I saw it this morning–the sky ablaze with the beginnings of a fresh, new day–but not to worry. I had a good night’s sleep, and I’m over the jet lag. As many of you know, getting up very early is normal behavior for me. Journal time. Quiet time with the dogs. And coffee! Lots and LOTS of coffee.
Yesterday I did what I call a line-by-line rewrite on the new book, “Dylan”. Covered the first half, anyway. Today, I will do the other half. This just means I read through the story, watching for typos, inconsistencies, etc., and changing them. It’s not hard work–in fact, it’s fun. The story had a chance to ‘settle’ while I was in London with Sally, and as I read it, I’m more certain than ever that you’re going to LOVE it, just as I do. You’ll be able to meet the Creeds early next year–“Logan” in February, “Dylan” in March, and “Tyler” in April. I can hardly wait! I’m told the covers are going to be fabulous–I haven’t seen them yet, but maybe I will at BEA this weekend.
Next on the writing docket is “Tyler”, followed by a new historical romance tentatively titled “Stone Creek Bride”. For those of you who read “A Wanted Man”, this is Gideon’s book. In between, this October, will come “The Rustler”, which is Rowdy’s brother Wyatt’s story. All this sounds complex, I suppose, to people who haven’t read any of the Stone Creek books. Not to worry. Each one is a complete, stand-alone story, and you can jump in anywhere. After THAT, I’ll be doing another Silhouette Special Edition, a sequel to this December’s “A Stone Creek Christmas” (“Ashley’s Christmas”) AND another Christmas story, to be published as a gift hardcover, like “A McKettrick Christmas”, scheduled for this fall. People often ask me where I get my ideas–and the answer is, I don’t really know. As you can see, though, I have no lack of them–it’s all I can do to catch up with the ones I already have!
I concentrate on creating good characters, ones I can really identify with, on a lot of different levels. As I get to know them, the story seems to unfold. I begin to understand what they’d do in given situations because of who they are–and I put them in those situations.
“Stone Creek Bride” is a good example. Until yesterday, when I wrote a brief outline because my publishers are already planning the cover, all I knew about this book was that it would be about Gideon, and a certain young lady who appears with him in an earlier story. That was it, although that’s a LOT, really, because I know all about Stone Creek and the people who live there, after “The Man from Stone Creek”, “A Wanted Man”, and “The Rustler”. A certain amount of the structure was already there, which is one of the beauties of writing a series. Beyond a very simple beginning, though, (Gideon receiving an important letter), I was clueless. But I still had to accomodate the art folks at Harlequin (who do their jobs brilliantly in my opinion) so I sat down at the computer and started. And the story was just THERE, flowing out of my imagination. Now, I’m very eager to write it.
Beyond all this, I’m planning “The Texas McKettricks”, a new trilogy about the Lone Star State branch of the family. These hot cowboys are descended from one of Jeb McKettrick’s younger sons–a rebel who left home to take over another family ranch, near San Antonio. And also, of course, the Civil War books…
Where do I get my ideas?
Heaven only knows. But I’m grateful as all get-out!