Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Reads and Writing What You Know

I had fun at the library event on Monday night. Even got to read a little passage from Ghostly Liaison (and got laughs in all the right places, too, and if you’re interested in what I read, it’s posted below my “signature”). Why did I get to read? Because someone wanted an example of “writing what we know.” The snippet I read was a scene where my character had to face a snake, and he doesn’t like them.

Guess what? I don’t like them either. Thus…write what you know.

I thought it was a good example. And even though I wrote it on the humorous side (because I know how hilarious I look to my husband when I’m freaked out about such things), fear was still shown (because I know all about the fear—of snakes, spiders and bugs).

I think some writers get hung up on “Write what you know.” We all have life experiences. We all feel emotion (okay, most of us). That’s what you know. The other stuff? That’s where research comes in and you learn what you WANT to know.

Did my stint result in any sales? Well…only six people attended the event, so it’ll be hard to determine. It would be nice if someone liked what I read enough to go out and buy it. Still, it was an interesting discussion and the audience had some good questions.

As for my reading for the week, here’s what I read:

Feb 4: A contemporary romance at 240 pages long.

Feb 10: A contemporary romance at 318 pages long.

My judging assignment is now complete. Yay! Not that it was a hardship. I did enjoy everything I read. I just wish I could have shared them with you. Next Wednesday I can start sharing again. That’s if I finish the book by then. It’s a long one. J

In disappointing news... Bite Me, I'm Yours did not win (or come in 2nd or 3rd) in the Judge a Book By Its Cover contest (in the readers portion or the actual judging). Darn! I really thought that cover had a chance. If you want to see the winners, go HERE.

So… All that judged reading has put me three books ahead of schedule (for a 90-book year). How’s your reading going this year?

Happy Reading!



Here’s that snippet from Ghostly Liaison I read:


Bridget’s scream came from behind. As Rob rushed toward her voice, she slammed into him. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” He grabbed her upper arms. “Didn’t you hear me calling you?”

“Snake! There’s a snake in the yard!”

“What?” Did she say snake?

She hopped from one foot to the next and bounced out of his grasp, becoming nothing more than a blur of arms and legs. The sliding door slammed shut.

Crap! Did she expect him to kill the stupid thing? If there was one thing he avoided, it was those slithery monsters. Ah, but he could save the day if he slayed the little biter. Of course, that meant actually slaying the little biter. Shit.

Barnaby ran off to the corner, doing his strange routine once again—jumping up on the fence, licking the air. The dog was seriously going crazy.

Rob searched the yard. By the side of the house his ax proudly stood embedded in the pile of wood. After wrenching the potential weapon free, he tiptoed over to the pool, making sure he wouldn’t inadvertently step on the creature.

His arms trembled as he gripped the wooden handle and held the blade above his shoulder. Thank goodness she wasn’t witnessing what a wuss he’d become. That would certainly deduct some points in his favor. “Okay, buddy. Show yourself and be prepared to meet your death.”

The weeds reached above his ankles. He hadn’t been back in this part of the yard since Charlie’s death. With the amount of rain that had fallen this spring, he’d never gotten around to clearing the area like he should. Then again, his last tenants should have taken care of the yard as part of the lease agreement.

A pile of branches and weeds lay off to the side and the dirt had been turned over beside the pool. Is that what she’d been doing back here, clearing the weeds? Then why hadn’t she answered him? Or had she been hiding? He straightened and lowered the ax. There wasn’t any snake. She’d said that to avoid him. But why? Was she still upset about the other night? Dammit. He should have called sooner.

Something landed on his shoes. A dark ropelike item with a yellow stripe down its back lay across his foot.

He yelled and kicked out. The creature went flying and bounced off the fence. With his heart ready to pound out of his chest, he charged the snake, roaring like a mad man on a mission.


Maria Zannini said...

I don't like snakes within biting range. Unfortunately, I'm always alone when I've had to confront them. Curiously, this happens more times than normal. Like a LOT!

Anyway, I've learned to dispatch them myself or be forced to live with them.

JeffO said...

It always saddens me when someone reacts to a snake with "Kill it!" but I suppose I understand why some people feel that way (as you could guess, I don't). Nice excerpt! Glad you had a good time at the event, despite the small turnout.

"Write what you know" is one of those things that hamstrings a lot of people, but I think if we really examined ourselves and our lives, we'd find we "know" a lot more than we think.

B.E. Sanderson said...

There are little bits of me scattered throughout my books, so I totally get this. I think it adds flavor. We'll see what readers think eventually. LOL

Great snippet. I bet those people had fun listening to you read it.

I like snakes. The problem is, around here, we have venomous snakes, so it's not like I can be all friendly with the buggers. If it even looks a little like a copperhead or a cottonmouth or a rattler, it dies. It's them or me, and I like me better. ;o)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Maria - So glad I've only seen ONE snake in our yard in the 18 years we've lived here! Of course, my husband thought it was cool (he LIKES the things!).

Jeff - The snake wasn't killed in the book because Bridget wouldn't let Rob kill it. Pretty much how my husband would be. See... still writing what I know! Haha!

Beth - I had to look up what snakes were around here (since the story is set in my vicinity) and was happy to discover most of them are harmless. Whew! (In more ways than one! Haha!).

Crystal Collier said...

You know, snakes have never bothered me...but you know that sensation when you stare at the mirror too long and start to almost see a stranger staring back? I wrote that into my debut novel. I mean, who hasn't had that experience? (Unless they don't own a mirror.)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Crystal - It's not a stranger. You're looking through another dimension! At least, that's what I pretended when I was a kid. :)

Jennette Marie Powell said...

That scene was great! I laughed when I read it in the book, too. :) Though I personally don't mind snakes, as long as they're the harmless variety!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jennette - Problem is, I don't know what isn't harmless, so I just avoid them all! :) And I'm so glad you're enjoying the book.

dolorah said...

I started one book, got disgusted with it, started another, and really want to read the second one but I've been distracted. I need to lock myself into a closet.

Nice snippet. That is a good use of write what you know.

DL Hammons said...

I'm actually ahead of my reading schedule for the year, which will come in handy during those weeks when opening a book is just impossible.

I'm glad you had fun at your sales or not. :)

The Happy Whisk said...

I like snakes and spiders but I don't like stink bugs.

Congrats on being finished.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Donna - It is hard for me to write when I'm reading a book I really love. Talk about motivation to meet a writing goal!

DL - I've yet to not find time to read. I'll read during lunch, or when I walk on the treadmill (when my leg is working right!). Doesn't mean I'll reach my goal, though. Just that I try to read every day.

Ivy - Thanks for the congrats, but it's a bit early. That snippet is from Ghostly Liaison. I haven't finished my WIP yet (unless you're talking about something else, then I'm totally confused). :)

Michael Seese said...

My reading... Um... Look out! A snake!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Michael, you crack me up! :)

LD Masterson said...

I'm not bad with snakes but you'd have a great scene of someone behaving like an idiot if you made it me and a spider.

Loved the snippet.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Linda - Yeah, spiders freak me out more, too. Especially the jumping kind. Ugh!!