She battles evil in a tuxedo! Read on and find out more…
According to Wikipedia, ‘a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.’ Sounds like a writer to me!
Join me as another one of these unsung superheroes invites into their personal ‘batcave’.
All good superhero stories, have a sequel–something else happens after the first foe is vanquished. How does your sequel begin?
My life since I published Forever Yours on April 4 has been hectic, shadowed by Frenetic Activity, who took the shapeshifting forms of last minute Wedding Planning details morphing into full-blown Wedding Mania. I changed from Robin to MOB. If only I’d been able to have sons! Mother of the Groom looks so much easier than Mother of the Bride. Don’t let anyone ever sell you on the idea that planning for five hundred is no different than planning for two hundred. That’s just Evil in a Tuxedo. Only by soliciting prayers from across the country did we narrowly avoid Torrential Rains on an outdoor reception. Holy Extra Wedding Tent! Fortunately, we had only mild sprinkles during the reception, but the heavens opened the second the last guest left.
My elder daughter and granddaughter visited from Japan for a month during that time, and my newly married daughter moved to California two months after the wedding. Empty Nesting reared its ugly head after they left. Frenetic Activity dissolved into ashes and was replaced by Doom and Gloom.
All super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity. How has yours grown and changed since you started life as a superhero?
Getting older can be extremely liberating. My secret identity, Full-Time Teacher, has cut her hours drastically. She now doesn’t worry about losing her full-time job, because she quit being a full-time anything. I have a string of flexible, part-time jobs instead. I’m 61; if I don’t enjoy doing something, I don’t do it anymore.
Do you have any side kicks or a new superhero team member? What are their superpowers?
Gayle, Wendi, and Steph are still team members, but I’ve added a new element – Laura Hile (Lady of the Pen). Laura is a superhero herself, and she and I help each other develop ideas. She nudges me with her pointy tiny toes when I don’t write and pushes me with enthusiastic encouragement when I do. Her superpower is that she can do those things without provoking me. It’s a gift.
Have your superpowers grown and changed since your last adventure?
Yes. I’ve been wading into the murky waters of Marketing (shudder), and I’m discovering that it’s not as awful as I thought it would be. I also took control of my first series, redesigning the covers and updating the files. I’m very happy with the results. I’m much better at cover design and formatting than I used to be.
What new supervillain have you faced on your latest project and how did you vanquish it?
My latest project, Understanding Elizabeth, is a stand-alone (NOT a series) in which Darcy finds Elizabeth’s journal writing early in the story and is shocked to find that she heard his remarks at the assembly. After I wrote the first chapter in August, Writer’s Block moved into Melanie’s empty apartment, and my precious Muse, weakened by Wedding Frenzy, was too feeble to fight back. It took me a good two months to write three chapters. Finally, New Ideas came to stay in another deserted bedroom and gave me a great hook for the story. I’m now working on chapter eight, and the storm surrounding my cave is lightening to occasional showers. The flood waters are receding.
What new lessons have you learned during this new adventure?
After writing only seven chapters in four months, I wondered if Writing Robin was dead. Reading Robin had come back with a vengeance that nearly destroyed her. Now I know that Writing Robin was merely weakened, not dead. Sometimes, I just have to step back and breathe. Worrying won’t vanquish whatever is distracting me.
What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?
My daughter Melanie returned home to live with us during the three years between finishing college and marrying her Dashing Prince. She met him during January of her senior year. If she had never met him, she would’ve moved out and away following college and all of our lives would have been very different. I’m so thankful that we had that extra three years with her.
I also enjoyed learning about football and going to his home games for those three years. I can actually read and understand a play-by-play now, and I’ve come to appreciate the nuances of the game. If he stays in his present position, I’ll even go to a couple of NFL games next year. Charlotte and Atlanta are close to where I live. Family reunion in Charlotte, y’all!
There’s a book in there somewhere. I know way too much about the inner workings of football not to use it as writing material.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
Hah! I know myself too well. I did the best I could do under the circumstances, and there’s nothing I could change, even if I wanted to do so. Every experience allows us to grow better or bitter. I choose better.
I stopped trying to change myself into something I’m not in second grade. I wanted to be like my shy friend, so I tried to stop talking for a day at school. By lunchtime, I was bursting. Total failure. I can’t be something I’m not.
Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.
I’ve already mentioned Understanding Elizabeth. Fitzwilliam finds out that Elizabeth heard his remarks and is horrified. With his mind troubled, he is visited in his dreams by beings who give him the option of changing what he said that night but paying a high price. What will he do?
I wish readers could buy it now, but I think I must finish writing it first. I hope to have it completed and available in March or April, 2016.
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
I would love to go to Japan to meet my new granddaughter (born December 8) and visit with my eighteen-month-old granddaughter and their mom, my elder daughter. I’m determined to go to California to see my younger daughter, too. Since sidekick Robin can’t fly without buying an expensive ticket (so unfair that Superman can fly!), I’ll have to write to finance those trips. After I finish and publish Understanding Elizabeth, I’m going to write a comedy – Pride & Prejudice & Pemberley & Pageants. I’m going to release my inner Robin Williams and make my audience laugh. There’s not enough laughter in the world. Hello, Rockin’ Robin!
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