Later on, Kate and I got to be roommates at the New England Chapter RWA Conference in Salem, where I discovered that not only was she a terrific writer, but an all-around cool chick. Since then, I've gotten to read some of her work in progress, and of course, her first two published books. The third in the series is out now, and I asked her if she'd like to come share a little bit about it with all the cool people who hang around here :-) Isn't that a great cover? (And I love the title...)
Crazy Little Thing Called Dead: The Song and Dance
When Deb asked me if I wanted to guest blog I asked: “What would you like, a blog post, an interview, song and dance?”
Deb wrote back “I’d like the song and dance…” [Deb's note: really, she should know better]
Luckily the song and dance is what I’m best at.
The publisher of my first two paperbacks, Moonlighting in Vermont and California Schemin’, didn’t do much editing. I wrote the book the best I knew how and if she liked them she published them. She had a copy editor go through them, but there were no major revisions.
I decided to do things a little differently this time. I’m going Indie – releasing both the paperback and the e-book myself. That being the case I hired an editor to do a read through for content, plot line, character, stuff that’s really important for a good book.
And because I hired a good editor, who is tough and wants me to improve my game, I found myself in revision hell for the first time in my life. I’d never had to seriously alter a book after it was finished before. At one point in the process I seriously doubted I’d be able to make it work. But I carried on, slogging through, cutting scenes left and right. Crossing my fingers that I wasn’t totally destroying the story. I probably re-wrote half the book.
I took two days off from the day job when it was clear I wasn’t going to finish in time if I didn’t.
And I did it. I revised that sucker to within an inch of its life. I think it’s a stronger story. I know the characters’ motivations are stronger, clearer and they have a reason for everything they do, and it’s not just because it makes the story work.
The problem is with all that revision I might have missed something. Some odd plotline may not have gotten resolved. Some name change that might have got missed. I have a copy editor; I’m not worried about that. But what if, in all the cuts and moves and do overs I left something that should have been cut, or cut something that should have been left. It’s a little intimidating.
There’s one other thing. I did something in this book that could make readers hate me. That scares me a lot. It had to happen, in order for Bree to get mad enough to take revenge it had to happen. But some readers are not going to like it. I may lose readers over it. That’s kind of scary for me.
I know Donald Maass says to take your characters and put them in the worst possible scenarios. Make them survive horrific things. I did that, and now I’m scared. Readers might decide I’m not reliable. But the story is strong. The motivations are strong; the writing is clear and to the point.
This is where the song and dance comes in. If I tap dance loud enough, sing well enough maybe I can distract my readers just enough that they forget I committed a heinous act and put my characters through hell.
From Deb: So, what do you think? Is it okay for an author to do terrible things to her characters?
If you want more info about Kate, you can check her out here:
Here's her author page on Amazon Kate George Author Page
And here's where you can find the new book! Crazy Little Thing Called Dead