Michelle Rowen

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Goodbye 2009

Thanks again to all my entrants and winners of O COME ALL YE FANGFUL. It was a lot of fun!!

Well, Xmas has come and gone for another year. Santa never sticks around very long, does it? He’s kind of a fly by night kind of guy. Ha. Fly by night.

My brain is (obviously) a bit melty today because I finished up the first draft of STORMY WEATHER on Monday. This is my second book for Harlequin Blaze, and despite the short length (they’re only about 55,000 words compared to 90,000 for my other books) they’re darn hard to write! At least, I think so. They have a much tighter focus than a single title and there are certain plot points that have to be hit just right. Ahem. And by plot points I mean sex scenes.

Anyway, this particular book was a bit of a challenge for me — to put it mildly — but I’m glad it’s done and I think I like it. I took yesterday off and today I’m jumping right into the second draft, starting with a full read-through to see where the weak areas are. And by weak areas I mean the sex scenes. Ha. I’m going to have to flesh them out a bit. No pun intended.

So……..2009 is almost over. 2010 is almost here. Craziness. I’ve been writing full time for two years now. Also crazy. (heh). While it hasn’t exactly been a transition without it’s share of bumpiness, I don’t regret quitting the day job one little bit. Ugh. I have been saying that writing full time is like watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even the bad episodes are still better than anything else on TV.

Some highlights of 2009 for me……….

Fave movie of the year: UP IN THE AIR – loved it. George Clooney is deelish. I would have thought some sparkly vamps would be my fave of the year but for some strange reason, that movie didn’t do it for me. It was okay, but Georgie was better.

Fave book of the year: TALL, DARK & FANGSO…….errr, I mean, CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins! I was lucky to read an ARC of this, but I’ve just bought a copy to go on my keeper shelf.

Fave TV show of the year: SUPERNATURAL. Of course. Even with the hit or miss episodes, I’m still in luurvve with the Winchesters brothers.

Low health point of the year: I had Shingles in July. SHINGLES. I didn’t mention it here or on twitter since it was rather unpleasant. I mean, what kind of a disease is called Shingles? It sounds like part of an extreme home makeover. Anyhow, it sucked, but luckily I only had a mild case and it went away rather rapidly with some antibiotics. Blleeechh.

High health point of the year: I’ve lost (almost) 40 pounds since last January, the most I’ve ever lost in one fell swoop. I’ve done it with a combination of Jenny Craig, general portion control, personal training sessions (recently), and A HELL OF A LOT OF patience. The key for me there is patience. I don’t lose quickly, and I don’t do well with being on restricted diets. In the past I’ve had a very gung ho, black and white attitude toward weight loss. I go at it like a crazy person for two weeks and when I don’t see major results, I cheat. Fall off the wagon. And the cycle spins again. This time I’ve been trying to pick at it a little at a time. I quit Jenny a couple months ago to instead use that money to hire a personal trainer and have since lost a couple of pounds, but weight loss progress has ground to a halt so I think I’m going back to see if that can get me over this hump. So…40 is less than I would have liked for a whole year, but it’s better than staying the same or gaining. 2010 is the year I finally get this aspect of my life under control once and for all and I’m feeling ridiculously positive about it.

On the writing front: This year I wrote four books. I can barely believe it myself. That’s a whole lotta words.

What I wrote:

SOMETHING WICKED (Book #2 in the Living in Eden series): 90,000 words

REIGN CHECK (Book #2 in the Demon Princess YA series): 70,000 words

NIGHTSHADE (Book #1 in an urban fantasy duology): 90,000 words

STORMY WEATHER (Harlequin Blaze): 55,000 words

Various short stories and proposals: approx 50,000 words (probably more than that)

Total words of fiction written in 2009: approx 355,000!!

Whew! No wonder my brain hurts. 2010 is shaping up to be about the same amount of writing and I’m more than ready to plunge on in. After the second draft of STORMY WEATHER is done, I have to immediately start on book 2 of my urban fantasy duology. I’ve given it a new title of DEVIL’S APPLE (it was previously NIGHTFALL), and I am REALLY looking forward to this one. Everything’s so shiny before you start it, right?

Anyway, 2009 has been a great year (except for the Shingles), and 2010 is going to be even better. Thank you to my awesome readers for buying my books (just noticed yesterday that BITTEN & SMITTEN is now in its sixth printing! It’s the little book that could!) and for your general awesomeness. Thank you to my friends, writing and non-writing, for being there for me when I’m feeling angsty. I’m really hoping 2010 will be the best year evah. EVAH.

In the new year I’m starting a new blog feature – RowenChat, which is a very informal and fun interview with fellow authors (basically a chat that’s been edited down for your reading pleasure). My first guest is my pal Liza Palmer whose third book A FIELD GUILD TO BURYING YOUR PARENTS is out now. She’ll be generously giving away a signed copy to a commenter. This will post here on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010!!! See you then!!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!

10 comments to “Goodbye 2009”

  1. Danae ayusso
     · December 30th, 2009 at 1:43 pm · Link

    Sorry for the shingles, at least you didn’t have scabies or worms– those are worse and sound even more horrible.
    Way to go on the word count for the year and the weight loss. 2010 goals or is that Jan’s blog?
    Happy and safe new years.

  2. Michelle Rowen
     · December 30th, 2009 at 1:52 pm · Link

    I’ll talk about my resolutions in the new year. ;) My “Hello 2010” post. LOL

  3. Diana K
     · December 30th, 2009 at 2:53 pm · Link

    Shingles suck (had them last spring).

    Congrats on all your accomplishments in 2009. You should be proud of yourself.

    All the best to you in 2010!

  4. RKCharron
     · December 30th, 2009 at 5:18 pm · Link

    Hi Michelle :)
    WOW! Congratulations on the 4 books completed this year!
    *selfish fan joy @ prospect of getting them in 2010*
    40 pounds is a lot – congratulations!
    Here’s to an excellent 2010!
    Love & Best Wishes,

  5. Angela Gerrard
     · December 30th, 2009 at 8:14 pm · Link

    Give yourself a pat on the back Michelle!
    Sounds like you have had an incredible year (for the most part).
    I’m looking forward to your new books and all the best to you in 2010!

  6. The Ravenous Reader
     · December 31st, 2009 at 1:54 am · Link

    Hiya Michelle,
    I am sorry to hear about your shingles earlier this year. That sucks but glad that it went away fast. Congrats on your venture into the YA realm because it seriously rocked and I wish you much success with all your writing ventures.

    Also congrats on the weight loss. I so need to get on my game and have resolved to do so this year.

    Take care and here is to a prosperous new year

  7. Ina
     · December 31st, 2009 at 10:54 am · Link

    Hi Michelle!
    I wish you and yours a Happy New Year and may all your dreams come true!
    Hugs, Ina

  8. Sarah
     · December 31st, 2009 at 10:54 pm · Link

    Here’s wishing you a happy and prosperous new year! I’m looking forward to another year of fine reading. :)

  9. Reader To Reader, Inc.
     · January 6th, 2010 at 4:53 pm · Link

    We here at Reader To Reader are so excited for Reign Check to be published! We recently included Demon Princess: Reign or Shine into our online mentoring program and the students really ate it up!! Those students began the year reading three levels or more below their grade, and claiming to hate reading. They don’t now!! Many of them are clamoring for the second book already; I don’t know if they can wait until May! Thank you for helping us bring a love of reading into the lives of students. Keep up the great work!

  10. Michelle Rowen
     · January 7th, 2010 at 1:05 am · Link

    Thanks so much for telling me!! How wonderful. I’ll have to check out your website. :)

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