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.

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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.

Wassup Wednesday: Author Louise Wise

Wassup Wednesday: Author Louise Wise

203****Book of the Summer!****

For the rest of September, A Proper Charlie is less than half price–
only 99 cents!

She’s (yes, the book has a gender!) my first chick lit book, and for me is what the genre is all about: fun, ‘finding yourself’ and relationships. I wrote it after falling in love with Sophie Kinsella and Melissa Nathan’s (who died much too young) work.

The world is full of funny and amazing people, which I like to incorporate into my books and certainly, A Proper Charlie. But who is Charlie? She’s a not-too-bright ordinary girl from London who just wants to be loved.

Brought up in a children’s home she was denied the experience of real love, and is searching for it in A Proper Charlie. She finds it with the most unexpected person and under the most surprising way.

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Married, with four children, LOUISE WISE lives in England. She is a pharmacist technician by day and a writer by night. She was educated in an ordinary state school and left without achieving much in the way of qualifications; you could say she was the result of a crap state-funded school. Hungry for knowledge she enrolled in an Adult Education centre and studied English, maths and creative writing. Whereas other young girls asked for makeup and clothes for their birthdays, she asked for encyclopaedias!

During her early twenties and thirties she wrote many novels and to this day is grateful that the Internet WASN’T around else she’d have published them and subjected poor readers to unconstructed and badly edited stories.

‘I feel sorry for some of the writers today who haven’t been FORCED to allow their writing to mature.’

Wise’s books include: Eden, A Proper Charlie and The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch, therefore I am. They are all romance with the underlying message of loneliness, which she never realised until someone pointed it out to her!

‘Maybe I’m a closet loner?’ she laughs.

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About A PROPER CHARLIE:

AProperCharlie_EBOOKSWCharlie watched as he fell back onto her settee, and then straddled his lap. Oh my God! What was she doing! She was having an out-of-body-experience, she thought. Only she wasn’t dead. She was alive. Very much so. She wriggled against him wonderingly and excitement flared in her body as his own rose to her teasing.

Charlie Wallis has everything a girl could wish for. A loving boyfriend, a nice flat and a fantastic job as a journalist for London Core. Trouble is, Charlie’s boyfriend isn’t at all ‘loving’, her job title really reads ‘office assistant’ and her flat, at the top of a high-rise, isn’t that nice either.

Her new boss, Ben, is a huge bear of a man. A gentle giant, with chocolate brown eyes that hold a secret.

While London Core investigates the disappearances of local prostitutes, Charlie wants in on the action, deciding that dressing as a hooker and walking the streets is good research.
Bumping into Ben was the last thing she expected.

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Start Reading A Proper Charlie Now (available in all electronic formats)

‘What the bloody hell have you done, Charlie?’ Mr Fanton stood behind her, his hands, somewhere beneath his large middle, were on his hips. He came forward and slapped down a wad of printouts on a nearby table. ‘I’ve just being ringing up the stationers to see if there’s been some kind of mistake, but apparently not.’ He jabbed at the printouts with a finger. ‘The quantities are all in triple figures! What were you thinking?’

Charlie felt terrible. ‘I’m so sorry Mr Fanton, I think the order must’ve gone through twice, somehow.’ She remembered how Faye had caused her computer to go blank while looking for her pen and Charlie had resubmitted the order.

‘Twice? Look!’ he shrieked picking up the printouts of her order and thrusting them into her hands. ‘That isn’t twice! What am I supposed to do with that lot?’

Charlie looked through the pages. It was her scroll on the bottom of the order. Oh God, she must have submitted it for the third time by mistake! ‘I’m sorry,’ she repeated in a small voice, realising that people in the canteen were taking great delight in witnessing her dressing-down. ‘I’ll sort it, Mr Fanton,’ she added.

‘Sort it?’ He glowered, spittle gathered at the corners of his mouth, and his jowls wobbled as he shook his head. ‘Are you going to pay for it, too? Are you going to work wage-free while you sort out the mess? Well, are you?’

Charlie felt close to tears. She was deeply troubled over her personal involvement over Sally, and felt that any moment now she’d collapse in a heap of convulsing sobs. She restrained herself.

‘For God’s sake girl, you are a hindrance to the company.’

Charlie bit her lip. This is it, you’re going to be fired, she thought.

‘What’s going on?’ said a deep voice.

‘Ah, Ben,’ Mr Fanton turn away from Charlie. ‘Nothing I can’t handle. There’s been a mistake in the stationery order.’ He turned as if to try and shield Ben from the stacks of boxes, not because he wanted to protect Charlie from further wrath, but because he wanted to be the one to dish it out. Ben side-stepped him and looked at the piles of packages and boxes.
Charlie had been looking at her feet, feeling fully chastened. She glanced up at Ben, with her bottom lip clenched between her teeth, and expected to see shock followed by anger on his face. Instead, he pulled his lips inside his mouth as if he were trying to stop himself from laughing.

Mr Fanton held the printouts of Charlie’s stationery order towards him. ‘Charlie can’t seem to understand the difference between single and double figures,’ he declared pompously.

Taking them, Ben glanced up and his gaze met with Charlie’s. He didn’t look at all angry or annoyed, and Charlie felt stupidly grateful. She had to stop herself from throwing her arms around his ankles and kissing his shoes.

‘Hmm, someone’s been a bit over-enthusiastic,’ Ben said, his mouth turning up at the corners as he read through them.
‘As I was saying to Charlie,’ Mr Fanton began, ‘she’s a hindrance to the company. It’s been one mistake after another.’
‘Really?’ Ben asked. ‘What other mistakes has she made?’

‘Well, nothing major like this, but she just causes disruption. She chats when she should be working—’

‘Excellent qualities in a reporter,’ Ben said. ‘It helps to break the ice, and encourages the interviewee to talk.’

‘She isn’t a reporter,’ Mr Fanton pointed out. ‘After this I doubt she’ll ever get a newspaper to hire her again! Charlie, I’ll have your P45 drawn up this afternoon. Don’t worry Ben, I’ll have this mess sorted in no time.’

Ben was taking off his jacket and unbuttoning his cuff buttons on his shirt. He rolled up his sleeves. He winked at Charlie, who stood miserably between both men. ‘I’ll not hear of Charlie being dismissed over a slight error.’

Charlie looked up, open-mouthed.

‘A slight error?’ Mr Fanton gave a small humourless laugh.

‘That’s right,’ Ben said. ‘Arrange a dispatcher would you? Er, you’d better make that several.’

Mr Fanton looked from Charlie and then to Ben. When his shocked gaze fell back on Charlie she controlled herself from sticking out her tongue, and instead permitted a smug smile to tease the corners of her mouth – well, if a girl can’t be smug in situations like this, when can she be?

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Find Louise online:

Blog: http://www.louisewise.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/louise_wise

FB: https://www.facebook.com/WiseWordsBookBlogger

Pintererst: http://pinterest.com/BookJunkies/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003FW6RKM

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

Harriet’s Helpful Hints – For Mothers Everywhere!

Harriet’s Helpful Hints – For Mothers Everywhere!

My "dream" Harriet, should GIRL ever become a movie. (Are you listening, Hollywood?)
My “dream” Harriet, should GIRL ever become a movie. (Are you listening, Hollywood?)

To wrap my “Month of Mothers,” here’s some great advice from one of my favorite characters. Learn something useful–and enjoy!

How to be a domestic goddess! Or at least pretend to be one.

by Harriet Saunders

**First published by Louise Wise, Wise Words – Book Blogger January 18, 2013**

Squalor is the new black.
Who says that? I say that! In this day and age, it’s much more important to over-parent your kids. To get down on that filthy floor and play with them rather than clean it. Of course there does get to be a point when cleaning is necessary. In that case…

Never clean your house in full.
Straightening up is really all you ever have to do, most of the time. Just let the neighbors’ kids leave their shoes on when they come over so you don’t have to explain to their parents why their once-white socks are as black as your soul. (If you don’t care about their stupid parents and what they think, by all means have those kids run around in their socks and pick up some of the dirt and grime while they’re at it. Mop, schmop. Am I right?!)

If you must scrub, don’t wimp out on the chemicals.
Especially if you clean as infrequently as I do. As well-meaning as vinegar and baking soda are, they’re just not going to cut it on a toilet bowl ring that’s had months to set in. No. You’re going to have to go with the strongest cleaning chemicals you can legally buy. If they burn your skin and your throat when you breathe them in, you’re doing it right.

If you want your husband to help you clean, clean naked.
You know you can get your husband to do whatever you want him to as long as you ask him when you’re naked. Also, cleaning naked means no bleach stains or other crap on your clothes, which is kind of a plus because god knows, if you’re hanging around your house with your kids all day, your clothes are crappy enough as they are.

Don’t have rugs.
Why? Listen to these words. See these words in your carpets. Play-Dough. Mashed potatoes. Rice. Grape juice. What else do you need to know?

Do “all-socks” loads of laundry.
This one may seem practical, smart even, but I have to be honest with you, it’s just plain lazy. The whole thing about where do the socks disappear to… It’s no great mystery, folks. They get tangled up in your other clothes. Speaking of socks, instead of going through the torture of sorting and balling them up, when they come out of the dryer just pile them into a giant tub you set in the hallway and let everyone fend for themselves. It’s great fun! Especially in the morning.

Stain removal.
Fact: I haven’t been able to keep even a single article of clothing unstained since I got married. If I went to task to remove all the stains in my clothes, there would be no time for drinking. So what’s my solution? I don’t bother–and neither should you. Look, any mother who walks around in fresh, crisp, immaculate clothing is just doing a disservice to every other mother out there. If there’s a stain on your shirt, wear a dramatic scarf or necklace to divert attention. (Unless the stain is by your neck. Then I guess you’re probably screwed.)

Let’s see… Let’s see. Oh yeah. Sewing!
Is never worth it. Never.

Dogs make excellent vacuum cleaners.
Or so I am told. Sammy, my husband, won’t give in to a dog right now. As if he’s the one who’s going to take care of it! A dog is a great investment–and cheap if you’re smart about it. If you have enough kids under the age of eight in your house, throwing and dropping food all over the place, you won’t even need to buy dog food. Think about it.

Have an even number of kids.
I don’t know why more people don’t know this, honestly. When you have an odd number, someone’s always left out, and you can bet that little bugger’s going to be up your butt looking for a bud. Give the kid a bud. (Then go grab yourself a Bud or a bottle of gin or whatever’s going to get you through having all those kids.)

Make dinners that seem like more effort than they are.
I’ve learned you can make pretty good things with practically no involvement on your part, and also make the people who live with you think they’re getting something special while you’re at it. (Be careful of cooking too well, however. You don’t want them to expect it.) Here’s a recipe:

Pasta With Meat
(I suppose you could say “bolognese” if you’re feeling fancy, but that seems like a lot of trouble to me. And I’m sure more goes into bolognese, but I don’t really care.)

You need this stuff:
Olive oil
A sweet onion, roughly chopped (some people call this “country-style” but let’s be honest that it’s “lazy-style”, okay?)
Some garlic (I’m not going to tell you how much, that’s between you and your spouse)
A splash of wine, red or white (you know, whatever’s open)*
A can of crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
A package of ground beef
A box of pasta

Here’s what to do with it:
1.  Toss into a pot: olive oil, onion, and garlic. When it all gets nice and soft and hot, splash in wine, then pour in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer.
2.  Cook pasta in boiling water for however long it says on the box. (If you made the pasta fresh by hand, you’re not doing this right.)
3.  Brown meat in a frying pan. Don’t drain it. (Blah, blah, blah health. But who cares. It’s better this way.)
4.  Now: The sauce goes in to the meat; they both go over the pasta. And you’re done.

Did you just make special “homemade” tomato sauce? You bet you did, you clever thing! Now pat yourself on the back, pour yourself a drink, and go catch up on The Real Housewives of Whatever.
 
* Please note: Dry vermouth is very cheap and not that tasty. And if you, like me, prefer to save every last drop of your wine for drinking, I say buy a giant bottle of dry vermouth, keep it for cooking, and be done with it. (If you do ever run out of wine or vodka, you can probably tolerate some vermouth over ice. I’ve suffered it. I didn’t die. Drop a couple of olives in there and it will almost kill the taste. And remember, it’s cheap! So why not?)

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Note: Harriet Saunders is a supporting character from my second novel, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything. As one of my main character Mina’s only friends, harried Harriet helps ground Mina in her life–in fun and irreverent ways! The character herself is a cocktail / composite of all the frazzled mothers I have known, myself included. In this “Anything Goes” post I did for Louise Wise’s WISE WORDS, I imagined someone had asked Harriet to write a home-making column, sharing some of her best tips for domestic bliss. Please leave me comment sharing one of your most incredible household hints, helpful or horrid. I’d love to hear them!

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I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank all the moms who took part in this promotion! (Find a list and links by clicking here!)

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539286_10200439346445319_1446602713_nMina 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.

BUY IT NOW!

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

Five for Friday–With A Twist Part II

Five for Friday–With A Twist Part II

No interview this week. I’ve got too many eggs in one Easter basket–too many dishes to prepare for this weekend’s feast! Instead, I’m going to focus on five books, plus one(ish) bonus book, that I read in February in March and share my thoughts on them with you–like I did back in January. It’s like a party, having all these books together like this! In any case, I do owe all these incredible writers formal reviews, but hopefully they can forgive my not getting to it just a bit longer…. Here we go!

daydreamer1. Daydreamer by Brea Brown

I have never met such an adorably flawed, endearingly messed-up heroine in my life. Brea Brown‘s Libby Foster is a bit screwed up from a tragedy in her twenties, addicted to Kit Kats, and also still a virgin. She has some issues connecting with real-life people, and as a result has all these wonderful daydreams involving the office hottie, architect Jude (anyone who knows me knows I have soft spot for architects)… As she lets down her barriers, the chemistry between Libby and Jude is delightful. You’ll want to shake Libby sometimes but you’ll be compelled to cheer for her all the way as she comes to terms with her past and *hopefully* stops letting it impede her chance at happiness. Highly recommended! Buy it now!

viewer2. Viewer Discretion Advised by Cindy Roesel

I want to work in a newsroom. I never wanted to work in a newsroom so much before I read this book, and I am huge fan of the Mary Tyler Moore Show... But Cindy Roesel’s “insider” presentation (did you know Cindy has an Emmy?) of the antics of what goes on behind-the-scenes of the news is eye-opening and highly entertaining. Charley Thomas is a great character, smart and full of depth. And she keeps vodka in the fridge in her office–how can you not like her? With Charley, Cindy Roesel creates a very realistic portrait of a woman torn between what she’s spent her life building, namely her news career, and where her heart and soul truly feel “at home.” Did I mention I fell hard for casual-sex bud Oz? You will not be disappointed with this one! Buy it now!

The Fall of the Misanthrope_Cover_KINDLE3. Diary of a Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am by Louise Wise

Welcome to the world of “dark chick-lit,” as you get to know Valerie Anthrope in this page-turner by Louise Wise. Valerie’s not the bitch you love to hate, but the bitch you love uncovering reasons to love. Louise has done such a nice job creating not one, but two would-be-despicable characters (Valerie and the player who’s after her…we’re not always sure what about her he’s after…the loveable rogue Lex), by showing us the parts of them they never show to others, and allowing us to love them, flaws and all. It doesn’t hurt that there’s also a kind of “fairy godmother” in the mix. You’ll definitely want to check this one out! Buy it now!

134547884. Kissed in Paris by Juliette Sobanet

I had no idea what was in store for me when I picked up this book. It started so calmly. A string of emails about an about-to-be-bride being sent to Paris against her will by her flu-stricken boss. Then, chapter one begins, and Bam! Right down the rabbit hole you drop! I don’t want to say too much about this book because it seems like every page holds delightful new surprises. The chemistry between Chloe and her savior/captor (we’re never quite sure) Julien will keep you riveted and the twists will compel you to read faster than you’ll want… You know, like when you think you’re just going to “savor” that freshly baked chocolate croissant. I literally devoured this book overnight, and so will you! Buy it now!

160695625. Zombie Attack by Robert Bevan (Yes, a man. No, not a rom-com or anything like it.)

Speaking of rabbit holes… Zombie Attack is not my usual book. I picked it up because it was free. Though I’d be lying if I said this was the main reason. In the ocean of tweets I slog through daily of authors begging people to buy their books, posting reviews and the like, Robert Bevan stood out for me because instead of tweeting “Buy my book!” he grabbed me with: “Show me on the doll where this story touched you” and “It’s like that friend who gives you a kidney… from a hobo… and you didn’t need a kidney.” This delicious subversiveness intrigued me to download and read Zombie Attack, a slice of a larger story that imagines a group of friends finding themselves trapped “in” a role-playing game called “Caverns and Creatures.” Glad to report that the writing lived up to the tweets; I really liked it and I bought another one. That’s working it! Buy it now!

16044957BONUS: And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry

In my “other” career as a book editor, I have had the pleasure of editing Patti Callahan Henry. Not only does this lady know how to tell a story, I’ve never experienced another writer who can encapsulate the intensity of a moment of emotion in words in quite the same way Patti can. And Then I Found You was inspired by the real-life story of a child in her own family who was given up for adoption then years later reunited with her birth mother, aunts, and cousins via Facebook. Come on, how cool is that?! Patti does such a wonderful job exploring all the elation, anticipation, and fear; the pain of loss and the joy of the “gain.” Pre-order it now!

17338771

(As for the bonus-ish book, Patti did a short called Friend Request which tells the backstory of And Then I Found You and which you should also buy and read now before you pre-order And Then I Found You. I cried my eyes out. But in a good way. So will you. In a good way.) Buy it now!

I’m not going to say too much more about Patti’s books now because I’m blessed to have her as my guest on the blog next week, just days before the release of And Then I Found You!

What are some of the great books you’ve read lately? Leave me a comment with a recommendation, please.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, have a great one!

Five for Friday: Louise Wise

Five for Friday: Louise Wise

I’m delighted today to welcoming novelist and blogger Louise Wise in the “Shed” today! I know Louise from various social networking writing groups we’re both in, and also from her blog. I was delighted to be a guest twice for Louise, and later in this article, you can learn how you could guest with her, too.

promo photos 059

I have to admit one of the reasons I’m most excited to host Louise today: I just finished her dark chick-lit novel The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am. (Read my review here!) Louise managed to take some fairly dark material and make it not only intriguing but also kind of fun. She writes very colorful characters you really care about–even the misanthrope.

Connect with Louise online:

Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Pintererst
Amazon Author Page

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The Fall of the Misanthrope_Cover_KINDLE

1. I got really into your book The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am  because I tend to be drawn to the darker side side of chick-lit, and your story definitely takes readers there. When you write, do you prefer a darker story, or do you sometimes also tell lighter tales? And what about what you read?

I like to be realistic with my writing, and try to incorporate as much real life as I can. Loneliness does seem to be prevalent in all of my books, and even A Proper Charlie, one of my ‘lighter’ books, the protagonist is lonely. But no, I prefer my stories to be fun more than ‘dark’. I want to make people laugh and think, hey, that could happen to me, at the same time.

I like reading Sophie Kinsella, Alexandra Potter and Matt Dunn for light reads and humour, and Dean Koontz and James Herbert for my darker moments. I also like to read indies: Pam Howes, Patrick Fox, John Hudspith to name just a few.

a proper charlie

2. What inspired you to tell this story? If you don’t mind sharing, was any of it based on actual events or did you just conjure it with your brilliant imagination?

I was talked into having my fortune told in my teen years and the accuracy of it scared me to death! So, that part of The Fall of the Misanthrope was from an actual event (no one died though!).

In the book, I wanted a nasty main character; someone people would hate. But I was stopped at the draft stage when my editor told me the protagonist would need a redeeming side, and I had to think of a reason for her nastiness. It is purely fiction and apart from the fortune teller nothing else was taken from real life.



3. Did you have to do a lot of research to get to the heart of Valerie’s issues? Did any of the research you did change the way you originally saw your story unfolding?

I work in a pharmacy so I was able to research depression and medication quite easily, and my husband used to run a brokerage. It’s true what they say, write what you know… or rather know what you write.

The Fall of the Misanthrope has changed a lot from draft to final product, but not all because of research. The minor characters Tim and Paul started out as young men, but I felt older characters would have more scope. Pensioners are hilarious to write about! What with false teeth, dodgy hips and toupees – so much ammunition. 🙂

4. Can you tell us about your writing process? Are you a “plotter” or “pantser”? Do you work better in a state of quiet organization or chaos? Do you set a word count target or take it as it comes?

I plot in my head, then take myself somewhere quiet and think about characters and a possible situation. Husband calls it daydreaming, but whatever! Then I write. I just get down the main ingredients of the story and I try to do that within a month or less. If I can see a beginning and a middle and a possible end I’ll go back to the start and flesh it out. So maybe I’m a bit of both “potter” and “panster”. But I like to call my approach a “painter”. I paint a basecoat, then go over with another coat, and another, until finally, I can add my final gloss.

5. In addition to being a terrific author, you’re also quite a prolific blogger. Can you tell us a little bit about your blog–how you decided what it should be, how you decide on themes? I’ve been honored to be your guest twice. Can you tell others how you go through your selection process of what to post?

Aw, thank you. Four years ago I was told I needed an author platform and so began Wise Words Book Blogger (WWBB). I didn’t like to talk about me all the time when others were much more interesting, so I invited people to my blog.

At first, I allowed any subject but then I wanted more control and decided to bring in themed months. I look around writing forums, Twitter, anywhere, for ideas. In fact, I’ve had a people email me asking for a subject because of an idea they’ve have and I’m always pleased to oblige.

WWBB never intended to be a blog for writers, but that’s how it has turned out and I’m very happy with it. If people want to write for me all I ask is for them to read the “What’s Hot” for their desired month, stick to the theme, edit their own articles and share the link with their social media once it’s live. Oh, and following the blog is polite. It’s the equivalent of a handshake in blogland!

eden

BONUS: Do you have a current WIP? If you do, can you share anything with us about what it’s about? And if not…what kinds of books are you considering diving into developing next?

My first published novel is called Eden, I wrote this before I discovered my niche was chick lit. It’s a sci-fi romance with the theme Beauty and the Beast, anyway, I began getting a lot of mail asking for a sequel and so I’m writing that at the moment. I’m on the second draft, and I hope to have it ready for late summer. It was nice to get back to old characters, and taking up their story again was like putting on comfy slippers. Maybe I can have two niches? That’s not greedy, is it?

Not at all, Louise! I think anyone who has many interests and talents should dabble in other niches. We don’t always eat the same kind of foods or wear the same clothes. Why always write the same kinds of books?

Thanks so much for joining us today!

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Here’s an excerpt from The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am:

I woke to the smell of bacon – and déjà vu. I turned, and a wave of nausea engulfed me as did a memory of a thin-faced man called Jon with piercing blue eyes. And Tim. Why was I thinking about Tim? Oh God… a dream I had been dreaming last night came back. Tim was making love to me. Only he had a strangely good body. I pulled the covers up over my head. No, no! I don’t want this picture in my mind.

‘Morning, Val.’ My curtains were ripped open and a blaze of light seared me like flames as I peeked over the top of my duvet. I rolled over, mumbling something like “bitch” and “get out”.
‘Coffee,’ Ellen said, and placed a deliciously smelling cup on my bedside table. ‘And a couple of paracetamol. How’s the head?’

‘Throbbing.’

‘Serves you right. You drank two bottles of wine to yourself. Poor Jon. I don’t expect you’ll see him again.’

Braving the daylight I rolled onto my back and looked up at her. ‘Thank God. What were you thinking setting me up like that? Isn’t it surprising I drank?’ I pushed myself up so I was propped against the bed rest. I reached for the coffee. ‘Thanks for this,’ I said grudgingly.
She sat on my bed. Not on the edge as you’d expect – this was Ellen – but in the centre with her legs cross-legged.

‘I can smell bacon,’ I said. Hopefully.

‘I saved you some,’ she said. ‘Tim makes a mean fry-up.’

‘Tim?’ Images of my dream swamped my head. ‘What’s he doing here?’

She evaded my eyes. ‘He brought you home last night.’

I peered under my duvet. I was in my undies. I looked up at Ellen questioningly.

‘I undressed you. I slept in the room I had before, and Tim on the settee downstairs. I didn’t want to leave you in that state and Tim felt he should stay too. He cares about you, doesn’t he? I never realised until now.’

Oh, shit.

I popped the paracetamol into my mouth, and swallowed them down with coffee. I only wished they were strong enough to delete the image of Tim holding me in his arms.

Buy The Fall of the Misanthrope now!

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The Fall of the Misanthrope_Cover_KINDLEThe Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch Therefore I Am
Valerie Anthrope’s life is finally on track. She has a thriving business, money is no problem, and men, well, she’s a modern, cutthroat business woman and romantic entanglement isn’t for her, so she can take them or leave them. Or so she tells herself, and anyone else who’ll listen. But that’s the problem. There is no one else. Those who get too close never live to tell the tale—literally.
Someone needs a fairy godmother, don’t they?