The problem with bingeing

Do you have the discipline to write, read, and get down time in your day?

Hmm
got it! got it! yay!! it’s three a.m.! oh.
ahhhhhhhhhh

I DO NOT.

Pfft.

Because I have a contract for “Glass Slipper,” I have been binge-writing. I need time to do some more reading.

Have you a cloning machine? Do you need to have a cloning machine? Me too … and the writing one needs to type faster and rewrite as consciously as possible.

AND NOW WE HAVE CHICKENS.

Twelve.

I think they are mostly roosters but I can’t tell. Yet. So we handle these chicks a lot.

Barred Rock Chickens (these are pullets- very young hens. I think they are pullets)

6 weeks old pullets (wee hens) what we have

Hopefully they’ll be at this point SOON. (Hens, right here) 6-8 pound hens.

the most pampered chickens ever
Roosters and 10 pounds – why they are meat chickens …

I know you have projects (like gardens, knitting, baking, cooking for huge families, cows, chickens, goats, sheep, etc), and I want to know what takes up your time – eating into reading and writing!

Writers, tell me please your process. I love hearing from other authors what their process is, do you write by the seat of your pants? Do you plan? Do you do both? How do you build your characters? Before, during, or after the inciting incident? Do you interview them beforehand like you’re the journalist, or use a program?

And last, do you know the beginning, middle, and end before you start? Truth be told I flailed through my first manuscript. I found for my next novel, a software to help develop plot, characters, plot arc, and character arc. So I guess I’m a planster. A bit of both, seat of the pants and planning.

AND my corkboard. So old school, but nothing gets LOST in the mist of a downed internet.

OKAY. Your turn.

  1. Your favorite genre (to write/read)
  2. Planner, pantster, or planster?
  3. Old school?
  4. Programs?
  5. Major distractions?
  6. Binge reader? Binger writer? Or both?

Now it is YOUR turn. Like, subscribe, comment, share (if you so want).

Reading/Writing

I have to admit, my writing has taken over. Last night, I do believe I made significant progress on Glass Slipper. Got about (ahem) 2 sentences written. Hahahahaha.

I have thrown a partial of forensics/police procedural to author, Brent Brantley, to make certain I have my facts correct. BTW, Brent wrote “You Cannot Grasp the River.” Oh, what great book!

Suspense …

OKAY FINE. So I have a list of books I’m itching to READ *like Jane Daly, LG Westlake. I finished the Beta on Linda Rodante’s “Scars,” and loved it. She doesn’t pull away from the pain of characters who really, really deal with life issues.

So now, drum roll, here is my next list (considering I keep purchasing books this could be daunting).

Lynette Easton’s, “Acceptable Risk.”

Stevn Roger’s, “Into the Room.”

Jason William Karpf’s, “The Deliverer.”

Sue Colettta’s, “Marred,”

Vickie Phelp’s, “Forgive the Trespassers.”

Lisa Black’s, “Unpunished.”

Patricia Cornwell’s, “Cause of Death.”

Dale Amidei’s, “Sister’s Shadow.”

These are ‘just a few’ of the books on my Kindle. Not necessilary in order.

I also have (for my writing) “TONS” of DIY books and sites to help my writing. Do you? I have 1. OneStopForWriters.com (for plot, character, world building, more), and 2. ProWritingAid to check my grammar (I mean, I’d like to write English properly. You may have already noticed bloopers. I haven’t. And I don’t care in social media). 3. And I truly use old school … corkboards to put up pictures, maps, and strings to link them …

Not mine … but similar

AND 4. Inked Voices for critiques (I did use Scribophile but there are rules/regs that are a wee bit much). 5. “Say What?,” “Criminal Psychology,” “Story Trumps Structure,” “Strunk and White,” “Spunk and Bite,” Police Procedural,” “Don’t Murder Your Mystery,” “60 Ways to Murder Your Characters,” (of course, that’s Sue Coletta), Katherine Ramsland’s, “The Criminal Mind,” and her “Crime Writer’s Research.” ALSO … “Emotional Beats,” “5 Secrets of Story Structure,” and perhaps my favorite, “Master Lists for Writers.” Looking across the room on a table, I see more. Without proper glasses, I cannot see ’em. Do you see a pattern?

Do you have a list of fiction? DIY sites? Books to assist in the writing process? Once again, inquiring minds want to know. If you purchase books insanely, as do I, then you are my tribe.

Please comment, let me know what’s up with your writing and reading. Do you have the same issues? What programs do you use?

Oh, and it would be too cool to drool if you purchased my Romantic/Suspense, “Romance Under Wraps,” and my global thriller, “Rules of Engagement,” jus’ sayin.’ 😉 on Amazon.

romantic/suspense

Global Thriller

Great villains make for great novels

Allo! Good morning! Guten Morgen! Shalom! ! صباح الخير

Okay that’s it, and I hope everyone is having a great day, no matter your time zone.

yum

As I rewrite “Glass Slipper,” I am pushing this sequel to “Romance Under Wraps,” a police procedural/forensics/romance.

I’ve added a baby. Imagine a near-toddler in McCloud’s world. How will he react? How will Jonah react?

awe

More importantly, how will his mom react? So far for me, it’s been a riot to write. If you’ve read “Romance Under Wraps,” you will have a good idea of how Jack McCloud thinks. He’s not been a very respectful dude.

Poor mom. Or maybe not.

Mom. Mercedes. Maybe.

Last night I fleshed out a villain for “Glass Slipper.” I’d written it before but somehow it fled off the page.

oh, so different!

But another one comes on the scene also.

Remember: Smart villains make for a great obstacle for the main character to overcome. Villains should be smarter than your main character(s).

So I ended up going to bed thinking, muuuuuaaaaahhhh. Probably the reason I tossed and turned.

In that wee bit of info, tell me what you think, and tell me what you’re working on. Because it’s important! And what are you reading today?

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/

Updates and a testimonial … for fun

Hi ya!

“Romance Under Wraps” has been on the shelf since near the end of the dreaded COVID 19, 2020. A little over a year and chugging along. I’d like to share a review with you.

“Romance Under Wraps” was a labor of love that started with a contest a LONG, LONG time ago in a galaxy far away. My first published novel, with many *many* revisions, rewrites, more rewrites, then a handful more before editing. Then the professional editor. A romantic suspense. A thriller, some have said. Amateur sleuth, Catherine Cade, is a thief. A thief with retrograde amnesia, she steals one identity after another to dodge an ex-partner. Rick Calhoun, homicide detective, is getting in her way. Especially when he catches her red-handed on CCTV, in what appears to be stealing evidence from a locked evidence room. Checking a background cements his fears. Now there’s a confrontation for the ages. Let the chase begin, especially when the dead body of a city VIP tosses the two together.

From a reader:


Mollie

5.0 out of 5 stars Most Memorable and Moving Novel Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2021

“This was the most memorable and moving novel I have read all year. The plot took me through a whirlwind of emotions – laughter, tears, sorrow, and anger. The heroine, Catherine Cade, cannot recall a thing about her life prior to an automobile accident. What she can recall all too vividly is the abusive relationship she endured at the hands of a thief and con artist. This man, who convinced Catherine that she was his wife, taught her how to work a con and change her identity. With no real identity of her own, she became adept at changing her persona during frequent moves. Things changed for Catherine Cade when she moved to the small town of Whiskey River. Not only had her surrounding changed, but Cade developed friendships, a career, and a handsome love interest. Her attraction to a detective spurs a great deal of conflict, not only because she is a con artist but because Cade’s personality and values change throughout the book. Eventually, I realized that Cade was running away from both evil and good. She was running to a void, a continuous life of nothingness. The author has crafted engaging plots. No one is what they seem. No one seems to be trustworthy. For crime mystery lovers this is a fiction that you will enjoy with plenty of action, gun play, good guy and bad guy moments, murders, assaults. For mystery/romance lovers you will feel involved in the plot development of what appears to be a hopeless love between a con artist, Catherine Cade and a no-nonsense ex-Marine, detective, Rick Calhoun. For the cozy mystery lovers, you’ll enjoy how the plot develops to encourage the heroine to develop her interests in solving a murder and in opening a bakery. For me, I loved how the plot developed to show the ways in which God may choose to act in our lives.”

“Rules of Engagement” is with Deb Haggerty, Elk Lake Publishing, and her nefarious editor, Mary, who will red-pen my manuscript into another orbit (that means, “Fix this.” “Fix that.” repetitively). “Rules of Engagement” is in a different genre (sort of). A medical military *and romance* thriller. A global disaster loosely based (and I mean very loosely based) on a true story, started some time after “Romance Under Wraps” was mostly completed.

I have no idea what that cover will look like. Kind of hope it includes these pics which are representative of the two main characters (out of a gazillion other characters):

Oops…

Oops? Did you just say, ‘Oops?’

“Glass Slipper” is my next endeavor that I am currently writing. I have a beautiful graphic design for it, but we’ll wait for the real cover release. Heck sometimes titles and cover art are changed. But it might even look like a … glass slipper.

Cinderella Glass Slipper, Crystal Glass Shoe Ornament, Ideal for Cinderella Party Decoration, Girls Birthday Gift,, Weddin...

“Glass Slipper” is in a sequel to “Romance Under Wraps” in Whiskey River, a forensics/police procedural (& rom/com) about what else? Forensic science students. Dead ones. Someone wants them out of Whiskey River. Or so it seems. Morose medical examiner, Jack McCloud, meets his match in a new medical examiner’s technician, Mercedes Hall. Jack’s brain works in old movies, Bogie and Bacall’s “Key Largo.” Also Raymond Chandler’s, “The Maltese Falcon.” “The Big Sleep.” And sometimes – sometimes – those 1940s expressions slip out into the modern world in which he lives. And does what he can to solve a serial killer case and dodge Mercedes.

For my other upcoming novels, check out https://www.claireosullivan1.com/

And that’s all, folks!!

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!

See the source image

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.

See the source image
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.

See the source image
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.

Image result for paper shredding
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

Thanks to Deb at elk lake publishing!

“Romance Under Wraps” has been chugging right along thanks to Deb Haggerty and the Elk Lake Publishing group!

Check out the cool stuff on their website and the YouTube trailer (hint: Go to the ‘O’ and find my trailer):

To the readers and reviewers, you guys rock.

Thank you also to the latest reviewer who said,

“Don’t let the title fool you; this is a suspenseful tension-inducing read. Yes, there is a touching romantic underlying theme, but my interest was a suspenseful crafted story. This novel meets and exceeds my personal interests in both suspense and romance. The author displays a solid knowledge of police work and captures a cops’ thought process and their dry humor (I know because I was once one).

The main character’s, Catherine, on and off again romantic relationship with Detective Calhoun, is peppered with humorous quick-witted barbs. However, you see a growing relationship with each other. The storyline also draws a line of Christian thought through it. A dynamic, dangerous, and complex novel compels the reader to turn the pages to the very end. And what an ending.

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