For instance, in the first version, Merry's mother was still alive and in rehab. In a full length novel I would have time to develop that character and story line, but in a novella, nothing could take time away from Merry and Nick---I simply didn't have the word count---so I had to ax mom while still making her a relevant presence to Merry and the story. The other thing was Nick's reason for not telling Merry that he was Scurvy Rickets. It had to be compelling and believable, even to readers who weren't quite on board with it, and the contract that ensured his silence was perfect---but had to be written into the story on revision, because in the first draft I hadn't figured it out yet. It was the scene in the bookstore that turned the bulb on, because Scurvy Rickets is a force unto himself. It was kind of a crazy scenario that I had to make believable even for skeptical readers. I hope I did that.
“I’ve often said there are no rules for writers. Let me share the WORST AND MOST HARMFUL ADVICE I was ever given by others. 1) Write what you know. 2) You’ll have to polish every sentence you write three or four times. 3) Genius is one tenth talent and nine tenths hard work and 4) You’re not a real writer if you don’t write every day. — ALL OF THAT WAS HARMFUL TO ME. ALL OF IT. IT HURT AND IT SET ME BACK. —– So I say again, there are no rules. It’s amazing how willing people are to tell you that you aren’t a real writer unless you conform to their cliches and their rules. My advice? Reject rules and critics out of hand. Define yourself. Do it your way. Make yourself the writer of your dreams. Protect your voice, your vision, your characters, your story, your imagination, your dreams.”
Thanks for asking. :) I have two completed novels, both romantic mysteries. The publisher of my Fireflies series has given me the go-ahead if I want to publish SECRETS BY THE SEA with them, but I'm considering self-publishing this and another novel, ICE COLD MURDER, which is the first in a series titled Cold Case Medium. There are benefits to having a publisher, but the publishing world has changed so dramatically over the last years that self-publishing holds appeal. I haven't decided which vehicle to use, but hope to have both novels published in 2018 one way or another.