As Vicki said, followed by Claire, “All of our stories come from somewhere, whether it be a dream, another book, a life event. So why not give people a chance to talk about their inspirations as well as their stories?
The 10 questions, followed by 5 writer’s who inspire me:
1. What is the name of your book?
Creative Woman Seeking Freelance Work
2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
I was writing to the prompt, Letters Home, when Always on My Mind (Song of the Week), sung by Willie Nelson, circled round on the jukebox. This is my absolute favorite song of all time. I have music for all occasions, and favorites for each, but this is the one song I carry with me at all times. I don’t know why it speaks to me as it does, it just does.
This song for me is everything I think that lover’s don’t know about one another. When lover’s say the wrong things to one another, let pride have the final word, and leave one another’s arms without really wanting to, and in the end when it’s too late and years pass they never let go of that one person ‘who is always on their mind’. It’s that sort of a song that stirs the soul and boils the blood because, the song remembers when.
The story didn’t spring forth at that instance, but a mood settled in. I was stuck on the idea of letters, lyrics, and a country western singer. A couple days later, I was in Barnes and Noble when I met Stella Delray, the shero of my story. I knew she was the lover with past and had a story to tell.
3. In what genre would classify your book?
I’m with Claire on this topic. I hate labels, but if I have to pick, I’d say Women’s Fiction.
4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, whom would you pick?
I am saving this for a future Blog post.
5. Provide a brief synopsis.
When Stella Delray unexpectedly loses her job a week before Christmas, which happens to be the anniversary of her husband’s death, she is forced to come to terms with her loss and get her life back on track for her son’s sake as well as her own. But she never expected posting an ad on Craigslist would send her in the arms of not one but two men, one of which is her former boss. Adding to the craziness of her new life, her monster-in-law resurfaces, and the father-in-law Stella’s never met shows up on her doorstep.
With her best friend, Bono, to guide her, Stella will learn to redefine the rules she’s always lived by. Her new extended family comes with plenty of drama, and the ghost of her dead husband’s past are knocking down her door. Will Stella be able to find her voice as a writer, discover love again, and have the family she’s always dreamed of? One thing is for sure: Stella will learn that happily ever after doesn’t come in one size fits all.
6. Is your book already published/represented.
NO! Boohoo, not yet. I am riding the agent query coast—and it’s a hell of a ride—as I type these words. The full manuscript is currently under consideration, but until there is ink on a contract, I continue to query other agents.
7. How long did it take you to write the book?
Which time? I might as well be honest here, I wrote the damn thing a few times. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I decided to write the book. I remember thinking I read a lot (next to music, book purchasing is my single greatest extravagance) what can be so hard about writing a long story. I had written thousands of letter-sized stories. The novel, after all, was just four hundred one-page letters. Funny! Then I heard about NANO. I wrote the first draft without following the guidelines I had read about. I just wrote and wrote. I finally reached the end.
The first draft took three months, but the editing and rewriting took a couple of years. I was still learning. Good news to any one working on the first book, the second book is much easier.
8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or readers of which books would enjoy yours?
I thought about this a lot, and really, it’s a book and a movie. It’s Good Grief meets You’ve Got Mail.
9. What authors inspired you to write this book.
I wasn’t inspired by any particular author or book to write my own story, but along my journey to write the novel, I did get some terrific advice that I needed to hear,
a) To write what I wanted to write and not give a damn what other people said. (Stephen King).
b) Don’t apologize or explain why you write, accept that the passion isn’t explainable to non writers (Dorothea Brandt) and above all nurture your confidence, maintain your self-respect, and honor your freedom.
c) A best friend reminded me of the 10,000-hour rule – you can’t be good at anything without an investment of 10,000 hours.
10) Tell us anything that might pique interest in your book:
Stella is talking here…
Mornings are the most difficult part of the day. I’ve never been one of those morning people who wakes up singing with the blue jays, all perky and pink. Rather I’m crumpled, heavy footed with gravel in my pipes. Bobby said if he could catch me those first fifteen minutes, we stood a chance of recording a platinum record, if I could only focus long enough to sing with my husky just-had-sex morning voice. I wake up slowly with my reality coming to me in pieces. After Bobby died, it would take a full fifteen minutes before the realization he was gone took hold. But during those first fourteen minutes, I’d swear he was lying next to me.
Back when he was alive, and on the road, I would simply pull his pillow over from the right side of the bed and drink him in. I didn’t wash the sheets after he went out on the road with the band. If I got lonely I had his pillow and the sheets to wrap my body in. He was never gone longer than three weeks, so a part of him lingered between the bedclothes and kept my hunger for him at bay. After he died, it was almost six months before I changed the linen on our bed. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing his scent.
And now tag five writers, all of whom are an inspiration to me:
Kelly is a rare gem. She gifted, passionate, kind and generous, and driven by her passion for writing. If I ever lose sight of the bigger picture, her words and successes remind me to keep my nose to the grindstone.
Monica’s lively persona, honest voice, passion for writing, and her upbeat view on life are always an inspiration.
I found Debra at the start of my blogging journey. I was lost and not sure who to be as a writer/blogger. She reminded me to stay true to myself because that’s what mattered and that readers would connect with my honesty. Aside for setting me straight, whenever I am wandering aimlessly, her posts always ground me in the moment and get me back on track.
C’s posts appeal to the ethereal side of my mind. She unveils beauty in stories I’ve long since forgotten and reminds me to be still and see the moment as I might have back when I was but a lass without worry.
Beverly makes me laugh, cry, weep, think, reflect, and run and hide. Her voice and style of writing makes me pause and study. I’ve long had a writer’s crush on her words.
POST SCRIPT: I do not usually participate in tagging forward because I dislike setting expectations in other writers to participate or tag forward. To those of you I’ve tagged, please know this is a tag of choice.
And finally, thank you all for reading my words and leaving comments, and always coming back around.