me. I get to challenge myself mentally (research), spiritually (good vs. evil), emotionally (love, hate, death, life), and physically (10-12 hours days because I just can't stop writing). I also have no idea what I'm doing, and so far, I've only let two people read it, so there are no reviews to cry over. (Remember the Kryptonite from last week?)

I also think it's fun because I'm exploring contemporary characters, which I haven't done in almost ten years. I don't have to think about social mores, or social classes, about a society that only exists in history books. I'm right there, in the middle of someone's life, someone I might know (if he actually existed). I'm diving into the depths of what it means to be human, what makes someone who they are, in the here and now, good, bad, and everything in between. I don't have the strict rules of writing historical fiction to get in my way.

So, that's what I've learned. So far.

Tell me -- What genre do you get the most fun out of writing? Do you like the challenge of writing something different or do you stick with what makes you comfortable? Do you have any tips for writing murder mysteries?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Important Lessons I've Learned About Writing

With any new job, there's a learning curve. Take waitressing for example -- in the beginning, I just kept my little pad and a pen on me all the time. Over the course of several months, I didn't need the pad and pen anymore, I could remember the order. I could remember customer's names and what they drank. I could get my side-work finished and be out the door come closing time without having to look at the closing list. I think if I ever took another waitress job, it would be second nature. Sort of like riding a bike. I might not want to take a spin, but I remember HOW to do it.

Same with writing. I can't TEACH you POV, or dialogue, or structure, which is why I don't do it on the blog. I've been writing for almost ten years full-time and now it's just stuff I know how to do. Fingers on the keyboard, butt in chair -- GO. I had to practice, and practice makes almost perfect, and now it's just second nature. The way a pianist practices scales.

There are tons of books and articles, and blogs, and videos to learn HOW to write, but you can't really learn it until you actually DO it. You can sit in the restaurant all day long and watch the waitresses, but you won't actually know HOW to waitress until you walk up to that first table and say, "Hi, how are you. Are you ready to order?"

And don't get me wrong, I didn't just write a book and BAM I know how to write. I've read craft books, studied other writers, and blogs, written my million words of shitty first drafts. Those things helped to TIGHTEN my writing, but they didn't actually TEACH me how to write. I just sat down one day and wrote "Chapter One" because that's what I wanted to do.

Jhumpa Lahiri said:

“All writing, all art is just a wild leap off a cliff because there’s nothing to support you. You’re creating something out of nothing, really.  No one’s telling you to do it.  It comes from within, and it’s a very mysterious process, at least for me.  I still don’t understand how I write a story or a book.  I don’t understand how it happens.  I mean, I know it takes time, I know it takes effort, I know it takes lots and lots of drafts and hours, but I still really don’t understand the internal mechanism of how it really happens.”

Lesson # 1
Write what you want to read.

You can't write for the market, the market changes in a heartbeat. Ten years ago, it was all about wizards, and sparkly vampires, two years ago it was all about the shade between black and white. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Write what you can't find in the marketplace. Write what makes you happiest to read. There are other people out there who will want to read it too. I write traditional Jane Austen type Regency romances. They don't have sex and they don't have contractions. I wanted to read something without a heaving bosom and washboard abs on the cover. I couldn't find it. So I decided to write it.

Lesson #2

Write about what you know.

I recently sat in on an online conference and mostly it was about non-fiction. How to make a bazillion dollars writing a book about beet farming. And hey, if you know all there is to know about beet farming and you think there's a market for that idea, then go for it. Write that book. You probably could make a bazillion dollars.

It's the same in fiction -- stick to what you know.  I also write contemporary romances that are set in Rhode Island with crazy ethnic families. WHY? Because that's what I know. You have a penchant for parakeets, you love cozy mysteries, and your Aunt Matilda is the town gossip -- well, there's a book if ever I heard one. You dress up every year for Halloween as Frank Sinatra, noir is your favorite genre, and you would totally love to time travel. Go for it.

Lesson #3



My favorite quote of all time from Margaret Atwood (THE HANDMAID'S TALE). I've had it on my blog forever. To me it means, no matter what anyone says about your writing, don't let it stop you from writing. Don't let ANYONE stop you from writing. Your mother, husband, BFF, writing teacher. If you're not good now, it doesn't mean you'll never be good. You don't know what you don't know, and practice makes almost perfect. (Nothing is "perfect" but it can be damn near close.)

I recently sent a story to a friend of mine for a quick critique. I thought it was fantastic. I thought I wouldn't have to tweak any of it. Yeah, not so much. It came back with several (okay, lots) of "suggestions" on how to make the story better. And it hurt (because I have the ego of Superman), and one well-meaning "suggestion" is like Kryptonite for me. I went through my usual two days of self-doubt and throwing in the towel, but then I got over it. Those crits weren't going to stop me from doing what I love. As a matter of fact, it only gave me more reason to "show him". I'll make this story the BEST DAMN STORY I've ever written.

7/28/15 Post Script -- Thanks to Maria for pointing this out in the comments. 

It's hard to think that I'm NOT a "perfect" writer. I ask for help from critique partners and because my EGO is larger than my pea-sized brain, I tend to get all grumpy about their suggestions. As I said to Maria in the comments, Critters are the best people on the planet. I wouldn't be where I am today without them. And generally, 9.5 times out of 10, I always take their suggestions and put them in the book. For #3, I guess I should have made the point about those people who aren't writers who nay-say our "little hobby", or trivialize our passion for the art. You know, those people who say, "Oh, you're writing a book -- how quaint." Or "You're writing a book -- WHY? What do you have to write about." You know, the mean ones. We all have mean people in our lives. Don't let those bastards grind you down. Keep plugging. Keep working at it. Don't let nay-sayers have their way.

Lesson #4

Learn your craft.

You couldn't be a mechanic if you didn't know what a torque wrench was. And sure, I've just said write -- what makes you happy, what you want to read. But the caveat is you need to learn the CRAFT of writing. It's not just stringing a couple of sentences into a couple of paragraphs into a couple of pages into a book. It's about grammar, and punctuation, and spelling, and structure.

YOU CAN'T BREAK THE RULES UNLESS YOU KNOW THEM. Did you know you can't use a semi-colon in dialogue? Even though Word says you can. Do you know the difference between a 3-act structure and a 5-act? Do you know the difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and omniscient POV? Do you know the difference between an em-dash and an ellipse? Learn the tools of your trade and the correct way to use them. You wouldn't put a fuel cap on a tie rod.

Lesson #5

Writing is hard work.

Sure, we all saw the instant overnight success of sparkly vampires and pale colors. Sure, we're all jealous. I know I am. Hey, I'd love to have something I write be turned into a hit movie or make the NY Times Bestseller list. Who of us wouldn't. But those are just dreams I hold onto because they're fun. Like winning the lottery. I spend the millions in Powerball every week. But I don't buy a ticket. What would I do with millions of dollars? Buy the stuff I need, make sure Monster has enough for college and give the rest of it away. I wasn't raised to be idle.

I write for a living, and I love my job. I can't see myself ever retiring. And with every job I've ever had, I gave it 110%. Including this one. Every time I sit down at the computer I give it everything I can. No, I don't write every day. I can't. But during the days I do, or the hours that I can, I'm in it until I know I've given 110%. Until I'm satisfied with the outcome. Until I can honestly say, "Job well done."

Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing your self to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.

Mary Lou Retton

Extra Lesson 

Social media doesn't sell books. I don't care what anyone says. The only thing that sells books is still word of mouth and a damn good book.

Tell me -- Have you any lessons you want to add? Share them in the comments.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

My New Characters

I've been working ferociously on the new detective series (one story finished, two more started). It's been grueling because I'd like to get all of them written before the summer ends. Yeah, I'm a little crazy that way. (I also need to work on the new Regency series, but the new characters won't leave me alone.)

Anyway, I needed a break and decided to get some images for my characters. I'm a "visual" writer, meaning I can't write a character unless I have a picture of them in my head, and in my hard drive. I had several people in mind for the characters, but then I found two that are spot on.

Ed Harris
Meet Detective-Lieutenant Thomas Locke. He's tough, tender, has a loving relationship with his parents, has no baggage (except an old dog), and is polite, smart, funny, and sympathetic to the plight of the heroine's past issues. He's like the perfect man. Almost. He does have a few flaws, most notably his distaste for dressing in anything other than Levis and flannel shirts, and a propensity for making of fun of people who don't.

Dyan Cannon
And his sidekick, Mallory Pope. She's a stoner, hippie, has-been, who used to be a famous astrologer and psychic. She has a devastating past and severe physical limitations, which only lends to the anxiety Thomas has in working with her. He does like her, and she likes him, which leads to them both acting like they're 14 years old. It's kind of funny.

I'm having a blast writing this series, mostly because I get to go "home" again. I Google map Rhode Island and hit "street view" so I can get the feel of the place. I'm totally homesick these days because it's July and I'm not at the beach. I have some money saved up (for Monster's tuition) and it's eating at me because I could just as easily spend it on plane tickets and hotel/car reservations. What to do, what to do...

The beach where I used to live. 

Tell me -- Are you a "visual" writer? Do you have pictures of the people you want your characters to be? Do you wish you could go home again?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Writing Out of My Preferred Genre

So, I finished writing the detective story last Friday morning. I re-read it (countless times) edited, revised, re-wrote, and finally put The End on it. Actually, I wrote the end on it Wednesday, but I didn't like and tore it all apart on Thursday. Put it all back together on Friday. Called it done.

Don't get me wrong, I still have another round of edits (and probably ten more), but it's readable and I believe the story's tight. I also have to take a look at the structure. Some places it drags and don't you just hate that. But I have to say, after writing this book, I want to immediately start writing another one.

You know why, I'm having so much fun building these characters I don't want to stop. And I came to a major realization the other day.

I have absolutely no expectations of this story. 

I feel the same as I do when I finished THE LADY'S MASQUERADE. I had no idea what to expect, but I finished what I started. I wrote a detective story of 34K words. And I think it's pretty good.

I don't have a clue who my target audience is. I'm also having trouble with my keywords and BISAC category. Is it a thriller? Suspense? Murder? Police Procedural? Detective? Mystery?

I've been giving a lot of thought to options about this story, Should I query it? Should I submit it in a contest? Should I self-publish? Should I promote? Under which name should I publish? Should I get a new pen name? How much time do I want to invest in a "big" project? Is it worth it to continue writing in this genre, with these characters? (As well as the new Regency series = 2 big projects.)

Or do I not publish at all, put it in my drawer and hide it away.

I've given that some very serious consideration. Would you like to know why?

Because everything I write has been judged. People have expectations. Readers become fans if you do it right. Those fans have expectations of my writing.

If I publish under another pen name, who's going to know it's me? You won't if I don't tell you.

I can hear Anne R. Allen screaming at me from across the states. I don't need another pen name. I already have two. However, Anne, you said it yourself, unless you're writing in disparate genres, you don't need a pen name. And well, I am writing in three disparate genres now.

I'm too stupid to know I don't know what I'm doing. 

But here's the thing...I've been writing and publishing (formatting, marketing, editing, proofreading, revising, and watching the industry change and evolve) over the last six or seven years. I know EXACTLY what I'm doing. Kind of.

Whatever ideas I may have about publishing these stories, I won't know if they'll work, unless I try. Right?

If I do decide to publish any of the detective stories, it won't be for a long while yet. I'm enjoying the high from knowing I started and finished something. (I also painted my office in between the time I began and finished the story -- pics coming soon. June 1 - June 25. I think total writing days equaled 17.)

The only thing I do know for certain, is that I like the story. And I want to write more of them.

Stay tuned!


And yes, I changed the blog back to a more beachy feel. And also the name of it. SEO is what it is.


I hope you all have a safe and non-explosive 4th of July.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Uploading/Publishing to Google Play

I dropped this post in on a Saturday instead of waiting until Monday. And yes, I changed the title, and background in the header. I just can't stand not being on the water. More to come at a later date.


Yes, I finally figured out how to upload to Google Play. And let me tell you right now, if you're thinking about it, don't bother.

1. The dashboard/interface is an absolute NIGHTMARE. It is NOT user friendly at all.

2. You have to change the titles of all your files, but you can't do that until they give you the GG Key. Stupid. (I should say, that if you want to upload your series they give you a template, which then you can use the GGkey for. However, the template didn't work and I got confused as to what I was uploading, so I had to scrap that idea -- and then had to upload each title individually, which I didn't use the GG key for. It was such a pain in the ass, I only uploaded 3 books.)

3. I can't even tell you how hard it was to set up the banking account page. And then to actually have each book correspond to my bank. And then, to set up the book so that all the different countries' money will flow into that account. (Which, incidentally, you need to "refresh" otherwise you may get paid a lower denomination. Money fluctuates in the world as we all know, but YOU need to manually "refresh" your account instead of Google automatically doing it for you.)

4. I cannot seem to get their excel spreadsheet to work on ANY of my computers. I even have a Google Chromebook.

5. Your epub has to be PERFECT, which, on every other platform mine are. Except for this one. It kept telling me it was in error. I sent mine to a friend who checked it out for me. He said it was perfect, shouldn't have a problem. It still did. Finally, after repeated emails to Google, they said it was because my ORIGINAL WORD document was written on Word 2003, it wouldn't format correctly. What? Yeah. (I have no problem uploading original Word docs to Amazon or Smashwords.)

6. And the kicker to all of this -- My books are priced at $3.99 across all platforms. Google decided to discount the price to $3.03. And of course when the Amazon bots found out, they lowered their price. (So I'm earning less on Amazon.) And Google only pays 58% in royalties.(Which is only 2% less than what B&N pays @ 60%, but somehow just seeing that 58% makes me FEEL like it's so much less.)

So, there you have it. I've been published there for 5 months now and have still not sold a single copy even though I have embedded metadata in my files for the Search Engine Optimization that everyone talks about.

I've heard that Draft2Digital and Smashwords, and one other aggregate are trying to get Google Play into their fold, but I haven't seen anything in stone yet. And, from what I read a few weeks ago, Google Play stopped allowing new authors to upload. I can't remember why. (Probably because no one could figure out how to do it and crashed their stupid system. No, that's not the reason.)

The talk for the last year or so has been getting into foreign markets. Three quarters of the world speaks English, and we need to be seen. So far, the only major player is Google. Amazon has a few countries, but have problems in one form or another. However, Google is Android, and it seems the people who look at this stuff seem to think that these billions of English speaking people read books on their phones. Well, obviously no one wants to read mine. And yes, I do realize that I write Regency romance, and it's a niche market, but if I can sell books in Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and India through various other aggregates, then why can't I sell books on Google Play? They must have found my books by searching for it. What is the largest search engine in the world? Uh, that would be Google. So why haven't I sold any books through them? (And no, this isn't sour grapes, it's just utter, blinding confusion.)

The whole Google Play experience was a nightmare, and the frustration wasn't worth it to get into English speaking foreign markets. Perhaps if I had sold a couple of books, but so far the till is empty. And with Amazon cutting my price because of them, I'm  not really sure if it's worth it to stay.

My advice to you -- wait until one of the other aggregates gets them in their corral and upload through them. In my opinion, Google Play isn't worth all the hype.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Writing is Hard "Work"

Good Morning. I've been thinking about my five year plan. I touched on it with this post in January. The Year of the Popcorn Kittens. Writing the Regency series took a lot out of me, in more ways than I ever thought. During my last blog break between March and June my brain just shut down. I didn't want to write anymore. Seriously, I thought about giving it all up. Actually, I just wanted to sleep until I decided to get up again.

However, writing is my JOB. I am (for the most part) an historical romance novelist. That's what I do to make money. Yet, after pushing out so many Regencies, (7 novels and 6 novellas in 4 years) I just didn't want to write another word. But as self-published authors, we're taught to write, write, write. To get it out, publish, rinse and repeat.

not all the books are here

What I had forgotten during the last two years, and what my blog break showed me was how much FUN I used to have while writing.  I always have five or six different WiP sitting on my hard drive. (If one gives me fits, I just go to the next.)

However, the guilt I felt for wanting to abandon my chosen genre was eating at me like a cancer. How could I disappoint my readers if I didn't churn out another series when I said I would write it? Would I lose my fan base? I had found success by publishing every four months or so. Would they wait for the next book? (To make a success of a series, readers don't LIKE to wait. They want to read them all from beginning to end. Write, write, write, publish, publish, publish.)

However, what I found when I sat down to write the next series was that I had no new ideas. I have six heroines I have to find plots for, and I had already pretty much done them all. Mistaken identity, brutish hero, war hero, lies, spies and country bumpkins and long-suffering women who waited for their man to come up to snuff. I had nothing left. And I couldn't bear to do any more research. (The timeline for the new series is set 5 years before the last one. Different wars, different people, different politics.)

So I said f*ck it. Yes, I did. I had written 5 chapters for the new Regency series first book and I stopped.

And let me tell you what a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Writing this detective novel has been like a breath of fresh air. New characters, minimal research, contemporary language. I feel as if I've been reborn. (Could I have any more cliches in that paragraph?)

Like that rhyme we used to sing at the end of the school year -- No more teachers, no more books, no more bully's dirty looks. Well my rhyme is now -- No more Dukes, no more Viscounts, I can write whatever I feel like. Yes, I know it doesn't rhyme, but I never said I was a poet. lol

I'm writing for FUN again and it feels so good. I don't feel guilty. I don't feel like I'm driven to the brink of madness doing research. I don't feel as if I'm wasting my time writing other things when I should be "WORKING".

And this, my friends, is the most important lesson I learned --

No matter WHAT I write, that means I AM working. 

Tell me -- Do you write for fun? Or are you writing as a job? Do you ever feel guilty if you write out of your chosen genre?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

I'm Back -- Kind Of

Well, it's been awhile. I got through my mid-life crisis intact. I guess. I'm not sure if that's what it was or not, but life has settled down and I'm feeling much better.

I cleaned my house, or at least straightend out the mess that was my dining room. Here are a few pics to show you the before and after...

the original dining room

note the bannister and the rug

the upper room is now my reading nook
front door entrance and new dining room

note the bannister is gone

the cabinet where I keep my treasures

the other side of the front door entrance

This is what it looks like now because I've started writing again

Yes, I've started writing again. I mean, I can't not write. It's encoded into my DNA. Life just threw me a bunch of curveballs in March and it took me until now to hit them out of the park. Now that I've straightened those out, I'm back to the grind.

I think part of the problem was that I wanted to write other projects and ditch the Regency stuff. It took me awhile to realize I could actually do both. I mean I wrote REMEMBERING YOU at the same time I wrote THE LADY'S FATE. It's all about scheduling and sticking to it.

So that's what I'm doing. Sort of. I'm still not sure about this blog. I hate to give it up completely, this is where my friends are. But I've noticed more and more of them are also giving up their blogs to devote more time to family and writing.

It's hard to keep it up after so many years. With so many other social media avenues to travel on, why keep on blogging. It's not like any one is here anymore anyway. However, on the off chance someone is, I'd like to keep in touch.

So I guess here I am. I'm thinking I'll post updates about once a month. Although, I tried that before and eventually that fell away too.

I do have the other blog, Anne Gallagher Writer but that's mostly for my readers. Although, if you want to stop by and say hey over there, I won't ignore you.

And if I don't see you, have a great summer!

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015