Monday, July 12, 2010

Guest Blogger: Kelly Fitzpatrick

I'm lucky to have Kelly Fitzpatrick as one of my fellow Ruby Slippered Sisters! She graciously agreed to join us today to talk about how she came to be published and her first release, Lily in Wonderland! Ask away, because Kelly will join us today and answer questions. One commenter will receive a free download of her book!

Welcome to the Playground, Kelly!

People always ask me how I came to start writing. No, actually they don’t, but for the sake of this blog, we’ll say they do. If someone did ask me how I came to start writing, this is what I’d say, “It all started with insomnia.”

Have you ever in your head rewritten the end of a movie? A book? Your life story? Me too. So already we have something in common. Add insomnia to the mix and you can entertain yourself for many, many sleepless hours. Try it. That started about five years ago, although I’ve had the insomnia for—well—ever. I still have it. Writing is not a cure, more of a coping mechanism.

My favorite rewrite is the movie Love Comes Softly (Insert heavy sigh laced with longing). The story of a newlywed who crosses the prairie in a covered wagon only to become a widow who is then left with no choice but to marry a stranger. Only I added some sex, some snark, got rid of the kid, put it on another planet in the future, and viola! I had an interplanetary mail order bride story. Yeah, that never got published. But that’s how it began.

So you probably think I write paranormal, futuristic, urban fantasy. No. I can’t even work my cell phone, update my website, or change the batteries in my TV remote, let alone predict what sort of technology the future holds. Okay, I must write sweeping epic historical novels. No. I wish. Too much research. I write contemporary romantic mystery with a side order of humor.

I wrote and wrote and wrote with a burning passion. I entered writing contests, becoming a finalist in several, but not with Lily in Wonderland, my bad-girl-heroine-with-a-past-that-follows-her-to-her-future manuscript. And no, there is no time travel involved. I decided it was time to join the romance writing community, because I needed all the help I could get.

The first thing I learned at the local chapter of Romance Writer’s of America meeting was: The reader must fall in love with your hero and like your heroine. Uh oh. My heroine is a trash talking, promiscuous, recovering drug addict. I got called names by contest judges. Names like crass, flippant and snarky, and that was from people who liked my writing. On a whim, I entered Lily in the Golden Rose. Why not? It’s only money. Right? And then I won.

Winning got me a request from Cerridwen Press for the full manuscript. The request led to a contract, but I don’t want to make it sound easy. There were rewrites, resubmits and several rounds of edits before Lily went to print. She’s out there loose in the world, and she does give the term loose a whole new meaning.

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So what keeps you up late at night or gets you up early in the morning? Talk to me. I’ll randomly pick a winner for a free e-book download of Lily in Wonderland or a deck of Ellora’s Cave playing cards.


For more chances to win in July, just go to my website (where you can also read an excerpt) and leave a comment on my blog. http://www.kellyfitzpatrick.webs.com/

24 comments:

Cheryl said...

Right there with you Kelly! Insomnia was the impetus for me to start writing too. What do you do at three in the morning besides watch infomercials? Also, it's quiet because no one else, in their right mind, is up!

Lily sounds great! We need some trash-talking-bad-girl heroines in our lives -it's more fun!

Best of luck with the book!

Playground Monitor said...

My pending divorce keeps me up at night but unfortunately it's also quieted the muse. She seems to be poking her head out a little now, so I have hope.

Lily sounds like fun, and apparently you've given the reader something to like about her or she wouldn't be out there loose in the world maybe not being so loose anymore. ;-)

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Kelly!

At the moment what I really want is to go back to bed. :-) It's definitely a Monday. But in most
cases either worrying about my kids or a plot line keeps me up at night. Plot lines I can fix (and usually do by the time I fall asleep). I have yet to figure out how to ensure nothing bad ever happens to my girls. If anyone comes up with a solution to that would you let me know?

Instigator

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

Cheryl, I love the quiet of the early morning. I usually get up around 5ish (7 today - my lucky day) and get lots done. Not so much actual writing, but "the other writing stuff" & dishes & laundry so I can write later.

Monitor, the only thing about divorce is it gives you great foder for some conflict writing later on when you can put it in perspective. Been there, done that. And yes, Lily does settle down for her hero, but she also unleashes a little bit of the bad boy in her otherwise good ol' boy hero.

Instigator, my kids are grown and gone. It's a beautiful feeling. Freeing. I always said my job was to get them to their 18th birthday alive. Everything else is a bonus. My bonus is that they are good people and at 24 and 21, they are still alive.

Anonymous said...

I'm a night person. My creativity doesn't even wake up until 9 or 10 in the evening and then we run full throttle until about 2 or 3 a.m. I'm particularly feeling the pain right now because we are remodeling and those guys want to be here at 7:00 a.m. Needless to say, caffeine is my best friend. :-)

To my mother's horror,a "Lily" married into our family. My mother never change her opinion of the woman, but she did admit that my cousin seemed much happier. "Happily Ever After" comes in many packages.
JJ

Maria said...

What keeps me up late at night is usually a good book that I just don't want to put down or stop reading...though I will admit that there are times that I wake up thinking about work and proceed to have a small panic attack ....what gets me up in the morning is just the regular have to go to the edj..lol

Problem Child said...

Very little keeps me up at night. Insomnia is never a problem. sometimes I wish I could have just a little, cause I few extra hours every now and then would help!

Welcome to the Playground and congrats on your debut!

Angel said...

LOL, my "quiet time" is late, after the kids go to bed. I used to write at that time when they were little, but in the last year I've found I'm too exhausted by then for my brain to work. I'm still trying to figure out a new schedule. :)

Plot lines don't usually keep me awake--personal problems do. If something is going on in my life, I tend to obsess over it at night before I fall asleep. But I've found that distracting myself with a plot problem is very handy. :) I'll deliberately turn my thoughts to my book and whatever issue needs to be worked out there. I don't always come up with a solution before I fall asleep, but often find one waiting at the front of my thoughts when i wake up the next morning. Yay!

Angel

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

JJ (aka Anonymous), when my great uncle married around the WWII era, the family thought he'd married a loose gal because she had pierced ears. So I guess Lily is just ahead of her time. But yes, relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and no one knows for sure what's going on between two people. What looks like a picture perfect marriage might in reality be a mess. And what looks like a relationship trainwreck to others, might be a little slice of heaven.

Maria, I can't read or watch TV for long in a horizonal position. I'm only good for a couple chapters before turning out the booklight. But I have been know to wake in the night worried if I left the safe at work unlocked.

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

Problem Child, I always tell people my husband is really good in bed because he can sleep forever. I'm happy if I can get 8 hours now and then.

Angel, I'm not sure if I could have been a writer when I had kids at home. I didn't start writing until my youngest was about 16. I admire anyone who can do it. Child Protective Services might have had to come remove my kids because of neglect. I can barely be a wife and writer. My husband comes to drag me from the computer. We have an out-of-town guest all week, a childhood friend of my husbands, and I'm like "the fridge is there, that's your room, make yourself at home." And I mean it, although I did make lasagna from scratch yesterday and chocolate chip cookies. They might get hot dogs today.

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

I want a cool nickname too. Over at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood I'm Ruby Choos, but we don't use our alias' often.

Angel said...

We don't get to use our nicknames over there much, do we? I'm Ruby Angel, which I picked because it would be easy to remember since I'm angel over here, plus it just creates such a pretty pictures, doesn't it? :)

Angel

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Diet Coke keeps me awake at night and a small sheltie by the name of Cassie wakes me at 5:30 every morning.

Lily is already in my Kindle TBR files, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

robertsonreads said...

Welcome Kelly,
What keeps me up? If I have an event coming up along with tests, etc. I work at a university, departmental secretary for 9 professors, 1 adjunct and assistant to External Director along with many other duties. If I have a lot going on in a given week, it takes my mind a while to shut down.
Your books sounds devine and I look forward to reading it.
Occassionally I will be up past my bedtime reading, really really bad for me!!!
Many good wishes for your book.

robertsonreads said...

PM,
Hang in there with your divorce. I went through one myself that was 2 years in the making. Betwenn reading my romance novels, praying and family I was able to survive.

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

Angel, my birthstone is ruby, so I love being the Ruby Sisters. And my Golden Heart manuscript, Pleasant Lake P.D. has a lot of Wizard of Oz references.

Marie-Nicole, my dogs are both so old they've stopped getting me up at the butt-crack of dawn. I'm the one trying to get them up and force them outside.

Roberts on Reads, my job is very part time and not stressful, but I stress about it anyhow.

Monica McCabe said...

Hi Kelly! I'm totally a fan. I was lucky enough to judge Pleasant Lake PD in the MCRW's Melody of Love contest and absolutely loved it. It had laugh out loud funny places and a fantastic heroine. Which means I'm laying awake at night waiting for the release of Lily In Wonderland.

Now how about you go get some sleep, then get back to writing!

*yadkny* said...

I absolutely love the cover of your book Kelly and can't wait to read it!

yadkny@hotmail.com

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

Thanks for stopping by Monica. Lily is out now...in an e-book. I hope some day soon it will be in paper. Pleasant Lake P.D. will be out as an e-book in 2011 - cross fingers.

yadkny - I love my cover too.

Elisa Beatty said...

I'm delighted Lily's out there in the world...I love difficult, bad-girl heroines (and troubled, broody heroes). And I totally hear you about the insomnia. I wake up at 3 a.m. like I've got an alarm set. And I make up stories in my head to pass the time. (I figure it's *sorta* like dreaming, and must be better than getting up to watch TV.)

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

Thanks for coming Elisa. I consider laying in bed plotting as time spent writing. As long as I remember what I plotted when I wake up the next day.

Smarty Pants said...

I'm late! Sorry. Firewalls!

I've occasionally had nights where my head spun too much, but the bulk of the time, I'm a champion sleeper. Doesn't matter where I am or what's going on, I can probably fall asleep. I always feel bad for DB, who awakens at the slightest sound and can't go back to sleep. Hell, you can wake me up, have a conversation, and I won't necessarily be fully awake. No need. I'm just that good. :)

Congrats on your release. As a writer of snarky, flawed heroines, I applaud you. You give me hope.

Vivi Andrews said...

I'm late to the party, but I wanted to say I'm right there with you on the insomnia front - only that's what started me reading rather than writing. Writing seemed like a natural extension.

Good luck with Lily, Kelly!

robynl said...

I get up early to put the water on the lawn before the heat arrives; I get up early and go on the computer when I wake up every 10 mins. and can't sleep.

I am up late at night playing games or reading blogs on the internet.

congrats on the book.