Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Playground Hat Trick

The Playground is delighted to have not one, not two but three guest bloggers here today sharing with our readers about the "stories behind the stories" from their anthology WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE.

Allison Brennan, Roxanne St. Claire and Karin Tabke are visiting today a
nd we've built another campfire in the middle of the sandbox to help keep us and our guests warm. It's going to hit 44 degrees today, which is twice as high as it got on Sunday. Pick up a wood skewer, grab a marshmallow and be careful not to burn your fingers.

The Stories Behind The Stories

Deliver Us From Evil by Allison Brennan

Nearly five years ago, I had an idea for a supernatural series. But shortly thereafter, I sold my romantic suspense and my supernatural idea had to be put on the back-burner. I
needed to build an audience in one genre before I started writing in another.

After six romantic suspense novels, I had a chance to write something a
little different--a paranormal romantic suspense. It was my chance to dust off my supernatural story idea and I was very excited.

But my ideas were all "big"--too big for a 35K word novella. I re-read the opening of the first book of the series--I'd written it back in 2003 and it was rough, but the core of the idea was there. And I realized why I had never gotten past those first hundred pages. I didn't
know enough about my hero's past.

The hero of my series is Rafe Cooper. He is the classic tortured hero, but I didn't really know why. Then it clicked--his backstory. His backstory--what made him the tortured hero he is in
my series--became my novella.

Rafe is the only survivor of a massacre at the lost mission of California. He's in a coma the entire novella, saved by his best friend Anthony Zaccardi, an historical architect and demonologist from a small island off Sicily. What happened that fateful night when twelve psychologically disturbed priests were slaughtered is known only to Rafe. And while Anthony was able to piece together the truth, he certainly didn't know what Rafe endured--or what he will have to endure when he comes out of the coma.

Deliver Us From Evil stands alone as well and serves as a "prequel" for a series I haven't sold yet. I had so much fun writing it. While there is a supernatural element, as my mom told me after she read it, "It sounds just like you." I couldn't help but laugh--my authorial voice is the same,
but having the freedom to explore what you can't see made this story both a joy and a challenge to write.

Reason To Believe by Roxanne St. Claire

Thanks, Playfriends…and especially my dear buddy Marilyn…for the invite to visit the Playground again! I love being here, and especially love sharing the swing set with my super-talented co-authors, Allison and Karin. WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE is my first toe-dip into the swirling waters of the paranormal, and I admit I was a little perplexed at how I would incorporate the world of woo into the Bullet Catcher fantasy I promise every reader.

It turned out to be tons of fun, as it usually is when we force ourselves to push the envelope of our comfort zone. But I didn’t go entirely out of my zone – I cheated when I wrote the novella,
Reason to Believe.

Back in 2000, I wrote my first manuscript, a romantic suspense called DANGEROUS SKIES. It
had a great run on the RWA contest circuit, finaling with reassuring regularity, and winning several first place slots. Best of all, the work garnered my first agent, an almost-offer or two, and lots of requests for a full, but it was ultimately (and mercifully) sent to that final resting place for all Not Quite Ready for Prime Time manuscripts...the box under the bed. But in that manuscript lived a hero I loved. My first love, really, since he was truly the first fully-developed (in every sense of the word) hero I'd ever created. Chase Ryker, a former Navy fighter pilot, an astronaut who’d flown the space shuttle, an engineer stud (I know, I know, can you spell oxymoron?) with a wry sense of humor and bone-deep belief in every law of science.

When it came time to write a paranormal, I pulled Chase out from under the bed just so I could throw him on it one more time. Did he still have the ability to make me go weak in the knees? Could he still wake me up at night with the
perfect line of dialogue and a twinkle of deep blue eyes? Did he still remind me of David James Elliott, when he peaked on JAG? Chase had gotten excellent scores in the contests, a few editors commented that he was memorable and delicious, and, honestly, I’d never really gotten over him. It turns out he just needed a new story, and what better way to torment the Man of Science than to force him to protect – and believe – a Woman of Woo? I really didn’t want to change his astronaut backstory….but somehow I had to make him a Bullet Catcher. I did, and I even used my own manuscript plot points as his personal history, and private pain. I let him grow his hair a little, too, since he wasn't in the military anymore. He still woke me with whispered dialogue, and he still buckled my knees.

So, what do you know? Some heroes never die, they just grow new plots! I hope he’s a welcome addition to the Bullet Catcher cadre and worthy of his HEA, since it was so many years in the making.

Redemption by Karin Tabke

Thank you ladies for inviting me to come by and play for the day! And hanging out with Allison and Rocki is an added plus!!!

I’ll cut right to the chase:

Have you ever read on a back cover blurb about how the hero is a bad boy, or a rake only to read the book and find out the author has told us he’s a rake/bad boy but he really isn’t? In Redemption, Zach Garrett is bad to the bone. But he lives hard, and he loves hard, and in Redemption the balance of humanity hinges on him righting his dastardly deeds done to the one person in the world who holds sway over him. Danica Keller.

I didn’t mince words or paint Zach into a rose-colored corner. He does some crappy stuff: this story is about his redemption. I hope you fall in love with him like I did.

My novella Redemption is the prequel to my Legends of the Fallen series. If I had to describe it in a nutshell I’d say Legends is about hot cops who go bad, and the women who try really hard not to love them—but do, all while trying to keep the bad guys, in this case the Immortals (bad cops who chose the dark side), from retrieving the key to the destruction of humanity as we know it.

Boiled down, it’s also about good vs evil, right vs wrong and how so many of us cross the line for the greater good even though we know we are breaking man’s law as well as god’s law. It’s also about love, and passion, and righting long ago wrongs.

I hope you enjoy!

P.S. All three authors have graciously offered to give away an autographed copy of the book, so three commenters will be selected today to win! Thanks Allison, Rocki and Karin.

KILLING FEAR will be released next Tuesday, FIRST YOU RUN will be released April 1st and MASTER OF SURRENDER will be released on June 24th.


Anonymous said...

Good morning. I love reading these blogs,learning about authors and their new books.

And I do love BAD BOYS, nothing better, especially when they succumb to the love a good woman. LOL.

Pat L.

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Good morning, players! So fun to be here today. It's rainy in Florida - downright dreary, which is unusual - and I need cheering. Whoever wins MY copy of WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE is going to also win and Advanced Review Copy of FIRST YOU RUN - my April Bullet Catcher book, and the launch of the 2008 Bullet Catcher trilogy. So comment - on anything (books, heroes, bad boys, good boys, any boys) and win something for a rainy day - FIRST YOU RUN.

But first, I don't run. I dog. In the rain. The things we do for the love of the pooch.


Allison Brennan said...

Thank you Marilyn for having me come out and play today! It's rainy here, too, in California, Rocki.

Well, I LOVED reading Rocki and Karin's stories--both the novellas AND the stories behind them! I, too, took my first hero, my first love, from my first manuscript and gave him a different story (Zack Travis in THE KILL.) Some heroes we just can't forget . . . And Rocki's Chase Ryker is unforgettable. Sigh.

Well, Rocki's giving away more books! That's not fair. (pout) And FIRST YOU RUN is her best yet. I was lucky enough to read it a couple months ago. (neener, neener--wait, is that teasing? Sorry!)

So I'll give away whoever wins MY copy of WYCS an early copy of KILLING FEAR that goes on sale Tuesday.

Thanks again for having me!

Playground Monitor said...

Oh my! I love when authors get a little competitive. *g* There will be some very lucky commenters today.

I've read WYCS and FIRST YOU RUN (neener, ne... oops, gotta stop teasing).

I'm new to the paranormal genre but loved these stories. The whole demonology thing was fascinating and my son is an architect so I liked that angle as well.

Chase, the ex-astronaut, was great too because I live in Rocket City USA and used to work on a Space Shuttle contract. He's made a fine Bullet Catcher.

Karin's bad boy truly was bad to the bone -- the baddest bad boy I've ever read. I wondered how on earth she was going to redeem him, but... oh wait... don't want to give anything away.

Thank you all for coming out to play. I'll pass out umbrellas too since it's still a little rainy but they're promising sunshine later. Be glad you're not here tomorrow -- high is going to be 35. Brrrrrr.


nascarandbeans said...

heard from Rockis yahoo group that you were all blogging today and had to come say hi to you all before i left for work..I love your books Rocki and cant wait for more..
waving a wild hello to Allison and Karin too.. all these books sound hot..
and adding them to my list of books to find..
will check back in later after work to catch up on all the posts...

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Oh my gosh, Miss Jolene! How are ya, sweetie? Great to see your name again. And, Allison, how do you get a copy of your book cover with your name? Teach me the trick, s'il vous plait?


CrystalGB said...

Hi ladies. It is good to see you here. I am a big fan of your work. What You Can't See sounds like a great anthology.

Kristen Painter said...

Ah, the Bullet Catchers. How could you not love them? Can't wait to read this one! He sounds delish!

Terry Odell said...

Good morning from chilly Colorado Springs. As a Floridian, I'm not used to seeing single-digit temperatures or even in the minus range. However, I'm indoors enjoying my brand new grandbaby most of the time. I did want to stop by and say hello to some of my favorite authors. I love tortured heroes, Allison, and Rocki's Bullet Catchers are top-notch. I will admit that I'm behind in my reading due to a month-long stint in Africa and now this 'gramma' duty, but I'm eager to meet them all up close and personal.

nascarandbeans said...

great to see you too Rocki.. been busy with work, and foster puppys(a litter of 11 this
and reading as always..
hope all is well with you..
be back later off to the dreaded day job.. gotta pay for those books
take care ...

Instigator said...

Good morning :-) I'm endeavoring to be the sunshine today since it's gray and yucky outside. It's so great to have all three of you on the playground today. In fact, y'all being here is about the only thing that could have gotten me outside in this rain :-)

How is writing a novella length book different from writing a full length manuscript? Are there things you need to consider as you write shorter?


Rachel Hauck said...

Great insight behind some great stories. :) I love hearing how the books and bad boys came about.

Rachel ;)

Roqui's French Fan said...

A while ago I button-holed friends and strangers to tell them they should read FRENCH TWIST by Roxanne StC. Then I started button-holing folks about her HIT REPLY (both of the above still favorites) BUT that was before I read KILL ME TWICE and got hooked on BULLET CATCHERS. So, I kind of know what's going to happen next: I, normally a non-paranormal fan, am going to be hooked on paranormal after reading WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE. That's life when you're a Rocki fan.
Cheers to y'all from sunny France (for once my weather is better than yours, Roqui!)
Anne C.

Smarty Pants said...

Morning, Ladies! Welcome to the Playground. We're so excited to have visitors.

When you write a novella, do you ever walk away feeling like there's more to the story or that it isn't quite finished but you've maxed out your word count? What do you do in that situation?

Kathy said...

Goodie!! Welcome to the playground, Allison, Rocki and Karin. Your anthology sounds GREAT! I love paranormal and I'm really intrigued by the way you've incorporated heroes from other books here. Thanks for resurrecting them. :-)

Rocki, you mentioned your hero, Chase, was modeled after the character in JAG. Do you always model your heroes from characters on screen or from actors? How about you, Allison and Karin? Where do you heroes come from?

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hey, y'all! WYCS is on my TBR pile, but alas I have not gotten there yet. :( I love Karin's hot cops, Allison's dark suspense, and Rocki's Bullet Catchers are to die for!!

I really love this idea of resurrecting beloved heroes from previous stories. :) I'm also interested in how you work with the shorter format of a novella. I wrote one once (it didn't sell, alas), and I always had the feeling the story could have been bigger.

Thanks for being here today! :)

Vicki said...

Loved the post. Reading about upcoming books and how they started is great!

I'm in the same dreary weather and would love nothing better than to curl up with a good book right now.

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Hey guys - lots of great questions. Let me take a pass at Instigator's ? on length considerations. Yes.

Does that help?

JUST KIDDING. Since I've written lot of short contemps for Desire, I'm really sensitive to the impact of page count on the actual story. Of course, every sentence always counts, but when writing short, every sentence has to count for three. There can't be a word that doesn't add to the drama, tension, conflict or character. Introspection is kept to an absolute minimum, description is shaved, but the story still has to have an "arc" - and the characters still have to change and grow from beginning to end. They just have to do it quickly.

I have written two Bullet Catcher novellas now, and I really do "plot" them (as much as I plot) with an eye toward a storyline that has very little "extra" stuff, and a crime that isn't too complex. (Most of my BC novels have multiple villains with varying degrees of badness - not so with a novella.)

Does *that * help? I have fear of losing my post -- is that postile dysfunctionality? -- so I'm going to send this and attack another question in a separate comment.


Roxanne St. Claire said...

Bonjour mon amie Anne? Comment ca va? Je t'aime!

Sorry. Had a French moment. Can we all just charter a jet and go over to France and stay with Anne??? Mais OUI!!! Maintenant!

Do I use real men to model Bullet Catchers? As if those men exist! That's why we call it fiction!! But I do have to have an "image" in my head (and a title, oddly enough) before I can write. The "model" for Fletch in FIRST YOU RUN really IS a model - Gabriel Aubry, who is what you get to wake up next to when you are Hallie Barry.

Next up, in THEN YOU HIDE, is Wade Cordell, inspired by Paul Walker in "Into The Blue." YUMMMMMMM.

The JAG guy did inspire Chase - but then the hero of my imagination always takes on a life of his own, and the original inspiration is not much more than a photo I've stuck to my wall. But, oh baby, you should see my wall!

Finding these men, by the way, is Playground Monitor's job, who periodically sends me emails tagged "HGFR." Anyone want to venture a guess?


Karin* said...

Good, cold and rainy California morning, ladies. I'm really happy to be here. Thank you gain for inviting me.
I'm going to grab anther cup of coffee and read the comments then jump in.

Allison Brennan said...

Hi Jolene! I've seen your screen name at Writerspace chats before! Those are always fun, LOL.

Congrats on being a grandma, Terry! Wow. I almost can't wait--of course, my kids have to grow up AND LEAVE HOME and then I'll welcome their munckins, spoil them, and send them back to their parents. Hahahahaha!!

Instigator: it took me as long to write my 39,000 word novella as it took me to write the full-length (105K word) book before it. I'm not joking. It was hard because the novella kept wanting to be MORE than a novella. I could have really expanded it and explored other characters and given Anthony and Skye a deeper and more complex relationship. Frankly, I'm in TOTAL AWE AND JEALOUS ENVY of RITA winner Rocki who can write such wonderful, complete novellas and make it look so damn easy. I love my story, but it was, literally, the novella from Hell when I was writing it . . .

What I did was cut one subplot, and cut back on another. When I was about halfway through the book I realized it was going to go way over (okay, more over the word count than I did) and so I revised the beginning and cut about 50 pages. I cut the subplot, and then summarized the other by having the interview with a witness off-page and my heroine's partner just telling her about it. It was supposed to be a bigger subplot, but I axed that idea when I realized it would have been way too easy for me to write 100K words. But this was my first attempt at a novella, so I'm still learning!

Allison Brennan said...

Hello Miss Smarty Pants: I think I pretty much over-answered Instigators question and answered yours, LOL. I want a satisfying and complete ending, so I cut subplots, not the primary story. But I do hope that I can explore this world more in the future!

Allison Brennan said...

HI Lynn!!! Nice to see you here :) (Maybe your novella needs to be a bigger book, hmm?)

Ok. Where do my heroes come from? I'll admit, they all pretty much come from my imagination. I am a very boring person, and I think God gave me an overactive imagination to make up for it. Sometimes, AFTER I'm done with a book, I'll see a character on television and say, Wait! That's MY hero! What's he doing there? Like after I wrote THE HUNT, I saw FIREFLY and thought Nathan Fillion would make a fine Quinn Peterson. Then I saw LOST and could just picture Kate (Evangeline Lilly) as Miranda.

My heroes develop as I write them, so it's really not until the end of the book that I KNOW them. I think I learn about them as my heroines do :) I don't do pin-ups or have pics on my computer of hot guys (sigh--but my teen-age daughter does, they're just too young for me. Makes me feel icky looking at young, hot guys. Okay, not too icky . . . )

I digress. Sorry :)

Karin* said...

Chiming in on instigator's question: for me personally, I like reunion love stories. in both novellas I've written, the h/h share a history, so there is not that get acquainted stage, and for me as a writer I feel very comfortable jumping right into there fray of rebuilding love lost. It's a good thing because, well, I'd need more pages otherwise and there would go the novella part of the story. As far as considering specific things while writing a novella, I keep the mantra, "keep it short, keep it hot and keep it to the point," as my continuous guideline during the writing process.

In answer to Kathy's question how do I model my heroes, let me just say I have a vivid imagination. My hot cops and now hot knights are not based on any characters from the screen, mostly because in my imagination my guys are so hot, there is no one to compare them too. But their sense of justice, integrity, and passion for their women and life in general is a conscious act on my part. I write what I know, so I take examples from the man closest to me heart: my husband. There is a lot of his heart and soul in every hero I write. I just wished he cooked like Rocki's hubby.

Karin* said...

Smarty pants, I really try to wrap up lose ends for each story I write as far as the characters go, but with REDEMPTION, I left the plot door wide open for more mayhem.
If I feel as if the story is incomplete or overwritten, it's major revision time until I get it right.

Anonymous said...

Great way to learn about new authors and their books! Mickey

tetewa said...

Looks like a great read, good luck on the release!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I love hearing how you all work. Rocki plots, Allison cuts, and Karin has a mantra!

Karin, I love reunion stories too. :) I've written one with another one in progress. :)

Allison, I have thought about writing that novella longer. But it's a time travel with a lawyer and a medieval knight, LOL. Now, maybe if the lawyer was a vampire.... ;) Oooh, so love Nathan Fillion! I was a late Firefly convert too. Wish they'd bring it back, sigh.

Cherie J said...

Wow! This anthology sounds awesome! I love stories with paranormal elements so I definitely need to put this on my list of books to read. Thanks for guestblogging ladies.

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Checking in after a (brace yourselves) NINETEEN page day. This, I believe, is a personal record. Before you get too excited (or competitive, ahem, Allison), understand that I started yesterday with an early morning cut.

Of 25 pages.

Man, that hurt. I had written and written and written, then I read the first 91 pages of my manuscript, and had to face the hard, cold, ugly fact. It didn't work.

Oh, no, that's not ture. It worked. It met my "plot" (I don't really plot, btw, that is a bad rumor) but it didn't SING.

So I cut and bled and got a little sick when the page count dipped down to a level I hadn't seen in a few weeks for a book that's due...before Easter eggs are hidden.

But, let's face it. It's not about page count. It's about fantastic pages in the count. So, yesterday and today, I completely rewrote, kicked it all up a massive notch or six, and am happy to report, I've replaced the 25 pages and then some, and I feel great about the action, tension, drama and conflict I chiseled out.

But, honestly, my arms hurt from typing. Think I'll fold laundry and supervise fifth grade homework to relax. Oh, is it almost five? Hello, Kendall Jackson!

So, writers out there...what's your record? Mine's 19. Today! The Playfriends have inspired me!


Playground Monitor said...

Gee! I go to the dentist, have lunch with Kathy, stop by Office Depot and Best Buy, get home and sort the mail, field two emails from the DH who's in Baltimore this week and call the insurance company and y'all have gone wild in here.

Great info about writing novella length. Given that the longest thing I've ever written was 8400 words, I have quite the opposite problem.

Best writing day? It was January 11, 2008 when I kept my arse glued to this chair and pounded out 14 pages. The editor had posted she wanted some Easter stories and needed them the next day. I went to bed idea-less and resigned that I wouldn't be able to send her anything. I woke with an idea and by close of business that day had emailed her the 14 pages. Of course, I haven't heard yet if she's going to buy it or not. :-/

Congrats on the 19 pages, Rocki!


Ann M. said...

Enjoyed reading the background to writing the novella. Adding the book to my wishlist. Oye.. the list is growing.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh Rocki, that's inspiring! You have no idea how your comments have resonated with me today. I want to put this quote on my wall: "It's not about page count. It's about fantastic pages in the count."

Because when I cut several pages at a time, I'm always wondering when I'll get it right, when I won't have to cut so much and I'll know I'm going in the right direction in the first place.

I once had a 113 page week. It was awesome, but I've never done it again. :)

(Today, I'm about to hit 1500 words, which is a pretty good day for me.)

Terry Odell said...

I don't usually count pages because if I do, I'm overly tempted to fill it up with dialogue. But I agree, they have to be good pages.

I think my most productive was a 50 page short story for Wild Rose Press that took me about a week to draft. And that counts my normal, 'read last night's dreck, delete, edit, and then use it as a running start.

I think a VERY good day for me is 2500-3000 "new" words.

(Of course, with a word count goal, I'm just as likely to allow my crutch words to sneak in which ups the count but doesn't do diddly for the story.

Kathy said...

Rocki's muse comes from hot guys PM slips to her. (g) Allison uses her imagination (and what a great one it is), getting to know her heroes while writing the book. And Karin uses her imagination while modeling her heroes after her darling husband (no better way to pay homage to the one you love). Awesome!!!

Thanks for answering my question ladies! It's been great learning your process for creating the great, endearing hunks we love to read about.

Rocki, I love your quote about cutting pages too. But I hate to bleed. Horrors!! Have you seen Sweeny Todd?

What kind of advice would you ladies give unpublished authors about maintaining confidence in their muse, their ideas and continuing to write when self-doubt arrises?

Thanks for being here!!!

nascarandbeans said...

Hi Allison yup thats me at writerspace.. im a reading hore what can i
karin i havent had the pleasure of reading your work, but i hope to change that soon..
Rocki, congrats on the awesome writing day.. cant answer your question on writing as im just a reader.. but i can polish of reading a book pretty
P.S. been meaning to ask how your hubbys doing?

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Oh, Kathy, what a great question! It's so easy to roll around in a mud pile of self doubt in this business. And, here's the really squishy, icky part: it gets worse, not better. Self-doubt grows exponentially with the "omg can I do it again?" syndrome.

I'm sure Allison and Karin and other mavens in the wings can offer sound advice. Mine? Listen to your gut. Listen, listen, listen to that voice that wakes you up in the middle of the night (wait, that's the five year old...ignore her) that says, "That scene doesn't sing. It chokes."

On the flip side, feel the tingle when it's right. Man, I tingled all day today. I barely flipped to email (a thing I'll do after every paragraph when things are not going well) and just had a smile on my face while I wrote. My inner voice told me all along: you're nailin' it, baby. You know what's good -- you were a reader before you were a writer.

Eat protein (I AM NOT KIDDING), go to bed early, exercise, trust your instincts and believe that if you were meant to do this, you will. YOU. WILL.

When that voice claims that the scene sucks donkey breath, and you don't know what to do about it, go back and look for every possible way to insert sexual tension, conflict, and a surprise for the reader. Cut and rewrite if you have to -- it's always three steps forward and two back. Don't worry about that. (Says the woman who bled on her keyboard yesterday morning.)

Remember, the reader (editor, agent, contest judge) wants to be transported...that's your job. Take her away. If you are transported while you write, she will be while she reads.


Roxanne St. Claire said...

Hey Jolene - My husband is doing really well. Thank you for asking. (He had open heart surgery this summer.) He's got more energy than ever, is cooking like Mario Flippin' Battali, and I think I'm going to keep him after all.


Kathy said...

Thanks, Rocki. I'll take your advice to heart. (So glad your DH is doing so great, BTW! :-)

Great to hear you were in the zone today. I crave that tingle... Me, I get my best ideas in the shower of all places. Then I have nowhere to write anything down. Argh! Had a great idea in there this morning. Man, I've got to invest in a small tape recorder or put a pad of paper near the door. LOL.

Angel said...

Wow! I've missed so much today! Since I seem to have run behind and been dragging most of the day, I am so not surprised!

What wonderful posts... I'm totally inspired by the advice and explanations of you ladies! Rocki, I think I might have to print your answer to Kathy and hang it on my wall. The self-doubt of this past year... you have no idea!

Thank you, ladies, so much for joining us today! I'm going to have to make a trip to the bookstore now. :)

Good luck with the new pages, Rocki! My personal best? A fifty page weekend. My husband gave me a weekend at a bed and breakfast for Mother's Day. Guess what I did?


catslady said...

Oh I'm so enjoying all the posts. I've been seeing this book in more than one place and it sounds fascinating. I've have read and enjoyed some of Allison's and Roxanne's books and although Karin is a new to me author, she is in such good company I'm sure I'd love hers too!!

Allison Brennan said...

Rocki, I am DAMN jealous of you!!! I have been on and off on this current book. Sometimes I jam . . . sometimes I fail miserably. My bad days are really, really bad; my good days are very, very good. I've had 40+ page days--usually when I'm coming into the home stretch. Now that I've switched writing fonts (okay, this is a long, long story and maybe that's why I'm struggling, I got a new computer . . . hmmm) I'm going words rather than pages. I DID get over a major hurdle, I HAVE cut probably 50 pages from this book, and it is much, much better for it. I did have an epiphany on Monday when I was beating myself up for rewriting ONE SCENE (a pivotal scene) FIVE TIMES. I just didn't work, then all of the sudden something clicked and I knew WHY it didn't work, so back to the beginning I go edit two earlier scenes and NOW I think--hope, pray--that when I get back to that pivotal scene it sings. (I love your analogy, Rocki!)

Kathy, you might want to check out a website Karin and I had a hand in developing called It's a motivational video that hopefully will get your muse going.

BTW, it's not only unpublished writers who have self-doubt. Ask Karin--I doubt all the time. I panic and think nothing I do will be as good as what I've done. Listen to Rocki and trust your gut. It usually knows. Not that evil doubt demon on your shoulder telling you that you suck (I know him well), but your inner muse, the one who doesn't lie to you. And keep writing. Because writers write. That's what we do, even when we fear we aren't writing well.

Stacy S said...

I'm looking forward to reading the new releases. They sound great. I haven't read all of everyones books, but several of them.

kathiH said...

wild wave to rocki!!!!!!

sorry i couldn't get here earlier. can't wait to read the new stories.

i have a cold and actually spent the day re-reading ALL of your previous books!!!

love ya

Jill James said...

I loved WYCS, I have read all of Allison's and Karin's books, but none of Rocki's...yet. Once I read the Bullet Catcher story I knew I would be spending my extra cash at the store to find the rest.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Allison. :-) I appreciate all your advice. I'll check out right away.

Karin* said...

I didn't forget about everyone! Life interrupted. It's almost 2:30 a.m.! Kathy the doubt demon is a pain in the ass. when it comes around you really need to just kick its ass and ignore it. much easier said then done.
when the rejections pour in, you really have to look at it as a growing experience instead of feeling like a failure. roll your sleeves up and go the extra distance. you may need to do this a lot, but eventually you will hit. and never ever ever quit. EVER!

Lorena Streeter said...

Since I'm on digest, I didn't see the post about Wednesday's blog until, well, Thursday.

But, if anyone is still reading comments -- especially readers (since I already emailed the authors LOL) ... READ THIS BOOK.

I absolutely loved it, and it was interesting (in a good way) to read such different stories from authors I'm familiar with. And it's always fun to see a skeptic meet his or her match in the believer!

As for Zach ... Karin, this is a seriously bad boy, and it was very interesting (again, in a good way) to see him struggle with his past ... I'll be looking for the new books, all of you ...

And as always -- thanks for a great read!