What If…

What if I had written all weekend long? What if I chose a different career path? What if I hadn’t had children? What if I had married someone else? What if I didn’t live in Alabama?

“What if?” is the essential question in writing a story. Most stories start out with an author thinking “what if.” I spent most of my weekend on the couch, because my five year old was sick. While having my hot potato of a baby lay on me all day, I watched the whole season of The Man In The High Castle. I realize this makes me an extreme couch potato. But the story was so good I couldn’t tear myself away. I went to the bathroom a few times, and ate, and my daughter cuddled up against me and I provided her comfort, which is what one needs when they’re sick. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a weekend, minus the “sick.”

This show on Amazon is so well done, based on the book by Philip Dick, which I have yet to read (it’s on my list). And it asks the question “what if the Nazis and Japan won WWII?” What a question to explore. The characters are so believable, and the suspense kept me watching. Highly recommended!

I tout myself as a character writer. The Devil Within mostly was written because I felt a strong connection to Will’s character. But the “what if
questions were still there. I asked myself, “What if I were growing up with an oppressively religious father? What would I do? What are the emotions I would feel? What if fundamental religion hurts more than helps? What if the person I’m supposed to depend on most hurts me the most? What if my ally is not a saint?” These are just a few questions I asked myself as I wrote The Devil Within. I’m not sure I found the answers, but writing through it helped me explore thoughts on religion, family, and guilt that I’ve had for a long time.

The new story I’m writing I’m asking myself : “What if everything is not as it seems? What if your whole life is one big lie?”

I often wonder why I feel the need to write, but I think it’s because I’m always thinking about the “what if” questions. Life isn’t black and white. It’s filled with choices, different paths, and to me writing is a way to discover what might have happened if…

“What if” question are you trying to answer today?


 

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Reddit Author Spotlight on The Devil Within

Talk about a busy weekend. I reserved a little section of Sunday afternoon to figure out how to do Reddit and to blog so I could post a Monday blog tomorrow. Well, you know, in life things never go as planned. I woke up this morning, went for an amazing run in 55 degrees weather (I love Fall), and came home to boot up the computer so I could watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother, before taking my kids to church. Guess what? WiFi didn’t work. Hubby investigated. The box shorted out, and I won’t have working WiFi until Tuesday. This is like an author’s biggest nightmare! I mean, how will I let the world know what I’m up to and that I have a Reddit Q&A on The Devil Within coming up this Sunday, September 20th?

I took a nap after the church picnic, and then I came to Starbucks so you lovelies would have a chance to read my Monday Blog. For some reason, Pandora won’t play and I’m stuck listening to people’s conversations and the elevator music in the background, but hey, at least I have WiFi!

So I hope you will all be able to make it to the author event on September 20th. I will answer any questions you may have about The Devil Within. For those of you who haven’t read it, you can find the book on Amazon I ebook for $2.99 and paperback for $11.95.

Here’s the blurb:

When nine-year old William loses most of his family in a car accident, he is left alone with a religious zealot of a father. As a result of his father’s abuse, William blames himself for his family’s death and becomes convinced the devil is leading him astray. The backdrop of life in a rural town in the 1960’s sets the tumultuous scene as William struggles to cope in a world no child should have to face on his own. Will William be saved, or will he succumb to the devil within?

I hope to see you all at the Reddit event at /r/ books at 1 PM on Sunday, September 20th! Make sure to come up with some great questions for me, and I’ll try my best to answer them.

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The Devil Within is now a hashtag!

First and foremost, I’m a guest blogger on Tami Lund’s site today! Check it out at http://tamilund.com/?p=2353. Tami is an awesome paranormal romance writer who I met through the Writing Wenches, and I featured her on my blog a week ago when I was in Punta Cana. Check out what I wrote about Gideon, who you all are going to hear a lot about as I work on editing his and Lana’s story.

Today, I registered a hashtag for #TheDevilWithin! Last year, I started using Twitter for the first time to try to promote myself and my work. I heard as a writer that social media presence is a “must have” in this day and age. I fought against it though, because honestly, Twitter? I thought it was silly, but it’s a great way to support authors and have others support you. It’s a great way to meet contact and even pitch work. So send me some love on Twitter by hastagging #TheDevilWithin.

I ordered my books this week, but I haven’t received them yet. Yesterday, I went to my parents’ house, and my dad had my book. I’ve always felt like my dad is my harshest critic (I’m sure my kids will say the same about me when they’re grown). It was great for me to go over there yesterday and the first words out of my dad’s mouth were, “I’m reading your book, about halfway through, and it’s great. The characters are great and it’s extremely readable.” My heart felt happy in that moment. These are the words an author longs to hear from their readers. When their words resonate with an audience. That’s what’s writing is all about. Oh, yes, and sanity too (in my case).

Here I am with my book:

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My dad said he wanted me to sign it as Lulu. Lulu is a character in the book, a cousin the same age as William. And she has alopecia universalis like me. She does have aspects of my personality, but she deals with alopecia so well. She’s fierce and she doesn’t let anyone mess around her. In essence, she’s the child I wish I had been when coping with my alopecia in grade school.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to be entered into a drawing for a free signed copy of #TheDevilWithin:  http://eepurl.com/bo4ILP