Leap-Frogging into Monday

Stone and Spark Thanks to Sibella Giorello, I’m joining the Monday writers and reacquainting myself with my new website of which I have been quite negligent. But, it doesn’t get dusty or need meals or make telephone calls; it’s self-sufficiency is its own enemy. But, that’s another post for another day…If you’ve not read any of Sibella’s books, please click over to find The Raleigh Harmon mysteries and meet one of the most fascinating protagonists I’ve encountered.

And now to the questions…

1. What am I working on now?

I’m wiggly excited to be working on my first ebook, which will also be my first venture into the land of self-publishing.  Since I’m not on a hard deadline with a publishing house, I’ve motivated (tortured?) myself into a deadline by writing a Christmas-themed book.  For now, it’s entitled An Unexpected Christmas, and I plan for it to be the first book in the series featuring Callie Fitzgerald. My slightly neurotic, over-committed, and fashion-disabled heroine.

2.  How does my work differ from other works in its genre?

My previous novels are all women’s fiction with the exception of one historical romance, and most of them did not tread lightly regarding issues like alcoholism, emotional abuse, inter-racial marriage, and being gay.  I did attempt to balance the weight of the content by using humor so my readers wouldn’t need therapy after they finished my books! I’m also from and live in New Orleans and, while I wouldn’t necessarily label myself a Southern writer, growing up in the Big Easy has flavored my writing.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Because I’m lousy at everything else? I tried writing a mystery and gave up when I couldn’t figure out the identity of the killer. Erotica is definitely a no because figuring how to write about two people kissing is about as complicated a maneuver as I can handle. I’d have body parts flying all over the place, and it would probably read like some slasher novel instead. As a recently retired high school English teacher, I’ve given some thought to writing Young Adult. But after spending 25 years with them, I needed a wee bit of a break.

To be honest, though, I find women’s fiction as challenging as it is fulfilling…both as a writer and a reader. Life doesn’t always take us to happily ever after. Sometimes it’s happily never after. Sometimes it forces us to redefine happiness, to ultimately decide what it is we value in life and what we’re willing to sacrifice or pursue for it to happen. The women in my novels grow into themselves in ways they never expected.

4. How does my writing process work?

Oh, my. It’s surprising it does work! My Christmas novel is the first novel that I’ve actually organized from beginning to end, and that is largely due to the efforts of Lisa Miller and her Story Structure Safari Class. She meshes information from a variety of writing experts and authors to create a process that’s do-able for even wing nuts like myself who get tangled up in their own plots. Seriously. Ask Jenny Jones, one of the wittiest writers I know (check out her YA here!), how many phone calls and frantic texts screeching, “OMG. Three chapters in and no novel. Help!” she’s received over my last few novels! I’m not married to the story structure I’ve created, but at least I know now if I don’t end up where I thought I would be…and that, my friends, is why the process is organic!

I’ll close with a shameless self-promotion of my latest release, Test of Faith. One of the covers I adore!

Test of Faith

Elle Butler has managed to hold on to her politically-driven husband and her secrets until the unexpected happens. When one phone call rips her world apart, Elle will have to decide if the truth is worth the consequences. Especially when it threatens to destroy the world she’s so carefully built around her life and her marriage.

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