Thursday, July 19, 2012

How long does it take?

The single most asked question I get as a an author is "How long does it take you to write a book?"

And the answer I give is "It depends."

Here are the factors:

1. Length of the book - Harlequin Intrigues are 55-60,000 words. A single-title can be from 75-120,000 words. Then you have novella at anywhere from 15-30,000. None of these numbers are set in stone and it depends on what I'm writing. You see, I write for Intrigue, Nocturne, Nocturne Cravings and under my other pen name (Myla Jackson) I write novellas and category-length.

2. Proposal to acceptance - For books written for Harlequin, I sometimes have a proposal to acceptance lag when I'm waiting for approval of a 3-chapter partial submission before I push on and finish the book. I've had up to 3 years between the proposal and acceptance. Do I count that lag time in the time it takes to finish the book?

3. Gutting it out - This is the actual time I spend writing the bulk of the manuscript. It might come in one long stretch or many short bursts.

4. Story flow - if the story is firmly in my head and well plotted in advance, this might be a factor in turning the book in early. If I'm having a problem determining who done it and will take longer, and longer, and...

5. Life happens - Ah the beauty of the ever-diverse and continuous motion of life. Lump everything into this category: vacation with family; medical issues; child demands, husband demands, pet demands, lawn care, house chores, and anything else that comes up.

6. Procrastination - I admit this is one of my biggest slow-downs in finishing a book. The cause can be any of the above.

So the answer to "How long does it take you to write a book?"

It Depends.

She'd been his wife for barely a day and now FBI agent Tuck Thunder Horse was responsible for identifying her body. So he was more than shocked when Julia Anderson turned up very much alive-and on the run. Julia confessed to witnessing a murder and now needs Tuck to help her stay alive...and protect the baby he hadn't known she'd had.
Julia and Tuck's marriage might not have lasted, but there was not time for recriminations with a killer on their trail. As Tuck struggles to put their painful past behind them he can't help but find himself overwhelmed by his love for his little daughter...and his still-burning passion for Julia. Unable to trust anyone but each other, they know working together is the only way to safeguard their child. Could their one-day marriage turn into a life-long adventure?

About the Author: Elle James aka Myla Jackson spent twenty years livin' and lovin' in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. She has 29 novels or novellas with Harlequin, one self published novel under pen name Elle James, 36 books or novellas with other publishers including Samhain, Elloras' Cave, Kensington and Avon and eleven novellas or short stories self-published under pen name Myla Jackson. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn't wrangling cattle, she's wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she's not at her computer, she's traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

Copyright 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher
Cover Art used by arrangement with

Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved.


  1. I love your books. Its great to have an author from NWA.

  2. As usual this one looks and sounds like a winner!

  3. # 5 gets us every time. Great list.

  4. Elle, I love your answer and I love your books. Life does sometimes get in the way of things we need to do.

  5. wow another great won wtg thanks