Saturday, June 30, 2007

Author Interview with Elaine Cantrell

**The band begins to play a lively rendition of "Before He Cheats" (Carrie Underwood)**

**Band finishes and audience claps**

ANNOUNCER: Good morning, Blog Studio. Welcome to another wonderful live author interview. And now, please welcome our always smiling hostess, Carol Ann Erhardt.

**Audience Applauds**

**Carol Ann enters through the curtain opening**

CAROL ANN: **laughs** Thanks everyone for coming by today for our very special interview with a fantastic author, from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Her name is Elaine Cantrell, and I think you are going to enjoy hearing about her and her brand new release, Purple Heart. Please help me make her welcome. Ladies and gentlemen....Elaine Cantrell!!!

**Audience applauds and hoots as Carol Ann holds up a copy of Elaine's book.**

**Elaine bows and takes a seat on the set with Carol Ann**

CAROL ANN: Elaine, I'm so pleased that you could join us today for our special extra edition of the Blog Studio. This is a beautiful book cover.

ELAINE: Thank you so much! I am very proud of this cover. The artists at The Wild Rose Press are very talented.

CAROL ANN: I agree. **Carol Ann places the book on the table between them** Please tell the audience about this book.

ELAINE: The name of my novel is Purple Heart. My hero, Mike Hightower, is a soldier in Iraq who makes a good friend called Ramirez. During one engagement with the insurgents Mike is wounded. Ramirez saves his life, but in the process the insurgents kill him. Mike goes back home and looks for a place to live. He finds a nice apartment, but it's owned by a Lebanese woman. Purple Heart is the story of how Mike learns to let go of the hate that now consumes him and love again.

CAROL ANN: Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

ELAINE: My nephew was sent to Iraq and after hearing him talk about things that he saw I decided there was a story that needed to be told.

CAROL ANN: I can't wait to read this! What do you think audience? **Audience applauds** I think they're in agreement. So, Elaine, when you are writing, which comes first: plot or characters?

ELAINE: Plot usually, but I have done it in reverse. I'm working on a sci fi romance which features characters I've written about before. I just couldn't let them go.

CAROL ANN: Being a romance writer, what does the word romance mean to you?

ELAINE: Magic. Heart stopping, thrilling, warm, and forever magic.

CAROL ANN: One of the hardest things for me is choosing a title for my books. How do you decide on titles?

ELAINE: I try to make my title relevant to the story. In the case of Purple Heart, Mike was wounded so he automatically received a purple heart.

CAROL ANN: Which is a fantastic title. I have my father's purple heart. He was killed in action. But, enough about me and sad things. Let's pep up the interview a bit. Let's say your life is about to become a movie. What will the title be?

ELAINE: It Can Happen To You. I've always believed that if you want something bad enough you can have it. Look at me; I wanted to write, and now I've had four books published.

CAROL ANN: Wonderful! The blog studio audience always wants to know more about how we writers operate. So many think that we get up in the middle of the morning, put on our comfy slippers, sit in front of the computer and bang out a hundred pages, then take a shower, get dressed and relax for the remainder of the day while we wait for our royalty checks.

ELAINE: **laugh** Yeah, right!

CAROL ANN: What is a normal day for you?

ELAINE: I'm a teacher so during the school year I have to go to work, but in the summer I get to be a writer full time. On those days I get up and have some coffee while I check my email. I write until lunch time when I take a break. I do errands, chores, etc, and after dinner I write for another hour or so. My husband sometimes reads what I wrote that day and makes suggestions to improve it.

CAROL ANN: So in the summer, you almost fit the sterotype! **laugh** I'm sorry, couldn't resist. There are some days when I get up and wonder why. When you are down, who can make you laugh?

ELAINE: My grandson, David. The child is totally adorable. And I'm not prejudiced either!

CAROL ANN: I love my grandkids. They are so much fun! They keep me young. Tell me, Elaine, do you collect anything?

ELAINE: I used to collect angels because they were so beautiful, but I filled up the display cabinet so I haven't bought any in a long time.

CAROL ANN: I can relate. I used to collect music boxes until I ran out of space. Now they just collect dust. **laugh** Whoops, looks like our time is running out. Quickly, one last question. Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword? Why?

ELAINE: Yes, of course it is. I'm a history teacher so I'll use the American Revolution as an example. The Founding Fathers were influenced by Enlightenment writers such as John Locke and Montesquieu. Our constitution and the Declaration of Independence are full of Enlightenment ideas. Without the pen, men like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin would never have known about the Enlightenment, and our country might have been quite different. Bet you didn't know you'd get a history lesson, did you?

CAROL ANN: **LAUGH** No, but it was very appropriate to the question.

ELAINE: Teachers can't help it.

CAROL ANN: Elaine, it has been so much fun having you today. Thanks again for coming by.

**Carol Ann stands and applauds. The audience joins in.**

CAROL ANN: And here is the link where you can learn more about Elaine and her published work.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Joshua's Hope - Ready for Book Proposal

My latest manuscript is in the hands of my first advance reader. I'll be mailing out three others on Monday.

Now, I have to do the hard part...writing a blurb, synopsis, and query letter. Whenever I finish a book, I can hardly wait to begin the next, but it's what keeps me motivated to complete these very important pieces of the book proposal.

I'm very proud of this book. The characters, the plot, everything just seemed to gel. It's my first inspirational romance, but it won't be my last.

Be sure to join me tomorrow, Saturday, June 30th, for a special interview with author, Elaine Cantrell. You'll love her book and the cover is awesome!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Author Interview with Shiela Stewart

**The deep maroon curtain raises and Carol Ann runs onstage.**

Good morning, Blog Studio Audience!

**applause, applause**

Oh, it's so great to be back in the studio again. Today I have a very special author lined up to chat with us. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, but she writes stunningly beautiful romance novels. Please put your hands together and help me welcome...Shiela Stewart!!

**audience stands and applauds as Shiela walks onstage. Her long auburn hair gleams beneath the bright lighting.**

CAROL ANN: Welcome, Shiela. I'm so glad that you were able to join us today.

SHIELA: I would like to say thank you, Carol Ann for this interview. I love your blog and find it very informative. I enjoy reading what other authors have to say.

CAROL ANN: Thank you, Shiela. That's so nice to hear. And I'm sure everyone is anxious to hear what you might have to say. I know I'm anxious to see what book you've brought to share with us. May I?

**Carol Ann reaches out and accepts the book from Shiela. She holds it up so the camera can pan in.**

CAROL ANN: What an intriguing cover. Please tell me about Secrets of the Dead.

SHIELA: Secrets of the Dead is a paranormal romance centered in a haunted house with a deep dark secret that one of the entities prefers to keep buried. Jessica Coltrane is a die-hard skeptic who believes that ghosts and paranormal activity are nothing more than a figment of some poor fool's overactive imagination, until she finds herself locked inside a house with the enigmatic paranormal investigator C.J. Dowling, that is.

C.J., born with the ability to see and speak to the dead, thought this would be a job like many others. Calm and self-assured, he knows his business. After all, he's been listening to the Secrets of the Dead since he was three. He's prepared for anything except the smart and sexy Jessica.

Working together in close quAarters, C.J. and Jessica find it's all too easy to get under one another's skin during the day. As darkness falls and the tension between them mounts, a spark is ignited. Fueled by passion they give into their desires. only C.J. and Jessica aren't alone.

As the light dawns the couple discovers they're trapped. Trapped with the ghost of a child long forgotten, an amorous entity that is threatening Jessica, and a powder keg of a spine-tingling mystery that might just be better left buried.

CAROL ANN: Oh, that sounds like a movie! I know this isn't your first novel. What was your first publication?

SHIELA: Kidnapped. It's a Contemporary Romance and was released last February, available in both EBook and Print. Mackenzie Tyrell is in a desperate need of money and kidnapping Elizabeth Crowmell seems like his only way to achieve it. He soon finds that abducting her isn't as easy as he'd thought when not only does she prove to be a handful, but he finds himself falling in love with her.

CAROL ANN: That one sounds intriguing. How many novels did you write before becoming published?

SHIELA: Believe it or not, I have over 70 novels written just waiting to be published. Some of them can be seen on my website with blurbs to give you a glimpse into the story, and the others are still begging to be put on the computer.

CAROL ANN: Where do you get your story ideas?

SHIELA: I have a vivid imagination, and those that don't come from my imagination have come from dreams I've had. I keep a pad and pen beside my bed for those dreams that wake me in the mjiddle of the night begging to be put to paper.

CAROL ANN: What does your writing space look like?

SHIELA: I work mostly on my laptop now, which is always in my living room beaside my favorite comfy chair. I have a beautiful view of some lovely trees and brilliantly blooming flowers outside my patio window that inspire me.

CAROL ANN: That sounds like a perfect setting in which to write romance. What does the word romance mean to you?

SHIELA: An intimacy and bond with one individual that no other can compare to. Romance, to me, is having my hubby show up with one long stemmed rose for absolutely no reason what so ever, or a quiet walk on a warm summer night with the sun setting, knowing you're with the one person in the world who matters the most to you.

CAROL ANN: I love asking that question. Everyone has a different, yet so similar answer. Tell me, how do you decide on a title for your books?

SHIELA: Mostly, they just come to me like the stories do. On ocassion when I struggle with a title, my husband and I brainstorm until we come up with the perfect title. With my series to be relaseased later this year, The Passion Series, the titles, Discovery, Escape and Mercy in Passion were a collaberation between my husband, my publisher and myself.

CAROL ANN: How wonderful that your hubby gets involved with your work. Do you have any pets?

SHIELA: Do I ever!

CAROL ANN: I've heard it said that people resemble their pets. Is that true for you?

SHIELA: LOL, if that were true, I would be one odd looking person. I have four cats of various breeds and colors, six Angel fish, three turtles and one Black Lab named Bella. I'll have to say no to my resembling any one of them. **Sheila laughs**

CAROL ANN: Ah, that's what they all say. **Carol Ann laughs** Okay, so you don't look like an angel fish for sure. Do you collect anything besides pets?

SHIELA: I used to collect Unicorns, though I haven't kept up with it as of late. I can't really remember how it got started, but it skyrocketed quite quickly. Before I knew it, everyone was giving me a unicorn. I've always had a love of hourses and I find the Unicorn not only lovely, but mysterious. And doesn't everyone like to slip into a fantasy world now and again?

CAROL ANN: I love unicorns and especially pegasus. I have written some children's stories about a fairy and a pegasus. Guess I like fantasy, too. I have just one more question to ask and then we'll have to go. The guy in the wings is giving me the slicing motion. **laugh** Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword?

SHIELA: Yes I do.I find any form of comunication better than violence. Nothing is accomplished with bloodshed but so much can be learned from a few little words.

CAROL ANN: Shiela, thank you for joining us. I've enjoyed our time together. Before we leave, I'd like the audience to know they can learn more about your books by going to your website.

SHIELA: Thank you Carol. These were great questions, some of which I've never had before.

**The audience stands and applauds as Carol Ann and Shiela wave and walk off stage. The curtain slowly drops**

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Upcoming Author Interviews and.....

I am going to give the Snowflake method a try on this next novel I'm writing. I read through it and though we all have heard "outline, outline, outline", I've never been able to do it. I've tried other various methods of putting the story and characters together before I start, but basically I've been a "seat of the pants" writer. With this last manuscript, I've found some plot errors which I have to now correct during the edits. Would this have happened if I did a great job of plotting, character development and outlining first?? Probably not.

I'm not sure why I'm so averse to outlining. I do remember always hating to outline in school, too. I've always been an impatient person. I just want to dive into every project I tackle. Believe me, I've had a lot of hobbies over the years, and I did the same thing. Tackle first, read instructions later.

But, I am going to give this Snowflake Method a good try. Why not? If I keep on schedule...ack, I'm actually going to disclose this here which makes it like a goal to keep...I'll write three more novels before the end of the year!! Well, barring anything unforeseen, that is. Like procrastination. LOL!

Enough rambling. I am going to use this blog to post my daily accomplishments as I go through the Snowflake method. Maybe it will help me, and hopefully it will help or inspire someone else.

First though I have to finish the edits on Joshua's Hope. My goal is to begin the new novel on July 12. I even bought some new notebooks and matching pastel pens today to help keep me motivated.

And...I will have TWO author interviews in the blog studio this week. Shiela Stewart will be here on Thursday morning and Elaine Cantrell will be here on Saturday morning. I hope you'll all stop by then.

As for now...ta-ta!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Wild Hogs

Hubby and I don't go to movies very often. When we do, we wait until they come to the "cheap" theater. Today we decided to go see "Wild Hogs." I had heard mixed reviews on this, some say it wasn't funny and not worth the money. But our family members who had seen it loved it.

I haven't seen any John Travolta movies that I didn't like, and this was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was funny and had some great scenery as well. This is one that I'll buy the DVD to have on hand for future viewing.

The only downfall to the afternoon was the popcorn. They forgot to put butter on it, and I didn't want to miss any of the movie to get that corrected. **sigh** That's what comes from getting to the theater just in time for the movie to start. And, let me tell you...walking into a dark theater is a scary thing. LOL!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tears on my Keyboard

Okay, I admit it. I'm a hopeless romantic.

I've been working on my latest manuscript, Joshua's Hope, and just knew that tonight I'd be able to write that final scene. I have to admit that the last few scenes I wrote were so emotional that I could only write one at a time. Tonight I actually cried as I wrote the ending scene.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in your characters and your story that you were sucked in so deeply that you felt every single emotion?

I'm elated that it's finished, and I'm praying that it really is as good as it felt.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Bit of This and That

I'm back in the groove again after a short vacation. Lots of things piled up on my desk at work which makes the day pass faster, and lots of things to accomplish on my desk at home as well.

I realized last night that I had to write a blog for Sweeter Romantic Notionson the writer's learning curve. I put together something last night on not disappointing the reader.

I checked for my interview schedule and tried to find the email address for Paula Stiles who I have penciled in for this Thursday, but in cleaning out my email files, I've somehow deleted her contact information. If anyone knows Paula, please have her get in touch with me so I can reschedule that interview.

And I managed to read through my manuscript as far as I'd written it (205 pages) while I was on vacation. I spent tonight working one of the final scenes. Tomorrow night I should be completely finished with the first draft. I have to make the changes I penciled in on my first read through then give it one more before sending it off to my advance readers.

Read an interesting article on Writing a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. Very interesting. I may try using this method for my next novel, which by the way I will start writing immediately after this one is finished.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Organized Writer - Not!!!

Received a fantastic review from my boss last week. Excellent right down the line with nothing that needs improvement, strengths in everything...okay, he must really think highly of me, as he also said. One comment he made, that I was highly organized, made me stop and think.

I am very organized at work. So, why can't I apply that to my writing life? I have a calendar and I diligently write in every appointment, meeting, blog date, etc. Then I forget to check it! I can't begin to list the number of blog dates I've missed.

My desk at work...spotless. Everyone comments on how neat it is. My desk at home...totally hopeless. No matter how I try everything seems to wind up in my office and on my desk. I have to move things to find my keyboard!

And my files at work are so organized I can put my finger on everything I need at a moment's notice. Ack! I can't find anything in my desk drawers at home. Things are randomly stuck in folders, stacked in drawers and even on every available shelf space.

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one!!

I won't be posting for the next five days. Heading out with hubby tomorrow for a five day camping trip. Have finished book printed out for editing, plenty of red pens, a stash of books, sunscreen, bug repellent, and lounge chair. Ah, the joy of no commitments for five whole days. **sigh**

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Author Interview with Larriane Wills

**The curtain rises in the blog studio and Carol Ann walks on stage with a huge smile.**

Hello everyone! It’s so great to be back in the studio. I’ve been really busy in my down time. I’m nearly finished with writing JOSHUA’S HOPE, an inspirational romantic suspense, and I’m so excited about this project. But I’m not going to waste any time talking about myself today. Instead I have invited a very special guest to join me. She’s a multi-published author and a really fun person to talk to. Please put your hands together for a warm welcome to…


**Carol Ann steps aside and Larriane walks on stage. The audience applauds loudly, and from the seats comes a chant of … “Larriane, Larriane, Larriane!”**

CAROL ANN: Hi Larriane. Welcome to the blog studio. I see the audience is very happy to see you. By the way, I’m glad to see you wearing jeans.

**Carol Ann looks down at her denim clad legs and grins**

LARRIANE: I’m always in jeans. Even in the summer, I don't wear shorts because it's been so long since the sun has seen my legs they look like the underside of a fish's belly, white that is to say, not scaly.

CAROL ANN: I hear you, sister!

LARRIANE: It isn't that I don't like dresses you understand, it's just that jeans are so much more convenient and comfortable and where I live casual is the name of the game. I bought all kinds of 'dress up clothes' in anticipation of needed them when I contracted my first book. I've come to understand, I would be over dressed. Okay, I admit it, putting on a bra is 'dressing up' for me. I've never been so over-endowed that my chest took on a life of it's own if I had to run or jump and I hate a bra. I think my cousin said it best where they're concerned, God may have created breast, but some MAN invented the bra.

**Larriane looks at the audience and pushes out her chest.**

As you can see, I’m dressed up today.

**Audience laughter**

CAROL ANN: Thanks for clarifying that. **small laugh** So, tell me about the book you brought with you.

**Carol Ann holds up the book and the camera pans in**

LARRIANE: Looking Glass Portal is my latest release from Swimming Kangaroo Books. Portal is a science fiction with suspense and comedy. It’s received two reviews so far, one reader and one professional. The reader said ‘it had a sense of wonder in spades’ and the reviewer said it should be on film. I certainly have no problem with visualizing it on film, but then I see all of the characters, humanoid, alien humans, alien creatures, and bio-mechanical beings in my head. Oh, yes, there’s even a Pegasus. A theory of one of the characters is that like minds are connected over even the vastness of space, what are legends on one world are thoughts received from a planet where they do exist. Garrett, a modern day cowboy, has to decide if he’s crazy, living in some rubber room in mental ward or if it is all real after he’s attacked by a primitive humanoid and taken aboard a research vessel. He can either stop treating it as some warped joke of his mind or get serious before he ends up dead. The suspense begins when he discovers all the others were taken as specimens to be studied and when he’s well enough to be given his own quarters in the hunters section. He manages to upset just about everything and everyone and ends up making himself a target for murder. I have no idea where the story came from. It just did. A like mind maybe, somewhere across a vast distance. Being a fan of science fiction I’m sure had something to do with it also.

CAROL ANN: I was perusing your website yesterday and I noticed that you write fantasy, sci if, and romance. Do you have a favorite genre and why?

LARIANNE: Romance in any time or place is my favorite. Portal is unusual for me in that it isn’t one, although when I started it I had a romance in mind. I’m not saying there isn’t some romance in it. I can’t seem to get totally away from it, but it just isn’t the main thrust of the story. I thought of something I decided was better that made the story more interesting.

CAROL ANN: What does the word romance mean to you?

LARIANNE: A man and woman falling in love, over coming any obstacles thrown in their path and living happily every after. I don’t necessarily equate things like candle light and soft music to the word. For me it’s more a look or touch, support and comfort when it’s needed, sweet words and thoughtful gestures.

CAROL ANN: Where do you get your ideas and how what process do you go through before actually writing the story?

LARRIANE: **Larriane pushes her long auburn locks away from her face** My ideas come from everywhere and anywhere. Maybe something I read will spark something off, or watch in a movie, or even see. Many times it’s just a single sentence that pops up when I’m trying to go to sleep. I get that ‘ummm, that sounds interesting’ thought and build from there, going forward and backward until the story is complete. As to how long it takes, that depends on how many distractions are going on and whether it’s a piece I need to do some research on. Sometimes I’ll start about the same time the idea comes to me. Others it may bounce around in my head for a week or two before I start putting it down.

CAROL ANN: I always find it interesting to learn where other authors get their ideas, but I’ve found that we all have similar experiences. How about sharing a peek at a day in your life?

LARRIANE: In a writing day it starts with computer first, checking my emails, maybe a bit of TV before my shower, and then to writing. When I’m trying to be domestic (or think of it) I might start a load of clothes in the washer before I sit down, either with a notebook for first drafts or a laptop for any after. Hunger or thirst might drive me into a break and I might remember to put the clothes in the dryer but don’t take any bets on it. Once the story gets flowing not much interrupts me. I do have to stop for dinner. Hubby is very tolerant over things like having to go to the dryer to find clean clothes, but he always wants his dinner. After dinner and clean up, it’s back to writing until I can’t keep my eyes open or concentrate any longer.

CAROL ANN: You are lucky to have such an understanding hubby. Treating writing as if it were a job away from home is difficult without having that kind of support.

**Larriane smiles a secret kind of smile.**

CAROL ANN: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?

LARRIANE: I’m pretty content where I am (Arizona). My family is in this area, and I’m comfortable with familiar surroundings like the local stores. New and strange places are exciting to visit, but I hate relocating and readjusting.

CAROL ANN: I’d love to visit Arizona. In fact, I’d love to visit a lot of states. It’s my dream to one day visit each one. But back to you. If you are feeling down, who can make you smile?

LARRIANE: Just about anybody. I hate for anyone to see that I’m down so just talking to someone makes me come up.

CAROL ANN: If you received an inheritance of a remote private tropical island, what would you do with it? Move, sell, or something else?

LARRIANE: Off the top of my head I’d say use it for a vacation retreat. Remote and private does have its draw backs on a permanent basis, but it would be nice to have a get away.

CAROL ANN: I like to ask questions that give the audience a glimpse of the person behind the “author.” So many times we are looked at as celebrities, when we are just like every other woman in the world. We have families, and sometimes jobs other than our writing, kids, and even funny collections. Larriane, do you have any collections?

LARRIANE: **huge laugh** Funny, you should ask that. I’ve tried, reaaaaally hard to stop collecting. After a while you just plain run out of room. My mother started me on dolls, a friend on beanie babies, I’m a sucker for Stars Wars stuff, and books, old and new. And that is just to name a few. Please don’t get me started on anything else.

CAROL ANN: How many books do you read in a month?

That depends on what I’m doing. If I’m in limbo between writing, I read a bunch. That’s my writing substitute. I might read 6-8, one right after another, before I start off writing again. It seems to re-charge me in some way. On a regular basis, especially now that I’ve started publishing and promoting, which takes so much of my time, 1 or two a week.

CAROL ANN: Who is your favorite author?

LARRIANE: I have a lot of favorite authors and read in a lot of genres, romance, suspense, crime, mystery, historical, contemporary, science fiction, pretty much what I’ve found the day I go shopping. I’ve also started reading ebooks by authors I’ve met on line.

CAROL ANN: Well, nuts. Some guy is pulling his ear. That means we’re running out of time. I have to ask you one more question. Answer quickly. Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword?

LARRIANE: I’m going to do a little converting here, pen to words and sword to violence. It’s the words that lead to the violence. How many children listen to words from their parents that condemn a race and breed hate that lead to violence? How many leaders in the past have used words for the same purpose? For that matter, how many times has the written word been corrupted to suit or excuse horrendous acts? Just think of the books written hundreds of years ago and the affect they still have on us. The swords used then are long gone, the swingers of those swords long ago turned to dust, but the words, sworn to be accurate and true despite the many translations and interpretations still dominate the thinking of nations with those nations still at war. It’s rather ironic that you asked this question in that some of these issues are part of the plot of my first book, The Knowing, also released by Swimming Kangaroo Books. The waste of lives and the uselessness of hatred is something I’m sure is on everyone’s mind these days. We can’t get away from it unless we shut ourselves up, never look at a paper, never turn on a tv or radio, and it boggles the mind, mine anyway, that the basis of it started with written words from so long ago.

CAROL ANN: **laughs** And, that my friends in the studio, was the “quick” answer. **Carol Ann turns to Larriane.** Thank you so much for joining me today and allowing all of us to know more about you. Your book sounds intriguing. In fact, I’d love to continue our conversation over lunch. I know a great Mexican restaurant and I know you like Mexican as much as I do.

**Larriane stands and Carol Ann has to look up to meet her eyes. They laugh and walk off stage. The curtain closes and the show closes with Larriane’s website information**


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Today I was prepared to end my novel...and I just couldn't do it. Reason? Easy to spot. I didn't have the right conflict between the main characters. What I'd thought would work, just wasn't heavy enough to carry through to an explosive climactic ending.

Whenever I find something of this nature, I just have to make quiet time to reflect on the characters and put myselves in their heads. Get that, I'm in their heads instead of them being in mine. Quite a twist. Usually they are sitting on my shoulder or turning my brain in erratic directions.

However, once I'm able to become them, it's easy to find the thing that drives the plot in the correct direction. I found what I needed and began to make some critical changes.

Tomorrow I should be back on track and my book will be finished the weekend. Perfect timing. I can print it out and take it with me when we go camping next week. Lots of quiet time to read and make notes for editing.

One thing Donald Maass always says is "Conflict on every page." That, in his words, is what makes a break-out novel. Some day I may achieve that goal!

Monday, June 04, 2007

When in Doubt, Say Yes and Nod, I was at a reader and author's get together this past Saturday and after drinking several glasses of water, I had to use the bathroom. I left the conference room and headed across the hotel hallway to the ladies room. On the left was the ladies room and on the right the mens. Between the two doors stood a very pleasant looking man wearing a light blue uniform with one hand on one of those universal cleaning thing-a-ma-jiggies--a large waste can with a mop attached to it and cleaning rags and bottles.

I came to a stop and asked, "Is the bathroom closed for cleaning?"

He smiled and nodded. "Yes!" Then he looked at me expectantly. I hesitated and took another step forward.

"Is it all right if I go in or is it being cleaned?"

"Yes!" He nodded, his smile bigger, his eyes widening.

Okay, I thought. Which question did he answer? Once again, I asked, in a bit louder voice, "Is it all right if I go in..." I paused for a moment, then pointed to the door. "Or is the bathroom closed for cleaning?"

His eyes opened wider showing whites all around and once again, he flashed those pearly whites at me. "Yes!" He nodded several times. Though he smiled so sweetly, his eyes almost showed fear.

Then I realized he must know only one word of English. So, I pushed open the door and went inside. Much to my relief, the little man didn't follow and I took care of business. When I left, he was gone.

Either I scared him away or he headed off to find a translator.

I just know this experience will someday find it's way into one of my novels.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Sometimes I'm inspired by the weirdest things. Scenes play out in my mind when I see a person that interests me, or see people doing something that makes me wonder what their lives might be like. I believe most writers do the same thing. It's that creative piece of our brain that tells us we have to write a specific story.

Well, today, coming home from church, I saw this beautiful cardinal in our neighbor's yard. I've seen him, and you can't convince me it isn't the same bird, in our yard and in various places nearby over the past few weeks. I began to imagine looking closely at a bird's spread all the little bones and soft and vivid coloring, the incredible softness of the feathers and I feel inspired to write something. I'm not sure what it will be, but I'm being called.

Being a pantster is so much fun, because not only do I have the pleasure of doing something I love (write), but also to be surprised at what is going to come from placing fingers on keyboard.

Carol Ann

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Booksigning, Lucky Me, and Recommendation

Today was a very full day at the 2007 Readers and Authors Get Together. I'm not usually lucky...I never win anything. Today I bought 20 raffle tickets for various donated baskets. There were so many different baskets that they were piled on six foot tables lining three quarters of the entire conference room. Well, I was surprised when I won in the morning drawing...but then in the afternoon drawing, I won three more times. I was so embarrassed that I told them to redraw for that last one. LOL! The good news is over $3,000 was raised to help the Cincinnati YWCA Battered Women's Shelter. That was such a wonderful feeling.

After the last raffle drawing and picture taking, authors were to have a two hour slot to sign books. I've never attended a book signing so I didn't know what to expect. I took my own books since Barnes and Noble couldn't (or wouldn't) order mine because of the printing publisher. I thought that B&N would set up the books in the room where we were sitting at our assigned tables, but that's not what happened. The readers went into a separate room and purchased books they wanted, then came back to the room to have them signed. So, that left me (and several others) sitting at tables with our books in front of us hoping some would wander by and check out our "wares." I sold two books in one hour and decided I was too pooped to stay any longer.

All in all it was a fun day. I did a lot of PR work and met some interesting and very nice people, and signed a lot of autographs on book bags and shirts.

I was so happy that one of the baskets I won was put together by Jules Bennett, fellow author of The Wild Rose Press, and the items inside were all by WRP authors. Really cool! I have some great reading material on my shelf.

The last book I read was Coming Home by Jules Bennett. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Jules is a great character writer. She takes you deeply into the minds of her hero and heroine, while weaving a story that keeps you turning the pages. Coming Home is a story of abiding love, guilt, and forgiveness. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good romance.