A few weeks ago, I bought a kobo e-reader because my favorite Borders store was going out of business (sad face) and the kobos were discounted. I’d always assumed I’d get a nook because the ability to check books out of the library was a major sticking point for me. You can’t do that with a Kindle. Nook has more of the market share than Kobo, but you know me. I can’t pass up a good deal.
I also liked that the kobo had one hundred classics preloaded onto the device. The books are in the public domain, so I can get them free anyway, but I’m lazy. I’m all about less work for Jamie. A few of my favorites, like Anne of Green Gables, were included, along with some I’ve always meant to read, but never got around to like Pride and Prejudice.
But that’s not really the point of this post.
The point is to talk about how much I love the Internet and how it kept me from throwing the kobo across the room after I bought it.
So. I plug the kobo into the computer and it starts charging right away. Great. But I can tell that the computer isn’t recognizing the e-reader. There’s a nifty starter’s guide that tells me what to do when the computer recognizes the kobo, but nothing on how to get the computer to recognize it. I unplug it and plug it back in. Still charging, but no recognition.
Sigh. Off to the Interwebs I go. I type in “computer not recognizing Kobo.” Turns out I’m not the only one to experience this problem. The fix was really quite simple. Apparently, I’m just supposed to know that I have to press “Manage library” on the device’s screen to get the computer to recognize the Kobo.
Alrighty then. It would have been nice for them to include this in the instructions, but whatever.
I do that and all is right with the world. The included instructions now actually work and the Borders app is downloaded onto my computer.
Next step: library usage. After a little drama with getting my library card renewed (why can’t things ever be simple?), I go to the city’s library website and follow the instructions to download Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). When I do this and set up my ADE account, ADE is supposed to recognize the kobo and I have to log on to kobo through ADE, so they’re linked to the same account. Or something like that. I notice there are no instructions on how to do this on the library website or on the kobo website (even though they both say this is an important step), but I’m determined. No machine is going to beat me!
Anywho, I downloaded a book from the library. Very easy. My automatically kobo shows up in ADE. I find that a little strange, but I tell myself, “Maybe it’s not that hard. Everything doesn’t have to be hard.” I drag the book to the kobo symbol in ADE like the instructions say. “That’s it?,” I think to myself.
I turn on the kobo, which recognizes the book. I select the book and it starts to open it. But wait, what’s that? “The contents you are trying to view are blocked.”
What the frickety frack?!
I knew it was too good to be true.
I try to copy the book to the kobo again, but no luck.
I know it has something to do with ADE and the kobo not being linked to the same account, but I was never given the option to link them to the same account. ADE automatically recognized the ereader when I opened the program.
Double sigh. Off to the Interwebs I go again. I type in “kobo locked.” Turns out I’m not the only one to experience this problem. One person suggested checking the settings on the device to make sure the date and time were correct. I check and sure enough the date is wrong. That’ll fix it, right? Wrong. Still locked. The next person suggested restoring the kobo’s factory defaults, syncing it through the Borders app, and then opening ADE.
I did this and voila, what does ADE do? It asks if I want to link my kobo to the ADE account. Why yes, yes I do.
I’m feeling good now. I copy the book to the kobo, unplug the ereader, and try to open the book. And it works!
The Internet saved a kobo’s life. It deserves a medal.
P. S. Despite the setup troubles, I really like the kobo. It’s so light and thin. I have a small, but junky purse. The ereader slid right on in with no problems unlike books. Also, reading on it is easy and so is navigating the device.
I'm not ready to abandon print books, but I do think the kobo is a nice companion to the print books.
Because Mondays suck in general, I thought I’d take the time to announce that I’m now officially a writer. I got my first rejection letter in the mail last week. Sigh.
No, I didn’t cry. My heart sank, I moped, stuffed a few Oreos in my mouth, sent out some emails so I could be reassured I didn’t suck, ate a few more Oreos, then moped some more.
Why was the story rejected? To make a long story short, the editor didn’t like the hero’s backstory (he competed on a reality dating show) and felt readers wouldn’t buy him as a heroic character.
To be perfectly honest, I was flabbergasted when she first told me this. By no means do I think I'm a perfect writer. I can point out the flaws in my writing and the story with little to no help from anyone else. I know this manuscript isn’t perfect. But this flaw is something I never considered. I conjured up this story idea years ago, and I’ve never once thought it was a bad idea.
I understand that it is very easy for reality show people to be unlikeable. Trust me, I’ve disliked plenty of them. But there are some contestants who I’ve absolutely adored, and I took some of their best qualities and imbued my hero with them. As they say, “He was there for the right reasons.” :)
No, I’m not saying the editor was wrong. She’s the editor of that line and knows and understands readers’ and the line’s expectations a whole lot better than I do. Obviously. LOL.
But I did learn a few lessons that will help me in the future.
1. Know the line/house you’re targeting inside and out. It’s one thing to read the line. It’s quite another to study it. The editor’s point (and I’m doing a little assuming here) is that the line promises readers’ a fantasy, especially when it comes to the hero.The reality show was a little too real because readers know that world. Everyone has heard of The Bachelor and probably has an opinion on it, whether or not they watch the show, and for many people it’s not positive. I’ve read the books from the line I'm targetting, but I haven’t studied them as critically as I should. That’s going to change.
2. Everything isn’t going to appeal to everyone. There are some topics that are going to push people’s buttons and often you won’t know until you get that rejection letter. Or, in my case as a reader, I put your book down and refuse to buy it. There’s a popular, contemporary romance writer who has a series out I have no intention of reading. I’ve read and enjoyed her books in the past, but I can’t get past the subject matter in this series. I know the author LOVES it because I follow her on Twitter, but I just can’t.
3. Love what you write, but be willing to take advice. I’m passionate about the subjects I’ve written about, and I hope that shines through. However, the editor made some valid points that I plan to incorporate into this manuscript and future ones. If you don't take the advice, know why and be able to articulate it. Being stubborn for the sake of being stubborn or thinking your writing is perfect isn't going to cut it.
Will this book ever get published? The better question is will any of my books get published? I don’t know, but I don’t intend to stop pursuing it any time soon.
I think this story still has merit. I’m letting the rejection marinate for a while and then I plan to reopen the document and perform some surgery and send it elsewhere. I might feel differently if it gets rejected by everybody in the publishing world, but for now I choose to remain positive about it and take the lessons I’ve learned to heart.
A few weeks ago, RWA announced this year’s nominees for the RITAS and the Golden Heart competition.
(Full disclosure: I entered GH, but didn’t make it to the finals. Since I had zero expectations of this happening, I wasn’t upset.)
Anyway, the RITA category I take the most interest in is the single title contemporary. As I might have mentioned before, contemporaries are my favorite romance subgenre. I wanted to see if I’d read any of the nominees. Plus, I’m always on the lookout for new (to me) names and the RITAS are a good place to start.
There were a couple on the list that I’ve read and enjoyed - Victoria Dahl’s Lead Me on and Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson (I basically worship the ground she walks on and have read all her books). I haven’t read Nora Roberts’ Happy Ever After, the fourth title in her wedding series. I’ve read the first (which I discussed before) and have no doubts that I’ll read the others at some point. She is La Nora, after all.
I haven’t read Susan Donovan and Jill Shalvis’ books, but I am familiar with their work.
The names I wasn’t familiar with were Molly Harper and Robin Wells, so I headed straight to Amazon. When I saw the cover for Wells’ book, the first thing to pop into my mind was, “I never would’ve picked this book up.”
I like to think I’m not shallow enough to only judge a book by its cover, but in reality I am. Covers do matter, and I most definitely have a preference.
I have no clue what the book is about (and haven’t read the blurb as to not taint this post), but the cover is kind of wholesome and evokes a dreamy home and hearth feeling from me. The muted colors and the woodsy background don’t appeal to me. I’m a city girl and spending time in the great outdoors really isn’t my thing.
Maybe the book is fast-paced and edgy and current and hilarious and sexy, i.e. the exact thing I love to read, but I don’t get that from the cover. If I saw it at Borders, my eyes would keep right on moving to the next title. It's pretty, but it doesn't "speak" to me.
Let’s contrast Wells’ cover to Dahl’s.
Love it. The colors are bright. The font is modern. It’s minimalist. It’s very modern. Granted, I’d read the first two books in the trilogy, so the cover wasn’t that important to me by the time I bought the third book.
But here’s the cover for the first book in the series, which did matter when I was in the bookstore. It’s sexy and sleek. Love it even more.
Cover design is a risk all publishers take. They want to evoke a certain feeling. They know everything isn’t going to appeal to everybody.
Maybe the perceived demographics for Dahl’s and Wells’ books don’t cross over. I suspect that Wells’ book takes place in the country/small town. Ironically, so does Dahl’s. The setting never once bothered me, but it is an interesting choice that Dahl’s publisher made by choosing not to highlight this aspect of the book.
I’m sure there are some people who haven’t read Dahl’s books because the very things that appeal to me turn them off.
It’s a gamble. I assume publishers have done all kinds of market research and know what does and doesn’t appeal to people and they know what they’re doing.
If I’m ever fortunate to get published, I’d like my covers to fall closer to the Dahl end of the spectrum than Wells.
Now with that said, I probably will read Robin Wells’ book because it’s RITA-nominated, so it has to be good. And I don’t like being shallow.
Are you affected by covers or do you give all (most) books a chance and at least read the back of the book blurb before you decide whether or not to purchase? What kind of covers do you like?
A few things to know about me...
1. I love concerts. If I love you as a musical artist, I want to see you live. In my mind, concerts are an interactive experience. I love singing along with the artist because I’m part of the band. (Don’t question the crazy, people). Plus, being around thousands of other people who share the same enthusiasm is such a rush.
Wanna know how much I love concerts? I’m cheap and am always on the lookout for a better deal. But not when it comes to concert tickets. They cost what they cost and I’m good with that.
2. My family loves music videos, so BET and Video Soul were constants in my household. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I grew up loving Michael and Janet Jackson.
My mom’s maiden name is Jackson, so we would always make jokes about how we were related to those Jacksons. I’ll never forget the time my cousin recorded Janet’s performance on an awards show on the VCR (lol) and memorized the choreography only to be devastated when my mom accidentally erased it. Oops.
These were major reasons I wanted to see Janet. Michael also played a role. When he died, I was happy to say that I’d seen him in concert. For no real reason that I can come up with it, I’d never seen Janet before, but I was determined to rectify that. Thanks to my amazing boss, I was able to secure tickets on the floor.
And I saw her Saturday night!
It was fantastic! The show wasn’t elaborate - just Janet, her backup dancer, singers and band. But that’s all we needed. The woman has had a TON of hits over her 25+ year career. One hit led to another to another to another. The whole audience (including me) sang and danced the entire time. The rush of energy from the audience when the opening notes for a song like “Control” or “Rhythm Nation” were played was amazing.
And she’s still got it at 44. I would’ve collapsed on the stage after the first verse of the first song, but she kept going for almost two hours.
Funny moments: During a break, she showed clips from her acting gigs from Good Times to For Colored Girls. As soon as the Good Times clip came on, I started yelling, “Not the iron. Run, Penny.” I haven’t seen that episode in Lord only knows how long, but I still remember.
In a quest to make sure I remembered all the song lyrics, I looked up the words to several songs, including “If.” Now I know why she mumbles the verses of that song. The second verse is all kinds of dirty. I called my BFF and was like, “They played that on the radio!”
The guy behind me kept yelling, “I love you, Janet” the entire time. He looked so crushed when she invited a girl sitting in the front row backstage after the concert.
Bonus: I actually managed to get a few decent photos. :)
So yeah, two thumbs up, five stars, three snaps in a circle and all that jazz for me.
Baby wasn't the only one surprised.
Let’s talk about it.
I don’t much care for it. I know this about myself.
This got driven home yet again Saturday afternoon. ABC Family aired Dirty Dancing, which only happens to be one of my two favorite movies. Because I like to torture myself, I settled down to see how long I could stand watching it before being forced to change the channel.
Dirty Dancing is one of the few movies I know like the back of my hand. Watching it on non-premium channels is torturous because of the edits. I’ll never forget the time I watched it on VH-1 and they cut off the scene where Baby sees Johnny for the first time BEFORE she saw him. I was done.
Anyway, I assumed ABC Family would be doing the same. Oh, little did I know. I’m watching the movie. All is well. Nothing has been cut. And then…Baby sees Johnny kissing some random woman before she runs into his cousin carrying the watermelons. What the hell?!
I thought I was losing my mind. I whipped out my DVD just to make sure I hadn’t forgotten a scene of a movie I’ve seen countless times before. No, my mental faculties were still intact. In the studio version of the movie, she’s walking along with no sign of Johnny and runs into his cousin and offers to carry the watermelon.
I was thrown for the rest of the movie waiting for the other little “surprises” ABC Family had in store with their Dirty Dancing, Special Edition as they were calling it. I’m sure they thought they were giving us an insider’s look at the movie. To that I say, “Boo! Hiss!”
I want the same ole, same ole.*
It takes me a long time to adapt to change. I like the familiar. It’s comfortable and I know what to expect. Like they sing in the first High School Musical, I like to stick to the status quo.
OK, for all those still reading who didn’t disown me for referencing High School Musical, I say thank you. Ahem.
This is not to say I can’t handle change. I just don’t like it. I’m better when I can prepare for it, like going from elementary to middle to high school to college. It’s strange, but inevitable. There’s no point in whining about it because it’s going to happen, but when it smacks me in the face with its unexpectedness, that’s when I have the most trouble. I much prefer change on my own schedule.
Let’s talk about Twitter, shall we? A few months ago, Twitter started teasing the #newtwitter. I actually kind of got excited. When I finally got it, I wasn’t pleased. Things weren’t where I was used to them. Furthermore, they still had some bugs to work out because I’d click on something, but nothing happened.
I took my butt right on back to #oldtwitter. I wasn’t ready for this change.
A few weeks ago, I decided to give #newtwitter a try. This time, I was ready to give it a fair shot. I’d accepted that #newtwitter probably wasn’t the enemy trying to ruin my life. I adapted much better this time around. There are a few things I still don’t love, but I’ll live.
But Dirty Dancing, Special Edition? I hope to never see that again in my lifetime.
What about you? Do you throw the door open and let change in at every knock or do you make sure the deadbolt is securely locked?
*The one funny thing is that Lisa, Baby’s sister, had a lot of lines that were cut from the final version. Oops for her.
I’m embarrassed about how long it’s been since I blogged, especially considering one of my New Year’s resolutions was to blog more regularly. But the way I figure it, I still have the majority of the year to get it together. Plus, the last month has been hectic. I became a homeowner for the first time, I became an officer in my local RWA chapter, and I was trying to Nano a book in January despite the fact that I kept freaking out because I didn’t know where the story was going. And I haven’t mentioned my two jobs.
Anyway...I needed to blog today because I want to say thank you to some people.
I won’t go into the details because they’re not important, but last week, I got some unfortunate writing news.
I tweeted something really dramatic about how a year had been lost. Trust me, it was way dramatic. lol. I’ve never thought of myself as being dramatic, but apparently, Twitter is where I go when I decide it’s a good time (and not only about writing stuff).
I realized this when I started getting tweets from people, including @beelie317, @maiseyyates, @JackieAshenden, and @Joanne_Coles asking if I was okay.
I want to thank them, @RoniLoren, @kailyhart, @JamiGold, @_ChristineBell, Irie Spice, Piper and all the other people at eharlequin.com’s message board thread Submission Care for reaching out to me.
Everyone immediately made me feel better, and I realized people do care. And that’s priceless.
As a writer, a lot of times I feel alone. Writing is mostly a solitary endeavor – just you and your computer. But writers really are the nicest people. In one sense, we’re competing with one another, but in another, we recognize and embrace the fact that we’re all in this together. We get each other and understand the highs and lows of being a writer and why we do it. Writing is fun and maddening and we love it. And we couldn’t do it without the support of other writers.
It’s a community I’m proud to be a member of.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart.
P.S. If I forgot anyone, I apologize. I’m mentioning names from memory, but please know that I read every Twitter reply and Subcare.
P.P.S. I would also be beyond remiss if I didn’t mention the editor who saw my story at eharlequin.com and alerted the Kimani senior editor, Kelli Martin, who reached out to me the next morning. Thank you so much to the both of them.
I am lazy. There, I said it. In fifth grade, I told a classmate that I waited till the last minute to do everything. My teacher overheard me and said I was a procrastinator. I said, “What’s that?” She told me to look it up in the dictionary. I did and nodded my head as I read the entry. Yep, that was me.
I am a procrastination pro. I can give lessons. However, as a wannabe published author, that “skill” isn’t going to get me very far. I know this, but still I struggle.
Last night, at work, I took the opportunity to work on my newest masterpiece (tee hee!). A co-worker asked what I was doing. Was I writing a book?
I told him yes, I’m working on a romance. He made the hilarious comment that I had to post on Twitter, but he also said something else. He said he’d like to write a screenplay, but he didn’t have the time. He is busy. In addition to our common place of employment, he has a full-time job, not to mention a husband and a million other things I don’t know about.
But his comment got me thinking. Where do I find the time? Yes, I’ve been procrastinating, but I’ve also been working on the masterpiece.
How? Seems I’ve hit on the right motivation. If I ever get contracted, I know my motivation will be deadlines and not wanting to look bad. But as an unpubbed author, I have no one looking over my shoulder asking when the book will be finished. It’s all on me, which isn’t good because I am the procrastination queen.
Don’t get me wrong. I love writing, but one of the hardest parts of the process, for me, is getting started. Why begin when I can do so many other things, like check Twitter or ESPN, which require so little effort on my part, and yet offer hours of entertainment? Once I get going, I’m fine. But to actually open a Word document, you’d think I was trying to complete some Herculean task like run a marathon (which I would NEVER EVER do) or do laundry before I’m out of clean towels.
So after hours of procrastination, I’ve been telling myself, “Just open the document. If you can do that, the words will come.” All I have to do is drag the mouse to the file and double click.
More importantly, I’m not putting pressure on myself to make a specific word count. Could I write more words if I spent less time wasting time? Of course, but I’m averaging about 1600 words per day, which puts me on track to have a first draft finished by the end of the month. I’m finding this works for me so much better than giving myself a specific daily word count goal. In the past, if it’s gotten late and I know I won’t get the daily goal in, I just won’t start.
This way, it’s about not the number of words, but the fact that I have words. And like I said, I know myself. Once I get going, I’m likely to continue and get more words in than I thought I would.
So far, so good.
What motivates you? Do you have a daily word count goal? Does guilt work like it does for me?
Today is a banner day for me. I’m starting a new manuscript – my third. First drafts are my favorite part of the writing process. It’s when I’m at my most creative and let the ideas flow freely. I have an idea of where I want the story to go, but I love getting that zing when an idea pops into my head that makes the story funnier or connects to another, previously unrelated plot point. I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, so it’s all great fun.
However, this new manuscript is different from my first two. The first two had been rolling around in my head for years. I think 2002 for the first one, Seducing Ms. Right, and 2003 for the second one, Second to None. They were stories straight from my heart. I got to write about football in the first and a The Bachelor-type show in the second. These are two things I know waaaayyy too much about. I knew for years what the central conflict in the stories would be (in part anyway).
This new manuscript idea only came to me in late 2010. I was trying to finish up Second to None, but this story kept poking at me. The title, Tell Me Something Good, came to me first. I think I heard the song on the radio and thought that would make a great book title. The “Tell” part stuck out to me and the first thing to pop into my head were radio personalities. Both my heroine and hero are talk show hosts, working for the same radio station. I know they don’t like each other. They each have not-so-nice (but funny) nicknames they’ve given each other that play off the other’s name. Tate and Noelle are going to be fun to write.
However…I don’t know much else. I’m pretty sure she says something that hacks him off and then hilarity will ensue. I kind of have glimpses of their personalities – she’s a little uptight, he’s the fun-loving flirt. I think anyway. I have an inkling of how the story ends – that idea popped into my head as I drove to work this morning – but other than that, I’m not sure.
Basically I’m entering unchartered waters. I know I want to figure out their motivations and goals before I dive too deep into the story. If I don’t, I’ll have problems. Been there, done that. With Second to None, I managed to write a complete first draft without fully understanding what drove Jeremiah, the hero. Not good. I don’t want to make that mistake with Tell Me.
I have a craft book on characters that I’m going to peruse and use to help shape their personalities and figure out how they complement each other. I’m also going to do basic background sketches, so I know their backstories and, by extension, their motivations.
I hope this helps me avoid some of the pitfalls from the first two books, even though I know there are others waiting for me if only because I’m still learning how to be a writer. I always will be.
But anyway…wish me luck in this endeavor.
What do you do to prepare to write a book? Detailed character studies and plot outlines? Or do you sit at your computer and let your fingers take over? Something in between?
2010 was pretty good for accomplishing my goals. I didn’t write them down, but from what I can recall, I did okay. I got a full-time job. I joined RWA National and the local chapter, North Texas RWA. I finished two books and submitted them.
I know there’s some stuff I didn’t do, but I didn’t write them down, so they don’t count, right? Ahem. This time, they will be in print for the whole world to see. And I’m excited about that.
1. Devote one hour every day to writing. No TV, no Internet. Just music and an open Word document. Right now, I’ll write for a bit and then feel an overriding need to check Twitter and it’s all downhill from there. I know if I can concentrate for 60 minutes per day, I’ll be able to get sooo much accomplished, such as…
2. Write two books targeted to Kimani Press Romance and one single-title. In 2010, I finished two Kimanis, but I want and need to up my output. I plan to Nano the first Kimani in January. I look at the single-title as a challenge. I’ve never written that many words before, and frankly, it scares me, which means I need to try it.
1. Join and actively participate in social media sites, Facebook and Goodreads. Do better at the sites I’m a member of, like Romance Divas, where I’m the best lurker ever. I do okay at Eharlequin and Twitter, but I can do better.
2. Attend the DFW Writers Conference and the RWA National Conference in New York. I had so much fun at the RWA Conference that I want to repeat the experience every year. Plus, there’s so much to learn.
3. Read the craft books I bought. Again, so much to learn. I’m committed to being a better writer.
4. Be more regular with the blogging. I’ll never be an everyday blogger, but I’d like to stick to the MWF schedule. The best way to do this is write the blogs in advance.
1. Keep track of all the books I read in 2011. Goodreads and/or an Excel spreadsheet here I come.
2. Get my books organized. There are some books I hesitate to buy (i.e. Carly Phillips) because I think I own them, but I’m not sure. I’ve moved so much, my books are packed in boxes, and I have no idea where any specific title is. I want to go through them all and fill my bookshelves with my favorites, so I have easy access to them.
3. Exercise 2-3 times a week. That might not seem like a lot, but considering it’s a big fat 0 right now, it’s a big step.
4. Pay off the student loan. My 2010 goal was to get it under $10,000 and I succeeded. Now, I want it GONE. It’s my only debt, and I hate sending the payment every month when there are so many other things I want to do with the money.
That’s a lot of goals. I could put more down, like clean my condo on a regular basis and eat at home more often to save money (both of which I hope to do), but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’m a work in progress after all. :)
P.S. Obviously, my biggest 2011 goal is to get published, but I can’t control that. Instead, I will focus on becoming a better writer, so my books HAVE to sell because they’re so fabulous.
What about you? What are your 2011 goals? Do you even believe in New Year’s Resolutions?
A few weeks ago, I found myself at Borders with a coupon and some Borders Bonus Bucks burning a hole in my pocket. I walked up and down the romance aisles searching for a book to buy. Finally, I stumbled upon Christie Ridgway. I’m always on the lookout for new-to-me contemporary authors. I recognized her name from the 2010 RITA nominee list, so I figured she must be good, so what the hey?
The beachside knitting shop Malibu & Ewe is the perfect place for L.A.’s hip young crowd to enjoy colorful yarn and intimate conversation. For personal chef Nikki Carmichael, it could be the softest place to land if her new job falls through. Working for magazine writer Jay Buchanan has come with some strange conditions—like pretending to be his girlfriend. As for Jay, he finds himself drawn to the kitchen, where he’s intrigued by his sexy cook’s ability to withstand the heat between them. And now he thinks it’s time to turn up the flames.
I bought How to Knit a Wild Bikini because it was the first in the trilogy. I’m a sucker for a series. Apparently, I’m not alone based on the sheer number of them on the market. The premise intrigued me as a reader. As a writer, I was ready to glean any knowledge I could on how to write a single title. One of my 2011 goals is to write one (more on this Friday).
Reader self: I enjoyed the book. Ridgway successfully lured me in to wanting to read the last two books in the trilogy. The book was funny and sexy, which is the best combination in my opinion. There was a running joke from the first meeting between Jay and Nikki that Ms. Ridgway keeps going the whole book, and it had me laughing.
My one gripe was that, especially in the first part of the book, Nikki kept complaining she needed the job because she was broke. However, it was never explained why she had no money. Did she not know how to budget? Did she not have (adequate) health insurance and all her money went to paying medical bills? Who knows?
Writer self: It seems to me that one of the keys to single title is the use of subplots. Ms. Ridgway upped the ante by having three subplots. Obviously, the main plot was the relationship between Nikki and Jay, but there were subplots involving Nikki’s connection to the knit shop and its owner, the next door neighbor (an older Paris Hilton), and Jay’s teenage cousin. That’s a lot.
My problem with subplots is that a lot of time I feel they take attention away from the main focus of the book. That’s something I’ll definitely be mindful of when I write my book.
In a nutshell: Reader self, overall happy. Writer self, learning more each time I read a book.