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How the Truth Converges

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My first memory as a child is dust and white, frilly socks. I can't remember people but I remember standing in the dust down south, and seeing my feet and those socks they put on very little girls, and being so little that I could very easily look UNDER the houses that were raised up on cinder blocks. I know now that I am remembering what used to be sharecroppers houses-turned black people's neighborhood. (I'm not that old).  I don't remember ever being in that place again.  The house changed when my grandmother moved.
     My younger brother also has memories of that place. Interestingly enough, our memories are not the same, even though we are really close together. Maybe  he saw different things than I did. He told me his memories and now I would argue that his memories are so closely interwoven with mine that they all belong to me now. Mine also belong to him. These have created a new, bigger remembrance of that place in deep Alabama.
        When I talk to m…

Writing What you know

I keep getting asked if what I write is real life.  I repeat-I’m not that interesting, but I have a heck of an imagination. Let’s talk Eastern Spice (Cynnamon Foster).  Of course, I am not a spy.  I am a writer.  I’m certainly not a spy that goes undercover in swingers clubs, but I did write about real places I have been in the book.  In fact, India and Japan are two of my favorites.
I always knew my characters would end up in India.  I knew that before I had ever been or put one word on the page.  I was intrigued by a story that my husband found in the paper about a woman found dead in a hotel pool where he was staying in India. In the movie in my mind, of course it was a conspiracy.  I cooked up a story and started writing. Then I visited.  I got to drive through the countryside and exchange wedding vows at the Taj Mahal, and had to go back and re-write what I had written.  I wanted the details to be as real as possible, so m6 characters see what I saw with the same wonder that I di…

Writing From Real Life

Every time I talk with Book clubs, I get asked if any of the things in my books are from life.  The answer is a definitive no…and yes.
This question made me chuckle when I was writing Nina Foxx books, but as Cynnamon Foster, it makes me guffaw with laughter, because what they are really asking is if my sex life is as filled with adventure as Desiree’s or Seria’s.  Let me just say, I am wonderfully happy in that area, but no, I don’t write from my life, at least not in that sense. I actually do a lot of research—but not the way you might think.  The publisher supplied me with animated visual aids (very, very funny!).  I also read a lot of titles in the genre as well as watch a lot of late night Showtime.
In Southern Comfort, my characters are frolicking in Texas, but in Eastern Spice (release date May 3, Ellora’s Cave), they embark on a far flung adventure briefly lading in Tokyo, and they in Bangalore, India. I started writing Eastern Spice before I had actually gone to India, after m…

The Good Friend &The Trapeze

Good friends are amazing. I was feeling nervous about an upcoming life change, hesitating on making a choice that seemed frightening, but could make a huge difference in my life. As I stood paralyzed, my good friend gave me an except from The Book of Essenes that compared such life changes and the fear that accompanies them to a series of trapezes. You are content as you swing along on the trapeze you know, so you hesitate on making the leap to the empty trapeze when it appears in front of you, not sure if the new trapeze is a figment of your imagination and certainly terrified of that space in between. In this transition point, you may free fall, but you most certainly grow. My friend was devastated that my choice might put physical distance between us, but she has been in the very same spot herself years ago, and was familiar with the growth such a leap could bring. She “leaned in” and reaped the benefits of doing so, and encouraged me to do the same. Through her tears of separation…

Writing Overload

I go from feast to famine as far as writing is concerned, at least in my head.  First, I’m miles away from any deadline, artificial or otherwise, so there is no real urgency to create anything.  As a result, I spend a lot of time “thinking’ about my story and what the characters are doing.  Then, I’m within days of a deadline on not one, but two projects, but still miles away in terms of word count. If I have done the first thing properly, the ideas will tumble from my head faster than I have to ability to type or can even dictate, and I become a slave to a daily word count goal and there are a lot of late nights. This is where I am now.   I have one book that was due (really) a bit ago, but in my head the deadline is still ten days away.  My characters are still moving around and revealing their motivations and haunting my dreams, generally driving me even more nuts than I am.  (Trust me when I tell you that some of these are pretty unsavory characters and I don’t want to meet up w…

Looming Deadlines

Yup, I had a book deadline, and my time in the hospital, combined with my usual procrastination (including writing this blog) has left me seriously in danger of being late with this book.  I want to get it done before I get the revision letter for the last one, but that is terribly overdue now, too.  I was expecting them in December, so I could get them any minute. I really can’t afford to be late as I have a Nina Foxx deadline about 4 weeks after this one is done. I know I shouldn’t complain as some writers have no deadlines at all, other than those they impose on themselves.  The book I’m working on is third in a series for Cynnamon Foster.  These are harder to write than anything Nina Foxx has worked on, for some reason.  I don’t know if its because they all take place in a foreign local and I can’t just take a walk or look out the window to orient the characters and instead have to rely on memory or photos I have taken, or if they are taking a long time because the deadlines are …

A Therapist and a Bill Collector

Editing an anthology has left me feeling like a therapist and a bill collector.  When I wrote my part, I thought I was done but now, after receiving almost all of the submissions I was expecting, I realized I have so much more to write.  I had no idea the project would impact so many people the way it has or that I would find out all the things that I have about my writer-friends.  For them to be so fabulous after all they have experienced makes me respect them that much more.  I feel like a bill collector because there are still a few more submissions that have been promised that I have yet to receive.  I know that everyone has deadlines for much bigger projects, but its time to hound people for their 4000 words now, and I hate that. For some of them, its because they do have a very busy schedule, for others, the delay is because is because I asked them to write about a hard subject that they are not ready to face.  Creative non-fiction is like that.  Sometimes the words don’t come …