Free, A Novella
Begun last spring, this was ONLY supposed to be a three-part short story. Of course, that seems like a lifetime ago as I stare at chapter TEN!
Feedback has been very generous. I’ve received requests to publish it and/or extend it into a longer story.
While I considered publishing Free, I said ‘no’ to extending it into a longer read. I’m a character-driven writer and do not possess the super powers needed to script the usual suspects into the required scenarios.
Of course, that was before Lenore Porter and her cast of characters got wind of possibly getting their own book – and they haven’t shut up since. To avoid a free-for-all with Free, yes…there will be a full-length novel.
I will tie up the posted installments in 1-3 more posts, but not everything posted here will make it into the book. I’m in negotiations with Lenore. She’s tough. We’ll see.
The first re-write of my 2016 NaNoWriMo project is complete. Quinn Landon and I are not getting along. In an effort to allow Quinn to tell her story in her words, she’s gone from a fierce, no-nonsense, taking-my-life-back woman to a whiny, needy, typical romance novel heroine.
That is not going to work for me.
I’m going to give her a little time – not much though. She’s holding up progress. But, enough to reform and redeem herself. It would be a real shame if a lesser character stepped up to tell Quinn’s story…because Quinn met her end in a tragic library accident. Books are heavy.
As we roll into week eight of the challenge, you can find my weekly submissions also posted right here on my author page. Look in the pages.
In the Best Interest of the Child, Book 2 – Family Matters
I’m looking forward to getting book 2 out because the second half of Olivia Chandler’s story is one wild ride! Look for the cover reveal in early March!
In book 1, Olivia faced down her emotional demons, kept a family together, and opened her heart.
Now Olivia’s heart…and soul will be challenged…to repair her own family.
Of course, anything that includes Bruce Bellamy doesn’t travel a perfect path. Here is a small teaser to show…some things never change!
Excerpt from In the Best Interest of the Child, Book 2 – Family Matters
Unedited and subject to change.
She’d lost her mind.
That was the only answer. Why else would she allow Bruce Bellamy to choose their Halloween costumes? She should have gone with her ‘usual’ – Raggedy Anne or a nun.
Giving the white blond wig one last twist, Olivia ran her brush through the ends, then stood back for a good look at herself in the full-length mirror.
The black leather hugged her generous breasts and ample hips. Olivia’s matching spiked-heel boots were surprisingly comfortable and looked great on her legs.
The costume fit perfectly.
How did Bruce know her size? He’d never asked her – he just knew. Olivia smiled at her reflection. What was she going to do with that man?
Her makeup was flawless, considering the extra hour Olivia had taken to create the perfect smoky eye effect.
But the wig…
For a brief second, Olivia considered removing the wig, and just wearing her hair down. The idea vanished as quickly as it formed. She didn’t want to disappoint Bellamy.
He’d been so excited and pleased when she invited him to attend Marty’s Halloween party with her. Even though his cousins, Courtney and Marissa were having a family party the same evening, Bruce had quickly accepted. He talked Olivia into attending both parties and spending a couple of hours at each. A quick glance at the clock showed Bruce should be arriving any minute.
Taking in the wig one last time, Olivia smirked, grabbed her phone and keys, and headed for the living room.
Stopping at the hall closet to retrieve her coat, Olivia heard the chimes of her doorbell and smiled. She could set her watch by Bruce Bellamy. Heels clicking against the marble-tile floors, Olivia schooled her features before opening the front door.
Her inspection began at his feet, observing all the details of his costume. Heavy black leather boots under black leather pants. Black t-shirt stretched across his broad chest, under a waist-cut, black leather jacket.
Returning to his eyes, Olivia saw that Bruce had given her the once-over too. She smirked.
Bruce clenched his hands into tight fists and flexible, aluminum claws sprang from the backside of his fingerless gloves. He nodded as his smirk matched Olivia’s.
Becoming a published author in 2016 was a big deal for me. Not just in the fact I had a real book ‘out there’ in the literary world, but after writing for over thirty years, I wrote something I allowed someone else to read. Except for school papers and a few years of penning FanFic, that just didn’t happen.
Since the earth didn’t tilt on its axis, nor did I internally combust, I decided to go all in and take it to the next level for 2017.
Yes, I am slightly off-center.
I’ve chosen character sketches, plots, and BLURBS as my one year project. I may or may not use them in future WIPs, but it’s good practice and the Literary Gods cringe with displeasure at some of the blurbs found on books.
Sorry. It had to be said. Many have poured unlimited amounts of blood, sweat, and tears into their writings…and seven and a half minutes into the blurbs. Purchasing books based on covers seems to be a ‘thing’ lately, but the blurb is EVERYTHING. Having an amazing book cover that grabs readers’ attention is pointless if the book synopsis leaves them mentally writing their shopping list.
Do NOT send the town villagers after me with their torches and pitchforks…I’m just sayin’.
You can find my first writing challenge submission here. Read it, recommend it, or leave me a comment. Do you love it? Hate it? Think I should instead consider a profession in long haul trucking, or perhaps, fish husbandry? Tell me. I won’t break…promise.
Have a great week, and remember, it’s Girl Scout cookie season! Don’t even try to fight it – just have your money ready!
I literally began thinking about NaNoWriMo 2016 during last year’s event, and chose the WIP I decided against for NaNoWriMo2015. I began the pantser’s version of plotting and planning right after Camp NaNoWriMo in July. Work with me here.
Scene list? Oh, yeah…twenty-two scenes ready to go!
I veered just slightly off course Monday morning (October 31st) when I was pulled into service to babysit for my two-year-old grandnephew, Jordan, who was too ill to attend day care, but not too ill to wear me, the mister AND Max, the dog out! My “baby” will be twenty-five next month, so it’s been quite a while since I toddler-wrangled. I stuck to my writing schedule, with a few changes, but accomplished little else. After a few flash fevers and several hundred Kleenex, Jordan was pronounced well enough to return to day care and left Friday morning.
The one and only Jordan!
Peace and order restored, right? Time to kick in the afterburners and up the word count, right?
I’m deep into scene eleven this morning, when I noticed heroine/protagonist, Quinn Landon, sitting over in the corner…arms folded and shaking her head. I knew that wasn’t a good thing. Our exchange went something like this.
Felicia: What’s wrong, Quinn?
Quinn: It’s not right.
Felicia: What’s not right?
Quinn: That scene…and the three scenes before it.
Felicia: Do NOT start with me. YOU gave me these scenes!
Quinn: I was confused. You know how upset I was with my family.
Felicia: You were not that upset. You were jumping up and down and talking a mile a minute!
Quinn: It’s not right.
Felicia: What do you expect me to do – rewrite these scenes?
Quinn: You must.
Felicia: Not going to happen.
Quinn: It’s not right.
Felicia: Quinn, I am halfway through the scenes I prepared listening to you and your dysfunctional family. If that doesn’t get me to 50K, I will have more writing to do. I’m not re-writing anything at this point.
Quinn: It’s not right.
Felicia: Stop saying that.
Quinn: What if I stop talking altogether? What then?
Felicia: This becomes a paranormal story and you speak from the grave. George R.R. Martin has made killing off lead characters an art form.
Quinn: No! Don’t do that. I don’t want to miss out on Mason! *Swoons*
Felicia: See? Three scenes back you wanted Fletcher!
Quinn: Don’t reprimand me. I’m a woman in crisis.
Felicia: *Massive eye-roll*
Quinn: Can’t we at least discuss this?
Felicia: *Sighs* You know none of this is written in stone. You changed your name, profession, and reason for divorcing Oscar before I even wrote a word. Just keep track, and we’ll discuss it in January during the first edit, okay?
Quinn: YAY! Okay. I can do that!
Felicia: Good. Now let me get back to upping this word count.
Quinn: Um…can we discuss my name too?
Felicia: Goodbye, Quinn!
Who knows what this read will end up looking like? I sure don’t!
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My name is Sam Chapman. I'm trying to make a living writing stories.
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