My three book contract is up with Kensington. I delivered my last book, and I’m waiting for my editor to read it and send feedback. I’ve been lucky so far. No rewrites. That might not hold with this book. It has a different rhythm, a different flow. My protagonist is a female chef with two kids, and I wanted to capture how those two things drove Paula’s life, how she had so little time for anything else–like romance. But romance finds her anyway. The thing is, I’ve grown attached to Mill Pond, the people who live there, and I wondered what to do next.
Luckily, my editor wrote that he hopes I have more stories in mind for the series. I do, but first, my agent has to negotiate a new contract. I have no idea how much time that will take, but I had to send a proposal for her to submit, and that managed to be a lot of work. My wonderful, wonderful editor is easy-going about what I send in, just as long as he can get an idea about what the next book will be like. I’m the one who fusses about plot points. I know there are pantsers, who start a story and let their characters lead the charge. I can’t start a book until I know all of the pulse points along the way. And yes, it’s come down to pulse points for me. I’ve gotten more driven about my outlines, not less.
I used to start a book, just knowing the set-up, two turning points, and the end. If I aimed for those, I knew I was on the right track. Not anymore. I’ve reached the point where I want an idea for each chapter in the book. For Fit To Be Thai’d (my working title–Tyne’s Paula’s assistant chef, who specializes in international cuisine), I have FORTY lengthy plot points. Why? Because the longer I work with my characters, the better I know them, and I’d rather do that during plot points than while I’m pounding out pages. More, for this book, I wanted to focus on tone. I want the book to have a “light” feel. I want Tyne to jump off the pages. Anyway, it took me longer than usual to plot out this book. I was beginning to think I’d NEVER get it done. But I’m glad I did all of the grunt work ahead of time, because now, I can’t wait to write it. And the proposal’s sent. And now I have to wait until I hear back from my agent and editor–the life of a writer.
And talking about writing, I’m doing my blog early this week, because I’m playing hooky over the weekend. My daughter’s coming home on Saturday, and we’re taking her son and his significant other to a small Vietnamese restaurant for supper. Then on Sunday, Holly and I are spending the day cooking for the Oscar Party we share with a few movie buff friends of ours. I haven’t seen any movies lately, but they know them all, so I’m just focusing on providing the food. We go all out–salmon in puff pastry, spiced beef on pita triangles, and creamy crab and bacon endive boats, along with boiled shrimp. Dawn and Holly are chocoholics, so I’m making a flourless, chocolate cake, too. (Now you know why food creeps into most of my stories. I love it! Love to eat, love to cook). Anyway, I’ll be missing in action this weekend, but hope you have a wonderful time and happy writing!
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