Sunday, December 20, 2015

Year in Review

Writing about Historical, Humorous, Adventurous, and always Strong, Women

The title of this blog is the logo I use on my emails and business cards. Today as I consider the past year, I wonder about this historical, humorous and adventurous and always (?) strong author.

This past year I attained level 146 in Criminal Case; earned 1809 stars in Pearl’s Peril; am 3rd in ELO Rating (whatever that means) on Scrabble and 5th on the leaderboard for Words with Friends. It would appear that I spend a lot of time playing mindless games. But that’s a good thing because while the mind is not occupied when mindless fingers move the mouse around the screen, the brain is actually working on stories.

Champagne Book Group published two of my books this year, Silent Autumn and Swimming Corpse. My rights to Elena-the Girl with the Piano and The Reluctant Daughters reverted to me and I published them under my new company name: Uppity Women Press.

I also edited two great books, The Purple Canary by Kim Park, which then won second place at the Royal Palm Literary Award (Florida Writers Association), and The Runaway Girl, a Nurse’s Story by Lois Gerber, both subsequently published by Taylor and Seale Publishing. Edited for and published by T&S are Web of Lies and Sins of the Sisters by DeeAnn Mallow, two books I enjoyed reading as well as working on.

In my “real” writing time I managed to put in about 80K words on two new novels: Midnight in Mongolia – Blenders Book IV, and one tentatively titled Talk to the Knife, a paranormal romance murder mystery set in Carroll County, GA.

It’s strange, and at the same time fun, to create characters other people get to know and regard as real human beings, inhabiting this world. Meeting people at book clubs, and discussing the various characters, were unexpected highlights of the year. Readers discussed their motives or asked why I created particular ones. Thankfully they all liked the ones I hoped they would and despised the despicable.

How much creative time do I spend at the keyboard? Probably five hours a day average. Rarely do I not create. Some days I wake early to get an idea down on paper before it flits away. I often find myself thinking at 4 a.m. that I’ll write for maybe half an hour then go back to bed. Doesn’t happen. Spouse will get up at 6:30 and I’ll still be here. When I’m in that mode, he fixes a cup of tea for me and goes to work on his own writing. He’s a gem.

Like some of my characters, I’m historical, or antique if you prefer, being well over 50 years of age. Humorous? You can judge by reading The Prince of Keegan Bay, the first place in humor book. Adventurous? You’ll have to take my word on that, but much of what goes on in my books went on in my life. And strong for sure – most days anyway.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me and all my characters: Doll, Michael, Old Howard, Al and Larry, Janice, Taylor, Max, Elizabeth, Mary Ellen, Barbara, Lily, Janice, and especially Elena.