Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Only as Good As?

They say a writer is only as good as her last book. True, very true. If you’ve turned out a string of pearls and deliver a lump of coal, that’s what you’ll have to overcome in the next book.

I don’t think I’ve done that yet. Not to brag (OK, it’s bragging), but one reader says each Duckworthy book is better than the last one. I’m not examining that sentiment far enough to see what it says about the first two. Nope, not doing it.

But what occurred to me yesterday, as I completed a scene that I very much like, and one that popped up all on its own, as they are wont to do, is that maybe a writer is only as good as her last chapter. Her last paragraph? Her last sentence?

No wonder writers exist in a constant state of mild anxiety, broken up by periods of sheer terror, usually induced by deadlines.

Am I overthinking this? Maybe not. After all, you can’t stick awful sentences into your paragraphs and just continue on your blithe way. They all have to be crafted. They all have to hang together. Nothing must impede the reader, speeding through your deathless prose, turning the pages into the night—ideally.

When we do put in a stumbling block, we sure do depend on our beta readers to point those out to us so we can smooth the way.

This is very much on my mind as I finish up the second Fat Cat book and embark on the third. The first one was so well received, that I can’t believe the second one will measure up, let alone the third. All I can do is write the best book I can and fling it out there. Talk about a wing and a prayer!

I will add that I depend on my publishers’ editors to keep me on the straight and narrow to producing an entertaining book. However, it’s my name on the cover, right? One of my names, anyway.

This blog is duplicated at Janet's place, 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cover Reveal!

I'm so pleased to be able to show you the cover for FAT CAT SPREADS OUT, which will be published June of 2015 if everything goes well and I don't have to do lots of additional rewriting.

Here's the come-on:

Butterscotch tabby Quincy is back and hungrier than ever in this frisky follow-up to Fat Cat at Large
A booth at the Bunyan County Harvest Fair seems like the perfect opportunity for Charity “Chase” Oliver and Anna Larson to promote their Bar None bakery business. Unfortunately, plus-sized pussycat Quincy has plans for their delicious dessert bars other than selling them to customers. After tearing through their inventory, Quincy goes roaming the fairgrounds in search of more delights.
But what he finds is murder. One of the top contenders in a butter-sculpting contest has been killed, and Chase is churning on the inside when she sees Quincy’s handsome veterinarian, Dr. Mike Ramos, being led away by the police. With a little help from a kitty with butter on his whiskers, Chase needs to find the real killer and clear the doctor’s good name….

AND the cover:

You can preorder it already, too. Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, or Amazon.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Post Halloween Thoughts

Thought #1. The same one we usually have. We bought too much candy. This year was worse than
some because it started raining at 7. We got 5 trick or treaters, then, I figure, the fled to the nice warm, dry mall, where candy was also being handed out.

Thought #2. November 2nd was National Cookie Monster Day, but why isn’t it National Leftover Candy Day? That would make sense. Or maybe have that one on November 1st and then follow it with the lovable Monster’s day.

Thought #3. Thanksgiving is next, although it’s hard to discern, since the only commercial value is to the grocery stores. Should we try for a fresh turkey this year? They turn out well, no thawing required. And I have a handy new meat thermometer that I can read outside the oven.

Thought #4. I kind of miss the injected deep-fried turkeys our son
used to make when he was single. And the ones Hubby used to smoke all day on the driveway. Neither of these guys are inclined to do these any more. Things change.

Thought #5. Even though I lament the early advertising for Christmas, I need to get cracking on gifts. I have two packages that I sent overseas and they need to go out this month. Pretty soon, actually. That’s why I shop for Christmas all year long.