How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?



My Friday Friend is Michelle Griep. She’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest

For information on the book giveaway read to the bottom of the post!

She’s here to ask and answer the question:

 How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

I’m frequently asked how long it takes me to write a book. That depends, of course, on how long the book is, but for an average 90-95k novel, I can do it in about 9 months. That includes my excessive editing and some research, assuming I have a basic knowledge of the era. If I don’t it takes longer. My newest release, however, is a gift book, meaning that it’s half the size of a regular novel, coming in at right around 45k words. That took me only 4 months to write.

So, now that you’ve got my numbers, how does that match up with other writers? Here are a some famous authors and their even more famous titles, along with the time it took them to write it.

GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell—–10 years

LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo—-12 years

LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien—-16 years

A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens—-6 weeks

WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Bronte—-9 months

TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyere—3 months

THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald—-2 1/2 years


So, as you can see, there is no standard time for writing a novel. Nor is there a standard time for reading said novels. This is the perfect time of year to grab a hot drink and a blankie, then cozy up on a couch for a nice read . . .and have I got a read for you!

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger…and love? England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane. Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love. Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series–a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale–by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.


Thanks, Michelle. I loved seeing the stats on those books. I’m in awe that it only took 6 weeks to write A Christmas Carol! What about you, readers? Which one did you find surprising? Michelle has so kindly offered to give a copy of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor to one reader–print or ebook–the winner’s choice. Thanks so much, Michelle.

If you want to be entered to win the book, leave a comment and you’re entered. Contest will end on September 22!

God Bless & Good Reading!



Friday Friend–Michelle Ule


Navy wife Michelle Ule is a graduate of UCLA and the author of five novellas and a novel. She lives in northern California with her family where she works at a literary agency, teaches Bible study, plays in a woodwind ensemble, and writes. She’s a long-time lay counselor in both crisis pregnancies and budget counseling. She loves to travel and is an accomplished genealogist. You can learn more about her at

Today, Michelle tells us a little about how she researched part of her novel, 12 BRIDES OF SUMMER:


It’s always interesting when you start the research involved with writing any new story. The use of money in a business was a subplot of The Sunbonnet Bride because I’ve known so many women who have tried to run small businesses out of their homes with often limited success.

To that end, I gave Sally Martin a familiar skill—sewing—a slightly unique approach: sewing a sunbonnet whose brim kept its shape even in a tornado; and provided two men with different ideas about using their talents in a disaster.

Sally learned to her surprise that she couldn’t continue to donate her time and talents to help neighbors who have lost their homes, if she didn’t keep back some resources to refresh her supplies. That meant I had to learn how much things cost in 1875 Nebraska.

Google, of course, helped.

Her needs were few: narrow reeds (free from the creek), a thimble, needle, thread and calico. The rest she could do with a borrowed iron and her skills.

How much would it cost to sew a sunbonnet?

A yard of calico cloth cost seven cents a yard, while a spool of thread cost a dime.

I never did learn the cost of a thimble, perhaps they could be handed down, but today on ebay, you can purchase a silver 1875 thimble for $75! Way too expensive for Sally.

A needle? According to Godey’s Magazine, volume 81, published in 1880, you could buy 10 needles for four cents

So, the tools cost about 17 cents for a full yard of material, thread and needle. You could probably get at least two sunbonnets from that much—so a sunbonnet would cost about eight cents in materials to sew. Is that so much to ask.

Her time, of course, was a completely different matter and 1 Timothy 5:18 reminds us “a laborer is worthy of his/her hire.”

Sally’s two very different suitors—Josiah the banker in a pristine suit and Malcolm the teamster sweating as he toted goods to the tornado victims—both argued with her about keeping some of the money as “seed corn” for the sunbonnets she sold.

It was hard for sweet generous Sally, but as she puzzled out what type of businesswoman she wanted to be, she came to see a man’s heart toward the poor was a fine indicator of the type of husband she wanted.

And in the end, it all came down to the purchase of seven sunbonnets!



The Sunbonnet Bride

By Michelle Ule

part of The 12 Brides of Summer, Collection # 1

Bumbling teamster Malcolm MacDougall vies with suave banker Josiah Finch for the hand of the lively hat maker Sally Martin after a tornado touches down in the neighboring communities.

While Josiah sees an opportunity to make plenty of money to support a potential bride in style, Malcolm adds up the facts against his Bible and realizes helping those in need is more important than turning a profit.

When Sally’s hats become the stylish rage of southeastern Nebraska, will she choose a teamster or a banker for her life’s happiness?


Thanks, Michelle, for being my guest today and giving us a glimpse of what it takes to be a historical writer! Good for you–I’ll stick to contemporary!


Until next time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!