The Writing Cycle

The thing about writing, for me, is that I just love it so much. And yet… There are days when it is not easy. Difficult. Teeth-gnashingly, gut-wrenchingly hard. And I can’t imagine not doing it.

I know this makes no sense, so I made a chart to explain what I mean, using the creation of A Good Kind of Trouble as an example.

Stage 1

I was trying to fall asleep when a great idea for a title popped into my head. This was followed by the opening scene of a funny romantic mystery. Then the next scene, a chase scene. Yes! This could be a lot of fun. Then I got out of bed and started writing it down. This eventually became the first chapter of A Good Kind of Trouble, though at the time, it was titled Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer.

Great Escape Blog Tour post1 graphicStage 2

I was proudly a “pantser” when it came to writing. No plotting allowed! Let’s just see where this baby goes. I thought Ben and Lindsey’s story would be a short action-packed romantic mystery. Maybe a novella. That would be fun.

Stage 3

I was passing the 40,000-word mark and realized that I was nowhere near the end of the story. This “novella” was outgrowing its category. I was starting to become concerned, but the mystery Ben and Lindsey was unraveling was complex. The story kept surprising me with its twists. So it would be a short novel. No problem.

Stage 4

Or maybe it would be a long novel. The story had long since abandoned any idea that it could be contained in a novella. Ha! Yet more twists emerged, characters revealed unforeseen depth, and while I was still having fun uncovering all those details, I was starting to panic a little. I was at 80,000 words and I still couldn’t see the end. What if I couldn’t find a way to end this novel? Commence hyperventilating.

Stage 5

The End.

I have never been so happy to write two words in my life. At the time, they were my two favorite words among the 104,000 words that made up the book. This story had consumed me for a year and I was so happy to send it off for the first round of edits. I moved on to a new book in a different series. New characters, new dilemmas, a whole new world. Ben and Lindsey’s story, now called A Good Kind of Trouble, was behind me.

Stage 6

I was trying to fall asleep when I started thinking about Fiona Larkin, a minor character in A Good Kind of Trouble. She was interesting—a widowed single mother, and a lawyer. And what about that FBI agent, Matt Pritchard? Now that could be a minefield of conflict to navigate.

Or what about Ben’s new boss, the handsome and enigmatic Jude Fields? What kind of woman would it take to make him open up or settle down?

Oh, no. I was getting pulled back into the Twin Rivers universe.

But was that a bad thing? I mean, it was fun writing in that world. Maybe this should be a series.

And then I had a great idea for a title…

 

(Originally published at Bab’s Book Bistro)

Trouble, now available everywhere!

Good morning, readers! A Good Kind of Trouble is now available at all online booksellers and to celebrate its wide distribution, it is now on sale for only 99 cents. But get it quick because it’s only going to be at that price for a short time.

If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the scoop:

A Good Kind of Trouble final for Barnes and Noble copyBeacon news reporter Lindsey Fox is on the verge of breaking a huge story of political corruption that will make her career and make her famous journalist parents proud—or she could be thrown in jail and fired. It really could go either way.

Her recent streak of bad luck continues when Lindsey finds herself facing a bogus contempt charge—and attorney Ben Gillespie is appointed to get her out of the slammer. They once had a bad date of epic proportions—stilted conversation, food poisoning, burglary, towed car. Then there was the incident with the pepper spray. Lindsey never believed she’d see the sexy lawyer again.

Ben can totally believe that Lindsey is behind bars. The woman is trouble. Now he has to get his new client out of jail, keep her out of the grasp of a crazed bike messenger and a shady P.I., help her save her job, and convince her to put down the pepper spray and give him another chance.

Kindle  *  iBook  *  Nook  *  Kobo

Chasing the Dollar now in audio!

Do you like audiobooks? I love audiobooks. So I’m very happy to share that Chasing the Dollar is now available in audio format! ChasingtheDollaraudio

I was fortunate to work with the lovely and talented Teri Schnaubelt, who has produced more than 60 audiobooks and is an accomplished actress, too! I think you’ll love her performance of the book as much as I do. Teri was also generous enough to answer some questions, okay, a lot of questions, about audiobooks and how she does her job.

To celebrate the release of Chasing the Dollar in audio, I’m giving away free download codes from Audible to three commenters! Just comment below and tell me what you like about audiobooks. Or, if you haven’t tried them yet, why you want to listen to Chasing the Dollar. I’ll pick a winner on Saturday, Aug. 8.

And now, let’s talk audiobooks with Teri!

Continue reading Chasing the Dollar now in audio!

Pretty, pretty!

HoltDue to some camera problems, I’m late getting this posted, but here they are! My HOLT Medallions!

I am so honored to have my book recognized by the Virginia Romance Writers. Thank you all so much!

 

Killer Beach Reads is out in the world!

KillerBeachReads_finalIt’s here! Killer Beach Reads, an anthology of 22 short summer-themed mysteries, is available now! It includes One Red Cent, a Miranda Vaughn Mysteries novella. One Red Cent features Sarah Girard, Miranda’s best friend, and her quest to track down a reluctant witness. I had so much fun writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it just as much.

The collection is priced at 99 cents for a very limited time, so get your copy now!

Kindle * Nook * iBooks * Kobo * Smashwords

Chasing the Dollar is a winner!

Chasing The Dollar was selected as the Winner of the HOLT Medallion Award for outstanding literary fiction in both the Best First Book and Novel with Strong Romantic Elements categories. Thank you, Virginia Romance Writers! I am truly honored. Congratulations to all the winners!

holt-winner-RE holt-winner_BFB

New short story coming your way!

I just wrapped up edits on One Red Cent, a short story that will be released this summer! It’s in the Miranda Vaughn Mysteries series, but is from the point of view of Sarah Girard, Miranda’s kick-ass best friend! I had such a great time writing this and am really excited to get to share it with you soon!

KillerBeachReads_finalIn the meantime, here’s a snippet from another of Sarah’s bad dates:

I smiled at Christian and hoped that I looked semi-interested in whatever he was talking about. I was pretty sure it was about his job at a mortgage brokerage firm, but I had tuned out the last time the door had opened and I’d seen Eddie waving a chef’s knife at an employee. 

“…my new supervisor thought he’d be changing the policy after he got promoted, but well, that was just the way things were done from the gecko.”

My head snapped back to Christian. “Uh, I’m sorry. What did you say? The gecko?”

He nodded. “Yeah, it’s a saying. You know, like, from the gecko.”

I paused, unsure if he was serious. “I think you mean from the get go.”

He laughed. “That doesn’t make sense. Get go? What does that even mean?”

“No, ‘from the gecko’ doesn’t make sense,” I said. Was I really having this discussion?

“It means from a long time ago. You know, when the geckos ruled the earth.”

“Uh…” I had no idea what to do with this.

Christian nodded, his handsome face quite serious. “They’re, like, dinosaurs.”

One Red Cent will be released in July in the KILLER BEACH READS anthology, by Gemma Halliday Publishing. For updates on this collection, sign up for my newsletter: http://bit.ly/EllieNews

Big news!

I aholt-finalistm so excited to announce that Chasing the Dollar is a finalist in the HOLT Medallion Contest, sponsored by the Virginia Romance Writers. And in two categories–best first novel and novel with strong romantic elements! I could not be more thrilled and honored.

Thank you, Virginia Romance Writers! Good luck to all the finalists!

Trouble… on the move

A Good Kind of Trouble final for Barnes and Noble copyTo celebrate the release of A Good Kind of Trouble, I’ll be dashing around the internet in the next week, with guest posts, excerpts, and other fun stuff at various book blogs. Check in here for my itinerary and then come say hello. First stop is A Passion for Romance, where I’m talking all about the book.

I’ll also be giving away two signed copies of A Good Kind of Trouble (US only, please). Sign up here for the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Thanks to Krista at Bridging the Gap Promotions for organizing the tour!