Wednesday, October 31, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, begins on Thursday. I am using this time to write a first draft of one novel and do a first edit on another. I have never participated in NaNo, but I think it will be a good tool to use for setting a routine of daily writing.

I will start with Letters to Charlie, which is in the outline stage. I have my concept down on paper and am excited to begin the real work.

Letters to Charlie is the story of young widow Harper Talbot's struggle to come to terms with her husband's sudden death by composing ten years' worth of letters which chronicle their childrens' lives after he is gone.

My second work, Echoes also deals with loss, but of a child instead of a spouse. It is already complete, awaiting its first revision. I wrote the first draft of this novel in longhand on a stack of legal pads during one of my husband's hospitalizations after his cancer diagnosis. It is a testament to the healing powers of channelling grief.

In Echoes, Blake Grimball goes into a four-year tailspin of depression after she loses both her newborn son in an accident and her husband to infidelity in the same day. To fulfill her grandfather's final wishes, she returns to Charleston and must unravel Papa Grimball's legacy of adultery and lies to find the truth about the man she thought she despised. Along the way, she discovers she might have been hasty to judge her husband and, with the help of a mysterious boy who has adopted her South of Broad garden as his playground, she learns to deal with her loss in order to move forward with the life she had put on hold.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Releases and the End of my Hiatus

As many of you saw in Melinda's post, our fellow critique partner, John Carenen's debut novel, Signs of Struggle is out in trade paperback. This novel was the second offering we critiqued for John, and I think one of his best. His dry wit and clever turn of phrase will have you mesmerized from page one. Check it out here on Amazon and on his blog. You won't be disappointed.

I would be remiss in failing to mention our former critique partner, Susan M Boyer, and her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, which was released back in September. It is nothing short of brilliant, and I recommend it to everyone and their sister. You can get it on Amazon and check it out on her website.

As for the status of my hiatus, from blogging not writing, I am pleased to say, it is over. Under the cloak of NaNoWriMo I will be working on a new novel, Letters to Charlie, which is in the outline stage and a first revision for Echoes. I'll tell you more about these two offerings in my next post. 

Until then, happy writing!

Melissa

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Something to Celebrate!



Our fellow novelist, John Carenen, made the leap into the actual world of Published Author last week. We couldn't be more proud or thrilled for him! We had the privilege of reading Signs of Struggle on Saturday afternoons a while back in our little Novel Group. The experience of seeing the early version of a novel might qualify us for something like godparents, since we critiqued and hashed out the finer points of the manuscript week after week--or maybe we're more like birthing coaches. One thing's for sure--we know how hard John worked on Signs of Struggle, what a truly fine novel it is, and the perseverence required to get it between covers. (I know, that's three things, but a godparent/birthing coach gets a gushing moment. Besides, numbers have never been my strong suit.)

John, in center, talking to Melissa and her husband, Eric (a innocent non-writer who good-naturedly puts up with us), while Sarah listens in at the launch party for Signs of Struggle.

When you go through the critique process--which can be painful at times, week after week, and admittedly, year after year--you might as well be friends. It doesn't have to end up like that, but it's a lot more fun if it does.

So John, your friends say: A BAZILLION KUDOS! WAAAAY TO GO!!

Melissa and I posted reviews on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Signs-Struggle-John-Carenen/dp/0982697163/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350762416&sr=1-1&keywords=signs+of+struggle
where you can find a synopsis and there are excerpts on John's blog http://curlylarryandme.wordpress.com/.

We hope you'll enjoy this novel as much as we have!
Melinda