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One down, one to go…

Well, finally …

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Fork in the Road … and other pointless discussions  is lurking around the CreateSpace ether, waiting to be cleared for takeoff. I’m obsessively checking my email inbox every twenty-seven seconds or so (give or take five seconds) so I can check the digital proof as soon as it shows up and approve the final layout.

It’s been a long time coming, but I can honestly say I am happy and relieved to finally have it heading out into the world. It clocked in at about 4,000 words more than Head in the Sand … and other unpopular positions. Many of the essays in Head in the Sand were written for contests or other venues (which makes for a bit of unevenness in a few spots), but everything from Fork in the Road was written with the book in mind.

Gotta give a shoutout to a few folks who saw me through this process with advice and helpful tips (in alphabetical order):
Chris Bowyer (who wishes to be known as Alan Smithee)
Lynne Gordon
Jerry Hatchett
Dora Machado
Lisa McClinsey
Fara Howell Pienkosky
Mel Rigney

I quite literally couldn’t have gotten here without your friendship and wisdom, lovingly shared. Thanks, guys!

In anticipation of Fork in the Road going live any second now [furtively checking email on the second monitor just in case… nope…], I’ve put Head in the Sand’s Kindle edition on sale for $0.99!

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CHEAP! CHEAP!   <——- CLICK HERE!

 

 

The print edition of Fork in the Road should be available in a few days. Once I approve the digital proof, I’m ordering my own copies to take to the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference next week. You guys can fight amongst yourselves for the privilege to order your own print copies while I’m gone. And remember to contact me for a free autographed bookplate for either print book! I’ll use an actual stamp on an actual envelope to mail it to you! (This offer void for Kindle editions. It makes no sense to put a sticker over your Kindle screen.)

Be on the lookout for upcoming posts with direct links to Fork in the Road!

The Next Big Thing: A Blog Hop

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Ah, a blog hop! I still haven’t quite figured out what it is, but I’m participating anyway. Read here, then hop away!

Below are my thought-provoking and informative answers to some questions a bunch of authors are asking and answering right now. And, I really do hope to have Secret Agent Manny out by late spring. Yes, of THIS year. Why do you ask?

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What is the working title of your next book?

I’m most excited about Secret Agent Manny, a comic pseudo-spy novel (more comic than spy, although the pseudo part would probably be the best adjective of the three if I’m being perfectly honest).

I have a hard time getting into a project (especially a large project) until I have a good title, and although I’m usually open to suggestions for titles, I also know it when I hear it. And, at the end of the day, I’ve usually come up with it myself. And then I can move forward.

I’ve been told I’ve got a knack for coming up with great titles. When a previous project, Do-It-Yourself Widow, placed as a runner-up in a national novel contest a few years ago, I was told that my title was the best of them all.

Now, if only I could get similar praise for the other 75,000 words in that project.

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Where did the idea come from for the book?

Secret Agent Manny is my 2012 National Novel Writing Month project. The idea has to be credited to two writer pals of mine, James Watkins and Fara Howell Pienkosky. While at a writing conference last June, I got a disturbing phone call from my husband still at home, about a burglary there. As the writing conference progressed, Jim and Fara poked and prodded me into believing that my husband was actually living a double life as a spy.

Since Jim and I are both humor writers, and since Fara, though much more spiritual than I, has one of the best senses of humor in these parts, we escalated my poor husband’s imagined double-life to outrageous proportions the rest of the week.

By week’s end I knew I had to adapt their crazy (or not-so-crazy) ideas into a novel—a novel that starts out with a phone call strangely similar to the one I had with my husband that day: “There’s been an incident at the house…”

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What genre does your book fall under?

I’d be more worried if you asked me what table my book fell under. But, to answer your actual question: It’s a comic pseudo-spy novel. Weren’t you paying attention earlier?
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Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

See, I don’t think there’s enough real spy action for this to be a James Bond movie, and I’m not sure the comedy translates all that well outside of book form … but since you ask, I’ll have to go with Oliver Platt for Manny and Mary Louise Parker for Amanda—but only if she’ll eat a sandwich or something first. That woman is too thin.

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What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A bored wife with too much time on her hands begins to suspect that her quiet, mild-mannered husband is really a spy … and she inadvertently turns their lives upside down in her quest to discover the truth.

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Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

After years of telling myself that it was all right to self-publish the humor-essay books but not the novels, I’ve decided that God gave me a direct path to self-publishing even the novels: I’ve worked in the prepress publishing world for decades, and I have professional skills as a typesetter and proofreader. Why would I wait to see my book in print for years while going the traditional publishing route when I can wear all the prepress hats myself?

Life is too short to be traditional about this. Besides, within the next few nanoseconds, the term “traditional publishing” won’t mean anything anymore.

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How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m still working on Secret Agent Manny, but the first 50,000 words are done—and now edited—and were originally written in November 2012, as part of NaNoWriMo. But, once I’m on fire about a project, I can churn it out quickly. I hope to have this ready by late spring 2013. Just don’t quote me on that.

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What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Ha ha ha. Genre. Compare. You’re so funny.

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Who or what inspired you to write this book?

More kudos to those pesky friends of mine, Jim and Fara, for the inspiration. And once I went from just having fun coming up with reasons my husband is a spy during a writing conference to actively taking notes for a novel, the ideas just wouldn’t stop coming.

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What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

You’d be amazed at how differently you’ll look at your own spouse when you see just how many common household items and common daily routines you can call into question. All you need is a paranoid, suspicious nature and a little creativity, and all hell breaks loose.

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