writing: revealing my not so secret project

In honor of Valentine’s Day (my favorite holiday, matched only by Halloween), I thought it would be fun to finally share some details about the romance novel I’m currently querying. Before You Called Me Baby is my mid-2019 NaNoWriMo U-Turn, a story so vivid in my mind that I set aside another project to embark on a whole new journey in a genre that I love, but had never written. It’s gone through multiple rewrites, edits, proofreads, and betas, and now we’re in the query trenches…

Before You Called Me Baby moodboard aesthetic

Yane has spent years pining for her best friend, James. Right when it looks like James noticed, his ex walks back into the picture. But with less than three months to put together an art show, or kiss her grad degree goodbye, the last thing Yane needs are messy feelings distracting her from her goal. Too bad life never goes as planned.

BEFORE YOU CALLED ME BABY is a slow burn, friends-to-lovers romance featuring a Cuban-American art student on the brink of graduation secretly pining for her best friend, who may or may not be back together with his ex.

social distance diaries: days 289-295

in which I relax and look back

Day 289, Monday – Day 295, Sunday

Second and last week of vacation before returning to my WFH desk life. I took the time to indulge in good food, sweet treats, and time with my partner. There were walks, solo Just Dance marathons, a return to my Animal Crossing island, and a few socially distant explorations.

I started using my new bullet journal and felt a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished draft 3 of my current manuscript. Next step: recruit betas and review the notes I scattered throughout the draft for future fixes (the future is now!).

It was a struggle to revise draft 2; it coincided with the start of my WFH life and the terrible anxiety and depression that marked those early months. Still, I pushed through and finished draft 3 a month ahead of schedule.

In total, I spent 214.62 hours editing and revising (including a major development edit and a thorough revision), spread across 10 months beginning in March. Draft 1 was completed January 2020. In February, I reviewed the draft and prepared my notes for revision. Now, I’m enjoying that brief sense of relief before I dive back into the manuscript. My goal is to query BYCMB this year and plot a rewrite of Anuna (COI), which I stopped querying at the end of 2019 (but that’s a longer story and may become a self-publishing adventure).

I hope you too had an indulgent and satisfying end to what may be the worst year in many of our lifetimes. 2016 was one of my worst years for many reasons, but 2020 is a close second.

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