May 23, 2011

What is it about June...?

by Nikki Logan

Ever noticed how life sometimes hands you a really sweet piece of synchronicity?

Back in 2008 I wrote my first category length romance novel—my second only novel of any kind. I called it The Player and was extra-fond of it the way people are extra-fond of their first child. But while The Player was working the competition circuit (and with me brimming with fondness for category romance) I decided to try another, targeting a different line. To see where I fit most naturally.

The Romance Writers of Australia were running an event called “50K in 30 Days” during June 2008 and the simplicity of that really appealed to the fast-writer inside me.

A whole book, in a month. I could do that. And if I couldn’t well then it only cost me a month finding out.

So I spent the last days of May scribbling down a loose plot and I wrote a book in June 2008. Page 1 to The End. And I liked this one, too, though for different reasons. 

Christina Pailthorpe ©
I also liked the process of writing alone but together. There were twenty-or-so of us that year all beavering away diligently in our respective garrets but all coming together online to commiserate, celebrate and motivate. The very best of both worlds.

Right in the middle of June, The Player won a competition and a senior editor for M&B in London requested the full manuscript. Distracted by my exciting new story—I think I may even have grumbled at the interruption to my fabulous month of intensive writing, ungrateful cow that I was—I bundled up the full and sent it off to London with very little fanfare (or finesse). And I forgot about it and went back to my book-in-a-month.

To the siren-song of the new story.

On June 30 I sat back in my chair, flexed my tendonitis-riddled fingers and smiled at 52,000 words of new story. Even partially edited.

And then my eyes raised to the horizon and a new idea that had bubbled forth half-way through the last book. I put my thirty-day book in the metaphorical drawer and kind of forgot about it. It had served its purpose.  Category romance and I got on very well.

A few months later I was contacted by that London editor who had requested The Player back in June and whose to-be-read pile had eventually whittled down to it. She wanted to talk revisions and she wanted to read anything else I had.

(The drawer! Quickly, the drawer!)

I hauled my thirty-day story out, botoxed it and put it in heels and shoved it out onto the streets of unexpected opportunity. And damn me if it didn’t sell!

So the editor who had asked in June to see my first novel ended up buying another story that I wrote…in June. She offered me a contract for three more books…the following June. And, just to round off the synchronicity, that first story releases in Australia as Shipwrecked with Mr Wrong… this June!  

Cue spooky music.

I’m doing ‘50K in 30 Days’ again this year because—experience has shown—June is kind to me.  I’m not as free to simply immerse in a new book this year because I have another book to write at the same time and a New York conference to go to, but I still feel that same pioneer spirit that goes with starting something new.  (A paranormal, not that you asked). But it has June written all over it, don’t you think?
Mr June

And lots of other good things are connected to June.  I get paid in June. The rain starts in June. This guy is Mr June.--->

So if you’re a writer and want the company, camaraderie and compulsion of a month-long writing challenge… think about joining me in the 2011 RWA ‘50K in 30 Days’. Please say hi. I don’t bite.

Oh yeah… it’s in June.

(Contact to take part)


  1. Nikki

    June does sound like a great month for you.
    I look forward to the new book.
    I do hope it is another fantastic June for you,

    Have Fun

  2. Nikki,

    who'd have thought a June challenge would have ended up being a first book request!! I tried the 50K challenge a few years back and failed miserably - have this terrible compulsion to 'check' each paragraph as I go =(

  3. Love Mr June, Nikki.
    I've never tried those 30 day challenges. Some people seem to do really well with them.
    June is definitely your month. You're not a Gemini, are you?

  4. Fun post, Nikki! Your experience of the 50K in 30 Days is fantastic and June is *your* month so I say go for it!

    Mmmm, and Mr June's not half bad too!

  5. Shall we call you Ms June? Or June Girl? :)

    Love your June stories, Nikki, and can't wait to get a copy of Shipwrecked (great title, btw).

  6. Thank you Helen!!

    Mel - that's the challenge of 50/30 - sending that internal editor off on a holiday for a month and just writing...

    Sue - I'm not... I'm a virgo! But yes, June is bringer of good things always.

  7. Sharon - Mr June was my inspiration for a hero a few books back. It's nice to see (and use) him again :)

    Rach - Only yesterday my sister told me she doesn't like the title 'Shipwrecked with Mr Wrong'. Huh! Guess that's what sisters are for. I like it. It's perky :)

    (In better news the book itself has moved to her number one favourite spot of all of them.).

  8. PS: I like 'June Girl' it has a whole superhero thing going...

  9. 52k with partial edits is very impressive, Nikki. I always write more words in the month than other months, but hitting the 50k mark has so far proved elusive.

    But with June being such an excellent month for you I can only hope the planets align and rub off a little to me *wink*.

  10. Great post, Nikki. June is clearly your month! I'm looking forward to reading Shipwrecked with Mr Wrong. Like Rachel, I love the title!(And the pic of Mr June isn't so bad, either...)

    Good luck with the 50K this year!

  11. What's not to like about June, including MR June! Nikki, I loved hearing your call story! I'm a bit of a magical thinker. Sounds like June is, indeed, your lucky month!
    Book in a Month sounds great! It's amazing how our writer's brain can click in and unfold a story quickly when we're in the zone.

  12. Go, Nikki! June sounds like all good things writerly rolled into one for you!

    I love writing a book fast -- first draft in a fortnight is my current motto. (But then I don't have a day job). Hope this June brings you as much joy and inspiration as the last one did!

  13. Inspirational, Nikki. I had deleted that the email invitation but am now reconsidering!

    LOVE the title of the new book. Can't wait to read it.

  14. Great post Nikki! I'm diving into my first ever 50/30 next month.I think it will be a good way to kickstart the new MS.
    Love the title of your book and look forward to reading it. :)

  15. June is a good month to get things down as winter starts settling across the country. While, I've only hit the 50K once in the last 2 or is it 3 years, it always ends up with more words than normal. So it is a good kick start to something new. And I just love your story, Nikki. Good luck with the paranormal.