Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Breaking All the Rules with Guest Debby Mayne


I’ve heard everything from, “First person doesn’t sell,” to, “More than two POVs, and you’re looking at the kiss of death from editors.” Oh, and there’s the dreaded present tense that is too immediate and intimate, and no one will ever read it because it’s too uncomfortable.

Well, guess what! All three books in my Class Reunion series with Abingdon Press – Pretty Is as Pretty Does (June 2013), Bless Her Heart (August 2013), and Tickled Pink (September 2013)- are written in multiple first person present tense. What was I thinking? 



  Do I want people to read these books? You bet I do. 





Then why did I write this series using devices that so many people dislike so intensely? Because they work for these stories.

I was originally going to write this series in the traditional third person past tense, but it felt too distant for the characters in these books. They needed to be more up-close and personal, and they practically demanded to have readers right there in the scenes with them.

Most of my writing life I’ve gone by the rules. I would go to writing workshops and take judicious notes, and then I’d go back home and write my stories using all the things I’d learned from editors and more advanced writers. It obviously worked for me because I’ve sold more than 30 books while following conventional rules.

And then Priscilla, Laura, Tim, Trudy, and Celeste came along and showed me how these rules don’t work for them. In fact, most rules don’t work for any of these characters, so it seemed fitting to do things in an unorthodox manner.

Priscilla’s valedictorian and “Most Likely to Succeed” titles in high school seem to conflict with her desire to drop out of college to become a hairdresser. Laura’s teetotaler lifestyle makes her an odd match for her lush of a husband who always has a beer in his hand. Beauty supply salesman Tim discovers that an extensive vocabulary doesn’t necessarily show a person’s IQ. Former beauty queen Trudy has to learn to value herself beneath her creamy complexion and once-perfect figure. Celeste’s bony elbows, bushy eyebrows, and stringy hair aren’t quite so bad after she gets a decent haircut, stands up straight, and learns to pluck and groom.

The weight of all the changes in these stories would have snapped the rules right in half. By doing things a bit differently, I was able to maneuver the framework to fit the stories and people in them.

That said, I still think think rules are good because they give us a structure for most of our stories. Without guidelines, we’d wind up with messy works that go nowhere and a bunch of frustrated editors who would have to make sense of our confusing submissions. New writers, in particular, need to learn what works for most readers so they have an advantage out of the starting gate. Even if they choose not to follow these rules, even in the beginning, knowing them makes breaking them more intentional. The rules should only be broken when that’s the only way to tell the story in the most believable way.

That’s the key to what I’ve done. I wrote Pretty Is as Pretty Does, Bless Her Heart, and Tickled Pink with intentional devices designed to provide immediacy and pull the reader uncomfortably close to the characters’ lives. I wanted readers to feel every little pain, including Laura’s annoyance when she caught her son trying to scoop his sister’s goldfish out of the toilet and later having to deal with her husband’s drinking. Knowing what Trudy goes through in spite of her beauty lets readers in on the secret of what really motivates her. And readers need to have that closeness to understand the relationship between Priscilla and her mom…and Priscilla and Tim…and Priscilla and her business.

We writers have created quite a few rules that editors may or may not agree with. In addition to the POV and past vs. present tense issue, we talk about floating or flying body parts, overuse of dialogue tags, never turning off a light at the end of a chapter, etc. In most cases, these rules provide a better read and give the writer the tools to keep readers turning pages and buying future books.

In my Class Reunion series, you’ll see all of the above. However, I do think that when I mention someone rolling her eyes, you’ll know that they’re not literally rolling across the floor based on the context of the phrase. And when I have someone throwing up her hands in frustration, you’ll assume that these hands are still attached to her arms. I think most readers are intelligent people who understand that the act of eyes popping out of a character’s head indicates surprise rather than a medical condition.

Even though I broke a few of the conventional rules for the commercial fiction market, I still recommend knowing them and following as many as possible when starting out to prevent an editor from tossing your submission into the “reject” pile. Go to workshops, take notes, and follow the advice from editors and skilled authors who have proven themselves in the industry. Once you establish yourself, gain a few readers, show editors you know the difference between first and third person, and find creative ways to show scenes and emotions through a single POV, you can stretch and try new things. Intentionally.

Oh, another thing you’ll want is the blessing of your editor who needs to be on board with your lack of convention. Fortunately, I was blessed with an editor who not only accepted it she encouraged it. Thanks, Ramona Richards!





Bio: Debby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, 1,000 web articles, and dozens of devotions for women. She has worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, and creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group. She also judges the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine in July 2009.



Pretty is as Pretty Does

Class Reunion Series Book 1


Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she's a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren't exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth-and she may be surprised at what she discovers.




 If you had a reunion coming up next month, what would you do to get ready for it?


Debby has generously offered to giveaway a copy of her latest release. If you would like to be entered in a drawing for Pretty Is as Pretty Does, please mention it in the comments. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition. And be sure to check out the book trailer here.



80 comments:

CentralEast2 said...

I would love to win and read this book.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Debby!!

I was just thinking that I have known Debby for about 15 years!! WOW!~

Debby is what I refer to as a writer's writer.

She writes. Period.

Did you see the list of publishers she has written for?

Debby gives new meaning to the word multi-published. She's published with Avalon, Summerside Press, Charisma House, Guidepost, Barbour Publishing, Heartsong Presents, B& H and Abingdon Press.

She amazes me, but she writes for a living so Debby knows how to walk through open doors and she knows how to always be prepared.

There's much to be learned here.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Now on to the side topic..high school reunions. Has anyone been to theirs?

Not for the faint of heart. They are almost always scary.

Jackie said...

Hi Debby,
Welcome to Seekerville. I love that you wrote these stories your way after following the "rules" for years.
Way to go. And your covers are beautiful.
Please add my name to the pot.
Thanks for sharing!
Jackie L.

Jackie said...

High school reunions?

Never been and I doubt I'll ever go. My parents moved away from the town I grew up in while I was in college, I went to college in another state, and life is busy. So I've never gone back to my hometown where I grew up.

I've kept up with a few old friends, but to actually go back for a reunion, I can't see it happening.

Debby Mayne said...

Hi everyone! And thanks for the warm welcome! I was honored when Tina asked me to be here.

As for class reunions, yes, they can be very scary. I think the key to having a good time at one is to accept who you are now and not let the old insecurities take over.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Seeker Sandra Leesmith attends her reunions regularly and lives to tell about it.

Actually, mine was fine, but STILL a bit intimidating.

Bridgett Henson said...

I didn't go to my high school reunion. But I would love to win this book.

Debby Mayne said...

Has anyone been to a family reunion? They can be similar to class reunions - insecurities, hard-to-change reputations, and bossy coordinators. No offense intended if you organized your own reunions. I'm sure you are the exception. ;-)

Cindy Regnier said...

Never been to a high school reunion - never intend to go to one but would love to read about it

Debby - so glad you can successfully break the rules. Very encouraging to those of us who who do it "accidentally" so often!

Debby Mayne said...

Is there anyone here who can fit into their favorite outfit from high school? I certainly can't.

In Pretty Is as Pretty Does, Trudy struggles with her womanly curves. She has a lot of room for personal growth.

Ramona Richards said...

LOVE seeing this! Debby is a joy to work with, and we are tremendously proud of this series. Debby's talent with telling a terrific story makes PRETTY IS AS PRETTY DOES a gem.

Myra Johnson said...

Good morning, Debby! Waving to another Abingdon author!

You are so right on target about the whole "floating body parts" thing. I get it, but really. I've been known to roll my eyes in annoyance or throw up my hands in despair. And so have my characters.

As for reunions, the only reunion I truly look forward to is catching up with all my favorite writer friends at ACFW (and--yay!!!--this summer at RWA!!).

High school? Not so much. I went to my 10th and 20th. That was plenty. Don't ask me which one is coming up next.

Sherri Shackelford said...

You know you've discovered a great writer when they break all the rules and you don't even notice :)

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Debby -- WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, and WHOA, it's great to have another rule-breaker here!!

Like you, I tend to get a wee bit bullheaded when it comes to things my writer's instinct tells me to do -- like multiple POVs, which I highly advocate. I actually had one scene where there were ELEVEN POV shifts and guess what? That book made Booklist's Top Ten Inspirational Fiction for 2010, which means it worked for somebody, apparently.

Now when I utilize dual POV, I don't normally implement more than two per scene, but this was a hospital scene where the father was on the verge of death and I needed to show it from his wife's and six children's POV. I felt compelled to put the reader in the heads of each character in order to see the regret and turmoil going on in this passionate family.

And don't even get me started on my rebellious thoughts on deep POV ... :)

Great post, Deb, and as far as class reunions? I always get my hair cut and highlighted and I actually wear mascara -- something I NEVER do. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Chill N said...

No school reunions for me. Some family reunions that would provide fodder for stories readers would have trouble believing ... then again, if they've attended a family reunion maybe they wouldn't.

Do you plan to continue to write first person/present or was the technique totally about what the stories needed? How was it for you to write that way -- refreshing, difficult? Anything about writing first person/present that surprised you?

I'm glad that breaking the rules worked for you, Debby. The stories sound wonderful.

Nancy C

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Debby, this sounds so intriguing, the multiple first person present tense....uh....I don't even really know what that is.
I'll read your book and find out. :) It sounds great.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Debby. Your Class Reunion series looks fabulous! Congrats on your amazing career!

Important advice to know the rules before you break them. And to know the market and the publishers that are open to breaking those rules.

I've been to most of my high school reunions and have found kids do grow up. Thank goodness!
:-)

Janet

Mary Connealy said...

At my 25th high school reunion I really worked hard with a group planning. (It was a LONG TIME AGO)
I wrote letters, contacted parents for missing classmates addresses, managed the money and the food.
But it was a nice group that gathered to plan it and when I say I did those things, they were just the last bits of details, following decisions made by the group.
Out of 36 classmates in my small Nebraska high school class, 13 of them still lived in or around that town, which is pretty unusual, most classes spread far and wide.
The class the year after mine had TWO classmates still in town.
So we had meetings, which were just excuses to have coffee and talk mostly, but very fun.
And we had a great turnout for the reunion.
My Cowboy husband graduated with me and for some reason, on the night of the reunion, I just couldn't quite shake off my 'troubled loner' mood and mostly just clung to him.

I'm such an idiot.

Jeanne T said...

Hello Debby, I enjoyed your post here. I also note you wrote 30 books before breaking out and breaking the rules. :) Your book sound great! I'd love to be in the drawing!

As for class reunions, you're right, leaving insecurity behind is a must. Which requires being comfortable with who you are. Which explains why I didn't go to my 10 year..... :) Now, I'm not sure I'd ever go to one now. It's just uncomfortable hanging out with people I only have the school in common with. I know, I sound cynical. I'm not, usually.

Family reunions can be difficult too, but they're getting better.

Okay, I'm done rambling now. I'll sign off. :)

Mary Connealy said...

What would I change about myself?

I'd be thinner and smarter and prettier and younger. But except for those things, I'd totally be myself--except way way way cooler.

Debby Mayne said...

Hey, Ramona, it's great to see you here. I had more fun than ever writing this series!

Myra, since you said not to ask which reunion is coming up, I'm more curious than ever.

Sherri, I sure hope that's what happens with this series. I want readers to be so involved in the lives of the characters they won't even realize how many POVs I used.

Julie, that's what I'm talkin' about. Every story is different, so authors should use whatever devices are needed. You are an excellent example of knowing when to do this.

Nancy, I prefer writing in first person. It almost crosses over from writing to acting. I got to be a different person with each chapter.

Connie Queen said...

I went to my 10 year reunion. Graduating class of 35. The people I really wanted to see weren't there. I was one of the original 5 that went K thru senior years, the other 4 were guys.

The main thing I remember was being disappointed there were several guys who hadn't gotten married yet and were bragging about the girls they were dating like they were so macho? Really? How old are you? I was married and had 4 kids by then.

Our class skipped the 20 year. If I went to one now, I'd want to lose 30 (or 40) pounds first. My senior year, I was voted Most Athletic. Uh, not so much now.

Debby Mayne said...

I've only recently accepted the fact that I'll never be a skinny girl again. But then neither will Twiggy. Did y'all know that she was barely a teenager when she was a model? Now she's a curvy woman...like the rest of us.

Too funny, Mary. I always thought you were way cooler than most.

It's been a while since I've been to a family reunion. The last one was hilarious. A couple of my aunts spent most of the time steering people toward their casseroles and desserts because they wanted people to think theirs were the best. An empty pie plate at the end of the reunion was a status symbol.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well those covers are GORGEOUS, Debby. How do authors input covers at Abingdon.

They really are eye catching. I'd buy the books based on the cover alone.


Hi to lovely editor Ramona who visited us last year!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, lots of small graduating classes here. I moved my senior year from a class of 700 to a class of 50ish.

I have a strict rule about going home, no matter what it's for.

Starve for weeks on end before you go so you can appear to have never changed.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Family reunions. I stay away from those as well.

You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your family. Darn.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I did the math. I've known Debby OVER 15 years. It gets fuzzy around the late nineties.

So this is sort of a reunion. HA!!!

Missy Tippens said...

THANK YOU. I love to have rolling eyes and hands thrown up in the air! I'm glad to hear you agree. :)

A great post, Debby. Thanks so much for sharing and for being with us today!

Missy Tippens said...

I love high school reunions! I've been to a couple and had so much fun.

If I had to get ready, I would want to lose some weight. And would make sure to have my hair color touched up before I went. :)

Piper Huguley said...

Hello Seekers,

What an enviable publishing career you've had, Debby. And your book covers are just lovely. I guess that it is possible to have books in a series come out in a short amount of time. I thought sometimes publishers would wait a year or so between, but this kind of release schedule is much better for readers!

I've mulled over whether I would attend a high school reunion or not, but so far it hasn't been an issue. No one has cared to organize one since left high school many, many, many years ago. Works for me!

Family reunions are different. I can be counted on to attend. Why? There are stories there. And yes, sometimes family members get on my nerves but I usually garner some valuable information in exchange.

Piper

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DEBBY and welcome to Seekerville. Wow, I love seeing all those writing credits. How inspiring and it shows what a hard worker you are. I can understand why you and TINA are friends. smile

And how sweet that your editor showed up too. Welcome RAMONA. We love our editors. You polish our work until it shines.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yep, Tina is right. Been to lots of reunions. Class, family and friends. Love any excuse to party. I especially love reunions with my writer friends. We live such isolated lives most of the time.

And the older you get, you notice like Janet did, that people give up all that silly clique stuff and grow up. Or we're just too worn down to care. Or maybe its because we've gained some wisdom. I like to think its the latter.

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks to Spanx, you can at least smooth out and tame whatever you can't get rid of. Unless you don't care, and then you can really enjoy yourself.

Debby Mayne said...

I'm super happy with the covers! Abingdon Press really came through for me! It's nice when your publisher listens and works hard to come through with something even better than what you imagined, which is the case here.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm Italian, Piper. Sometimes I don't want to hear the stories. Egads.

Think Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Myra Johnson said...

Totally agree about the Abingdon covers!

As for which high school reunion is on my horizon, here's a hint. It does not begin with a 1, 2, or 3, and it ends in 5.

Piper Huguley said...

Tina,

Sorry, I don't watch any of the "Housewife shows" (the commercials of the Atlanta version turned me off of any of them forever) so I am blissfully ignorant. Your family reunions sound like great fun to me!

Piper

Carol Moncado said...

Interesting that those are multiple first person. I've tried that but past tense. It's what I'm naturally drawn to - no success [so far!] but I've not got 30 books under my belt either ;).

I'll have to pick these up and check them out!

I'm in it to win it.

Er, I'd love to be entered to win!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I don't watch them either, LOL. They are too painful. Such stereotypes come to life. AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

I do have many favorite aunts and uncles I visit one on one when I go home. That's the fun!!

Carol Moncado said...

There were four of us who went 1-12 together. They went to K together, but I came a year later. I saw one of them a couple weeks ago. Five hours was not nearly enough.

We had an all school reunion a couple years ago. Anyone who'd ever gone there. There were 15 in my graduating class and we were one of the bigger classes. There were less than 20 graduating classes and the school only existed [private, Christian school] for 25-30 years.

There were a couple hundred people there - it was nice to get to see a bunch of them, including one of my teachers who died a year or so later :/.

BTW - Tina goes to church where my school used to be.

I think.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Myra, never, ever share that information in a public forum. Seekerville is like Brigadoon. We never age.

Ever.

I should be so lucky as to look as classy and serene as you anyhow, dear.

Tina Radcliffe said...

So speaking of a three book series releasing back to back. Are you done with all of them already Debby? That's got to be quite a busy season for you.

kaybee said...

I don't go to high school reunions. There is nobody in my class I want to lose 10 pounds for.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

Where is Ruthy? I'm sure she'd have a few well-chosen words on this topic. (The reunions, although we also seem to be pretty vocal on the rule changes.)

kaybee said...

You have to earn the right to play with the rules, or be very very good. It's dangerous territory for newbies. I guess it can be done, but it hasn't happened for me yet.

Debby Mayne said...

Tina, I finished writing all 3 of them a long time ago. And you're right. I was extremely busy, but it was so much fun I felt like I was playing.

Kathy, you only have 10 pounds to lose? Must be nice.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, Kathy! You are a hoot. (and so spot on!) "There is no one in my class I want to loose 10 pounds for."

kaybee said...

Debby, I have a lot more than 10 to lose, especially now with the diabetes. But 10 is my limit for trying to impress people. And as I grow older, the number of people I want to impress decreases exponentially.
Tina, I'm even funnier in person.

Courtney Faith said...

I was homeschooled, so no high school reunion for me:) But I really like first person stories. Please enter me.

Clp1777(at)aol(dot)com

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, these look wonderful!

Love the covers, love te idea of writing rules being broken for a good story.

Can't wait to read them!

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Debby

Glad your series is being published quickly. It's annoying waiting a year for the next book in a series. I prefer suspenses written in first person. Contemporary is OK either way, except for romance.

I never go to high school reunions but do go to hubby's family reunions and I follow him like flies after the pecan pie. But I've learned a lot about how men think that way.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Awesome, Debby!

Highschool reunion? Isn't that what facebook is? lol

Tina Radcliffe said...

Eva Maria..LOL. You guys are on your toes today. Cracked me up again.

Debby Mayne said...

Eva Maria, yeah, pretty much. I've managed to connect with many of my high school friends on Facebook.

Jeanne T said...

MARY—You're already way, way, WAY cool in my book. Just sayin'.

pol said...

Hi Debby, I did go back to a HS reunion (50th) hard to believe it had been that long...so many still looked the same just little older...
I would love to win your book as I have not read this series, and you must have done something right with them- you did get a whole series.
different authors and different strokes just like readers and the different type books we like to read.
good to see you here.
Paula o

CatMom said...

Welcome Debby!! SO happy to see you in Seekerville, sweet friend.

Thank you for sharing this great post with us, and CONGRATS on your successful writing career (I've loved all of your books I've read so far--and have them on my "keeper shelf").

Please enter me in the drawing--your new series sounds like such FUN!! (I'm on my high school reunion planning committee, and we have a big one coming up this fall. It's NOT a ten-year reunion though, LOL!).
Hugs, Patti Jo

Debby Mayne said...

Patti Jo, I have a feeling your class reunion will turn out a tad different from the ones in this series. ;-) Have fun!

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks for the warm welcome, Paula! Most of my old friends haven't changed much either.

Mary Hicks said...

It's fun to hear you guys talking of breaking the rules—I've got to learn them first so I can look forward to breaking them!
I think school reunions are fun. I still weigh the same as I did in school. I can wear my FFA Sweetheart jacket with my name on it... funny thing is, it all looks different??

Helen Gray said...

I wasn't going to share this, but here goes.

I went to my 50th high school reunion last May. It was okay, but I came away thinking how some people never change.

Debby Mayne said...

Mary, I'm impressed that the jacket still fits!

Helen, amazing how people don't really change that much...or everyone changes, and our vision makes the adjustment.

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL. Helen. I guess worse than changing is NEVER CHANGING.

DebH said...

as an artist, i learned long ago that you have to master the rules before you can truly "break" them to create masterpieces. makes lots of sense to do that with writing as well.

i'm very encouraged to continue mastering the writing rules so when i've got a maverick character who needs me to break the rules, i will have the skill to do that character justice.

thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

as for HS reunions. i'm from a small christian school. class of 20 members who were never very organized. so far, we only had a 17 year reunion that i missed because my brother got married the weekend before the reunion. i couldn't afford to fly home two weekends in a row *sigh*. if we had another one, i'd want to lose weight, but if it was next month - well, there's no way i'd lose enough, but i could possibly buy a weekend wardrobe that would disguise it a little.

aw, who am i kidding? i'm fashion challenged at best and i never was svelte in the first place. i'm figuring i'd be okay as i am right now. i'm actually doing what i wanted for when i "grew up" way back when. curious to see how many of my classmates can say the same...

juliepollitt said...

I think the covers are absolutely beautiful. I LOVE Pretty Is As Pretty Does.

I haven't been to a class reunion yet, but it made me think about a lot of the people I went to high school with way back when. I caught myself talking to the characters as they were preparing for the reunion. Debby, you did a great job putting the characters on paper and making them feel real enough that I caught myself praying for them a couple times!

Rose said...

Debby,

I like that you break the rules...not just in POV but that you 'write across the board' for many publishers and don't really 'pigeon hole' yourself.

You are an inspiration!

Marissa said...

Since I graduated not even a month ago, it wouldn't be too weird seeing all of my high school friends. :)

All those cover are absolutely gorgeous!! I want to read them all!

marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

Debby Giusti said...

Debby...love how you spell your first name! :)

Love the titles of your books. They sound delightfully fun!

Thanks for being with us in Seekerville! Thanks too for showing us how to bend the rules to make our writing come alive.

Walt Mussell said...

I haven't attended any of my hih school reunions. I guess I might eventually. The next one is next year, but I don't know if anything is scheduled.

Now, as someone who loves to break rules (which I can't seem to get away with doing yet), I have great appreciation for what you, Debby, have accomplished.

Debby Mayne said...

Deb, you're probably one of the very few people doing what you always wanted to do. Congratulations for that!

Thank you so much for your kinds words, Julie! You really helped me so much by reading all 3 books before I turned them in.

Rose, I mostly write romance, but I was itching to write women's fiction. Abingdon was awesome for letting me do it, and I'll forever be thankful for that. Now I pray that readers enjoy it so I'll get to do it again.

Marissa, I hope you enjoy the books. You'll be prepared and know what to avoid at your first reunion.

Debby, I like the way you spell your name too! Thank you for having me!

Walt, the key is finding an editor who sees your vision.

Audra Harders said...

High school reunions are a love-hate event, aren't they? Memories surface in every shape and color. My husband and I grew up in the same town, but went to rival high schools. Truth to tell, I love going to HIS reunion better than my own, LOL!

Debby, thanks for breaking the rules of POV. I love seeing the "unconditional" win. Your Class Reunion series sounds like fun. And they're coming out so close together. I love that even more.

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Audra Harders said...

Ooops, I meant "unconventional", not "unconditional"!!

Cherie Burbach said...

As a writer, you need to know the rules so you can know when it's appropriate to break them.

As a reader, I appreciate a writer who wants to make the story that much more engaging by breaking the rules so the story stands out. You can't break the rules to bring life to a bad story, but you can break them to make an awesome story even better.

I loved Pretty Is As Pretty Does and can't wait to read the rest in the series.

kam110476 said...

I am so excited and anxious to dig into this series - it sounds like something I'll need for my next class reunion - 20th - next year. But if my reunion was next month I'd probably be following my weight watchers program 100% and exercising an extra day or two/week. I'd also be looking for the perfect outfit, shoes, makeup, etc. Id also be praying my heart out that I wouldn't covet any of my classmates' lives and the strength to show up and not worry how they'd all be "judging" me so as not to fall back in that old "high-school-low-self-esteesm" me.
And I am hoping & praying you choose me to win a copy of this book!
kam110476 (at) gmail (dot) com

Mary Preston said...

I don't go to re-unions, not counting family. I could see myself trying to lose weight though, hair done etc.

I don't mind reading a book in the first person at all. Sometimes it's a better fit.

I would love a copy of PRETTY IS AS PRETTY DOES thank you.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

jubileewriter said...

Loved this post. As to the reunion question. I will be going to my 40th this year and my husband is 45th. What are we going to do to prepare for it? Nothing. At this stage of our lives we are not out to make an impression. We will probably brag on our grandkids and tell funny stories from our lives. Thanks to FB I have reconnected with classmates who never gave me the time of day in high school. At the 10th everyone is trying to be cool. At the 20th some are trying to recapture their youth. But at these milestones we are more about appreciating life and encouraging and less about competition.

Marianne Barkman said...

I'm with you jubilee writer. What you see is what you get. And Facebook is amazing for getting to know classmates who wouldn't give you the time of day in school. Usually first person present tense doesn't work for me when I'm reading because I can't feel as if I'm in there, but would love to try this one, Debby.

Barbara Thompson said...

I went to my 30th high school reunion and had a great time. Most of us try to keep up with each other on Facebook. Would love to read your book. I love the titles and the covers. Please enter me in your giveaway.
Barbara Thompson
barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me in this awesome giveaway and God Bless!
Sarah Richmond
sarahrichmond.12@gmail.com