Thursday, December 01, 2016

Planning for 2017

I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the reception of these 3 books. Totally.


2016 is/was my year of discovery. At the end of the year, I'm sorting what works for me, leaving what didn't work and what I hope will work.

I am not afraid to admit Planners have intimidated me. I’m looking at this as a journey to try and to learn how to plan business/life better.

The Problem is where to start and what will work for me. I did try electronic organizers, but also found that sometimes I like to detach and sit quietly, pen to paper. I have checked out how other writers plan and decided this is a very independent choice, according to the person, what they like to do and how they work. But hopefully you'll find some ideas in the following, which I am amid developing my own now and some are thoughts/theories. If you have any thoughts/tips, please add them to the comments?

I’m taking December to get organized on about everything, including planning next year as best I can. I’ve already decided on a series title and mulling details now. I plan for either 2 or 3 new books. (We’ll see, because life does interfere, you know.) In my current lifestyle, that may be possible because I have written 5 category and 1 large book in the same year—but not doing that again. I met myself coming and going in copyedits, covers, final proofing, etc.

Essential Supplies:
1.) Recommended: Create your own with a midsize three-ring notebook, purchase divider tabs. You can get these for around three or four dollars, with front and back pockets, which are handy. I use these for several purposes, including home stuff/handymen, warranties, etc. I also have another that is really a workbook of notes, applying to Facebook, Blog ideas, ads, etc. Some story notes. That is my BABY.
2.) Or: buy a premade one with lots of room to write. You can get lots of stickers to go in it, to make it fun, or Post-it notes. I use a lot of Post-Its, including the small retangulars, i.e. bright yellow for special alert tabs.
3.) Use online tools, or an electronic organizer. (I use my electronic calendar for this, a mobile/travel issue.) I use a bunch of electronic note keeping stuff on whatever and Mac’s Notes feature is great.

Do the basics:
  • highlight the holidays, mark birthdays, vacations, conferences, appearances, etc. (!One of my new LIFE/PERSONAL rules is I am not on Social Media during holidays or days that are special to me.)
  • I am marking off the whole week at the end of the year. That is my private time to consider old friends, call them, etc. Stay at home, burn candles, think, read, do cards, generally calm myself.
  • Mark any yearly checkups, i.e. home/personal/health
  • If you blog regularly or send a NEWSLETTER regularly, mark in those dates. If you do newsletters, you already know you’ll need a Christmas letter, right?

That’s the easy stuff. Now to the hard stuff and it’s going to be “organic”, growing as you go.

  • *****Make a list of the things you want to accomplish, i.e. my 2 or 3 books and potential pub dates. Barring disasters, and I’ve had them, I know about what I can write in what period of time. I do not believe in setting limits per day, but some do. Keep this list growing and working throughout.
  • As for each individual book, I know where I have to be at midpoint and that should be midpoint on the calendar, too.
  • Now. From those potential pub dates, work backward 2 months. Some people do more, but to me, right now, that works. At that point, or before, make certain a cover idea is pretty well formed, the cover artist informed, or the stockphotos lined up. Try to give all concerned in your work, i.e. an editor, cover designer, etc.  as much time as possible. Allow them time, so you will have time to input at the end of the line. Line up ads.
  • Consider more newsletters, postings when a new book is launched.
  • Review website to include new book, etc. I’m rebuilding a website now, no easy task and hopefully it will be done this month.
  • Refer to that base list every 3 months OR sooner. I’m a list maker, so I keep them for everything.
On that **** list, I know that several covers have to be redone and some new ones considered, Facebook and Twitter ads created, etc. I am going to block time for that. If I can, I'm going to schedule more blog, Twitter, and Facebook posts. BTW, have you liked my Facebook Author Page?


That’s it, so far. This is my very first attempt at planning/organizing promotions/launch dates, etc. I’m working this December to finish some projects and be ready for 2017, one of which is that website-in-development now. I'm hoping to get The Bride's Basket into paper print, a short story up, or maybe more, because I have a lot of writing not up and out, including children's books that need graphics, etc.

I can only try. Stuff comes up, you know.

How about you?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Feedback from Reviews

Now for a limited time: 99 cents!

I'm tremendously happy with the reviews for all 3 books. Very interesting feedback.

I waited to write this series, a far cry from my other work and just something I had to try. So pleased right now.

The feedback from the reviews was unexpected and really delighted me--because they got the books, the message of the series. Reflecting in the author's POV, I just wrote the stories that were in me. But these 3 books are woven together and I suppose "Different" as was noted in some of the reviews:

  • DIFFERENT. EMOTIONAL. Those are at least two of the words that I would use to describe this book. "Intense" at times would probably also be another good way to try to describe it. Some of that intensity comes from the life that Nora has survived since her birth…
  • This story is a keeper for me and I know I will probably read it again some time in the future.
  • A very deep but interesting story. I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend it to anyone who likes an in-depth story.
  • This book is a wonderfully written story about life coming full circle, healing broken hearts and learning to love with all that is in you. Even when you didn't know it was there.
  • I loved this book and the characters and storyline came to life off the pages. Sweet, gentle, loving story of people loving on others.

I could almost hug each kind reviewer, who so thoughtfully took their time to read and enjoy. Thank you so much!:




Friday, November 11, 2016

The Emotional Writer


He's waited for her...
#NewRelease Bk 3 The Bride's Basket @Cait London
Bk 1 The Basket Maker's Wife .99
Bk 2 The Egg Basket Reduced 2.99
>>How it feels to complete a series you've always wanted to write:

I have just completed one of the most interesting and difficult learning experiences of my long-term career.

With the completion of all three books, The Basket Maker's Wife/The Egg Basket/The Bride's Basket, the first in the basket series, I am grateful for the journey. I am also grateful for the outstanding reviews given to the books. Readers have really responded to all three books.

These books were unusual for me, not suspense, not contemporary romance alone, but relationships within a family, and within three women, who formed a family. To develop those three women, I used of Celtic structure of the maiden, the mother, the crone. I have waited to write the books. They are filled with emotion, hardship, and readers are responding with words like "healing", "heart-warming". Some of the reviews are very emotional, and encouraging. While I am grateful, for these reviews, they were unexpected and most welcome.

The Basket Maker's Wife was already written and waiting, by the time I wrote the two new books this year, The Egg Basket and The Bride's Basket. Each book is quite long by some standards, and my life running parallel to the writing of those two books was very emotional and complex. I think that came out in each book. The wonderful asset about being a writer is: When you can't change real life, you can create a fictional one that pleases you, and your stories also give you a safe place to go to recover from real life. Each book is very different in style and content from all the other books in my career.

I contributed heavily to the design of the covers. It helps to be an artist, but the designer of all three covers,, is terrific to work with.  I did have a wonderful  "family" of writers around me through this 3-book passage. Always ready to help, writers like Jackie Weger, Donna Fasano, CurtissAnn Matlock, and many others answered my marketing questions. Plus, I have a wonderful proofer and friend, who is a heavy reader and always ready to comment on my stories.

While I have written ahead on this series, and outlined a book (that is not coming out anytime soon) and written some short stories around the characters, I am also looking at other series. It's important for me to settle into a story and into a series, prior to beginning.

The response to these wonderful reviews was one thing, but there were other experiences too. I learned so much about new marketing techniques, one of which is to build a larger email list. I hope to share these experiences with writers groups, if they are interested. Currently, I am building a new website, but during the past few years I have had to rely on a blog, to keep things simple and fast. I hope to someday create a series of how to write fiction from posts within that blog.


I have much unpublished work right now, and am hoping to get the books and short stories published. Frankly, I am missing romantic suspense. In my career, I've written across most of romance's subgenres, with the exception of sci-fi and fantasy.

Today, I am thankful for many experiences, particularly with this basket series. So many writer friends helped me with suggestions for different bumps along this new publishing/marketing road. And that is how it feels to finish and publish a very different (for me) three-book series. I just wrote the stories within me.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Release: The Bride's Basket

The Bride's Basket (Book 3) is now out! You can find links to all 3 at the FREE PAGE, because for a limited time, The Basket Maker's Wife is free.

Isn't she gorgeous? The baskets on these book covers are my own. Thank you, designer for all 3 gorgeous covers.


Here's the back blurb from The Bride's Basket:

Time was running out for Nora Elliott. Fear rides her every moment. She must complete the first circle, before the new one begins and the two circles can join…. She must believe….
Dan, the man who loves and waits, dreams of Nora carrying her bride’s basket to him. How much longer will he wait? Uniquely bound to two women, each strengthening her, and with Dan’s love, Nora should be happy. Yet pieces of Nora’s heart drift just outside her desperate grasp: one son who hates her and another son is missing.

Nora lifts a ribbon to the midnight wind, beckoning her missing sons: Blood of my blood, come to me. One son heeds her call; he comes full circle to help her—back to the small Ozarks town and those he’s wronged. Another son is out there somewhere and she aches for him. To marry Dan, her heart must be whole. She must complete the circle. She must believe…
Here's what Andrea, a reviewer has to say:

"This is a story of Nora. It is also a type of dance. Woven into it are tears, release, gathering, weakness, strength and hope. Metaphors abound throughout. It is a book that will make you laugh and cry...sometimes at the same time. It is lush in a fairly spartan way, wistful and active, smoothing and resetting within and without. London has written a lyrical story you'll return to again. I highly recommend this work."
From Cait:
I waited to write these books and am thrilled by the reception of all three. I hope you like them, too. Please sign up for my enewsletter as you'll see more about me, my books, and plenty of giveaways! CLICK HERE!