I’m thrilled to welcomeÂ Calisa Rhose to my blog today to talk about her writing process andÂ her debut novel, Home. Take it away, Calisa.
HiÂ Margery! Thank you for having me on your lovely blog today.
Iâ€™ve been thinking about what to talk about and all the things I need to get done- writing wise, I mean- and putting off this to do that and so on. In all the mind scramble I realized something very important about my writing and the difference in my processes in being pre vs post published.
A year ago I was just preparing for my first book tour as I received my release date for my Wild Rose Press novella, Home. Before I sold, before my book came out, everything sort of came to a screeching halt with writing. I had to get prepared, do edits, ooh and aah over my first cover, meet and get to know the wonderful group of authors that make up the Garden Roses at WRP. So many new things to do! I felt completely overwhelmed by the time I finished my book blog tour at the end of February.
Then I pitched my next book, one Iâ€™d written for Mills and Boon the year before and pulled back after unending revisions that didnâ€™t seem to go anywhere but to lose my characters and my direction for that story. In May I sold that book- some may remember Perfect Dr. Viv- to Lyrical Press, Inc. The title was changed right away to Risk Factors. I think it fits. That book is tentatively scheduled to release in March 2013. Iâ€™m thrilled and ready. Iâ€™m also not going to over book my blog tour for that one! LOL It will have various promotional avenues Iâ€™m finding and learning about that I didnâ€™t know about, or even how to find with Home.
I want all of you out there to see my books. What writer doesnâ€™t? But I want you to appreciate them, not run from them. J I hope you will enjoy reading them and come away with something, even if itâ€™s just a complacent feeling that I did a good job and provided a nice afternoon for you.
But back to my self-discovery. I havenâ€™t fully completed a book since I finished Home and submitted it last year.Probably not something I should admit to, but there you have it. Writing is hard,even when youâ€™re not writing!
I have a couple of finished mss Iâ€™ve been looking over, they both need rewrites though and I donâ€™t want to dig into that just yet. Iâ€™ve began several other stories but they seem to have stalled out for one reason or another.
Life, family interferes and that prevents me writing productively. I keep thinking about the two Iâ€™ve sold and what the difference between those, me now and then. Why am I struggling to complete a project? And the answer, or part of it came to me a few days ago. One is that I didnâ€™t have pressure of publication, edits (I just finished the last for RF last week), and the biggie- Promotion. Man I had no idea how much time and energy that P-word takes! The other? The new stories havenâ€™t spoken to me the way those first two did.
Iâ€™ve found myself sitting, walking, always thinking about this. I need my characters to talk to me and they havenâ€™t been. Iâ€™m not sure what to do about it, but what I have begun to do is I started a whole new story and Iâ€™m listening to the characters, really listening, to draw them out. I feel good about this one so far, and have unsolidified plans to finish it by Dec 1. By finish, I mean crits, edits and betas and submit it by that day.Not much time, but I can do this!
Iâ€™m not letting myself think about that date, Iâ€™m just pushing to meet the self-imposed deadline. Who knew? I write better under a set deadline. Not some blurred estimate, but a specific date. Iâ€™m going to have to do what many other writers do and set hard deadlines for myself, because I get carried away with promotion and emails and, because Iâ€™m an editor, projects that need to be blasted out, so I can write, rather than sitting on them, editing slowly. Even those edits have deadlines, but if I can beat those and send them out, that only leaves more time for me to write before the next step with my job edits call.
Iâ€™m making a new resolution for me. Write. Finish. Period.
Iâ€™d love to leave you with a short excerpt from Home and I hope you enjoy it!
HOME: Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll site
What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?
Silvertownâ€™s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam â€œThe Forceâ€ Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now heâ€™s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of â€œthat damn war.â€ Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man sheâ€™s ever truly loved?
Sam Callahanâ€™s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. Heâ€™s known Poppy his entire life, but thereâ€™s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her sheâ€™s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?
â€œIâ€™ll always want you, Poppy.â€
Her head shook in automatic denial. â€œYouâ€™ll want a girl who fits your life. Not some gypsy with no family lineage to brag about. Your momma wonâ€™t accept that, either. Sheâ€™ll make you choose someone like Connie, someone who fits into your world. Not the girl everyone avoids and whispers about behind her back. Youâ€™re gonna be the townâ€™s doctor. You need an uppity wife who will make you proud.â€
When Sam laughed, his chest shuddered against her back. Deep, husky, real. He turned her in his arms and looked down at her, smiling. â€œPoppy, do you honestly think I give a damn what people think? Look at me! Iâ€™m the town outcast, the survivor who should have died saving the others, not be here planning a future that includes a wife, a medical practice. â€œI shimmy under park benches, run from my motherâ€™s lipstick, for Godâ€™s sake. I wake up screaming and crying over nothing in the middle of the night, crawl under my bed and hide, shaking, until morning. Hell, I canâ€™t even be a doctor because I havenâ€™t finished school yet.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t know. It must be awful for you.â€ No matter how it hurt Poppy to know he used her, it felt much worse to know how he hurt alone. â€œThe only time it isnâ€™t awful is when Iâ€™m with you. When I think of you.â€
Small-town country girl Calisa Rhose has been writing since she was a teen in Oklahoma.
It wasnâ€™t until 2005, while living in California, that she realized if â€œtheyâ€ can do it thereâ€™s no reason why she couldnâ€™t write and get published, too. That realization began her journey into the world of publishing. After a cross-country move with her husband and their three grown daughters (plus families) back to her home state, Calisa dove into her writing. She joined RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. Since that day she has been more determined than ever to see her name in lights. She intends to nurture others and continue to grow as an author.
Sheâ€™d love to hear from her readers at email@example.com and you can visit Calisa at www.calisarhose.wordpress.com Find out about her books on the Bookshelf page. Twitter, GoodReads and Facebook.
Thanks again Margery!
What about you? Do you work well under deadline, or without?