Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guest Blogger - Chloe Neill

Mayhem In Writing

Hi, everyone! In case you don't know me yet, I'm the author of the Chicagoland Vampires series, and the Dark Elite
series. My first book was published on April 7, 2009; my fourth book will be published on July 6, 2010.

I'll let you do the math--that's four releases in just over a year.

Am I incredibly grateful to be selling books? *Absolutely.* I can't tell you how grateful I am to the people who've put
me in this position--my family, my friends, my readers, my editor, and my agent.

On the other hand, could I use an interruption-free nap on a sunny beach? Absolutely. :)

It would seem logical to suggest that the most important part of working as a writer is, of course, the *writing*.
Actually getting the story down on paper. And while that may be true, writing is definitely not the only part of
working as a writer.

That's where the mayhem comes in.

In an average day, I may be doing multiples of the following:

(1) Editing (on a deadline) the next book out the door;
(2) Writing (on a deadline) the second-to-next book out the door;
(3) Tweeting, Facebooking, and updating my Goodreads site;
(4) Researching images or information for current or future manuscripts;
(5) Designing or ordering marketing materials;
(6) Updating my web site, blogging, guest-blogging or guest-interviewing (on a deadline);
(7) Responding to reader e-mails;
(8) Updating my mailing list;
(9) Communicating with bookstores, media representatives, or other folks for marketing purposes;
(10) Making travel arrangements; and
(11) Communicating with my agent or editor about any of the above.

In addition to all that stuff, I'm also doing the normal life stuff--cleaning, cooking, errands, bills, taking care of the
dogs, taking care of the house, getting the mail, taking out the trash, etc.

Oh--and then there's the day job.

So, yeah. There's quite a bit of mayhem, depending upon where I am in the publishing/writing/blog-touring schedule.
There are a few things, though that keep me on track.

1. The Events page on my website ( functions as my writing calendar. It's very
helpful to have a single place to turn to figure out where I'm supposed to be at any particular time.

2. I recently downloaded Evernote, which I'm really enjoying as a place to hold ideas, images, web clippings, etc. It's
allowing me a very functional (and very green) way to stay organized.

3. To Do lists: I'm pretty forgetful, so I'm a big believer in prepping to do lists to remind me of what I need to do,
and what I'd like to do, in the future.

4. Mnemosyne notebooks: The name is hard to pronounce, but I love these guys. The big notebooks are great for
writing, and the little ones keep a tidy to do list in my bag.

All those little tools keep me generally on track. There may still be mayhem, but it's manageable.

But really, there's one thing that keeps me going--getting that e-mail or Tweet or Facebook message from someone
who really enjoyed what I read. Someone who got to spend a handful of hours thinking about Merit or Lily instead of
their cleaning, cooking, errands, bills, taking care of the dogs, taking care of the house, getting the mail or taking out
the trash. Someone who got a few hours of respite from their own mayhem.

And that, my friends, is the wonder of it all.


  1. Chloe - I will finish Some Girls Bite tonite and am REALLY enjoying it!

    Merit rocks!


  2. Chloe,
    I love how you broke everything down for us. I am sorry I didn't blog on here yesterday but I was down with a virus or flu bug. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about what you write and how you try to keep up with the mayhem in your life.

  3. Thanks, Terri, and hope you're feeling better, Pam!



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