Wednesday, February 28, 2007

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Happy Birthday, Case!

Today's my hubby's bday! Nope, can't tell his age (hey, I wanna live a little longer), but this man is amazing. So, happy birthday, Case! Have a great day! Love Always, ME

Oh, and if anyone wants to email him a sympathy birthday email (he does, after all, have to live with me), his email is:

Yeah, he's gonna kill me! LOL

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Brainstorming...digging deeper

I love to's great to be able to toss ideas out and keep pushing the envelope. Every genre can play. And here's the secret...whether brainstorming a complex suspense plot, or a sweet romance, the key common element is CHARACTERS.

When I start to brainstorm, despite knowing I'll get to the plot eventually, I like to start with my heroine. What's she look like? What's her name? What's she do? Now to move onto the good stuff....what's her internal goal? How can I give her conflict in reaching that goal? What's her external goal? Can I use something of her internal issues to hamper her reaching her external goal? let me think of a hero. His goal, I think I'll make totally opposite of hers. Yeah, that'll be fun. His internal goal the exact opposite of hers. Oh, but for fun, let's make them both striving toward the same external goal. Hmmm....this could be interesting.

But let's back up a minute....heroine's internal issues....what in her past made her feel this way? Decide to have such an internal goal? Hmmm...let's take that and make it something the hero can't/or doesn't think he can accept. Oh, yeah, let's mess them up royally. Now let's jump into his backstory....why can't/won't hero accept this part of her past? Something happen to him--his family--a friend?

Now, having this, I normally fill out an indepth character synopsis on both heroine and hero. Ready to start plotting? Nope. We're just getting started.

In mystery/suspense, gotta have a villian. Often have them in other genres, too. So let's figure out who wants the same external goal, but would go about attaining it in a bad way. LOL Why does villian want it? What will he do to get it? What has he already done to succeed?, he's painted as a really bad guy. Maybe should give him a couple of redeeming qualities. What happened in his past that caused him to be so ruthless? What horrors shaped him into doing what's wrong rather than what's right? Good. Now he's well rounded. I actually feel a twinge of sympathy for him. Hmmm. All looking good. Let's shake things up a bit. Let's kill the villian off. There's the crime for my book.

Villian was bad, but had a couple of redeeming qualities. So who wanted him dead, and why?

And that's going further into brainstorming secondary characters. Now once all my characters, complete with their issues, backstories, and GMC are complete, I try to draw lines of connection between them. Who is connected to whom by a secret--a past event--any kind of connection? I try to keep pushing and going until my "graph" looks like it's sitting on a spider's web because of all the lines of connection. can take you places! Try it!

Back to Writing

Or rather, I'm back to plotting! Finished editing book 2 and am sending it back to my agent next week. So, I turned my focus on the outlining of book 3. Let me explain, I don't really "outline" like normal writers. I do an in-depth character synopsis of each of the main characters, with their ACTs listed, in which I write the plot points. Then, since mine are mysteries/suspense, I do a "crime chart". To work with the internal conflicts, I use the "plot blob". Ideas crop up in this stage and I can just jot them down. Might use them, might not. And my brainstorming partner for this stage of this book? My 4 year old daughter. Yep. In the car rider line to pick up her sister. I'll throw out a plot point and jot down her initial reaction. It's so honest and pure. I love it. And, it's great for her in learning all about the difference between make-believe and reality.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My baby's first formal

Here is Emily and her boyfriend, before going to the dance! Aren't they sweet?!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My daughter's Photos

A lot of you know I had to buy my daughter a formal for their black & white elegant winter formal dance this upcoming weekend. We found a SALE and ended up buying 3 she is....which is your favorite? I'll tell y'all mine later....and she's still trying to decide which to wear.

PR Photos

Okay, here are the favs selected by those whom I actually showed all of them to! LOL Let me know your favorite...
I didn't post the REALLY bad ones.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Interview with.....Sharon Hinck

Welcome, Sharon...thanks for taking time to answer a couple of questions.

Hi, Robin!Thanks so much for inviting me to drop by for a visit!

In Renovating Becky Miller, you present home repairs in such an amusing manner. Is this from personal experience?

It seems my husband and I are constantly repairing, remodeling, or renovating some part of our home. We’re optimistic “Do-it-yourselfers” with starry-eyed visions of a “quick afternoon project” that stretches into weeks of work. Whether its a full kitchen or bathroom remodel, or a simple paint job, it always takes twice as long and costs three times as much as we expect. I figured that even Becky’s “can do” spirit would be a bit daunted by the experience.

The parallel between remodeling a home and remodeling our spiritual status is brought out in your book. Can you elaborate on how you hit on this theme?

It’s because I’m a “fixer-upper.” I’m not a brand new model home in a fancy neighborhood. I’m worn around the edges, sagging in places, and needing lots of tender love and care. Yet God is willing to make His home in me. It bewilders and amazes me daily.

Share with us a bit about your writing life.

It’s terrifying and humbling to have books in print. I wrestle every day with the limitations of my skill, and the limits of the written word to express the mysteries and wonders of how God interacts in our lives. But it’s very fulfilling when someone writes to me about how a novel helped them feel less alone — how the character expressed something they (the reader) have often felt but didn’t know how to explain.

A lot of authors state the spiritual themes in their books reflect the spiritual path they're on. Have you found this to be true?

My assumption when I started each new manuscript was that I would weave in themes based on past experiences. Yet with each novel I’ve written, God has kindled NEW lessons in my personal life that reflect some of what my characters are going through. If a character is struggling with loneliness, I find myself in a period of painful solitude. If a plot revolves around fear and inadequacy, I’ve faced deep battles with those issues. Now that I’ve noticed this trend, I think the next novel I write will be about someone profoundly happy that has lots of wonderful things happen to them. ;-)

Thanks for dropping by. Any parting words?Thanks again for chatting.

I mentioned that I’m a “fixer-upper.” How about those of you reading this blog? What kind of house would you describe yourself as? How many stories? What kind of architecture? Brick? Siding? In the country? In the city? I’ll stop by later to answer any questions from folks who want to post comments.Hugs, Sharon

Friday, February 09, 2007

PR Photo Shoot

Okay, I'll admit it...I've never ever in my life had a desire to be in front of a camera. I don't enjoy having my pictures taken--I'm not photogenic in any form. So today was an adventure for me...having to go have a photo session for my PR photos. I chose a photographer in my area who does amazing wedding photos and who'd taken my daughters' pictures before. I felt comfortable with him, so I figured, okay, I can do this. Imagine my surprise when I actually had fun and ENJOYED getting my pictures taken. Props galore...chairs, couches, windows, columns, and yep, even a fan for a "dramatic" photo. The hour flew by and I thought...hmmm, not as bad as I'd imagined. Now, I won't pick the disk up until late Tuesday, and they all might be horrid, but I have to say, I had a good time. Not that I'd ever want to give up writing to be in front of a camera, and not that anybody would ever want me to, but it was a fun experience that I had dreaded. I'll let y'all know how the pictures come out. But for now, I'm pleased!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Isn't It Great?!

My dear friend, Camy Tang, has gotten her debut novel's cover! I had to share because I'm so excited for it is....what do y'all think? Amazing, huh?

I'm Still Alive

Thanks all of y'all who have emailed to wonder if I've dropped off the face of the earth. No, I've been busy. Being president of ACFW is a lot more involved than what appears on the surface. LOL I finished book 2 in the bayou agent's reading it now. I finished my line edits on book 1 in the bayou's on its way to my editor now. WOW. Oh, and I'm guest blogging tomorrow on Girls Write Out...come check it out!