From Thursday to Saturday, I was at the Heart of America Christian Writer’s Network annual fall conference, and it was just what I needed to refresh my enthusiasm. This year I didn’t speak, but I did help write the workshop “Writing God’s Way” that Janet Syas Nitsick presented. We went to the conference together and had a great time (anytime I’m with Jan, I have an awesome time), and since this was my third year going there, I saw some familiar faces and felt like I was “home” in a way. So I got to catch up with some other writers and find out how their year had gone.
And I actually participated in some of the dissuasion in the workshops. If you had known me when I went to college, you would know this was a huge deal for me. I used to be the person who sat at the very back of the room and never raised my hand to say anything….and lived in dread of the time the teacher would call on me. After last year, I decided I wouldn’t do any public speaking for a long time. Long story short, I got so nervous, I literally got sick for almost a week. It was rough. But at least I can participate in a crowded setting now as a member of the audience so progress is still happening.
Anyway, I’m still a little overwhelmed by everything I need to do to get the business part of my writing in order, but taking the time to step back and go to the conference has helped a lot. And I came away with some exciting ideas I want to try. Here they are…
1. Write a couple blog posts from one of my character’s point of view.
I would like to have some of my characters write some blog posts and say what they like or don’t like about their book as I’m writing it. I can see a lot of fun in this one. I kind of touch on this in the character interviews, but I think if I let a character take over without me or another character interrupting them, it might be a fun new angle to these posts.
Are there any characters in any of my current works in progress that you’d love to see a blog post from? Currently, I am working on the following books:
The Earl’s Scandalous Wife: the hero is Perry (Lord Clement), the heroine is Paula, main secondary characters are Christopher (who was Perry’s ward), Nate (Perry’s friend), and Stewart (Paula’s brother).
Boaz’s Wager: the hero is Boaz (Mitch’s brother in Mitch’s Win), the heroine is Eva Conneally (from Isaac’s Decision-she was the one who wanted Isaac but he chose Emily instead), Rachel Larson (Dave and Mary Larson’s daughter and Eva’s friend), Herb (Boaz’s friend), Mitch and Heather (hero and heroine in Mitch’s Win)
The Earl’s Secret Bargain: (this one introduces a lot of new characters who were involved in the wager Agatha revealed in the Tittletattle in His Reluctant Lady): Toby (hero), Regina (heroine), Orlando (Toby’s friend), Lord Pennella (he was the one who hounded Christopher and Agatha in His Reluctant Lady). I’m too soon into this to see who else emerges.
His Convenient Wife: Stan Craftsman (hero), Harriett Larson (heroine), Rose (Harriett’s sister), Dave and Mary Larson (the parents). I’m not sure who else will make a prominent secondary character.
Wagon Trail Bride: Richard Larson (hero who hasn’t had a significant part in any of the Larson books up to now–LOL), Amanda (heroine), Ingrid (Richard’s love interest early on), Shirley (Amanda’s sister), Pa or Ma Larson (I don’t remember if I ever named Richard’s parents in another book but they are going to play a good role in this one), and any of Richard’s siblings (Sally, Tom, Dave, Jenny, and Joel).
2. Take a scene out of one of my books and write it from another character’s point of view.
This is actually partly inspired by someone who sent me a Facebook message a while back. She said it’d be fun to read the same story from a different character’s point of view. I agree it would, but I can’t fit something like that into my schedule. What I can do, though, is take a scene and write it from another character’s point of view.
So….are there any scenes you love from any of my past books that you’d like me to write from another character’s point of view? I’ll try to think of some good ones. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
3. I think I’ll write a romantic suspense novel next year.
I’ve been thinking along the lines of a thriller or horror novel for a long time, but nothing ever clicked. Then it occurred to me. Why don’t I make it a romantic suspense? I have a book I started back in 2009 that will be perfect for it. I finally have the ending in place. Part of what held me back for so long was not knowing how to work out the serial killer aspect. The basic plot is that a detective begins to wonder if his new wife is the killer. Don’t worry. There’s a happy ending. But I am drawing a lot from my Psychology background to work in with the plot. Finally, there is a use for my degree.
Now to come up with a good title. One option is Marriage Can Kill, but I’m considering other titles. I’m afraid Marriage Can Kill doesn’t say romantic suspense. It might lean too much in the suspense category.
One of the things brought up in the conference was that it’s good for authors to branch out and write a variety of genres. It keeps the creativity going, writing stronger, and makes a writer more well-rounded. I have noticed that when I write a Regency, I get refreshed and can better write a historical western. Same is true with a contemporary. But I like to have romance as a big part in all of my stories. The exception has been Return of the Aliens which had a minor sub-plot, but some day I might write something like that again. But for now, I still feel a strong pull for romance.