The ending month for 2010! But what a year it's been!! The thought of endings makes me think of those two words we slave toward when we begin to write a book ... THE END!
That means the hero and the heroine have successfully jumped every hurdle we've thrown in their way, made it over every speed bump and road block we've put into the book and even lived with a bunch of ornery secondary characters that often gave unsolicited and unwanted advice. They deserve their happy ever after, by golly, after all we've put them through.
It's been a fantastic year starting back in January with Getting Lucky, the last book in the Lucky Series. In June the Honky Tonk Series hit the ground running with I Love This Bar, followed by Hell, Yeah in August and a double whammy in October with My Give A Damn's Busted and Honky Tonk Christmas coming out the same day and closing out the year.
On my blog tour for the last two books someone at the Lady Scribe's Blog Site asked me to write about how I juggle writing so many books at one time. That blog seems to fit with the idea of THE END so I'm using bits and pieces of it today.
A therapist would love to get me all stretched out on his little sofa and ask me how I juggle so many books in a year. He'd forget about visions of sugarplums and go straight to an olympic sized indoor pool complete with a cabana when I answered: I have tunnel vision. Because he would know beyond a shadow of a doubt he could wrangle a thousand visits out of those four words as he tried to cure me of the dread disease called tunnelopticalmyitis.
It's most likely because Momma didn't make me eat Brussels' sprouts at the right age or else it had something to do with my brother who spoiled my only child status. But there is no known cure for the disease. Not even high powered antibiotics will cure it. Neither will chocolate or donuts!
Truth is that the tunnel vision serves me well in the writing world where I live.
When Daisy and Jarod's story (I Love This Bar) began there was just a pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel. But it kept me going ... getting the story down while ignoring dust bunnies, laundry and knee high grass in the back yard. The light got bigger and bigger until one day the story was told and behold there was THE END at the finish of 300 plus pages. WOW! They had their HEA and rode off in the sunset toward Oklahoma to live in wedded bliss. And I was ready to sit down and have a whole dozen chocolate donuts to celebate. But when I glanced over my shoulder there was another sliver of light at the other end of the tunnel ... alas, the donuts had to wait.
Dammit! Travis was headed for Cathy, Daisy's cousin and the new owner of the Honky Tonk, with intentions of kissing her as the clock counted down for a New Year. (Hell, Yeah). Lord, I hadn't even introduced them yet so I had to do some fancy footwork to get to the Honky Tonk before Travis did. It all started again. Dust bunnies grew under the beds. You could hide army tanks in the grass out in the yard. Fast food became a way of life because I couldn't see anything but the story. When THE END was typed and Cathy and Travis had their HEA, I sighed and reached for a donut! Before it got to my mouth, I heard a screeching noise behind me and Larissa was braking hard to keep from crashing right into the back of Hank's pickup truck (My Give A Damn's Busted). There was nothing to do but toss the donut at the cabinet and try to keep up.
I really thought when I typed THE END and Larissa and Hank had gone to the ranch up in northern Palo Pinto County that the Honky Tonk Series had come to an end. But Deb called and asked if I'd be interested in writing a Christmas book. And I said, "Hell, yeah!"
You see, Sharlene was in a big pout because she wanted her name in the bright lights and sure enough there was a light back at the other end of the tunnel. She had a fantastic story and really needed a HEA, what with all those nightmares about her secret job in the Army while she was in Iraq for those two tours. So I sent Holt to remodel the Honky Tonk with the hopes that he and Sharlene would hit it off.
So the answer to the question about juggling books is that I don't do so much juggling as just plain writing. Characters tell me enough about their life to interest me, and I have no choice but the write their story. While I'm writing it, I'm in that tunnel where I see very little except the next scene and the light growing ahead with THE END glowing in neon lights.
So my Honky Tonk Series comes to an end. It's closing time at the Honky Tonk just like it's closing time for 2010! See the mistletoe that Sharlene hung up on the ceiling? Kiss that cowboy goodnight and let's go home. My feet hurt from dancing. I'm plumb out of quarters for the jukebox and Willie Nelson is singing about turning out the lights, the party is over.
Turn 'em out Luther (he's the bouncer), the party is over at the Honky Tonk.
(I just looked over my shoulder and behold
there was a neon light at the end of the tunnel
flashing Spikes & Spurs ...
2011 is lookin' good!)