Monday, October 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing

.Thank you Joylene for your tag in the Next Big Thing bloghop. Read her post here.

She tagged me in part because of our similar genre of suspense, but I can only hope to be where she is someday! I'm revising my book so extensively that I feel like I'm back to square one- the first draft stage. I've finally made peace with the revision process because I've learned so much along the way, and it will only make my novel better in the end.

THE NEXT BIG THING (Answer 10 questions about your work, either a novel or WIP)


1. What is the working title of your book?  Crossing the Culture, but I'm probably going to change that because my WIP has changed so much it's not as applicable. (And my husband didn't like it!)

2. Where did the idea come from from the book?  I wanted to write something based on my experiences of living in South America, and once I had a main character, she took on a life of her own.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Suspense/ thriller, or medical thriller. The main character is a nurse volunteering in a clinic in the rainforest.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I know more or less what the female protagonist would look like, but I can't think of a specific actress for her. The male protagonist, who is the doctor running the clinic, I would chose Stuart Townsend.

  He's pretty much exactly the picture I had in my mind while I wrote the story.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

 Kate Wilson is thrilled to begin her work as a nurse in the rainforest, discovering too late that the town of Bella Vista is hiding a sinister secret that will change her life forever.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I'm going to try traditional first, but anything is possible.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? This has been a slow process for me, but overall I've worked on this manuscript for over a year already, and I'm not sure how much more I will need.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? The only one that comes to mind is Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger. Just take away the spy part and add medical instead, if that makes any sense. (If anyone knows of a better fit let me know!)

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? The beautiful little town I lived in while in the rainforest, and my husband (with his Colombian heritage).

10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? I like learning about places and cultures and I try to share this with the reader. It is a beautiful region with intense poverty and tormented by violence and drugs. I've had to do a lot of research into the history of the drug cartels and Colombia, and the amount of violence is mind-boggling. It puts our problems in the States into perspective.

Thanks again Joylene for the opportunity to talk about what I'm working on!

I'm going to tag some of my favorite blogger friends, because I would love to learn about what you're working on, but no obligations.

1. Barbara Ann Watson


Monday, October 22, 2012

Mixing it up Monday

I've got a few things to blog about today- all different topics.

First, I wanted to introduce one of my first followers, Elisa Ann Lindstrom, before I discovered the writing community. She is an artist with nature based themes and her blogsite is here.

Her latest post is something we can definitely relate to.

Next, I thought I would share a story from Ecuador that I've taken out of my book. I threw it in to try to show the culture, but it's a side story that has nothing to do with the plot, so it got cut. This is a true experience that I had on a visit there with my husband and then four year old daughter.

We were driving from Quito, the capitol city to Otavalo, where my husband's family lives, when we saw a llama tied up in front of a house. Eager to show him to my little girl, we stopped the car and got out. An old woman was standing near the llama, and we asked if we could take pictures. We took several shots and then I noticed a scrawny little puppy nearby. I grabbed a snack pack of crackers that I had for my four year old and spilled them out on the ground for the puppy to eat, when a little toddler I had barely noticed came running up and starting eating the crackers too. Right off the dirt road! It broke my heart.

I ran back to the car, got another bag of crackers, and handed the new pack to the child, who grabbed it and ran to hide behind the old woman. We take everything for granted in the States, like having enough to eat, that it hadn't occurred to me the child might be hungry too. Isn't that sad!

Last of all, I finished the book Deadly Additive, a Christian suspense novel. I wasn't sure what that genre meant, but it's my writing partner's genre and she had recommended it to me. In turn, I recommend to anyone who likes suspense. It is very well written- the dialogue is excellent, and the religious part is subtle, not preachy, and it doesn't take away from the page turning plot.

You can find it at B&N or Amazon. I stayed up until almost 1 a.m. finishing it!

I also purchased the Emotion Thesaurus as recommended. This is exactly what I needed to help me with fresh ideas. Over and over I've been told that I needed to add more feeling. I'm getting better but this is the boost I was looking for. Thanks for the tip!

By the way, I just thought I should mention that I work during the second half of the week. That's 12 hour shifts at night, so when I'm not working I'm sleeping, and I don't always get a chance to respond to comments as quickly. I will get to them though! Thanks for understanding :) and have a great week!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Just lounging around

Today wasn't my most productive day, although I did do my share of taxi-ing the kids around, paying bills, washing dishes and cooking dinner. I even read a little! (While waiting at ballet for my 5 year old) But what I really wanted to do was what these guys are doing!

I will next happily announce that my writing muse did come back. I plowed through a huge chunk of the revision I'm working on and have worked out more of the story in my head. All in all, I'm glad to be in the groove again. Thanks again to everyone for their inspiration during my slumpy period.

Right now I'm reading three books, one unpublished from my writing partner, one published from a friend of hers, and another that I got through a B& N deal.

They are all very good and very different. I think that's why I read a number of books at the same time- it's a little like flipping through the channels on TV, depending on what mood I'm in determines which book I'll pick up and read. I have the published ones listed on my Goodreads account, and when I'm finished I'll post a review.

What are you up to this week? Glad you stopped by :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rules of writing- Aargh!

One thing we discussed at our writing group was the craft of writing, and how important it is to follow the rules, especially as a first time novelist. I've learned most from other writers, such as avoiding adverbs, POV (that one I'm finding hard!), MC can't look in a mirror reflectively, don't start out in a car or plane (Oops), etc., etc.

I know a lot of people attend seminars, read books on the craft, and have mentors who help them through the process. What I want to know is what has helped you the most? Any books you recommend? I've looked at the shelves of books at B&N and get overwhelmed. I'm going to try a writing schedule too, but that one is hard because my life is crazy.

Okay, then I'm going to shamelessly plug my kids' school fundraiser because they're hoping for some cheesy prizes. This is one of the items, plush snowballs for an indoor fight. How cute is that? The deadline is this Wed., Oct 10th.

All you have to do is shop online at and enter 532634 at the checkout so they get credit. The items will ship directly to you. Don't feel obligated, believe me I know money's tight these days, but if you can you'll make their day!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IWSG post

It's that time again- my how time flies. This post is really a continuation on my last post, where I confessed to procrastinating with working on my novel. Now I'll explain why.

I have a new writing partner who I found by reaching out to the local writer's chapter in my area. She's amazing. A well-educated, talented writer, already working on her second novel, but still unpublished. Her first novel landed her an agent, but in the submission process it turned out the market was no longer favorable to it. It was DOA- dead on arrival. She's letting me read it, and I have to say, the beginning is very good. I'm not finished, but it's the kind of writing that makes you forget your reading. So why does that discourage me?

She spent over 5 years on it. Revising it over and over again. But it did make her an amazing writer. I guess I'm doubting I have that kind of dedication to writing. I've wanted to write my whole life, but the time was never right, thinking that when I did sit down finally it would all be so easy. I had no idea how much of a craft it really is- how much work goes into every book I read, and how competitive the market is.

I'm feeling overwhelmed, which grinds me to a halt.

Tomorrow I will write. I need to. It is a desire burning within. I'm overwhelmed, but I'll trudge onward, working, improving, rewriting. Thank you all for the encouraging words from the trenches. I'm in good company.

Monday, October 1, 2012


My cute little foster kittens are gone :( I was starting to get attached to them but my cat Willow has staked out our house as his, and his alone. We have a good balance of happy pets right now (1 cat, 2 dogs) and I'm just not ready to upset it.

Now about my title- procrastinating. I've been doing a lot of it lately. I've been reading like crazy but not doing much writing. I couldn't even think of anything special to write about today. I feel like I'm losing steam with writing, which I'm hoping is only temporary, but it's hard to stay dedicated to something that takes so much time and gives little in return.

Any thoughts on how to light a fire under me? Because I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way once in awhile!