Yesterday afternoon at 2:00 I emailed the manuscript of my spring 2009 release, Too Hot To Handle to my editor. At 4:30, she called to tell me the synopsis of my nest book, The Making Of A Domestic God, is due on her desk in one week. I had an entire two and a half hours of blissful self-adulation. If I hadn't been driving my twelve-year-old to her dance class, that time would have involved a toast, maybe a quiet celebratory dinner with my own domestic god. But my life isn't that romantic. Instead, I received a high-five from my daughter and spent the evening at her dance school among other tortured dance parents.
And speaking of torture, this morning in my dentist's office, I endured the second half of a root canal. I thought nothing could be worse than the first half. I was wrong. If I were ever to write a romantic suspense, I'd definitely have a deranged dentist as my villain. Mind you, I didn't tell my dentist this until after he put away his drills. He chuckled softly as he removed my bib.
I'm writing this blog without a bib and without a drink. I'm so numb, I'm afraid anything I imbibed would dribble down my chin without my noticing, since the entire left side of my head lacks feeling. When I touched my ear only to find it numb, I asked my dentist if maybe he'd gotten a little carried away with the Novocain. He smiled in that way dentists have when speaking to difficult patients and asked, "Did you feel any pain?" The answer, of course, was no, but was it really necessary for him to numb my whole head and neck?
Is it any wonder that while I lay in the torture chamber called his office, my mind wandered down a familiar path? I call it the writer's path. It's a place I've visited all my life, and used to get in trouble for when I was in school. My teachers always said, "Robin is constantly daydreaming." Before you publish your first book, it's called daydreaming; after, it's called plotting.
The books I plot come alive in my mind. It's like a movie running through my brain. The characters I shape are as real as any other person in my world, although they're better looking, thinner, and for the most part, vastly more interesting. They're wittier, funnier, and richer--after all, I write fiction.
While lying in the chair at my dentists office, The Making Of A Domestic God took shape. I'll soon commit it to paper. Knowing me, Becca, my heroine, will probably have a run-in with a dentist and come out of his office wondering when she'll be able to drink without dribbling and how long it will take before she can speak without sounding as if she's in desperate need of speech therapy. I won't even go into the thought I had about how a rubber dam feels in one's mouth when the area is shared with the gloved fingers of a Novocain-wielding dentist--after all, this is a family friendly blog, is it not?
It does make me wonder how many real-life experiences make their way into the pages of other author's books.