Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Mess of Stress with Guest Blogger: LJ DeLeon

Meet author LJ DeLeon today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say about her mess of stress...

What stresses me most about writing?

The better question would be what doesn’t stress me about writing?

I stress over opening sentences in a new scene. What the scene is about, I have that down cold. It’s the blasted first line that stumps me. Most people can just start writing. I need that opener. It sets the tone for the scene. Without it, I flounder. And yes, before you ask, I am a perfectionist. Fortunately, I have some trusted friends who are excellent at feeding me just the right opening line to get me going.

I stress over writing love scenes. My scenes can range from tame to spicy hot, depending upon the characters and situation. But they are always emotion-laden. It isn’t the emotion that gives a problem, it’s my flaming cheeks as I write the mechanics. (Tab A into Slot B) Sometimes writing a love scene feels like a trip to the hardware store. How many screws can you write?

I stress over finishing the book. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been published before. Each book is a new endeavor. Can I finish it? Will it have the emotional impact needed? Will I do my characters justice? Will my middles sag like my middle sags? Will I dry up at Chapter twenty-two of a twenty-three chapter book?

I stress over worrying my editor will tell me to take a long vacation from writing. That I’m back to using too many commas or not enough commas. That I’ve misused there/their/they’re or you/your/you’re again.

I stress over my characters going on strike and refusing to tell me what comes next.

I stress over the stars being properly aligned for the release date of my book.

I stress whether readers will like my books, including reviewers. I almost fell apart at a three star review of Warrior’s Rise. It didn’t matter that I’d gotten five stars from one review site and a four-pack howl from Bitten by Paranormal Romance. I was gutted. Ironically, it’s an excellent review, well-reasoned and analyzed. It took two glasses of wine for me to see beyond the three stars, and a swift kick my behind by several close friends.

I stress over whether readers will accept that Dragon Child is a lot sexier than Warrior’s Rise. But hey, a wereleopard and dragon shapeshifter are bound to have more heat. Aren’t they?

I stress over missing even a single typo and discovering one too late, because it takes so long for Amazon to upload the book to my bookshelf that I fear someone will buy it before I can fix the problem. Case in point, I did a universal Accept All Tracking Changes. Right, like that worked. Twenty minutes after I uploaded, I discovered Word missed one tracking change correction on the next to last page of Chapter Six in The Ultimate Game, For the first in my life, I prayed nobody bought the book until I could upload a corrected version 36 hours later.

As an indie, I stress over my sales to point where I check them more often than a diabetic checks her blood sugar.

I guess you could say I need Prozac. Oh, wait, I’m already on it.

Someone help me.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your mess of stress with us today, LJ. I hope that just getting it all down on the blog has helped relieve it a tiny bit. I've been taking a new look at my stress levels lately and realize that they are aging me too quickly. So, I'm cutting back on stress! But I do love your hardware store comparison. LOL Please tell us how we can find out more about your books.

Want More LJ?

LJ DeLeon is an Army brat and a world-traveled former CIA Intelligence Analyst who has seen enough of this world to appreciate other worlds. Working for the CIA was great training for writing fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic romance--and understanding the warrior mentality. Amazing how real life and fiction overlap.

Visit her website here:

Visit her blog here:

Pick up your copy of Warrior's Rise today! Click here.
Pick up your copy of Dragon Child today! Click here.
Pick up your copy of The Ultimate Game today! Click here.


Stacie VanE said...

LJ, I have a lot of these same stressors. I just hope when I get published that I don't burst into flames.

Pauline said...

LOL! A fun assessment of the trials and tribulations of being a writer. Awesome cover art! Looking forward to reading them!

LJ DeLeon said...

Thank you, Pauline. I love my cover artist

Stacie, don't worry, my biggest problem is being a perfectionist. A lot of the other stuff would disappear if I weren't.:)

Rox said...

I'm a perfectionist as well, and I don't think you're stressing too much at all. (tic, tic) I need to get more coffee, now.