Monday, September 12, 2016

This Authoring Stuff Ain’t Easy — and a GIVEAWAY

http://kathleenriceadams.com/

There’s an old saying about fiction writing: “It’s easy to write a book. Just sit down and open a vein.”

The advice is meant to be humorous and taken figuratively, but authors sometimes consider a literal interpretation. Unlike like Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Hunter S. Thompson, Virginia Woolf, and David Foster Wallace, most of us are not mentally disturbed…usually. However, writing can drive the sanest author over the edge on occasion.

The writing challenges that contribute to temporary insanity are legion and take a variety of forms. Like our stories, “issues” may be plot- or character-driven. No story comes without at least one. Some stories bring along so much baggage, we consider murdering all the characters in one blaze of glory and penning “the end”…at the midpoint.

Here are the challenges the five authors who contributed to the new boxed set A Kiss to Remember faced during our journeys to the happy ending.

Tracy Garrett: Her Sanctuary

Beautiful Maggie Flanaghan’s heart is broken when her father dies suddenly and the westward-bound wagon train moves on without her, leaving her stranded in River’s Bend. But Reverend Kristoph Oltmann discovers the tender beginnings of love as he comforts Maggie, only to find she harbors a secret that could make their relationship impossible.

Tracy: I seem to have a recurring theme in my writing—my heroes prefer to remain the tall, handsome, silent type. Hero Kristoph Oltmann was introduced by my characters as a German immigrant, speaking with an accent. That was in Wanted: The Sheriff, an earlier story in the River’s Bend series. Since he was maintaining radio silence for the most part when I started Her Sanctuary, I had to trick him into talking. When I finally succeeded, I discovered he was born in the good old U.S. of A. Not a trace of an accent — unless you counted the bit of a Missouri twang he’d picked up since moving to River’s Bend. That made for some interesting edits. Someday I want to write a book where the hero talks more than the heroine!

Cheryl Pierson: Gabriel’s Law

Brandon Gabriel is hired by the citizens of Spring Branch to hunt down the notorious Clayton Gang, never suspecting a double-cross. When Allison Taylor rides into town for supplies, she doesn’t expect to be sickened by the sight of a man being beaten to death by a mob—a man she recognizes from her past. Spring Branch’s upstanding citizens gather round to see a murder, but everything changes with the click of a gun — and Gabriel’s Law.

Cheryl: My biggest challenge in this story was to not let them fall madly in love with each other too soon. They’d known one another before in the orphanage where they lived as kids. So once they meet again under the circumstances in the book — the old feelings are still there. How was I going to stop them from acting on those feelings right away? Especially since Allison has saved Brandon from certain death? Well, now you have the beginnings of the story. I hope you’ll get the boxed set and enjoy the rest of this tale and all the others that are included!

Tanya Hanson: Outlaw Heart

Making a new start has never been harder! Bronx Sanderson is determined to leave his old outlaw ways behind and become a decent man. Lila Brewster is certain her destiny lies in keeping her late husband’s dream alive: a mission house for the down-and-out of Leadville, Colorado. But dreams change when love flares between an angel and a man with an Outlaw Heart.

Tanya: I had two main challenges, one so severe I told my editor I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish. We had to rescue my husband’s mother from an elder-abuse situation that all but sucked the breath out of me. Praise God she’s settled and safe and I met the deadline. On a Friday. My computer crashed on Sunday!

Kathleen Rice Adams: The Dumont Way

The Civil War burned Texas...and fanned the flames of love. The Dumont Way, a trio of romances about a powerful ranching dynasty, includes the never-before-published novella The Trouble with Honey: A marshal’s widow can escape a Union Army manhunt only with the help of an outlaw condemned to hang.

Kathleen: You know a story is going to be difficult when the villain is the only character who behaves. Both the hero and the heroine in The Trouble with Honey had their own agendas from the get-go — and, of course, neither of their agendas coincided with mine. I was forever yanking one or the other back onto the path I had forged for them. They finally agreed to work together, but only if Id change the story. So, I threw away what I’d written and started over — three times. In the future, I plan to begin each story with a cast meeting during which I’ll make clear that rebelling will get the offender(s) shot and hanged.

Livia J. Washburn: Yesterday’s Flame

When smoke jumper Annabel Lowell’s duties propel her from San Francisco in 2000 back to 1906, she faces one of the worst earthquakes in history. But she also finds the passion of a lifetime in fellow fireman Cole Brady. Now she must choose between a future of certain danger and a present of certain love — no matter how short-lived it may be. “A timeless and haunting tale of love.” ~The Literary Times

Livia: Since Yesterday’s Flame is a time-travel story, the biggest challenge was fitting together everything in the past and present so the plot worked out and made sense. Time travel paradoxes can be very tricky!

So, there you have it — five reasons not to take up writing unless you enjoy self-flagellation. Creating fiction can convince the most stalwart soul the cliché “artists must suffer for their craft” is high sarcasm. People often use sarcasm to cover actions and emotions they’d rather not confront. All five of us who contributed to A Kiss to Remember had no choice but to face our demons head-on. Thankfully, the demons suffered defeat…this time.

 

 

 

 Overcoming obstacles is the soul of a good romance, isn’t it? What kind of obstacles do you enjoy watching heroes and heroines overcome on their way to a happily-ever-after ending? Tell us in the comments! I’ll draw one commenter’s name from the trusty ol’ Stetson and send that person an e-copy of A Kiss to Remember.






A Texan to the bone, Kathleen Rice Adams spends her days chasing news stories and her nights and weekends shooting it out with Wild West desperadoes. Leave the upstanding, law-abiding heroes to other folks. In Kathleen’s stories, even the good guys wear black hats.

Her short story “The Second-Best Ranger in Texas” won the 2015 Peacemaker Award for Best Western Short Fiction. Her novel Prodigal Gun won the EPIC Award for Historical Romance and is the only western historical romance ever to final for a Peacemaker in a book-length category.

Visit her hideout on the web at KathleenRiceAdams.com.


15 comments:

  1. All of the stories in A Kiss to Remember sound great, Kathleen. I had to laugh at your threat to punish your characters if they don't cooperate. Before I started outlining my books I used to yank my characters back on track constantly. The ornery devils kept wanting to run off on crazy paths! Even now, as a plotter, I still must keep a wary eye on my characters to prevent them from running amuck. They're always trying to sneak something past me that doesn't fit the story line. Such stinkers!

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    1. Mine do the same thing! One might assume that, as plotters, we'd have little to worry about from disrespectful characters, huh? WRONG! :-D

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  2. Yes, indeed, this boxed set is a winner! And Kathleen, I really enjoyed your unique way of introducing the plot and the author of each story in it. Excellent, my friend...well done. And now, y'all, run out and get this boxed set for your Kindle!...if you don't win it.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Celia. I can always count on you to cheer me up! :-D

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  3. I do love it when a hero and heroine appear to be on opposite sides of any dispute. Be it land, legal etc. Love watching them work it out.

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    1. The fun is in watching the maneuvering, isn't it? When all the dancing around ends up with the hero and heroine in one another's arms... Well, there's really not much better than a match made in heaven. :-)

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  4. I enjoy when fate steps in and sets up the H/H.

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    1. Where would we be without the whims of Fate? Thanks for stopping by, Alisa! It's always good to see you. :-)

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  5. It was a joy participating in this set, and I am so thankful for the support I received at a difficult time, and especially now since I suck at promo. Thank you, Kathleen, for the shout-out and for always being there. Love you, Tex.

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  6. Each story in this set is so different--yet, IMO, they are all "page-turners" in their own ways. I have discovered something about myself as time goes by--I do better having my H/h fighting the world together rather than fighting with each other. I wish I could "do that" better, and also write humor better. That's what makes reading romance stories so wonderful--there are at least a million ways to make everything go so wrong...then make it come back right again.

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    1. That's one of the things I love about reading and writing romance. No matter how many ways the same basic story has been told before, it takes on new life in a different writer's hands -- with new characters, a new setting, and new details. Fun stuff, huh?

      Don't wish you could do something better, Okie. Your stories are treasures because you do what you do so well. Nobody else brings half-dead hunks back to life the way you do! :-D

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  7. I look forward to reading these stories. I ordered the set on July 17. They all sound good.

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    1. Pat, I hope you'll let us know what you think when you've had time to read the collection. We value your opinion! :-)

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  8. Loved each and every story. The blood, sweat and tears were worth it to this reader. Doris

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