Hi all! Getting into spring paperwork rush but I have a goal this year: get to work a little on the early side and keep as many reports as possible within the confines of the school environment (a phrase I use often when I write those kiddie updates). The other goal is to keep up with a minimum of two posts/week. Know what? With a little clarity and a little effort, this goal-setting thing really can push me in the direction I say I want to go, lol.
Today we have a guest. Straight-from-the-hip shooter and fellow Jersey-girl/Liberty States Fiction Writer Irene Peterson. She’s gone the Amazon route with the sequel to her debut romance, Glory Days (a book I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed). Today Irene shares about her journey while writing and later editing that story, as well as the sequel it spawned—a had-to-be-written-Irene’s way recounting of Carly’s story. Today’s e-publishing opportunities provided Irene the ticket to do just that.
Here’s a little more background on Irene: Irene has lived in central New Jersey all her life, except for the time spent at Ft.McClellan inAlabama as a WAC. She is not terribly athletic, wears glasses and yet was once Miss Industrial Arts at her college. She swears this is the truth! The Jersey shore is her favorite place to hang out with her family. Her friends have an uncanny way of appearing in her books…after all, one must write what one knows.
I just read a blog post about a woman who almost lost her baby because she was RH-. It was against a political candidate. Then I read a blog post about a woman who fell and busted her shoulder and can’t write using her hand any more and how awful that was.
Made me think.
Would anybody want to know how cruddy my life has been?
It sure qualifies, but I don’t want that.
I don’t know if I can be uplifting, either.
But I can tell what made me want to write Glory Days and immediately afterwards, the sequel. I was sick and tired of being told to write what I knew and be creative and follow the guidelines and play by the book. I did all those things and got nowhere. So I sat down to write a story my way and I knew it was good from the first page. I wrote from my heart and head.
The first words spoken by the hero were…”Ef (in full) it.” Then he went on to talk about how hung over he was but he still had to get up to answer the door to his office/apartment. Couldn’t have a drinker, they told me. That got changed. The original book title was Bourbon John…had to change that; one particular outlet wouldn’t sell a story with bourbon in the title.
I had him go downstairs to get coffee with a towel wrapped around him…that got moved when the editor had me put the beginning of Ch. 21 where Ch. 1 should have been. Had to put in more sexy scenes, so I did. On my own, I took out the word s**t 35 times, but left in some 30 more because that was how the hero talked and I felt he should talk. My editors liked the raw, edgy language, but I had too much in about the girl Carly—the hero’s daughter—that had to be taken out to make my women’s fiction a romance.
I had to make it, I had to get published; it was my goal in life at the time, so I did it. I prostituted myself for the honor and pleasure of holding my paperback book in my hand and going to signings all over the east coast.
You do amazing things to reach a goal.
Yes, Glory Days was pretty raw at first. It had tons more heart, but not romance. I changed it and it sold rather well. The book won the Golden Leaf award for best contemporary novel.
But I had so much more to say about the hero’s long lost daughter that he never knew existed. So, immediately after getting my book in my hand, I started writing the sequel, Carly’s story. She had to get all her lust for life and her daring and her new-found family out to the public, because she was just that kind of girl…just like her father.
And there was the mystery about her mother. Who was she? Why didn’t her father ever tell her what he had learned about the woman? How could Carly’s very existence be the cause of so much trouble and death? Those questions needed to be answered and I did.
I don’t know what happened to the manuscript then. I sent it to the publisher. My then agent handled that, she said. It was rejected because they were concentrating on historicals. I have sincere doubts.
So, Carly languished in the computer for six years, which, coincidentally, was the amount of time I had given her to grow up when I started her story.
I wrote Glory Days from my heart and soul, rewrote it while still maintaining the character of the characters, just getting rid of so much about Carly. Carly deserved to be heard, so she went Dancin’ in the Dark.
So glad you stopped in Irene! Best of luck to you as you continue on this crazy journey we writer-author folks so willingly embark on!
Until next time, friends,