Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

“How did I get here?” - Just Desserts by Tricia Quinnies


Sadie Maxon’s almost done baking desserts and waitressing at her father’s trendy diner in Lake Geneva. She’s anxious to get back to Chicago and finish grad school. When Quinn Laughton, a contractor renovating the Wrigley mansion on the lake, offers to buy the crumbling diner, she can’t resist his deal or his sexy down-to-earth sweetness. But Sadie discovers Quinn is a member of the prestigious Wrigley family and is unsure if it was her or her family’s legendary diner that attracted Quinn. To convince Sadie of his intentions, Quinn mixes up a batch of passion and romance for her. But will Sadie’s small town sensibilities be swayed by Quinn’s big city charm?

Writing—Use the Buddy System

At the last conference I went to in Madison, Wisconsin I attended a workshop: How to Write a Novel. 

There are many pieces of the puzzle that turn an idea into an entire book. Much of the presentation resonated with me, but a light bulb went on in my head when the presenter said something like, "I tend not to trust writers that profess how much they love to write." And what stuck with me was this, "Writing is hard. I don't always like to write, but I like reading what I've written."

I have to pinch myself. My first novel, Just Desserts is being published by Swoon Romance and will be released into the world in October of 2014. 

I know I sound like David Byrne, but, “How did I get here?”

From writing to being written is work--a lot of hard work. I confess, sometimes my spirit sags, my fingers freeze up and my brain is just plain tired. My snappy dialogue turns to mush and all my character sound alike. Ugh! So I search for motivators. I’ll use anything to recharge and keep my head spinning with fresh words to make my characters interesting. Motivation and pure determination are necessary, unfortunately these two ingredients get low…fast. So I use the Buddy System to keep them in stock.

I honestly don't think I'd be where I am without the sage advice and weekly meetings with my critique partner. She writes young adult and I write contemporary romance, but the difference is irrelevant when the goal is the same -- to keep writing. A critique partner is a real, in-your-face, can't-let-anyone-down, motivator.

If my CP has something for me to read it's a priority. I don't want to let her down. After all, she reviewed the 1st version of my mind-altering synopsis and clarified it! So, our weekly meetings keep me and my writing time on track. Have to have something for my CP is one of my mantras. With that playing in my head, I don't avoid my laptop or seek out distractions. The buddy system makes me accountable. It works in the purest form by using good-old-fashioned, fear. I can't show up empty-handed and look like a slacker! And 10 words or 250 words on that 1st page or 2500 words (one whole chapter) ALL COUNT! 

Writing Becomes Something Written
Working with a buddy has another upside besides accountability. When the seeds of discouragement plant themselves in my brain, from one rejection or bad revision after another, the buddy can be a cheerleader. She or he can reset your sights back on the goal quickly and happily. It's so easy to fall away from that keyboard and avoid it when you're discouraged. A slight set back can easily become a writer's worst enemy: zero words on the page. The buddy system keeps writers in check and helps them to stay on course. My CP said it best, "It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Writer Buddies are the Best:
Besides critique partners, other writers make great cheerleaders. They love talking about writing. And they like to read. Guess how it works best for your written work to sell? One buddy tells another buddy. It's this cool circle of writing life. When we connect at conferences, we give one another support and updates. The buddy system at work again: accountability. I know that annually, at the conference in Madison, I need something new to talk about with other writers. What’s better than the first 2500 words on my latest WIP?

Digging around to find out what keeps you writing is easier said than done. Sometimes I simply tell myself, "I'll be happier at the end of the day if I just sit and write a paragraph." Although my inner Stuart Smalley works occasionally, the buddy system has yet to fail me.

The very first print out of Just Desserts sits on my desk. A testament as to how far it has come—it’s single-spaced! As I flip through the pages I still love, reading what I’ve written and I know why this story is seeing the light of day. On the last page my CP wrote with bright red ink, “Wow! I am blown away by description flow! Funny lines, too. The characters are so fleshed out & real.” 

Whew! I am so excited to introduce Sadie and Quinn to you! 

Just Desserts, the final and best version (no longer single-spaced because I care about your eyes!), is available for your Kindle or Nook or favorite reading device this October and published by Swoon Romance. 
About the author:
Tricia Quinnies knew, when she finished reading PERFECT by Judith McNaught, she wanted to write a romance. But, her three young sons kept her happily busy. In 2009, she carved out time for herself, usually at four in morning, and set about writing her first romance. It was a love story inspired by her college time in London, England. At last check it's under the bed waiting for a rewrite. A few stories later she found writing contemporary romances and setting them closer to home on the shores of Lake Michigan much easier. While not writing Tricia tries to keep up with her very social teenagers, two Doxies and one husband. JUST DESSERTS is her debut novel.

No comments: