Friday, May 20, 2005

Questions/Comments and Other Stuff

A little breather before we finish up our NES next week.

News flash, news flash—BG makes a sale!

Lynette Sowell has sold a novella to Barbour for the romance anthology Get Me To The Church On Time. In each of these four novellas, natural disasters almost prevent four couples from making it down the aisle. Lynette’s novella is Heart’s Refuge, set in the California wildfire country. There will be an element of danger, she says.

I know Lynette is working on writing suspense and has been for some time. I have no doubt she’ll make a sale there, too. Lynette is one of those people who studies, studies, studies, and reads, reads, reads. She will read my suspense books and really pay attention to elements such as story structure, hooks, foreshadow, etc. It’s always fun to receive Lynette’s letter after she reads one of my novels, because she’ll point to many techniques I used and comment. She’s working hard in her writing and her reading. So congratulations, Lynette! May you have many more sales to come.

Questions/Comments from yesterday:

Was teaching at Mount Hermon last year my first time to teach? No, just my first time to teach at Mount Hermon.

How did the I and Randy Ingermanson end up teaching together? Randy gets all the blame for this one. He had this bright idea, see, about us team teaching. He wrote me and pitched the idea. Said between us we’ve covered a lot of genres, so we oughtta be a good fiction teaching team. I’ve done women’s fiction and suspense, plus a how-to fiction book, and oh, yeah, that true crime way back when. Randy’s done futuristic and historical, plus written on erudite subjects like the Bible Code, using his quantum mechanics knowledge (or whatever it is in the world he does—I just know it makes my eyes cross) to debunk certain myths on said subject. And about his fiction—how exactly is it that the first book in a series can be a futuristic, and its follow-up is a historical?

That’s what happens when those mathematical Ph.D. types write fiction.

Anyhow, you can see I must have been crazy to say yes to a guy like that. Except that he had two Christy Awards to his name and had written some cool stories, so I thought, hey, why not? Fun guy to share a stage with. The really crazy part is that, after we put our proposal together and Randy sent it off to Mount Hermon—it was approved! Who’d a thought?

Hence the Randall ‘n’ Brandilyn show. Yes, Evelyn, that’s the way you spell it. Say it fast and it works. Randy’s title idea, of course. See how wittier he is than I? He first suggested the Randy and Brandy show, but there was just one problem with that. People only call me Brandy once.

Final question: How is Paige? BGs, you are so very nosy. The book will be a little over 40% done by end of today. Okay? And Paige is . . . well, she’s out of her immediate pickle, but about to fall into the entire pickling vat. I have gotten Paige into so much of a mess, I’m not sure how I’m going to get her out. I think I should have named her Paige Turner after all, because I have to turn the page to see what’s gonna happen to her. And no, I don’t like writing when I haven’t figured out how everything’s gonna work yet, but such is life. I don’t have time to quit writing to figure out what I’m gonna write. So I keep writing, hoping I’ll figure out what it is I’m writing.

Are you now as confused as I am?

Now, here’s the scary and sad part. This new series is set in fictional Kanner Lake, a little north of my favorite place in the world, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I didn’t want to set my new series in wonderful Cd’A ’cause I didn’t want yucky murders occurring in that paradise. Now looks what’s happened up there. Such a sad and tragic case! Fortunately our lake house is not near the one currently making the news.

By the way, would you like to name some characters in my novel and give ’em some quirks? (These are secondary characters, not the “personalized” main characters.) I’m just about to start introducing some of the colorful folks about town that hang out in a certain coffee shop. There’ll be a pastor in his, I don’t know, maybe late forties. A retired good ol’ boy who’s lived in that North Idaho area all his life and loves to fish. Couple of business people, maybe one or two on the town council. And who knows who else?—you come up with an idea. (Yes, there is room for some humor in this series.) Leave your comments over the weekend—and I’ll tell ya who and what I’ll use on Monday. If you give me something I end up using, I'll of course include you in my acknowledgments.

Happy weekending, BGs. And to Bo Bice out there—hope you’re practicing up some rockin’ Bon Jovi for the finale.


C.J. Darlington said...

Oh, what fun. Naming characters. Here's my shot:

Pastor: Rev. Timothy Dickens. People always call him Tiny Tim (even though he's six foot four), and he hates it. The last name doesn't help.

Retired good ol’ boy: Hank Williams. He's convinced he's somehow related to Paige and asks her so in almost every conversation. "Did you have an uncle named Jude?" "No, Hank. I didn't." "'Cause my Uncle Jude was the best logger in these parts."

How about the owner of the coffee shop? A woman in say, her early sixties, doing the business with her grandaughter or grandson. Name? Hazel. She's kind to Paige. But maybe her grandson/grandaughter has things they're hiding from her.

Lynette Sowell said...

First, it was awesome to get "the e-mail" this week. If I've learned anything from Brandilyn in the past few years, it's that there are no shortcuts in the business, not really. Sometimes I think things move at glacial speed. While I study and read and write, I try to keep an eye open for ideas that are great. I give my novella team leader, Rachel Hauck, credit for the basic theme, and I just had to say yes when she asked me to join the group. Of course, I know these terrific writers from being a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (shameless plug).

I'll have to get thinking about those character names...

C.J. Darlington said...

Major congrats, Lynette!

Kelly K. said...

This is fun: More food for thought.

A prickly female business woman, maybe gunning for mayor. A transplant or returnee from the big city, so she is frustrated with “backwoods”thinking. Stereotypical, but there is a reason that stereotypes exist. She could have a surprising soft spot for animals or work with the kids in the children’s shelter. She could be a realtor, or own an employment agency. A slogany name that would look good on signs. “With Sue it’s Sue-ld!” or something much better.

Duane“Dogfish” Dirks….fishes but catches junk, junk fish or nothing at all. Ribbed by all and if there is a fishing “incident” he’ll be involved. People have pity on him and give him fish, so he eats well. Has multiple visits to doc to have hooks removed. “Caught any of those big, stupid fish lately, Dogfish?” Har, har, har, because Duane has hooked himself more than once. But he is a happy guy, as long as he’s fishing, and reminds people. Good attitude, enjoys the jokes at his expense, and even adds to them.

Hearty congratulations Lynette. This blog is a gathering spot for greatness perchance.

Lynette Sowell said...

Thanks all, for the congrats~
Here's my characters:
Pastor Michael Caproni. Always has a double-caff latte in the morning on his way to church office. Loves to hunt and fish with retired good ol' boy, who he's still trying to get to come to church. He misses his mama and her cannolis back in Brooklyn but has kept his accent after 25 years in Idaho. Makes a mean manicotti. Ended up in Idaho after marrying his college sweetheart, an Idaho girl. Thinks of himself as a bridge between the long-timers and the outsiders.

Good ol' boy. Billy McGee. Likes chewing his Red Man. Drives a rusty Chevy pickup, wouldn't be caught dead in a Ford. Drinks his coffee black and makes fun of the latte-swiggers. Fishes every Saturday and Sunday and more often if he can help it. Still has a small piece of land he farms/gardens. Sells vegetables at a Farmer's market and enjoys marking up his produce as "organic" to "the city people" who visit on the weekends. Frequently nicks himself shaving.

Business people, mid to late 50s. Chad and Marti Parker. Fixtures in the area. Own several properties and businesses. Chad is a well-intentioned know-it-all and Marti is a control freak who wears wrinkled name-brand clothes because she hates to iron. They drive each other (and bystanders) nuts with their bickering.

Ron Estrada said...

OH,I've got one. I've met this guy a dozen times. Wilbur, the old guy who always has to unbutton his shirt to show off his scar from his heart surgery. "They don' let me hunt no more, ya know? Eyes ain't so good."

He's approached me in every up north diner and deer camp I've been to.

Evelyn said...

Oh, so that's what it was (Randall 'n Brandilyn), hee hee. I remember the Randy and Brandy thing, but wasn't going to mention it...

Now for a character - Cody Markham, local EMT, 24, sandy hair, blue eyes (with a twinkle), almost always smiling, real charmer, very personable. Has aspirations of being a doc some day. Very knowledgeable about medical stuff (always reading medical books and journals) and likes to "share" his knowdledge (but not in an obnoxious way). People might ask him for opinions - "Hey, Cody, I've got this rash..." Drives a Ford pick-up for which he takes some good-natured ribbing from Billie, the Chevy guy.

Grady Houger said...

Hello! I finished reading through your post archives. What a story! I laughed, I ah, laughed some more, I learned about writing. Thanks for sharing your journey.

If I may suggest a character that seems to inhabit must every small town: Taylor Sides; a nice guy, easy to talk to, always optimistic about his latest entrepreneurial venture, which you hope won't be an eyesore like pile of tires behind his house he collected for his 'recycling business'. He lives on disability. Don't let him borrow your tools.

mrsd said...

"Howdy, pleasure to meet you. I'm Jones--Jim Jones. Now, don't worry, the only thing me and the guy from Guyana have in common is our name. I mean I love people--and temples too--but not purple Koolaid...heh heh. Only drink Gatorade. Yes, sir.

Named after my Uncle Jim. He was killed in a car accident on the night I was born. Mama said it was only fittin' that I take his name as a livin' memorial. Said I got my love of fishin' from him.

Course it could've been worse. If Uncle Jim had been called Smarty, they'd be bettin' on me down at the racetrack...heh heh Yes sir."

Cosette and Lisette Dautry--twin French spinster sisters who operate 'The French Toast' a Bed and Breakfast Inn. (Which serves French Toast 20 different ways of course--French Toast Quebecoise, Croissant French Toast,Maple French Toast, French Toast Crème Brule...) They also plan and have weddings at their B&B and call on Pastor David often to perform and 'toast' the ceremonies.

Their angst is that they both would like to have their own marriages instead of planning marriages for others. "But la, there are thorns on the roses, mon cher. Oui?"

Since Coeur d’Alene is known the "Wedding Capital of the Pacific Northwest", hopefully there is a place for the twins in Kanner Lake. :)

Lastly Pastor David who has his own Goliath-- he doesn't really want to be a pastor. What he wants to be is a famous song writer and guitarist.

Well, David wrote the Psalms didn't he? And he longed to get away from all those sheep at times. Bah. Bah...Jim Jones and his Gatorade...heh heh Busy French women la la-ing this and oui oui ouis. Stand here. Stand there...

Yes, he wrote songs on the side. But inspiration was hard to come by with sheep bleating all the time. Maybe he should take the summer off. Go clear his head. But what would his wife say? And Lord knows, David had javelins thrown at him for playing music. He sighed. Personal ambition was a big Goliath to slay. With God as his boss and guilt as his secretary, where does a pastor run for counseling?

C.J. Darlington said...

I just realized Hank Williams might not be the best name due to the singer of the same. How about Zeb Williams?

Dineen A. Miller said...

How about a lady named Maude that owns a doll shop in town. She's become a kind of grandmother/mentor for Paige. Whenever Paige goes to see her with an issue (or celebration) she'll say "Maude, which doll am I today?"
Maude will pick a doll and talk about why "Salley" is sad or some such thing, using the dolls to minister to Paige without being direct. That way Paige can come to her own conclusions.
Have fun!

SaraEggers said...

North Idaho characters? Since I lived there for 10 years...

Mark and Genevieve (Ginny) Fisher: Live in a self-built cabin with no electricity or running water. A tarp is tossed over the roof to prevent leaking. Mark is looking for a second wife. They enjoy practicing the Martial Arts.

Barry and Linda McBride: Barry reads meters for the electric company. Linda is working on toilet-training their 6-month-old daughter.