Tuesday, January 5, 2016

THOSE IDEAS ARE MINE! By Catherine Lanigan and Rula Sinara

THOSE IDEAS ARE MINE! By Catherine Lanigan and Rula Sinara 

Rula and I would like to take this opportunity here on the Heartwarming blog to wish all of our readers, sister authors, our loving and overworked editors and graphics team a very happy new year.
As we look forward to this super fantastic 2016 with our books on selected Walmart shelves and available in print on Amazon.com and BN.com we have goosebumps, stars in our eyes and a lot of positive zing about the future.
New Years brings new hope, but it’s also a time of looking back, and as Rula and I ended up our 2015 we were stunned at the mounting catastrophes and disasters that seemed to strike as the hours rang out the old year. Rula’s computer crashed and the IT guy is one and half hours away and she’s in the middle of her edit due within hours!  Her septic failed, unannounced guests showed up and on and on.
On my end, I’m also in the middle of editing my July Heartwarming book and was getting ready for my annual New Year’s Eve party. Well, on Monday we were hit with an ice storm. I made it through that, no falling and breaking my knee like I did a couple years ago. Then on Wednesday, the chimney sweep I hired came to the house.  His helper was on the roof, the inside furniture was moved, drapes put over the rugs and chairs, when he plugged in the vacuum, turned it on and the whole house powered down. Shut off. Nothing. And I’m thinking….I’m right in the middle of a scene! Are you kidding me?
The poor man was so embarrassed. Stupefied, we went to the ancient “fuse box” (not the breakers…those were later).  He says, “These look fine to me. Not blown.”  After testing every single one, me holding my Iphone flashlight app for him to see in my very messy and embarrassingly unorganized laundry room,  he pronounced them all fine. When the breakers were not thrown, I glanced over to my neighbor’s house and realized his Christmas tree that stays lit 24/7 from Thanksgiving morning till the Epiphany on January 6th every year without fail was not lit, I thought something else was going on. So I called the electric company. Sure enough, 65 houses in my neighborhood were out. The limbs the street department was cutting hit lines and shut us down.
My New Year’s Eve party guests could not come because they lost power on Monday and had been living in a hotel. Then my niece called and wanted me to come to Chicago to see the family on New Year’s Eve. I re-scheduled my party for New Year’s Night.  My guests were very confused as to which night. New Year’s Eve my grandniece got the flu and we cancelled the Chicago trip.  I still was a couple seats short for the party. So, a friend brought a friend who was visiting from out of town. Now, I’ve got several single people at my table.  AND I have a stranger in the mix. Hmm. My imagination was working overtime.  Wouldn’t yours? 

Here’s a self-serving shot of my upcoming book cover for FEAR OF FALLING on the table.





All of this is to say, that as a writer there is no way I’m letting these disasters and chaotic moments go free. This is like a Broadway comedy. Everything goes wrong. Which is the fodder for all good romances. Love is a mess. The messier the better. Then the author has to figure out how to clean up the mess and get the main characters on track.
Rula’s life is filled with possibilities for her heroine meeting a hero.  The IT guy is located waaaay out of town. Her writer heroine’s gotta have that computer working because her edits are due in hours. Not days.  So for her story, the IT guy would loan her heroine his computer which happens to be in the apartment above his shop. She’d have to work up there and get her edits done. He brings her tea. Okay, maybe a high-caffeinated latte.
So, to our fellow authors, what do you say—be honest.  Aren’t moments like this just too luscious to pass up?  Do you use your own crazy mishaps as fodder for your plots?  Do you think they help make your stories acceptable to readers because they come across as real?
Happy New Year, everyone! Check out the January Heartwarming books on Amazon.com and BN.com as well as Harlequin.com . 




HAPPY HEARTWARMING NEW YEAR!!!

30 comments:

  1. Looks like you live the epitome of lemons to lemonade! Love it.

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  2. Wow! I certainly hope your 2016 is off to a terrific start!

    To answer your question Catherine, yes, I constantly fictionalize facts.

    Finally . . . I'm thrilled to learn that we will have a shared release day in 2016! That should be a lot of fun. :-)

    Happy New Year!

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    1. I'm equally thrilled!! It's going to be so fun!!!

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    2. Oh, and thank you, Catherine, for posting our January releases book covers!

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  3. It's definitely been an adventurous beginning to a new year. A very good thing writers thrive on adventure--even when they embroider facts to do so.

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    1. Gee! I always did embroidery as a young person. Still do, I guess. Just with words! Thanks.

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  4. Love the post! I might have cracked when the septic tank failed

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    1. Thanks, Mel! I would have run away from home!

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    2. Mel, I really panicked when that alarm went off because a few years ago when hurricane Sandy hit the coast, we had flooding rains and our sump pump failed and we didn't have an alarm on it. So the day I'd promised to turn in my full for The Promise of Rain, I woke up to 2 feet of water in the basement. So this time, my line edits on Through the Storm were due on New Year's eve and my septic alarm went off. Luckily we got to it in time to avoid a real disaster, but I'm thinking I should be careful with bad weather/water themes in my titles LOL!

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  5. Whatever Heartwarming authors use for inspiration, keep using it because it's making your stories great!! I hope 2016 will prove to be a wonderful year for all of us.

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  6. Beautiful cover and beautiful title, Catherine! I'm with Mel--the septic tank failure is one of my worst fears. (I'd have to move!) But I can't wait to see the stories you and Rula give us out of your end-of-year adventures!

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  7. I totally empathize. And yes, that’s wonderful fodder for a romance. Keep safe and avoid all that ice and flu germs.

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  8. First I have to say how sorry I am that you both had problems worthy of book plots. Sometimes truth is harder than fiction. But since you both have such a good outlook, hooray for you. And so did you ever get your chimney cleaned?

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    1. Roz! Chimney is still dirty!!! Maybe next week. Lol

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  9. Oh my word! The computer crashes while on deadline...that's my worst nightmare come true.
    Definitely yes. The drama of the real world makes for a page-turner.

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    1. I know, Jill! I was thinking I had it bad till I heard Rulas take of woe! That is terror!!

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    2. LOL, Catherine...all in the name of book research ;). I'm definitely using all this stuff someday lol.

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  10. Talk about some New Year challenges! You two both had your share. I love your positive outlook though, Catherine! It's so inspiring. I definitely use real-life experiences in my writing. Sometimes I don't even realize I've done it until a family member points it out. Like, "hey, that reminds me of the time..."

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    1. Carol, isn't it the truth? We win these story ideas the hard way. Ha! And I do forget how many family members show up in my writing.

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  11. Maybe the worst is out of the way and now you can look forward to a calm 2016! Probably not. :-/ And yes, I use things that happen in my stories...about that stranger...

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  12. I want to wish the two of you a smooth, trouble-free 2016, and yet after hearing all your ideas for using those disasters, maybe I shouldn't. May the new year bring you exactly what you need, including HEAs.

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    1. LOL, Beth. This is when daily journals come in handy for story ideas ;). Happy New Year and wishing you a great one!

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  13. Writing is probably the only job where everything that happens to you (or someone you know) good or bad, is grist for the mill. What a way to live! No moment is a waste. Every single thing in your life is useful. Weren't we smart to pick this path? Or allow ourselves to be thrown onto it? 2016 has to be kinder to the two of you, but I say make the best of all that chaos. Forward!

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  14. I hope everyone has a really wonderful 2016! :) And may any mishaps turn into great stories, whether told and laughed about in gatherings or written in books :).

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  15. Wonderful post!

    Kathleen Bylsma

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