The time between

I sold two books Friday morning. Not a big deal, but I love delivering a book to someone who really wants to read it. So far the feedback has been very favorable. Of course, no one is going to tell me to my face they hated the story, but you can tell if the response is lukewarm.

After dropping off the books, I went to our local library, which has finally opened. Masks are required, and someone is at the door to write down your name (I’m guessing for tracking purposes), and there is a screen between you and the check-out person. I  was told no new books had been ordered during the shut-down, so I donated a copy each of Morven and Bethann to the library. I figured I could at least help them out with a new book or two.

So, the book is written, published, and available. I mailed copies to my beta readers as a thank-you for their help. I submitted a copy for review. I know better than to keep checking the sales records as that leads to thoughts of “why do I bother!”

Yes, I know the next step is marketing. In fact, marketing should have been on the agenda all along. Alas, although I have read all the articles and books on the subject, I just don’t have the energy it requires. But I will keep on dropping hints on Instagram and Facebook. I should Tweet more often but I have never gotten the hang of it.

Instead of tending to business, I have been working outside. Both the front and back decks received a new coat of paint. I had to throw away the shirt I wore during this project as I am a very sloppy painter. But the job is done, checked off my list of home improvements I mean to do this summer.

Miss Daisy waiting for the early bird breakfast. Luckily for the wrens, I chased her inside.

And, I have been relaxing on said back deck, which I have adorned with flowers and plants. The wrens are raising a family in the birdhouse I tacked on the post where I put my hanging baskets. It was supposed to be decorative, but hey … I watched the male wren try to entice his lady love into taking up housekeeping there, but she inspected the premises and refused. Either he got another mate (but someone said they mate for life) or another pair decided to move in. The cats, naturally, are mesmerized by the activity and I have had the dickens of a time keeping them indoors.

And so it goes until that old devil gets in my mind and tells me I have to write another book. I have no plans at present, and could be content just to market the ones I have written, but once that idea gets in your head, writing it down is the only way to get rid of it. I don’t know when or if this will happen, but meanwhile I am content.

If you are curious about my books, please visit my website http://www.sandrazbruney.com for descriptions and excerpts. And if you’d like a signed copy of any book (except the three paranormals, which are ebooks only) just put it in a comment or message me on Facebook.

There. I’ve done my marketing for today, and I can go back to my reading with a clear conscience.

 

 

 

Counting down

It seems I cannot stop making errors. I printed out out some bookmarks to bring to the book signing Sunday. Only after they were all printed and trimmed did I discover that somehow the most important information had been cut off at the margin.

The bookmarks are to advertise a promotion my publisher, Cleanreads, is doing starting Monday. My paranormal alternate history is going to be offered free in the coming weeks!

Maybe FREE is the most important part?

A Question of Boundaries September 9-13.

A Question of Loyalty September 16-20.

A Question of Time September 23-27.

Here’s what got cut off: Free e-book @ amazon.com

I do hope you will take advantage of this and get the books. Did I add, free?

Meanwhile, although I said I was through traveling for a while, I am going on another trip. In 2003 I wrote a book called “I’d Rather Go to California.” My doctor had calculated that it would be as many miles to drive to California as it would to drive to my radiation treatments 33 times. Hence the title. A few years ago my middle son and his wife moved out there, and they have invited me several times to visit. I finally said yes, and booked a flight.

Any burglars reading this, please note I have three attack cats and they are not declawed.

I am excited about finally seeing the Pacific Ocean among other sights. So, I am counting down the days until I arrive on the West Coast.

Meanwhile, Dorian came and went and I am happy to say my Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina families are all safe. Please say a prayer for those in the Bahamas, though. My heart breaks for the people there and the devastation they are going through. If you want to donate to help out, prayerfully consider the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Every penny goes to relief and none to administrative costs.

Presto! Presto?

I’m a novelist, but on occasion I am inspired to write a short story. I was looking though my files recently and found this one.  Unlike my novels, my short stories tend to be dark. I don’t know why this is … maybe another part of my sub-conscience wanting its turn?

Presto! Presto?

By Sandra Bruney

Heeding the advice of her mother, Helen had followed the same format for Timmy’s birthdays ever since she had invited Fat Margaret to his first.  One child for each year, Mrs. Owens had said, and so far it had worked like a charm. On his second birthday, she invited Fat Margaret and Benny next door, and on his third she had added Leroy Strunk from nursery school. From then on, Timmy had chosen his own guests and, without her urging, always invited those who had attended the year before.

On this birthday, nine children eagerly awaited the promised festivities. Fat Margaret, who had been so chubby even her dimples had dimples, was now as slender as a reed and a head taller than Timmy.  Susan Givens’ parents had moved away six months ago, allowing Timmy to invite the twins, Alex and Andy, from his Cub Scout den.

Helen had hired a magician, only later wondering if the entertainment would be too tame for children recently introduced to electronic adventures of Mario and Donkey Kong.  She had more second thoughts when he arrived, clearly past retirement age, his costume faded and shabby.

She needn’t have worried: he took control immediately, corralling the guests in a circle and leaning over Timmy to exchange a few words to the birthday boy. Timmy beamed and nodded to whatever the magician had said, and then they settled down.

Magus the Magnificent took a Kennedy half dollar from Leroy Strunk’s ear and pulled yards of gaudy silk ribbon from Fat Margaret’s pocket. He even produced a docile Belgian rabbit from his top hat. He handed it to Helen, who stroked the soft fur.

“Now,” he said at last, “for my grand finale and most famous trick. I need a volunteer.” He looked about with an inquiring expression.

“Me! Me!” the children cried but, not surprisingly, he pointed to Timmy, who jumped up as if on springs.

“I will hold out my cape,” Magus the Magnificent declared in his deep voice, “and when I refold it, Timmy will have disappeared into another realm.”

Leroy Strunk looked frankly disbelieving and one of the twins snorted.

The magician held out his cloak, effectively hiding the guest of honor.  “Abracadabra! Presto!” he said, and pulled the cloak back to his body.

Timmy, as promised, had disappeared.

“Now bring him back so we can have cake,” Fat Margaret commanded.

Magus smiled and held out his cloak again. “Abracadabra! Presto!” he said triumphantly. He whirled the cloak about his body with a flourish.

Timmy was not there.

Two or three of the children giggled uncertainly. Magus looked vexed and said in a loud voice, “We will try one more time.” Again, the cloak was extended, the words intoned.

No Timmy.

Helen stood up, dumped the rabbit from her lap. “Timmy? Come on out. This isn’t funny,” she ordered.

Magus muttered, “He was supposed to hide behind the drapes and then come out when I held out the cloak the second time. I’m certain he understood how the trick worked.”

But Timmy was not behind the billowing drapes Helen had so proudly installed only a few months ago, nor was he behind the wing chair or the dining room doors. He was nowhere to be found, in the house or outside.

Helen called Roger and told him to come home from his office, where he had decided to wait out the party. She then called the children’s parents to come and collect them. And then, she called the police.

The children were questioned together and separately, but none of them could provide a clue. Magus, who in reality was Dominic Vasco, was questioned at length at police headquarters, but in the end they had to let him go. He had violated no law except, perhaps, one of metaphysics and they did not know how to charge him with that.

Volunteers spent a week searching the house and grounds, then the neighborhood and its perimeter. No trace of Timmy was ever found.

During the first year after his disappearance, calls came from all over the country. Timmy had been sighted at Disney World, at a shopping mall in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the top of the Empire State building. None of the boys was Timmy.

Unable to stand the look of puzzled grief in Helen’s eyes, Roger asked for a divorce and a transfer to his company’s west coast office. Helen never saw or heard from him again.

Fat Margaret got married and Leroy Strunk was killed in Desert Storm. The twins created a dotcom company and were almost as rich as Bill Gates.

Helen kept their letters, always sent around the date of Timmy’s birthday, in a special drawer in the rosewood desk in her bedroom. And on his birthday, she sat in her empty living room and whispered to herself, “Abacadraba! Presto!” hoping that this time when she opened her eyes her son would be standing, grinning at his cleverness, in front of her.

What is your brand?

I have put a lot of miles on the Malibu this summer. Jim would be complaining about the mileage and wear and tear, but I think secretly he would be proud of me for getting out and not sitting home grieving.

I’ve been to Pennsylvania, Georgia, and most recently to Kentucky. I have to say Kentucky has a lot going for it: good roads, lovely scenery, and horse farms. Lots of horse farms.

In Louisville, there are horses everywhere. Not  real, live horses. The city boasts horse statues of every kind. Some are painted in bright colors. They really stand out on a sidewalk. (Click here to see some pictures of the painted horses.)

So from statues, billboards, signs, and even actual horses grazing peacefully in the countryside, you can’t forget for a minute that you are in horse country.

Kentucky knows how to brand herself.

I understand that is important for a writer as well. An author needs to create a brand that is instantly recognizable. What do you think when you see the names John Patterson, Mary Kay Andrews, Elin Hilderbrand?

If you answered fast-paced action mystery, humorous southern romance, and summer beach reads, you know what branding is.

Sounds easy, but it isn’t. Authors work hard to create a brand. Their books are aimed at a specific segment of the reading public. If Patterson suddenly published a sweet cozy mystery instead of his usual drama-packed story, readers would be as outraged as if they had opened a carton of rocky road ice cream and found a quart of strawberry swirl instead.

He might even lose a few fans.

I didn’t know this when I started writing. I wrote women’s fiction, and then switched to a kind of hybrid paranormal. I should have written the latter under a pen name, I suppose, but it seemed like too much effort to create a new Facebook author page and website. And, everyone knows that J.D. Robb is really Nora Roberts, so changing the name doesn’t fool anyone. Except that readers know what to expect when they open her books–under either pen name.

That’s what branding does. The reader sees a familiar name on a book cover and instantly knows what kind of story lies within. Yes, the cover illustration and the blurb on the back help, but the author’s name gives instant recognition.

I haven’t reached that pinnacle where people recognize my name and realize at once what kind of stories I write. But I hope I am slowly, steadily, building my brand.

Book by book.

 

 

 

 

One, two, three…Goal!

My RWA chapter is stressing setting goals for the upcoming year.

I’m all about goal setting. It gets you off your duff and in front of  the keyboard.

Lately, though, my goal has been getting through one day at a time as my husband recovers from a broken hip. That isn’t to say that I don’t intend to finish my historical novel as soon as my time is my own again.

We set goals all the time, but do we think about ways to accomplish what we have vowed to do?

When we face an exam, we get out the text books and class notes and study.

When we apply for a job, we  make sure we are dressed appropriately, have our credentials in hand, and remember our manners.

So saying, “My goal is to finish my book by January 3o” isn’t exactly all there is to it. It’s how you plan to reach that goal that counts.

Have you carved out time in your day to write? A definite time period that your family understands is your time and no interruptions?

Do you have your tools at hand? You should at least have a dictionary and thesaurus. Don’t depend on Word Check for spelling. It doesn’t know the difference between there and their. Oh, and coffee. And chocolate. And music, if you like setting the mood.

Do you know your genre? This is a tough one for me, having published a trilogy involving shape shifters, alternate history, and time travel. My other books are pretty straightforward women’s fiction and I hope, when this crisis is over, a historical.

Do you know your audience? Obviously my women’s fiction audience is a given, but my trilogy got put under new adult. Which I hadn’t considered at all when writing it. Thank goodness my publisher is smarter than I am.

Then, when you start writing, set smaller goals: first chapter, first 100 pages, first … well, you name it. Reward yourself for each milestone accomplished with something you really want such as the latest book by your favorite author, a trip to a spa, or some other treat.

When you get going, you won’t need rewards. I read a study once where children were given M&Ms each time they hit a goal. Before long they were striving to hit the goals for their own satisfaction. The M&Ms were forgotten.

So it is with us. The more we write, the more we understand that hitting the goal is its own reward.

But chocolate is still a nice way to recognize our accomplishments.

 

 

When realities collide

My days are still spent at the rehab center with Jim, so I am cheating and also doing some Shameless Self-Promotion by sharing an excerpt from “A Question of Time.” Nathan has been propelled from 1898 Washington, D.C., in which the United States is a monarchy, to Times Square in 1960. He learns that the currency there isn’t all that has changed.

Nathan retraced his steps. Minutes later he was seated on a round stool in front of a long bar. The day’s fare was scrawled on a chalkboard attached to the wall. When an oversized woman in a dirty white apron asked for his order, he managed to say, “Bacon, eggs, coffee, and toast,” as if he ordered such fare every day for his dinner.

“How ya want yer eggs?”

“Scrambled.”

Pushing a cup in his general direction, the woman poured a stream of coffee into it. “Cream?”

“No, thank you.” Nathan took a sip. It was dark and rich and steadied his nerves. While he waited for his meal, he surreptitiously removed the bills from his pocket. Two of them pictured a gaunt-faced, bearded man on one side and the number five. The other had, to his astonishment, a likeness of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Exchequer. In that moment, he felt histories collide. No, collide was the wrong word. They brushed by each other, touching briefly and then hurtling onward on their separate paths.

The food filled his belly and he accepted another cup of coffee, more for its warmth than anything else. He gave the waitress one of his five-dollar bills and received some coins and another bill in exchange. This one had a picture of General Washington on it. So currency in the future featured heroes of the past, although he wouldn’t have considered Hamilton a hero. Political figures, then?

“Gotta problem?”

“No, I just—” He held out the bill and the other five. “I’m afraid I’m not familiar with your currency. I recognize General Washington, but this man…” He let his words end in a question.

“Abraham Lincoln. President during the Civil War.”

Civil War? He filed this fact away. “And Hamilton? Was he a president?”

“Nah. Him and Benjamin Franklin on the hundred-dollar bill weren’t presidents. Grant was a president. He was president after the Civil War. You’ve heard of him?”

“No, but I know Franklin was an inventor.”

“Grant’s on the fifty-dollar bill. I never seen any bills higher than the hundred. Say, where ya from, anyway?” Her eyes lit with curiosity. “We get a lot of furrin tourists. Last week we had a whole party of Japs. Never ate a scrambled egg in their lives. Ya shulda heard ’em cluck, like a brood of hens.” She tittered.

“Really.”

He stood and touched the space where his hat brim should have been. “Thank you. Good evening.” He tucked the bills into his waistcoat pocket and left the coins on the counter, not knowing if tipping was still a custom. If not, she would think him absentminded, at best.

H.G. Wells was right

Time travel novels have been around for a while, even before H.G. Wells wrote “The Time Machine” in 1895. I didn’t plan on writing a time travel novel because, well, because there are such a lot of them lately, mostly involving Scotsmen wearing kilts. And not wearing much else.

Don’t misunderstand, I am an ardent fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Love it.

I also enjoyed Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn’s “Forward to Camelot” which involves a young woman going back to 1963, thinking she is to retrieve the bible used for Johnson’s swearing in on Air Force One. She quickly discovers her real purpose is to prevent Kennedy’s assassination and it’s an interesting story that kept me up until the wee hours.

Then there’s the short story about the man who travels back to Cretaceous Era on a safari to kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex. All has been carefully orchestrated to minimize any impact, but when the man returns, he finds everything has changed. The reason: he accidentally stepped on a butterfly. (The story is called “A Sound of Thunder” if you want to look it up.) The “butterfly effect” is now a recurring theme in time-travel literature.

Sloate and Finn follow the rules of time travel by avoiding paradox — the heroine cannot travel back to any time in which she exists, but she is the right age to go back to 1963 since she wasn’t — won’t be– born until 1964. However, the authors use the butterfly effect to deliberately alter the future.

My hero (A Question of Boundaries, A Question of Loyalty) has the ability to travel in time, but has no concept of how to use it. As a child he used his gift to witness events, much like we would read a book. Later, it is an escape mechanism. In the third book (which is in the second-draft stage right now) he realizes the “gift” is actually a curse and although he has perfected his talent, he rightly refuses to use it because he fears that the least thing he might do in the future will affect the past–where his wife and child reside.

Yes, it’s a little backwards. I’ve always been that way.

Still, what with reading and writing time travel, it was to my mind purely a fun thing and nothing to do with reality. Until I read about physicist Ron Mallett, who is really and truly building a time machine.

Yes, that’s right. And when you read his theory, it begins to look not only possible, but that it might happen in this century.

A case of life imitating art, you might say.

I don’t know what will happen to paradoxes and butterfly effects, but it appears that we will find out soon.

Maybe very soon.

 

 

 

You can look it up

When I switched from contemporary to fantasy, I thought it would be easy. I could make up my own world and no one could argue with my rules, descriptions or flights of fancy because after all, it was MY world.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I had to do a lot of research about New Orleans in the 1890s, even though “A Question of Loyalty” is an alternate history. I realized things couldn’t be too different in this world or readers would have no frame of reference. So I had to find out about river travel, and calculate distance and time. I had to be able to describe a turn-of-the century hotel and food.

There were some surprises, such as the fact that the city was contemplating building a golf course way back then. A fun fact I incorporated, making the hero completely ignorant of the game and wondering if his guide was pulling his leg when he described it.

I discovered there were no doctors in Baton Rouge at the time. But there was a Jesuit church, and I made the priest there the “go-to” person for accidents and illnesses.

The truth is, trying to chase down one fact and finding another is what makes writing both fun and frustrating.

I am now about one-third of the way through “A Question of Time” and I am running into the same problem. My hero, Nathan, has been catapulted in to New York City in 1960.

Although I visited there myself in that time period, my memory isn’t all that good. So I’ve been scrolling through photos and YouTube videos, trying to get a feel for what Nathan would find familiar and what would be jarring.

And, one of my characters is a cat. She plays a pivotal role, and I needed to be sure I was right when I said she could only see black and white.

I’m glad I researched it, because new evidence shows cats can see colors, they just can’t see reds very well.

After this book I may go back to contemporary stories so I won’t have to look so many things up.

Have you ever researched something and found it took you on an entirely different tangent? Did you have to change anything you’d already written to fit the facts you’d unearthed?

If so, please leave a comment and share.

I hate being alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series vs. Serial

I did it again.

I was engrossed in a book and was furious when it ended. Why? Not because I had become emotionally involved with the characters and their story,  which I had, but because it didn’t end.

Nope. It was a cliff hanger, a “you have to buy the next book to see what happened” kind of story.

All this does  is guarantee I will never buy another book from that author again.

Nor will I buy a book that is labeled “Book One of the XYZ Series.” Which is too bad, because they may well have a complete story within the book and the series is a continuance of the protagonists’ adventures.

But I can’t be certain. And that uncertainty stops me.

I know that serials are popular and have been for quite some time. But the serials were labeled plainly as serials and you knew you had to wait for the next magazine to come out to find out what happened. Way back when, we went to the movies every Thursday night, not just for the feature film, but to find out what happened in the serial — did the hero untie the heroine from the train tracks in time?

We knew the rules and were happy with them.

I’m writing a series. And like many series, it has an arc that reaches across the books and another more immediate arc within each book. The overreaching arc is that the characters have super-normal powers and in each subsequent book they learn more about using their powers and working together as a team.

But within each book, the story begins and ends with a problem and problem solved. Solved within that particular book. The ongoing premise is picked up in the next book and expanded.

The characters are challenged by their powers. One wants to become better at it; another tries to ignore it. And others try to hide theirs. When the villain in book three uses his power for evil,  the heroes learn to use their powers together as a team. Yeah, it’s been done before, but so has every other plot. In this case, the story takes place within an alternate history at the turn of the century. The 20th century.

I love writing this series. But I would never let the reader down by making them wait for the next book to come out. One reason is  they might lose interest by then. Books don’t come out every week or even every month.

For another, it isn’t fair.

There should be a way of labeling books to ensure the reader knows in advance that it is a serial novel, not a series.  Until then, I will avoid any book that looks as if it might be incomplete in and of itself.

Which is sad. Because it might be a darned good book.

 

 

 

 

Enter the publicist

I suppose it was inevitable.

Last week I received an e-mail from a  publicist who would love to guide me to the top of the New York Times best seller list.

Who wouldn’t jump right on that offer?

Now, let me explain. I didn’t mean it was inevitable that my sparkling talent and superior writing brought me to the publicist’s attention. I meant it was inevitable that a new business would grow up around Indie publishing. With so many new books being self- or Indie-published, there is a growing market for entrepreneurs who see the need for marketing said books. I figured this one trolled the trade magazines to get the names of writers whose books had recently been purchased and went to the trouble to getting their e-mail addresses in order to make a pitch.

I was tempted, I’ll admit,  to have someone else plan my publicity campaign, including appearances on national television. Well, maybe not that. Unless the station sent its interviewer and camera crew to my home. I’ve gotten better at speaking to book clubs,  but I’m sure talking to  a television host would bring my awkward, self-conscious public persona out of hiding.

Host: Tell us a little about your book?

Me: Well, uh, it’s sort of an  alternate history with characters who have paranormal abilities.

Host: So it’s a paranormal?

Me: No, not exactly.

Host: Steampunk?

Me: Not really.

Host: Well, what is it, then?

Me :  Uh…

Host (after waiting an agonizing 15 seconds):  So, tell us about the plot?

Me (staring at ceiling and perpiring as if it were 90 degrees inside the studio): Uh–it’s complicated.

Host: Time for a commercial break!

Me: I thought this was public television.

Anyway, you get the idea. I’d be no good being interviewed on either radio or television unless I memorized the questions and answers first. And at my age, I can’t remember what I came into the grocery store for.

So I guess I’ll decline. Too bad, I’d really like to make the New York Times best seller list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upping the game

I admit I am a slow writer. A plodder vs. a plotter.

But this week I set a goal and by golly! I’m going to make it. I managed to pound out five chapters in five days. Usually, that would take a month.

My motivation is two-fold. I registered for the Margie Lawson workshop in Charlotte on April 5. (Tomorrow as I write this; yesterday as you read these words.) I’d heard from numerous sources that she is an excellent teacher and I am always up for learning more about the craft of writing. We’ve had wonderful speakers at the Carolina Romance Writers’ meetings, but Margie is always at the top of the list when the conversation turns to workshops. I’m really excited about going.

One of the requirements is that we bring five chapters of our Work in Progress (WIP). I had nothing in the works, nada, zip. So when I found this out a week ago, I knew I’d better get busy.

It wasn’t easy. The words didn’t come flowing from my fingertips. I spent much of the time staring at the keyboard and thinking. I’d type a few paragraphs and then then delete them and think some more. Sometimes my thoughts were more on the line of I need to water the plants or the ironing basket is getting  full than what’s my next plot twist?

But I kept my derriere in the chair and ignored all the little distracting voices.

I jump-start my writing time by going over the previous day’s work and making any corrections and changes needed. Yesterday I had to re-work the entire chapter as I saw immediately that the scene wasn’t going to work as written. By the time I’d done that I was sparked up and wrote another five pages.

Tomorrow I will find out what I’ve done wrong–and hopefully, what I’m doing right.

The other reason for this burst of creativity is that Astraea Press accepted my alternate history, “A Question of Boundaries.”  I had grown fond of Caroline and Nathan as they encountered various obstacles in finding her father, whom she feared was kidnapped to prevent his latest invention from upsetting the status quo, and…well, I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say Nathan ends up working with King Thomas the Fourth of the Jeffersonian dynasty to bring the United States into the 20th century. Yep, the U. S.  is a limited monarchy with a parliament instead of congress. And, the country has been isolated from the rest of the world since 1815.

When writing  “Boundaries” I envisioned a sequel in which my characters would encounter more dangers and difficulties. The workshop pushed me to start writing down what I’d been mulling over in my head.  I’ve titled it “A Question of Trust.” If accepted, it needs to come out fairly soon after “Boundaries” is released. My every-other-year timetable just isn’t going to work.

So I’m learning to work faster. And tomorrow I hope to learn to work smarter.

Who is the best motivational speaker you’ve heard, the speaker who made you go back to your WIP with hope and enthusiasm? I’m looking forward to your answers in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you having fun yet?

Like many bloggers, I also follow blogs that either reflect my own interests or, conversely, give me new viewpoints to consider.

Author Kristen Lamb’s blog  is one I enjoy reading (warriorwriters@wordpress.com).  Her blog, “What SHARKANADO can Teach Us About Writing” was like crawling across the desert and coming across a pitcher of Heinekens. It made me a fan for life.

Lamb points out that the entire premise of Sharkanado is flawed. (And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, where have you been? Oh, I know, at the RWA Convention).

But, she goes on, that is all right. We don’t have to explain our story or go into detail how the unbelievable should be made believable. We just have to write the story we enjoy writing and hope our readers come along for the ride.

Yep. She gives us permission to sit back and let our fancy take us where it may and enjoy the process.  We don’t have to lecture, educate, or elucidate.

broccoli

Everyone knows broccoli is good for you. Everyone knows a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is sheer indulgence.

Don’t readers need an indulgence now and then?

Look back on comments from your readers.  Which part of your book garners the most praise — the paragraph that painstaking explains how X became Y or the fun scene that made them laugh?

Which scene did you most enjoy writing?

Are we paying so much attention to plotting, character arcs, world building and all the rest of the “rules” we are told makes for a good story, that we have forgotten that fiction is supposed to be, first and foremost, entertainment?

Let your inhibitions go and free the story that is inside you — the story you want to write,  the one that throws logic out the window and takes the reader on an unforgettable romp.

Of course sharks wouldn’t survive a tornado and attack hapless beachgoers, but fans don’t care about logic.

To paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, they just want to have fun.

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