Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Field Trip: Garden of the Gods

Even though I'm in Deerfield Beach, Florida, thinking about moving to Colorado next week inspired my choice for this week's Field Trip. Thanks to Jason Odell for the gorgeous shots. And if you'd like to share some favorite places here, drop me an email.

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Enjoy your weekend. We'll be back in Orlando Monday, but will be unplugged as the movers will be taking everything away. My goal is to continue posting, but access might be sporadic. My Tuesday guest slots will continue as scheduled, so be sure to keep dropping by.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Character Skills

The movers arrived yesterday morning, a crew of two. These guys know what they're doing. I gave them a trip through the house to show what goes and what stays. The lead man walked through it once more repeating what I'd said, and he had it nailed. He said he's been doing it long enough that he can usually tell what to pack and what stays behind in about three minutes, even without a homeowner telling him. He's a third generation mover.

I didn't realize how much "stuff" was on our walls. Never paid much attention to how many pictures they're packing. I never thought about looking at the walls as containing "stuff" that had to be included in the moving mass.

I'd started laying out clothes for SleuthFest, but hubby checked the weather forecast. It looks like it'll be a good 10 degrees colder than last week's predicted temps. So much for my first thoughts. Out with the shorts, in with the longs. The dress for the pool party probably won't work either. So I need to rethink reorganize, and repack. Not my favorite thing to do. I tend to overpack because I can't seem to zero in on exactly what I'll need for each day, each planned activity. It's a skill set I'm lacking.

One thing I consider when creating characters is what they do for a living, or what they would rather be doing for a living. What skills do they need? Where did they acquire them. Or did they? Or maybe they aren't quite good enough at what they do, which leads to conflict.

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In Africa, I asked our Game Drive guide if he enjoyed his work (yes), and why he chose it (couldn't stand the idea of working inside). Do you ever think about all the jobs out there? How many people do you run into on any given day. Bank tellers, dry cleaners, gardeners. What about the person who holds that sign that says "slow" on one side and "stop" on the other when they're working on the roads? How did they pick those jobs? Are they satisfied?

In writing, it's important to give your characters "super powers" even if they're not the sort that one things of in terms of leaping tall buildings or running faster than a speeding bullet. The ability to walk into a room and figure out how many boxes it'll take to pack everything up is a "super power." Author Rhonda Pollero says her husband has the power to be invisible to waiters.

These skills add reality to your characters, and help make them distinctive.

I'm looking forward to getting away from the chaos of moving for a few days, no matter what the weather. Tomorrow's Field Trip is a preview of Colorado – my talented photographer son has supplied some breathtaking pictures of Garden of the Gods.

Please come back – and don't forget about me just because I'm temporarily without Internet and can't "advertise" my postings.

If you're enjoying this, please share.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Roadblocks to Research

Thanks to Mary for that peek at the Dark Side yesterday. Getting into the heads of those bad guys can be scary.

As I attempt to comprehend what it's going to mean when we have to disconnect from the Internet and pack my PC, I realize my laptop isn't a duplicate of my PC. I use Dropbox (which I raved about in a post a few months ago) but only move files I'm working on, or plan to be working on into the box. So, just as I have to decide which of our possessions I will have to have with me and which I can leave in storage until we find a home, I'm trying to determine which files I'll need. I realize my laptop bookmarks for my browser are very minimal. I wanted to copy all the bookmarks from my PC to my laptop, but wasn't sure how to find them.

I went to the Firefox Help files, but still couldn't figure it out. "Find" bookmarks wasn't getting me anywhere. So, I asked my in-house IT guy, and he (with that undertone of, "how stupid can you be?") directed me to the right places to click. Which, it turns out, are under "Organize". I got them onto my flash drive and went to put them on my laptop. However, the "logical" option for me was "Import." I mean, "Import" means move something from one place to another, right? Nope. Hubster stomped in, comandeered the laptop, and moved them, telling me it was simple. Just click "Restore." Well, that wasn't intuitive.

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As writers, doing research is part of the game. And it's not only writers who use the internet to look for things. Could be a restaurant, a map, or a recipe. But, as I learned long ago, it means asking the right questions.

Today, I'm revisiting a post from June of 2008. Did Your Search Engine Run out of Gas?

I got curious about how people found this blog. I'm not exactly a 'big name'. So, for the month of May, I tracked all the search engine words that brought people to this site. After eliminating those who were actually looking for me specifically, this is what I ended up with:

behind the scene sex scene
between her legs
brockmann into the fire
bullet catchers apprentice blogspot
buy voice stress analyzer
central florida dui checkpoints
cerridwen press in print
coldest winter in florida
computerized voice stress analyzer
counting to 10 in Africa
crutch words
dead heat audiobook dick francis
drink coasters one liners
excerpt: into the fire by suzanne brockmann
flashbang candle
frustrations with research
funniest character names
funny names that don't fit ironic
gayle wilson award of excellence
graaf reneit
handyman proposals
how can i reenforce pages in a ring binder
hurricane breeze paper
hurricane count down
hwuhwule game reserve
interview in progress sign
jason santiago good nite
jason santiago-central florida location
jonathan odell the last safe place
male pov sites
marjorie m. liu
military civilian police academy test quiz
my chip carving-give away contest
nightgown sex
police class 5
polygraph have you ever had sex with an animal
polygraph place
polygraph say no to everything
reading programs nora
retirement jobs handyman
righting a tipped-over motorcycle
sara dennis no accounting for chase
scoring guide for a womanless contest
severe back pain, begged for backrub
sex bed scenes
sex scene
short sex scene
sleuthfest agent
smartours south Africa
spoilers: into the fire by suzanne brockmann
stephanie odell
suzanne brockmann ebook - over the edge
syneca cover art
terri Detweiler
terrie's place
terry exterminator place
terry meanings names
terry odell irad
terry sex
terryodell free reads
terry's place hair Chicago
the dreaded synopsis
the waiter slipped his hand under the table up her leg her date opened her playing with her nipples
trouble fundraising with team in training
what to wear for chp voice stress analysis test
why men apologize

I wonder -- were you looking for me when you came here? How did you find me?

And again, if you enjoy my posts, please share them via the links below.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Dark Side of Writing Dark

Today my guest is Mary Eason who writes contemporary romance and dark romantic suspense. Please welcome her to Terry's Place while I continue to deal with packing and moving and getting ready for SleuthFest.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to look into the mind of a killer?

What would you do if a killer were hunting you? What if you’re child was the target? What if the killer was someone you knew?

Ask any author who writes dark romantic suspense and they’ll tell you, it ain’t no walk in the park at times.

I think even for writers who create fictitious killers it’s still disturbing to consider that there are really such depraved people living in the world amongst us. To make a believable killer you have to do your homework.

For me, I love to watch Forensic Files and 48 Hours Mystery on TV. You can gain a great deal of knowledge simply by studying old case files. So why do people kill? Well, most psychologists will tell you there are two fundamental reasons someone will take another life. Love and money.

Both truly are the root of all evil. But there is another type of killer that is far more evil and cunning than all others. He’s extremely intelligent, he can blend into society well enough to be the neighbor next door, and he lacks anything resembling a conscience. He’s a sociopath known as the serial killer. He kills for the thrill of it.

The FBI estimates that today there are some 50 active serial killers working among us in the US alone. That’s a frightening statistic to consider.

For me, writing about the dark side of romance is both rewarding and challenging. The characters leave their mark on you and make it hard to move on to the next story. And if they’re really chilling, they make it hard to sleep with the lights off at night.

All the best.

For more about Mary, visit her website at or her blog, Her latest release, Shadow Games, is available through Champagne Books.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shaking Things Up

What I'm reading: Dark Rider by Kathrynn Dennis

The Move has become all encompassing. Garage Sale Day went well, although we weren't quite as organized as I'd hoped, mostly because there was just no room to put all the "stuff" until it was time to stage it for the sale. Early birds were out in force, cutting into our available time to set up, which meant that after everything was done, I found "stuff" I'd meant to put out.
However, none of that "stuff" was significant, so at most, we might have made an extra $10-$20. The "stuff" will get donated, and our tax writeoff will be more than what we'd have made had we sold it.

As far as the sale itself, the Hubster and I were of different mindsets. I didn't have the energy to price each piece, so I had a sign saying people should gather everything they wanted and make one lump-sum offer. Of course, they didn't pay attention and asked pricing for each little bit.

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Hubby took the "get rid of it" rather than "make a little money" approach. I found that where I might have suggested a price of 50 cents, people offered a dollar. If I thought two dollars, hubby would jump in with one. Or he'd say, 'Just take it.' He told me to ask $5 for the lawn mower. A neighbor said she wanted it, but had to confirm with her husband. I told her I couldn't save it unless she paid, and she was okay with that. So, when someone else asked about it, I said I had an offer (leaving the amount out), but that it wasn't binding. He came in at $25, so my system was the more lucrative.

What didn't sell were our two heavy desks, and hubby's office bookshelves. The desks were a royal pain to deal with, as they were the sort that you put together inside. We ended up taking off a door to get one out, and they were major muscle strainers to get outside. Then, when the sale was over, we had to move them back into the garage, and they'll have to go back out again for pickup.

What I've discovered is how disrupting it is to have your surroundings changed, and how much you take for granted. We no longer have the family room couch or the chaise in my bedroom, or my recliner in the living room. I still haven't adjusted to there being no furniture in our bedroom and keep wandering in looking for the dressers when I need to get dressed.

With no television in the living room, I can't watch tv while I fold laundry or write my blog posts, two routines that have become ingrained. We still have a set in the den, but there's no couch to sit on, only a pair of bucket chairs, and they're not very comfortable.

Our offices are deskless, which means my PC is on the floor, and there's no comfortable way to sit and work. I have a lot of files on the PC, so I do need to access it as long as possible, but I'm now working on the laptop, The keyboard's a different size, the screen is tiny, and the kitchen table isn't the same height as my desk. I have a different mouse, one without the handy buttons for copy, paste, and open a browser buttons – all these details that one never notices until they're changed. And it won't be long before we have cancel our cable and our modem will disappear, taking our in-house Internet along with it.

And we now have no dishes, no silverware (except the good stuff, which I'm not using), hardly any pots, and I had to snag the last frying pan out of the donation pile because we bought eggs this morning for breakfasts – and on and on. We're using what's in the fridge, the freezer, and trying to get rid of as many pantry items as possible, but there's definitely nothing remotely resembling "cooking" going on.

Do you throw changes at your characters? How do they deal with them? No need to have everything be of earth-shattering proportions. Does your hero have to borrow a car, one he's unfamiliar with? Does your heroine have to start her day without her usual caffeine fix? What if a character needs something delivered on Tuesday, but that's the one day the company is closed? How to they cope?

As for stress reduction, I'm getting better at getting things done in smaller stages. Today was "get out everything for donations." Tonight we're going to make time for our usual Sunday visit to Stonewood Grill, just as we had time for our last Sunday morning Panera get-together with friends. I think we've met them there for coffee most Sundays for the last 3 years. Tomorrow night we'll have dinner with hubby's colleagues.

During the day, I'll deal with the next phase, which will be separating what the movers will put in the van, and what we'll need to take with us. I have a Wednesday deadline for that step, because the movers will be here first thing in the morning to pack up all the stuff I don't want to deal with (or risk breaking).
And how does this relate to the writing process? Sometimes you have to shake things up a bit. Try a new technique, like when I started my idea board. Write at a different time of day and see what happens. Try writing a chapter without going back to edit. Or, if you don't edit, try fixing it as you go and see if that makes a difference.

Tomorrow, my guest is author Mary Eason who's going to talk about dealing with writing the dark side of dark romantic suspense. I'll be packing!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Poland

Today we're off to Poland, which now is where my mother was born. Confusing? When she was born, it was the Free City of Danzig, but now it's Gdansk, so when she decided to return to her birthplace, we went to Poland. Learning about my roots, regardless of the name of the country, or the language they speak now, was an experience I will never forget. I've included more photos than usual (but a mere fraction of those I took on the trip. If anyone's browser is slow to download them, please let me know for future reference.

Old Town

The Grand Hotel in Sopot. My mother's family vacationed in this town every summer. They would spend their days on the beach near this hotel, and they'd watch the ladies at the afternoon "tea dances" and dream of someday staying at the hotel itself. It was 60 years later, but we did stay at the hotel. No more afternoon dances on the lawn, and the spacious guest rooms were broken up to accommodate more lodgers, but the old world elegance was still there. Linen sheets (not cotton). Buttons by the door for beckoning the maid, or the waiter, or the bellman.

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The boardwalk adjacent to the hotel, where my mother's family would stroll up and down along with all the other vacationers.

Monument at Westerplatte, marking the site of the first battle of the European theater in WWII.

My grandfather's family granary, directly across the water from Westerplatte. We're thankful they had managed to leave prior to that date.

We took a day trip to Hel, which had been a restricted military site while my mother lived in Danzig. However, it's now a popular recreation destination, and houses a marine research facility. Hubby's connections got us a tour. We took the boat over and the train back. I'm not sure the Polish-speaking clerk who sold us our boat ticket appreciated why we found it amusing to walk up to the counter and request a "one way ticket to Hel."

Harbor crane, a landmark of Danzig

These are some of the more pleasant memories of the trip. I also have pictures of the concentration camp at Stutthof, a site my mother felt obligated to visit. I don't know how she found the strength to go into the ovens and gas chambers. I got about as far as the dormitory with its narrow wooden triple bunks (each bunk sleeping three women) and our guide's translation of how the standard treatment for any injury was a paper band-aid followed shortly thereafter with a trip to the gas chamber. After that, I waited by the gate. Since I don't want to end on a depression note, how about a few pictures of Malbork castle, another day trip.

Enjoy your weekend. For us, it'll be garage sale madness. Then documenting the leftover for donation to charity. Can't pass up a tax deduction. And, speaking of taxes, haven't started. One more addition to my to do list.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Narrowing the Focus

What I'm reading: The Laird Who Loved Me, by Karen Hawkins

Note: This post is more about my 'real life' than my writing life, but I'm a guest at "The Writing Bug" talking about Beginnings and Endings if you're looking for a little more meat.

After reading Marie's Tuesday post on procrastination, I'm looking at our upcoming move. I know what she meant when she talked about things being overwhelming. I've tried to force myself to compartmentalize, because when I look at "moving", it's enough to make me want to give away everything we own and start from scratch. Kind of like thinking, I have to write a 100,000 word novel and all I have is a screen that says, "Chapter One." For me, prep for the move would be easier if we knew where we were going to end up. "Colorado" is a pretty wide target, just like thinking about "The End" when I start writing. I know in a romance, it'll be the HEA, and in a mystery, the crime will be solved, but that's about it.

I was going to illustrate this post with pictures of what our house looks like now, but I decided to spare you that.

We've narrowed our move down to two general vicinities, but can't really do serious looking until our deal is closed. Each step forward gives us more confidence; our buyers have already forked over some bucks for inspections, etc., and are looking for finance options that will skirt the need for an appraisal. Those are good things. But nothing is for certain until after we close.

However, since our Realtor has scheduled the day and time, we're assuming it's all a go, and have our "to-do" list. And a peek at the calendar says it's less than two weeks away!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Gratification of Connectivity

Thanks to Marie for giving us some ways to overcome the procrastination bug.

When I started this blog, it was simply because I'd sold a short story to The Wild Rose Press, and they encouraged their authors to have a blog. I was relatively clueless about what I had to talk about, but since talking is never much of a problem for me, I figured I'd give it a shot, and chat about things I found interesting, and if they related to writing, so much the better. I didn't consider it a "writing" site, and didn't try to come up with a clever name. I figured it would be more like a chat over coffee, the way we moms did it when our kids were in pre-school. So it's just "Terry's Place" even if that might not have marketing potential. I don't feel like changing it now.

I learned some of the basics, such as how to include pictures, and with help from the support forums, how to split my posts so readers could scan the beginnings of a week's worth of posts on a single page. (Admittedly that script is still a challenge from time to time, but it works reasonably well for most readers).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Please welcome my guest today, Marie Tuhart.

Hi Everyone, I'm so happy to be here at Terry's Place. I'm Marie Tuhart, and today my topic is about procrastination. Let's not be procrastinators, read the post now.

Why do we procrastinate?

Is it because the job itself seems too overwhelming? Or too hard? Or we don't know where to start? All of these are possible, and by procrastinating we cause ourselves to be stressed, feel guilty and we become less productive.

Causes of procrastination: Many times we underestimate or overestimate the task itself. Perfectionism can cause procrastination. Feeling too busy. Being told you're lazy or the fear of failure are also common.

Each times we let ourselves procrastinate; we reinforce the ability to do it. So I'm going to give you some tips to help you not to fall into the procrastination trap.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Learning via GPS

What I'm reading: Lady Knight, by Blair Bancroft

Workshop report – overall, I'm pleased. There were between 20 and 25 people, which is an excellent turnout considering it was Valentine's Day weekend, a holiday weekend, and Speed Week. My GPS was about 92.7% reliable. My Google Map directions didn't give me the same route, so I made the decision to listen to my GPS lady instead of having to refer to a written printout. Actually, using that GPS is a lot like the way I plot. It tells you how far you have to go to reach the next reference point, even when the directions for that point are "remain on the current road." The GPS knows where you're supposed to end up, but it doesn't give you the entire route all at once (unless you go to a different screen, but I don't usually do that, especially at highway speeds).

I did get one 'wrong' instruction near the end of the route. I dutifully remained on the current road, even though the Google Map had said to exit. As soon as I passed that exit, I got the dreaded "recalculating route" and was directed to exit and get back on going the other direction and backtrack to the point where I'd been told to keep going.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Northern California

When writing, setting is as much a part of the book as the characters. Often it becomes a character. A few years back, the hubster had a meeting at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California. This region gets a lot of rain. My intent was to sit in our hotel room, which was way out in the middle of nowhere, and write. But, the sun kept shining. I figured I'd take advantage of the good weather and write the next day, and the next. We had no rain, only sun. Although I didn't write much, I did see some great scenery, much of which turned up in Hidden Fire, when Randy's investigation brought him to, coincidentally, the exact same locations I'd visited.

Bodega Bay, (which looks a lot like the spot where Randy admired the view)

Old Town in Eureka, where Randy & Sarah questioned an art gallery worker.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Does the Date Matter?

It's almost Valentine's Day. What will we do? Probably not go out to a special romantic dinner. Restaurants are overbooked, many choose a "special" (translation—limited) menu, and service is likely to be under par. Normally, if we're going to celebrate with a restaurant meal, we'll go out the day after.

Does the day itself matter? We'll acknowledge the holiday with cards and hubby might provide some chocolate (unlike the year he gave me an electronic tire pressure gauge), but we feel no obligation to celebrate on the 14th. Maybe this got started early on, when his travels almost always had him out of town on my birthday, so we'd choose another day to celebrate. (And to my reckoning, since I only count birthdays when he was home to celebrate on the official day, I'm at least 10-15 years younger than my passport says.)

Between workshop presentations and conferences, my schedule would be full enough without including packing and moving, much less adding holiday celebrations. Hubby and I are thinking we ought to find time to choose at least one special thing and have one special dinner. We can consider it a 'going-away' dinner and have the official Valentine's Day and birthday dinner another time, when things are less crazy and stressful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You Know What They Say About Assumptions

What I'm reading: Sleepless in Scotland, by Karen Hawkins

Thanks, Marvin for holding down the fort while I was running around all day yesterday.

In prep for moving, we've been getting estimates on moving our worldly goods from Florida to Colorado – eventually. Since we need the money from the sale of the house before we can buy, we don't have anywhere to live out there (aside from some imposition on the kidlets). Movers are happy to store your stuff until you're ready for it.

Since we don't know where we'll live, we don't really know which furniture will fit in a new place. Plus, the décor aspects of Florida vs. Colorado have to be considered. That which works here isn't going to look right in a mountain home. Our prospective buyers want to keep a lot of our existing furniture, which is fine with us.

But movers charge by the pound. While we're happy to ditch the bedroom set, dining room, wall units, and lots of kitchen accoutrements, parting with books is much harder. And books are heavy. I checked the USPS website, looking to see what the options were. I discovered that you can send books and other media, as long as that's all that's in the box, at a price of about 1/3 of what the movers charge per pound. Our daughter and son-in-law in Colorado said they'd be willing to store boxes of books until we find a place.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Inside the Actor’s Head Studio

My guest today is author Marvin D Wilson, known by his A.K.A in the blogging world as "The Old Silly". Marvin has written an entertaining spoof on the TV show, "Inside the Actor's Studio" where the host interviews one of his characters.

Host Thames Lipton gets up close and personal with the new smash sensation Hollywood movie star, Louis Seiffer.

Lipton: Welcome to Inside the Actor’s Studio, Louis. I know our audience is thrilled that you would honor us with your appearance today. Thank you for being here.

Seiffer: Thanks. You’re welcome. And please, call me Lou.

Lipton: Very well, Lou. (pause) Lou, if you don’t mind me stating the obvious, you are an enormous man! Even bigger than you seem in your fantastically successful movie, Fiddler’s Follies. We even had to search the studio for a chair large enough to accommodate you. Just how tall are you? What is your weight?

Seiffer: (broad proud smile, a shift of weight from side to side, producing sounds of seating boards in pain) Seven foot six, three fifty, give or take, it depends.

Lipton: Depends? Depends on what?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Plotting a Workshop on Plotting- Phase 3

Welcome Home! I hope everyone enjoyed their sojourn to the Giant's Causeway. Thanks again, Jessica.

Carrying on from last Thursday.

As I mentioned, the group I'm addressing is a Romance Writers of America chapter, so using my plotting board for my mystery didn't seem as appropriate as using one of my romantic suspenses. And since I'm using Hidden Fire, which is a romantic suspense, not a mystery, the book is actually much more complex. Why?

Because a romance, by "convention" must include two protagonists, often almost equal in weight. Readers want to connect with both characters, so there are two character arcs to deal with. Then, there's (of course) the romance plot. And in romantic suspense, there's the suspense (or in my books, the mystery) plot.

What I discovered was that the plots were tightly interwoven, so most scenes covered more than one of the basic sub-plots, which is the way it should be. However, I really have no recollection of doing this consciously as I wrote the book.

For example, the book opens with a scene in a restaurant. Randy and Sarah are having dinner after 6 weeks apart. They finish eating, decide to continue the evening at Sarah's apartment. Before they get there, Randy gets a call, and he goes to work.

A simple relationship scene, right? Mainly, but it goes deeper than that.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Northern Ireland

What I'm reading: Kisser, by Stuart Woods

Today it's my pleasure to turn the Friday Field Trip over to Jessica Odell, who now resides in Northern Ireland. She's giving us a peek at the Giant's Causeway. Take it away, Jess....

The Giant's Causeway is on the north coast of Ireland, in County Antrim. The hexagonal columns were formed by volcanic activity about 60 million years ago.

Local folklore links the Causeway to Finn McCool, a giant who lived on the North Coast. One day he entered into an argument with another giant, Fingal, on the Scottish coast. Insults were fired back, and then Finn began throwing clods of earth into the sea, as to build a causeway. Finn went back home and awaited Fingal. With the help of his wife, Finn conned Fingal and scared him off. Fingal tore up the causeway on his way back to Scotland. Similar volcanic columns can be seen at Fingal's Cave in Scotland.

Now it is a great tourist destination and I picked a good weather day and drove up to the coast with my camera. There are tons of hiking paths along the coast, with lots of great views. Maybe this spring I'll make it the 12 miles from the Causeway to the Carrik-a-rede Rope Bridge!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Non-Plotting Workshop, Phase 2

First, The winner of a download of Wynter Daniels' upcoming ebook is Wendy Marcus. Please email Wynter using the contact page on her website -

Now, back to planning my workshop presentation.

From yesterday's post: this is my basic starting point for writing a romantic suspense, but it's not much different for any commercial fiction genre.

H/H trying to get on with their lives
They meet/interface/at cross purposes
Bad stuff happens
They fix it and have a HEA.

And then there's the character sketch GMC. (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) Their goals:

Randy wants to be a good cop.
Sarah wants to have a successful business.
Randy and Sarah want each other.

Continuing on: My next step will elaborate (very slightly) on some of the conflict potential in the book. Since this book is a sequel, most of the character back story was established, which cuts back on how much time I had to spend figuring out their basic personality traits.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

It's Award Time Again

First, congrats to Mason Canyon, who won my impromptu drawing. I fed all the correct entries (had to mention WDH) into a random number generator and Mason's name came up.Mason, email me with your mailing address and I'll get your souvenir totebag from a multi-author book signing in the mail.

Since awards have been in the spotlight, with the Grammys (I didn't watch),Miss America (didn't watch that either), and the nominations for Oscars, I realized I've been remiss in thanking those who have given Terry's Place awards recently. Thanks to all And yes, I'll get to some writing "meat" later in this post.

First, from Maryann Miller of "It's Not All Gravy", the Circle of Friends Award.

From Lorel Clayton of "I'm Blogging Drowning Here":

And from Patricia Stoltey

From Marianne Evans, "A Minute With Maryann"

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Giveaway from Wynter

Quick update from Dara/Wynter. She's giving away a copy of her newest release, "Can't Stand The Heat" to one commenter in her post, "An Alter Ego Takes Over" below.

An Alter Ego Takes Over

Today I'm welcoming Dara Edmondson--or is it Wynter Daniels--to Terry's Place. Wynter Daniels is the naughty cousin of romance writer Dara Edmondson. Wynter was such a bad girl that her parents were forced to punish her by locking her away in her room for hours on end. She spent those hours thinking up wicked stories for her future career as an erotic romance author. Just kidding, but Wynter is Dara’s alter ego.

First – thank you, Terry for inviting me to join you here today. I’m a big fan of your blog, which is such a wealth of great information for fiction writers at all stages of the journey.

I’d like to talk about using a pen name today. Specifically, why I use one. When I looked around at authors who have written under pseudonyms, I was struck by the number who write under more than one name and by those who have chosen to forgo their given name in their work. The simplest of reasons is a forgettable or difficult name. Some famous authors wrote under a pen name to protect their identity from government persecution, like Voltaire. Others, like George Eliot, did it to hide their gender. You see, George Eliot was actually Mary Ann Evans, who feared a woman’s writings would not be taken seriously.

Eleanor Marie Robertson assumed all writers took pen names, so she changed hers to Nora Roberts. Now she uses more than one pseudonym to differentiate the various genres in which she writes: Nora Roberts for romance and J. D. Robb for crime/mystery books. She has also penned books under the name Jill March.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Titles - and a secret

What I'm reading: Master of Craving, by Karin Tabke

Names. By now, everyone (me included) is saturated with discussions of the new iPad (there were clearly no women on the team that came up with THAT name). This was an old spoof on the iPod, but it's just as appropriate now.

Naming things can be a headache. I hate coming up with titles for my books. When I started learning the business, everyone said not to worry about it because the publishers would change it. That was fine with me. Only my publishers never have, so what you see represent my struggles to find those perfect words.

Titles are the last things I come up with. WHAT'S IN A NAME? got its title the day I wanted to enter the manuscript in a contest and I had to write something on that "Title" line. Since the book dealt with people pretending to be someone else (or is it someone elses?), the title seemed appropriate. Even though that wasn't really what I had in mind when I wrote it, as long as it worked, I was happy.