Archive for June, 2012

This is how you end up in a book…

Being from Northwest Wisconsin, I admittedly come from the stock of cautious but friendly and overly polite. So it goes without saying that most of the time, the people I deal with are like me. And then there are the exceptions…

This particular exception was mean…scary mean. The kind of mean that thrives on watching doormats like me squirm in discomfort. They get off on it like a sick high. You know what I’m talking about, the ones who will look for the slightest hint of pushback against whatever offense they are raving about and use it to fuel their rage. I’m pretty sure these are the “soft skills” that collection agencies look for when they’re hiring.

I’ve been around long enough to have experienced  my share of bullies, divas, and drama queens. The problem is I have never developed the thick skin required to either blow them off or put them in their place. That’s just not me. I avoid conflict like the plague.

I may not have a backbone (figuratively speaking), but I do have a mystery series. It’s just waiting for colorful characters to cross my path and make an impression on me, good or bad. So, go ahead, humiliate me, chastise me in public, get some sick pleasure out of watching my Scandinavian pallor flush like a first degree sunburn. I’ll probably just take it on the outside…but on the inside I’m mentally gene spicing you and filing certain characteristics away for later. You never know when they might come in handy.

Appreciate the scenery…then move on

The act of finishing a book is an awesome accomplishment in my opinion. It usually constitutes months of work: research, character development, plot mapping, and finally a close.

I just finished the actual writing of Cop Incognito, Dairyland Murders Book3 ©2012 last night at 10pm on the dot, and I was elated. It’s time to start Book 4. No vacation, no intermission, my characters are waiting to move on to the next crime and the next big steps in their lives.

When I decided to write a series, I had anticipated only three books. That doesn’t seem like a possibility anymore. There’s too much going on in my character’s lives for that to conceivably happen. I’ve spoiled them with rich experiences and back-stories. I’ve given them a beautiful place to live filled with interesting characters and lots of secrets and intrigue.

I feel like the naive mother who birthed a mess of demanding kids that take up all of my time and energy. It’s my own fault. I created them. Now I’m stuck with them.  Might as well make the best of it.

I force myself to move on to the next book right away by putting an excerpt in the back of the finished book to keep my readers involved in the series. It’s a pretty standard thing with genre mysteries. I won’t even send the book out to my editors without doing that. Then, in the weeks it takes for them to edit, I can make a dent in the next book.

Five years ago, if you had told me I would have written three books by now, I would have called you a big fat bullshitter. I have no patience. I procrastinate like nobody’s business. I’m easily distracted. I have a lifetime of half-done projects under my belt that would easily dissuade anyone from believing I could be an author of actual, completed books.

Yet, here I am. I leave behind proof that I am a woman fully capable of getting shit done. Who would have guessed? Not me. I’ve climbed that proverbial mountain of accomplishing a goal. The view looks pretty good up here. Breath in the fresh air, Ahhh. Ok, that’s done. Gotta keep climbing.