Tuesday, June 6, 2017

To Swear or not to Swear

I am often asked when I'm out doing book signings if my books have swear words in them.  Well, yes, they do, although I don't use the F word (I seem to not like 'ph' sounds no matter what the word: fill, fix, phone, elephant, it doesn't matter).

I have asked other authors how often they are asked this question and I always get a puzzled look along with "never." I seem to be an anomaly.

Do I come across as some hard-core biker?  Is it my red hair that gives visions of an Irish temper?  And who doesn't yell without swearing?  "I'm gonna let you have it, you no-good-guy-whose-mother-never-married!"  Really doesn't give you the same punch, does it?

I did an author talk one time along with three other authors.  Afterward, I got to chatting with one of them and we talked about our current projects.  I asked her if she ever got the question about swearing.  She frowned and said 'no' so I proceeded to say I was now working on a book in which I would have no swear words so that I could hand it over when the question came up with, "Here's your book."

"No,don't do that," she warned.

"Why?" I asked.

"People get upset, people swear.  Your book won't come off as real and you want your characters to act like normal people."

I dismissed this at the time considering that the book I'm now working on I state as: a-feel-good-book-for-the-end-of-the-world and has some spiritual connotations. I really thought I could pull this off.

However, when strange fiery balls are falling out of the sky toward Earth I have to agree.  How many people are going to stand there and exclaim, "Jiminy Cricket! What's that?" "Holy excrement! Run!"

Recently I've discovered, and will laminate before the next book signing to have at the ready, two magazine articles expounding the virtues of cussing.  Those who do, tend to have a wider vocabulary (sign of intelligence), helps reduce and endure pain, and they may be more honest.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sequel to "Owe It To The Wind"

As I do book signings the question has come up again, "Where is the sequel to Owe It To The Wind?"

Yes, on the back cover there is a title to look for but down the road the title was changed.  It is now, Truly, Everything.  We apologize for the confusion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When to Proofread -- Always!

When I was graduating from high school, years ago, I was writing hurriedly through several of my friends yearbooks.  One of my friends got hers back and burst out laughing.  I looked at her puzzled as I didn't think I'd written anything terribly funny.  She pointed, "Never remember?  Okay, I'll make sure to never remember the good times.  After all, we've only known each other since elementary school."  I had been switching between "Never forget" and "Always remember" when I came up with that gem.  I was not happy with myself and horrified that she refused to give me her yearbook back to correct it.

Several years later, keeping touch only off and on, we made a date for lunch.  Surely enough time, marriage, and kids, had passed that all was really forgotten.  She greeted me with a hug and a smile and said, "You know, I always never remember the time . . ."

The lesson being, since high school I have always proofread everything I write (or at least try).  Which is a good thing, since I'm a writer.

Which brings me to yesterday and why I'm writing this story.

I have a very lengthy novel that I've written that I was working on, mainly copying and pasting but also tightening it up.  It deals with a serial killer.  Needing a break I checked my emails, Facebook and googled a few things of interest when I came across a company looking for stories of inspiration.  I read through what was required and thought of a few things that had happened in my life that fell under those guidelines.  I decided I'd let those ideas percolate for a few days, pick one and then . . . wait, what?  The deadline is today?  This had been out there for nearly a year and I was just now discovering it?

Abandoning my book I immediately started writing my heartfelt, inspirational story.   I edited, and edited, left it alone, came back and edited.  This went on from late afternoon when I had found this write up to close to midnight when I needed it sent out.

Realizing that I can edit until Doomsday (my other sci-fi book that I'm also working on) I decide to either send it or forget it.  I fill out all the necessary information.  I copy and paste in the little box provided, my cursor is hovering over the "Submit" button when my eye happens to light on one word: killer.

Okay, I have written a true story about my children and although they have been trying at times I know I didn't write anything like that!  Plus, I have proofread this article three times!  What on earth?  I lean in closer.  What has pasted onto the page is a small section of my serial killer story!  The part where the serial killer is giving his thoughts and ideas and why he does what he does.  Nothing of my inspirational-feel-good story!

I have visions of the police banging on my door in the middle of the night and hauling me away.  I see this national big name publishing house never wanting to hear from me again no matter how much I try to explain myself.  Such inspiration lady. Sure, it was the computer's fault.

Then today, out of the blue, I receive a card.  A snail mail card no less from a friend that I haven't seen in years although we keep in touch on Facebook.  She wants to let me know she now knows how to forge a painting and she'll be happy to send me this information whenever I need it.  You'll note she did not send this electronically.

"Honest officer!  She meant for my book!  Information for a book I'm writing!"

"In the guise of a Christmas card at the end of January?  Really?"

Yes.  I want to never remember this day again.