Another November – Another Novel!

It’s NOVEMBER! And that means the start of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month!  I’ve been participating to a limited extent in this process for a few years now, but this year – yes, THIS YEAR – I plan on actually making it through to the end and completing the challenge.

Then again, that’s what I said last year.

But this time, I mean it.

I meant it last year, too – but you know, life gets in the way.  So here we go with the charts, the word counts, the agony and ecstasy of writing.  Welcome to November!

Since the new book (which shall remain a complete secret for now) is part of a trilogy, I will use NaNoWriMo to work on the SECOND book in the series (since those are the rules…it must be a NEW novel that you work on) – so here’s to all of my fellow writers and all of those glorious word counts!


First Drafting…

I told you I was back at work on a new series, and I’ve been busy with the first draft for a few weeks now.  I’m not going to tell you all about it yet, but I thought I could share some of the process with you.

I’m a big first drafter which means I don’t outline.  I don’t create elaborate story webs.  I don’t even have a general idea of where the story is going when I first sit down to write.  It becomes really clear once I hit a roll, though.

I enjoy the flow of writing, of letting my characters develop and take me places without a firm ending in mind.  This series is a bit of an exception.   I have some general ideas of where we’re going on this journey – and a pretty good idea of where we’ll end up – but the magic is in the relationships between the characters.  In the mystery.  In the little details that seem so logical, yet are purely from my imagination.

A (not so subtle) hint

For me, that’s the fun in writing.  This series is a little more serious than the last one, but no less magical.  It’s an adventure through Boston – with a lawyer – and an investment banker – with a little murder, a little fantasy, and a whole lot of feathers… Sounds like fun, right?

It will be.  I promise.

I write to take my readers on adventures so you can drop out of your own busy life for a while and travel with me and my characters.  So let’s plan to get lost together in the next few months.  I’ll be in charge of directions.


I Finally went LIVE with my new blog!

The New Blog is LIVE!

I’ve been back at my writing desk for a few weeks now, working on some new projects and finishing up some old ones.  The new blog is all about where I’ve been for four years – caring for my husband and my mother – and I said I’d share it as soon as I went live.  Not all of the posts are up yet, but more will be coming in the next few weeks.  They’re written and formatted, but I want to double check them one more time (part of being a control-freak writer, I guess).  In the meantime, you can check it out here.


Here’s what else I’m working on:

The 4th book in the Arienne Cerasola Series

A brand new series that has a lot to do with feathers (more on that later…)

A new romance series I started last year as my NaNoWriMo project.

I’ll be publishing snippets and teasers over the next few months so stay tuned and thanks for all of your support over the years.

My return to writing…

I know, it’s been a loooong time, but I have a really good excuse…honest.

In 2014 – right as I was publishing Legendary Magic, my husband had a medical crisis that hit us completely out of the blue.  One day we were wandering the art galleries in Vermont, the next we were in the Emergency Room.  Thus began the hardest time in my life.  Three years of worry, stress, and eventually savoring every moment until the inevitable happened.

I should mention that half way through my husband’s illness, my mother’s heart condition worsened…so I learned how to be a two-location caregiver.  I should also mention they died four months apart.

Four months.  Yup.

My two biggest supports were both gone and I had to learn how to stand completely on my own and recover from repeated trauma and stress.  Fortunately, I have those skills (and a whole bunch of other ones I was surprised to learn were within me).

But it’s time to put my life back together and that means balancing my writing with my art, but first there’s something I absolutely have to do:  start my own resource blog for caregivers.  It’s not an easy lot in life, but (if you can keep your sanity) it is rewarding.

Needless to say, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to write.  There wasn’t a whole lot of time for anything, really.  But I have mental notes and all sorts of new angles running around my head and now that my powers of concentration are back, I’m diving right in.  I’m drafting the blog posts right now, and I’ll put up a link as soon as I title it (I might need a bit of help on that one) and figure out if I want the entire thing to go live at once or to space out the posts.  Decisions, decisions…

So as soon as the blog is ready, I’ll let you know.  Then it’s back to Arienne and the gang, as well as Cally, Cleo, and a few new characters I want you all to meet.

So here we go.  Back to a whole different life.


R. Leonia Shea

NaNoWriMo progress


I’m moving right along with my NaNoWriMo project – I’ve had two prolific days following two days when I just couldn’t find the time to write.  Once I’m in the groove, though, I should be able to do a good 5,000 words today – that’ll bring me above the progress line!

New Cover for NaNoWriMo project!


So I took a little time yesterday to work on the cover of my new novel.  I’ve actually had the artwork done for quite some time – but since NaNoWriMo started I’m feeling like I will actually have it done (maybe in time for all of the new Christmas Kindles)!

Inspiration Files for NaNoWriMo


It’s day 5 of NaNoWriMo and I’m over 10,000 words in to a new Romance series I’ve been rolling around in my head for several years now.  As I write, I am imagining some of my favorite locations along the North Shore of Boston (like the photo above which I took at Halibut Point State Park).

I was going to finish the fourth book in the Relic Hunter Series, but life’s been a bit stressful these past few years and I decided to make this year the year of relaxation writing.  You see, that’s how this whole writing thing started for me.  I began to seriously write in order to deal with conflict I had between wanting adventures and the current state of my life at the time which prevented me from having adventures.  My elderly dog was diabetic and blind – so the summer adventures we’d always shared as a family were put on hold for the dog’s comfort.  I don’t regret those precious moments I spent with my husband and our dog in the air-conditioned comfort of our home; those long summer days with Sandy gave life to the Relic Hunter series.

So this year, I decided to go back to my roots and begin writing in a new genre – not only for the escapism pleasure of my readers – but as therapy for myself.  Through writing, I can revisit some of my favorite places in the world – places where I have been happiest and most at peace – and then give those emotions to my characters.  In a way, I am vicariously living through my characters (and at times re-living), but isn’t that the goal of every writer?

At the end of November I will have finished my novel.  I’m not 100% sure of the title yet, but I know the series will be sub-titled “A Mulligan’s Cove Romance”.  If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, look me up – I could always use a few writing buddies!


Coming Soon….


As I prep for NaNoWriMo, I thought it was time I finished a Relic Hunter Short that I’ve been working on for a while.  I just got the cover done…What do you think???

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

It’s nearly that time of year again and I’ve been busily prepping for National Novel Writing Month.  For the first time, I decided to try working from an outline – now that may seem like a no-brainer, but in all honesty, I have never used an outline with any degree of fidelity.  Sure, I outline upon occasion, but when my fingers are on the keyboard the story usually just flows.  Then my outline is completely obsolete after a few chapters.   I manage to wind my self back to the ending I had planned, but the twists and turns of the story line are completely spontaneous.

But then again, the last time that happened I had oodles of time to concentrate and these days I’m rather short on time – not to mention my powers of concentration match those of your average fruit fly.    So outlining it shall be!

I don’t anticipate getting through the entire first draft of Jealous Magic (the latest in the Relic Hunter Series) but I do plan on getting the bulk of the scenes crafted.  I hope to not let my NaNoWriMo group down (like I did the last time I participated).  I hope to keep moving forward and not getting stuck on the details.  So I’ve put a few safeguards in place to prevent being derailed by my usual demons…

I have a cover for Jealous Magic (I write best when I have the cover already done – I think it provides me with a little motivation).

I have the ending written. (It might change, but I have a hard time not obsessing over where the story’s going to finally end up – so when I write it first, I can relax and let my characters take me on the journey).

I still need to log into the NaNoWriMo site and re-join my group (if they’ll have me :)).

And probably 387 other things I didn’t think of.  But for now, it’s full steam ahead –  I even have an outline to prove it!