Monday, August 23, 2010

So now I done "undid" it

I always get so excited when I write the end. It feels so good to reach the goal.  But, I tend to mull over the ending, disecting it bit by bit until I talk myself out of it. I've done that with four of my eight published books.

And now I'm doing it again. It's not that I didn't like what I'd written, but it just lacked umph, verve. Dunno, something. So I reread to the point where I think I lost momentum and deleted from there. Which of course means I now have about 1500 words left to write again. No worries. I still feel good about all I accomplished this summer and I'm feeling better about the new direction I'm taking the ending in. Gotta love the drama.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Done DId It!!!!

Well sorta.  I made a goal for myself to finish the current wip I'm working on before the start of school. I did go back to work Friday and I didn't finish the book until Sunday, but school doesn't officially begin until Monday, Aug 23, so while it might be cheating, I'm going to pat myself on the back and say "I done did it."

97,630 words so far. Now - that's just the rough draft. The first 40,000 words are pretty well polished, but I need to do several read throughs on the back end of the manuscript before I submit. I'm still thrilled though. Wow. I've only written one other book that fast and that was A Noble Sacrifice.

Still floating a bit. Maybe my hero, Torin, will let me actually sleep tonight. He's the reason I've stayed awake plotting in my head and the reason I met my goal. I was tried of losing sleep. Ack.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One Writer's Life

The following guest speaks close to my heart as I'm also a teacher. Please welcome Allison Knight as my guest blogger. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.

Have you ever wondered about the life of the author of the book you are reading? What kind of a person writes about space aliens, or who envisions tales of a mass murderer? How about the author of a spicy romance? Exactly what kind of a person are they - in real life? Because, lets face it, a fiction writer is involved in a world of pretend. More often than not, they're nothing like the characters who people their books.

I never gave the 'real' life of an author a thought, until some interesting things happened in me that were directly related to my writing romances and the way people perceive me.

Let me start at the beginning of my fiction writing career. Here I was, a forty something, I been teaching Home Economics for years, I was mother of four, plump, and viewed as a grandmotherly type. In fact, more than once in a classroom, I got called grandma. So, you get the idea. Picture what you would imagine the typical Home Economics teacher of forty years ago to be.

Then try and imagine the shock of the other teachers who had no idea you were writing anything, when, at a teachers' meeting, your principal pulls your first romance from his briefcase and asks you to autograph it. Of course, in those days, the covers always featured the heroine and the hero leaving nothing to the imagination as to what kind of book it was. And at the time, romance novels were considered little more than trash. Quite a few people insisted they had little value and there was nothing worthwhile about them.

But it didn't end at the meeting. My principal insisted, before our assembled teachers that I had to include him in my next book. At the time my thought was, "Yea! I'll make you a villain." Of course I didn't say it.
I even made radio in those days. Paul Harvey, on his midday show, commented there was a Michigan teacher telling her students about family living during the day and writing romance novels at night. That raised a few eyebrows at school. I didn't hear the program. I was busy teaching and telling my students to put my book away because they couldn't read during class. But, believe me, I heard about Mr. Harvey's comments.

There was one shining moment in my early career as an author and I'd like to share that because it gives purpose to what I do. One afternoon, as I hurried to the workroom for something, (I don't remember what) one of my male students stopped me in the hall. He wanted to know if he could talk to me. He wanted to talk about my novel. By this time, I got a bit defensive if anyone said they wanted to talk about MY book.

He indicated he wished to have his say someplace private, not in the hallway, so we went to a corner of the library. I assured him we would talk, and I figured, oh boy, here it comes again! Another - shame on you, or how could you, or my parents.... I'd heard it all before.

Imagine my shock when he said he'd read my book and then sheepishly, admitted he'd never read a whole book before. I was stunned. He was a junior in high school. I don't know why, but I asked him if he like it. He said, yes, he did. But the story doesn't end there.

Two years later, in the fall, I was shopping in our local mall and stopped at the book store. Here came my student from the back of the store, his arms full of books. He had a stack of five or six hardback novels, and not small ones, by any means. He greeted me and said, "See what you've done to me. Now I spent all my spare money on books." At that moment I knew why I wrote fiction. If nothing else, I had inspired one young man to read a book and once he discovered how wonderful the experience was, he had to have more of it.

Now, when I get a bit discouraged, and wonder why I keep plugging away at the computer, I remember my student. It's worth my hard work if through my books another young person can experience the joy of immersing themselves in the world of make believe.

So, the next time you read a book, you might give a thought to the life of the author. Just what are they like, what kind of life do they live and why are they writing fiction. I'll bet they are much like you and me and I can tell you now, they write because it's in their blood; they have to write. And like me, they have probably experienced something that gives them the incentive to keep writing.

Allison Knight writes "Heart-warming Romance with a Sensual Touch"
Her books can be found at

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And so it begins again

I go back to the regular day job tomorrow. Since I teach, that means a week and one day of inservice. I have mixed emotions. In some ways, I'm excited to start a new year. It's always fun to connect to new students, to teach kids how to discover their creativity. On the other hand, it means I have that much less time to write and -- I didn't make my goal. Well, I'm almost there and technically I don't start actually teaching for another week so it's possible that I could write those last 8000 words by the start of school, but doubtful. Still, I'm excited to be so far along. My next goal is to have it not only finihsed but polished and submitted by Christmas. I'll let you know how I do.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nancy Henderson joins me for a great interview.

Today, I've invited Nancy Henderson to be a guest blogger. She graciously answered a few questions and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better. Having read a few of her stories, I can attest to the quality of her work, so please welcome, author Nancy Henderson.

I see you have several books published by Champagne. Do you have books with any other publisher? I had two books our years ago with Dragonfly Publishing, both of which have since gone out of print, and I have an upcoming historical romance coming out from DCL Publications.

Looks like you write in two genres, historical and paranormal. Do you find it difficult to switch from genre to genre? Do you have any plans to mix genres in the future? I do find it difficult. Not so much going from historical to paranormal, but from historical to contemporary, as my paranormals take place in modern day. With writing historicals you have a set vocabulary, way of thinking to the time period, and with contemporary (paranormals) I can use modern language. One might think contemporary would be easier, but I find it’s more of a challenge. My voice becomes edgier. Not sure why. LOL
I had the pleasure of reading a short story you’d written once and I remember thinking how much I felt as if I was there, that you knew just how to rev up the emotion. Can you tell us any tricks you have for making the emotion more believable? Well, I guess I try to always put myself in their shoes, to understand what lives in their hearts, what makes them tick. If you don’t know your characters inside and out, you’re doomed from the start.
Romance is about relationships and of course, authors handle the sexual part of the relationship differently. On a scale of 1 – 10, how spicy do you make your love scenes? Do you have a difficult time with the part of the romance? Strangely no, I don’t have a difficult time LOL! They’re actually all different. They’re pretty much character driven. If my character’s bold, well….usually the scene is much spicier. Once I wrote a character who was pregnant most of the story, so it was pretty tame because of her predicament. So it all depends upon the character.
Tell us a little bit about your writing habits. Do you have a set time for writing? Do you listen to music or do you need absolute quiet? I write anywhere and everywhere. I have a large tote bag filled with notebooks, sometimes my laptop. I work full time, so I often write on lunch hours, and I usually write way into the night.
If a magic genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? To write the perfect book(s) that never needed a bit of editing (yeah, right!) For my family and friends to always be safe and happy.

This probably sounds crazy to most people, but I’d love for abuse of animals to never occur. I’m a huge animal lover. I just watched on the news where a dog was thrown from a multi-story building. Just breaks my heart.
Give us a little bit about your background and your life experiences? Have any of your own experiences inspired scenes in your stories? Hmmm…tough one! I come from a family of storytellers. My grandmother always told stories, as does my father. That was a big inspiration for me.
You just had a new release. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Be sure to include links to buy and a website where readers can learn more.
Four Winds is my upcoming release with DCL Publications. It’s a historical romance set during the French and Indian War with a Native American hero. Ghost Of A Chance is my upcoming release with Champagne Books, being released in February 2011. It’s a paranormal, and the hero is a ghost.
Details will be coming soon at my website: and I post current events of my books at my Twitter site:

Thanks for having me Ciara!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mom for the group

This will be my second post on thank yous to those that have touched my life and writing career. As I mentioned before, Kim got me started in a critique group whose members numbered about 8 at the time. The queen moderator who I think of as "mom for the group" was a most nurturing woman. Tam welcomed me as if she'd known me forever, but what I would thank her the most for was her patience and kindness in "teaching" me the craft.

Sure, I had great story ideas, but learning the best way for  manipulating the words to make that story shine is something that doesn't always come easier. Practice of course makes it easier now, but back then, I had a tone of writing demons to crush. I had a difficult time remembering to use active instead of passive words. And the "that" monster made an appearance every other paragraph. But Tam, patiently corrected me each time. She was also very good at brainstorming ideas and walking you through a difficult plot. Tam's not yet published, but it's not because she can't write. She has a fabulous way of stringing words together that make you feel as if you live in the story. I suspect she'll find a publisher soon. Talent like hers can't not find a home.

So, Tam, thank you for all you did for me so many years ago. I'll always think of you as my friend.