Monday, August 28, 2017

When a Book Moves In

Balance? I’ve heard this word and it always rings strangely in my ears. This is especially the case when I’m in the midst of a tricky edit or when a rough draft is practically writing itself.

It’s more like triage around here. And I’ve come to accept that and thank God so has my family.

When a book moves in I’m aware of all that goes by the wayside. My methodology to keeping some semblance of balance comes down to this: the important stuff gets done.

Everything else … {shrugs}

Right now I’m not only hosting one book in my brain, I’ve got two roaming around up there making quite a ruckus. Working through edits. Picking up dirty socks. Wiping down streaky mirrors. These characters can make a raging mess. And they love to hog my attention.

I’ve trained them to sleep when my kids are home. They’re not great sleepers. I’ve debated slipping them some NyQuil, but so far it hasn’t come to that. There are some nights they’ve stayed up partying so hard, pinging inside my head until the wee hours, they end up crashing hard during the day. Crazy house guests these books are.

But I suppose I love them and I haven’t yet found a way to kick them out (trust me, I’ve tried). In the meantime, you might see my kid wearing two different types of cleats or you may wonder how long can clean clothes rest on a bedroom floor before they’re considered dirty again.

Some people crave physical order before they’re ready to face the day. For me it’s all about mental order and mental order begins with me preparing my kids for school, kissing them goodbye, then shaking my house guests awake, never knowing what surprises I’m about to encounter

Monday, August 21, 2017

What is a Character Solar Eclipse?

I thought it might be timely to mention a character solar eclipse. We all know, and have read, the ins and outs of what’s going to happen later today. We’ve bought the glasses and lived to tell about it. (I haven’t bought the glasses actually, and I’m just praying I don’t get tempted and stare too long and burn my corneas to a crisp.)

You might be wondering, what the heck is a character solar eclipse? This is the moment in a novel when a character’s secret or dark side is revealed. You grasp their weakness for the first time, perceiving them in all their human glory. The guesswork is gone. They’re outed. Vulnerable to judgement, while at the same time primed for your enthrallment.

A character solar eclipse has the power to magnetize readers to a character forever.

The following are three reasons why authors should create a solar eclipse moment in their novel ~

Oh, the Humanity
The moment a reader is privy to a character’s deep and not-so-pretty internal conflict they are likely to become hooked. Why? Because, at once, the character has become instantly more relatable. We empathize with their doubts, feel their fears, and are up close and personal with their weakness. We feel the struggle. Man, it’s a beautiful thing.

Why, oh Why?
When an author develops a character so fully as to delve into their dark side and intentionally reveal it, they’ve done wonders to help the reader understand the character’s motivation. Every decision the character makes will hinge, in part, on that nagging fear, that raging insecurity, that past mistake . . .

Time to Bite the Nails
A character solar eclipse will cause the reader to ask—will this character overcome? Will they conquer the fear? Slay the doubt? Forgive? As readers, we subconsciously begin to root for the character. A character solar eclipse has a way of creating tension when tension is needed most in a story.

You’re probably aware of the term internal conflict. A character solar eclipse is the moment, the scene when this conflict is realized. It all comes to light, so to speak. Or should I say dark?

Be safe, my friends.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Introducing . . . The After Glimpse

Corrine Boulder, Landon Young, and Aria Glynn share something inexplicable in common. They’ve all lost loved ones two years ago to the day. To the second, in fact. But that’s not the only thing connecting these three.

Their loved ones are resurfacing in photographs taken within the past twenty-four months.

A toddler, a murdered sister, and a beloved dog suddenly begin appearing in photos captured after their last day on earth. Desperate for an explanation, Corrine, Landon, and Aria seek out possible reasons as to why this phenomenon might be occurring. Little manages to put their minds at ease as they wrestle with the implausible potential that maybe their loved ones are still alive.

Bereft of answers, the trio begins to understand that perhaps it’s not why this is happening, but to what end that matters most. 

THE AFTER GLIMPSE ~ available this October!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Window to my Soul

I thought it might be fun to show you my office in our new home. I’m really doing this as an excuse, so I could open up and share a few things you may not guess about me—to let you in a little more. 

Here it is . . . where the magic happens. Or the drivel. Or nothing at all. Here’s one of the rooms where I give my creativity permission to come most alive. I thought I’d share a little about what you’re seeing in this picture.

The fat Shakespeare book. A dear friend I met in Seattle gave this to me. I remember thinking how cool it was she earned her PhD in writing. I look at it as a reminder to keep learning. I also keep it as a visual to remind myself of a college break when I couldn’t make it home, and I sat curled up in my papasan, falling for Shakespeare, the words strumming some untouched territory in my brain. I also happen to think it looks uber-cool in a writer’s office.

The angel girl hanging from the doorknob. A friend from Connecticut gave this to me after I released THE FLOWER GIRLS. This nature-loving angel is my muse. She knows it. I know it, and I still love her even though my dog ate the big blossoming flower off her head.

The keys. I went a little nutty buying anything key-related after the release of my first novella, THE DISAPPEARING KEY. These remind me of the start to my first brave foray out into the world as a published author.

The computer. Hard to say how many times I’ve cried in front of that thing. Over characters. Rejections. Offers. Doubt. Even over my stubborn refusal to quit. Pretty sure I’ve begged that screen to release me. Try as I have, it never works. I’m always seduced back. With more characters and more stories to be told.

The refurbished chair with a stack of books. I love working with furniture and painting anything I can get my hands on and I’m a little addicted to the library.

The picture of my girls walking away in Ogunquit, Maine. I’m in love with this picture. Truly. Because it serves as a reminder of my role in their lives—to teach them how to take their own brave steps in this world, hoping that they’ll always know I’ll be behind them cheering them on every step of the way.

Next week I’m revealing the cover of THE AFTER GLIMPSE!

Taking Time

college applications                 homecoming                            flag football                basketball             SATs   ...