Weaving Many Threads

In my latest blog post on Birthing the Next Book, I talk about how I’m behind on my word count deadline, but what I want to point out here is a couple of fun thoughts about the excerpt I decided to include for the day.

The writer in 4B did owe Jo a favor for beta reading the tacky romance novel he’d finished last month. Sanjay would count it as her owing him a favor, rather than as payment of his, but he was an agoraphobic who never set foot outside his door so at least he’d be available regardless of when Avril stopped by.

As I was writing the section you can read a bit of by clicking the quote above, there were three threads unrelated to Cry Baby Cry that made their way into the scene. The first was, that when I was trying to decide which neighbor Jo was going to leave her key with, I almost decided to use Calvin Ringenberger, who is a character that actually only shows up (I think) in an unrelated short story I wrote about Jo a long time ago. Instead, I decided to create a writer so it would be someone who would most likely be home all day.

Once that happened, it just naturally followed that I would add the bit about Jo doing a beta reading for him, since I’ve been thinking lately about calling for beta readers for Cry Baby Cry, which is not a tacky romance novel (not tacky at all, hopefully) but anyone who does read for me is seriously in my debt anytime they want to collect.

The third thread to mention is that I’ve decided that Jo needs to go downstate for this part of the novel, and when she does, she is seriously treading on the territory of my Deb Donahue books. My split personality is going wacky over that.



TMI? Or Just Enough?

Sharing excerpts of Cry Baby Cry is gratifying to me for two reasons. One, it is exciting to share what I’ve written which motivates me to continue writing, but also because I am hoping people who read these bits and pieces will feel as excited for the release of the book as I am.

As writing continues, however, it’s getting harder and harder to find things to share without spoiling the plot for those eager to read the whole thing. I have to constantly ask, am I releasing Too Much Information, or dropping just enough bread crumbs to lead you on without spoiling the story?

I hope today’s entry on Birthing the Next Book provides just enough info without going overboard into TMI. Click the quote below to read the new teaser.

Then suddenly his arms were around her and she was pulled close to his chest. She stiffened at first, but he felt so good, he smelled so good—all man and dried sweat and some remnant of aftershave.

The Sprint for the Finish

After some welcome distractions (the birth of my first grandbaby, Ellie Sophia) and some unwelcome ones (like dealing with water damage in our kitchen and dining room) I am finally getting back to serious work on the next Street Story Novel, Cry Baby Cry.

My goals now are to finish the first draft by May 1, have edits completed by the end of May, and get the book released in time to take copies with me when I participate in Chicago’s Printers Row Festival Sunday, June 10.

To meet those goals, I am calling on friends, family and fans to hold me accountable. I don’t care how you do it. You can bug me by asking me “How many words did you write today?” every time you see me, or shame me if my answer is “Um, none,” or encourage me by telling me you can’t wait to find out what happens to Jo next time, or leave glowing reviews of the Street Stories books you’ve already read.

And you can start by clicking the quote below to read the latest excerpt posted on my Birthing the Next Book blog and let me know what you think. I would love to dedicate Cry Baby Cry to everyone who does even the tiniest bit to help me get this book done.

Jo turned to see Martin Oberhaus smiling widely. His teeth were as white and well ordered as the lion’s mane of hair on his head. He could have been the grandfather of the family pictured on the poster.

Who is Lily’s Father?

In the first Street Stories novel, Painted Black, I was able to get inside Sidney Cole’s mind by writing chapters from his point of view. However Lily’s father, Lou Becket, isn’t one of the characters I’m telling her story through.

When I ran up against a road block writing one of Lily’s chapters, I figured out it was because I didn’t have a handle on her father’s motivation. So even though I know this scene will never end up in the final version of Cry Baby Cry, I wrote it anyway.

Click the quote below to read more about this man and why she ran away from him.

Their cause was righteous, therefore God would protect them. The Lord had laid this mission upon his heart, to save these misled sinners and set them on the true path.

Jo Drowns Her Insecurities

Jo Sullivan is not me, the author, although all my characters have traits I can relate to. However, I had fun making tequila Jo’s alcohol of choice because it is mine as well. Especially with cinnamon and oranges.

I think she’s had a shot or two in all of the books in the series so far.

Jo poured another shot of tequila and sprinkled cinnamon on a slice of orange. Keisha’s breakfast nook was already littered with a half dozen naked strips of orange peel, flecks of cinnamon dust, and a quarter-sized puddle of spilled Don Julio.