When I first decided to get serious about writing, I had a friend take me at my word. Susan took me to a fabulous, energizing writing workshop. We started going to a small writer’s group together. And I think that having someone else treat me like a writer started the ball rolling in a way that making a resolution might not have on its own.
Instead of showing what I’d written to friends or family, I wanted a fair and impartial judge to tell me I was good enough, so I entered a small contest. And I won. I could hardly believe it. And I was hooked. I entered larger contests. I won some. I lost some. But the victory was enough to keep me going even after the rejection letters started.
A Minute on the Lips started as one of those contest entries. It was the first chapter of a mystery. And it won first place. The judge came to tell me I should definitely finish that story. After I got over the shock, delight, and panic, I did. Seeing that cover thrills me because getting it ready took some work and a patient editor. And I love this story more for it, I think.
From the beginning of the writing journey to the words I wrote for today’s word count, I’ve always wanted to tell funny, feel-good stories. That’s what I like to read. Whether I’m celebrating a first-place contest win, showing off a real booky book in my hand, flopped on the floor despairing over my latest editorial letter, or kicking around a new story idea, that’s always my goal: a smile for the reader.
A Minute on the Lips fits that goal and makes me smile when I think of it. This book showed me the value and satisfaction in sticking with a story because I love it. At each round, I learned something about the story, about myself as a writer, and what is possible once I get out of the floor and take a chance on improving the story.
I hope that you’ll visit Tall Pines to meet Sheriff Jackson and newspaper editor Mark Taylor, have lunch at Jackie’s Country Kitchen, home of the prize-winning chili champion, say hello to Andi’s Gram and be tolerated by her cat Mojo, and that when you leave, you’ll love this story too.
If you'd like to win a copy of your very own, I have a couple of contests going right now. You can find out the details on my web site: http://cherylharperbooks.com.