Glass cleaner ad or not, I love a good story.
Today, someone posted this question in an author group I’m part of: If you had to choose only one of your books, (I know it’s like choosing between your kids), which book would you say is your favorite? And why?
It took me less than a few seconds to know what my favorite book was.
“Everything She Ever Wanted. After hubby asked me to stop using ‘his’ married name as my author name, I swore my next book under my maiden name would be a hit, and while writing it last summer, it was the book that wrung out everything I was feeling inside – desperation, sadness, loneliness – but also the happiness I found in the one place I found it (NM). It’s the story my soul wanted to get out of my system and I remember how calm I was when release day came because everything just felt right, typos and all.”
I love all the books I’ve written but this turned out to be the book my soul wanted to write, hoping I’d get the message.
I’m working on it, soul. I’m working on it.
Have you read my books? What’s your favorite? Why?
Yup, you read that right! My clean and wholesome novella WILD CARD is free to download!
Daniela Simmons has stopped asking all the why’s in life.
Like, why did the accident have to happen? Why did the drunk driver not stop at the red light?
But when her name gets picked to be on a reality TV dating show, there’s a new question that she’ll need to ask herself:
When Daniela Simmons’ sister enters her name in the reality TV dating show, Paired in Paradise, the last thing Daniela expects is to be chosen as the Wild Card, the latest contestant added halfway through the show to compete for the heart of billionaire adventurer, Tyler Drake.
Now, whether she likes it or not, Daniela is going to be a reality TV star.
For Tyler, being the object of the women’s affections has become exhausting. How can one truly know who’s being real or not – including himself – with cameras constantly filming their every move and producers manipulating everything they say? But he’s willing to coast through to the end of this fabricated fairy tale with whomever producers decide will be the best choice for him, even if it’s just for the show.
But that’s before he meets the Wild Card… and suddenly Tyler realizes that what’s best for the show isn’t necessarily the best choice for his heart.
I wrote Wild Card two years ago for a short story competition but ended up going past the word count limit of 10K words and decided to keep going. Some stories just don’t want to follow the rules and this was one of them. This was a story about a woman who, despite everything that happens to her, remains true to herself.
I hope you enjoy it and if you can, please leave a review.
This post isn’t about writing per se but about a writing app I use. It’s the only one that has helped me write over a million words since 2012. That app is called Ulysses by the Soulmen which is a distraction-free writing app only available on IOS.
Yesterday they made the announcement of going with a subscription model of $4.99 a month or $39.99 for an annual plan. If you’re already a user, you get 50% off the monthly plan. This transition to the subscription model allows the developers to keep making the app better.
I remember feeling disappointed at first, thinking, oh great, I just paid whatever I paid through the years and I use it on my laptop and iPhone since the content syncs flawlessly between them. If I were still using my iPad to write, it would sync there, too. I saw the negative comments leveled on the developers on social media, some of them rating the app 1-star not for the app itself but for the move to the subscription model.
Then I thought, you know, for all the words I write, for all the stories I publish, $4.99 a month is nothing for something that allows me to get the words out. Hell, I already pay Netflix, HBO, Pandora, Scribd, Evernote, Flickr, and so many more apps a monthly fee to access services I don’t use (the entertainment ones are for the family but they go through my Apple account) and I don’t see myself feeling disappointed.
Instead, I feel only happiness every time I see that yellow butterfly.
Where else do I get to meet my characters every day, the ones who truly make my life happy given that my life is shittyright now? What’s $4.99 a month? Sorry, but I make more money with my books sold in one day than they want for an annual subscription!
And those books were made possible because of this app!
Come to think of it, I pay Microsoft $6.99 each month for Word which I don’t use to write my stories but I have it because my editors require it for Track Changes and authors I work with send me Word documents as a default. Do you see me complain about that?
So… Ulysses guys. Where do I sign up?
For #bookloversday, here’s a wee exchange between my favorites, Ashe and Riley:
While she prepared coffee, Ashe browsed through her books, pulling one out here and there to open it and flip through the pages, and always taking care of how he opened them. She could have sworn she caught him smelling the books, especially the vintage ones that belonged to her mother. Jane Eyre was one that he pulled out and flip through the pages, and Riley caught him smile to himself when he pulled out her mother’s copy of Madame Bovary.
“Do you like to read?” she asked.
“I do, yes,” Ashe replied as he returned a book to the shelf. “Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to read these days, unless it’s to research a role. If I have some time, I read on my phone, but I do miss the feel of a real book in my hands.”
-from Loving Ashe, Book 1 of the Celebrity series
I’d always known Jim Carrey was a painter and wanted to see more of his art after I saw a piece he unveiled years ago during a commemoration address.
So according to this page, I’ve got 44 days before Falling for Jordan launches, 41 days before I need to upload the final file to the retailers. Yup, I had to make a countdown page for myself because after I’d written 23K words, you’d think I’d keep going but NO… I had to start over and whip my heroine into “shape.”
- Remove her blah-blah-blah thoughts. Let her go right into the action.
- Remove her parents – hell, make her have a miserable childhood, unlike the original version where she had a beautiful one for a change (none of my heroines have nice childhoods by the way. Readers have asked if I hate my heroines so much…). Check.
- Remove her mother’s college education background and make her a mysterious bar maid and kill the dad off early on. No, he’ll leave her because that’s what men do in a novel and make the woman suffer suffer suffer. Check.
- Remove any happy thoughts the heroine may have had over being pregnant. Check and double check.
- Oh, and make her triple horny. So horny it’s all she thinks about even though she’s got a 10-week old baby. Check.
Now on to the hero.
- Remove his happy parents. Check.
- Remove his happy friend. Check
- Remove his happy demeanor because, you know, a hero can’t come out of the gate likeable, right? There’s got to be something wrong with him. And her. And everyone in the book. Check and triple check.
I now have 8K brand new words of characters I absolutely detest and don’t recognize. It’s like I sent them to the cosmetic surgeon so they’d fit into whatever is sitting on the top 10 of any Amazon sub category and had them altered to fit what readers were buying even if it’s not what I write. This morning, I hated the idea of waking up so I could finish the beautiful story I’d butchered. No wonder the characters now refuse to talk to me or if they did, this is what they’re telling me:
So this morning, I woke up thinking, screw the rewrite. Screw writing to what fits the market. There was nothing wrong with the first draft that I wrote that was filled with happy characters who hooked up one night and end up with a baby. My characters were likeable and just the way they were meant to be. There’s nothing wrong with being happy. Nothing wrong with having a happy childhood for a change. Nothing wrong with letting the characters tell their story, sex or no sex.
Nothing wrong with writing the way I’ve always written–by the seat of my pants and letting the characters tell me their story–something I’ve acutely forgotten in the last few months…
Anyway, how’s your Friday shaping up?
Oh, and before I forget, don’t forget to enter the preorder giveaway!