In honor of the upcoming release of Bombshell, Ava’s first leading role in one of my novels, I’m going to take us down memory lane, week by week. This week’s stop? The story behind the story of the prequel to the What Doesn’t Kill You series, and the first age at which we meet the delectable Ms. Ava.
Before we reminisce, though, let me plug you in to the HUGE giveaway I’m doing for Ava. (Insert drumroll here) If you’ve already entered, skip down to the main post, HERE.
Remember that time when I gave away Michele’s Itzpapalotl butterfly charms for the release of Fighting for Anna and Emily’s fox totem charms for the release of Hell to Pay? It was SO much fun.
Well, I have FIVE of Ava’s little beauties pictured below (charm/small pendant size) by Jewelweed Sprouts to giveaway for the release of Bombshell.
Anita (the designer who makes them) calls these “triskele.” In Celtic tradition, this is called a triskelion. It has been said to represent many things, including:
Spirit, Mind, Body
Past, Present, Future
Power, Intellect, Love
Creation, Preservation, Destruction
It is a symbol of energy in motion, and tells a story of change.
It is the symbol of a living, breathing goddess seeking balance in all things, in my book, and that is Ava. I wear a triskelion pendant myself.
Enter through the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be announced the week after Bombshell is released.
The Story Behind the Story of Act One
If you’ve followed me very long, you’ve probably realized I’m pretty Type A. I’ve been accused of being intense, over-structured, and the Energizer Bunny, notwithstanding these last six months of getting less done, which you can read about HERE if you must 😉
I am a huge believer in outlining, character studies, writing-from-once-upon-a-time-until-the-end, and one-pass revision. So one day when I was out walking the dogs and had my digital recorder in hand, I pressed record and starting talking. But not just any talk. I talked my way through a twenty thousand-word novella, a prequel to the What Doesn’t Kill You series. Without any outlines. Without any character studies. Without any planning at all. I had no idea what I was going to say or what I would be saying it about.
And it felt freeing. It felt right, for right then.
It was my second foray into digitally recording my drafts, so I was better at that part at least. Still, as I talked my way through it, I ran into obstacles. I hadn’t written Ava, Laura, or Maggie points of view yet. I waffled back and forth between first and third person, past and present tense, simplicity and complexity, accent and diction, as I experimented on the fly with my women. I struggled as I wrote a mystery without knowing who the bad guy would be, and what red herrings and clues to drop.
When I got the first draft back in written form, it was a hot mess. I could totally see why outlining first was my usual methodology!! And guess what I ended up having to do? Write character studies on the new women, who I thought I knew well from their supporting roles in earlier novels, but of course, it turned out, that wasn’t nearly enough to put them in the drivers’ seats. Possibly because it was only 20% as long as my novels, I found revising the plot line easier than I’d expected. I had fun re-immersing myself in characters whose minds I hadn’t dived into for awhile.
And I discovered a big surprise: my beta readers loved Laura and Maggie! They already knew they enjoyed the other protagonists (Katie, Emily, Michele, and Ava), because they’d gotten to know them very well. Their notes and comments about the new women were immensely gratifying.
The story behind the story of Act One, thus, is that this old dog is learning a couple of new tricks, turning over new leaves. And to keep it with cliches, I put the cart before the horse, and what didn’t kill me made me stronger 😉 Also, I found out I could write something shorter than a novel and pull off a complete mystery.
It was liberating . . . and I can’t wait to get back to OUTLINING Bombshell, right after I finish my CHARACTER STUDIES!!!!
And now Bombshell is complete 😉
To catch up on your What Doesn’t Kill You reading before Bombshell drops, HERE!).
Read a sneak peek of Bombshell HERE.
Pre-order Bombshell HERE.
Enter contest, above through Rafflecopter.
And have a great week!