Thanks for inviting me to spend some time with the wonderful folks here at Seekerville! I've noticed guests often share their picture so y'all know what they look like. Well, this is my 'avatar' --how folks see me around the web. I'll be nice, though, and let you see me toward the end of the post.
Business first. I've got two giveaways for you today. First a Kindle download of Birds Do It! (or any of my fantasy romance novels-adult content). And second, a handmade, summer fun stretchy bracelet.
Writing outside the box? Which box?
I'm no different. I was a latecomer to romance--oh, my mom read them all the time. What drivel, I thought. Waste of time when I could be reading great books like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or Anne McCaffrey's dragonriders of Pern. In fact, I read LOTR every semester while in college. Really! Every semester. The fantasy (and the music of Jesus Christ Superstar) kept me going in what at that time wasn't a good real world for me.
But anyway--old history. So continued my reading habits until I worked night shifts at a nursing home. When working the area where the residents needed less care, there was plenty of spare time. And that floor housed the library. In boredom, I picked up a futuristic romance. Who knew? I can't tell you now the name of the book or the author (it's been a few years), but I was hooked on the combination. And forced to admit maybe Mom had it right about romance all along.
Although I thought about writing for a long time and passed a number of English classes with stories instead of papers, I never got serious beyond a couple of short story submissions that quite embarrass me now. Not until I needed a way to work through divorce. Fantasy was, of course, my choice, but my soul needed romance. My muse gave me both.
That's a rather long introduction to my topic. But you needed to know my comfort zone is fantasy. Granted in my series--The Double Keltic Triad--the human world is a contemporary, mid-sized midwestern city. I just have a multitude of other worlds connected to that reality. In a way, my fantasy is rather out of the box, too. Book stores are filled with dark fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk fantasy. Those are all great, my books just don't fit there.
Even so, when I decided to really write outside the box, taking fantasy completely out of my contemporary setting (that same city), was kind of hard. When writing fantasy, I can pretty much make up what I want and need for a tale. Not so with a contemporary. If something goes wrong, I can't fall back on a gremlin causing mischief!
Why did I write a contemporary? I needed a change. I needed to climb out of my comfortable, faerie-silk lined box and visit one cushioned with plain ol' cotton. It's good to have a change of pace occasionally. Besides, my critique group at the time, although writing in different genres, each had a characters named Mollie, Logan and Rachelle. I challenged myself to use those names, too. Birds Do It! came to life. I'm thrilled it did.
With the wealth of genre blending today, it can be difficult to find a single box in which to write (or read). So I guess I'll answer my title question with--No Box! Or maybe I'll just check all the boxes and see what happens. Right now I have futuristics and contemporaries in the work. Oh, and a western historical dragon-shifter tale. How's that for stacking up the boxes?
How about you? How often do you step out of your preferred reading or writing box? What do you find when you lift a new lid and look inside?
|What I look like on a good day!|
*lizzie made up games and stories to keep her company as a child. So, a witch lived in Grampa’s weather research station and was only held at bay by a certain weed. An ancient road grader became a boat carrying wild adventurers to islands filled with sheep that turned into lions and cannibals.
Now, the stories of her imagination have found their way to paper and pixels. Filled with fantasy and love, these tales take her readers far from the mundane world.
When *lizzie has to return to that mundane life, she’s the *Lunch Lady* at a parochial school. Happily, those who know *lizzie have become accustomed to her writer’s ways and just shake their heads when she goes off on some fantastical tangent, asks strange what if questions, or just has to find a piece of paper and a pen that actually writes. One of her greatest delights is to watch the joy of writing fill a friend, and she’ll do anything to help them achieve their dream.
Someday, when she grows up, *lizzie wants to be eccentric.
(Available at Amazon)
Macaws as lovebirds?
An avian expert, Birdie Simons is called to help control a cantankerous hyacinth macaw during a young girl’s birthday party. Inexorably drawn to each other, she and single father Garr Logan share an afternoon of joy and bittersweet memories, for Garr’s wife died the same day as Birdie’s newborn child.
Something about Rachelle makes Birdie wonder if the golden-haired girl is her daughter, switched at birth. Then her child’s father returns, dogging her search for understanding and throwing her deeper into fear and confusion.
Ready to move on after his wife’s death, Garr wants the intriguing woman, but Birdie keeps the search, threats and hidden relationships to herself, driving a wedge between them.
Will discovering the truth from nine years ago bring them closer, or forever tear them apart?
A short excerpt:
(I chose this bit because the scene takes place in a cafe in my hometown--one of my favorite places to go when visiting. Unfortunately, after eight decades of serving railroad workers and folks from all over, the OK Cafe closed its doors last month.)
From the only booth available at the rear of the small restaurant, Birdie was able to take in the full impact of the décor. Train related signs covered the walls, glass lanterns and antiques filled shelves over the service area. But most amazing was the model train that periodically circled the room on tracks placed near the ceiling. Feeling almost sorry for the engine pulling a long string of cars, each advertising a different area business, Birdie chuckled.
“This place is wonderful. I can’t believe I didn’t even know it was here.”
Garr barely glanced up from his menu. “Food’s good, too.” He tossed the plastic covered pages to the table. “Don’t know why I bother to look, I know what I’m having.”
Birdie glanced at the Sunday dinner specials. “Um, I guess I do, too, unless I change my mind before the waitress gets here.” Nervous about being there with Garr and Rachelle, Birdie didn’t think she could eat very much—even though she had skipped breakfast. A salad and the stuffed baked potato would be about right. And it shouldn’t be too messy; she was good at dropping food all over herself.
Full of banter for Garr and Rachelle, the waitress arrived to take their orders. A knot formed in Birdie’s stomach but she ignored it. She refused to dignify the uncomfortable emotion by naming it.
She fiddled with a napkin from the black, metal dispenser while she waited for the waitress to leave. “So, you come here often?”
Startled eyes met hers. Garr chuckled. “Great line.”
Oh, no, that sounded like a pickup line from a bad movie. She glanced away quickly and stared out the clear windows lining the front of the restaurant.
Letting his fingers linger just a moment too long, Garr reached over the table and touched her hand. She was so cute when she got flustered—faint pink drew a soft line across her cheeks. He took a deep breath and leaned back in the booth, letting his arm rest around Rachelle’s shoulders. That should keep him grounded.
“This is one of our favorite places, isn’t it, squirt?”
Rachelle nodded, reached for her glass of soda and blew bubbles with the straw until Garr tapped her shoulder and she stopped. An innocent smile graced her young face.
Garr turned his attention back to Birdie. A strange look filled her eyes as she watched Rachelle. It was a look of recognition; as if she met someone she hadn’t seen in years. Confused, he studied her, and waited until her gray-blue eyes returned to him. He smiled to offer comfort for something he didn’t understand. Yet.
“Originally this restaurant operated right next to the railroad tracks, actually not too far from here. This location is much larger than the first OK Café.”
Smoothing the wrinkles in her forehead, Birdie’s eyebrows rose. “Larger?”
“Yep. There they catered to the railroad workers and the locals who dared to try the shabby place. My grandparents used to take me there. Now, well, you can see the results of a good reputation, excellent food...”
The waitress appeared with their meals. Birdie’s eyes widened at the size of the overstuffed potato set before her.
“And adequate portions.” Garr continued.
“Adequate?” Her voice squeaked. “Good thing nothing comes with this besides the salad. I can’t eat all this.”
“It’s good, you may be surprised.” Garr turned to his meal, cut a bite of roast from the pile on his plate, and placed it next to Birdie’s potato. “Try this. They have some of the best beef in town.”
Trying to swallow the dry lump in her throat, Birdie watched Garr and his daughter a few moments while they happily attacked their meals. She looked at the roast resting so innocently on her plate and glanced at Garr from under her lashes. He watched her.
*lizzie blogs at http://starrwords.com