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!!!