Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ode to Joy and Failed Resolutions

Well it’s three days past my first failed resolution. I did not finish the first draft of THE SWORD SWALLOWER'S DAUGHTER by the 15th. January has been a month of mixed projects, beginning with follow-up from the SITE-SoCal Holiday Event, to learning how to make animated banners for a client’s website design, to supporting my son in getting his stuff together for college applications, to getting myself back in the habit of gymercise, to nursing my 17-year-old cat, to just being me.

THE SWORD SWALLOWER’S DAUGHTER is five-thousand words richer than when I made the ambitious goal. Truth is, I lingered too long over a critical scene where Sheila is confronted with the ugliness of the world and chooses a new course for herself because of it. Some writers have a hard time at the beginning of a story; I have a hard time at the end. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown to love my characters so much I delay finishing their story.

Last week I got exciting news from my friend and fellow author, Karen Dionne, that her novel FREEZING POINT sold to Berkley. This news made my day and is still ringing into this week. I met Karen online about six years ago, commiserated with her when her first novel went the rounds in NYC. She buoyed me when my first novel met the same fate. Undaunted, Karen began writing a new novel and encouraged me to do the same. In the midst of writing FREEZING POINT, Karen co-founded Backspace, an online writer’s community that reflects her generous heart and her brilliant business sense. If you enjoy thrillers, watch out for FREEZING POINT.

It was on Backspace that I met Jackie Kessler, author of HELL’S BELLES. Like Karen, Jackie wrote a couple of novels that didn’t find a home. Until she got a hotter than Hades idea to write a novel about a succubus who’s kicked out of Hell and sent to earth to live as a mortal. Jackie wrote this novel in a matter of months and then polished it to perfection. I was thrilled to refer Jackie to my lit agent, Nephele Tempest at The Knight Agency. But by the time Nephele offered representation, Jackie had already signed with another agency. HELL’S BELLES was released by Kensington last week and I got my copy yesterday. Here’s to Jackie, who knows I’ll bring the chocolate to this summer’s Backspace conference.


LitPark said...

Jackie and Karen deserve all the success that comes their way!

And Carolyn - You know when you put your child's due date on the calendar and then they arrive when they're ready? It'll be soon enough, and I look forward to reading it!

Devon Ellington said...

Even though you didn't finish the book, you still made progress. Sometimes that's the best we can do. The important thing is to avoid not working on it at all for an extended period of time because that makes it more difficult to go back.

Keep going, word by word, and you'll get there.

Karen Dionne said...

Thanks so much for posting my news, Carolyn, and more than anything, for sharing in my joy. You're a wonderful person, and a wonderful writer. Here's hoping a publishing deal is right around the corner for YOU.

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Susan (LitPark)--Wise words about the due date thing. After all, our books are like babies, aren't they. My first baby was a week late and probably would've been later if she hadn't been induced. My son was so fat and happy in the womb, I don't think he ever would've come out on his own if a c-sec hadn't been ordered. (Funny, he hates getting out of bed in the morning, too.)

Devon--You are so right. Delaying the project is kind of like letting a pot go cold. You can always heat it up again, but it takes so much longer that way.

Karen--I am still reeling in joy for you. I just wish books didn't take so long to be born.

Jackie said...

Thanks so much for buying HB, Carolyn! I hope you enjoy the book. You've been a terrific friend, and you are an amazing writer whose time is coming -- soon!