Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trickle of Lies is Trickling along . . .

Two days ago I was ready to kill off Kyra and Boston.

Wait, don’t panic. I’m a writer; I get to kill folks off.

However, eliminating my hero and heroine before page 100 was a bad IDEA for a romance novel. So, I preserved. Not because I wanted to . . . at times, I hate these characters. But I have a lot invested in them at this point. Fully-fleshed backstories, complicated family structures, unique character quirks and my hero and heroine actually do work quite well in this specific plot. Wow, it’s almost like I planned that *GRIN*.

So, if my main characters were well-developed, complete with appropriate Goal, Motivation and Conflict, and the plot was intricate and motivated, then what was I missing?

My writing seemed to be flapping like a hooked bass on the bottom of my daddy’s fishing boat. That caught fish may be going some where, but just not any place productive—like back in the water. That’s when I realized if my writing wasn’t going to gasp its last breath, I needed a new strategy.

I decided not to sit in the boat, but to dive right into the lake and swim around. I changed my prospective. In writing terms, I went back to the start of the book and READ. Not with an editor perched on my shoulder or my little red pen ready to mark, but to simply enjoy the overall view of the book, or the lake if you will. The major discovery of my swim was duplicate information: the dreaded ‘Already-said-that’ curse.

How had I managed to have so many characters say the same thing?

Simple: I’d baited too many hooks and dropped them in the water. I couldn’t keep up with what secondary character had said what, and more importantly, how each secondary character had progressed the plot.

I needed something to reel in my secondary characters and guarantee that I caught the right character for the right job. And it needed to be something simple. Hence, I birthed the Character Chart. Not very original for a title, but it gets the job done.

What’s involved?

I list my:
1) Character’s Name
2) Crucial character description
3) Chapter number where secondary character is on page
AND MOST IMPORTANT:
4) What knowledge does this secondary character reveal to the main character (yep, my hero or heroine needs to learn something from this secondary character in order for this person to be breathing on page.)

Great writing is about great tightening. My goal is get through Trickle of Lies with as strong of a finished manuscript as possible.

Is there a specific writing technique, in dealing with secondary characters, that’s worked for you?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wild Rose Press website

Not to panic--did you pop over to Wild Rose's Press website and get garbage?

Don't worry.

Wild Rose Press's server isn't big enough and the move is on.

For the next day or so, the connection to their website will be spotty.

It's coming back.

Oh and by the way! Harm's Way was on the front page for released in print.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I've arrived on Amazon.com

Another double post day for me, but I just discovered my book on Amazon.com.

That shouldn’t be a surprise, because after all, um, Amazon does sell books and I just published a book, HARM’S WAY. But to tell the truth, it was surprising to put in my title, scroll down to #48 (didn’t realize how many books incorporated Harm’s Way when I picked that title) and there is my book cover AND my name.

Let me type that again, my name, my name, Sandra Ferguson, yippee, yahoo (sorry, a momentary office dance was necessary) is on Amazon.com.

Alrighty now, that is pretty cool.

It feels like a milestone.

Is Amazon cooler than when I signed my contract . . . back up, cooler than when my editor said I love Harm’s Way, and I want to sign you. Not even close.

Is Amazon cooler than when I saw my cover from Wild Rose Press the first time? Not likely.

Is Amazon cooler than when my husband introduced me as his wife, the published author? Not in any lifetime.

BUT . . . Amazon with my name, it is pretty cool.

What happened in the past six months that fit the pretty cool description for you?

Home Repairs Anyone?

Apparently, my real life’s task is to fix things. In the past eight months or so, any number of dated appliances and creature home comforts have hit the big snafu in my house and died.

First it was the garage door. Not the opener, that thing you pop off to Sears and buy another one of. Oh no, it was the actual springs that lift the door. When the springs break (that door you could raise) suddenly weighs its full gargantuan weight and guess what? YOU CAN’T lift it anymore. We called out the repair guy then promptly sent him away. That’s one of those let-me-give-you-one-quote-over-the-phone-then-a-different- and-dramatically-higher-one-when-I-show-up-on-your-doorstep experiences. Picture an unhappy gal, here. I was fuming. My husband, brilliant man that he is, comes up with this great idea; he’ll Google for Internet help. Low and behold, you really can find anything on Google. My door works now. I will say, replacing the springs on a garage door is not for the faint of heart or the weak of upper body strength. Good thing I married the broad-shouldered man I did, and raised the broad-shouldered son I have.

Now the garage door works, so we tackled the dish washer, the dryer, the vent-a-hood, the riding lawnmower, and we, foolish people we are, were feeling fairly confident. What is that saying? ‘Pride cometh before a fall?’

This weekend, naturally because I had planned to attend my friend, Candy Havens’ book-signing something disastrous needed to strike my house. We had this tiny task of replacing the faucet handles in the kids’ shower. Important tip time . . . if you need to replace the handles in the shower, turn off the outside water connection FIRST! Oh, and once the handles have been removed . . . DO NOT TURN back on the outside water connection.

If you want to know exactly how much water you can run down a drain, in a hurry, take off your shower handles without turning off the outside water connection. It looks like a proverbially fountain.

Okay, my hubby did know to turn off the water. So we only had a small fountain.

The problem showed up when he dared the House Repair gods by saying, ‘Don’t worry honey, it’s only a ten-minute job.’ Uh-oh, I heard the thunder crash the minute he issued the curse. In our house, anything that can go wrong . . . DOES. And anything we can make harder, more complicated, more unfixable . . . WE DO. Okay, so we’re consistent with making it tougher.

Nine hours later, the water had finally been restored to my house. Gleaming new faucet handles, an elaborate 3-cycle massage shower head (I’ll never get them out of the shower now), and a sparkling bathtub nozzle had all been installed.

Sure . . . honey, that was really an easy ten-minute job. I’m just not sure whose watch we were using to tell time.

What was the last thing you repaired in your house?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Harm's Way is in PRINT

It’s official . . .

Just visited the Wild Rose Press website and HARM’S WAY has been officially released in print.

Many of you have asked about a book-signing.

I’m working on that now. Yep, it does have to be print released before they’ll set up an e-pub author’s signing. Not my rules, but I live by them.

So soon, very soon, I’ll be posting information on a book-signing.

For those of you off in the wilds (my sister in far north Minnesota and my sister-in-law in the rolling hills of Tennessee), order HARM’S WAY and send it to me. I can’t wait to autograph your copies.

BTW: I did get an advance copy AND it’s beautiful. Holding ten years worth of effort and tenacity in my hands was thrilling.

Thanks for taking this publishing ride with me. For me, it has all been worth the wait.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Another Harm's Way review

Okay, I'm a double poster today . . . try not to hold that against me.

BUT, I just got another review from a fellow Wild Rose Press Author who said . . .

Yay, Sandra!

I agree with the reviewer. I just finished Harm’s Way on the weekend and
loved it! Rom Suspense is my favorite read so there was no question I'd buy
it after I read the blurb.

And your descriptions of the forest in Portofino were dead on. I've
walked through it before, and I felt as if I was there again.

Looking forward to more from the Donavans. I love series.

By . . . Elle Fredrix
Spinning Wildly - Sweetheart Rosette – On Sale Now!

Two great new websites to check out . . . .

This is a Wild Rose Press author website, lots of great books, excerpts and front covers for your review all in one place. This site is maintained by our marketing guru, Stacy Dawn. The woman is marketing amazing. Divas' Books

Also, for those who need help with promotions and marketing and you simply don’t know how to start, go to Jump Start Promotions

Both of these are great writer sources.

Enjoy

Monday, June 4, 2007

Harm's Way Book Review

Okay, so this made my day. The upfront information is just the lingo that must be listed for any book review. Also, if you want to visit Coffee Time Romance for more reviews and book listings, click on the highlighted title of Harm's Way Book Review and the link will go directly to Coffee Time Romance.


HARM’S WAY
SANDRA FERGUSON
ISBN# 1-60154-047-7
March 2007
The Wild Rose Press
www.thewildrosepress.com
E-Book
$5.00
290 Pages
Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 Cups

Victoria Donavan was once married to a man who valued his career as a DEA agent more than either Tori or his marriage. Now a widow, she vows never to get involved with another risk taker.

Alex Harmon is hired by Tori’s overprotective family when a stalker targets her. An old family friend, Alex has been in love with her for years.

A stalker will stop at nothing to capture and keep architect Victoria Donavan as his own. He has invaded every aspect of her life and it is up to security expert Alex Harmon to keep her safe.

This is a great romantic suspense story. Alex and Tori have a great deal of chemistry and enough bad experiences in the past to keep the tension high. The villain is a particularly crafty one and you never know where he will turn up. The Donovan family seems to feel an unusual responsibility towards Tori. It is almost as if they are trying to make up for the problems caused by the dead Blaine’s selfishness. He sounded like a real prize, and Tori is much better off without him. The author is very adept at describing both Texas and Vancouver Island and has a real gift for bringing all of the characters to life. Each and every one of them is very vivid and real. I hope there are more Donavan stories coming, from the little I read of Boston and Jared, I would like to read more about them.

Maura
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Back In The Chair . . .

I’ve been away a few days (sad tale, that I’ll save for another entry), but I knew when I flew back into town it was definitely time to get busy. Amazingly, I followed my own advice.

Re-touched one article (Parenting) and one short (less than 500 words—a type of filler for magazines) and submitted both. Although I use a computer log for when I submit what and where, I’ve decided to start a folder and print out my queries, keeping them in date order. At least, that’s the plan for the moment. I may print out the articles, and put the queries behind them for better organization.

What’s your favorite way to keep track of things?

Still no word from the ezine editor on my Apostrophe article—yep, I am one of those grammar nuts who can find 2000 words to say about the Apostrophe and its correct usage. Besides, I learned how to spell it correctly after writing an entire article on it. Another week or so is all I wait, and then I’ll shop it to another writing ezine.

Now, it’s back to my work in progress (WIP) Trickle of Lies. Want to see an excerpt from Trickle of Lies? Click on the highlighted title and you'll go straight to my webpage.

What are you working on?

Texas sayings

~Watch your step! Cacti, tumbleweeds, and an occasional armadillo might be ahead.

~Welcome to the land of tar-bubbling summers, gas-guzzling pickup trucks, standard Stetson headgear, and mile-high hair.

~Welcome to the Lone Star State, and Romance With A Texas Twist!

Quote of the Day