Hopefully I pressed all the right buttons – KDP gave me the little blue spinning ball tonight when I tried to upload my slightly expanded version of The Only One Who Cares. Now, I’ve uploaded some pretty big files before – the Unconditional Surrender bundle was a doozy – but this is the first time I’ve ever gotten the little blue spinning ball on KDP.
Ah, technology… *sighs*
I didn’t end up expanding the novella as much as I’d planned to. Once I’d gotten started with the re-editing, I realized the next part of David and Josh’s story will probably be a full-length book on its own. Hang tight, okay? I’ve got to write the next Courtland book and the next Bannon’s Gym book first.
But The Only One Who Cares is right on schedule for next week – Monday, February 2nd! (Which also happens to be my birthday. No, I’m not telling you how old. :P) If you’re a Cat Grant completist or you just like the new cover, you can pre-order it at all the old familiar places…
Only $0.99 until 2/9/15!
Committed couple David Flint and Josh Walker are long past the injuries, separation, and chain-of-command issues that plagued their early years together as Navy SEALs. Now, with David embarking on a new career as a therapist, the future looms bright and promising…
Until Josh, now recovered from the PTSD that kept him sidelined for two years, returns to active duty. David dreads the lonely, worry-filled weeks of sleepless nights and radio silence ahead—and wonders if Josh is really as recovered as he claims to be.
Counseling other traumatized vets fills David’s days and gives him new purpose, but it’s his act of kindness to a homeless teenager that could end up changing everything, for him and for Josh.
As you can tell from the photo – or if you’ve read the novella in its earlier incarnation – David and Josh experience a blessed event in this story. And to think way back when I first got published, I swore to myself that I’d never write a book with a baby in it. First off, I don’t have kids of my own. All I know about babies is that they cry and shit themselves a lot. In fact, the reason I stopped reading romances back in the mid-90’s was because of the sudden glut of baby-centric plots in my favorite Harlequin/Silhouette category lines. Practically every book sported a cover featuring mom, dad and spawn in a wholesome, Rockwellian-Saturday Evening Post-style pose. Just what every woman wants the moment she falls in love – to get immediately knocked up!
Anyway… I just didn’t like my romance mixed in with a squalling infant. Go ahead, sue me!
I held fast to my “no kids!” edict, until I was creeping up on the end of drafting Triad back in 2009. ICYMI, I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, I quickly realized I’d set myself up to break my vow in a really big way.
Unless you’re writing an historical about the upper classes (who, with their nannies and housemaids, never had to see their children unless they absolutely had to), it’s pretty hard to keep child characters waiting in the wings indefinitely. After a while, you can’t get away with, “Oh, I just put the baby down for her nap,” or “I had to drop Lizzie off at school.”
Remember that old soap opera trick where they’d make a big deal out a new baby for about a month, then everyone forgets about him/her (unless there’s a medical emergency that requires a blood transfusion, where our hero discovers he’s not the baby’s father after all)? Then six months later, the kid shows up again, all grown up and ready to start fathering little bastards of his own?
That’s cliche, and just plain sloppy writing. If I’m going to bring these children back into the story as adults later on – somehow I must’ve known this little plot twist was in the cards, even back when I was finishing Triad – then I need to know where they came from. What was their relationship with their parents like when they were young? Happy? Contentious? Everything was perfect, ’til Mom and Dad (or Dad and Dad) split up?
Writers need to know a hell of a lot more about their characters than will ever show up on the page. Building a new character – or set of characters – is my favorite part of the writing process. For me, the story always starts with the characters. And well, you know my nickname – Realism Girl! So, if I’m going to “Keep It 100″ (with apologies to Larry Wilmore), I can’t just shuffle the kids on and offstage like furniture. Especially if they’re set to play an integral part of the story once they’re old enough fall in love/get arrested/get pregnant.
More books, more babies. I’ve almost reached the point where I don’t mind writing kids anymore. I do my research, but I’m still constantly afraid I’ll get something wrong, and all the veteran moms following me on Facebook and Twitter will hang me out to dry.
Nah! You wouldn’t do that… Would you?