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Annabelle McCormack, Author of ALL THIS TIME, on Being a Mom Writer (with a giveaway!)

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On Being a Mom Writer

One of the questions I get the most is how I’m able to write novel as the homeschooling, stay-at-home mom of five young children (eight years and under). There’s a short answer and there’s a long answer, so let’s start with the short:

I sacrifice some of my sleep.

I know that’s not something everyone can do, but after having several newborns in a row, I found I could function off about six hours of sleep (or less) just fine. Most nights, you’ll find me writing late into the night, long after my kids have gone to bed. I truly couldn’t get the writing done otherwise and that’s the “magic” time for me to write. It helps that I’ve been a lifelong night owl whose brain tends to wake up after eight at night.

The long answer to the “how I get writing done” is a bit more nuanced.

Discipline, drive, and self-motivation are all a part of why I’m able to get the words on paper. I set a lot of concrete goals and hold myself accountable for achieving them. When I’m drafting, that might be something like writing a certain number of words a day or week. When I’m editing, I might challenge myself to hit certain chapters by specific dates.

I also end up sacrificing other things I enjoy here and there. I may go long spells without watching television shows, even if I want to. Or I might have to force myself to wear headphones so that I can sit on the couch next to my husband at night while he watches a movie and I write. I also give myself as much flexibility as possible when it comes to my writing space and process. I don’t have a dedicated desk—wherever my laptop happens to be is where I can be found writing. Sometimes, I’ve even been known to write on my phone while I put kids to bed or dictate into a Notes app while I push kids on swings.

It helps that writing is my favorite hobby, the one thing I would be doing anyway for fun even if I wasn’t trying to build an author career. It also helps that I’ve been writing for so long now that I don’t know how to not write. Writing for me is a form of therapy, a way to process what I’ve lived or what I dream about. It’s a way to travel or go on adventures. Frankly, I love it.

But more importantly than all that, I want my kids to see their mom living a life where achieving her dreams is just a part of the every day. Where hard work and persistence perseveres . . . and where they were never my excuse for not accomplishing my writing goals, but my motivation to keep going no matter what.

Annabelle McCormack author photo

About the author:

Annabelle McCormack spins you tales of epic historical adventure, heartfelt romance, and complex family dynamics with strong female protagonists to make things interesting. She graduated from the Johns Hopkins University’s M.A. in Writing Program. She’s a sucker for pizza (cheese, bread, and tomatoes are the perfect foods) and mangoes, loves baking and photography, and never wants to do laundry again. She lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, where she serves as a snack bitch for her (lucky-they’re-cute) five children and three boxers.

She’s half-Costa Rican and speaks fluent Spanish, so you can always drop her a line in either English or Spanish. Pura vida!

Author links:

All This Time cover

All This Time
by Annabelle McCormack
(Brandywood #1)
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Almost ten years ago, Samantha Redding swore off her hometown of Brandywood, Maryland. Sure, she misses her family, but she’s over the gossip and drama that came with small-town living. Besides, she has the photography career she always dreamed of now.

Then her mom gets sick. Faced with a long stay at home, Sam is forced to relocate a holiday photoshoot to Brandywood to meet a tight work deadline. Only problem is, she needs help from the townspeople she’s spent years distancing herself from. Strangely, Sam finds an ally in someone who kept her at arm’s length all his life: brooding and sarcastic Garrett Doyle—the guy that dumped her best friend at the altar years before.

But Sam never knew Garrett tried to keep his distance because he was really in love with her. And he’s just come back to town after trying to get his life together. Garrett knows he ought to stay away—but the sight of her brings back all those old feelings. Anyway, she’s leaving Brandywood soon enough, and then he can go back to trying to forget her.

. . . except, Sam’s about to discover that everything she thought she knew about home—and Garrett—was wrong.

A contemporary romance with steamy, open door romance and tear-jerking moments about facing the past and finding forgiveness, All This Time is the first book in the Brandywood Small Town Romance Series. CW: alcoholism, abuse, cancer, language


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  1. Rita Wray Rita Wray

    Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

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