My Only Burn is Heartburn

Monday I’m giving a lecture on the art and craft of writing. As if I know more than my cats about this. But that’s the funny thing about being published. Suddenly, everybody thinks you know something. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. You give it a shot. I do know a decent novel is not done with smoke and mirrors. It takes a modicum of talent, a studious amount of technique, and a helluva lot of work. It’s like playing tennis. The more you practice, the better you get. Now I’m not talking about the likes of Roger Federer. There’s a certain type of genius going on there. A touch of ‘forever’ in what you do. The works of Michelangelo, Nijinsky, Mozart, Caruso, Elenora Dusa – just to name a few – have soared above the rest of their peers in their particular field. The guy with the lid on the left, BTW, is Nijinsky. When he died, he left his feet to science for study. They took the bones apart to see how he managed to soar so high in all his dance steps. They found normal bones. I never considered myself a soarer. Certainly not on the same plane as literary geniuses. I have no great American novel burning within me. In fact, the only burning sensation I have is solved with Tums. Could be the ice cream. However, I do know a thing or two about writing, I love to write, I am committed to being better at my craft, and hope I turn out a decent novel or two. Sometimes you need a trampoline to get as high as those other guys. I’ve got one on order. Meanwhile, happy writing to us all. It’s a gift to be able to do it at all, never mind eternity.

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Writer’s Slump

I don’t have writer’s block. If need be, I can sit down and write something. Aren’t I doing it now? Well, I didn’t say I could write something of value, just something. However, I have been working on the final cleanup of a novel I’ve been penning for the past six years, getting it ready for publication. You know how that goes: a tag line, a blurb, another tag line, a better blurb, a tag line that might make someone want to pick up the book and read it, a blurb that makes sense. Daunting. Then there’s the cover, back cover, the spine – and I’m glad something’s got one – because my spine has turned to jelly. What happens is after maybe 45-minutes of doing this and that on this project, I’m shot for the day. I don’t want to go back to the draft of the 3rd book of the Persephone Cole series and get Percy out of the kitchen. I’m okay with leaving her there, gaining weight, not getting anything done on her latest case, because I am unwilling to switch gears from my stand alone mystery noir back to the Persephone Cole series. This is unlike me. I usually like to juggle 2 to 4 writing projects at the same time. Helps to keep me from getting writer’s block. I am now wearing that block around my neck. See albatross below and to the right. I’m feeling overwhelmed. Lethargic. Doesn’t that closet need to be cleaned out? You know, you’ve really been neglecting the cats. Grab that toy and go play with them. Go kiss your husband, go take your shoes to be re shod, go to blue blazes, but whatever you do, Heather Haven, don’t get any writing done. Big sigh. Okay, I’m done grousing. After I come back from the post office, I really have to get back…

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A Heap of Trouble is a Heap of Good Writing

Join me in getting to know author Lorrie Unites-Struiff a little bit better. A Heap of Trouble is a western humorous romance action story. That’s a lot of stuff for Struiff to put in one book, but she does it with style! This book has something for everyone and I love the cover. It’s, of course, by Suzannah Safi. Lorrie lives in West Mifflin, PA, thirty minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. She lives at home with her husband and her favorite toy—a computer.  Once a gold medalist teacher/manager for a big-name ballroom dance studio she has retired and now enjoys the quiet life of writing and watching TV. But she loves to have lunches with local authors to keep abreast of the challenging world of publishing. Lorrie writes in many genres so you never know what she will come out with next. She never wants to bore her readers and enjoys the thrill of entertaining them by writing a good story. Here’s a few answers to questions, so we can meet the real Lorrie! Thank you so much for the invitation to guest on your blog today, Heather. 1.      What is your favorite book? Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. The first in his John Corey series. I love the way he can take a tense situation with gun fights, chases, etc. and still make me laugh. It’s a wonderful talent I wish I had.         2.      Who is your favorite writer? Oh, my gosh! Do you want me to take up three pages? I have so many, but sadly, lately I haven’t had much time to read. I miss it. With two books out; the promoting is taking up so much time, even my writing is suffering. I think most authors know the feeling. Then there is real life that keeps interfering, too.  3.      How…

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My Life Resumes!

How cool is this! Coinciding very nicely with my latest mystery novel offering, Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse, is a Halloween contest at the Books We Love Publishing House, complete with a basket of goodies as a prize. Visit  http://bookswelove.net/ for the details! Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse is the first of a mystery series taking place over the holidays and stars a 1942 female gumshoe nearly six feet tall and, nicely put, a full-figured gal. If you’ve ever wondered how Sam Spade, Lew Archer, or Phillip Marlow would act as a woman, this might answer the call. Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse starts off the Persephone Cole Holiday Mystery Series, but the second novel, Persephone Cole and the Christmas Killings Conundrum, was actually written first. After a few emails back and forth between the publisher, Books We Love, and me, it was decided we needed to start the series off in the fall. So I committed myself to writing a novel – albeit a short one – in three months. I’m the one who should have been committed. I don’t have to tell anyone who has written more than a postcard, you don’t dash off a novel, even one at 60K. I mean, you can, of course, but who would want to read it? So if I was going to deliver anything with a modicum of readability, I had to cram eight months’ to a year’s worth of work into three months. Goodbye summer-time fun, goodbye  playing with my cats, goodbye life as I knew it. Did I mention goodbye having fun with my husband, who as a teacher, had the summer off?  This meant he couldn’t disturb me until the afternoon. Get your own breakfast, answer the phone, don’t bother me. I would come up for air sometime around two, when he would get a kiss. I would get…

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