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Writing a Series

thD2COL8XII just finished writing the second book in the series, “Waking Amy.” It’s crazy how all that happened…

I wrote “Waking Amy” and sent it out to agents and publishers for a contract. When I decided on the one I now have, the letter of acceptance included a suggestion of more titles in the series. What? I ended the story, I thought. What other titles? There were none. Amy, as far as I was concerned, was off doing whatever she was doing. I had put a period to the end of her book existence. Then I let someone read it. And she said the same thing…what next? I had to think about that.

With Bridget Jones Diary coming out with the third installment, I knew it made sense. I wanted to see what happened after the last page on that first book. Was Bridget going to truly have a happily ever after with Mark Darcy? I would like to know. Same with Amy. Sure, I ended the story, but there was so much more to Amy’s story. Like Bridget with Mark, would Amy continue with her Mark Darcy? How would life find her next year?

I had so much fun continuing Amy’s story. Who doesn’t love mini-series on television, anyway? The Thorn Birds for one was awesome. And shows like The Practice, or Nashville…if you wanted to you could continue all the books that were written as a standalone. It just takes a stretch of the imagination.

I’m looking forward to Bridget’s third installment. A baby? I’m not sure what Amy’s third sequel will bring, but for now I’ve got her settled in book two, “Leaving Amy.” I hope everyone who reads it will enjoy it as much I enjoyed writing it. It was great pushing my original thought of ‘The End’ to the limits:)

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contemporary, fiction, music, romance

Music and Writing

images (4)Music has a tremendous impact over my moods, over my writing, and over my driving! I would even go so far as to say that one song had the power to inspire me to write a book about the lyrics. It was my first one, “Keeping Her Secret.” Although, when I wrote it, I titled it “Gravity.” It placed as a finalist in a national writing contest. I was very proud of it, after all, it was the namesake of its muse, “Gravity”, by Sara Bareilles. When I heard that song for the first time, I felt the emotion of the girl being so drawn to her lover. Without any touch or chains, she drowns in his love. But, she doesn’t want to. She begs to be set free. Wow! What power, what raw emotion. It doesn’t hurt that Sara is so talented and conveys the strong emotion in her voice. I love it!

So, then I began thinking about what other songs I could  listen to that carried a similar message. Something that I could hear and get lost in the meaning behind the lyrics. “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen. It was a perfect addition to my list. I was writing about this fragile girl who thought she was strong, who wouldn’t let anyone get close to her, yet she longed to feel love. She wanted to drown in it, yet be set free; she would take you driving in her car, lead you down a path, but to get to her heart you needed a hammer and a vise. Great songs!

These are certainly my go-to’s for just about anything. I’m currently working on a manuscript about forbidden love; secret love. So, I thought long and hard for my new playlist. A few I came up with was Seal’s, “Secret” and Luther Vandross’, “If Only For One Night”.

Music, to me, is a treasure trove of inspiration. Lyrics writing their ways onto my paper, creating the imagery of tortured souls, hidden love, and just plain getting me in the mood to write a scene. With my first book, “Keeping Her Secret”, I describe the guy and girl dancing to Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine.” Total classic! I can whip out a scene in seconds with the right song playing.

Most of my books will mention music in one way or another. A song mentioned playing in the background, the one they first danced to, or what the character picked on their playlist to listen to, driving to the country house. Music is important to me, therefore I make it important to my characters.