Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Path to Writing

Please help me welcome Sylvia A. Witmore to the Book 'Em North Carolina blogspot today! Sylvia will be joining us at Book 'Em in Lumberton, North Carolina on February 25, 2012. We hope you'll come out and see her and about 80 other authors. It's going to be an exciting time. And if you are an aspiring writer, you're sure to find inspiration in Sylvia's tale of publishing success.

I have always been an avid reader of murder/mystery/romantic intrigue books.  I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys while I was still in 1st & 2nd grades.  I skipped two grades in school, graduated at 16, received a year's scholarship to American University in Wash. DC.  I found out early on that I didn't want to write for a newspaper or magazines so I changed it to Creative Writing.  To make a long story short, I was unable to graduate due to illness of my father and I met and married my husband of 40 years before I finished.

We had 3 sons who are all married with children today.  I've always wanted to write and I started writing at night on a Selecttric Typewriter after my sons were in bed.  I worked at Scot Mem Hospital and Home Health for 35 years before retiring.

I started sending them to publishers in 1980 & 1990, but I just kept getting rejection slips.  In 1998 I wrote Wheels of Danger, which is a book about NASCAR that takes place in Rockingham, NC at The Rock where racing was really strong.  An editor in NY sent it back and said that racing was a Southern, redneck sport and would never flourish beyond the south.  Well, look what racing is today.  Nevertheless I wrote a sequel to Wheels called Treacherous Hearts about a female race driver.  This was before Danica Patrick won her race in Japan.

I also wrote a 3rd sequel ECHO OF FOOTSTEPS which takes place in Hamlet, NC where I was raised.  I changed the racetrack then to Arca racing because they are now racing at the track.  In 2008, I received a call from an publishing company, Authorhouse in Blooming, Ind.  The guy there said that he had turned my book about racing to his editor in NY but that's the one who turned me down; now he was working for an editor and told me that his boss loved Indy racing and if my book had not sold, they were interested in it.  I sent it to them and then received a 3 book contract.  Now I have an unlimited contract.  My last 3 books are on Kindle and Nook as well as hard & soft copies through or through the publishing company or me.
All of my books take place in and around North & South Carolina where the characters go to familiar places around here.

I have had six books published in hard cover now and have just finished a 7th one which I will be sending out soon.

I love to keep my reader in suspense; most times they are surprised when the killer is caught.  My writing has really been good therapy since I lost my wonderful husband 2 years ago.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Plotting over Lunch

Please help me welcome Dora Hiers, one of the fabulous authors who will be joining us at Book 'Em North Carolina on February 25, 2012. After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom, eventually transitioning to writing heart racing, God-gracing books. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers. Journey’s End, Dora’s debut inspirational romance, was released with White Rose Publishing in May 2011 in e-book and print formats. Her second book, Journey’s Edge, was awarded 2nd place in the First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Unpublished Beacon Contest, is coming soon with White Rose Publishing.

Since I started writing inspirational romantic suspense, my husband seems almost scared to go to lunch with me. I can’t help but wonder why.
The other day, I met him at Buffalo Wild Wings. He breezes in, slings the fire radio off his belt, does that one-handed flip with the thing, and leans down to plant a kiss on my cheek before sliding onto the opposite bench seat. “Hey.”
“Hi, honey.” I flash my best “happy to see you” smile.
“Ready to order?”
Well, I am, but he just sat down. Doesn’t he need a couple minutes to look over the menu? I shrug. “Sure.”
The waiter brings our drinks, takes our order, and leaves. I’m the type that usually orders the same thing. At Buffalo Wild Wings, it’s always the buffalito. The meal arrives, and I dig into my buffalito. I finish my meal, ready to talk.
“So, honey. I need your help. I need a way to crash a plane.”
His eyebrows practically arch off his head. His gaze darts around the room. He sees a couple local police officers sitting a few tables away, nods, and smiles at them. He leans back and inhales, deep and shaky, lets it out slowly. Takes a long sip of water. “OK. Crashing a plane. Hmmm.”
“Yeah. Or maybe a poison.” I let that swirl around in my head for about thirty seconds. “Yeah, poison might actually work better. Just enough of a drug to make the pilot a little woozy, but not enough to kill him.”
My husband scrunches his face, does another quick glance around the dining room, and hunches his generous body lower in the bench. In the smallest voice he’s capable of (my husband only has one volume: booming), he says, “Poison. OK. Give me this afternoon. I’ll make some phone calls and find you something to work with.”
A head from the booth behind my husband swivels in our direction and frowns. The man leans towards his lunch partner and whispers, begins punching numbers into a cell phone.
My husband grabs the check, bolts to his feet, and holds out a hand. “You ready to go?”
“Sure, honey.” I smile, knowing he’s a busy guy and has a ton of work waiting for him at the office. “Thanks for your help. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
He throws a desperate glance over his shoulder, waves at the police officers, and hustles me out the door.
I love my wonderful hunk of a husband. He's a tremendous help in plotting books. Sometimes just talking things out will loosen up writer's block. And although he may cringe at my weird, out-of-left-field dilemmas, he never complains. Wonder where he’ll want to go to lunch tomorrow?
Journey’s End, Dora’s debut inspirational romance, was released with White Rose Publishing in May 2011 in e-book and print formats. Journey’s Edge, awarded 2nd place in the First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Unpublished Beacon Contest, is coming soon with White Rose Publishing.

Readers can connect with Dora:
Facebook: Dora Hiers AuthorTwitter: @DoraHiers