Skip to content

Month: October 2019

Interview with Tammy L. Grace and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m introducing you to Tammy L. Grace. I really enjoyed this interview and getting to know her better. She’s the first author I’ve had on here who talks about interviewing her characters! I think that’s fascinating. And, well, I love anyone who loves typing on a keyboard like mine. Tammy is giving away a copy of her latest Christmas release. Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m Tammy L. Grace and I live in my hometown, a rural community outside of Reno, Nevada. I’ve always loved to read and with the help of my middle school teacher discovered the joy of creative writing. I started writing stories and wrote a column for our local newspaper throughout my middle and junior high school years. At the time, I never considered a career in writing and instead got my MBA and worked for local and state government. I retired in my mid-40’s, excited to start a second career as a novelist, my dream job.

I published my first book in my Hometown Harbor Series in 2014 and am working on my fifteenth novel now. I write best-selling women’s fiction with a hint of romance, Hallmark-style Christmas romances, and an award-winning private detective mystery series that is on the cozy-side. I also write for Bookouture under my pen name, Casey Wilson, and will be releasing two dog-centric books in 2020, both of which will appeal to those who love stories like Marley and Me.

Speaking of dogs, I’m a huge dog lover and include canine companions in all of my books to date. My husband and I have one grown son and a new golden retriever puppy, who keeps us on our toes.

Tell us about your current release. My new release, The Magic of the Season, is a heartwarming Christmas novella set in the fictional town of Silver Falls, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s the sequel to last year’s Christmas release, A Season for Hope.

The inspiration for the first book came to me in a chance encounter I had with a woman whose car broke down in my hometown during the holidays. After hearing from readers who enjoyed the story and wanted to know more about the characters in Silver Falls, I decided to write the sequel this year. They center around a huge Christmas festival that takes place in the quaint mountain town.

They are both stories of family, friendship, small-town celebrations, and the kindness of strangers. My hometown has some wonderful Christmas traditions and I’ve borrowed many of them for these novellas.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I find stepping away from my project and doing something physical usually helps. I come up with lots of ideas on walks or while vacuuming. Other times, I’ll take a break and binge watch a series or movie, just to let my brain go into neutral. That seems to be when an idea clicks and then I can go back to the project with a fresh outlook.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? Retirement actually inspired me to approach writing seriously. It offered me the freedom to spend my days writing and learning about the industry, without having to depend on it for a living. It’s difficult to make a decent living writing, so most writers start out, at least, working a regular job and writing in their off hours. It made retiring from a job I loved less scary, because I was so looking forward to embracing this second career.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I always have my characters fully developed and use an interview process to make sure I get to know them well before I begin a book. I like to live with them for a bit and get to know them in my imagination before I dive into writing. For my mystery series, I usually have every detail outlined and plotted, but for my other books, I start with a loose outline and often develop more of the story as I write and let the characters string me along with them.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Each time I’m asked this, I encourage anyone who is interested in writing a book to attend a writing conference. It’s the best way to learn more about not only the craft, but the business, publishing paths, and marketing aspects of the book world. Not only that, but the ability to chat with other authors and professionals in the industry is priceless.

What is your preferred method of writing? When I start brainstorming ideas, it’s always with pen and paper. There’s something about actual writing that I enjoy and I love pens and pencils. I have way too many of them! Once I have fleshed out my ideas on paper, I begin writing and am most comfortable in my home office on a desktop computer. I’ve worn out several keyboards and finally splurged on a mechanical one that lets me change the backlight color and it’s so pretty, it makes me want to type.

What is your inspiration for writing? I tend to be inspired by travel. I came up with the idea for my Hometown Harbor Series while on a ferry to visit the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington, which is where the series takes place. A trip to Nashville inspired my quirky detective character who lives with his wealthy aunt in Belle Meade. For my Christmas books, my hometown and the beautiful area I live in near Lake Tahoe were the driving forces behind them.

My own golden retriever, Zoe, who is featured in my first book, was the inspiration for all the dogs I’ve included in my work. She was my writing buddy and I was devastated to lose her in 2017. I’m hoping my new puppy, Izzy, will become my new writing companion.

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? I think my typical readers are women, although I’ve had several men tell me how much they enjoy my mysteries, with a male lead. My female readers are usually over forty, enjoy escaping with stories of friendship and family that transport them to places they would love to visit or live, where they’re introduced to characters they’d like as friends. Chances are if you’re a fan of my books, you’re a fan of Hallmark and authors like Debbie Macomber.

Here is where you can find Tammy online:

Subscribe to Tammy’s monthly newsletter and get a FREE interview with the dogs from her Hometown Harbor Series: https://wp.me/P9umIy-e

Website:  http://www.tammylgrace.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammylgrace.books

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorTammyLGraceBookBuddies/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/tammylgrace

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tammy-l-grace

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/authortammylgrace/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tammylgrace/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TammyLGrace

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7799289.Tammy_L_Grace

YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCei5GUWLSuD3tLBl81-Fa9w

Tammy is giving away both ebooks in her Christmas in Silver Falls series to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal

Pin It
7 Comments

Interview with Betty Thomason Owens and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I love it when I have a personal friend as my guest. This week, I’m bringing you Betty Thomason Owens. We serve together on the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference planning committee and are members together in the Louisville chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers. We have shared many meals together, I’ve had her and her husband as a guest in my home many times, and we have spent hours praying together. I hope you fall in love with her as much as I have! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. My name is Grandma. It’s a title of honor and I love it. Aside from that, I’m a wife and mom, of course. I raised three sons and apparently used too much fertilizer. Two of them are 6’3” and the short one is only six foot. My husband and I have been empty nesters for quite a while, and we love it. I’m also an author, another title I love. I’ve been writing for about thirty years, but I have only been a serious author since the late nineties. I write fantasy and historical romance.

Tell us about your current release. Annabelle’s Joy is book 3 of the Kinsman Redeemer series. It’s the final book in the series, so I did my best to tie up all the ends. Book one, Annabelle’s Ruth, was inspired by the Book of Ruth. Annabelle is the Naomi character. In this final chapter, she’s found peace and is beginning to heal from her tragic losses. It’s also a story of community and family, set in 1950s rural west Tennessee. Tom Franklin, a man she’s been avoiding, is building a new house right next door. Annabelle tries to ignore her growing attraction to him until a new single lady moves to town and plants herself between Annabelle and Tom. Sometimes competition is exactly the catalyst needed to bring about the desired conclusion.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? I absolutely would. It is such a blessing to hear that a reader has been positively impacted by something I’ve written. There’s nothing sweeter.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I used to worry about it. Would I sell more books if I wasn’t writing inspirational fiction? Though nice, selling a lot of books is not the main concern. If I’m called to write, it’s my mission. My life’s goal has to be to fulfill my mission and glorify God through it.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I was sitting in my fifth-grade classroom in Milan, Tennessee, when a young boy came to the door, tears streaming down his face, to announce: “The president has been shot.” With my classmates, I sat in stunned silence as our teacher covered her mouth and tears streamed down her face. One of America’s most famous and beloved presidents, John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. I will never forget that moment.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Yes, I like to work toward a goal. The genre determines length. The fantasy books I wrote were closer to 100K, but the historical novels run 80 or 90K.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel. What were some of your major roadblocks and how did you overcome them? My first roadblock was not knowing what I was doing. Hah! When the inspiration to write first came, I tested the waters by writing short stories. I took a short story writing class at a local college. The professor encouraged me to continue writing, but he said I was not a short story writer. I needed a longer venue. So’ I sat down and wrote until it ended, almost a hundred-thousand words later. Figuring out what to do after that was the most difficult step. There’s a part of me that fears change and another part that is terrified of success, so it’s a constant battle.

The next step was to attend a writers’ conference, which hooked me. There was no turning back. It’s continuing education, encouragement and inspiration.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? Yes! I’m a character-driven writer, so I tend to follow my characters through until the end. I may have an idea where I’m going, and occasionally, I may change direction to stay on the path I want to go, but the character still has the final say. Right now, I’m working on a suspense story. When I tried to take it the direction I wanted to go, the inspiration completely dried up. I’d reached a dead end and had to circle back. I actually started over. When I caught on to the character’s voice, the inspiration and the story was there, so I let her take the lead. Turns out, she wanted to tell the story. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? There are several: I never dreamed I’d be a published writer. I certainly never expected to be signing books at a Barnes and Noble. I never saw myself teaching a seminar on writing, but I’ve done that, too—in Cuenca, Ecuador!

Here’s where you can find Betty online:

BettyThomasonOwens.com

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

Betty is giving away a copy of Annabelle’s Joy to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway


halleeLOGOspinefinal

6 Comments

Valerie’s Verdict is Now Available!

Broken and battered, Valerie comes home and finds a lifetime of love waiting for her.

I am so excited to announce that Valerie’s Verdict, book 2 of the Dixon Brothers Series, is now available for download and paperback purchase!

You can get it on Amazon at this link.

VALERIE FLYNN grew up with the Dixon brothers, never differentiating one more than the other. When she leaves for college, she puts Atlanta and her childhood behind her, ready to make a life for herself somewhere else. An abusive relationship almost destroys her physically and emotionally, and manages to wipe out her relationship with God.

Since boyhood days, BRAD DIXON has always carried a flame for VALERIE. Her engagement to another man shattered his dreams. When she comes home, battered and bruised, recovering from a nearly fatal relationship, he prays God will use him to help her heal.

VALERIE returns to Atlanta seeking a fresh start, but she finds herself in a strange place. Not only is BRAD now her boss, she starts to develop feelings for him. Is it possible she can overcome the past and open herself up to another relationship, or did the damage done to her body and soul permanently take away any chance of happiness and love?

AND – Courting Calla, book 1 of the Dixon Brothers Series, is free through October 23rd! You can find it at this link.

Pin It
Leave a Comment

Interview with Heather Norman Smith and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so happy to have Heather Norman Smith as my guest! I loved her interview, how she shows her heart for God and for the stories He’s given her. I also really love the sound of her new book! I am definitely adding it to my to be read pile. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy for yourself!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m so happy for the opportunity to be on Hallee’s blog. I am married, and I have a twelve-year-old daughter, a nine-year old daughter, a six-year-old son, an almost three-year-old foster son, two dogs, two cats, and some fish. Our home is in the foothills of North Carolina, where I’ve lived all my life. Writing has become my passion, and I appreciate the opportunity to use my writing, both fiction and nonfiction, to tell people about the love of God.

Tell us about your current release. Where I Was Planted released in July. It’s written in first person, and one of the key messages is that, while fathers may leave, our Heavenly Father is faithful and He has a plan for all of us.

From the back cover:

In the spring of 1961, ten-year-old Nate “Weenie” Dooley has a revelation—his father is not a good one.

Inspired by National Geographic, his favorite thing next to the Bible storybook his mother gave him before she died, Nate plans to leave his father and their home in the Smokies to set out on adventure.

When he discovers that his father has left him first, it will take the help of a stray dog, some kind neighbors, a one-man-band, letters from a long-lost-aunt, and a new understanding of God to figure out he isn’t really alone.

Will he find that Copper Creek is where he’s always belonged? Or will his wanderlust keep him from ever coming back?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes! And even if that one person was me. I’ve written three (and a half) novels so far, and each was completed because I was compelled to get the stories out of my head. I felt like I couldn’t not write them.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? So far, I’ve only written what I felt in my heart needed to be written. Not following a certain formula for my writing career means I’m off the logical path to success, or at least the common definition of it. But that’s okay. If I keep writing, and trying to learn the craft and the industry, God will make me “successful” if that’s His plan for me. Otherwise, I’m content with the audience He’s given me.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? Some of the characters scream louder than others. I’ve completed the three novels that I felt the most sense of urgency to finish, and along the way, I’ve taken lots of notes about other stories that I hope to tell one day. I scribble on a notebook that I carry in my purse, and I use the notes app in my phone a lot.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? My characters inspired me to write. I loved to write when I was younger, but hadn’t written fiction in years, although I was blogging devotions. I was sitting on the beach one day, watching my children play, when the main character of my first book started talking to me. I knew I had to tell her story, and once I did, I didn’t stop writing. Since it happened that way, I also feel like God had a hand in it. For whatever purpose, I think He wants me to write these stories.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Colleen Hill from Grace & Lavender is very autobiographical in the sense that she places great value on kindness and is always searching for her purpose. She is always “busy” with a new project, trying to fill a need to do more and be more. She loves God but she often forgets that our identity should be found in Him and not what people think of us.

Here is where you can find Heather online:

http://www.heathernormansmith.com

http://www.facebook.com/heathernormansmith

http://www.instagram.com/heathernormansmith

http://www.twitter.com/hnsblog

Heather is giving away a paperback copy of her book to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


halleeLOGOspinefinal

Pin It
7 Comments

Interview with Mystery Author Abigail Keam and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am introducing you to my friend Abigail Keam. Abigail and I met in a Kentucky writers group six or seven years ago. I have enjoyed spending time with her any chance I get to see her and I’m thrilled that she’s my guest today. Abigail writes mysteries set in Kentucky and romances set in Florida – two of my favorite states! Abigail is giving away a copy of the first book in her latest series – so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hello, I am an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author who writes the Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series about a Southern beekeeper turned amateur female sleuth in the Bluegrass.  In addition to Josiah Reynolds, I have a new heroine— Mona Moon.  I just released my new Mona Moon Mysteries1930s mystery series. I love this era and the research was a joy.  I combined real events and people into the storyline giving the stories an additional richness.

I also have written The Last Chance For Love Series where strangers from all walks of life come to the Last Chance Motel in Key Largo and get a second chance at rebuilding their lives and The Princess Maura Fantasy Series.

My first mystery novel, Death By A HoneyBee, won the 2010 Gold Medal Award for Women’s Lit from Readers’ Favorite and was a Finalist of the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011. 

Death By Drowning won the 2011 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery Sleuth from Readers’ Favorite and also was placed on the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist.

I am an award-winning beekeeper who has won 16 honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair including the Barbara Horn Award, which is given to beekeepers who rate a perfect 100 in a honey competition.  So when I write about beekeeping in my Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, I know what I’m talking about.

I currently live on the Kentucky River in a metal house with my husband and various critters.

Tell us about your current release. My current release is Murder Under A Blue Moon—a 1930s Mona Moon Mystery series.  It’s a rags-to-riches story about Mona Moon who is an out-of-work cartographer and pinching pennies when she receives the news that her uncle had died and left her a fortune plus a Thoroughbred horse farm.  Mona relocates from New York to the Moon estate in Kentucky only to discover her uncle has been murdered.  Now she has to find out who did the dastardly deed or she might be next!

To make matters more complicated, her next door neighbor is English nobility, Lord Farley, who is too smooth, too charming, and too handsome.  Mona doesn’t like him. So why does Mona’s heart beat faster when she sees him?

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down?  It takes me about three months to write each book.  In today’s market that is not fast enough, but I want to put out a good story, and one that will outlast reading fads.  I am hoping readers will be enjoying my novels long after I’m gone.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)?  I have seen poorly written novels make the New York Times list and excellent books bite the dust.  There is no rhyme or reason to success sometimes.  I think some writers must be sprinkled with pixie dust.  I write the best I can and hope for the best with sales.  I love my characters and my stories.  I think it shows in the writing.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I remember being in the second grade and wanting to be a writer.  I wrote my first story in the second grade.  It was titled Bobby Bobo Got Baptized At The Big Bone Baptist Church.  My teacher showed it to my mother and told her to encourage me to write.  However, my mother was already on top of it.  It was my mother who imparted the love of the written word.  She and I would take the public bus to the Cincinnati Library every month and bring home a shopping bag full of books.  I would read them all, and she would take me back to the library.  We did this for years.  She thought education was very important and pushed, pushed, and pushed.  I’m so thankful she did.  I rewrote Bobby Bobo several years ago and published it as well as several other autobiographical short stories.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? If it were 2010, I would advise to self-publish.  However, things have changed, and I tell newbies to get a deal with a publishing house if they can.  The new self-publishing authors are struggling because the writing field is glutted, and a self-publishing author must spend sixty percent of her/his time marketing.  If the author doesn’t know what she is doing then she will fail.  I know several New York Time best-selling authors who are throwing in the towel because they can’t make a living anymore.  My advice—keep your day job.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?  I have a vague outline, but I let the characters guide me.  I don’t keep notebooks or do charts.  Somehow it seems to work out all right.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? I like short, tight books.  I rarely write over 45K wordsI keep description and adjectives at a minimum. Less is more with me. It’s a pet peeve of mine, but I hate reading a book with long wordy narratives and pages of description that don’t push the story forward.  An author should be able to present a mood or depiction of a character, location, or object in a few short lines.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Stay away from “publishing businesses” which promise success in return for a large fee.  It’s most probably a scam.  I saw one such business advertising on FB which guaranteed a 100K salary in the first year for new authors.  The asking fee for their magic formula was $10,000. Not going to happen, folks.  Also get rid of toxic people in your life.  They will sabotage you and your work.

Here is where you can find Abigail online:

Official Site     www.abigailkeam.com

Facebook        https://www.facebook.com/AbigailKeam

Instagram        https://www.instagram.com/abigailkeam/

Twitter             https://twitter.com/abigailkeam

Pinterest          https://www.pinterest.com/abigailkeam/

Amazon           https://www.amazon.com/Abigail-Keam/e/B0045PEGUQ

YouTube         https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCThdrO8pCPN6JfTM9c857JA

email   abigailshoney@windstream.net

Bookbub          https://www.bookbub.com/authors/abigail-keam

Abigail is giving away a copy of Under a Blue Moon to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal

Pin It
6 Comments

Interview with Carol Moncado and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so excited to bring you my friend Carol Moncado. Carol and I have been friends for years and see each other as often as the conferences we both attend will allow. She is so much fun to be around and is just genuine and nice to everyone she meets. I hope you learn to adore her as much as I do. And – she’s giving away a copy of her latest release  It’s (Royally) Complicated to one of you! Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hey, everyone! I’m Carol Moncado and I have voices in my head. Fortunately, they’re characters who tell me stories ;). I get paid to write them down and share them with others!

In the rest of my life, I’m a very active band mom and married to the booster president. I currently have three girls in the high school band at the moment. My senior plays tenor sax, but is currently a side drum major. My sophomore plays flute but her true love is color guard. My freshman plays trumpet and is really coming into her own. I also have a seventh grade son who plays trombone and loves improv (acting, not music).

Between the two, that takes up pretty much all of my time – but I wouldn’t trade either one for the world! I love spending time with my kids and their friends – until I basically have 150 kids all together ;). I’m only helping four with college though…

Tell us about your current release. My new release is It’s (Royally) Complicated. It’s book 9 in the Crowns & Courtships series, but can be read as a standalone (reading book 8, The (Elusive) Princess, first might not be a bad idea though).

Genevieve is the outgoing princess who’s feeling a bit shoved aside and unneeded as her older brother, the king, has married and his wife is expecting their first child. Her mother is happily remarried and doesn’t need Gen as much anymore. And Gen’s slightly younger twin sister has found the love of her life in a friend of Gen’s.

She just wants to escape her life for a few days, so she hops in the RV with Levi, who she’s known for several years.

But, of course, things can’t be that simple!

For starters… Levi has no idea she’s a princess. Can a relationship on the road find a way to work when it’s not just complicated, it’s royally complicated?

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I don’t. /laugh/ Fortunately, they usually wait their turns.

Occasionally, one will tell me he or she isn’t ready to let me in yet. That’s what happened with the last two books. I was all set to write Gen’s story, but she refused to talk to me. Instead, Evie was like “Talk to me instead!” So I did. And then Gen told me hers.

Of course, I also had their aunt pop up and go “Why do you think I am the way I am?” I tried to tell her she was a minor character and I didn’t really care, but she told me anyway… So Aunt Louise will get her own story before too long.

Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I feel like I have vague recollections of Reagan getting shot, but the first one I really remember is the Challenger explosion. I was in upper elementary and my dad (who taught at my school and had been watching on TV during the teacher’s meeting) came out to get me so I could watch.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I sought traditional publication for a number of years, but it was time, as the saying goes, to fish or cut bait.

I did sign with my agent about that time. We sent a book around, but no one was interested, so I went indie instead. It’s been an amazing almost five years! I would still love to be hybrid if the right opportunity came along, but until then I’ll keep talking to the voices in my head :).

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Oh, this makes me laugh! I’m what they call a pantser, almost completely. I’ve started books with just a first sentence (“Throw him in the dungeon.”) or a title (Hand-Me-Down Princess) and then see where it goes. Usually it’s a bit more ironed out than that, but not always. See the questions below for more.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Usually I have a pretty good idea and a goal word count in mind. I almost always come in within a couple of thousand words. I’ve always been a sequential writer until the last few books. Then I write from the beginning until I get stuck, then jump to the next thing I know is going to happen. Often this is the “beginning of the end” and I write through until the end. Once that’s done, I have a much better idea of how much middle I need to hit my word count and go back to add it in.

With It’s (Royally) Complicated, I took this to the next level. I wrote about 20K words (goal was 75K), then jumped to the beginning of the end. We’ll call those sections A and D. But “the ending” was only another 15K words – not nearly enough. So I went back and wrote before that beginning of the end section. We’ll call that section C. As I wrote it, I realized “the end” wasn’t actually the end. So I wrote section E (20K words). Then went back and filled in the middle (which wasn’t long, but I’m not sure how long really).

So I wrote the five sections like this: A, D, C, E, B.

Yeah. That was a hot mess and I don’t plan to do it again. OY!

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? I’ve often described my writing process as a road trip.

You start in San Diego and have to drive to Portland, Maine, but you have like a month to get there.

You do need to be in Oklahoma City on a certain date. Then Indianapolis on a certain date. And you’ve got plans in Manhattan another day.

But beyond that, you’re free to do whatever you want. Grand Canyon and Painted Desert? Sure! Rather head north first and see some of those national parks? You can do that! Vegas? Go for it!

As long as you’re where you need to be on those specific dates.

Those stops are major points in the story. The inciting incident, the black moment, etc.

But in between, there’s so many options you can do whatever you want.

Of course… sometimes you get to St. Louis, see there’s a blizzard in Maine and decide to hit the Florida Keys instead.

That’s when you just hang on for the ride!

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I never thought I’d be a sports mom – and I’m not. But I am a band mom. It was never a thing that remotely occurred to me. I don’t play an instrument. I play the radio.

And on a good day can get Pandora or Amazon music to cooperate.

But I misunderstood a paper that came home with my oldest in 5th grade. I thought it said sixth graders had to do either band or choir. I knew band was the better option for this particular kid, so I channeled her that direction. She started with clarinet then moved to tenor saxophone.

Turns out, the paper said band or music appreciation. I would have pushed for music, because it was free.

We all would have missed out on SO MUCH.

That first kid? She’s AMAZING. She’s taken solos to state three years so far. She’s cadet teaching sixth grade woodwinds with her director this year and has already been accepted to the local university where she plans to pursue music ed (and take over for him someday).

Because of her trailblazing, the others are following near her footsteps. Finding their own niches within the larger band family.

The hard work, dedication, time management, multitasking, and other skills are things that aren’t specifically taught in any class, but will serve my kids well in the future. And the relationships will last a lifetime.

I also never thought I’d get to stand on Sixth Avenue (on the coldest Thanksgiving in over a hundred years) and watch my 17yo march down the street with her saxophone in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

But I did.

And I wouldn’t change a bit of it!

Here is where you can find Carol online:

https://www.carolmoncado.com

https://www.facebook.com/CarolMoncadoBooks/

Carol is giving away an ebook copy of It’s (Royally) Complicated to a reader! See below how to enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal

Pin It
4 Comments
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera