Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Few Words on Writing...



I’m sitting down to write my sixth book. You’d think it would get easier, right?

It doesn’t.

It gets harder.

People actually read my books now. A lot of people. WHICH I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR, by the way. :)

But it’s an added pressure. Because I want to please them. I want to satisfy them. I want to make them happy so they’ll KEEP reading my books. So they’ll tell all their friends about my books. So they’ll come find me on social media so that WE can be friends and chat about my books.

Of course, for any of that to happen, every new book needs to be good. Damn good. At least as good as, if not better than, the last book.

And here’s where the fear comes in…

What if I can’t write a book that’s better than the last book? What if I can’t finish on time? What if something happens in my personal life that sets me back unexpectedly? What if…? What if…? What if…?

Whenever I start a new book, I have the same fears. It helps to write them down, to face them, to stare them down in print and recognize them for what they are. Little paralyzing demons that want nothing more than to kill my creativity.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately—journaling as much as story writing. Just about everything that comes into my head these days ends up on paper. I carry a notebook wherever I go in case I need to vent or if inspiration strikes at an inconvenient time, as it always seems to, like in the produce section at the grocery store.

A friend recently suggested that I carry two notebooks around: a pretty journal for all the good positive thoughts and story ideas, and a boring legal pad or basic spiral notebook for all the negative rants so I can rip those pages out and burn them each night.

While I loved this idea at first, and it worked well for about a week, I noticed that I felt nervous when I wrote in the pretty journal. Like my words had to be good enough to live up to the prettiness of the journal. Like I couldn’t just write them down without judging them first.

What if I couldn’t think of anything positive to say that day? What if I couldn’t think of any story ideas for the new book? What if I couldn’t think of anything to be thankful for? What if… What if…? What if…?

But when I wrote in the other notebookthe boring oneI found I wrote more. I wrote longer. I wrote faster. I wrote harder. There were no boundaries. No judgments. No expectations. I figured, hey, there’s a good chance I’m going to burn all this crap anyway so why not just write it down?

This is what my other notebook looks like.


There’s not even a picture of a cute puppy or a vase of flowers on the front. I chose it because it was the least expensive notebook in the school supplies section at Target that day. There’s nothing sexy about it, but I gotta say, I kind of love it.

Because, right now, to me, it holds everything.

All my thoughts. All my to-do lists. All my gratitude lists. All my horrible, negative rants. It holds all my story ideas. All the random snippets of dialogue that pop into my head during the day. It holds quotes from books I’m reading that I want to save and read again later. It holds names of songs I hear on the radio that I want to look up on iTunes later.

My friend’s two-year-old daughter even created some art in there last week. (Go wild, Audrey.)


It comes with me to town. It comes with me when I run my errands. It comes with me to the yoga studio, to my friends' houses, to the park. It even comes with me to bed at night.

I think I like this other notebook so much more because it’s honest. Because it’s a real reflection of who I am right now. And, really, aren’t we all just a rumbling, fumbling mass of positivity, negativity, confusion, hopes, dreams, joys, successes, failures, happy memories, sad memories, and regrets? Maybe the less seriously we take ourselves, the easier it will be to be honest, to be authentic, to be true.

I don’t know…

All I DO know is that this other notebook makes me feel free. It drops all the pressure, all the “specialness” that cripples my creativity and stunts my writing. It helps me forget about the task ahead—the daunting task of writing a new novel—and focus instead on writing. About anything. And everything. Every day. As much as I can.

In a few weeks, when the notebook’s full, I’ll go through it. I’ll rip out the gratitude lists and the quotes and the songs and put them in a box so I can look back one day and remember what I was doing then. I’ll burn all the negative stuff and let it go. I’ll sit down at the computer and begin transcribing all the random story ideas I came up with and, as I sort through all the madness, I’ll pray that there’s some stuff I can build on.

I’m planting seeds, folks. Some of them will sprout. Some of them will grow into something beautiful. A lot of them will die. But I’m not judging them yet. And neither is my boring, spiral notebook.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wind Chime Wedding is available now!



I'm so excited to announce that Wind Chime Wedding, the follow-up to the USA Today bestselling and multi-award winning novel, Wind Chime Ca, is available now!


To celebrate the release of Wind Chime Wedding, I'm throwing a PARTY! Swing by the Sophie Moss Author Fan Page on Facebook and join in the fun! I'll be giving out prizes every day throughout the rest of the week. Prizes will include gift cards to Amazon, signed paperbacks, ebooks, handmade wind chimes, and a secret grand prize that I'll announce on July 4th!

I would also like to invite you to visit my new online home at sophiemossauthor.com, where you'll find the most up-to-date information on upcoming releases (including audiobooks), the complete collection of Wind Chime Café recipes, and a place to submit your own recipes.

Thank you all so much for your support and for giving me the chance to do what I love. I hope you enjoy Colin and Becca's story as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wind Chime Wedding is Available Now for Pre-order!


Wind Chime Wedding is available now for pre-order!


Official Release Date: June 30th, 2015

Second-grade teacher, Becca Haddaway, is weeks away from walking down the aisle with her high school sweetheart when she learns that the Heron Island Elementary School is about to be shut down. In the midst of a whirlwind of wedding planning, she launches into a last-ditch effort to save it. But the one man who can help her is determined to make her question every decision she has ever made--including the man she's about to marry.

Former Navy SEAL and son of the current Maryland governor, Colin Foley, is finally starting to feel whole again after losing his leg on a career-ending deployment in Afghanistan. After struggling for months to figure out what to do with his post-military life, he's found a new mission--opening a rehab center for wounded veterans on the peaceful Chesapeake Bay island. All he needs now is a woman to share his new life with...and he knows exactly who he wants. With a little help from the island's magical wind chimes, can Colin convince Becca to change her mind before it's too late?


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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wind Chime Café Audiobook is Available Now!


Happy New Year! I'm super excited to share that Wind Chime Café is now available as an audiobook! Hollis McCarthy did an amazing job narrating this story. I can't wait for you to hear how she brings all the characters of Heron Island to life. :)


I'm still hard at work on Wind Chime Wedding. Becca and Colin's story is coming along great, and I'm tentatively planning to release it this spring. As soon as I have a firm date, I'll post the news everywhere. Thanks so much for your patience while I give this book the time it needs to really shine.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the audiobook version of Wind Chime Café. When you get a chance to listen, I'd love to hear what you think!