I’m taking a break from my writing to enjoy some time with friends and family. See you in the new year!
It’s November 2, which means National Novel Writing Month is well underway, and I’m supposed to have written at least 1,667 words so far to meet my 50,000 word goal. I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2009, “winning” five times.
For me, it’s one of the best ways to start a new novel or to get an idea out of my head, so I can concentrate on my current work in progress.
This year, I’m working on the second installment of a planned trilogy. The first one, The Dark Guest, won the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for romantic suspense. The second one, The Dark Atonement, has a mystery with its roots in the Cold War/East Berlin as well.
Also this year, my two daughters (N, 14, and L, 12) are joining me, writing their own 50K novels. We’ve been planning and having a wonderful time talking about writing.
So far, I haven’t hit a wall yet….but if I do, I’ll just throw in a fire or kidnapping. That always livens things up and gets me over any writer’s block I may experience.
Well, I’d better go write my words for today.
As a fiction and nonfiction writer, I’ve become adept at reusing material. Research for my nonfiction books has morphed into blog posts, articles and newsletters. The same is true for my fiction writing–I tend to use every drop of information I gather!
Now some might call that cheating, but I call it being smart. When you have only 24 hours in a day, and many things to pack into that day, why would you reinvent the writing wheel if you don’t have to?
Here are some examples of what I mean. For my nonfiction book on working from home (available in Kindle as Hired at Home), I used my research into jobs you can do at home and turned it into individual blog posts. For Ending Sibling Rivalry, I used leftover material to populate my blog and to write guest blogs.
Sometimes I challenge myself to see how many ways I can re-purpose the same material in a fresh way, always with my audience in mind.
What are some ways you’ve seen authors reuse materials (or, if you’re an author, reuse yourself)?
Authors are often asked where they get their ideas, and if you ask enough authors, you’ll get a wide variety of answers. I’ve gotten ideas from the news, from my own personal experience, from a snippet of overheard conversation, and mostly from asking “What if…”.
The idea that became Phantom Love was slightly different, as the original genesis of my mystery-romance is based on a true story. I won’t share that story here, because if I do, I’ll give away some of the twists and turns in Phantom Love. But suffice to say, truth IS stranger than fiction at times!
Of course, I took the germ of the true story and took it in another direction–that’s what fiction writers do, after all. But I’ve always found that starting from a grain of truth, something that actually happened, and then adding our own stamp on the story, adds a layer of authenticity and realness to a work.
Then again, I think some would read Phantom Love or even hear the original story and think, “That could never actually happen!”
I’ll let my readers be the judge of that.
Welcome to my fiction blog, where I’ll talk about my writing process, interview other Christian romantic suspense writers and serialize one of my unpublished romantic-mystery novels.
I’ve been putting stories on paper since I was a kid, with many more stories only spinning around in my imagination. I even placed in a couple of short story contests as a teen.
That love of storytelling spurred me to pursue writing as a career, specifically journalism. I worked on my high school and college student papers, while continuing to write fiction on the side.
After college, I joined the monthly magazine staff at the National Religious Broadcasters, and spent six years honing my news and feature writing before hopping over to work in the communications department at the National Restaurant Association for their award-winning monthly magazine and other publications. I still wrote fiction for fun occasionally.
Then, after marrying my wonderful husband and having our first child, I transitioned into freelance writing and editing, which I continue to do today. When I began freelancing, I had more time to focus on my fiction writing too. During that time, I also had two nonfiction books published, as well as self-published a few books.
Now, I’m actively pursuing publication for my first romantic suspense novel. I love to hear from readers, so please sign up for my newsletter and leave a comment on my site.