Thanks so much for having me on your amazing ABA blog, Casi. You asked me to mention my writing advice for your readers. As an author, I’m asked questions like, ‘where do you get ideas for your stories?’ From dreams, waking and sleeping, doing historical research, family genealogy… sometimes a movie or TV show…
Another question is ‘have you ever killed off any characters?’ Yep. Lots.
I’m appealed to for advice
regarding what I’ve gleaned along the oft twisted, rocky road of fiction writing for twenty plus years. I’ve learned many things, but the most important is to savor the journey. I look back on those early days with poignant nostalgia…the excitement in story discovery, wanting to know what happened next and rarely seeing until I wrote it. I still often don’t know much ahead, but am haunted by thinking I should be more of a plotter. Back then, I was unfamiliar with the terms panster and plotter.
I love the sense of camaraderie with my characters. They become my best friends. Especially in my first book, and still my bestselling novel, Red Bird’s Song. Their hardship, joys, and struggles are deeply imprinted on me. I’ve never written any story I didn’t care about, and I’ve never cared about any as much as I did that first one. I spent months, even years, writing and rewriting it and learning how to write in the process. The rejections ultimately poured in and I learned from those agents, editors, and contest judges who took the time to help me, and I grew. The story improved, but I didn’t love it any more than I always had.
Life has gotten in the way a lot
since then those early days. I used to better clear a path for writing, no matter what, than I do now. I was on fire, bursting with energy. Pass the coffee and I’ll capture a spark of what I once had. Boundless enthusiasm and youth carried me to zenith heights. I’m afraid to let myself get too emotionally invested in a story now. How great will be my fall if I must continually plunge to earth. Finding the path in between soaring among the stars and plodding is my current goal.
I used to think reaching the end of a story was ‘the thing.’ I lost track of enjoying the adventure with my unique characters, sharing their triumphs and trials…their love story. In researching history, I glean tantalizing knowledge of those who have gone before me. I form bonds with people I never would have otherwise. In writing mystery, I immerse myself in solving the puzzle and putting all the pieces together. This brings satisfaction. And I’ve met some really intriguing ghosts…
I want to share my work with readers
but most importantly, I’m enriching myself in the process. The connections and experiences I gain from writing are immeasurable, and the most vital is savoring the journey. I wish I’d appreciated it more then. I do now.
I have this thing about feeling connected with the past. Gardening is also a passion of mine. I’m drawn to growing herbs and heirlooms flowers that my ancestors grew and on back into the mists of time. I included a lovely garden in my new ghostly time travel romance, Somewhere My Lady, and used herbs in the story. It’s richly fragrant.
‘Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself.’’ ~Colleen’s Book Reviews
Story Blurb for Somewhere My Lady (Book 1 Ladies in Time)
Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.
Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.
Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. Lately, the Civil War. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult shifter romance, I write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction. I have twenty titles out, both novels and novellas, and a novella coming out this fall. My nonfiction works are about herbs, gardening, and country life.
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