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This week’s challenge comes from the incredible S. C. Mitchell:
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Think back to that day you first decided you were going to write a book/story. Tell us about what led you to start putting those first words on the page.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was living in Seattle in a duplex apartment. I was walking down the stairs to the master bedroom to change the sheets and clean house. I stopped midway and thought — I can do housework or write a book. I have no idea where the idea came from. Maybe the muse? Oh wait, Nora Roberts says there is no ____ muse. Okay, then. But the thought was there and it was irresistible.

I pulled out my typewriter (I know, I know, I’m showing my age here) and wrote a novel. It was a terrible novel, but it didn’t matter. Cupid’s arrow had struck and I was in love. I realized then that I could be anyone, do anything, travel through time, have experiences I could never hope to have otherwise. It was fabulous.

I kept at it and I met with some success (enough to keep me going) and here I am. I sit down every day (at a computer) and dream my dreams and explore new places and the time flies. I can’t imagine not writing.

 

Let’s hop over and see when our fabulous new member, Marianne Rice, started her journey.

 

Marianne Rice

http://www.mariannerice.com/blog

 

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This week’s challenge comes from the incredible Fiona Riplee:

Fiona Riplee

I’m curious what everyone is working on. Write about a new work in progress, new idea, or some characters that just won’t leave you alone.

Margaret won’t leave me alone. She’s been bugging me since “The Dream Dancer”.

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She believes since she had such a hard time, she’s entitled to some happiness. And I absolutely agree with her. But then I had to tell Emma’s story first, since it seemed more pressing.

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But tell Margaret that. Margaret was accused of witchcraft after her husband was murdered, but she was exonerated along with Bryce. And it’s also true she didn’t have a very happy marriage and decided to be through with men.  Well, until she set her eyes on Seth. But that was after she decided to become a Court Jester, but before the accident….

Okay, okay. I’m on it Margaret.

Oh, and then there’s Lily. Yes. Since I finished “Payback”, she wanted to let me know that the murders she’s dealing with are not solved and her restaurant is in trouble and could I please help her. Yes, working on it Lily.

Meanwhile, I did solve Hannah’s issues. Which was good, since she can really nag!!!!

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I wonder what ideas won’t leave the talented A.S. Fenichel alone. Let’s hop over and see.

AS Fenichel

http://asfenichel.com/blog

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If you’ve just hopped over from our fabulous newest member, Lyra Parish—welcome.

Lyra Parish

This week’s challenge comes for the amazing Brenda Margriet:

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What kind of animal person are you? Do you have pets? If so, how do they influence your writing, or don’t they? What is the most unusual pet you’ve had, either as a child or adult?

 I belong to Jakita. No question. She rules. If you ask her, she will tell you she actually does all my writing for me, but she can’t type since she doesn’t have thumbs. That’s not really true. I mean, it is about the thumbs, but she doesn’t really do the work. But she is my constant moral support. And she reminds me every day that there is such a thing as unconditional love. I don’t think I could write without her at my feet.

Here’s the funny thing. When I was little, I was terrified of dogs. My father decided I needed to get over that, so he brought Susie home. She was a mutt and her bed was just outside the kitchen door, in the garage. She sensed my fear and always laid in her bed with her behind to the door. It was as if she knew that was non-threatening. I was curious about her, so I would stick out my hand and touch her leg. She wouldn’t react. After several days of this, she slowly turned her head and looked at me. So sweet and gentle. And so I got braver.

Susie’s bed was moved inside to the laundry room and I would come home every day from first grade and read to her. She became my best buddy.

Dogs have had a special place in my heart since Susie. Oh, I’ve had cats and fish and ferrets, and I’ve really loved them all, but to me, my dog keeps my heart.

 

I mean, look at her. She is the cutest dog ever, right? And if you don’t believe me, just ask her.

Jakita doing research

Oh, and she’d like to announce that “Emma’s Dance”, the sequel to “The Dream Dancer”, has just been released and so has “Hannahs’ War”.

 

Let’s hop on over and see what kind of animal person the wonderful Jenna Da Sie is…

http://jennadasie.com/

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This week’s challenge comes from the amazing and talented A.S. Fenichel:

AS Fenichel newest

Choose one of your books and tell us where the idea came from. Was it a dream, an overheard conversation, did it spark from a previous book you wrote? How did the idea come to you and how did it evolve into a full story. If you want to share a snippet, that would be awesome too.😀

The ‘hot off the press’ “Emma’s Dance” is my latest. The idea was a natural progression from the first book in the series, “The Dream Dancer”. And where did that idea come from?

Years ago, I was working as a breakfast caterer at NBC in Los Angeles. I was on the lot about four in the morning and there was no one else around. It was still dark and quiet and I realized most of the rest of the world was sleeping. So, if I wanted to talk to someone, I would have to speak to them in their dreams. And what if I could tell them whatever I wanted and influence their thoughts? And this seed grew into “The Dream Dancer” which led to “Emma’s Dance” (which will soon lead to “Jester’s Dance”).

Here’s a bit of Emma….

Emma sat on the edge of the bed and sank into the soft coverlet. She stroked the smooth fabric and forced herself to relax and rid her mind of all thoughts save the image of Judith and her bed. She inhaled and her spine straightened of its own accord. Her head lifted and a warm breeze caressed her cheek. She was propelled forward into the tunnel and the familiarity of this journey flooded back — the moisture on the walls, the light up ahead. Emma floated to the brightness and beyond it, then looked down. Judith lay in peaceful repose, her breath coming evenly in and out. She was separated from other servants and Emma was grateful for the space. Emma eased down to the older woman and hovered by her ear. “You must tell the truth,” Emma whispered.

“No,” the woman protested, still clearly sound asleep. “I cannot. They will kill me.”

“You must tell the truth,” Emma repeated. “It is your only hope.”

 

Let’s see where the incredible S.C. Mitchell gets his inspiration….

41niyiU-rdL

https://scmitchell.wordpress.com/

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This week I had a question:

A writer I know sets her mood with candles and music that suit her characters. Do you do anything special to put you in the right frame of mind to sit down and create?

My office is not messy. I know where everything is. But it’s set up so my husband is afraid to enter it. Excellent! Because being in my office puts me in exactly the right frame of mind to write. That, and of course, having my dog, Jakita, laying on the couch behind me or at my feet.

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Don’t let that picture fool you. She’s working.

In fact, I ask her about plots and characters all the time. Well, at least I’m not talking to myself.

I love the idea of creating a mood for my characters based on what they would choose for ambiance. But, it’s just not me. I crave the quiet.

So, I suppose the most special thing I do is get Jakita settled and close the office door. And yes, there is a sign on that door. It reads “Hush, y’all”. Hey, I’m in the South.

And, let me take this opportunity to announce the brand new release of the second in the Dance series.

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Let’s see what the wonderfully talented A.S. Fenichel does to get in the mood.

AS Fenichel

http://asfenichel.com/blog/

 

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This week’s question comes from the incredible Carrie Elks:

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Let’s talk vacations. Are you taking one this year? Do you have a favourite spot? If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Do you write when you’re on vacation, or do you take a complete rest from the novel world?

I hear the tropics calling me.

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Unfortunately, I can’t answer. But don’t feel sorry for me. It’s because there’s too much else going on. Like the RWA Nationals. Yep. A working vacation in San Diego. I am so excited. I look forward to this from year to year. And it is just the opposite of a vacation from the novel world. It is like jumping into the deep end of the business. And when I come back to the surface, I am wiser and more knowledgeable and more enthusiastic. And that momentum keeps me going until I can recharge again next year.

Just breathing the same air as Nora Roberts and Cathy Maxwell and Susan Elizabeth Phillips and so many others….WOW!

And yes, I will be writing, but more like editing novel Number Seven. If I can pull myself away from the fabulous environment long enough. I don’t want to miss anything, after all.

 

Let’s see what the amazing A.S. Fenichel has to say about her vacation.

AS Fenichel

http://asfenichel.com/blog

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This week’s challenge comes from the very talented A.S. Fenichel:

AS Fenichel

If you live in the U.S., How did you spend yesterday? Tell us about your Independence Day weekend. Now make up a really short story about how you wish you’d spent it. Can be as long or as short as you want, but make us wish we’d been there too. Oh and if you live outside the U.S., you can join the fiction part. If you were visiting during the 4th of July holiday, how do you imagine the day? GET CREATIVE!

I love my country. I say that with pride. Whenever I have traveled abroad and I come back to American soil, my eyes fill with tears of happiness. Seeing that flag, knowing it means home, fills me with joy. So, this weekend, I celebrated in my heart. I think about all the blood, sweat and tears shed to make this country great. And I am so grateful.

And here is my story….

Jewels bursting in the dark sky. Glorious. Cinnabar, my wonder-horse, and I have climbed the hill to see this wonderful display of light. We stand shoulder to shoulder taking it all in.

His head lifts at the approach of another. A huge bay gelding comes up beside us, but Cinnabar is not concerned. The rider dismounts and, in a flash of light, I take in the man’s broad shoulders and handsome face. And something inside me fills with color.

“Come here often?” he asks.

“Really? Is that the best you can do?” I respond.

“How about…did it hurt…when you fell from heaven?”

I groan.

“So changing the subject. The fireworks don’t seem to bother your horse”

“He trusts me.”

“Mine is a bit skittery.”

I laugh. “Which means you are not to be trusted?”

“Ouch.”

“Sorry.”

“My name is John.”

“Lori.”

“So, Lori, is there anything I can say to appear more attractive?”

I smile. He’s pretty attractive without trying, but I cannot tell him that. “I suppose if we got to know each other, you might eventually say the right thing.”

“That’s encouraging.”

One final, massive light show and it was finished.

“How about if Brutus and I walk you and your horse down to the stables and, if I’m very lucky, I might impress you.”

I mounted Cinnabar, the feeling of the horse under me so comforting and safe. I waited until he was in the saddle. He looked over at me and the hope in his eyes melted my heart.

“Okay.” After all, it was Independence Day, the day our country was born, and I was feeling very positive about beginnings.

Now let’s hop over to the incredible Brenda Margriet’s offering.

Brenda Margriet

http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog