Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Building a Selling Series Proposal

Ruthy here, holding down the fort with a bunch o' youse in the village and cafe while staying home from the awesome ACFW conference this year. Is this bad? Good? Totally inconsequential to life on the planet as we know it?

It is what it is, LOL! So I make it good, because that's my choice!

But listen to this, because I am this dense:  I wrote this post TWICE... I had time last weekend and so sat down, gathered my thoughts, jumped in and wrote the beginning of this post... Got an hour in and then needed to do something else... Probably feed chickens or some such... So I save it...


Clearly my head is unaccustomed to being ahead of the game. So I divided the spoils. This is PART ONE... So be prepared to either be bored or entertained in October (our happpppy birrrrrthday month, YAY!!!) when I give you part two about writing series books.... A topic I love, love, love. AND.... I'm giving away a ten-page critique and/or Ruthy books today... I've got two copies of Waiting Out the Storm to inscribe to some wonderful person... and if you're a writer I'm giving away a ten-page critique to someone foolish enough (or hearty enough!) to have their name thrown in the cat dish...  Let me know in your comments, 'kay????

Every time I have to miss FUN I push myself to work my way through it. That's after I cry, rant, rave, stomp my feet and act adolescent, boo-hoo, whaaa! whaaa!

Sandra, Myra, Janet, Keli Gwyn (love her!!!), me and Missy Tippens at RWA... I console myself with REMEMBERING past conferences!!!  While I stay home writing new books.
Have I mentioned how much I love writing? Creating? Are ya' gettin' sick o' hearin' it???  ;)
And while they're all off playin', let's you and me get some work done, polishing. Primping. Pimping. Fine-tuning.

I don't use technical terms while teaching. I'd have to gag, you'd end up more stupid than when you started, and no one would refer to this post, ever, because I'd put you to sleep, so let's start with your story idea, whatever it is. And then we want to consider ways to make it a series of books, because SERIES SELL.

Mule Hollow... Dry Creek... Men of Allegany County.... Ladies in Waiting... Military Investigations... Sophie's Daughters... Daughters of Boston... Ladies of Summerhill... Redemption River...

Here's my original story for the North Country series (Harlequin Love Inspired, March, July and September, 2010) Note that while this first story didn't get published, the other three did... so consider this one a practice round for the published series:

Anne Kellwyn has a secret. It’s cost her everything to keep it, including her marriage. Now she may have to pay an even higher price to reveal the truth, but is she too late?
Chief of Police Cade Macklin takes his position seriously. A lead-by-example Christian, he’s challenged when his ex-wife appears with another man’s child after eight years of silence. Anger and pride challenge his Andy Griffith lifestyle, driving him out of his comfort zone. Can he reconcile the past in order to ease Anne’s future?

Here's the single tagline:  Returning home to care for her dying mother, an abuse survivor faces the wrath of the husband she abandoned and the teacher who stole her innocence.

But as I wrote that initial (and beautiful) book years ago, I wanted to branch out. Tell more stories about the small town of Grasse Bend, NY in the North Country/St. Lawrence County. I mean what small town do you know that only has ONE STORY?????

None. Of course. Welcome to Small-town, USA. So then you come to step two: In the North Country series I related the books by attaching them in some way to the criminal teacher...(follow me here, I don't mean to confuse you, he doesn't exist in the published books because the original book wasn't bought, BUT... he's still there, he's just different, he's a con-man who Ponzi-schemed sweet, trusting folks out of their life savings for his own gain. So I used him to build from, I simply changed him. Which is what you need to be open to... change is part of writing. Part of being an author. Now back to our regularly scheduled program. Anybody got chips????  I could use some of those black pepper and salt kettle chips right now. Oh, so stinkin' good!)

Waiting Out the Storm became the first story then.

 It is the story of the Ponzi scheme conniver's half sister, a woman scorned by her redneck brothers for being mixed blood. They were jerks, they disliked her mother (their stepmother) and they disliked Sarah. When her mother succumbed to cancer, Sarah became their mental and psychological abuse target. Their emotional abuse left internal scars and self-doubt, making Sarah Slocum one of my all-time favorite heroines, because while she was victimized, she's NOT A VICTIM. And she wears her Christianity like a Native American deerskin, smooth. Seamless. A sheep farmer, Sarah steps in and helps her sister-in-law and nieces and nephew even though her father and half-brother try to make her life miserable. And the kids hate farming. And they're not all that sure about Sarah... And sheep smell. But the puppies are cute. So are the lambs. Except people EAT THE LAMBS... Oy! Oy! Oy!

Sarah sets the stage for bringing peace back to the town of Grasse Bend by mending old wrongs as she helps guide the children, deal with the hunka-hunka burnin' love veterinarian building his house across the street... A guy who can't abide her family for what they've done to so many... and support Rita, her alcoholic sister-in-law's quest for recovery.

The next book is Rita's story, "Made to Order Family".

This book takes the wronged wife who totally crashed and burned and shows her growth through Alcoholics Anonymous, her quest to become more independent and a gut-wrenching military hero who's a long-time member of AA himself. Brooks Harrington is a hero you fall in love with. Tough. Quiet. Soul-searching. Tortured inside. But outside he's a voice of reason, a quiet man who walks tall. Very Andy Griffith.

And then we finished that series with Winter's End, the classic Carol Award finaling love story of the veterinarian's friend Marc and a hospice nurse who can't bear the North Country cold because of too many reminders...

How could we link your books?  The amazing number "3" is a commonality in series writing. Three sisters, all different, each one looking for her own Mr. Right and maybe some peace of mind to go with it? Three brothers, vying for control of a firm left to them by an autocratic father, all striving to find their own way? Three brothers, each one from a different mother? Three friends, coming home for a reunion and deciding to stay for personal reasons?

Or a series can be based on weather. Lives, interrupted and changed by a line of deadly tornadoes. A neighborhood, obliterated by a hurricane. A town, deluged with rain, flooded and moldy. Or a storm surge that sweeps ashore, wreaking havoc in its wake. How about an ice storm, deadly in force and usually limited in diameter? What happens when one town is ruined and the adjacent town escapes danger?

You can do your series based on profession. A doctor's practice, or a hospital. A university setting, linking people by proximity if not relationship. Cops, keeping the peace, helping one another, protecting a town or county. A county highway crew, men and women who work the roads, taking care of infrastructure to keep us from falling into rivers.

I love series that have an overhanging arc, like a double rainbow in the Eastern sky at dusk. What an amazing and scientific Gift from God that rainbow is. Each book has its own distinctive arc beneath the banner arc of the series...

A series arc should be like that. In the North Country, the town was caught off guard by trusting things that were too good to be true. If something seems to be too good to be true, it usually is, right? So that was a huge lesson to this little town. They should have known better. And as they realize that, the curve of the series comes to a close in Winter's End.

In Men of Allegany County I used the tough economic times to develop the series line for 7 books. A town, downtrodden, fallen on tough times, starts a resurgence in "Reunited Hearts' when a military hero comes home to help the local electronics company gain a foothold in military contracts. Of course the total studmuffin Trent Michaels falls in love as he does it, because why wouldn't he????  ;)

And we keep that curve of the towns slowly rebounding as we go through the books... In each story the stores are doing a little better, a little stronger, the churches are being painted. Trimmed. New roofs. And we finish that one with His Mistletoe Family (due out in a few weeks, YAY!!!!) a beautiful story that shows an old furniture factory and showroom being transformed into a gorgeous, eclectic antique and craft cooperative, just in time for Christmas. The series arc was resurgence for the towns, the people. Renewed faith and hope.


In Part B we'll discuss how to either:

1. Plan the series
2. Write the opening book
3. Plant seeds of upcoming books
4. Leave folks longing for more books, more closure.

Feel free to share your story idea and tell me if you'd like us to discuss how to make it a series. We can chat about series arcs and internal motivation... In the end those arcs are what make writing a series so much fun for me... They feed the Mr. Fix It inside!

Coffee's on! Grab a cup and let's get to work while the lot of them are partying in Dallas...

And they'll be SO IMPRESSED by our vast knowledge and camaraderie that they'll WISH they stayed home. Or at least paid for Internet at the airport so they could keep up with us, right???  ;)

And hey... maybe next year, in Indianapolis... Or RWA in Atlanta.


Clari Dees said...

Love your series, Ruthy! I haven't tackled that in my writing yet, but you've made me start thinking about it.

I'll help you hold down the fort while everyone is off having fun at the ACFW. I've got fresh, homemade apple turnovers. Even the apple filling is mom's freshly canned apples. Yum! Dessert and breakfast all in one!

Jan Drexler said...

I'm catching my plane first thing in the morning, but I had to stop by and play in Seekerville for a few...

Ruthy, you're an inspiration to us all - I love the series arc. It's a double/triple rainbow! Watching how you Seekers do it helped with the series I'm pitching this weekend.

So sorry I won't be seeing many of you in Dallas, but next year in Indy, right? I'll bring chocolate...

Lyndee said...

Wow, will this place start echoing footsteps like a room without furniture? It's going to be an interesting week.

Safe travels, Jan! Maybe next year in's just three hours away driving distance - closer than last year's conference in St Louis! Guess I need to add 'God willing' to that promise cause He sure came up with other plans for me this year.

Ruthy, we have you all to ourselves, and I love the concept of threes. I hear you. Don't know if I'm getting on that train yet, but it's definitely a seed in my mind. I have the vision of a small town series and have written books one and two, but they are stand alones right now. Looking forward to reading part 2 of your post. You're a wealth of knowledge and very generous to share here.

llmarmalade said...

I have a strange obsession with girls series books of the pre Nancy Drew era so I think writing a series would be fun. I like reading a series because it gives you more time with the characters.
I had an idea for a contemp series set in a small town but I got bored because it was not historical. Maybe I'll turn it into a short story series someday.

Anonymous said...


well darn it all I wanna read that first book that didn't get published! my faves are still Winter's End and Matt's story. I've liked them all though and that's saying a lot since the first allegheny one had all of my least favorite themes rolled into one(secret baby, young in love but parted and holding resentment, abuse,sick kid) but at least the abuser was killed off before the story started :-)and you didn't kill off the kid though that was a close one and I had to skim ahead to make sure since you did sorta um 'do in' a dog earlier in another story! ;-) that's ok - just life. Mary killed off a horse so I guess that's just par for the course huh?! :-)

Susanna - and yep they do eat little lambs - Jen's eating one this week if someone on yankeebelle would tell her how long to cook the spuds and carrots! ;-)

Andrea Strong said...

I love series! So much I'm gonna write one, Lord willing.

First book: Over a decade after the Civil War, a former Yankee soldier (turned Colorado rancher) with family ties to the Underground Railroad has an unlikely connection with a Louisiana planter's daughter. When circumstances bring them together, he just can't make himself go back to his old life. (Melissa, if you're reading this, how's that for a short, short summary? 46 words.) They face a lot of disapproval from friends (Two main antagonists: an elderly family friend who's bitter about all she lost in the war and a cousin of heroine's first (dead) husband, who has always wanted her for himself)

Book 2: The Cousin's story. He's finally over B1H (book 1 heroine). He comes back to town and is blindsided by "the girl next door" who's all grown up. Rejected when her beau's first love moves back to town, B2H, is a little gun-shy (unlike a Mary Connealy heroine...just sayin'). She's always been in love with him, but can't believe he's not just settling for second best.

A major sub-plot involves the elderly woman who caused our Book 1 couple so much greif.

Book Three: B1H's son. He meets a Yankee girl who's just come into town on the train (like mother like son). The girl's got a secret, but she doesn't really know it's a secret. She's connected to Bitter Old Woman (BOW) who has become a nemesis of the hero's family. BOW gets caught in a giant lie, but God will untangle the web, as he is wont to do, and all will be well in the end.

One of the moral premises of my series is something like "Holding on to old bitterness will make you old and bitter." My Elderly Matron (bitter old woman) comes face to face with the evidence of a lie she's perpetrated for decades. This forces her to "lance the boil" so to speak and let all that old bitterness out. With the poison purged from her spirit, God is finally able to come in and heal. The couples will face this, or some other character arc in their own stories, but the Old woman takes all three books to finish her journey.

OKAY, Now that I've rambled on and on...and on and on, I hope that mess is slightly clearer than mud. If not, I say this, Your post, Ruthy, was very encouraging to me because each story in my series has characters with arcs, and there is the over arcing theme/lesson that stretches over them all. And I already had that figured out on my own, which means I'm on the right track. Right?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, thank you God, there are other people HOME!!!!!

And hey, I just added the line (that was in the first post, DUH...) about either two copies of Waiting Out the Storm and/or a ten page critique...

So Clari, turnovers??? Thank you, sweet writer!!! :) GRINNING!!!! And yes, you should think about series... oh my stars, you shoulda been thinkin' 'bout it a WHILE ago, but now is good... now is good. It's kind of like stepping away from the canvas... or picture an octopus and a spider... those eight legs can become satellite books.

Wait, that is an awful image, eight legs, eeewwwwww.....

Sorry. Need coffee.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jan, I will miss you!!!!! You have a wonderful time. Smile. Propose. Hang with Seekers and all kinds of famous people.

I'm so psyched for you!!!! :)

Lyndee, first, you're a sweetheart, and Indy would be GOOD.... We'll hope and pray and leave the circumstances to God. Honey, if you've already got books one and two, that's, um... a series. Or at least a book and sequel, right?

So here's the thing about series:

A series can be self-limiting... The 3 sisters will have... count with me!!!! 1 - 2 - 3 books.


So when I did Men of Allegany County I did a geographic series... it was only limited by place, not family, not structure, etc. So it was virtually unlimited. And LI had me BRIDGE Men of Allegany County with the new series (set in a three-county area including Allegany) with next spring's book.

Geography leaves you wide open. Numbers limit. But there is a fun feeling to those sisters. Brothers. Nora Roberts The MacGregors... a big, sprawling family that wasn't limited at all...

Sophie's Daughters, Mary Connealy... Well, you can't write about a daughter that doesn't exist, so that one had to end, right?

Lyndee, they're all stand alone. Or at least they should be stand alone. Sure, there might be mention of other things from other books, but every book should be stand alone for the reader's enjoyment. BUT...

it's okay for one book to stir up enough interest for the reader to want to buy the others. That's a good thing. We love that!!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, LL, I love those books. There was a series I read when I was about 12 or 13 and I can't remember who wrote it but one of the heroes was an architect... And the heroine first noticed him because he was standing on an I beam, inspecting stuff and she thought his smile was cheeky... but he turned out to be one of her new bosses...

And the Penny Parrish series. LOVED IT!!!! Janet Lambert, and that fun family. I still remember character names, plotlines, places...

What an inspiration you are!!! Thank you for bringing up those memories!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Susanna!!!! Thank you for loving my books!!!! :)

Hey, I cook the lamb separate from the veggies because lamb is delicate meat. It's small... (understandably) and it's got to be cooked with care.

So, Jen... cook the potatoes on top of the stove OR... bake 'em. Glaze the carrots with butter and brown sugar...

Oh, yum, I'm hungry!!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Andrea, what a beautiful arc you've set for that series... Clearly well-thought and balanced.

This reminds me of the family sagas (which is similar to Julie's arcs) that were so popular in the seventies...

And should be revived because there was strong plot depth there. I like that the timing is stretched out, but that's what you've got to handle carefully because it's easy to move SLOWLY if your time is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. And your pacing needs to be quick, quick, quick these days.

Which is why I sometimes go back and read older books because I love to muse into a book every now and again... BUT... having said that.. I'm not afraid to make changes when my editor says, "Ruthy, I coulda made a sandwich, opened a restaurant and become a corporate mogul in the length of time it took you to tell me about the heroine... SPEED UP YOUR PACING..."


So that pacing is huge, but I love the idea of the story arc. So, how/why do they all come to Colorado when the west was so big? That's a big first question. That's got to be a given, there has to be a draw, right?

Or does this all take place back down South and rancher boy moves back there?

The War of Northern Aggression (nodding solemnly to Missy and Pam and Lindi and whomever I insult by just being a Yankee...) left a lot of open wounds, so I think you're on safe, hallowed ground there. And the war itself left so much heartache that you've picked a great time period.

Have you read Michener's Centennial? Great book about the settling of Colorado.

Andrea, thank you for sharing this!!! Love it!

Mia Ross said...

So that's how you do it! Great examples of how an open mind--and plenty of guts--can help a writer accomplish amazing things :)

Susan Codone said...

Hi Ruthy,

My first intro to series books was the Rings Trilogy(plus the Hobbit), which I read when I was nine and sick at home. Couldn't put it down. If God chooses to push my current manuscript into the world, I have an idea percolating for a series about small country churches who deal with things like pastor scandals, which side of the auditorium the piano should sit, etc. There is a ton of drama in small churches and I've lived it. Please enter me in the drawing for a critique. Yesterday was my birthday so maybe I'll win!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mia, I love your Sawyer series!!! I pass it around like crazy, it's that good. :)

And Susan, your name is in the cat dish!

Your series reminds me of all the things I love about Jan Karon's Mitford series... and how I smile at church because humans are the funniest creatures on the planet!!!

Don't forget flower placement on the altar/sanctuary. clearly this is a very important thing with possible serious ramifications to life or afterlife!!! ;)

Good job!

Debra E. Marvin said...

This IS a tough day. That's when I realize how many cyberfriends I am NOT going to meet at conference. I love seeing photos of everyone when they aren't just a small square on the screen.

I am going to pay close attention to these posts, Ruthy. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

Anonymous said...

well darn I hang out here and spend $ - had to look up Mia on amazon and get the ebook! :-)now to find time to read it since I'm reading slow lately!
almost bedtime for me thank goodness!

Mia Ross said...

Ruthy, you're the best PR I could ask for! Hope you enjoy your book, Susanna--thanks so much for buying it :)

Rose said...

Good Morning, Ruthy!

Great post. Can't wait to read the second half.

We know the 'fort' will be safe with you holding it down. BUT I will miss seeing you. I'm leaving in a half hour to head to the airport to catch my plane to Dallas and see Mary C...who's on the same plane!

Lindi said...

Ruthy--we have to wait a WHOLE MONTH for part 2. Shame!! I am writing a series now, and you've given me insight to a puzzle piece that I was missing. Thank you!
I'm home this week as well. RWA next year? I'm there!

Anonymous said...

Mia, it sounds like a good one - was gonna get the 2nd one too but figured I'd better read this one or I'd end up out of order and I hate being out of order! I do it all the time though but it's harder on ebooks for me to skim around and fimd the date, etc - no patience!

Lindi said...

Oh, yeah--I'm commenting for the critique. Unless someone else gets it then I would love a book! :)

Mary Connealy said...

Hey, sweet Seekervillagers (and Sweet Ruthy). I hope to see many of you this week at ACFW.
I can't even type for frowning that Ruthy con't be there!!!!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning Seekerville! STILL jealous of those getting to go to ACFW, but I guess I'll get over it. :)

Ruthy -- One thing I especially like about reading and writing books in a series is that you feel as if you're in a "community." You get to know family & friends and the challenges they face together. My first four LI's are all set in the same Arizona mountain community so I've built on that foundation in each book. Even in my fifth book (an October release set in Texas for the LI "Texas Twins" continuity series), the heroine of that book is from--you guessed it!--Canyon Springs, Arizona! :)

My editor still wants more Canyon Springs stories, so I'll continue with a few more of those, but it will be hard to say goodbye to that little town in the mountains and all the people who "live" there!

Janet Dean said...

Stopping by to say hi to everyone and to read Ruthy's post on writing series. Excellent points, Ruthy! Hadn't thought of a series arc. Fascinating.

Safe travel to those heading to ACFW! Can't wait to see you in person.


Bridgett Henson said...

Top of the morning to ya, Ruthy. :)

Enter me for the critique. I think I'm brave enough to withstand it.

I'm been reluctant to call my three books a series but they are what they are. All set on the Alabama Gulfcoast. All connected to the same church.

Book one. (Whatever He Wants) James runs from the call of God and his Pentecostal heritage, making a huge mess for God to clean up when he finally submits his life.

Book Two: (A Swim in the Clouds) Cindy, a drug dealer from book one, encounters God's love and forgiveness but feels unworthy to accept His blessings.

Book Three: (All in the Plans) Ray, a friend from James's sinful days, falls in love with a Godly girl and seduces her out of the church.

Wish I was in Dallas but hey, I'm not gonna cry about it. There's too much work to be done.

Piper Huguley said...

Hello all,

Ruthy, it is a great idea to think in terms of place for a series. It is too bad that this didn't occur to me a year ago when I started the series with yes--sisters! Oh well. There are other ideas to think about as well and I have another series idea percolating about a small southern bible college. There are both historical and contemporary stories in the series. I am not as ambitious about this new series as Andrea--I don't have any plots drawn out yet--it is just an idea I have.

*Gulp* please put me in the cat dish? Yikes.

Congrats to Missy on her placement in the Beacon contest--way to go!

I am jealous about the ACFW, but excited about the M&M conference--I put down both Missy and Debby as choices for the pitch workshop so we will see who I get!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Ruthy,

One thing about you and I not being there. Those on the freeway are SAFE.

Don't ever ride in the car with Ruthy driving. Just sayin'
I did that in Dallas at an earlier ACFW conference. LOL

And lived.


But the cop was great hero material wasn't he.

The thing I love about series is that I get to be with earlier characters again. It is always so hard to finish a book and say goodbye to them. So I love love love when I can check in on them in a new book.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb, we should get together, have coffee and have a mini-writers' conference this weekend.

Mia... You're up here, too. If you guys have time, I'll carve out a few hours and take "Rosie" the new car for a spin into the hills to meet youse!

Lindi, I love conferences, but it's tough in the school year when I have to have someone sub in for my daycare... So hopefully next year at RWA in Atlanta... that's my goal. And I think a bunch of Seekers are aiming for that one because it's in the five-state-neighborhood! ;)

Rose, have so much fun!!!! I love being able to stay home and work, I will not lie. Every time I do a conference it messes up three weeks of work. And this year I had to get to see kids in NYC and Boston... and a sneak peek with Connealy in Nebraska before the holidays... and trips cost money! :) We're working hard to be frugal.

I kinda like it! :)

So we can hang out here for the weekend, laugh at Tina's on-the-spot reporting and go from there.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lindi, you're in! Connealy, I can't wait to see you, either!!!

But someone had to be Cinderella this year and it's ME. :)

Connealy, Seekers All!!! Villagers who share the dream: HAVE SO MUCH FUN!!!! :)

And we'll eat ourselves into oblivion HERE.

Comfort food, on the double!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Glynna, I love your Canyon Springs stories...

Beautifully done and your setting is unique to that specific area. You bring that alive in your books, make me long to see it!

And while we'll wave longingly goodbye to Rose... riding with Connealy on the plane, heaven help us! :) Rose, sit next to her and DO NOT LET HER BOTHER FOLKS.

They're unprepared.

You're going in eyes wide open.

That's only fair to the unsuspecting, honey! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Waving wildly!!!!!

Have fun over the great blue yonder!

And hug everyone for us!!!!

I love that you guys are taking time out of your jet-setting schedules to stop by.


And stop by over the weekend to fill us in on who looks good... who does coffee in their jammies like I do... (yes, I go to Starbucks when they open in my jammies. I think it's a fundamental flaw in my nature, but I haven't been arrested yet. I think next year I'll wear CURLERS, too. Just because.)

And hug Melissa Endlich for me! I'm not there to make fun of her in her workshop on Love Inspired and no doubt my input will be greatly missed!!!! :)

Debra E. Marvin said...

I am ALL OVER THAT. A mini conference? I have some serious questions about LI so who better to meet with?

Linnette R Mullin said...

Ooohhh!!! Just peeked in to see the topic. Will return as fast as I can get some pressing things done...

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Ruthy,

Great topic! Lately all my books are turning into series! LOL.

It started with the quirky best friend of the first heroine in one of my books who just had to have her own story! And then the little sister got her story - and voila, three books all set in the same fictional small town.

Then I attempted my first historical last November and now the little sister in that book is bugging me for her own HEA story!

LOVE series! Because you get to go back and play with the characters again! FUN!

I've got all your books so don't put me in that draw. But I'm up for a critique!

P.S. So glad some Seekers are staying home to keep us all company! Praying for all those going to the conference! May it be an amazing experience.

sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, I just love, Love, LOVE series, Ruthy, so GREAT SUBJECT!!!

My publisher, Revell, seems to be partial to series, so I know the publishers love them too!!

My problem is when I fall in love with a hero or heroine or their families, I just do NOT want to let them go. Call it the S.O.S. syndrome (soap-opera syndrome) if you will, but when a story is SO good, I just want to entrench in that town or family for longer than 350 pages, you know??? Although I never watched soap operas myself, I do know they are popular, which leads me to believe that readers, too, like to be immersed in an ongoing tale.


Julie Lessman said...

And, ANDREA -- that trilogy sounds AWESOME!!

And, BRIDGETT ... LOVE your titles girl, and the premises sound great too!!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb, e-mail me... Or call. Do you have my number?

I'll e-mail it to you.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Bridget, those sound splendorific wonderful!!!

I love that you've connected them by the church and good and bad choices. We humans are so fragile in our goodness. Temptation is HUGE, everywhere but so much more so in Western civilized nations where we have visual of so much stuff...

I love this idea, Bridget!!! There are so many ways to connect church families. Old land... Land arguments... forgiveness... lechery... family heartache/squabbles/grudges.... parents angry at children. And you can use mini-sub-plots of those things to bolster your main plots, right?

Church families/congregations/parishes are rife with human emotion and scads of choices. Oh, I'm dancing around the kitchen, thinking of ways to have fun with this series!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Wait, Bridget's greeting reminded me of Mandisa's song that I LOVE...

And Toby Mac????

Oh, adorable...

"Top o' the mornin' to ya', Disa! You smoothie, I ice cold pizza. Cafe au lait, latte dah, you do the zumba and I do not!"...

I LOVE THAT SONG!!!! Go Disa and Toby!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


What are your plans for your stay-at-home weekend?????

Fill us in, girl!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Piper, oh my stars, don't be sad about picking sisters! I have a sisters trilogy, too. It hasn't sold yet, but I hope it will someday. It's fun, solid and it makes me smile to think of it!

I like short series a lot because you have less chance of error. But I love the challenge of long series because you have to exercise your brain (thank you Beth who reads for stupid timing mistakes or mis-names, etc.) because longer series leave me a little more character playing room.

And I love developing characters over a series. It makes me smile.

Are you writing this weekend? We need our own mini-writing-conference marathon.

I declare the unofficial writing marathon in progress as of NOW!!!!


Let's do this, authors!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Linnette, come on back...

We've got cold drinks and hot coffee.

We're stoked.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Susan, I'm joining you in prayer for the conference goers... That God blesses them, keeps them, that good times and great ideas surround them, that friendship and warmth prevails and that mercy abounds.

God bless the lot of 'em!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Julie, I think serials have been immensely popular since the first print magazines that had monthly chapters of an ongoing romance.

So this is just continuing the trend, right?

And yes, sooooo fun!!!

I love meeting the town, "seeing" the villages, roaming the streets.


Jamie Adams said...

Good morning! It's been so long since I've posted here I'm tempted to introduce myself. I spent the past month working on my R&R. Sent it back last week and now the waiting begins...again.

Great post Ruthy! I love a series. I'm more likely to buy a book if I know there's more to come. I become very attached :)

Kav said...

Does anyone NOT write a series any more? I know as I reader I LOVE them. Partly because I like to get a glimpse of the happily ever after of the first hero and heroine but also because I love the community and secondary characters authors build. They feel like home and I just thrill to slip back there from time to time.

And didn't I read Winter's End first -- but you said it was the last story in the series. Or am I confused?

The story I'm writing now lends itself to a series -- centered around a quirky house which almost has a personality of it's own. Just don't know if that will fit into a genre.

I've often thought a series about immigrants would be great. The central theme could be the welcome centre where they meet to upgrade their English and other skills in preparation for jobs or school. There'd be tons of angles to go at it from -- ESL teachers, the immigrants themselves -- you could even fit mystery or suspense in there as well. I think it has potential.

Keep writing series, Ruthy and I'll keep reading them!!!!!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, wow. This is young grasshopper, pausing in her spastic flitting around for a moment to read this post.

I planned a a series around one household but not sure if that's a link enough. One is the wealthy daughter run away and then come home. The other is the servant girl of the family. Another is the BFF os the first heroine. IS that too much of a mix? The theme is poverty and the wealth of faith.

This is historical, of course.

The other series is the Nov 2012 debut, a volunteer at a homeless mission. The next is ANOTHER VOLUNTEER at the homeless mission. And the next is .... yeah. But the heroine is a long time employee and the guy is volunteering. Built around the mission, at Christmas time.

I don't know. It seemed so clear in my head and on the screen but the it went through the seive and it's all.... thin and runny now. Now substance. No grit. no flavor.

Little grasshopper hangs her head in ehr hands at missing ACFW. Except she doesn't have hands. So she bounds away...

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jamie, I do too!!! I wonder if that's like a genetic flaw in our make-up????

Or a positive facet of incredibly wonderful although slightly psychotic personalities???? :)

So nice to see you here! I love Jamie visits like THIS MUCH!!!!!

Hey, did I have something I was reading for you before my other computer got the Diet Sierra Mist spilled on the keyboard??? (and yes, it's still in the shop, do not ask, let's not discuss my foolishness at thinking children and laptops should ever go together...)

I don't remember if I finished it or not. Which means I didn't mean to be a bad person, but if it went down with the ship (so to speak) then it's not on my desktop begging for attention.

Let me know, okay?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kav, you did read Winter's End first. But it was the last book. It just got published first because it hit the editorial desk of Melissa Endlich and she loved it.

And then we went out of order with Waiting Out the Storm... and then Rita's story "Made to Order Family".

So new folks read them in order because I catalog them that way on my websites, but I got so many weird e-mails about why they already knew about Marc and Kayla when they were just meeting them in Waiting Out the Storm????



But it all worked out and I'm so delighted to be working with LI. We have so much fun together. When they're not beating me into shape, of course!!!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kav, an immigrant series... I love it. Totally love it. Can't you just see it? You could use the passage and entrance as an initial hub...

But then move the action to a western town and the people stumble on each other over the course of time. Farmers or ranchers... mill workers... a seamstress... children on the boat, now grown... ethnicities helping one another and guarding against prejudice... Or the opposite in some cases... Whoa, there is so much you could do there!!! Love it.

The house with a personality is INTRIGUING!!! We can put it with my wolf story... you and I can sell them online.


A partnership, Kav!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Grasshopper, get OFF THE RICEPAPER....

Do you SEE the holes, LOL?????

Okay, see, your mission is sound. (hahahaha pun intended)...

But where's the mission arc? Or the series arc or moral premise? So your external series arc could be the goodness these people bring to rough neighborhoods. The outpouring of love and affection that ISN'T ALWAYS WELCOME... So depending on how you wove book one, book two would take that thread a little tighter or longer. If book one showed some success in the neighborhood, book two could add a layer of deepening success. People taking a chance to stand up for themselves. Guarding one another. Helping one another. Helping young mothers to make better choices for their babies... Getting jobs. Giving children up for adoption. There are countless quiet layers there, MVCM, that all you need to do because you're smart, is take a broad step back and look outside the mission. Because every mission has a purpose. And your "octopus arms" are the people working to fulfill that purpose for the good of mankind.

They'll intertwine naturally if you let them evolve from the mission's vision and work ethic.

Does that make sense to you????

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, and MVCM....

You can do this with clever twists of words and sentences... you don't need subplots to pull that off, not at all.

Look at The Notebook. I think by far it was Sparks best work, and it was beautifully done, richly layered and short.

Don't let the demons of shortness ever make you think you can't do an amazingly wonderful job on these books. Read Linda Goodnight's The Christmas Child... Linda did such a nice job of weaving a big story into a small book. And Tina's Oklahoma Reunion... Missy's A House Full of Hope... I love those stories for the gentle fulfillment of issues without hitting people over the head.

That was a good lesson to me to not always HIT PEOPLE OVER THE HEAD.


Jamie Adams said...

I sent you an email Ruthy. You did have something of mine to read and you got back to me. If only the editor was as quick as you :)

I hope we can watch the ACFW's award ceremony online like last year. Has anyone heard? It's almost as good as being there.

Piper Huguley said...

Awww, Ruthy, I am not sad....I just know that I went about it the long I always do!

And yep, I am going to write this weekend so I will be around for the marathon. It is good to know that my writing gig doesn't have to lonely. Love to see those WC pile up!

Hope someone will do live tweets of the banquet on Saturday....

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Ahhhhhh. (I sounds like I'm auditioning for a chorus.) Yes, it does make sense. And the mission theme is family and what makes one... blood, friendship, standing in the gap when someone just can't go on. Book 2 has a lot of dark past-come-to-light moments. Scary for the person who's reformed her ways and really tough for those who thought they knew her. Again, family is as family does. Which isn't walking away.

And I'm not so green that I don't know writing shorter is HARDER. Anybody can tell a fun story in 900 pages. Just keep throwing stuff out there and take another chapter to build and somewhere, after some milk and cookies, tie it up nicely.

60K? That's for the experts. And the editors who have to deal with the newbies like me. Poor Melissa. I hope she gets paid a million a year. She earns it.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oooh, Kav, I would love that series. I'm married to an immigrant.

And my step mother came here to marry my father after he financially sponsored her son in Save The Children. They wrote letters for five years until she finally agreed to visit. She'd never even been out of her tiny town in Croatia. She was a widow with two young sons, who lost her husband in the civil war there. One month here and then she went home. Another week, he called her and asked her to marry him. When she was here with the boys, I translated the whole time and noticed NOTHING. :D

Sneaky adults. They must have managed to court somehow. Stolen glances, a hand hold or two?? 15 years later they are deeply in love, as they were the first year. Sweet as pie. Sons all grown up and have children of their own. She earned a nursing degree and works in the local hospital.

Lots of really great immigrant stories just in real life!

Bridgett Henson said...

Thanks for the kind words, Julie and Ruthy.

Oh and I was listening to Mandisa when I left my first comment. :)

I'm all in for a writing marathon.

Christina said...

Great post, Ruthy. I always think in series. Speaking of series, I have a question--I've been told that I shouldn't write the next book in a series until the first one sells. What do you think?

Here's one of my series. First book is written. It's about a town reeling from the aftermath where young women who were orphaned as children and sold to saloons by one of the founders.

Book 1-D's out for revenge on the man who bought her from her parents and then sold her to a saloon.

Book 2-After hearing about his arrest, C returns home to watch him hang.

Book 3-Before he's escorted to the platform, Mr. A tells L the whereabouts of her sister. Little does she know he's seeking to control her even from the grave.

Book 4-R watched his sister die an agonizing death in childbirth. He thought he could go on after the man responsible hung for his evil, but now . . .will the young lady kidnapped for her doctoring skills by his native tribe give him a new purpose in life?

Okay, so they're a little rough.

Andrea, I love family sagas. I haven't read a good one for many years. Love the sound of these.

Bridgette, Gulf Coast stories!!! I'm all over it. They are league of their own, aren't they? I'm quite certain you can't start a church unless it has the word Baptist in it somewhere. *g* My mama was baptized at a baptist church in Pascagoula, MS. A large imposing building right on the coast. Oh, did you hear about the pastor in New Orleans arrested for preaching after 10? Did I say I love the South?

V, I volunteered during Christmas last year at the Mission Store. I will probably do it again. I found myself needing to shake their hands, to hug them if they needed it. I was so super blessed.

I'm all over a mini-conference!

Bridgett Henson said...

Andrea, love your series idea. Get busy writing.

Christina, I love Baptists. My mother's family is Baptists. My husband sometimes preaches for a Baptist church. (When he's not preachiing for the Methodists.) My dad was a Morman. Somehow or another I ended up Pentecostal but as long as I'm part of His church...What's in a name?

Bridgett Henson said...

Christina, I forgot to say I love your series idea. I have a special burden for girls like this and often volunteer at a local women's rehab. I'd say 90% of the ladies there were abused as children.

Not an excuse for their behaivor, just a sad fact.

Annie Rains said...

Oh, that first series book that you said didn't get published sounds SO good. I wish I could go buy it. The others sound great, too, and now I want to read them all, lol. I'm putting them on my must-read list. I love Andy Griffith type heroes.

Oh, and I want to go plot a series, too.

Please put me in the drawing for today's prize. A critique by Ruthy would be awesome.

Christina said...

Thank you, Bridgette. My heart is there. I pray God uses my series to move these women and the men who love them into a realm of forgiveness and complete healing.

I have an interesting Mormon ancestry. This guy is my 4th great grandfather. King Strang's death is somehow related to Harrison Miller, my 3rd great grandfather. Supposedly Strang had two women horsewhipped for wearing their skirts too long. Strang ended up dead and Harrison married my 3rd great grandmother who was a strict Irish Catholic. They had 13 children and raised them Catholic. There were also lighthouse keepers on Beaver Island and Charleviox, MI.

I love ancestry, can you tell?

Anonymous said...

Series-ously... I like series, but the ones I've been working on lean toward cliffhanger serial type books. Or a couple of mine do. I know some people don't like them but many do as several well known clffhanger type series have done well. Like the Dreamhouse Kings or the Hunger Games or Divergent to name a few.

I suppose I write such long stories I have to break them into serials and hope the readers like the characters enough to continue the journey.

Some have been surprised that the main characters don't change in the upcoming books along with a new spin of the story, but that is the difference between series fiction and serial fiction I suppose.

I would interested in a redlined read of ten pages.

Thanks for the insight Ruthy. Glad it was so good you did it twice.

Tina Pinson

Mary Curry said...

Thanks so much for this, Ruthy. I'm working on a book now that should be book one of a series. I've got the three stories loosely planned out. Loosely because remember me, I'm the mist writer. Can't plan it too much, but I do know the characters well enough to make their lives be intertwined. I'll be sure to follow your tips!

Put me in the drawing. No offense to my wonderful, amazing, oh-so-talented critique partners (Virginia and Julie), but I'd love a Ruthy critique. Well, love might not be the word. How about appreciate? :) That's it, I would appreciate the critique.

No ACFW for me. Just more time with my 4th graders.

Off to dinner with my birthday girl (25) and my 23 year old who is leaving for 3 months in Ireland tomorrow. Hubby gets to come too.

Marianne said...

i am definitely a reader, not a writer...but love your series, Ruth. i love reading and collecting series. Thanks for the post, it is interesting even to non-writers

Christina said...

Oh, put me in for the critique too.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, you are not forgotten!!!

I've got choir practice in a few minutes and my last urchin (who is so NOT an urchin, she's adorable and 6 months old!!!) just got picked up so I'm going to pick this up tonight... when I get back or first thing in the AM when I get up at 4:00.... Because I love talking about series, about planning, about curves.

Be back in a couple of hours!!!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Ruthy, how many did you submit at once? the three as a series? I was thinking the same thing later this morning about reading Winter's End first. Thanks for clearing that up.

Internet has been off most of the day. got the email.

I'm volunteering to help with food tomorrow with new new Cyber-Bake-Oven. so much fun!

Hey, I can't believe CApt Jack did not come by today. I suppose he's still sleeping but isn't this is favorite holiday?

Jill said...

I love this post, Ruthy. You're a machine! There is nothing worse than reaching the end of a terrific book and realizing it truly is, "The End". I am definitely up for a critique....I need an expert opinion. :)

Ausjenny said...

Im late or early depending on what you call morning. actually for me its late. This staying up til 10.30pm at night may be good in the long run but right now is interesting (could insert other word but that one fits). I am to tired to think straight and concentrate at night. (or was that the long time digging in the garden?)
I do enjoy series and am reading a dry creek book right now. (number 3 for the month. I lasted a whole 3 pages last night at this rate it will take awhile).
Ok you can tell im tired. im rambling and its only 8.30am.

I can add chocolate candies to the table. still have plenty left over from the stash I bought mum.
I dont need your book as I have it and all of your current books. (still to read the latest but it will happen).

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, that's a good question about the submission. When I've submitted something that was aprt of a series, I just had one line that said soemthing like the next in the series 'Wrote It In My SLeep' is complete at 600K.

So you have a complete proposal for every one? Do you repeat the marketing and target audience bits? Or is that all the same?

Ganise said...

Hi Ruthy!
Always good to see you and thanks for this post!

Will be looking foward to what the folks have got to say about ACFW.

AND yes! Please do include me in the drawing for one of your books!


Edwina said...

Ruthy girl,

It's always great to see you here and enjoy your humor as we learn from you! I love series because of the continuity through different stories. Would love to win a book!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Christina, I was told the same thing by a big name editor who spoke to us at some writer's conference...

I did not listen.

She was half right. Some editors who read the first book will not ask for more if they don't like the first one.

But if they like the first one, you're prepared, right? Madelyn Hunter's famous quote to me years ago (NYT bestselling historical author) was something like this: "You're doing it right. Keep writing. Do not stop. When I finally got the call they put me out boom, boom, boom. Instant readership! When you get the call, Ruth, they can do the same thing."

I took her advice and kept working my series and some individual books. But when that call came from Melissa Endlich... I was ready. And blessed.

Christina, I'm no expert, but I know how hard it is to get those three-book deals we read about. The odds are so slight... but I don't believe in odds, I believe in God. If I do the work, he'll open the door. I'd keep writing, honey. Use that God-given talent and just have fun with it.

Now, to your series. Here's where I'd be careful because I love gritty stories and I love empowering wronged women with the strength to move on, but you have to be careful not to turn gritty to grim. So don't be afraid to use humor and warmth to soften the heinous backgrounds. Wrap God's loving arms around them in healing.

Great, great series idea. Novel. Fresh. Yes, Christina, I'd keep writing!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Bridget, you're so stinkin' smart!

I like to think of my heroines as victimized, but without victim mentality.

To me, victim mentality is the poor me, I can't get out from under, what do I do, you don't understand, how could you possibly understand, boo hoo hoo mindset.

Now that actually WORKS for a lot of writers. But as a reader, I'd start a winter fire with that book and not look back. But that's because I'm a snark-head and I like women that turn around, stare the past in the face and say "Get off my back, Satan, I'm movin' on..." And then they do.

So they have baggage, but they've taken control. So they're victimized by circumstances beyond their childhood control... and they're scarred... but they're in control and refuse to be accept victim mentality.

My heroines most likely appeal to more SNARKS or what I consider the Martha's of the world. The other books are much more the Mary's of the world, meeker.

Both are right. It's individual preference that makes each style appropriate for a different reading audience. And I love working in a target rich environment that offers book ideas!!!! Missions certainly fit that bill!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Annie, thank you! I'm looking at putting it out as an e-book...

I've changed the locations and the names because the other books are Harlequins of course, but it's a beautiful read. I'll look into that this fall as I work on the new super awesome cop series... :) Oh. Yum.

And you're in, chickie!!!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ah, Bridget, religions are so funny.


My grandma, aunt and father were Baptists. My father never practiced. He married an Irish Catholic, my mother.

But my Grandma hated Irish Catholics because her cruel mother (which we didn't find out until much later) was an Irish Catholic in NYC and abused her. So she was an orphan train girl and turned Baptist when raised by a nice family here in upstate. A lawyer, who treated her well.

SO.... None of us girls got Irish names. All of the boys did. But women + Irish + Catholic + names tweaked my Baptist Gram and so we got Patricia (the only one close...) Veronica.... Mary Ellen... Virginia... and Ruth...

The boys: Michael, Terrence, Sean and Brian.

Isn't is weird how family stuff filters down???

God blessed me with that Baptist Grandma and my Aunt Isabelle, though. They always made me feel special and got me through a lot of drama by believing in me. I was surely blessed by their strong presence in my life.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pinson, thanks for pretending I was smart and not just THICK-HEADED.


You know what I think when I read your post???? That your arc might be too long.

So you're finishing the books but the individual arcs aren't quite complete. Now that works in the books you suggested, but boy. It's TOUGH with a capital "T".

I prefer to read books that sum it up but leave me open to more... and yet I love tv series season endings that keep me guessing. Last year, NCIS???? Ducky on the beach????? OY!!!!!!

Once Upon a Time????? (My little girls/tweens want me to have a Once Upon a Time Marathon Sleepover next week only I'm on a research trip weekend then... they are BITTERLY disappointed that my writing takes precedence over their love of fantasy, LOL!)

But if it's workin' for you, Tina P., go for it!

Ruth Logan Herne said...



My dream trip!

That and an Alaskan cruise. :)


Hey, you're in and I don't overplan either, so clearly you're on solid ground here, Curry!!! Where'd you guys go for supper last night????

I'm always in on good tips of where to go when I'm down your way. And God bless those fourth graders! They are so blessed to have you!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Marianne, you are what it's all about!

I love my readers. I love them to pieces, because so many of them let me into their homes, their hearts, and sometimes their lives by sharing bits and pieces.

So glad you're here! I'm putting you in the book drawing, dear girl!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb, I actually finaled in "Finally a Bride" with the original story...The one about the teenager who was abused by her coach...

And Winter's End. FAB put out a plea for more inspy entries, Tina Radcliffe e-mailed me because OKRWA is her chapter and we didn't want to see the category falter. So I sent off two entries...

Both finaled and Melissa was the final judge. She gave them both first prize and requested fulls. We also got another request for a full on the original story.

So... when she rejected the first story she e-mailed me that she still wanted the second story. And she sent me a lovely letter that said she wanted to see more of my work.

So I sent her Winter's End (mind you these were all longer works that I cut to 60K...)

And they bought that and requested to see the other series books asap...

I do not think I slept that summer, LOL! But they bought them, we wittled, carved and withdrew the romance and made them into delightful LI books.

BEST TEACHING LESSON EVER! Because Virginia is correct in her comment above... it is much harder to write strong, focused but delightful stories in a shorter word count than it is with 20K more to play with!

But it's so doable... And I'm not above listening to Melissa or Natasha advise me to stretch... or pull back... or speed up. That expertise is a huge help to get that timing down.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb, I called Jack...

He was tied up (literally) doing another segment for Disney.

The lout.

Jill, you're in!!! :) You make me smile! I'm not telling my husband I'm a machine. He's already pretty sure the Stepford Wives story has some MERIT.



Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jenny, you honor me!!!

Remember: Do not go to bed too early. I'm recalling what the doctor said about STRETCHING yourself, woman!!! You can do this!

Instead of reading, do something active for fifteen or twenty minutes. That will help. Then if you read a little later it's okay to fall asleep and it won't mess your schedule up, right? Still praying for you and isn't the Dry Creek series so fun????

Deb Clopton's books.... And Glynna's High Country books. Oh my stars, I do love a fun series!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

MVCM, submissions....

Well, it's different slightly...

When someone is brand new, not all houses will buy multiple books, a series. Some do. Some don't. So for Harlequin, because I was new, the original books were all bought singly... one at a time. But they knew I had them because well... they'd rejected them before, LOL! And I'd re-written and slimmed them down which is about as easy as slimming Ruthy down.


So the original series wasn't sold as a series per se. Then the Men of Allegany County was sold as a one book, then a multiple book series to go along with it after "Reunited Hearts" was done. So it's a step by step process some places. Now that could be different if you're an established published author coming to LI... but for me, I was the new kid on the block.

Right now, my proposals are pretty typical: First three-four chapters of opening book (which I'm revising now, btw)... Full synopsis for that book (also revising slightly) then the synop (with room to grow) for book 2... same for book three, only shorter... blurb for book 4... and we have a book five that should be the opening book of the next contract...

So I'm looking that far down my "Arc" which is a generous arc because these cops all convene in this sweet lakeside community but they serve a big area and times are tough for small town police... Lots of room for drama. And faith. And home and family in those cold winter months. Snuggling. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ganise, you're in!!! And you're welcome, sweeeeet thaaaang!

EDWINA!!!! GIRLFRIEND!!!! I miss you! Nice to see you too, young lady, and it's always a pleasure to hang out... drink coffee with friends... and laugh!

Jillian Kent said...

I missed this yesterday. Just what I needed as I face writing a new proposal for a series. Thanks!

Jillian Kent said...

I missed this yesterday. Just what I needed as I face writing a new proposal for a series. Thanks!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra, how did I miss the cop/Dallas memory trip, LOL?????? Oh, that was so fun and that was the only time Sandra and I argued... ever... and it was trying to navigate Dallas traffic AND find me a strapless bra.

Do Not Ask.

Both missions were accomplished!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jillian, I love seein' you here! :)

You're welcome, chickie!

Linnette R Mullin said...

Ruthie!!! I can't believe how time got away from me yesterday! I got all wrapped up in this sweet blog post and had to literally race out the door for church stuff and then my internet browser was giving me fits when I got home. *sigh* I SO wanted to be here.

Anyway, I've read ALL three books and LOVED them!!! Loved them!

I had the coolest experience with story ideas this week. I blogged about it over at An Odyssey in Prose two days ago. Now to actually sit and write! Of course, I still have my Beth series to finish. Oh for more time!!! So, here's the gist, but if you want to know more head on over to my blog. It's too long to post here.

So, I'm cruising Facebook and see a post about the upcoming election. A friend is weary of the whole political scene. Who is not? However, in posting a comment to him, a story line emerged. I started writing. SOP like crazy!!! Had to get something on paper before it vaporized.

Now, back up a several days...
I've had a story percolating in my head. What can I say? Sometimes I daydream just for fun. As I explored the aforementioned story line, I realized that the antagonist is, in fact, the hero of the story I've been daydreaming about.

Amazing! I'm still flabbergasted!

Andrea Strong said...

All the encouragement is amazing. It makes me wanna sit for hours and write and write and write.

But we have church tonight, and I've spent the last few days working on building the church's website. No time for writing. :-(