WIP Progress, Books, and Something Weird by Mae Clair

It’s the start of a new week, and I’m happy to say I had a productive weekend. Which is a good thing as I’m starting to feel the pressure of a looming deadline. I’ve got two months until the contract deadline for my current WIP, A COLD TOMORROW.

An open tablet, pen, and a pair of glassesI’ve never written on proposal before. In the past, I always had a complete manuscript which I sent to my publisher for acceptance. When I started my POINT PLEASANT SERIES, I submitted book one, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS. Books two and three were just vague ideas at that point. When the series was accepted, I suddenly had deadlines to produce both of those books. Do you know how hard it is to write a blurb and a synopsis of a book that is only a germ of an idea in your head?

Needless to say, the whole thing has been a challenge. I’m now writing on PROPOSAL instead of a completed manuscript, and I have concrete deadlines. I’ve been way behind with book two of the series, A COLD TOMORROW, but this weekend I put my nose to the grindstone and added 8200 words. Can we say jazzed? If I can keep up a similar word count for the next few weeks, I’ll finish the novel, then have a whole month of editing before having to submit the completed manuscript.

TOMORROW is a suspense/mystery just like the first book in the series, but it’s turning out to have a strong speculative/science fiction slant, which is something new for me. I’m enjoying hitting that angle, and most especially, feeling like I’ve stepped up to the plate with building suspense throughout the story. YESTERYEARS is a strong tale, but I feel like I’ve crossed a line I’ve been flirting with for a long time through TOMORROW. It’s even more exciting because the stuff I’m writing about has a basis in fact or folklore. Cross your fingers and wish me luck on my goals.

Book cover, Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper by J.L.BryanAside from writing, I’ve discovered a very cool new series that has cemented my reading attention. I strongly believe Stephen King’s philosophy that if you’re going to be a writer, you have to spend a great deal of time reading. I’m one of those people who devour books, one immediately after another. Currently, I’m engrossed in my ninth title of the year, the fourth book in the Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper series. I picked the first book up as a free read several months ago (it’s still free, so go grab it), and found it interesting. I won’t say it was over-the-top-stellar (I gave it a four-star review), but the characters were intriguing and the plot was interesting enough that months later I sought out book two. Since then each has gotten progressively better, and I’m already adding other books by author, J.L. Bryan to my Kindle library. If you like mystery, detective fiction, and the paranormal blended into one, I highly recommend the series.

Finally, something weird has been happening over the last few days. As many of you know, I have a newsletter. I normally get a handful of new sign-ups a month but over the last few days I’ve gotten four to five each day. The names are all women, first names only with email addresses. Names like Loretta, Carrie and Margarita. I’d love to think they’re all legit, but when I normally only get a handful a month and suddenly I’m getting that many in one day, I’m suspicious. And what are the odds that they’d all only give me their first name?

I don’t know if some “club” has suddenly discovered me or if a bot has found my sign-up form. I’m torn on whether I should add the names to my mailing list or not. Any opinions?

In any event, here’s wishing all of you productive writing (and reading) time, Cross your fingers that I can finish A COLD TOMORROW by the end of February. I’ve made it my new goal!

28 thoughts on “WIP Progress, Books, and Something Weird by Mae Clair

    • I’m thinking it’s a bot. I’m using the WP form, so I don’t have it set for a confirmation, which I might have to find a work-around.
      And thanks for the kudos on the word count. I really needed to pump it up!

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  1. Fingers crossed! Yes, I’d add the names to your mailing list, and then watch to see what they do…if they interact, or if they spam you. You can always delete them, but if they’re real readers, I wouldn’t want to take the chance of dismissing them. Just my two-cents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hate to open myself up to spam, but you’re right. I really would hate to miss out on real readers.It’s just really strange. If it is a bot, you think it would stop hitting the form since it hasn’t gotten any response. Good point though, Sue!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Sue on the email thing. I’d be so excited to get subscribers to my list, I’d definitely add them. You can always delete and/or block them if it doesn’t work out.

    As for your WIP… 8200 words is impressive. Good job! I know you’ll make the deadline, and I can’t wait to read it when you’re done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I hadn’t thought about blocking if it does turn out to be bot-manufactured. Good point. I’ll probably go ahead and do the add. I certainly don’t want to discourage potential readers!

      Thanks for the thumbs up on the word count, too. Meeting this deadline has me really nervous, but it’s doable. And my production over the weekend proves that! 🙂

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  3. I’d add them. It could be a scam to have you respond, but what’s the worst that could happen? A scammer learns about your book and gets on your mailing list, they already have your email address. I hope you stay jazzed. The thing I fear most about a book deal is being expected to meet someone else’s time line. I worked nursing well under pressure, but it was a different sort of pressure. I don’t write well under pressure. Good luck and I know you can do this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Susan. I really appreciate those words of encouragement. I don’t know if I’ll ever make a commitment like this again, but I know if I’d walked away from it I would have been left wondering what might have been!

      And, yeah, I’m going to add the names. Hopefully, some of my social media efforts are paying off and they’re all new fans! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Way to go on the 8200 words! I sweated my last deadline, and it’s no fun. I hope the words flow for you every weekend. I don’t have a brilliant opinion about your newsletter. Could the names be from book clubs? That would be awesome. Good luck on that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post raised several ideas/problems.
    First I am not sure about including those names on the list. It happened to me, too, on twiter, with an avalanche(200) of followers in 3 days. Checking the followers, I realized they were people I never wanted to have on my list, so I muted and blocked them. And so many bad things happen to emails. If you have another email to be sure you won’t lose contact with your publishers/editors than try it. Otherwise…be cautious.

    Yes the master of horror gives this piece of advice that you follow – “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

    Regarding the deadline…. I never had one but I’m not sure if this is a good thing, if you think how unbelievable long it takes for Dracula’s Mistress to be finished. But…. But it seems that the stress helped you achieve the awesome number of words. There’s a theory that says that when you’re faced with a host of demands and thought-streams, the Medici Effect can kick in. This term belongs to the psychologist Frans Johansson to explain his theory that creative thinking is triggered by the collision of unrelated ideas.

    Have a nice week, full of inspiration and speedy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very cool theory. I do think being under pressure to produce has made me more focused. Plus, I’m one of those people who hates backing down from a challenge–and writing this book has definitely proved challenging.

      Won’t you have editing deadlines with Till Life Do Us Part? I’m hoping to see details of everything soon on your blog.

      And thanks for the word of caution on the followers. I think if it’s a bot, I’ll probably get hit with a whole lot more over the next few days. If the activity seems suspicious, I can always check with the Happiness Engineers at WP!

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  6. Looking so forward to your series and I don’t have any doubt but that you’ll reach that deadline! As far as your suspicious names? Spam seems to be everywhere and who knows…BUT you’re such a talented writer that I wouldn’t be surprised over the increase!

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    • Aww, thanks for that, Debbie, Turns out they were spammers, so I deleted them. Oy! I wish these people would get a life.
      And I’m glad to hear you’re excited about the series. I really love this one. The characters are so different than any I’ve created in the past. The way they’re in my head and commanding my attention, I should have no problem meeting that word count, LOL!

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  7. I’m so excited about all your projects! You know I have to read everything you write!

    I like J.L. Bryan, too. I met him a long time ago online, and I’ve read several of his books. I haven’t read any in this series, though.

    I think most email subscriptions only ask for a first name. But I got several sign-ups recently, too, and other authors have said the same thing. So some of them might not be legit.

    Good luck with your deadline!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LauraLynn, you are so right about the sign-ups. They turned out to be spam, so it definitely pays to be cautious. And how cool that you met J.L. Bryan! I’m really enjoying this series and picked up another (unrelated) book by him.

      Thanks for your well wishes and your continued enthusiasm for my books. I really appreciate how much you like them! 🙂

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  8. Oh wow, Mae. Over 8K this weekend????I’m doing the wave in your honor:)
    About the mailing list: That is rather odd. My question, would it hurt anything to put them on your mailing list in case they are legit? Maybe they’ve started a Mae Clair Fan Club. Let me know and I’ll sign up:)
    I’m so proud of you. You are doing so well.
    Love the G T cover. And I’ll go sign up for the freebie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the wave, Sandra 🙂
      Turns out my “fan club” ended up being spam bots. The nerve! LOL!
      I guess I’ll just keep building things steadily, the way I’m going now.
      Oh, and I think you’ll like GT. It’s a fun, spooky series!

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  9. Pingback: Invasion of the Spam Bots by Mae Clair | From the Pen of Mae Clair

  10. Wow, great writing, Mae! Keep it up! I don’t have a contract deadline (boo) but I still have a self-imposed deadline for my WIP. Not sure I can match your 8200, though–awesome job! Take a breather, have some chocolate, then back at it. You go, girl!

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    • Mr, E really came through for me over the weekend (thanks for telling your muse no pub crawls). Self-imposed deadlines can be just as demanding, too. I’ve set a number of those up related to promo. I’m going to be back at the WIP again this weekend. Hopefully, Mr. E and I can duplicate what we did last weekend. Thanks for cheering us on!

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  11. I so admire your work ethic. It’s like being under the gun when you have a schedule of titles to turn out. Great weekend word count! The wip sounds so interesting, and I’m glad you are pushing into new territory that is exciting for you. Bummer on the bots, if that’s what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Turns out they were bots 😦 but I’m still super excited about that word count. Thanks for cheering me on. Crossing my fingers I can come close to duplicating it this weekend!

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