Friday, September 28, 2012

LOVE ME: Music That Inspired Me

Love Me will be available soon -- like, in a couple of days soon! If you've read Match Me, you probably already know how much music inspires my writing. After all, the premise of that book was inspired by Taylor Swift's Speak Now.

This song has been on steady rotation on both Sirius and my favorite radio station here in the Cities. And it was a big inspiration for Love Me, Jill's story. 

In a couple of days, you'll see why. :)

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons. Brilliant song.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Will The Real "ME" Please Stand Up?

There is a little bit of me in all of the characters I write. Always has been. Sometimes it's just a mannerism, or a favorite food, or something else infinitesimally small. In Set In Stone, my YA novel, the Chinese restaurant in the book really is one of my favorite restaurants. In Nine Lives, Nick has conversations with his mom that are eerily similar to the ones I have with my own 11-year-old.

But then there are the ME books. Now, to be clear, I have never crashed an ex-boyfriend's wedding like Bonnie does in Match Me. But I did work in a crazy toy store while I was in college. And I do have a pack of tarot cards that I am woefully inept at using. And the turtle is my totem animal. :)

It's easy to use fact when crafting fiction, to weave it in and tweak it in just such a way that it is similar to real life...yet different. 

Writing instructors often tell students: Write what you knowAbsolutely. In my case, with the Me novellas, I am simply writing who I am. :)

Save Me has even more pieces of me threaded into the story. But I'll save that for next time...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Love Me -- Coming Soon!

When I finished writing Match Me, I was bummed when the story was over. Not Paul and Bonnie's story; although some people begged to know what happened next, I was very comfortable leaving that up to people's imaginations (including my own).

No, I was bummed because I wanted to see what happened to Jill, Bonnie's best friend. She was such a strong character and I wanted the chance to see her develop, to see how she handled love. And, I'll admit, I really wanted to find out more about Domenico, her date from the Match Me dating service.

Jill's was a fun story to write. She's strong and fiercely independent -- but she's not as strong as she thinks. And when Domenico becomes a little too important to her, a little too central to her life, she has to decide just how dependent she's willing to be on someone other than herself.

Love Me, Jill's story, is coming soon. And I can't wait to share it. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why Novellas?

All of the "Me" books are novellas. And some readers aren't exactly happy about that. They write to me and say, "This should have been longer," or "I want to know what happens next!" And while I cringe a little at the 2-star reviews that are simply a critique of length (and not story) I still manage to smile and think: good.

Why? No, not because I like to upset my readers. But it's a pretty neat thing when you can write 25,000 words and have it be a story. Have it be something that readers connect with and care about. Write something that makes their reading time fly by. And leaves them wondering and hungry for more.

But here's the real thing.

I decided to write novellas to challenge myself. My first novel, a YA titled Set In Stone (written under my real name), came in at just over 100K words. It is a sweeping story, rich in detail and dialogue. I was--and am--really proud of that story. But I wanted to see if I could write more concisely. If I could maintain the tone and voice of my writing but with far fewer words.

A lot of people encouraged me to try. To focus on dialogue and a simple story thread, to see if I could create characters and a storyline that was still entertaining. So I did. 

Not everyone is going to like fluffy, humorous romantic novellas. But I do. And I love to write them. So much so that the next one, Love Me, will be Jill's story (the best friend from Match Me). And the fourth will be Meg's story, the new roommate from Save Me

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

SAVE ME now available!

SAVE ME, the next in the Me series, is now available!

Katie Matthews needs a knight in shining armor. Immediately. Three weeks shy of graduating from college, her life is on a crash course with disaster.

Her parents suddenly announce they're moving across country. Bye-bye free place to live.

Her long-time boyfriend decides he's really not all that committed. Bye-bye relationship.

Homeless, boyfriend-less and very nearly broke, Katie searches for someone to save her from the monumental mess her life has become. Her best friend Dani, who offers her a place to stay but who just might live with the biggest slob on the planet. Her parents, who are so busy reinventing their own lives that they can't be bothered with hers. Even her ex-boyfriend, Ben, whose mixed signals are making her head spin.

In desperation, she answers an ad for a roommate and discovers the perfect place to live—and some gorgeous roommates, too. Things might work out for Katie, after all. But when another unanticipated complication arises, her new living situation is threatened.

As she baby-steps her way out of a never-ending string of disasters, wondering if that knight in shining armor is ever going to show up, she realizes that she might not need one, after all. Katie Matthews just might be able to save herself.