Monday, May 25, 2009


The last couple of weeks have been hectic and busy with parties, edits, non-writing work stuff, and life in general. Today I have nothing...that's right, nothing I have to do. It feels glorious and a little uncomfortable.

Our canoe race party was a great success...lots of good food, good people, fun and laughter. But it was also a lot of work and I'm glad it's over least for now.

Last night I saw the new Terminator movie. I'm a big fan of the series and enjoyed the latest entry for the most part. However I hated the ending. I'm all about redemption...I love the concept and think it has wonderful, emotional story potential. But this ending took it too far, beyond the scope of believability in my opinion. And that undermined everything that came before. I was bummed.

I finished the final read-through and edits on Scared Stiff a couple of days ago and sent it to my agent for a first critical read. As always happens when I finish a project, I'm happy, proud, and scared. Happy it's done, proud that it doesn't suck (at least in my opinion) and scared that others will think it does suck.

And that leaves me pondering the next book in the series. It's an equally scary prospect, but also an exciting one. It's like planning a road trip with no set destination in mind. What roads should I travel? What detours should I take? Where do I want to end up? And what adventures will I have along the way? There are so many potential journeys to choose from. What if I pick the wrong one? How can I know which way to go?

For me the process is one of exploration. I'll try different roads, take many a detour, and backtrack now and again. Eventually my gut will help me map it all out. Not that logic and business sense don't help...they do and are always a part of the mix. I'm constantly studying publishing industry trends and changes, but I've always operated and created on gut instinct. Most of the time it works, but not always. It's those rare failures that keep things interesting (and keep my hard disks and closets filled with writing mishaps). And while failure is not the goal, I embrace it. It keeps me going. It gives me an edginess. It makes me try harder. It forces me to take risks. And, hopefully, it will lead me down the right path.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


It's been a productive couple of weeks since I last posted. To start with, the second book in the Mattie Winston series, SCARED STIFF, is finally done ... well, it's written, printed, and sitting on a shelf. Though it's technically a first draft, it's pretty close to a final draft because I always edit as I write. I start every writing session by reading and editing whatever I wrote during the last couple of sessions before producing anything new. I also do a complete beginning to where-I'm-at-now edit when I'm around halfway to two-thirds of the way through the manuscript. So my first drafts are pretty polished. But I do like to let them sit and ripen for a week or so once they are done, after which time I'll reread, cut away any smelly parts that developed during the ripening process, and then send it on its way.

The whole thing weighs in at just under 100,000 words. It felt good to write that final chapter and in the past I've always celebrated this accomplishment by taking a week off and doing absolutely nothing except fun stuff, like movie marathons, drinking, bike rides, drinking, reading, and drinking. Alas, I can't do any of those things this time because I have other jobs that are making some serious demands on my time. Plus I have our annual canoe race party to plan, and there is a lot of weed whacking, cobweb killing, menu planning, and dust bunny slaughter that needs to be done. I live with two golden retrievers and two cats, so I also have hair balls the size of tumbleweeds that roll through my house this time of year, thanks to all the shedding going on. I think the little hair balls mate with the dust bunnies and the result is a horrifying genetic mishap that, if I let my guard down for a second, will someday take over the entire house.

Annelise Ryan now has her own Facebook page. And maybe, just maybe, she might have some news to post there soon. Keep your fingers crossed and in the meantime, hop on over, become a fan, and bookmark the page for future news and events.