Creaking Open That Old Shed Door…

Creaking Open That Old Shed Door…

Why – hello everyone. Are you still here? Are you all really STILL here? Wow! Thank you for sticking around. It’s so wonderful to be able to engage with you again!

If you’ve forgotten, it’s me, Francine LaSala. You may remember me / my words from such quirky novels as Rita Hayworth’s Shoes and The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything and as the publisher and co-editor of the anthology A Kind of Mad Courage. (You may also remember me as the author whose book somehow had the same cover as one by Margaret Atwood – my biggest post to date.)

Margaret Atwood's "ripoff" cover.
Margaret Atwood’s “ripoff” cover. (Click on image to read post.)

Actually, you may not remember me at all – or that you even subscribed to this blog – as it’s been so long since I published anything. Since I’ve written anything of my own. Somehow in the madness of the past two years, I have abandoned my poor “Shed” and somehow managed to lose track of my identity as a writer. Very Mina-esque for anyone who gets the reference.

Before…?

Well, no more or that. The past couple of weeks, I’ve been working to whack away the weeds that have grown over the “Shed” (otherwise known as my creativity). I’ve WD-40’d the hinges of the rickety old door and finally pushed it open. It’s a little musty in here, and there are some cobwebs and spiders hanging around, but give me a few weeks and I’ll have it all spic-and-span again.

I’ve already started to redecorate aesthetically – giving the blog a new look. (What do you think?) Now I’m working on “redecorating” content. I don’t think I’ll be able to commit to regular features, like Wassup Wednesday and Five for Friday anymore, but I will try and post regularly.

I still want to hear from you guys as well. While I haven’t been around all that much, I’ve really missed the sense of community having a regular blog gives a gal.

In the time that I’ve been away, I lost my mother. I became estranged from my father, and made my peace with him.

I became a dog person.

The three "musketeers" (or "stooges" - depending on the day/hour).)
The three “musketeers” (or “stooges” – depending on the day/hour).)

I took a couple of winter trips to a California beach house with writer pals Eileen Goudge, Samantha Stroh Bailey, Julie Valerie, Jen Tucker, Meredith Schorr, and Josie Brown and enriched my soul.

I went to France with my ten-year-old daughter and left here there with her grandparents – to fly home on her own. The most terrifying experience of my life, but she was awesome!

Yep, I’ve done a lot of growing these past months. How about you? Please leave me a comment about the biggest thing that’s happened to you in the past two years. (And if you’re not subscribed, do it now – it’s so easy!)

I look forward to welcoming you all back into the Shed again – maybe when it looks like more this…?

The Goal!
The Goal!

Till next time,

Francine

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162762_2662032389151_5076510_nLet’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.

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My Writing Process Blog Tour

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I’m excited and honored to have been asked by my good friend and editing partner, Samantha Stroh Bailey, to participate in this blog tour. I have been spending so much time AWAY from my writing in recent months, I’m delighted to get back in the swing of things and focus on my stack of WIPs (works-in-progress) again by answering four questions about my writing process.

Thanks, Sam!

1. What am I working on?

So many projects, so little time… I have a few new novels in the hopper. One is a multi-generational fractured romance about people who do insane (not always funny) things in the name of love. One is a quasi-paranormal about maenads (Dionysian party nymphs living in the present). Another is about a group of forty-ish former colleges roommates down on their luck who decide they’ll rent a giant house and all live together again (with spouses, kids, pets, and plenty of baggage!). Then there’s an erotic novel; then a fractured fairytale trilogy I’m doing with my husband…. I think I may need Ritalin!

The WIP that’s in the forefront right now though is a collection of short stories I’m putting together for Mother’s Day – and for charity. A KIND OF MAD COURAGE features many stories in different genres and should be released by May. Lots of great authors have already submitted, including Samantha, plus Carey Heywood, Wendy Janes, Louise Wise, and Laura Chapman, and I’m looking forward to seeing more, from Elke Feuer, Karen E. Martin, Jen Tucker, Julie Valerie (see below!), and more! My mother passed away last fall from an auto-immune disease, and all proceeds for the book will go to the Guthy-Jackson Foundation, which does a lot of AI research, as a tribute to my mom. More about that as we get closer to the release!

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I don’t have a neat, cut-and-dry genre I write in. I wish I did–marketing would be much easier! I have been told my books are “original” and “fresh” when people like them. And “stupid” and “implausible” when they don’t. I try and take the standard three-act structure as a base, but my stories seem to spin the way they want to. They’re like unruly children who are kind of sassy and cute and with whom you put up anyway because they’re kind of cute… Right?

3. Why do I write what I write?

Characters speak to each other in my head and I listen to what they say. Sometimes they’re silly (like Rita Hayworth’s Shoes) and sometimes they’re wacky and dark (like The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything). They spout their insane ramblings at me and I try and “box” them into a story. Not really that far off from what I do as a ghostwriter, actually… (Ha! I’m kidding! [No, no I’m not.])

4. How does my writing process work?

I write when I can. I try to escape to Panera, but sometimes I’m writing “in the fray.” I’ve gotten very good at blocking distractions. With a family, a job, freelance clients, etc. to juggle, you kind of have to do it that way. I spend about 80 percent of my writing time thinking about writing and 20 percent typing. I’m a really fast typist!

JulieValeriePressPhoto

To continue the writing process blog tour, I will now hand the “mic” over to the amazingly funny Julie Valerie, who will answer these questions on her blog next week.

Thanks again, Sam!!

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162762_2662032389151_5076510_nLet’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.

The Little Book That Could!

The Little Book That Could!

Girl_Banner

******Get the book for JUST 99 CENTS this week only!********

If you told me at this time last year what would be going on in my life this week, I would never have believed you. Very, very bad news, and then very excellent news. It’s a lot to process. Today I focus on the good!

Yesterday I was featured in a BookBub eblast, and by this morning, this is where The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything landed:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#7 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

#16 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Women’s Fiction

#17 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Contemporary Women

To say I’m shaking is an understatement! I wrote this book because it wanted to be written. Those characters just wouldn’t stop nagging me. And now that book’s in so many more hands than I ever imagined could be possible — and I’m hoping will land in so many more while this special Birthday Celebration continues!

Come visit with me to read reviews, excerpts, guests posts, and more this week, and discover–and rediscover–some amazing Book Blogs:

11/1: http://chrissireads.wordpress.com

11/1: http://authorsyouwanttoread.wordpress.com

11/2: http://www.krittersramblings.com

11/2: http://forgetthehouseworkimreading.blogspot.com/

11/3: http://girlseeksplace.wordpress.com

11/3: http://readingrenee.com/

11/3: http://chicklitgoddess.com/

11/4: http://www.imshelfish.com

11/4: http://mybookmusings.blogspot.com

11/4: http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.com/

11/4: http://meredithschorr.com/

11/4: http://www.louisewise.com/

11/5: house-of-books.com

11/5: http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/

11/5: http://www.novelescapes.com/

11/6: http://arraabella.blogspot.com

11/6: http://www.julievalerie.com/

11/6: http://chicklitplus.com/

11/7: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com

11/7: http://www.jamideise.blogspot.com/

11/7: http://karenemartin.com/

There will also be a Goodreads giveaway for the paperback copy running through November 8! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/70037-the-girl-the-gold-tooth-and-everything-a-novel

Thanks, everyone, for all your support! Hollywood, here we come? Well, a GIRL can dream!

xox

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539286_10200439346445319_1446602713_nBUY THE GIRL, THE GOLD TOOTH & EVERYTHING NOW BY CLICKING HERE!

Why? Because it’s awesome!

******And it’s JUST 99 CENTS this week only!********

Mina Clark is losing her mind—or maybe it’s already gone. She isn’t quite sure. Feeling displaced in her over-priced McMansion-dotted suburban world, she is grappling not only with deep debt, a mostly absent husband, and her playground-terrorizer 3-year old Emma, but also with a significant amnesia she can’t shake—a “temporary” condition now going on several years, brought on by a traumatic event she cannot remember, and which everyone around her feels is best forgotten. A routine trip to the dentist changes everything for Mina, and suddenly she’s not sure if what’s happening is real, of if she’s just now fully losing her mind… especially when she realizes the only person she thought she could trust is the one she fears the most.

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162762_2662032389151_5076510_nLet’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.