Guest Blog + Giveaway: Must We Argue? By Sarah Ballance
I remember in the days following the completion of my first novel I had an infernal period of “Now what?” The logical conclusion was to write something else, but I never wanted to be an author to begin with. Was staring at a wall my moment of truth? Been there, done that, over it? Maybe, but I’ve got to admit the thought stung a little. No writing? Meh. No plot, anyway. I could have rocked Jack’s literary genius from “The Shining” (if you missed it, he filled a few reams of paper with a single repeated line . . . oh, and he drank a lot) but I’m not one to step on the legendary toes of Stephen King, so there I sat. Not a plot bunny to be found.
But then the tide began to change.
The next story came to me after a walk on the beach on a dark and stormy night (no, really, it was very dark and very stormy). That freaked-me-the-H-out night was quickly followed by plot-dream so insanely vivid I actually coasted through the channel guide to make sure a late-night movie hadn’t infiltrated my dreams. The story turned out to be my own, and from there my first romantic suspense, RUN TO YOU, was born. And that, my friends, is when things got a little wild.
Plots starting grazing me like stray bullets. Well, plots and commitments. (I promised I’d write HAWTHORNE for charity, but getting that one on the page was as hard as anything I’ve ever done … or at least it was until the ending came to me. *Grin*). Which brings me to the topic of arguing. Who is arguing, you ask? My characters. Like children, they are. Pick me! No, me! GAH! It’s like having kids running circles around me. (Not to be confused with my *actual* kids—six of ’em—running circles around me, mind you.)
Now I have the characters of LAST CALL tapping their collective feet, wanting to know why they’re still in WIP status when they were due to be completed a month ago. My barely-there duo from STAY THE NIGHT counters that argument with the fact that their book is going to be a free read, and charitable-slash-giving acts go first. HAWTHORNE: UPRISING is kindly pointing out the former Amazon best-selling status of its predecessor. And NEXT OF KIN is threatening someone will have to locate my own if I don’t get on the ball. There’s even a historical romance, CAPTIVE, sitting a bit more quietly in the corner, waiting for a good moment to sweep my attention a couple hundred years in the past and hold me hostage there, where no one will ever think to look.
They’re a rowdy group, my characters. And I’m grateful for their strength, and I adore their stubbornness and desire to get out there and make a mark on the world, no matter how small. But I just have one thing to say.
Will you guys please knock it off so I can WRITE?
Extra credit: I’m giving away a $5 gift certificate to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Noble Romance (winner’s choice). To enter, simply leave a comment with your email address. And bonus (yes, my extra credit has a bonus), the first commenter to tell me the line with which Jack from The Shining filled his manuscript will win their choice of ebooks from my backlist and will also be eligible for the gift card giveaway.
Riley Beckett’s past just came back to haunt her . . . and this time, he’s got a gun.
When Gage Lawton finds his brother shot dead on his back porch, every shred of evidence points to one person: Gage’s former lover, Riley. He and she didn’t part ways on good terms, and he’s not planning to rekindle anything now–not when he’s got a revolver pointed at her head and a finger on the trigger.
A year after Riley swore she and Gage were over, he returns in a hail of gunfire. One look into those achingly familiar blue eyes and she knows how wrong she was to let him go, but now far more than their heated past stands in the way. A twist of fate puts them in the crosshairs of a killer, leaving Riley with two slim options: trust her greatest betrayer or face a murderer on her own.
About The Author:
Sarah lives a charmed life as the mother of six incredible homeschooled children, all of whom are completely adorable when they’re asleep. Her husband of many years (long, long years, he calls them) is the kind of guy who could teach those heroes from the books a thing or two about romance, not that he’d readily admit it. Completely supportive of her love for writing fiction, he’s generously offered to help with any necessary research for “the good parts.” She’s never had to ask twice.
Although the idea of writing initially intimidated Sarah, it has morphed into a favorite pastime since her characters, unlike her kids, actually listen to her. (Er, sometimes.)