In November 2016, I started writing the novel that has taken shape into Raintree. I’ve never worked on a project so hard or devoted so much of my time and energy to, well, anything. I’ll tell you about it more in another post, but right now I’m going to focus on the craziness of the novel-writing process.

I planned the whole plot out by hand. I read horse books for inspiration.

I referred back to my notes from interviewing my father before he died. Once upon a time, he ran a horse racing farm. His stories inspired me to write this novel.

I also did research in person. I went to the Florida Derby in April, and crazy things happened, as only they can happen to me. (Someday, I’ll write about it, but I’m too busy right now. It involves being adopted by a Cuban abuelito and him teaching me everything he knew about stakes and betting. Also, I was hit on by a jockey. Ha. Only me.)

Fun fact: I did see the future Kentucky Derby winner run! Always Dreaming, who won the Florida Derby, went on to triumph at Churchill Downs.

After that fun interlude, I got back down to work. What is free time again?

Then in May, I accomplished one of my dreams: I became a Book Riot contributor!

The very next day, I finished the first draft of Raintree! I was bummed though, because 125,000 words is much longer than I want it to be. At that point, the task of editing seemed insurmountable.

But I have to edit it. I’m determined to get this book published, and I’m prepared to work hard enough to land a deal from one of the Big Five.

So I got down to cutting. I got organized. And I realized: this may not be so insurmountable after all.

My hope is to be done and ready to query by September. Wish me luck!

How can you help?

  1. Follow me on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads.
  2. Follow this blog. 🙂
  3. Sign up for my mailing list here.
  4. But if you really love me, (and you also want something in return), sign up for my Patreon: Rewards on my Patreon include retweets, writing critiques, and even signed copies of Raintree when it is finally published!


5 Responses

  1. Hello my friend; what makes a human being special are things like common sense, free will and creativity maybe our hard times can’t let us see this but the future is for intellectuals like you, writers, leaders, scientists will shape our future in an economy and business of “intellectual capitalism” .
    Always remember my friend the hole thing is about creativity and imagination, you are not just a writer but an artist so dream because the bigger the dream the bigger the accomplishment , wish you the best of luck

  2. I guess you already know that the magic number of words for a debut author to be considered is <100,000 (sci-fi gets 125,000). I had to chop my novel by 24,000. Now in the query process.

    You certainly do have a lot of tabs open. Are you using Scribner?

    • Yeah, the sweet spot is even lower than 100k. I’m aiming for 85-90, but who knows.

      I have Scribner, but I only like to use it for planning. For writing itself, it’s too structured. My drafting is much more fluid than that.

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