Saturday, August 16, 2014

Endings and Such

I think my next adventure will be in the form of galleys to proof for The Time Seekers. That's always a bit nerve-wracking, especially for someone like me who freaks out and loses all ability to discern good writing from bad writing the second she sees her own work. Basically I'll be looking for missing commas and continuity problems, like, Character A walks into a backyard holding her daughter's birthday cake, only to catch a Frisbee later on in the same exact scene. Believe me, this does happen, despite a thorough combing through by author, editor and copy editor. Galleys require you to print out the entire manuscript, which is even more freaky, because you have visions of yourself knocking coffee across the stack, or your child opening a window on a blustery day. And then there are cats. The whole thing is frightening, but it must be done.

I realized the other day how difficult it's been for me to talk about The Time Seekers because in doing so I might reveal plot secrets. I suppose that is a common problem for anyone who's written a sequel. Mentioning the plot by any degree is a betrayal to the first novel, and no way in heck can I discuss any part of the plot mid-to ending because it'll not only ruin the first book, but the third as well. It's kind of unfair. I'd love to gush about the book the same way I did with The Soul Seekers, but, can't. What I can say is that Emma starts off working in a university library married to some *dude.* Then some *stuff* happens. Then there's a time *mishap* and Emma runs all over the place and has to make some *decisions.* Then the whole thing builds toward a *shocking* ending. But that's all I can say.

Next time, I'll tell you about The Love Seekers.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Up, up and away

Took the kids to the fair last week, one of our last summer happenings before school starts again. I always love going to the fair because you never know what you're going to see. It's the only place you can watch someone chow down on a huge pile of chili fries like it's the most natural thing in the world, followed by a monster soda and then fried cheesecake on a stick. I'm fascinated by it. Of course, there's art and animals and all sorts of other awesome stuff—but isn't it really about the people? Or is that just me . . .

So after the fair I took the kids to the library, because it had air conditioning (and no manure). Well, Liam was holding a balloon when we walked in, which seemed a bad idea, but whatever, air conditioning. I momentarily leave the kids in the back section so I can use the bathroom, and upon my return I find that Liam's balloon has disappeared. I ask him, "Hey, kid, what happened to your balloon?" He won't say, and his face turns scarlet. "Did another kid take it?" He shakes his head. "Did it pop?" He nods, and carefully looks around. No one's talking. The balloon incident has come and gone and they're all pretending it didn't happen. Liam shows me the dead, limp latex that he hastily stuffed into his back pocket. "Oh, okay. Well, let's get out of here."

In some ways I'm sorry I missed the balloon incident. I live for stupid things like that. The loud BOOM in a perfectly serene library at eleven in the morning followed by someone's quick intake of breath. The whole room going quiet afterwards. Damn.

It did happen, right? A tree falls in a forest and all that.

Well, anyway, have a great weekend.

The Balloon Bandit

Your typical Midwestern fair. This picture was taken from a porta potty.

More pictures here.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cover reveal for The Time Seekers!

WiDo has outdone themselves. You always hope for a great cover, and now I have two. What I love about this one—beyond it being absolutely beautiful—is that it has a mystery to it with Emma looking on, and the male figure standing with his back facing and hands in pockets. I love the whole tone and the story it tells. So, major kudos to the art team at WiDo for a job well done, twice! I keep pinching myself to see if this is real, and yep, I'm awake and it's really happening. Thank you, WiDo, for these beautiful book covers and for being such a wonderful publisher. Now, it's time to go through these copy edits . . . ouch.

Thank you for all the overwhelmingly awesome comments on my last post. It means a lot to me. I don't have a ton of regular followers, but the ones I have are kick ass! And that's the truth. Until later, peace.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New cover for The Soul Seekers

Here is the gorgeous new cover for The Soul Seekers. I'm totally in love with it! WiDo did a fantastic job, and hands down to the art department for showing Emma's hippie style and the 'mysterious' boy who could either be William or Jesse. The former cover, though retro cool, had too much of an old-fashioned feel to it, so I'm really happy about the change. This new one is beautiful and dreamy. When I saw it yesterday, let's just say I almost cried.

I have seen the equally gorgeous cover for The Time Seekers, but I'm not sure if I can share yet. Anyway it's nice to give the first book a little mention of its own.

So, for today you can judge a book by its cover! I said so.

Take care, and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Coming to grips

I think perhaps I was in shock the other day after finding out my third book had been accepted. I'm one of those people who have trouble believing it when good things happen too easily. Sure, I moan and complain when they don't, but when they do . . . it's just weird. But I am very happy, and again, I look forward to the release.

When I look back at writing the first book, which I've talked about way too much I'm sure, there's a feeling of pure love and happiness that it's all worked out. It was a rough road convincing people a ghost love interest had any real merit. At the time, it was cliché as hell. But to me, it was everything. From the moment I saw "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" on TV in high school, I knew that I'd write about a specter and a human one day. I just didn't know how or when . . . or anything. I just knew. The funny thing is that when you finally allow yourself to believe in an idea, and you give of yourself completely, good things happen. I want all writers to know this. You can be young, or old, or rich, or poor, but if you have a dream, you have everything. And yes, making the dream come true entails a lot of hard work, but mostly I really, really enjoy this whole writing thing. Sometimes it's like I'm not actually working.

That's the key. I never knew how much I loved writing until I succumbed and just did it. All those excuses which kept me from writing the first page of this or that, and the doubts which nagged at me saying, "You don't know how to write. You only think you know. Writers are gifted people and you, my dear, are not gifted." Years went by with this inner dialogue. Then one day the image of a young man sitting alone in a library struck me. I could feel his feelings and hear his thoughts. I experienced such an urgent need to write about him and to save him from that loneliness. So, whatever that was, that bolt of inspiration, it saved me from the doubt. And I wish for all writers to have the same lightning strike of creativity. If it happens, don't let it go to waste. My 1950's ghost boy now appears in three books, and always, in my heart.

Nothing done in earnest will ever be wasted.

So, now I get to say I'm the writer of a trilogy. That's kind of wonderful. My hope is that I'll get to do something which, for some reason, never happened with the first book's release—to have a signing/reading. While I'm not holding my breath, it would be nice to do the proverbial 'author appearance' and relish in the public life of a literary figure. Or not. What I really do best is hang out in comfy clothes and brainstorm.

But really, the proper thing to do is hope for another great idea. And write, and write, and write.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New book, and it's late so I can't think of a proper blog title--you're lucky I can even spell right now . . .

After some crazy email problems, all stemming from my Yahoo account (basically, someone hacking my Yahoo, which sounds terrible), I heard that WiDo will pick up the third book in my novel series about Emma. I'm truly happy and thrilled to know The Love Seekers will come out. I was sort of transfixed into another world the whole time I worked on it, which is a nice treat after struggling so much with other projects. So, yay, this is good news and I can't wait to get things rolling!

But back to that email. I had a bad feeling my messages weren't going out, as all received messages were being erased--and not by me. I had my computer hacked too, and my phone. I'm pretty sure it's still happening. My Facebook goes nuts, it's crazy. It started last spring. The good news is that I've switched to a new service, but as for Facebook, it's not like I have to go on there that much anyway. Too many arguments and annoying misspelled memes. Anyone have similar issues with this stuff?

Hope all is well with all of you in bloggerland! I'm not ready for summer to end yet. I'm the same way every year. I'll be back when it's time for The Time Seekers cover reveal, or hopefully sooner. Until then, much love and rock on!

Here's my latest Flickr activity if you're bored.

Some lovely Kansas flowers

Monday, July 7, 2014

Marching On

It's hard to believe Summer Break is half over. I refuse to accept it! Most of mine has been spent with the kids, watching them swim and taking them to the park. I've also been writing a lot, as usual. I do that in the mornings before they wake up, and then simmer over what will happen in my next writing session throughout the day. As usual, I'm dreading the start of school because it means an empty house. But I'm also looking forward to it . . . because it means an empty house. I always feel guilty about that! The truth is, I write more when the kids are around. My schedule is jacked up, yes, but my heart is in one piece. But, hey, don't tell anyone I said that!

The other day WiDo sent a message to tell me The Time Seekers is about to get a cover. Probably one of the most exciting times for any writer. Seriously, it's like Christmas! A nice reward after all that hard work. It's my first real time travel novel, and to understand the significance of that, you have to know how much I love Jack Finney. LOVE Jack Finney. Then you'll know how much it means, and why I worked so hard to make this book just right. Time will tell if I was actually able to achieve that goal (see what I did there?). Can't wait to see the cover.

Speaking of time, I'm going to step back to the summer of 2009 when I first came up with the idea for The Soul Seekers. Maybe one of the happiest eras of my life. I was completely devoted to the story and the characters: Emma, William and Jesse. I'd always wanted to write, but nothing had ever grabbed me quite like this. I became Emma and I could hear and feel every part of Springvale around me that summer. It was magical. For people who have read the book, I think that joy comes across. And I think it comes through in The Time Seekers, where I continue Emma's life through college and marriage and all the tough decisions in this crazy thing we call life. She goes through a lot, that girl, and I'll admit I have cried at times for what I've put her through. If that makes me weird, so be it. Although, I have a feeling I'm not the only one who gets lost in their characters!

Some of you have been dealing with some wild weather this summer. I hope all is well. Here's to a beautiful rest of the season. Anyone reading anything spectacular right now? I'd love to hear about it.

My offspring when I took them on a tour of a small Kansas town. Photographic proof that you can't make both happy at the same time.