Please welcome L.A. Witt with
Sink Or Swim
Anchor Point #8
When need meets fear, can two very different men find common ground?
Alhazar Bukhari spent his Navy career in the closet. Now he’s retired, divorced, and hungry for the love he’s never had a chance to experience. He tries to put his faith in Allah to bring the right man into his life, but it’s hard to be patient after all this time.
Chaplain Dylan Pedersen spends his days counseling Sailors, and his nights with men he doesn’t know. Months after finally escaping an abusive relationship, he’s terrified of anything more than a physical connection. Maybe it’s a sin, but he’s too lonely to not let men into his bed, and too scared to let them into his heart.
When Alhazar’s civilian job brings him aboard the USS Fort Stevens, and his daily prayers bring him into Dylan’s chapel, the chemistry is instantaneous. Sex and friendship quickly evolve into more, but Dylan’s too haunted by his recent past to be the man Alhazar wants. Alhazar needs love, Dylan needs time, and if they can’t find some sort of balance, they’ll sink before they ever have a chance to swim.
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About the series:
Welcome to Anchor Point!
Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.
So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.
Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you'd like!
My Weird Writing Habits
So every writer has their own habits and techniques. Whether mine are any stranger than the next writer’s, I couldn’t tell you, but my methods aren’t exactly what I envisioned when I was a third grader fantasizing about one day being an author.
- I write out of sequence. Not just the book – the chapters. Even paragraphs. Everything is written in little fragments, and I keep filling in the white space in between until every fragment is sewn together. The only time I write chronologically is when I’m co-writing (and even then I’ll usually write my chapters in pieces) or on the rare occasion that the mood strikes, which usually lasts until about halfway through (At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere is my only solo book written 100% chronologically).
- I outline… sort of. Sometimes I outline the book first. Sometimes I dive in, write a few chapters to get a feel for the characters, and then outline. In the last year or two, I’ve started writing more without an outline – To My Future Number 1 Fan and Bouncing Back were each almost 50% written before I stopped to outline. The only book I’ve ever written on my own without any kind of outline was… again… At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere.
- When I get stuck or about halfway through the book (whichever comes first), I’ll print out what I have, read it over, and do some writing by hand. This usually means filling in a lot of the space between fragments by hand, and it also gives me a chance to clean up punctuation/typos, as well as straighten out any plot issues, continuity errors, etc. Some books get printed once. Some multiple times. Suspense novels go through this process a lot more often than contemporary romances because the plots are more complex.
- After I finish a manuscript, I print it and give it a top-to-bottom revision pass. Then it’s off to the editor. When I brainstorm, mark up a manuscript, or write by hand, I always use blue Pilot G7 0.7 mm Retractable Rollerball Gel Pens. Always.
- I use Excel spreadsheets for basically everything. Tracking royalties, daily word counts, progress on various works-in-progress, translations/subrights, release dates, etc. I even use a spreadsheet for my outline.
- I keep myself on task with daily word count quotas. For the last several years, my daily quota has been 5,000 words. If I hit my quota, I get a green square on my spreadsheet. If I don’t, it’s another color depending on my output (red for under 1,000, yellow for under 3,000, a pitiful shade of pink shame for under 4,000, etc). If I crack 10,000, I get a blue square. 15,000 gets purple. I rarely get purple squares, and still get kind of excited when I get blue ones, but green squares are non-negotiable. Once I start writing for the day, it’s 5,000 or bust because I am NOT losing my green square. That may sound kind of silly, but it motivates around 1,000,000 words out of me every year.
- I’m an avid audiobook listener, and since 2017, have been working with a lot of my favorite narrators to produce my own books. I often joke that I have Michael Ferraiuolo and Nick J Russo chained in my basement, and I also work with Greg Tremblay and a few others. When I’m writing, I usually have a specific narrator in mind for a book (sometimes he’s even contracted before the book is finished). As such, I’ve started hearing their voices while I’m writing, which definitely plays into how the book is ultimately written.
- When I self-publish, I outsource editing (as well as translations and audio, of course), and do the cover art and formatting myself. Sometimes I’ll hire a cover artist if I absolutely can’t nail down a cover for a book, but I usually do my own artwork.
- At any given time, I have 20-30 books waiting to be written, plus dozens more in the “vague plot bunny that could totally turn into an actual story at any moment” stage.
- I work on multiple WIPS simultaneously. There’s usually a main book – one that’s on a deadline or is enthusiastically devouring my brain – and a handful of others getting 500 words here, 1,000 words there. Plus at least one or two cowritten books (I’m currently co-writing with Cari Z and Amy Lane). If a deadline is getting close or a book just won’t shut up, I’ll drop everything and focus on that one, which usually means finishing in 2-3 weeks. The rest of the time, I’m all over the place.
So now you know a little more about the weirdness that goes on while I’m writing!
About the author:
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…
L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter.
To celebrate the release of Sink or Swim, L.A. is giving away reader’s choice of two eBooks off of her backlist and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 21, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.