Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to Wide Open Spaces

Last week I traveled over several states. First, I went to Searcy Arkansas to speak at the White County Creative Writers Conference at Harding University. Beautiful campus and warm wonderful people. From there I flew to Las Vegas and met Debbie Macomber, a dear friend who I admire greatly. We had breakfast, as always, talked books. Then we talked at the Henderson Public Library with Robyn Carr leading the discussion. Both are such grand ladies I was honored to spend time with them.
After Vegas I went to San Antonio to the National Federation of Press Women Conference. The group was smaller than I expected but big in quality and talent. I enjoyed the wonderful discussions.
On Saturday Julia (my sister-in-law, friend and assistant) and I drove home. After seeing all the beauty of Arkansas and the lights of Las Vegas and the charm of San Antonio the open spaces of the Panhandle sure looked good. Sometimes I look out my window and marvel at how lucky I am to live in the open spaces.
I’m hard at work getting ready for the Lone Texan to be released on Oct. 6th. Watch for the new book video to be up next week. To my fans, you’re going to love Sage and Drum’s story.
Best to you all,


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Normal Doesn't Run in my Family

This has been a great week for writing. I’m in the middle of a scene, my hero is shot and bleeding all over an old buffalo hide, and I have to stop and go eat lunch with friends. Sometimes this is a hard-hearted job. I can almost hear him yelling at me to just write a few more lines before I go.

I guess that’s what all writers have to put up with, their characters following them around. I may be trying to cook supper, but one of them is yelling inside my head that she’s not going to do something, or I go to a movie and one follows along complaining about what a pickle I got them into. I sit in church and one character tells me he’s an atheist. I go for a walk and an 1865 cowboy comes along telling me he’d rather be a poet than a rancher. We get in an argument and I have to go home because people mistakenly think I’m talking to myself.

I would get worried, but normal doesn’t run in my family, so I think I’m safe. Some say writing is a lonely job, and it is, but most of the time I’m traveling through life with a crowd in my head.

Have a great week,


Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Waiting Game

I’ll finally sleep tonight. I’ve been waiting to see what my editor and agent thought of my new book. They’ve both called in to say they loved it. My editor suggested changes that I’ve already started on. Once in a while someone is surprised that I have to do rewrites. They say something like, “After 30 books I’d think you’d have it right by now.” In truth I need an editor as much as ever. I see writing as a team career. I might be able to write alone, but to have a winner I need both my editor and my agent.

As a reader I see many books I think are perfect. As a writer I always wish I had one more day to make it better. I think most writers feel the same. A friend of mine always worries about my writing on deadline, but it seems I always have. Even before I sold I’d give myself deadlines. I’m one of those people that if it wasn’t for the last minute I’d never get anything done. I fuss with the first chapter sometimes for weeks and then write the last chapter in a night. In that first chapter I have to find the character and sometimes he or she doesn’t make it easy.

Have a great week end. For my friends in England---I’ll trade one of those rainy days for one of our Texas days at over 100.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Write On!

Today in an interview someone asked me, “What would you change in your life if you could go back and change something?” When I was young I think the list would have been longer. Now, I realize some of the choices and problems I got into might not have been great, but they made me a stronger person. Usually I say I’d want more children because the two sons I have were so much fun to parent, but if I’d had more that would have changed me and them as well.

Those questions about what would you do or change are always interesting. My favorite is when someone asked Isacc Asimov (author of hundreds of SF books) what he would do if he knew the world would end in fifteen minutes. He answered, “Write faster.”

So this week I’m wishing I could write faster. I have a story running in my head right now that is keeping me awake and I can’t get it on paper fast enough.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged because I’ve been busy...

First, the West Texas Writing Academy in June was great. I couldn’t believe the talented people who signed up for my class. Within a few hours I realized I was looking at authors I would be reading in print.

Everyone loved the week. I started by saying that the one week of writing would change their life and by Friday not one person disagreed. We learned and grew together, then best of all became friends. The writers who attended were pioneers willing to step into something new and unknown. This course had been in my mind for years and thanks to the instructors: Tim Lewis who taught beginning writing, Dusty Richards who taught writing the west, and Dian Curtis Regan who taught children’s writing, it worked.

We’re already planning next year’s and as soon as the date in June of 2010 is set, I’ll post it on my website.

Three days after the writing academy, I left for Europe and have been exploring for a month. I had a great time seeing wonders I’d only read about in books, but I have to say that the best days of all were the three I spent at RNA (Romantic Novelists Asso.of Great Britain) What a wonderful group of talented ladies and gentlemen. I was a duck out of water most of the time dealing with food I didn’t know and train schedules I didn’t understand, but when I get to the writers’ group, I felt like I was home.

I don’t know when I’ll get back ‘over the pond’ but when I do, I’ve many friends I’d love to see again.

While I was in flight returning, my editor was in D.C. picking up awards for two of my books.

I won the National Readers Choice Award in Mainstream fiction with romantic element for Twisted Creek and the National Readers Choice Award in Historical Romance for Tall, Dark, and Texan. Because my phone was dead, I didn’t find out until Saturday morning. I’d already had my sad party thinking I didn’t place. I was so excited when I heard the message. If I’d been there I know I’d have been too choked up to say more than, “Thank you. You’ve paid me a great honor by reading and loving my work.” This means a great deal to me because it is the readers who’ve kept me writing so many times by their encouragement and notes.