Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Well, he just is because I say so. LOL!
If you're an aspiring writer, I think his books are one of those MUST reads.....like once a year at least. There are certain craft books that I read over and over.
Donald Maas' Writing the Breakout Novel and the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook are two such books.
I'll be listing others along the way.
Short blog today....got several women coming over for prayer this morning and my house is a wreck.
My husband is shaking his head, reading over my shoulder...he's like, "Who cares about your house? Everyone lives the same. Only all you women don't know it because you nutt up on a cleaning spree thirty minutes before folks show up."
Okay, confession time....I actually DO have an entire (small) walk-in closet that I insist my family keeps empty so when I see someone pull up, or call to say they're dropping by, or as in the case of this morning...when I've been on a revision spree and haven't had time to clean....I start tossing and shoving stuff in that closet. I even got those cheap 88cent apiece white round laundry baskets...yes you guessed it...to throw stuff in and stack in the closet.
Can't believe I'm admitting that.
Oh...and I posted yesterday via email but it still hasn't shown up yet so I guess internet goblins ate it or something but I had a writer's worst nightmare happen yesterday. IN the middle of my CONTRACTED revisions....my less than a year old laptop computer crashed. So I call tech support and all I hear is a message that says, "For tech support, please visit our Website." LOL! Okay, now, thankfully I have a desktop in order to do that, BUT how do they expect people to do that who only have one computer? And that computer crashed so bad it won't even start up in Safe Mode? LOL! Oh the oddities of life.
Thankfully I had recently backed up my files on flash drive....so I only lost a few hours worth of revision work. I already made the work up yesterday, then I realized while looking at my flash drive that I think I lost two stories I typed in my alphie then transferred. Well a story and a half! ACK! Now THAT is a total bummer. So I'm praying God and the Geek Squad come through for me and are able to retrieve those files. The guy looked at me wierd when I said, "If it comes down to saving the computer or saving files....I want the files."
He kind of looked at me wierd...but only another writer would understand such a loony request. LOL!
Okay, people are pulling up....talk to ya's later.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Remember in one of my last PLOTSTORMS for book three how I mentioned I hate the story?
Well today in working revisions my editors requested for book 2, I ended up cutting a scene which focused too heavily on a secondary character (who just happens to be the hero of book 3) because it detracted focus away from the hero and heroine. (I always do that by the way. Go on minor character tangeants. Gotta be more mindful of that.) However....I realized one of the chapter opening hooks COULD actually start out book three and be a stronger beginning chapter than what it is now.
I think that's why I'm not yet happy with book three because the opening isn't what I'm used to writing. It starts out too calm, too lacsidaisical (Sp). I prefer to start with a major disaster, or turning point, crossroads, point of decision or chaos in the character's life. If I use the scene I cut to open book three, the book will start out better I think. So I killed the proverbial two birds with one stone today....not only did I get some major revising accomplished, I now no longer hate book three. LOL!
So when I accepted all the track changes in a copied document.....my word count dropped to 61000! ROFL!
I was freaking out because I was like WHERE are these words coming from!!!!!??? I kept cutting ENTIRE scenes...even half a chapter...and the word count STILL went up. LOLOL! I was starting to freak out a little bit there.
Those of you following my PLOTSTORM THREAD....please stay tuned. I had to change gears from writing book three (our plotstorm book) when I sold book 2. Since book two will release in March of 2008 (YIPEE!!!) things will move faster as far as things I have to turn in to my editors. So I promise we'll get back to the PLOTSTORM by April.
THANK YOU FOR FAITHFULLY SUPPORING MY BLOG WITH YOUR READERSHIP!
It's important to me to personally respond to every comment, but sometimes I can't track your email addresses. So if you've left a comment and haven't heard from me...don't be shy, leave your email address so I can comment back. Just be sure to leave spaces before and after the @ sign or something so internet spiders can't scoop up your addy and spam you.
If you've taken time to come to my blog, I'd like to take the time to personally thank you.
You all are important to me and I appreciate you. If you're lurking, come out and play with us! :-)
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I haven't posted one of these in a long time but my face is STILL heated with this one.
My husband recently set up a new email account and wanted me to send him an email to check it.
Well, silly me, I sent him one....
Only it was fairly racy if you know what I mean.
I called and asked him if he got it.
SO in a panic I go back to my "Sent" folder......not only had I NOT used his name in the opening, I EMAILED IT TO MY KIDS' CHRISTIAN SCHOOL OFFICE!!!!
Can my mortification get any worse than that?
Squirrel-at it again.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
1. Welcome to my blog, Sharon! My first question is, how did you come up with the amazing and unforgettable character of Becky Miller?
Hi, Cheryl! Thanks for letting me visit!As I brainstormed the character of Becky, I looked hard at what was driving some of the ongoing struggles in my life and the lives of my friends. I’m part of a small group women’s Bible study, and week after week, we kept talking about the same issues (pressures, struggles with sense of worth, purpose, wanting to serve God and not sure our efforts were making a difference). So I let Becky reflect those issues in a somewhat exaggerated way — with her daydream life to give insights into some of the subconscious ways women view themselves. I wanted to see where her good-hearted but driven nature would take her – and what I might learn from her.
2. What sort of things did you do to develop her character to the point she became as real and identifiable as she is?
Before I started writing full-time, I was doing rubber-stamping demonstrations in homes – about two a week for several years. I’ve been in hundreds of homes in various circles of women. And I listened, absorbed, and mulled about how women in our culture feel today. I think some of that helped inform her development. But I’m the kind of writer who gets acquainted with the characters ON the journey. I set Becky lose and watched what she did, and that’s how she became real (so real, that at times I accidentally started to pray for her during my devotion time as I was praying for other friends – LOL!)
3. Do do you plot first? Or get to know your characters first? How do you process a novel from your imagination?
I start with "what if" questions. What if a young mom tries her hardest to do something for God, but feels like she is a failure? How will God meet her on the road? What if she makes the best choices she knows how to make and people insist on blaming her for the problems she encounters? Or in my new book . . . What if Becky and her family decide that life has become hectic and stressed, so buying a fixer-upper house in the country will solve all their problems? What kinds of things might go wrong? And what if Becky faces the same challenge many of my friends have, of aging parents/in-laws? And what if her dream job is becoming a nightmare?
4. Did you put any of yourself into this book? If so, what parts?
I think many of Becky’s friends reflect various sides to my nature. Becky’s passion and pain are very familiar to me – but the plot line is completely her own.
5. How do you decide your book's theme?
It’s such an organic process – I start with a few questions I want to explore, but sometimes new themes emerge and surprise me. In Renovating Becky Miller, I knew I wanted to look at Becky’s need to "fix" things. But later I also noticed how characters did good things from tangled motives, and I hadn’t realized that would be a theme.
6. When can we expect to see the next book on the shelves from you and where can interested readers order/buy one?
The next release is The Restorer – coming out May of 2007 from NavPress.You can visit my website anytime to see my current books in print, and what’s coming up next. I have several novels coming out in the next few years, so to keep informed, readers can sign up for my "Book Buddy" ezine. Once a month I sent a free ezine with a devotional thought, info on events and new books, behind-the-scenes fun, prayer requests, and a prayer for my Book Buddies. All you need to do is leave your name and email (which is ONLY used for the ezine) on the "Contact Sharon" page of my website: www.sharonhinck.com. The Secret Life of Becky Miller and Renovating Becky Miller are both in major bookstores around the country (if it’s not on the shelves, just ask them to order it in for you) and can also be ordered online or through my website links.
7. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
There are days I’m still not sure! :-) But I keep asking God if my writing brings Him joy, if it can be of use to comfort others, and if being a writer is the place He wants me right now. As best as I can discern, the answer is yes. It’s a delightful surprise to me, because growing up I REVERED authors. To me that was an impossible dream job. So to have God call me to contribute in this realm is scary and amazing.
8. What is your favorite scene in Renovating Becky Miller and why?
I kind of liked Thanksgiving dinner...especially when the kids chose odd items (like bloody teeth and locks of hair) for the decorations that symbolized things they were thankful for. That’s the kind of weirdity that makes family life fun.
9. Given the choice of an evening out with a group of friends, or a quiet movie evening at home, which would you prefer?
I’m a people person, but when I’m overtired, I’m a home-body. Lately I’ve needed more quiet time at home to recharge.
10. What about character Becky? What would she choose?
I think Becky feels out of the loop if she’s not interacting with people frequently. She’d LOVE an evening out with her friends.
11. What was the funnest part of writing this book?
I got to rent stacks of movies and call it "research" for the cinematic daydream scenes. I got to invent wonderful horrible remodeling disasters for Becky that I didn’t have to live through (I’ve had enough of my own over the years). I got to vicariously enjoy the rich relationships that she has cultivated.
12. What was the most challenging?
Allowing some of the conflicts and struggles to drag out for her. I like Becky, so I feel bad when I write a scene where she is hurt – and I want to quickly write a scene to fix everything for her. But that’s not good story-telling.
13. The most rewarding?
There were many times that Becky taught me things. She made some choices I might not have thought of. Watching her grow in her faith, and gleaning insights from the things that happened to her was very rewarding – and when I hear from a reader that they have been challenged, inspired, or encouraged – that’s also very rewarding!
14. What does a typical writing day for you look like?
Different every day. :-)
15. If Becky Miller could blurb you as the author who wrote his story, and how well the two of you worked together, using typical Becky style, what would she say if she had to write a back cover author blurb?
Calling all fictional characters! Come interact with Sharon – a writer who is good at listening to voices in her head. Go ahead and spin yarns in her thoughts. She’ll probably expose more than you’d like about your worst habits, but she’ll care about you and make sure your story has a happy ending. As long as she’s well supplied with pots of hot tea, she’s pretty easy to work with and she’ll let you get away with taking the story in the direction you want instead of insisting she gets her author’s way.
THANKS SHARON! I cannot wait to read your next book!!!!
Thanks again for letting me visit. These were fun questions, and I hope everyone will enjoy remodeling an old farmhouse with Becky and her family and friends.
Monday, February 12, 2007
I had my USAF PJ (Pararescue Jumper) series named "Wind Warriors" for the working/tentative title for the series.
My editors are asking for other ideas.
So send me some title ideas for my PJ series...and if we use your title, you will receive a nice gift basket from me. You will also receive a free autographed copy of each of the books when they release.
Come on guys! Help me TITLESTORM! :-)
The series consists of a team of USAF Pararescue Jumpers (Skydiving combat and rescue paramedics who are considered Special Forces soldiers.)
Each man on the team has a story. There are 7 men on the team. So far I've sold two of the seven. Each story features one guy from the team.
These are Inspirational Romances, and Love Inspired is a family-oriented publisher. So with that in mind...send me your ideas! As many as ya want.
Be sure to let me knwo your email address so I can contact you if we choose your idea.
You might want to leave a space before and after the "@" sign if you post your addy in the comments of my blog so Web "spiders" do not vacuum up your email addy from the internet and S pam ya.
You can send me the idea through commenting on this post, or you may email your ideas to me at:
Cheryl @ CherylWyatt.com (lose the spaces before and after the "@")
Also, right at this particular moment I HATE MY STORY and am severely DISGUSTED with it.
But....I get that way with EVERY story I write at some point in it.
So what do I do? Banish it to the recycle bin? NO....I push through this barricaide no matter how much I don't want to.
I received my revision notes on the book that just sold (book 2-USAF PJ series) and one of the things my editor wants me to do is strengthen the ending of the book. I had to laugh because I remember about thirty pages before the end of the book I got SO sick of it, I just wanted out of it. LOL! So I wrote the quickest ending possible, plus I always overwrite by several thousand words so I had to be brief. So I'm going to try really hard not to do that abrupt Scooby Doo ending with book three that I did with book two....NO MATTER HOW SICK I AM OF THE STORY!
No matter how ready you are to be done.....let it brew before you send. Take my word for it...your story will be MUCH stronger.
On the other hand...don't edit it to death.
So I am trying to go through book three right now and read for pacing and to cut unneccessary words. I'm also making sure passive sentences are active and that I haven't overused certain phrases, and that I have strong verbs. I set the story aside for a few days so I could see it with fresh eyes. Once I get all the scenes fleshed out the rest of the way, and make sure everything makes sense, I will go through and proofread the entire thing about three times, giving myself several days between times. Occasionally I will set it aside for two or three weeks, so I can really see it with fresh eyes. But since I'm sending it to Robin and my critters, I don't necessarily have to do that this time until after they send me their suggested changes and I complete those. Then I'll set it aside and let it gel. Then whip it back out to polish anything that needs polished.
So I'm fleshing out scenes right now and flushing out gunk...which this story seems to have a lot of. I tend to repeat myself in several forms, almost like I forgot I already wrote a certain scene and I rewrote it a different way or something. I've found several instances in this Plotstorm story that I have been annoyingly (to me) repetative or running certain themes into the ground.
I think it's because I'm taking a couple weeks longer to finish it. It would have been less trouble in the end if I would have been able to write the rough (mess) draft in under seven days but I've been avoiding the story like the plaque because I'm to the hard part.
I'll also layer in emotion with the fleshing out, so with flesh comes heart to the story.
Hope these plotstorms are helping you all!
Friday, February 09, 2007
PRAISE GOD!!!!! I'm so humbly thankful! I cannot contain my joy.
Just wanted you guys to know!
And I'm about a chapter or two away from finishing Book three. Prayers are appreciated so that one will come together like it's supposed to.
THANK YOU FOR CELEBRATING MY GOOD NEWS!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
So I'm supposed to tell you six things about myself.
1. I am allergic to Guinea Pigs
2. I love high powered machine guns and Harley Davidsons
3. I'd rather have a salad than ice cream but you wouldn't know it by looking at me
4. I will love you forever if you send me a box of Pecan Spinwheels
5. I wanted to be a professional race car driver when I grew up, and won every drag race I ever entered.
6. I have a phobia of popsicle sticks.
I'm tagging these six people:
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I'm thrilled today to have Author Susan Warren here talking about her new release: Reclaiming Nick.
From back cover:
Nick Noble hadn’t planned on being the prodigal son. But when his father dies and leaves half of Silver Buckle—the Noble family ranch—to Nick’s former best friend, he must return home to face those he left behind. And to make sure that the Silver Buckle stays in the Noble family. Award-winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she’s determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging than she first anticipated. So does resisting his charming smile. As Nick seeks to overturn his father’s will—and Piper digs for answers—family secrets surface that send Nick’s life into a tailspin. But there’s someone who wants to see the Silver Buckle leave Noble hands, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen, even if it means taking a life.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
1. Okay my first question, is WHERE DID THEY FIND THAT COVER MODEL? LOL! Seriously, how much say do you, the author, have in the choosing of the cover? It really depends on the book and the publisher. I have been very fortunate that all my publishers have let me have input on my books, but usually their design ideas are much much better than mine. I was privileged to be able to sit in on the brainstorming for covers and titles for Nick, and my editor really embraced the concept for the series, and let me bring to the table some bold cover ideas. I'm so thankful for Tyndale's support in this series.
2. What was your first reaction when you saw the cover? LOVED it. LOVED LOVE LOVED it. It's still one of my absolute favs.
3. I understand RECLAIMING NICK is Book 1 in the Noble Legacy series. When writing a series, do you plot the entire series out before writing the first book, or plot the next two as or after you've written the first one? I try to plot out the entire series, so I can plant seeds about the other books in books one and two. For sure I have ideas and blurbs and a framework of where I want to go.
4. The theme of the book seems to be a prodigal coming home. How do you come up with themes for your books? They really flow from what I am studying in scripture at the time I put the proposal together. I happened to study Philippians during this series, and this book is based on Phil 1:6, which is about God continuing His good plan for us.
5. How many books are in the Noble Legacy series? And can you tell us anything about them, theme-wise? Are any characters in Nick's story revisited in the next books?
There are currently 3 books slotted. Nick, of course is first, and then Rafe (a bull-rider) and Stefanie, who is a horse trainer. Much of the story is about their struggle to hang onto their ranch which has been in the family for generations. Rafe's story is based on Phil 2:13, and the idea that God is at work in us, whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. It's about our impact in the world as Christians. And Stefanie is about strength, and what that means – Phil 4:13 And yes, all three siblings appear in each book.
6. When can we expect to see the next book on the shelves and where can interested readers order/buy one? I believe Rafe comes out near about September. But you will be seeing excerpts and fun Rafe promos about June. It should be in your local B & N and Christian bookstore.
7. How long have you been writing? When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Oh, I've been writing all my life, but I never thought I'd be a novelist. Not until I moved to Siberia and needed something to read – so I wrote it! I've been writing for publication about five years .
8. What means do you use to research your novels? Hands on! I love interviewing people, and if possible, to experience the lives they live. I went to Montana and lived on a ranch for a few days to research Nick. And I went to Gilly's and climbed on a mechanical bull to get a feel for Rafe. And I'm spending a couple days with a horse trainer for Stefanie. I've been very privileged to get some valuable first hand experience, as well as to run weird questions by the "people who know."
9. Given the choice of an evening out with a groupe of friends, or a quiet movie evening at home, which would you prefer? Oh, wow – I guess I prefer to go out with friends. Although I love good movies!
10. What about character Nick? Nick – he's probably a move buff. John Wayne westerns, and the Fugitive.
11. What was the funnest part of writing this book? Piper and her horrible cooking scenes. I laughed out loud.
12. If Nick Noble could blurb you as the author who wrote his story, and how well the two of you worked together, using typical Nick style, what would he say if he had to write a back cover author blurb?
Oh, you're requiring me to be creative!
This here's Susan. She's the gal who wrote about me, and reckon' she got most of it right. She did learn to throw a rope, which I guess gives her some spunk, although she was more ornamental than useful on the ranch. Even so, she shore 'nuf got her done. She lives somewhere in the woods, with her family and kiddos. I don't know how many books she's written -- this is the only one I read.
THANKS SUSAN! I cannot wait to read the next book in this series!!!!
Thank you for letting my stop by and chat about Nick, Cheryl! And don't forget to stop by and Meet Nick! http://meetnick.susanmaywarren.com
www.CherylWyatt.com Gal. 2:20 Pouring my vial of words over Him.
A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008