Monday, December 04, 2006

A Head Full of Story

Oh, wow, it’s December. How did that happen?

Maybe I’ve lost a month or two because my mind is so full of Story. I don’t think it can hold much more. Right now the marketing push and letters I’m receiving from readers are about Violet Dawn, book #1 of Kanner Lake. But I’m proofing the galleys for book #2, Coral Moon. This is the last step for that book. Next thing—the real printed critter. Yay! (It releases next March.) At the same time, as you know, I’ve just finished book #3 in the series, Crimson Eve. I was so immersed in that story for the last three weeks of its writing that my head’s still swimming in it. Three days after finishing, I took my assistant to lunch, and when I went to write the name of the person I’d taken to lunch on my copy of the bill, I started to write Carla—the name of the protagonist in Crimson Eve.

Oh, brother.

And, as if that’s not enough, I need to start book #4 soon. Preferably yesterday. (By the way, I think it will be titled Amber Morn.) So I’m thinking more and more about that plot.

So, with four stories going in my head, I kinda forget where my Kanner Lake characters are, and when, and why and how, if you know what I mean. Or maybe I know where they are; I’m just not sure where I am. Or what I’m doing. Or what story I’m in at the moment. And meanwhile, I swear writing Coral Moon ruined me for jogging by parked cars forever. Every one I pass I can’t help but glance inside, half expecting to see a body in the passenger seat with a green towel over its head. I keep thinking after that book comes out, if somebody really wanted to scare me silly, he/she could stage that scene from the book for me to find. I think I’d have a heart attack.

Don’t ask me why in the world I’m giving you all the idea to do this. Some of you BGs have some pretty warped minds of your own. Use your warp on your own novels, okay?

Speaking of your novels, you writers out there—I’d love to hear what you’re working on. Title, genre, theme, why are you writing it, etc.? If the work is contracted, when will it release? These works of today will be our industry’s books of tomorrow. I think all of us would enjoy hearing what we can look forward to reading.


Anonymous said...

Currently hoping to finish by Christmas (but may not) my first effort with a two person POV, primarily told in the first person voice of the protagonist, handsome and divorced man who notices a lovely woman occasionally smoking a cigarette outside an office building while he sips espresso on a break from his office of high finance/investing over the course of about a year.
One day she becomes real to him when he sees her walking with an older woman, no longer the surreal image of beauty upon whom he chooses to let his eyes rest as he recovers from his bad marriage and divorce.
Normally, I don't like first person, although I've read several books that I liked which were written in first person. I'm enjoying this story, these characters very much, and it looks like it might actually come in at the "acceptable" word count which is a first for me.

Mary DeMuth said...

I'm working on a novel about marriage with a marriage expert. Should be released in 08.

C.J. Darlington said...

I'm currently writing a contemporary novel called Innocent Blood, which is a sequel to my first novel Thicker Than Blood in that some of the main characters of the first become minor characters in the second.

This story also features rare books (like my first novel), but this time there's a murder in the used & rare bookstore I featured in the last book. I have two main characters. The first is a teenager who saw the murder (and feels like it's partly her fault), and the murdered man's sister who's a police officer and is determined to find her brother's killer. I like to feature a particular rare book in each of the stories. This time it's a rare first edition of The Great Gatsby. First editions with dust jackets can fetch 30-40K in nice condition.

I'm currently shopping around my first novel, Thicker Than Blood. And since you asked ... here's my back-cover synopsis of the story:

Two sisters, estranged for 15 years.
Their blood ties weren't enough.
Only something stronger could bring them together again.

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. Her career as an antiquarian book buyer at the renowned used bookstore Dawson’s Barn of Books is taking off. Hunter Dawson is teaching her the fine points of purchasing collectable books, and so far she’s been able to keep her drinking problem from interfering. But when she discovers her ex-boyfriend, who also works at Dawson’s, is stealing valuable books right off the store’s shelves, she’s unable to stop him for fear he’ll expose the skeletons in her closet.

Her life begins to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to she yearns for her estranged family, especially her younger sister May, who she abandoned in their childhood after their parents’ untimely deaths. Now the owner of a failing cattle ranch, May couldn’t possibly want a relationship with her, the big sister who didn’t even say goodbye all those years ago. Could she?

Soon Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could the Triple Cross ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for, or will her sister’s new-found faith give her even more reason to reject Christy? Will they realize before it’s too late that each possesses what the other desperately needs?

Yes, I know this post is long, but you made the mistake of asking writers to talk about their writing. :)

Anonymous said...

It's a ghost story about three generations of bastard sons.

Orville spent his life loving a woman that was off limits. The boy he treated like a son died just before his nineteenth birthday, leaving behind an infant son of his own. Haunted by skeletons singing gospel hymns in the furthest closets of his mind, he cursed the only one who could help. A once admired carver of hickory canes, he gave his knife to the skeletons in hope that they’d kill each other off. Two decades later when Jack Daniels pushes him off the wagon, the remaining skeleton hands him the knife back.

Michael grew up with his dead daddy’s life draped over him, suffocating him. They never called him by his own name, just his daddy’s; they chained him down with the shackles of a dead man. After that day with Mama, he left and vowed to never come back. Two decades later, the same day a fire claims the life of his bride; a hickory cane arrives in the mail with a letter from his dead daddy taped to it, and carved into the cane is was what was supposed to be his daddy’s future.

Eden said...

Hi Brandilyn! Well, I certainly feel left out in today's comments because I'm not writing at all! lol Maybe someday I'll build up the courage to write a children's book.
I am looking forward to reading your new book in March. Although, I will now be on the lookout for dead bodies in every car that I pass!
Have a blessed day!

Kristy Dykes said...

Boy, Brandilyn. Ask us something about ourselves, and will we ever respond! Good move! GRIN

Finished Heart of the Matter awhile ago; release date: April, 2007--a contemporary Heartsong Presents novel.

Am working on a novel set in the 1930s. Title: A Woman Named Grace. Genre: Southern women's fiction. Tag line: With gumption, grace, and God, a woman aptly named keeps her family together as her husband descends into the unspeakable: madness.


Shall we gather 'round and pray? (Oops. Am using Wed. night prayer meeting lingo. :))

C.J. Darlington said...

I'm trying to think of how I can arrange for that scene to be staged ... If only I lived in CA or ID.

batgirl said...

I like the title, Amber Morn. Very nice.

My novel is a suspense called Beneath the Steeple. It's about a fireman who is kidnapped by the leaders of a dangerous cult after he tries to rescue his mentally ill wife from its clutches. I'm about 3/4 of the way through writing it.

I really admire the way you are able to immerse yourself in your stories. My focus is scattered in so many directions, it's hard for me to do that. I fantisize about holing up in a log cabin by myself somewhere in Maine for the winter. No internet, no phone, no TV. I'd wear snow shoes and trap rabbits or something for dinner I guess:)

Stuart said...

Ah, a head full of story...

Some days I have nearly 400 years worth of story line and characters jumping around in my head clamoring for attention. Luckily I don't speak most of their languages yet. ;)

I am currently working on a new fantasy story called Chamber of Origins that deals with a dragon slayer, cursed with the memories of a dragon, who must lead a mis-matched band of adventurers on a quest to find the Chamber of Origins in order to lift the curse.

I'm writing it as a very slightly more market friendly alternative to my sci-fi novel Starfire, just in case that book needs more help in ever getting published. And because it is a very fun story with some nicely odd characters that I've had a blast writing.

It's also giving me my first chance to write a book with multiple PoV characters in it and learn to refine character voices.

Anonymous said...

I'll go with you Janet!

We can each have our own room and only come out when we need to eat (or when we need help) LOL

Unknown said...

I just finished revisions on BAYOU JUSTICE which will be released in October 2007. Now I'm moving on to finishing the sequel!

Anonymous said...

I am still trying to pull together my story of the death of a policeman's wife. I have the first chapter - that was easy but now I can't decide if I want to continue in time line fashion or jump around in time to tell current story and back story.

batgirl said...

I'd love the company, Michelle, but I just know that if there's another female on the premises, we'll end up finding our way to malls and coffee shops and book stores, or we'll just talk the whole time. Maybe if we are super discaplined...

D. Gudger said...

Amidst being fully "baptized" into parenthood (Kyle had his first stomache virus last night - yeesh!), I'm working on a YA novel with the working title of The Plot Against Mr. Plank (I can't do the html itallics thing) I have half the ms written out, and am in the process of researching police procedures from some very helpul folk here in CO and from ACFW.

Here's the synopsis thus far.

Kisrie Kelley overhears a nefarious plot to ruin the career of freshman English teacher, Mr. Plank. Rumors and acusations of sexual assault fly around the school and Mr. Plank is immediately pulled from the classroom while and investigation ensues. Kisrie, insecure and very unpopular, weighs the decision to hide in the shadows or expose the a cost.

D. Gudger said...

Quick question off topic - anyone convert to the new blogspot yet? What do you think? I'm wondering if it's easier for html-phobes.

Julie Carobini said...

My novel, Chocolate Beach, debuts in Feb. 07 (Bethany House). It's chick-lit, beach style. In other words, my heroine prefers Reef flip flops to Jimmy Choos! lol

Book 2, also set beachside, will be released in summer '08.

Thanks so much for asking, Brandilyn!

Anonymous said...

Jeez, so many projects right now. First, I'm working on a spec-fic CBA novel ("Is there such an animal?" the gentleman in the back asks. "Yes indeed, sir," I answer. "And I trust it'll find a warm, loving home"). It's called A Certain Slant of Light, kind of a "what-if" thingie with global implications. I'm only about twenty-odd pages in, but DANG, I like this story. In addition, my new agent is presently shopping the first of my Mac Ryan series (done at 95k words). May Mac and his buddies prosper. He's also shopping another spec-fic novel, Gravity Fades (this one's done too, also around 95k words). Plus I have a couple of other things I'm noodling around with.

Unknown said...

I just turned in my proposal for a second homefront World War Two romance. Very excited about it. And have the plot for proposal three building. My goal is to get that one turned in by the 15th. Then I'll turn back to my Cherry Hill legal. It's been interesting trying to create a lawyer's worst nightmare.

And if you like chick lit, I think you'll enjoy Julie's Chocolate Beach. Though I'd call it married lit but with a great voice!

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Darcie, I haven't done the new blogger yet, so I know nothing. Hope someone will answer your question.

All of you--it's great to hear of your works in progress! Have to say I loved Michelle's one-liner: "a ghost story about three generations of bastard sons." Now that's intriguing.

Those of you writing without contract--much respect to you. Keep at it. May all your manuscripts be honed to the finest, and find a publishing home.

Richard L. Mabry, MD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard L. Mabry, MD said...

Sorry--error in the prior post, and apparently it's only possible to withdraw it, not edit it. Phooey! Starting over:

If there's a sequel to Amber Morn, will you call it Forever Amber? (Some folks reading this are too young to remember that hot book that my parents forbade me to read).
And since you asked, I'm refining novels #1 and #2, in which the protagonist is a surgeon (surprise!) who's a failed minor league baseball player (further surprise!). About 60K words into novel #3, starting with the mistaken identity-driven kidnapping of the doctor. No dead bodies yet--I'll have to kill somebody off earlier if I'm going to follow in your Blahnik-clad footsteps.
Thanks for asking, and watch out for cars (parked or otherwise) when you jog.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I'm in editing with a new crit partner on my first novel, "Touched by Fire".

Elevator pitch: "What would happen if the United States created a piece of equipment that could control the weather, but that control was commandeered by our sworn enemy?"

There are two other novels, EBOMB, and Nanotech Virus in the series, both currently in first draft. The fourth, Orion Reliquary is in storyboard format.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your blog today, because I've been splashing in inadequacy and drowning in deadlines. As I read your schedule of books at various stages, I felt the comfort of "someone else is going through this." :-)

Just turned in the manuscript (today - after stalling all day and being scared to hit "send") for my fourth mom's fiction for Bethany House. (A stand-alone called Penny's Project)

Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House) comes out in February - further mom-lit adventures of the red-caped wonder.

The Restorer (NavPress) galleys arrived today FIVE MINUTES after I hit "send" on Penny's Project. so the next few days I'll be pouring over those. That book comes out in May.

I also just got the editorial notes on The Restorer's Son (NavPress)and they need the rewrites back before Christmas. That book comes out next September.

Restorer's Journey is slated for release around December 2007, with Symphony in the Key of Mom (Bethany) in February 2008.

I think God knows He needs to keep me busy to keep me out of trouble.
Hugs, Sharon

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey Brandilyn, working on getting Manna Reign refined. So glad I have an agent now. She plans to start selling it in January. Woohoooo!!! Now on to the sequel!

Tina Ann Forkner said...

I am a day late on this, but I love seeing what everyone is writing. This is fantastic! Um, for the few of you who know me, you know I have struggled to wrench everything about my book out of me and share it with others. I'm just about over that hurdle thanks to nice people in the writing world who convince me they are actually interested. And now Brandilyn is doing the same for us all. Among writers is such a safe place!

I am working on edits for Ruby Among Us (Waterbrook Press Jan 2008). I know, it's such a loooong time away, isn't it? But there are lots of good reasons for this change and I'm okay with it. It's only a few months different than what I expected. The book is about trying to redeem intergenerational relationships and finding hope in what at first seems like the bleakest situation where secret pasts and longings seem to rule. The setting is Sonoma County.

I have finished the first draft of the second standalone (but related ) book in the contract, Rose House, which is due out mid 2008. It's a family saga type, but the theme of sisters has evolved.

Tina f.

Anonymous said...


You flatter me. The chocolate's in the mail. ;)

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Michelle, I prefer dark.

Tina F.--you go, girl. January 2008 ain't that far away!

Shannon said...

Hi Brandilyn,

First, the cover of Violet Dawn is absolutely beautiful! You must be very pleased.

Second, thanks for the visit to my blog and the kind words. :)

And third, I'm immersed in two ghost writing projects. I did two this last year and promised I wouldn't do any more, but relented when I read the details of these two new projects. As soon as I can clear my desk, I'm ready to start a nonfiction book on the subject of leaving the past in the past ("Do not ponder the former things ... See, I am doing a new thing.") But I have a novel or three in me that will need excavating at some point.

Thanks for all you do to help others. We were on staff together at Mount Hermon three years ago and yours (and Randy's) workshop was the one I brought home. Such good information! And so entertaining.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Shannon, thanks for coming by!

Hope we see each other again at Mt. Hermon or elsewhere.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...


I'm making a mental note that asking writers about their work is sure to generate many comments! :-)

After completing 3 short stories for various contests, I'm back to work on Battle for Revín, third in the Chronicles of Efrathah trilogy. The plan is to finish in the next month, then start on a contemporary, And Then Come the Roses.