It's easy to understand that an author must have certain skills. Quite obviously, she must be able to type (unless she has two year deadlines and lots of paper and pencils--or someone to transcribe from a recording); she must have some knowledge of book structure; and (though not exactly a skill per se) for fiction authors, an imagination is always good . . . but mostly she must be able to JUGGLE. Yes. Especially in the case of a multiple book contract. Because (after the jumping up and down squealing with joy part) a multiple book contract means . . . more than one book. And at some point, the work related to all of these books co-mingles . . . and juggling must occur. I'm at that point now with the Mercy Hospital Series. To illustrate, see the photo above:
1) Airborne over my right shoulder is CRITICAL CARE--the writing completed on my part. Out to reviewers. (Click here for awesome new review). Very soon I will be preparing for a launch party, doing interviews, traveling to book signings. I will spend some time every day on marketing tasks.
2) The blur over my chest is DISASTER STATUS--first draft completed, initial revisions accepted by editors (yay!). It will be returning to me in less than 2 weeks for a final "red-line" edit.
3) In my (cramping) left hand is CODE TRIAGE, the third book in the Mercy Hospital Series. Beginning stages, first draft. The reason I'll be up before dawn, sipping coffee, type-type-typing throughout the summer. I must be at the halfway point in this third novel before the first book in the series hits bookshelves nationwide. So, it goes something like this:
Toss: Market/promote, catch, Toss: revise/edit, catch, Toss: write new book, catch. The phase cycle, of course, repeats with each book. And, at some point-- maybe using my feet--I will need to write a proposal for a new series of books and throw that in the air as well!
Ambidexterity, as you can imagine, is a blessing for an author. So is three decades of experience as an ER nurse. Because I've juggled:
2) severed arteries
3) anaphylactic shock
4) cardiac arrest
5) respiratory arrest
6) cockroaches in ear canals
7) Legos in nostrils
8) tar burns, radiator burns, electric shock, thumb blisters from playing video games
9) terror, grief, despair, gallows humor, joy . . . and even lying on a trauma gurney in my own ER.
Juggling books? Sure, why not.
But I want that fuzzy pink hat, okay?