Come along as I write …

An invitation to follow along my writing journey. Pray as my goal is to write three novels a year. Four would be cool but I would wonder about the quality of my work. I have read a lot of authors who are actually capable of that, and I applaud them. That is truly a gift.

My current novel is the sequel to “Romance Under Wraps,” which involved a thief and a homicide detective. My second novel is a standalone (maybe) which is a complete departure from romantic suspense. Might want to read this before “Glass Slipper” comes out. When? I dunno, I’m still writing.

If you’ve already seen my post about “Glass Slipper,” I have to let you know that it’s taken quite a turn with the characters. And while dubious as to some of the scenes, I read them to my husband (who is well acquainted with forensic, police procedurals, and behavioral analyses) and found those scenes real to life.

This brings me to the change in a few of my characters. The main character, Jack McCloud is still morose. His tech is a forensic scientist with degrees in both forensic science and behavioral analysis.

Needless to say, this puts detectives Catherine Cade and husband Rick Calhoun in new moods as they have to listen to Calhoun gripe about McCloud’s new tech and how McCloud has to, albeit somewhat unwillingly, defend her as she drones on about her follow up questioning of witnesses, friends, etc. (okay, not realistic in the real, real world) about the victim (victims?) and what made them tick, and why they were a victim. Then she builds a profile of the killer. But is she right?

Husband and wife detective team (yes, I know! That’s why it’s called fiction…) are skeptical, interested, preoccupied, and want to get to the point. Bottom line. After all they are just detectives. 😉

Calhoun and Cade. Meandering to the morgue once again to listen to Mercedes. Again.

What kind of twists could there be?

And who else shows up to the party?

So follow me here, on Facebook, and my website. https://www.claireosullivan1.com

And don’t forget “Romance Under Wraps”: https://www.amazon.com/Romance-Under-Wraps-Claire-OSullivan-ebook/dp/B08MB43BSL/ref

I think I Promised to write a Blog Today … Uh, yeah, I did.

OKAY, OKAY, since it’s been a bit over a month since I last wrote, I figure just perhaps since I posted on Twitter my blog site and website that I really should keep up to date.

So this is for Jack who so graciously sent me his hysterical blog link on being a lawyer with a sense of humor … in the event he’s checking in on me.

Hey, Jack!

What exactly have I been doing with my time? Uh.

ahem

I’m a night owl. That’s when I read, write, rewrite, etc. So I am working hard(ly?) on Glass Slipper, my third novel. Police procedural, forensics, my first serial killer novel. Yay! Cough, I mean …

Anywho it is a sequel to “Romance Under Wraps,” murder mystery, forensics, police procedural, romance. It wasn’t my title or cover concept, so no, to say it’s a romance would be misleading, but all is well if folks like romance with suspense. And gunplay. Etc.

“Glass Slipper” continues on in fictional (almost real) Whiskey River, where Jack McCLoud is the medical examiner. Morose. Trying to go straight. Trying to forget the dame who shot him, giving him a bad attitude (more so than usual) and a nice limp.

Mercedes Hall has a few secrets of her own. She’s the new tech in the morgue with a handful of secrets and a lot of Jack’s new problems and temptations.

Trying to go straight with a knockout redhead stepping into his world and shaking it up was not his plan.

Sharing an excerpt. This is how Jack’s mind goes (this of course, is up to change via the editing process. But you get the idea).

Gass Slipper concept

“I was still mulling over how I’d been shot.

How did I miss it? The woman I had almost married was an assassin. She wasn’t sent for me, but she’d used me up, and shot me. It was, at the very least, unexpected. My knee pained me, especially in the Dead Room, so naturally, it was hard not to think of that Mata Hari. I might be wrong, but ‘once bitten, twice shy,’ certainly seemed to apply. Nearly sleeping the big one at the hand of a crazy blonde could make a man cranky, and I’m not likely to take another broderick, emotionally or otherwise.

The thought of her and the ache in my leg dogged me as I readied the newest arrival, Lindsay Pratt, D.O.A., for viewing in the morgue.

Every building, every room has its own whiff test. The bleak corridor that led to the Dead Room was long, and smelled like formaldehyde, and bleach, and maybe a thousand dead bodies. That was the nature of my business as medical examiner.

I’m Jack McCloud, the lone ranger of the dead across Southern Oregon, our very own Rest in Peace Department.

* * *

I had a hard and fast rule: nothing jumps in the morgue so when a stranger comes through the doors, I tend to take note.

A live one walked in, jarring my thoughts. The blonde strode into the Dead Room, a knockout, a tomato with gams that kept on going like a kid’s toy with an Energizer battery. Her threads were a spending spree beyond my annual take-home and she was like a fine porcelain vase. In a tight-fitting cerulean dress, with thin straps over her shoulders, all those blonde curls spilled over her shoulders like a waterfall over a cliff. And her curves? Her curves were hugged by all that lucky, lucky blue.”

And that’s what I am up to!

At least for today

As for Jack? Here’s his link:

http://jocularious.com/

‘Sup?

I’ve been working like I am insane. No. Comment.

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This is my EDITOR… ahem.

Thus, I forgot to let my vast and varied blog readers (wait… what?) know that “Rules of Engagement” has been accepted by Elk Lake Publishing. Which is why I have been working my fingers to the bone, with my nose to the grindstone, dead on my feet, fingers on fire, etc., getting the manuscript vaguely edited, ready, and moderately polished for my editor. IF I get this edited on time it may be out by June or July 2022. God willing.

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Your mamma wears Army boots…

“Rules of Engagement,” the title, is subject to change per the publisher so let’s not get too attached to the title. Same with the picture concept that the publisher considers. Title and cover concepts, by the way, are rarely accepted, or even considered by publishers, so I feel incredibly blessed.

Here are “my” possible cover picture (they get to put them together and figure out if they are usable) concepts:

Scott Walker (not the governor so stop emailing me, yeesh)

Cheyenne Keyes. MAYBE. More silly than likely

Since the photos are still ‘up in the air’ (which they purchase if they approve of them), I got a few for free from Adobe Stock Photos. Naturally I thought of the next two too late.

The other picture is less whimsical and perhaps a wee bit more inline with the seriousness of the story (but y’all know I like whimsy).

Another MAYBE

Like! Comment! Share! Subscribe! OH and tell me WHAT YOU THINK about the title AND the pictures (just as an aside, titles are reused, recycled for movies, books, memes, etc.)

OKAY, off to edit.

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Yay….

Rules of engagement: Submitted

Hallelujah!

The worst of submitting the required documents to any publisher (or most) has been completed. These fun things include a one page synopsis of the entire book (everything summed up from first to last line in one page);

… the cover letter (Dear Agent/Publisher, thank you for … etc.); the sell page (how will I manage to help promote this novel?); market analysis (How does it compare to the ten million books in the same genre? And what makes it ‘better’ or different than all the rest?); the biography, the blurb (the back flap of the book that may entice you to read); the tagline (oh that funny littlie line that hooks the reader into reading the back flap, then the book).

And of course the first three chapters.

Here is my biggest recommendation to those who are ready to submit. 1. Don’t write it into the wee hours of the night when you are sleepy.

Not like I would ever dare do that. <cough>

AND 2. Edit mother-lovin’ everything before sending it to the agent/publisher or even your editor. Because if you don’t, you may send off an automatic rejection.

And your editor, should you (and please do) employ him/her to edit your work, will find those many, many mistakes that may potentially be extraordinarily embarrassing.

Not like that would ever happen to me. <cough>

I rarely edit my social media and I am sure it shows. But I am not a professional blogger so there’s a lil’ something in me doesn’t care if a comma is off. Should I? Probably. But I don’t.

ANYWHO the whole batch was edited because my editor DID laugh as did I (thank the good Lord I didn’t send that embarrassing bit), but now the whole shebang is into the ether.

FlippinFanFantastic, I say. Now I wait because rejection could be around the corner. At which point, I may have to start this process over.

For now? Imma gonna read. I have another novel in the pike, ready to be written, but my brain needs a break.

Special night afoot!

How exciting! For my birthday our kids got us tickets to a murder mystery dinner. Interactive.

Hopefully not too interactive.

That said, I spent all day yesterday and into the wee hours working on the last rather intimidating chapters of “Rules of Engagement” (working title). Complete rewrites. Complete.

I am a mere one half chapter from completion.

That deserves applause, by the way. Ahem.

“Rules of Engagement” is a military/thriller and romance. Scott is a good guy. Cheyenne thinks he’s all wrong (as in crazy). She’s a scientist. He’s die-hard special forces and hates (hates!) a babysitting job assigned him (protecting her.)

So folks, I need some great ideas on covers to submit to the publisher on my wish list.

You ready to help out? Like, post your thoughts, and subscribe!

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Am… Writing

Okay, can you say, ‘rewrite/edit?’

I am almost done with those pesky rewrites for “Rules of Engagement” (working title). The critique group is shredding it like mozzarella for me. My cover? Yet to be determined. However, if you wish to see some of what I envision, keep on reading. No, it’s not about weeping, mozzarrella, or Operation.

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Oww

That helpful process is great. Until you realize it’s like going into open heart surgery without anesthesia and car batteries are attached to the surgeon. Routinely zapping him awake or simply for fun. Who is getting his advice from the game, Operation.

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Yeah, like that

After that, it may go directly to the editor for giggles. Or I may withhold it until it’s as clean a copy so she doesn’t. Pretty much she will tear it apart. Re-shred.

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Editor’s motus operandi

Annnnnd this is me. Once she’s done with it.

That would be me

*The writing life*

Cover ‘in the works.’

“Writing is easy. Just put a sheet of paper in the typewriter and start bleeding.” — Ernest Hemingway

Whew! “Rules of Engagement” and then some

Been busy, busy. Rewrites on Rules of Engagement and juggling ARC and TBR books, reviews, promoting Romance Under Wraps, have been a challenge.

(promote, promote right here): Find Romance Under Wraps on Amazon. Free on KU and Audible. Also available on Kindle and paperback. Click:

Two people (editor and my husband) have started cracking the whip on me to finish the rewrites ASAP. UH.

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ouch!

Truth be told those last chapters will be the hardest.

Truth

Anyone else stuck in that?

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I like keeping posts short. My attention falters with long posts. So, off to rewrites or whatever my calendar tells me to do. Maybe I should get a calandar. Hmm.

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Now that Romance Under Wraps is done…

Don’t forget to check out “Romance Under Wraps,” on kindle, KU, audiobook and paperbook on Amazon. Click right ‘chere for details:

In the meantime, I am continuing work on Rules of Engagement, the upcoming military thriller.

Scott (not the governor) Walker and Cheyenne (not the town) Keyes become embroiled in an international disaster. There are those who would benefit from the collapse of civilization. And interference by the Army Ranger and the microbiologist threatens their existence.

The problem comes when the probabilty of obtaining two scientists drops exponentially as plans for their deaths are known, and the only way to obtain information is through kidnapping. Never makes for a good impression.

In the meantime, I am excited to have taken part in ProWritingAid’s Crime Writers Week which was chockfull of information and tips.

I hadn’t tried my string/crime board with the military thriller, but I did this time.

not mine but you get the idea…

And equally as large, I started a trick by Michael Crichton who, when in med school, wrote on 3×5’s when a scene would come to him. He pocketed these 3x5s and at home when he had a break, would shuffle them around on the floor until they made sense. Post-It notes, optional. Once these puppies are all arranged, the dates go there. These go onto another corkboard.

Could I do these online? You bet, but I don’t believe that technology is always there, especially in my neck of the woods, as in, the boonies, where we have rolling blackouts because of fire hazards. Or someone plows into a pole. Or, worse, the computer crashes. That sorta thing.

haha, mine are in order, at least they are now!

Another fun tool I’ve been using is OneStopForWriters.com which has pretty much everything you could ever want to build worlds, characters, emotional/wound/negative/positive/occupation traits, and options to go into depth, and another option? To make your own. Timelines, story map, name something. If that’s not cool, you can add in that everything you plug in, you can save to a pdf and print up (so again, nothing disappears). I’ve tried several programs, and these are my two favorites. If you have one that works great for you, drop a line.

Don’t worry. I have another corkboard to post all of the information I need right there.

Old school? Yes. Don’t hate me ’cause it’s cool…

I don’t often plug 2 programs in one sitting, but ProWritingAid rocks, as does OneStopForWriters.com

And get ready to sign up for beta reading because “Rules of Engagement” is going through the editing process and critique group. You’ll see it before, or maybe after, my editor does!

WELL then.

While I determine what to work on with “Alex and the Very Dead Doxy” and “Rules of Engagement,” I had the urge to write down an idea.

Idea? Turned into almost 1800 words. Well, oops, kinda. The whole point of writing is to write, no matter what. Even when editing/rewriting/reading, one should write at least a few minutes (or 1000 words) of something fresh.

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So. I wrote something fresh. Out of my genre by a thousand percent. I have no title, but it is kind of fun to tinker with new ideas.

Now it’s time to go back to work. That means, back to editing. Rewriting.

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First thing to edit, write in ENGLISH??

My dance card these days are mostly penciled in with doctor’s appointments. BTW that is a fantastic way to market your book. HAHAHA. My doctor looked up my novel, ‘Romance Under Wraps,’ while I sat there… his wife (and the physician’s assistant in the office) was interested in getting his wife the novel!

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It’s Here!

“Romance Under Wraps” is available on Kindle Unlimited, Kindle (on sale), and paperback.

Yay! Yes, I finished off the Sparkling Cider.

Now, off to the next project (Rules of Engagement).

Read it right here or follow your heat to Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MB43BSL?pf_rd_r=WYAA10532G4Z00FNTPDD&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee