Bits and Pieces…#MFRW #Authors #3

How much of myself do I put into my writing?

The short answer is, a little bit here, a little bit there….

But you want specifics, don’t you?

Sigh….all right.

For instance, take Balancing Act.  Gretchen is probably the closest to the real ME of all thirteen of my Arbor U heroines.  She has my hair color; she likes to read; we both worked temporary jobs in a semi-truck factory, and yes, we both share the experience of losing our confidence to an major asshat who tried to tear us down.  In fact, in every AU book, there is at least something I experienced.

One of the parties in Love On The Rocks.

Amy (Love Finds A Way) and I both have allergies.

In Forbidden Love, I recounted the exciting finish of the 1986 Indy 500.

In Endless Love, the Haunted House scene actually happened, and so did the Costume Party at the bar afterward.

In Kenzie’s books, I used my Colorado experiences for Wild At Heart (and the upcoming sequel), and based Teacher’s Pet on an incident at the baseball field.  I didn’t act on that impulse, but if I HAD…..*fans self*

There’s a little bit of me in Kira, the youngest member of my alien family in The Chosen series.  For instance, I’d had a huge fight with a good friend, so I channeled that sorrow into her heartache.

More recently, my karaoke DJ asked me last year if I had a KJ in any of my books, and a few weeks later, used him as a character when I had to come up with a short story asap.  The one I’d submitted was deemed ‘too dark and twisted’ and was apparently sending beta readers to the safety of their blankies and Safe Areas, so the Powers That Be pulled it from the anthology.

I also based two novellas on my three years of experience working at a country club, and when I attended my 25th HS reunion, a few of my former classmates decided to get drunk and spill secrets.  I changed around some details and Class Reunion was born.

I guess the moral of that story is, if you’re going to hang out with me, be careful not to let the alcohol take over your tongue….

Have I intrigued you to click on any of the above links?  *grin*  Or did I just cause you to make a mental note to NEVER drink around me?  LOL!

Want to see how much of themselves other authors put into their writing?  Click here. 

 

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Ouch! #MFRW #Authors #2

What’s my earliest memory?  I have several, and since I’m not sure how old I was, I’ll list all of them.

I DO know it was pre-July 1970, because that was when we moved into the home my parents currently occupy, and I have a very vague memory of walking through it either before or after we bought it.  My room was mint-green, and it took three coats of paint to make it a pale pink (which seventeen years later I repainted in blue!).  But I digress.

We lived in a 2 bedroom trailer on the north side of Lafayette, In, and I remember the layout.  At one end, the kitchen, then dining area, my room, bathroom,and at the other end, my parents’ room.  All doors were sliding pocket-style doors.  I have a vivid memory of falling out of bed as soon as someone closed my door.  Was this my 2-3-4 y/o self’s way of getting attention at bedtime?  Who knows?

I also remember seeing the slide to my swing set being under the trailer, and my dad explaining he couldn’t attach it, because there would be no room between it and the next trailer.

There’s also the vivid memory of being hit with a shovel by another kid in the trailer park.  Playing under the weeping willow trees.  A friend and I winding the swings around each other and getting our fingers bloody when the chains broke (this was before plastic covered them; they were METAL chains!).

I also remember HATING to wear a stiff black dress.  It was tight to put on and tight to get off.  I think it was my mom’s favorite outfit to put me in for either church or holiday time.  I was soooo happy when I finally outgrew that dress!

Finally, there’s another time I fell off a bed.  My mom was a school nurse, and she used to take me down to the Home Ec department when they were talking about child care.  For whatever reason, there was a bed in one of the larger rooms, and several other kids and I were jumping on it.  We both fell off, and I bumped my head.  For many years, I thought the song ‘Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed’ was inspired by our actions that day.

What about you?  What is YOUR earliest memory?  To see if anyone else remembers past the age of 5, go here.

See you next week!

Choosing My Favorite Child #MFRW #Authors #1

Wow.  Starting off the 2018 Blog Challenge with bang, right?  Asking me to choose between the 21 books, unfinished WIPS, and several unpublished poems is like asking which of my three kids I like best!

Do I pick the one I wrote first, or the one which wrote itself, or the one that has the most ‘fun’ character to write?  Then there’s the dual pen name issue.  Which pen name’s book do I choose?

*Clutches hair*  Oh the dilemma I face!

Okay; to be fair, there are two stories which rank higher on my ‘Love’ list (yes, I said it….pick yourself up off the floor!)

But since I *love* one slightly better, let me tell you WHY before I reveal it.

I wrote this story as my very 1st NaNoWriMo project.  (If you’ve read my regular blog, then you know which story I’m talking about, so bear with me….)  I worked up the nerve to submit it in 2010, and it was finally published a year later.  Sadly, when this publisher closed last year, I discovered the cover artist could not be found, and in order to get the logo removed from all four of the abandoned books, it was going to cost more than what I had on hand.  (I’m not proficient at photoshop; no judging please!)

So I sat on it, hoping sales would miraculously skyrocket, and I could repub them myself.

No such luck.

Six months later, I learned a friend of mine who was a publisher was opening up his company to romance writers.  I queried him, updated this story, and sent it off.  Since it had already been edited, I didn’t have to re-edit it, and it was repubbed in Sept.

While updating it, I fell in love with the story and characters all over again.  It’s amazing when you re-read your own work after 5 or 6 years, there’s either the ‘ugh, what-the-hell-was-I-thinking-when-I-wrote-this?’ reaction, or the ‘Wow-I-really-have-a-wonderful-story-here!’ kind.  After I’d first written it, I ‘PG-ed’ it down for my mom, who objects to certain words, but I apparently didn’t do a very good job; she quit reading after the 3rd chapter.  So with this new updated version, and since I now know my way around Create Space, plus the fact I love love LOVE my original cover and my new pub had to create a new one, the wheels decided to spin. (wow, was that a huge run-on sentence?  Sorry; it’s how my mind works.  Kudos to you if you had no problems following it!)

If I think my story is so amazing, and since there is an entire population of readers who won’t read anything with *gasp, I know* SEX in it, why don’t I take out ALL the graphic stuff and make the entire bedroom scenes more left to the imagination?  Since I can’t have two stories with the same title, I’ll re-brand it.

So yes, the very first fully-explicit erotic romance I wrote under the Kenzie Michaels pen name is thus dubbed ‘Favored Child’.  After all, it was my first ‘best seller’, the one which scored me double-figure royalty checks four times a year.  Here are both covers, the original one with the new title.  I still need to rewrite the blurb for ‘Winning Her Heart’, and pay for the cover wrap.  What do you think?

Here’s the Teacher’s Pet Blurb:

What happens when you discover that the man you had mind-blowing sex with three months ago is your son’s teacher? Tammy Saunders is horrified when she finds out the man who set her heart racing is her son’s favorite teacher. After one bad relationship, can she trust her heart? What will her son Danny think?

Kevin Taylor has made some bad choices in his life. But sleeping with not only one, but two, of his students’ mothers has got to be the worst mistake he’s ever made. Especially when he’s lost his heart to one of them. When Danny begins to rebel in his classroom, will Kevin and Tammy’s relationship be in jeopardy?

Want to know if other authors had issues with picking their favorite child?  Click here for the links to the others. 

*Another Confession:  I don’t have much experience with using my WordPress blog, and can’t seem to continue writing text under the pictures.  I tried to click under them, but nothing happened.  In Blogger, the cursor appears, and I can continue writing.  Can someone help me out, should I decided to add pictures again in the future?  Thanks*

Happy New Year!

Last Year, I Resolved To:
-Finish writing Heart Song Made it to Ch. 6.
-Publish #4 of my Sci-Fi Rom series (Check!) and write #5 (Began it; still on Ch. 2).
-Get books #1-6 of my Arbor University Tales (Women’s Fiction) series in print Formatted and ready to go; still waiting on print wraps
-Successfully help my 6th grader bring up his grades in Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts All but Math; he DID advance to 7th grade.
-Lose another 5 lbs or more Check; I’ve boomeranged up and down, but think this is a score:)
-Cut back on signings; instead of 14 like last year, only do six which cost money, and a few local ones which are free. Totally blew this one in April. Ended up doing another 14. Did do the free local ones and the Watermelon Fest.
-Organize my basement office Nope; not yet
-As for the karaoke songs, well, I’d like to maybe hit the ‘P’ titles? I’m beginning the year still on the ‘Love’ titles. I’m thinking there may not be many ‘N’ or ‘O’ titles. I could be wrong. Still on the last of the ‘O’ titles.

2018 Goals:
-Write #5 of The Chosen
-Promote Whispers Anthology
-Limit my craft fairs and set up only at:
-March event in Indy
-Author’s Fair in April, in addition to a local event.
-May: 1st Friday AND Opening weekend of Farmer’s Market
-June: 1st Friday
-July: 1st Friday
-Aug: Watermelon Festival and GenCon (IF we get approved)
-Sept: 1st Friday, maybe Paletine’s event; Eminence Harvest Festival, and the Evansville Fairgrounds event.
-Oct: Imaginarium
-Nov: Indy Christmas Show, maybe the Christmas Stroll. This year, I was exhausted and skipped it.
-Finish Heart Song
-Set up a few local signings at our coffee shop/brewery.
-Get our Green House torn down, and the Brown House emptied. I’ve decided to move my office into the Brown House (provided the spouse approves!).
-Continue participation in the MFRW Blog Challenge 2018. Kenzie had a good time, so maybe I’ll do it this year?? Or switch off every week? Month??
-Lose 5 lbs each month. If I succeed, I’ll be down to 200 lbs by this time next year. Starting weight: 232

Monthly Goals:
Buy inventory  Was able to buy half of my inventory!  Hope to get the rest next month:)
Write Ch 6 of Heart Song
Get my clothes out of the box and into a rubbermaid 3 drawer chest
Organize boys’ room
Lose 5 lbs
Pay cover artist for Winning Her Heart AND order copies
Pay for March event
Buy new Prayer Journal and calendar
Finish watching Criminal Minds and The Crown before binge-watching Game of Thrones
Start watching The Ranch on Netflix

Reading Schedule:
Print:
Tomb of the Moon-N. E. Riggs
Clayton’s Star-Jillian Jacobs

Dragon Teeth-Michael Crichton

E-book:
Secrets and Lies (HOB #4)-Susanne Matthews  Wonderful story!  DRR!
Back To School-Dylan Cross
Green Castles-KL Montgomery
This Regret-Victoria Ashley
Perfect Stranger-Morgan Kay
Meet Me In Fantasyland-Mary Martinez
Naughty or Nice-Amber Skyze

Karaoke Songs:

Thurs:
When I Look To The Sky-Train
Miles To Go-Celine Dion
Same Auld Lang Syne-Dan Fogelberg
Amazed-Lonestar

White Liar-Miranda Lambert
Modern Day Delilah-Van Stephenson
White Rabbit-Jefferson Airplane
Angel Of The Morning-Juice Newton

Who Are You-The Who
My Favorite Things-Julie Andrews
Who Can It Be Now-Men At Work
Blaze of Glory-Bon Jovi

Sat:
Only The Young-Journey
Oops I Did It Again-Britney Spears
Open Arms-Journey
O Christmas Tree
Opposites Attract-Paula Abdul

Our Lips Are Sealed-Go-Gos
Out of Touch-Hall and Oates
O Come All Ye Faithful
Out Here On My Own-Irene Cara

Owner of A Lonely Heart-Yes
Over You-Daughtry
Over You-Miranda Lambert
O Holy Night

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!