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Writing my first novel

This post is part of the WLW Author Blog Hop Series entitled Writing my first novel.

Irregular Heartbeat is my first published novel. It’s also the first novel I’ve finished writing. It’s by far not the first novel I’ve ever started writing or plotting. 

What makes it different? I have no idea. Maybe the storyline appealed to me more than the others (but can you really compare your kids?), maybe I picked up tenacity as a skill somewhere in the last decades. 

Since I can remember, I’ve loved to imagine storylines. In my head, I’ve created interesting characters, acted out witty dialogue, mapped out intricate plot twists, even build fantasy worlds. But whenever I tried to bring them alive on paper (or computer screens), I’ve failed. I’ve lost interest, or the words eluded me, or my life demanded attention.

When the writing bug bit me again a few years ago, something in me had changed. I didn’t lose interest when I encountered obstacles in my writing. I studied the craft of writing and tried again. And again. And again. And studied some more. Became a beta reader. Analyzing the work of others helped me immensely in seeing what my own manuscript was lacking.

I rewrote parts of Irregular Heartbeat several times. Fought writer’s block on the way. But for the first time in my life, the fundamental trust that I would succeed in finishing the book never left me. I believe the reason for that is the lesfic community I discovered in the last years, first online, later in person at the GCLS Conferences in Washington and Chicago or the ELLCon in Bristol this year.

Finally, I was able to type the words »The End«. I had a finished manuscript and handed it out to my own beta readers. They said some nice things, but also many, many things I didn’t want to hear. I swallowed my pride and listened. I turned out, they were right. 

Then I repeated the process with my editor. I had thought that beta readers were hard. But, wow, editing by a good editor hurts. In a good way, like muscles being stretched in every direction during yoga class hurts. But when you’ve fought through the pain and come back weeks or month later to the same passage that hurt so much in the beginning, you see that you’ve learned a lot. You’ve stretched yourself, learned flexibility and your skills have grown like the muscles in that yoga class. 

At the end of my first book, I realized that I have still so much to learn. But writing—and finishing—a book is no longer a daunting process. It’s something I enjoyed on many levels and want to repeat many times in the future.

Do you want a chance to win my first novel? I have a giveaway here for a signed paperback (or ebook, if you prefer). 

Irregular Heartbeat by Chris Zett

When drummer Diana Petrell leaves her rock-star life to return to ER medicine, she won’t let anything stop her—not even falling for aloof mentor, Dr. Emily Barnes.

Emily isn’t happy having to babysit an intriguing resident with a ten-year gap in her résumé.

But every time they work together, it’s not just their patients’ heartbeat that gets a little irregular. Soon, the once-clear lines between work and personal life begin to blur.

What happens to their careers when Diana’s secret comes out?

A lesbian romance that asks how much we’d risk for love.

Available at amazon, the Ylva website and everywhere else you buy your ebooks.

Not convinced yet? Read an excerpt here.

This post is part of the WLW Author Blog Hop Series entitled Writing my first novel.
Each blog post will link to another author so you can discover more about how they wrote their first novel.

Find out how A.E. Radley managed to get FlightSQA016 from a simple idea, to a piece of fanfiction, to a published novel and discover how it changed her life forever. A.E. Radley is a best-selling, Lambda award winning F/F Fiction author from the UK who has published ten novels in two years and is in dire need of a long nap. www.aeradley.com

2 thoughts on “Writing my first novel”

  1. Chris, I truly enjoyed your first published novel. The unique storyline caught my interest from the start. We were all someone else doing other things before we found our life’s work. That appealed to me as it was very realistic. I await your second novel
    Congratulations for Irregular Heartbeat.


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