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Getting over the Speed Bumps

Speed_BumpLike many writers, I seemed to be suffering from a period where my writing is at a standstill. For the first six books, the words just rolled out of me and onto the computer. But my writing seems to be suffering from stumbling blocks lately. One of those speed bumps is the reality that, as my books have progressed, the plots get more and more complicated. I’ve never had much trouble coming up the characters—they just form in my head and crystallize as I’m writing. However, writing and then fine-tuning mystery plots is difficult. There are many details that have to be figured out as far as how something could logically happen. And it’s not always easy to lead readers on side-trips so they don’t figure out “who dunnit” too early in the book. This is especially difficult with the Sam Osborne book I’ve trying to write now, which involves a murder. The killing could have been a case of a mistaken identity, which makes finding out the murderer more difficult. You’ll have to wait until that’s all on paper to see what I mean. As with the other books, I really like my main characters in this book.

Part of my problem, too, is that I took the last year to sit down and draft some short stories. Book Four of the Sam Osborne series was done, and I needed a new challenge so before I returned to my detective, I wanted to try some short stories. I’d done a few stories that were based on facts for magazines. This year, I wrote an entire collection based on seasonal holidays.

Now, I have an idea for how to return to Sam. However, it began in my head as a short story. I’m seeing now how much more detail, work and time it takes to write a full-length novel and wondering if writing short stories was a better form for me. I guess I’ll find out as I spend more nights lying in bed thinking about this latest plot!

Book signings have also been slow lately, partly because of my husband’s health—it’s difficult for him to drive places when he doesn’t know where he’s going, and I can no longer read a map or the road signs. And like with most people, life has gotten in the way—my daughter and writing partner works more than full time and has a graduating senior; my other two daughters came to visit; and these events have made for a busy Spring.

However, all of this having been said, Genilee and I have recommitted to Book One—Twist of Fate and hit the streets together again to set up more signings and events. We’ve already had one success, which we’ll report on closer to the event.

We were also excited to find out that Spectacle Publishing Media Group has decided to issue a second edition of the first book right before book two comes out. We are Spectacle’s top seller and proud of that fact. I’ll hope you’ll visit their site to see what else they’ve published recently (Spectaclepmg.com.) And both of our latest releases will be happening this summer – the reissue probably in July and the publishing of Wretched Fate to follow in August or September.

I am very proud of Wretched Fate and love the characters of Jacob and Rosalie. They are both unusual in their lifestyles—Jacob a recluse with a famous name, Rosalie a woman in need of a direction for her life. When they meet and work together to solve the crime, something magical happens. We think something magical will also happen when you read it!

F. Sharon Swope

 

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Thanks from the finely aged writer

The things we give thanks for, at ages 50 and 80 plus, are different than what we were grateful for in our early years. Especially when we’ve been given, as mom and I have, a chance to rediscover and fine-tune a dream that may have existed when we were younger, but only late at night, when exhaustion battled with longing for the energy to do something creative.

The first item on our lists of reasons to give thanks will remain the same regardless of age: love from family and friends. But beyond that, we are grateful for the reality that:

• The hated alarm clock that used to rouse us from our beds in the morning has been replaced by the 5 a.m. “wake-up” brainstorm: “aha … I could have the villain be a tiny person who is accessing the crime scene through a doggie door!”

• High-heeled, pointy-toed shoes that rested beneath our office desks have been replaced by fuzzy pink bedroom slippers.

• Our husbands, who used to listen to our complaints about coworkers and tight deadlines and not getting paid enough, have adjusted to put up with distracted, dreamy gazing. Not getting paid enough remains in the bitching bag, but gets brought up a little less frequently.

• The sometimes unreasonable, but completely fulfilling pride we used to feel when one of our children handed us a new painting for refrigerator posting has transformed into the excitement we feel when we finish a chapter or milestone and are one step closer to publication.

• The conversations with friends we used to savor over steaming cups of coffee still begin with what’s happening with family, but end up seeking advice about plot direction instead of potty training, teenage dating or the psychological makeup of males.

• The aches and pains of young age, which centered around chasing kids and spring cleaning, now derive from forgetting to get up from the computer to take a break from our writing frenzy.

On this 2013 Thanksgiving Day, we feel blessed that our first book, Twist of Fate, is about to be released both as an ebook and a printed book. We live in an age where the process of getting published has completely evolved, and we know we were fortunate to have found Spectacle Publishing Media Group, who is helping our dream happen.

But we are especially thankful that we have our family members and so many friends that are celebrating at our side. — Genilee Swope Parente

Mom and I

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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