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).

Now what am I reading and writing??

I pulled out a few of my notes from some webinars, as well as non-fiction, “Death Investigator’s Handbook, a Field Guild to Crime Scene Processing, Forensic Evaluations, and Investigations.” Wow, what a mouthful for a title, but it is well-written for much of the basics of the Death Investigor who is called (after the deputy who does a walk-through, or maybe two for safety’s sake) who does another walk-through before the detectives. Can you say Locard’s principle? Anywho it’s a good start to the investigative process. By Louis N. Eliopulos.

The next and perhaps the best is “Criminal Psychology” which is surprisingly full of information on interviews and interrogations, which I mentioned in another blog. Written by multiple authors, but if you type in Ray Bull that’ll take you there.

Kathrine Ramsland has a stunning book out called, “The Criminal Mind, a Writer’s Guide to Forensic Psychology,” which will make you turn off most of the TV shows about behavioral analysts.

And for fiction, I started “Forgive the Trespassers,” which looks to me like a tear-jerker but I could be wrong. The author is Vickie Phelps, and it ends section 1, chapter 1, with a “God would forgive them this one time, wouldn’t he?” line.

Continuing Terri Gillespie’s “Cut it Out!” which centers on another of the hair maven’s gaggle of gals.

What am I working on? I am about halfway through “Glass Slipper” and figured I really needed a better system of keeping track of clues, discussions, et al, so I picked out my notebook and am writing down each chapter’s high points that must be recalled later on. Like, “did that happen on Friday or Saturday?” or “what days were the groups?” “Who taught what again?” Minor points, of course.

Tell me what you’re reading, whether memoire, fiction, non-fiction, short stories. I really, really would love to know!

Do click like and please reply. Share if you are so moved. Love to hear from readers, authors, and new writers.

Reading vacation

I’ve been binge reading for about 5 days. Jane Daly is coming out with a sequel to “Broken,” so I – yes – reread it, and LG Westlake has a sequel to “Calculated Risk,” so did I read it? Why, of course.

I finished Westlake’s “Calculated Encounters” yesterday. Excellent writing. Her amateur sleuth gets into trouble constantly. Her characters are well-written. Her main character never follows the orders of the ex-FBI agent, now bounty hunter, and her attempts to let her love interest (writing a ‘happily ever after, for now) know she is indeed in Spain, now gets him in deep kimchi while she’s in a horrible situation on her own. Because she didn’t follow the bounty hunter’s instructions (“go home!”).

I’m a serial binge reader, usually three at a time. I have Terri Gillespie’s novel, “Cut it Out!” (another sequel in the Hair Maven’s series) in one room, Linda Rodante’s “Scars,” on my ‘puter, her beta, and Lisa Black’s police procedural, “That Darkness,” on my Kindle.

I can keep up with the plots and characters of each, perhaps because they are all in different formats.

My favorite genres wander from romantic comedy, romantic suspense, police procedural, romantic forensics, thrillers, intrigue, and do you note the pattern there? Usually romance within the second genre, no matter how little.

I do have favorite authors but so many it’s hard to name them. Every time I turn around, I have another new favorite. SMH.

Tell me, what are you reading these days? Who are your favorite authors, and your favorite genres?

What are you writing?

First, Terri Gillespie has mad skills. Her first book was replete with four plots, one main character with three subplots and three more characters. A Christian/romantic/coming of age book with some suspense, the first in the Hair Maven’s series follows the four lives of beauticians at odds with the new owner, Shira. I’m jealous, I mean, amazed that the first book was so incredibly complex and weaves together so eloquently.

Second, I’ve been following/reading Linda Rodante’s Christian romantic/suspense novels forever. I love her spiritial warfare series. She always creates complex characters with complex issues to overcome. She addresses modern men and women who have to overcome their physical/emotional issues to reconcile ‘at odds’ characters’, bringing them together to defeat (or convert) a bad guy or gal. A lot of peril and prayer – these books address issues that Christians and non-Christians face, from trafficking to gangs. All her characters are super complex.

Lisa Black is new to me and writing a police procedural. Chapter one sounds like a behavioral analyst/detective talking to a hardened criminal. The last lines are 1000% SHOCKING. The next chapter involves two detectives following the evidence. The group of detectives assigned to the murder of said hardened criminal is 10,000% SHOCKING.

Because I see this is part of a sequel, I can’t wait to read her next installment after I finish this one, though I have 240 books left on my kindle. I should have stuck with paperbacks. Apparently that ‘buy with one click’ button on Amazon is an addictive issue for me.

Sue Coletta is a favorite when I need to read a serial killer novel. Lisa Gardner is another serial killer novelist with police procedural. Teri Blackstock for romantic suspense. Sara Blackard for romantic suspense. Dale Amidei for insanely complex thrillers. Christy Barritt for her romantic suspense. Those are just a few.

Okay. Now, like I said, it’s your turn. Comment and like!

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?

Downtime is good too

After completion of “Rules of Engagement,” now on the shelf (you have 1 more day to purchase it on sale, jus’ sayin,’), I have serious time to chill.

Starving authors get to go places, right? Hahaha … but I am thinking about putting the ocean YouTube video on the big screen and sink my feet into 2 buckets of sand and drink a virgin pina colada.

Down time … yeah.

Since I have around 200 books on my Kindle, I believe I will abandon writing in extremis like I had been, a wee bit of reading won’t hurt me, will it? I figure I can write a hundred words to fiddle with “Glass Slipper,” and take a chunk out of the Kindle library that rivals the Hangzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China (pronounce that fast …). Well … almost.

Have a fine finish off in June and read a book. Oh, here’s a few (this one on sale ’til the 21st of June:

Just out! Free on KU. Also available on Kindle and in paperback.

And …

Debut novel, free on KU and Audible, also Kindle and in paperback

That’s the buzz for the day. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, comment, and share!

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/

Thankful

Very happy to have sent off the review/approval my “final” manuscript off for the last time to the publisher. Nothing is ever set in stone and the publisher may want more edits, whether content, grammar, or wording. May the Waiting Game commence. I hit “send” at 11:57 pm last night. Oh, yeah. “Rules of Engagement.” So tired I forgot to mention the name of the novel!

Titles are always subject to change per the publisher, and I will be seeing a cover come maybe soon. Cool. Beans.

So, that said, I get to spend time catching up with my To-Be-Read (TBR) pile and chill a bit until she goes through it and asks for changes, etc. The nature of the writer’s life. Currently reading a serial killer novel. Hahahaha. Ahem.

There is nothing in the writing world better than a good editor. So many, many thanks go to her for cracking the whip.

Image result for indiana jones whip
did she learn from him, or did he learn from her?

It’s tough to pigeonhole a genre sometimes and this is no exception. Is it a Christian fiction? Well, ya, just not heavy-handed. Is it a thriller? Oh most definitely. Is it a crime fiction? Depends on whether crimes against humanity count. Is it military? Yep, any mistakes, thoroughly my own. What about intrigue? Yes. Anything medical? Oh, of course, but any mistakes are again, thoroughly my own. What about romance? Um, some, clean of course. Is it bloody? I plead the 5th!

See the source image

I am pretty sure there should be a “Not for the Faint of Heart” genre, though. If you want the truth. Because I write different genres. Truth be told.

See the source image
Or can you?

Not to worry, ye faint-of-heart. My next novels involve forensics and murder (uhhh, that’s not a problem, is it?), cozy mystery with romance, spinster sisters cozy, and a novel yet to be announced.

Why dead bodies always show up in my sweet romances is beyond me.

See the source image

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!!