Finally have my head above water in the writing world, enough to write a quick blog post. Hi >waves at everyone<, hope all is well. I haven’t chatted a ton lately. Actually, if you get my newsletter, you’re getting more frequent updates and news.
I just finished a top secret medical romance manuscript. You all will be the first to know if anything comes of it in the publishing world, but it’s what you’ve come to expect in terms of pulse-pounding (yes, with a pulse requiring epi and a defibrillator) as well as hot and steamy scenes. The logline of this book is “Gray’s Anatomy meets Northern Exposure” or “General Hospital meets Life Below Zero.” (take your pick) I can’t wait to show it to you!
(photo credit: BLM Winter Bucket List #11: White Mountains National Recreation Area, Alaska, for Trails Surrounded by Rugged Beauty and Northern Lightshow" by mypubliclands is licensed under CC BY 2.0.)
This medical romance book was shockingly difficult for me to write. Which is funny, if you consider my Day Job as a rural family doctor! If I examine the hesitation honestly, I’ve put off writing a medical romance for many years, even though that was my area of expertise. I think it was because the subject matter would have hit too close to home if I did it accurately. And if I turned it into something like New Amsterdam (blarf) or Gray’s Anatomy (seriously, who does stuff like that?), which is what audiences are used to seeing as “normal,” then it would have felt super weird.
To be clear: Treating a massive fluid-flinging trauma or doing a sweaty 6-hour surgery, then going back to the call room, ripping off scrubs, and having wild monkey sex? Gross and double gross. Anyone with rudimentary knowledge of germ theory and a working nose can understand why those post-crisis call room sex scenes just skeeve me the heck out.
The other thing I know is that this project is the most personal to me to date – more than any other book I’ve written, this one pulled in a ton of lived experience. I came out of the writing cave feeling emotionally exposed in ways that surprised me.
Which parts are real and which parts are fiction? I’ll never tell …!
(I mean, you can rule out the call room sex right off the bat. Seriously, just look at all the sweat and germs in that sterile scene!)
You all -- I am so excited to have a new book coming out 7/26/22!
FALLEN COMRADE, book #1 in the Project Morpheus romantic suspense series, is being published by Evernight and I cannot squee enough about how much I love this book!
This is the book that has been in the ether for about 6 years. In the book, I took some big-time writing risks and tackle challenging topics and situations. Quite frankly I allow things to get very uncomfortable and scary (spoiler alert, it's a happily-ever-after -- no worries -- I've got you!). It was emotionally difficult for me to write and even harder to execute with appropriate sensitivity and, also ... application of the laws of physics (you'll see what I mean when you read it).
Oh my gosh, it's been so long since I did a blog post. You all know about my work in rural medicine. To say that it's been a wild and exhausting few years is a massive understatement. The things I've seen ... yikes. Fair to say, I can't wait for everyone to be vaccinated and for COVID to be in the rearview mirror.
So I was reminiscing on Twitter about my one brush with brief, viral fame. I unwittingly did THE POST. You know. The one that captures the imagination of the Twitter masses! And funny enough, all I had done was repost a picture I'd seen over on Facebook to Twitter, because my brain immediately went OMG IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS?
I flippantly posted in the morning at breakfast and then went to do rounds at the hospital. That was back in the day when Twitter would notify you via email if there was a comment or a retweet. Welp. Apparently after like a few tens of thousand of these, Twitter basically gets pissed and stops sending email notifications. News to me. But before that occurred, my phone blew up in between patients with c-diff colitis, community-acquired pneumonia, and urosepsis.
It wasn't until over lunch hour that I could get away and look at my computer (because I don't have Twitter on my phone -- I really don't like mixing Doctor Job and Writing Job). By then, I had something like 500K impressions. It was happening so quickly in real time that you could see the numbers increasing every few seconds. Likes, retweets, impressions, profile views.
In another of my first forays into interviewing, I chatted with the fabulous LaQuette about her upcoming release.
Hi, LaQuette! Thanks for taking time to give an interview for your upcoming steamy contemporary book, Jackson, about a Texas Ranger and the amazing and smart woman with a heart of gold who teaches him to trust again.
Hey Jillian! It’s so good to connect with you again. As soon as outside opens back up, I’ve got a monster-sized hug waiting for you.
Right back at you! I can’t wait for the world to recover. Okay. So, I remember reading your fabulous St. Jared's Memorial series, based around a hospital in New York City. This new book’s Texas setting is quite a departure from the big city. Tell me how you picked Texas and developed your background for this setting.
Goodness, no! I’m a concrete princess to my heart. Lol I have family and friends all over the south who’ve given me a few occasions to visit the Lone Star State. Although I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I grew up with my Southern Baptist grandmother in the house with us. Many of the traditions she taught me have helped shape who I am. So I wanted to write a story that kind of hearkened back to those days spent at my grandmothers knee soaking up everything she taught me.
Hi Adele, thanks for taking time to chat about your debut novel, Acting Up. It's a really fun read! Have to say that community theater has never been my personal bailiwick, but it's a fascinating world I never knew much about before picking up this book!
My pleasure! Also, LOL. Community theater is actually a different thing - that's amateur theater (which can be VERY good, I'm far from knocking it! But it's not a career.). Acting Up is set in the professional regional theater system that I really hope still exists when we're beyond this pandemic.
Yikes, my bad -- regional theater. Thank you for clarifying! What prompted you to write about a theater-based novel?
Well, my first career was in theater. I started acting at 10 and have a BFA in theatre from Syracuse University. In addition to being an actress, I also worked as a stage manager (fun fact: one of my college roommates is a professional stage manager for Broadway and Broadway tours). Just about every romance I've ever read that was set in the theater featured actors as protagonists. I wanted to show readers what happened beyond the performance - to feature the rest of the crew who works so hard to make the magic.
As some of you know, I have been knee-deep in COVID doctor-y stuff since the beginning of March. I'm one of the physician leaders at my hospital, and the non-hospital clinic has been crazy pants. And over the past several weeks we've had a lot more sick patients -- things are starting to heat up. And the meetings just keep coming. My brain has had one setting and it's: COVID COVID COVID 24/7.
So for months, the only writing work I've been able to successfully accomplish involved not CREATION but only REVISION. These are not equal activities. I can tell a big difference between CREATION which takes a clear, uncluttered mind and longer periods of blank, free time -- versus REVISION, with I can do in short snippets and in between non-writing activities. (And while on call, true.)
It's not often I talk about one of my avocations: trail running.
Now, before you think that it's glamorous or that I'm like those models in Runners World, trim and womanly yet exuding gentle strength, while decked out in sleek tech gear and bounding down the trail like a graceful gazelle...that's nothing like my reality.
Imagine if you will a deranged oompah loompah who appears to be on the verge of a coronary, careening off rocks and roots all while muttering profanities as though f$%k is the only word in her vocabulary. (TBH, it IS one of my favorite words and I don't get to use it nearly enough.) What I do in the woods can barely be defined as athletic -- much less photogenic.
Have I mentioned that my ability to sweat buckets would put a Serengeti water buffalo to shame? It's impressive. As are my cankles. Hey, there's nothing wrong with sturdy legs. (Note to self: never wear skirts and heels.)
Every so often, in between barking my toe on a rock, then using the word f$%k like a verbal paintbrush and the world around me is a Jackson Pollock blank mural, I get kind of philosophical. And then I trip again.
Writers have certain behaviors and activities associated with stages of the writing process. Some folks drink wine or go out to eat. Others buy a fun book and get lost in the pages for a while. Then there's yours truly.
In honor of my 10th book going out to an agent/publisher for consideration, I bring you: What I Do After Completing a Manuscript
1) Sigh happily with a dreamy expression on my face.
2) Dust the entire house. You heard me. This house doesn't get dusted but maybe 4-5x yearly which interestingly enough, corresponds exactly with me finishing either my first big draft of a new manuscript or the final product of a manuscript. Domestic goddess, I am not. But when the dust bunnies achieve sentience, I need to do something or they'll start unionizing.
3) A treat. Today, hubs got me some kind of magical Gelato that has cookie dough and fudge stripes in it. Makes me want to write another book, just to get more!
4) All the stuff I have been putting off because I need my brain to stay in creative/fiction mode for a while. There's a list. It waits for me. Tomorrow I will work on my doctor resume and a physician leadership application that's due. Talk about switching gears, huh?
It’s here, folks. The post that I’ve hoped to be able to write for well over ten years. Holy moly, over ten years -- that’s a long time. Here’s the story, warts and all. It’s a long story, because, well, it took a long time. And this is my blog, so I get to write whatever dirt and secrets I want! Pull up a chair and a coffee…
In 2005 I wrote The Best Book Ever (or so I thought), spiffed it up a bunch of times and sent it out to about 30 agents over the next six years. Amazingly, “Reluctant Sanctuary,” a purple prose-filled schmaltz-fest– SHOCKER—did not get even a whisper of interest. Honest to lordie, this manuscript was bad, you have no idea. But in the revisions and rewriting during 2012-2013, I ended up using this book – and the mentoring of a very patient developmental editor, Gwen Hayes – to learn the craft of how to write a novel. I finally managed to let The Best Book Ever go from my clawed death-grip. By then, I had conceived of a novel which later became Immortal Flame, the first in my Hell to Pay series, written during one of the breaks from revising The Best Book Ever.
Hey folks, check out this opportunity to participate in an amazing auction! Big name authors and high-powered editors (and little authors like me) are giving away all sorts of things: autographed books, editing services, query critiques, and manuscript reviews. It's a great opportunity to support advocacy for humanitarian situation and also get personalized attention for your manuscript or to score some fabulous books!
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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