Sunday, August 5th, 2012
I had a Cunning Plan. Last summer, just for fun, I’d written the first few chapters of a contemporary romance novel. I’d never written in that genre before, so it seemed like a challenge and a nice palette cleanser before going back to Pink.
But then, while I was in the middle of it, I got a call telling me that not only did my old publisher want two more Pink books, but St. Martin’s Press wanted the Kenya-set 1920s book I’d been working on and another stand alone historical novel on top of that. Suddenly, I had deadlines coming out of my ears (if deadlines can be said to do such a thing) and I reluctantly put Dare Me aside. It was just for fun, anyway, and who knew if it was any good?
The problem was that I’d kind of fallen in love with those characters and I didn’t want to let them go.
Here comes the Cunning Plan. In an ideal world, I was going to finish Pink X, Miss Gwen’s book, by the end of July. That would leave me the month of August to follow up on my half-written chapters of Dare Me before starting in on my next historical stand alone for St. Martin’s. In the meantime, I would post the chapters in serial form here on the website and if they got the thumbs down, they would go gently into that great file cabinet in the study, and if they got the thumbs up, I’d use August to power through the rest of the book. I already had a bunch of the later chapters partly written and an outline that took me through most of the book. I could pick up seamlessly where I’d left off and give you more chapters than I’d promised, keeping the serial going through the fall.
As with all Cunning Plans, there was an unexpected hitch: I hadn’t accounted for Miss Gwen. As those of you who follow me on this site and on Facebook know, I’m still in the midst and Miss Gwen is leading me a merry (well, sometimes merry, other times just plain mad) dance through the plot of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria. Instead of having an open August, I’m in a desperate deadline crunch.
BUT. Your response to Dare Me has convinced me that it would be wrong– wrong!– to leave Kristy and Jack hanging. This isn’t a File Cabinet Situation. It’s not going to happen this month, or even next month, but I am going to do everything I can to find a clear space to finish their story. (Right now, I’m thinking February, once I hand the manuscript of the next stand alone in.) So stay tuned– I’ll post more as soon as I’m done wrangling Miss Gwen!
Saturday, August 4th, 2012
Yes, folks, we’re here: the final installment of our summer serial, Dare Me. How did we get here already? If you haven’t read the previous segments, you can start with Chapter One, here.
I’ll be posting tomorrow on the future of Dare Me, but in the meantime, with no further ado, here’s Chapter Seven…. Enjoy!
Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Welcome back to our summer serial, Dare Me! If you’ve missed the earlier chapters, just click here to start at the beginning.
Saturday, July 21st, 2012
Welcome back to our summer serial, Dare Me! If you’ve missed the previous installments, you can start at the beginning by clicking here.
And now, without further ado… Chapter Five!
Saturday, July 14th, 2012
It’s Saturday– and that means Chapter Four of Dare Me!
For those coming into the summer serial in the middle, you can start with Chapter One by clicking here.
Saturday, July 7th, 2012
Welcome to Chapter Three of our summer serial, Dare Me! If you’re just coming in in the middle, you can find Chapters One and Two by clicking here.
Saturday, June 30th, 2012
For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the first seven chapters of a novel I began, just for fun, last summer. If you didn’t catch Chapter One last week, you can find it here.
And now… Chapter Two! In which we meet the hero of the piece….
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
Just because, and just because it’s summer, I’m sharing with you the first seven chapters of a novel I started writing last July. This was a “just for fun” novel. I was between books, a little burned out on Napoleonic spies, waiting to hear back from publishers about the 1920s book– so it seemed like a good time to try something completely different. Like a contemporary romance novel.
For the next seven weeks, I’ll be posting a chapter every Saturday, like an old time serial novel. I hope it amuses you as much as it did me!
Without further ado, here’s Chapter One of DARE ME:
Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Just a reminder that our summer serial, the random contemporary romance novel I started writing last July, premiers here on the News page this Saturday. Tune in Saturday for Chapter One of Dare Me!
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Last summer, I found myself in an odd gap between books. I had handed in The Garden Intrigue freakishly early. While waiting to hear about more Pink books, I’d started writing a rather different novel, set in Kenya in the 1920s, but was waiting for publisher feedback before continuing with it, unsure whether anyone would want it. (They did– but I wouldn’t know that until August.) I started work on Pink X, but Miss Gwen was being uncooperative and it wasn’t entirely clear that more Pink books were in the cards.
So I decided to write something just for fun.
I wanted to write something out of my ordinary orbit, something light, something different. So I decided to try my hand at a contemporary romance. It would involve a down and out heroine inheriting a house, because, as you all know, I have a thing for house inheritance novels, and a small town in upstate New York, because I’ve spent some of my happiest times in a small town in upstate New York. (Cold Spring, I’m looking at you!) Over the course of last July, I happily dug into writing it. I called the town Phillips Falls, as a nod to Susan Elizabeth Philips, queen of the genre (and to Philipstown, the larger entity that includes my own beloved Cold Spring). As for title… well, I had to throw in a Jennifer Crusie homage. My heroine’s name was Kristy Dare, so what more logical than to call it Dare Me?
As you can see, I was amusing myself mightily.
I had about a hundred pages done when I got a call telling me that it was time to go full steam ahead on the Kenya book– and then another call telling me that my old publisher wanted two more Pink books. Suddenly, I found myself booked up with deadlines and my contemporary romance (known to me as the RCR, for Random Contemporary Romance), had to be filed away for later.
I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to finish writing it, but, just for fun, just because it’s summer, I’ve decided to dust it off and share it with you. Starting June 23rd, I’ll be posting a chapter here on the News page every Saturday, straight through July and into August.
I hope it proves as much of a summer escape for you as it did for me last July!