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Holiday Season by Linda O. Johnston

December 6, 2009 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , ,

I recently returned home from a trip to Branson, Missouri. Talk about Christmas spirit! Most of the shows are at the ends of their season, but nearly every entertainer included a lot of Christmas carols.

I’d never been to Branson before and enjoyed it—including all the shopping! I still needed a lot of holiday presents and was able to check off a quite a few people from my list of those I still needed to shop for by the time I got home. Of course that ruined my ability to fly back home with only carry-on luggage.

I did see my latest Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery, HOWL DEADLY, on bookstore shelves for the first time in Branson, at a Books-A-Million. It’s a December release, and that, as always, was a kick!

My writing suffered some on this trip—too busy to get much done. But I did take an afternoon to do nothing but write, and also was able to edit on the plane home. I had a couple of appearances as soon as I returned—a talk on promotion at the East Valley Authors chapter of RWA at the Azusa Library, and a holiday party at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego. I’ve other parties I could be going to now… but it’s time to get down to work!

Happy holidays, everyone! And come see me at the OCC meeting next week. I hope to be signing HOWL DEADLY.

I’d love to hear what’s keeping you busy during this holiday season…

Linda O. Johnston
http://www.lindaojohnston.com/
http://www.killerhobbies.blogspot.com/
Linda O. Johnston is the author of 15 romance novels and several novellas, including a current Nocturne Bites, with 2 more Nocturnes upcoming. She also writes the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. HOWL DEADLY, the newest title in the series has just been released.

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The Plot Thickens by Linda O. Johnston

November 6, 2009 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , ,

In my September blog, I asked people for ideas of what they would like me to address in my posts on A Slice of Orange. My apologies, but I didn’t use those ideas last month because I’d just attended the West Hollywood Book Fair and was jazzed about it, so that was what I talked about in my post.
But now, here’s a topic that one of the commenters mentioned in September: plotting. Holly wrote: “My biggest issue is keeping the plot/subplots simple and not too many. It is like ideas pop into my little head and I add them instead of filtering. How do you filter through them to keep the storyline flowing?”

That can be a problem, Holly. I’ve found it particularly affects me when I’m writing some of my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries. Kendra is my alter ego, and she keeps throwing ideas into my mind about what’s happening in her life while I’m writing about her.

What I generally do, though, is tell her that I need to stick to the synopsis I always create before I start writing one of her stories. I don’t do detailed outlines or scene lists any longer, but I have found that if I go off on a tangent that isn’t in my original synopsis I generally have to remove it.

That’s not to say you can’t save it for another book. I certainly do! That’s such a great thing about computers. I always keep lists of ideas in the same folders as the stories I’m working on. Then, when it’s time to plot the next story and create its synopsis, I generally can pick and choose from ideas I’ve already jotted down.

Of course, everyone writes differently. Not everyone can work with a synopsis or outline. There are a lot of seat-of-pantsers out there, too–and I’m sure it’s more difficult for them to ignore new ideas as they crop up.

Another caveat here. (Yes, I’m also a lawyer, so I use legalese at times!) Even if you are someone who writes a synopsis, outline or scene list first, if something comes to you that you haven’t already included and it’s a real doozy that you think readers will love, you don’t always have to save it for the next book. But think it through before you run with it. It may make what you’re doing a whole lot harder to finish–especially if it’s also interrupted by other ideas!

So–was this helpful? Any other things you’d like for me to address in the future?

Linda O. Johnston
http://www.lindaojohnston.com/
http://www.killerhobbies.blogspot.com/

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 16 romance novels and several novellas, including a Nocturne Bites that is also in a current print anthology AWAKENING THE BEAST, with more Nocturnes upcoming. She also writes the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and is also working on the spin-off Pet Rescue series.

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Book Festivals

October 6, 2009 by in category Events, Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Reading tagged as , ,

There’s nothing like a good book fair for fun!

On Sunday, I attended the West Hollywood Book Fair in–you guessed it!–West Hollywood, California. I was on a panel called Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins: Exploring the Supernatural in Mystery Fiction. Several of us on the panel write both paranormal fiction and in other genres, so it was enjoyable to discuss our decisions about what paranormal elements to include, and which stories to include them in.

I also signed books at the Sisters in Crime/LA booth, and I helped to staff the Mystery Writers of America, Southern California Chapter, booth, to tell people what MWA is about. Yes, I belong to MWA and SinC as well as RWA. Each organization provides something different–and valuable.

At the times I wasn’t otherwise scheduled, I sat at the Arfriend booth with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Lexie and Mystie. Lexie stars in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries–or at least her counterpart, also named Lexie, does. It’s a natural thing to take her along to promotional events where dogs are permitted. Mystie goes along for the ride whenever possible, and she steals the scene as she chases sunbeams, real or imaginary.

Arfriend, BTW, is a wonderful organization that acts as a resource guide for human and animal friends. Check out its website: http://www.arfriend.org

And, yes, I brought my own dog-sitter along for when I couldn’t pay complete attention to my pups. Fortunately, my husband Fred is a good sport and excellent pooch minder.

So… what book events have you attended lately? Which have impressed you most?

Linda O. Johnston

http://www.lindaojohnston.com/

http://www.killerhobbies.blogspot.com/

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 16 romance novels and several novellas, including a Nocturne Bites that is also in a current print anthology AWAKENING THE BEAST, with more Nocturnes upcoming. She also writes the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and will soon start working on the spin-off Pet Rescue series.

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A Question About Questions

September 6, 2009 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , ,

I’ve been blogging here on A Slice of Orange for a while now, on the sixth of each month. I don’t get many comments, but, then, neither do most of our other bloggers–with a few exceptions. Maybe I’m just boring. Or maybe I haven’t hit on topics that resonate with our members.

So… what would you like to see me write about here? I’m asking for you to post a comment and let me know! I’d love to address what our members and other blog visitors want to hear about from me.

I’ve got lots of ideas about writing, and ideas about selling what you write, and, yes, ideas about getting ideas! I write in different genres, and I write two series (my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series, plus my Alpha Force shapeshifter series for Silhouette Nocturne) and am about to embark on my third–a spin-off mystery series about Lauren Vancouver, pet rescuer. If you have questions about any of that, please let me know and I’ll be glad to address answers in future blog posts. Or–nearly–anything else relating to writing. Just ask, and I’ll try to oblige.

Meantime, I consider OCC an immeasurable asset to my writing. If you’re a member, you know what I’m talking about!

Linda O. Johnston
http://www.lindaojohnston.com/
http://www.killerhobbies.blogspot.com/

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 16 romance novels and several novellas, including a Nocturne Bites, with more Nocturnes upcoming. She also writes the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and will soon start working on the spin-off Pet Rescue series.

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Moon Watch

August 6, 2009 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , ,

Tonight is the night of the full moon.

How do I know? I looked it up. Finding out about the full moon is important to me these days, since I write a paranormal romance series for Silhouette Nocturne about Alpha Force–a covert ops military unit of shapeshifters!

Yes, my Nocturne ALPHA WOLF and the Nocturne Bites CLAWS OF THE LYNX, both published in January this year, will have sequels. Notice that the word “sequels” is plural! Already in the works is ALASKAN WOLF, which will be the next to be published. It now has a pub date: January 2011. Yes, that’s a long time away, but worth waiting for!

Meantime, I’ll be working on two more Alpha Force stories. Not to mention my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series and its spin-off Pet Rescue series. And practicing law. And–

Well, it’s fun to be busy. But tonight I may just howl at the moon!

Linda O. Johnston

http://www.lindaojohnston.com/
http://www.killerhobbies.blogspot.com/

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 16 romance novels and several novellas, including a Nocturne Bites, with more Nocturnes upcoming. She also writes the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and will soon start working on the spin-off Pet Rescue

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