Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guest Blogger - Molly O'Keefe

We're excited to have RITA award winning Superromance author Molly O'Keefe guest blogging with us today! I can't wait to find out more about her upcoming series...and about what it felt like to win a RITA. So, someone give up a swing so Molly can have a seat and share! :-)

Thank you so much for having me! This is my kind of crowd - Lots of advice and information, lots of commiserating and a swing set! What's not to love?

I am celebrating the publication of my Notorious O'Neill Series with Superromance for next two months. Inspired by Paul Newman and pralines, The Notorious O'Neill series takes place in Bonne Terre, a fictional town in Louisana. Savannah, Tyler and Carter are siblings who were left on their grandmother's doorstep twenty years ago by their con artist mother. Each of the children has spent the last twenty years battling, or in Tyler's case embracing, the notorious reputation attached to the O'Neill name.

The siblings are in danger of falling out of touch with each other - pulled in separate directions by their fears and lifestyles - when the fall out of a seven year old jewel theft shatters all of their lives.

For Savannah, the baby of the family, it's a matter of learning to trust again, only the man she chooses to trust ends up breaking her heart. Tyler has to go home to Bonne Terre to face down his father, his demons, and Juliette Tremblant - the girl he loved and left years ago. Carter, as a Baton Rouge politician has been trying to keep his own skeletons in the closet - but when a beautiful stranger publicly claims Carter got her pregnant his life and lies begin to unravel.

Throw in a devious grandma with a tarnished past, a couple of stolen gems and a family home with plenty of secrets - and you have the Notorious O'Neill series.

I have two young kids, a husband and a pretty busy writing schedule. And the key to my life is compromise and discipline. I have to write - so I do. And because I write - LOTS of other things don't get done. In fact, as I sit in my office, my laundry is towering over my shoulder and the smell of dirty diapers from the full diaper pail wafting through my dirty house. But I have all the ingredients for dinner tonight and I've written five pages. That's my compromise.

TOP FIVE THINGS THAT MAKE MY LIFE DOABLE

1. Salad in a bag. This is dinner most nights a week. You'd think I'd be skinnier.

2. Rachel Ray -- hate her talk show LOVE her cookbooks. I'm not kidding. It takes 30 minutes and it's good. She's not lying. She's annoying as all get out but she's not lying.

3. Lap top computer not hooked up to the Internet. For those of you who don't have this and lament about not getting any writing done - this is the key. Free Cell has brought down many a writing day.

4. Coffee in massive amounts. I am not a coffee enthusiast. A recreational coffee drinker - nope. When my son was first born my husband asked if I thought maybe, just maybe I was drinking too much coffee and I told him (getting his drift and not taking kindly to it) - with sincere and utter heartfelt rage - that coffee was the only recognizable thing I had left from my old life. The coffee stays in the picture.

5. Deadlines. I'm not talking about editorial deadlines - though they are good but they are so far away. I could procrastinate forever. Nope. I have deadlines from my critique group. It's supposed to be at least a scene or a chapter every week but we've strayed from that - but if I go longer than two weeks without handing in a chunk of writing for them to critique I know I am falling behind. This is so invaluable because I know if I had a deadline just for myself I'd blow it every week. Like I do with dieting and working out.

So that's it - much like writing it's not glamorous. It's a little sad actually - but it's what I do in order to make this little dream of mine doable.

So, what are your tricks? How do you keep all your balls in the air?

Thanks for visiting with us today, Molly! Three lucky commenters will receive a book from her newest trilogy so be sure and let us know you're here. And don't forget to visit her at her website http://www.molly-okeefe.com/index.html to find out more about her upcoming releases.

26 comments:

gigi said...

Hi Molly,
Congratulations on the O'Neill series.
I entirely get the 'inspired by Paul New Man and Pralines'.
I keep all my balls in the air by having a huge kitchen calendar with "everything" written on it.
I try and stick to a routine so that I get all the housework and chores in check.
Post-Its are my lifesaver and I always have a list of things to do or shopping list for local and out of town trips.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh Gigi - you're three steps ahead of me - I've been dreaming of one of those big wall calanders for a while now...And I LOVE lists. Love them. If only for the sense of accomplishment when I cross things off.

gigi said...

Me too. I find that I get more done when I had a list to strike things off of. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I look at at list that has most everything marked off.

Marcy said...

How do I keep all the balls in the air? I guess I'd have to say by giving up mindless TV watching in the evening. Don't get me wrong; now that the Fall season is almost upon us, I'll have my must watch shows, but that's it. No more vegging in front of the TV just for something to do.

Sounds good in theory. Hope I can keep it up.

Congrats on the Rita, Molly!

Laurie said...

I keep lists and I also have a calender.

My number 1 rule- is don't put it off.

Number 2- Once I start a job I finish it.

Number 3- Sometimes you have to say NO!

Playground Monitor said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who finds Rachel Ray annoying. While I think using a GB (garbage bowl for those of you who don't know) is a terrific idea, if I hear her say EVOO one more time I might scream. And I only watch her every eight or nine months when the TV just happens to land on that channel and I don't change the channel.

Anyway, I have desk calendar/day timer/day planner -- whatever you want to call it. My life is in that book -- appointments, birthdays, deadlines for projects, our chapter meetings, the national conference dates, to-do list for the day. I've been known to carry it with me to the hairdresser so I could book out appointments months in advance.

I'm also a list maker like Gigi. I'm going on a trip in a few weeks and have already started a packing list for it. I already have a Christmas shopping list (with quite a few gifts already marked off because when I see a bargain, I go ahead and get it). If I have multiple things to do away from home in one day, I'll transfer those from the desk calendar to a junior-size legal pad and take it with me. For example, yesterday I had a list like this: Take Mama to airport, Appt w/ therapist, Papers to attorney, Research at Barnes & Noble, Items at Ulta/ Check Icing for sparkly earrings. I'd listed everything in chronological order and that order had been determined for the most part by geography. I had to take my mom to the airport by 9 and that gave me time to make my 10:00 therapist appointment. After that there was no rigid time schedule, but the other tasks let me work my way back toward home.

And I've rambled on too long about my compulsive planning. Congrats on your Rita and your O'Neill series sounds terrific. I got a request from Super in Orlando and would love to join you as a SuperRomance author.

Playground Monitor said...

Oh! I love Laurie's Rule 3. I'm getting very good at saying "NO."

Molly O'Keefe said...

Tha advent of Tivo and PVR has made my television watching much more effecient - and I am totally aware of how sad that statement is. But with two small kids, some days all I want is to watch Alexander Skarsgaard!!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Laurie - those are three of the smartest rules to live by -- the don't put it off thing...that's huge. I have a disasterous amount of housework that I have put off to say nothing of dentist appointments!!!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Playground monitor - clearly I need you to come organize my life - that list that you managed to accomplish makes me look like a total slacker!!!

I hope you get a sale out of that request!!

Playground Monitor said...

In all fairness, I should have added that it's only me -- no husband, no kids, just me. And some days I can be a complete slacker -- thanks to that DVR and a backlog of old episodes of The Closer.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Molly. Your O'Neill series sounds great.
I keep all my balls in the air by doing small chores every day so I am not swamped with cleaning the whole house on my days off. I also prepare lunchs, lay out clothes, and set the coffee pot every evening so mornings are less hectic.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I think if it were just me I'd be a bigger slacker - the kids force me to plan - so my hat is still off to you!

Molly O'Keefe said...

I need to do more setting up at night - that would help alot - and I'm the queen of small chores - it's the big stuff - the cobwebs and the fall clothes organizing and the flipping of mattresses that are drowning me...

Marcy said...

Alexander Skarsgaard...ahhh.
I'm a newly converted True Blood watcher. I've watched all 3 seasons within 2 months (thanks to season DVD's) and I'm so sad it's done now. Where will I get my Eric fix from now???

Maybe I'll have to go see Battleship (he better be worth it).

catslady said...

Coffee and no sleep lol. I've decided I'd much rather have longer days now even if it means a shorter life later lol.

chey said...

Congratulations on the O'Neill series!
I make a list and cross things off as I do them. I drink coffee too.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Hey Marcy -- are you talking about Battlestar Gallactica? Because he's not in that - if you are talking about another Battlestar then please tell me more...

He was also in a great mini series called Generation Kill - about the first Calvary unit in Iraq - it's a tough series but he is absolutely incredible. Riveting.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Cat's Lady - I understand totally. Though I will admit - most days when my 2 year old goes down - I take a nap. I can't help it. The house is so quiet....

Molly O'Keefe said...

Hey Chey - thanks for stopping by! Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

Problem Child said...

Hi Molly and welcome! I so enjoyed meeting you at RWA this summer and I'm tickled you're here!

This is probably not the best time to ask me that question. I'm slogging through revisions and they're taking FOREVER, and the house is deteriorating even as I speak. No calendar or to-do list will save me now, but at least the Geek is bringing home dinner...

Molly O'Keefe said...

Well when the husband will bring home dinner - who needs a list? good luck on those revisions!!

Marcy said...

Alexander will be in the new movie Battleship...based on the board game, if you can believe it. It's filming right now. Won't be out until 2012 though :( Not sure about the movie (based on a game?) but if it has him, I may just have to give it a look see.

Linda Henderson said...

If I didn't keep a planner I'd forget my head. I've been known to leave notes on my computer screen and my cell phone so I won't miss them.

Smarty Pants said...

I'm late. Typical, sorry. My life is in my Iphone. Outlook notes has all the little things I need to remember. My shopping app has my grocery list. All my contacts. My appointments.

I hang a list of chores on the fridge to remind me what I need to do around the house, but I mostly add things I've done already so i can cross it off. The big chores just stay on there forever.

Emma said...

Hi Molly,
Congratulations on the O'Neill series.I keep lists.And have a calendar with everything written on it.