Tuesday, September 23, 2008

13 Things I know About Writing By A Silken Thread

Since I have a release today, I'm going to combine my release day with this week's theme.

1. Your first book your write isn't necessarily the one you sell. - I wrote this one in 1993 when I had no clue what I was doing. I put it in a drawer until 2004 when I pulled it out and started overhauling it - majorly. It's much, much improved.

2. Your spouse/S.O. can be your biggest cheerleader or greatest obstacle. - I'm very, very lucky. My husband is the greatest cheerleader in the world when it comes to my books. He encouraged me, pushed me, and bought me a really cool present when I finished the book.

3. A great idea doesn't a best-seller make. - It also takes plotting, character depth, action, dialogue and heart. (I'm still waiting to hit the perfect combo for best-seller status. sigh)

4. Waiting for the right publisher to come along is a good thing - This book had orginally sold to another pub who went bust. It took a while for it to come back from the netherworld of bankruptcy court and see the light of day. I'm so thankful Samhain picked it up. It's been a very long road.

5. Why did I write that? - This is the question I asked myself a few times as I'm reading over edits and realize the stupid typos and misusage that got by me on several read-throughs. Oy!

6. Characters can and do talk to me. - As a matter of fact this is the book where a very minor character mentioned who had great impact on the heroine's life stepped into the shower with me to tell his story. I have yet to write it, but it is outlined and ready to go.

7. Don't be afraid to have your heroes cry. - It doesn't make them weak. It makes them human. If the situation warrents it, misty eyes and tight throat can be very sexy. It shows they have a heart.

8. Don't be afraid to let your heroines keep some secrets or turn away from a confrontation rather than being kick-ass at all times. - It's all right for women to show strength by not fighting back. Shoulders back and stiff spine can be a sign of great dignity in a heartbreaking situation.

9. No matter how tricky the premise or plot, you can write your way out of that paper bag, eventually. - This is probably the hardest plot I've had to date - other than the ghost story I'm currently writing. The fact it was my first book and rather ambitious notwithstanding. That's why it took me so long - nine years - to figure out what I did wrong and then make it work.

10. Behold the power of the rewrite! - I don't think I really need to explain this one. If you've read my rambling so far, you know what I mean.

11. Don't be afraid to kill off characters. - Sometimes, it's just got to happen in suspense. But think of all the sequels you can get from it. *rubs hands together greedily*

12. Don't be afraid to make up cities and towns. - This is where I first found the joy in setting a contemporary story in a fictious town. It frees you up so much when you're in control of not only the way the town is laid out, but the local government.

13. Do your research - I read for years about NDE's and interviewed police about procedures and other aspects of their job. But I'm a backward researcher. I write the book, make things the way I think they should be, then know exactly what questions I need to ask the interviewee later. It's a much more concise and targeted bit of research.

And now a little blurbage:

The line between life and death is as elusive as a silken thread.

Two women…linked by one deadly memory.

On an ice-encrusted road in New Jersey, Tara Johanan loses control of her car and drives off an embankment. At the same moment in Palmetto Springs, Florida, in an unwitnessed attack, Charlotte Durand is shot in the head and left for dead.

Both women die. Both return. But near-death experiences are not always straightforward. Tara woke up with the voice and memories of a comatose woman in her head. And she can remember a shooting she never witnessed.

Telling the family a loved one is the victim of a violent crime is the worst part of the job for Detective Marcus Danforth. When his stepsister is the victim, and the loved ones his family and best friend, it’s crippling. He’ll do anything to uncover the mystery of Charlotte’s shooting.

Believing the story of a beautiful accident victim may be too much for him—even in the face of overwhelming desire. Even as the shadows of death grow darker.

By A Silken Thread by MK Mancos, Available Now from Samhain Publishing


Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Congratulations Kat! Perseverence pays off. The book sounds great!

Savanna Kougar said...

Just love that title, and the premise. Congrats on the release.

No matter how tricky the premise or plot, you can write your way out of that paper bag, eventually. ~ TRUE!!! I think I do it almost everyday...

Pauline B Jones said...

More great tips, thanks. Book sounds wow, too. :-)