Murphy Bed — Murphy’s Law

Today’s post was going to be all about the Murphy bed in my office, with pictures. Nope! Murphy’s Law in fine fetter today.

The measurements are wrong somewhere, so they will have to return and pull it out and put in new one. Which really sucks, because they were just about done after eight hours of working.

Once it is done and I take pictures I will post Murphy Bed, Take Two!!

Jill James, author (lots of editing done today as they worked)


I’ve never done so much deleting and starting over in my life on a story. Every time I get an idea for a scene I go to write it and it isn’t what I wanted to say. It is like the characters are changing it up as I’m writing. LOL

Some rewriting has been necessary because the characters aren’t coming across as likable at all. For one character I guess that is okay but I thought she would be the nice friend and she is coming across as a witch. hahahaha

Trying to straddle the line between being uber-rich and not snobby. It is a fine line but I need it there for the story to work.

Do you give unlikable characters a chance or is that a book-throwing moment?

Jill James, romance writer

Dangerous Shift and The Reluctant Bride are now available in Kindle Unlimited!!

Do your characters talk like you?

LOL Apparently mine do. Think you could have typos left in your book? Set it up for production as an audiobook and discover that, yes you do, have a couple left after all. Thank goodness for Tobi, the narrator for Divorce, Interrupted and in production right now with Dare To Trust and Defend My Love.

  • I should always do a CTRL+F to find any organisms I wrote, because I’m pretty sure I meant orgasms. (I do write romance, after all)
  • As and Of both have two letters, but they are not the same word. (Those little words are sneaky. They slide right by.)
  • Even if you say “a million of times” because you are from Baltimore, it is not correct, no matter how many times your mother and grandmother said it.
  • Gravel and gavel may look alike, but they are definitely not the same thing, even if you mistype them twice. (You are still two times as wrong.)


What typos do you catch most in your own writing? Or if you are a reader, what typos do you always spot in a book you are reading?

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance


New Tricks — Jill James

You know the saying about new tricks for old dogs? So true.

Saturday I attended a workshop at Silicon Valley RWA. The workshop was Before You Hit Send with Angela James. I had taken the workshop online a couple of years ago or so but I was thrilled at the chance to take the class in person. Amazing!

Although I’d taken the class before I learned some new stuff, had some stuff I was already doing validated, and got some ideas for new stuff to try.

And I watched a pro in action. Angela James knows how to present a workshop, keep the group engaged, when to be funny to break the tension, and when to do something wacky as we were falling asleep in a post-lunch, stuffy room.

She does the workshop online as well. If you get a chance, take the class. Whether you are editing for yourself or just want to send your best to an agent or editor, the class works.

Jill James, author of paranormal romantic suspense Dangerous Shift, in eBook and print.

Between Books

I love when I’m in between books. I finished Defend My Love and it is sitting before final edits and publishing. This is where I take a week and clean my office, gather paperbacks to donate, and some mental brainstorming for the next project, or in my case, projects.

Next on the list is Love in the Time of Zombies and Taming Brad, a sequel to Tempting Adam.

Then, plotting on The Single Mommies Clue, my next series.

Jill James

Whip That W.I.P.

In Romancelandia WIP stands for one thing – Work In Progress. This is whatever is your current manuscript you are working on. Right now I’m doing edits on a paranormal romance, writing a short story for Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors blog, and working on another paranormal romance and contemporary romance. I think there is one more thing, but can’t place it at the moment.

For writers, it is our writing. For other people a WIP could be a project, looking for a new job, losing that last 10 pounds, or a new way of looking at yourself. Actually, writers do all those things too. We just don’t always think of them as our WIP. Really, a person is a WIP – always. We try to better our education, our livelihood, our body image, etc.

So, I told you all my WIP’s. What is yours?  Jill

Editing is Discovery

I spent this week editing and revising my paranormal romance, Dangerous Shift. I never realized that editing allows you to fall in love all over again with your story. I have always loved this story. It is the story of my heart. It was the first true kick-ass heroine I wrote. It was the first story that I truly pushed the boundaries with the love scenes. I love paranormal, futuristic romance and this was a love affair to write. This was one of those stories where you feel the story is writing itself. You sit down eager to write, to see where the characters will take you today. You love the characters, the setting, the adventures, trials, and happily ever after.

I discovered all over again that I love my writing. I don’t mean it is perfect, I mean I spotted gems along the way, a few sentences that just flowed. I saw places where I still cried reading the dialogue. I fell in love with this story all over again. It was like when you read a story by your favorite author and are swept along in the story. That is how I felt today. I want to hold that feeling deep inside for the days the writing is not flowing, the days I hate my characters, and for the days the words will just not come. Yes, I want to hold this feeling forever.

Have you ever finished something and just been satisfied with a job well-done?

Jill James

Editing and Life

This is not one of those posts about life getting in the way of my editing. It is more about my style of editing and how it compares to life.

I edit slowly. For the edit for my current work in progress (WIP) I’ve been highlighting and going through and getting rid of filtering words; the words that distant the reader from your character. Like thought, felt, noticed, recognized, etc. These words make you one step removed from the story. Kind of like if you distant yourself from your life and don’t notice everything going on around you. Writing is great. Getting published is great. But it is only a slice of your life.

Most men, if they are smart, leave their jobs at the workplace. As a writer, that is a little harder to do. My current story or a new story idea is always in my head. So, random thoughts or ideas will just jump out, during long rides, or at the dinner table. The inner writer is never asleep.

Next, in my editing I need to dig deeper into my characters. One, the heroine, is from the Midwest. Living in California I don’t know a lot about the Midwest except from my trips there. Thankfully, my editor is from there and gave me tremendously great ideas to make my heroine seem like she is from the Midwest. Just like in life, dig deeper, know what you are doing and why. Know your family and friends. Are they on an even keel right now, or do they need a shoulder to cry on, a leg up with troubles in their lives, or just a hug. Pay as much attention to what your family and friends are doing and why as you do your imaginary characters.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  – Ferris Bueller

Jill James

Why I will never self-publish?

Not that there is anything wrong with writers who choose the self-published route. As long as you do your research, each method is right for someone and wrong for someone. I will not self-publish because I need an editor. I love the feeling of someone who knows my story and gets it, but can make it better.

Maybe 25 books down the road I would feel differently. Unless I had the money to employ an excellent editor I would not be ready to go down the self road.

Recently, I had to send a new blurb for my upcoming book, Tempting Adam, to my editor. The first one just didn’t work. So, she had me dig out my contemporary reading books and study back cover blurbs. When I thought I had read enough I rewrote my blurb and sent her this:

They both want the same thing – St. Eden Studios.
Yvette Giardino is a corporate raider intent on her next acquisition. Adam St. Eden is intent on keeping what is his.
Falling in love isn’t in the job description for either of them. Adam wants to hold on to his three-generation family legacy and it is essential Yvette complete this job to provide care for a loved one.
Someone behind the scenes is pulling all the strings, making sure mixing business with pleasure could cost Adam and Yvette everything they hold dear.
This is what the editor sent me back:

They both want the same thing – St. Eden Studios. 

Corporate raider, Yvette Giardino intends to bring St. Eden Studios to its knees.  It’s a job.  One her grandmother’s health depends on.  That Adam St. Eden will suffer isn’t personal.  Golden parachutes will see the multi-millionaire lands comfortably somewhere else.  Until he awakens sympathy she’s never encountered, and stirs her body in ways she can’t explain. 

Adam wants one thing and one thing only – to protect the dream his grandfather began.  But when the board demands he work with stunning Yvette, a woman he’d mistakenly indulged with in a little after-hours play, his world’s turned upside down.  Missed meetings, unhappy clients, and nights of intense pleasure – he can blame one person.  Yvette.

 With his corporation crumbling around him, can Adam rise above the fallout, and see his sexy temptress for what she really is – a victim of manipulation and a woman who desperately needs his love?

This is why I have an editor!!! She says it might get tweeked a little more in the chain of command. But Wow! What a difference. She knows my story and she gets it. Editors are priceless. Especially mine.

Jill James

Almost There

There are spots in writing where you are ‘almost there’. The last chapter, the last page, The End. See, The End is not really The End, because edits are next.

Some writers work very cleanly. They edit every line, every paragraph as they go. By the time they are at the end, it is almost ready to go. Maybe a little search for typos and such.

Some writers work not so cleanly. That would be me. I write balls to the wall. Racing to the end. The story is in my head and I need it down on paper. This means lots of critique partners and editing before I send it anywhere.

Doesn’t matter which method you use, at some point, you still get to say ‘almost there’. I’m almost there today with my editor’s first round of edits she sent me. It is getting the once over for spelling and grammar and one last read-through since I made the other edits she sent and I want to be sure it didn’t change what I wanted to say.

Then it is off to the editor, with me eagerly awaiting the next step.

How do you write? Do you get stuck with lots of edits, or are you an edit as you go writer?


Jill James


Before, I used to hate editing. I couldn’t see my own mistakes. If I used a critique partner I just changed whatever they said to change. It took some growth as a writer to not just change my story willy-nilly, just because.

This week I got the first round edits from my editor. Are there any sweeter words in the English langague then, “my editor”? I don’t think so. It is amazing what has happened to my story and my writing by following her edits. The story is faster-paced, it reads better, and I love it all over again.

My hope for the future is to remember what she tells me and have less edits next time I write a story.

Has something or someone brought a new dimension to your writing?

Jill James

Evil Editor

Evil Editor – Why you don’t get published.

This blog is not for the faint of heart, anyway, if you are faint of heart trying to publish a book is NOT where you want to be.

He tells it like it is and is a great insight into the editor’s heart and mind.

Jill James