That’s me. Especially right now.
In addition to mysteries. But as I mentioned in an earlier post here, my current mystery series is over. The fifth and last in the Barkery & Biscuits series, For A Good Paws, was a May release. Will I write more mysteries? I hope so… but not for a while.
Why? I’ve got a bonanza of deadlines for romances! I’m under contract for four Harlequin Romantic Suspense books.
The first two are part of their long-lived Colton continuity series, filled with lots of Colton relatives in real and fictional towns all over the place. Mine are in two different mini-series in two fictional towns. I’ve finished going over the line edits for the first, although I got the changed manuscript back to read one more time. I’m also about to submit the manuscript for the second, so I’m making progress.
The last two are in a mini-series of my own, a spin-off from my K-9 Ranch Rescue mini-series for HRS, the Shelter of Secrets mini-series. I’m just starting to work on the first of those. The Coltons don’t necessarily have dogs. But these will!
So as much as I’d love to take on more mysteries, or even something different, they’ll have to wait till I feel I can deal with additional deadlines. Right now, I’m particularly enjoying romances.
By the way, I do a lot of crossword puzzles. One clue recently was “Harlequin product” or something like that. The answer? I’ll bet you can guess.
Yes, it was “romance.”
Okay, blogs are for bragging.
Well, maybe not. But that’s kind of what I’m doing here today. My second K-9 Ranch Rescue novel for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Trained to Protect, is an October release.
It’s got romance. It’s got suspense. It’s got dogs. So it has to be good, right?
I definitely hope so.
Plus, it’s a milestone in several ways. I received recognition at this year’s Romance Writers of America Conference in Denver for my 25th published work with Harlequin. That included novellas. But this month I also receive, online, recognition that Trained to Protect is my 25th Harlequin novel. Plus, I’ve published 50 novels of all genres, including mysteries.
Okay, enough patting myself on the back—although it feels good. Let me just note that it’s hard to believe that this year is rushing by so quickly. I know they all do, of course, but the fact that it’s October already feels surprising. So . . . Boo! I won’t be blogging here again till after Halloween, so have a good, scary, chocolate-filled one!
Bestselling writer Maureen Child is a native Southern Californian now living in the mountains of Utah. She’s the award-winning writer of more than 150 books and novellas. A seven time finalist for the RITA, Maureen’s books have won the Golden Quill, the Prism and the National Reader’s Choice Award.
One of her books, A POCKETFUL OF PARADISE was made into a CBS-TV movie called THE SOUL COLLECTOR.
And as much as she loves Utah, she really misses her friends and the monthly meetings at OCC. For more information about Maureen and her novels please visit her on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/maureenchild/
Jann: Today, I have the pleasure to welcome Romance Author, Maureen Child, to A Slice of Orange—and OCC misses her as well.
Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories? What? Why?
Maureen: I don’t know if it’s a ‘theme’ or not, but I do find myself always returning to humor. Even in my darker books—examples, the books I wrote for Harlequin Nocturne or the Witch books I wrote for NAL. As dark as those themes were, humor kept encroaching on the story.
I think it’s because I do believe that everyone needs laughter as much as love. And maybe in those dark moments when writing, I need the light-heartedness as much as my reader might!
Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Maureen: Actually the very best advice was something I heard at an OCC meeting about 24 years ago! Susan Phillips was giving a workshop and while she had a lot of great information that day, one phrase stuck with me.
“There is no substitute for persistence.” That sort of became my mantra. Because at the heart of it, that’s all that matters. Persistence. The determination to never quit, never walk away. To keep trying no matter what, to reach the goal you’ve set for yourself.
I still hear a lot of people say, “Oh, I’ll write a book someday.” Those people never will. To be a success at something, you have to love it and you have to put the time in and you have to never stop trying.
Jann: Have you ever suffered writer’s block? If so, how did/do you get past it?
Maureen: Actually, I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. Are there times when the well is dry? Sure. Are there days when I just don’t think I can write a word? Absolutely. Heck, there are times I want to take a hammer to my laptop!
But you write anyway. Even if you end up deleting it all the following day, you write. Because that’s what we are. That’s what I am. Writing is a job. It’s a great job, but it’s still a job. The hardest part for me is the self-discipline and I’m still struggling with it after more than 150 books!
But I have responsibilities. Deadlines. When you sign a contract you make a promise to deliver that book. And before you have a deadline with a publisher, give yourself one and stick to it. Do your pages every day even if they suck. You can always fix them later. Having ‘writer’s block’ is not an excuse for not working. I do understand that some writers can’t work past the bad days and it’s a personal thing, true. But not going to work because you don’t feel your best is just not the route I’ve ever gone.
Always remember that writing is your job and treat it like that.
Jann: What’s the best thing about being an author?
Maureen: For me, the best thing about being a writer is that I can do it by myself in my house. Wow that really sounds unsociable. But you know, most of the writers I know ARE. J We’re drawn to words. We’re drawn to people watching, studying the way strangers move and interact so we can go home and describe it. We watch a sunset and put together words in our minds to paint a vivid picture.
So in the morning when I get my coffee and go sit on my couch with my laptop, I’m officially in my ‘office’. I actually have an office that houses collections of awards and certificates and whatnot, but never sees ME. J When it’s nice out, I take the laptop to the deck and write out there. I don’t have to play well with others in my job, because I am my job. It’s perfect. Even the bad days.
Jann: What sound or noise do you love?
Maureen: I love the sound of babies laughing. That deep down from the belly laughter that just bubbles up into the air and reminds you that life should be fun.
Jann: What sound or noise do you hate?
I hate sirens. They mean that someone’s in trouble, or needs help and I worry about them. J
It was great getting to catch up with you Maureen and wish to thank her for taking the time to answer our questions. If you have any questions or comments for Maureen, please use the comment form below.
Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since.
Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined of Romance Writers of America®. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.
I’ve been going to the RWA National Conferences frequently for quite a few years now. They always seem fun and informative. These days, there is so much to learn about changes in how to publish as well as the entire publishing industry. The largest traditional publishers keep merging. Smaller publishers appear frequently and some are quite successful.
Then there’s the whole nearly-new world of successful self-publishing. Plus, the term “hybrid” was used a lot at the conference, meaning it’s good and potentially helpful for an ongoing career for a writer to both traditionally publish and self publish.
So, I attended workshops and panels, including my own panel with other mystery authors who also write romance, about how our careers pre-writing helped us with our writing as well. I saw my agent and my Harlequin editor. I went to the Meet-and-Greets for the two Harlequin series I write for and learned about what was going on. And I of course attended the always delightful Harlequin party.
I wound up staying in an overflow hotel rather than the main conference hotel, and the one I was in was horrible, unfortunately. It was being remodeled. My room was dark at night with inadequate lights. Cleaning was iffy. But at least it was near the conference hotel.
Next year RWA National will be in our backyard: San Diego. Will I attend?
Okay, I’m not really leaving PAW. In fact, I hope to remain a proud member for a long time to come. But I’ve been helping to run PAW for several years now, starting when our dearly missed Charlotte Lobb was in charge and now being Debra Holland’s backup.
Soon Tara Lain and Skylar Kade will be taking over. I’m delighted! Debra’s done a great job despite my limited backup, and I’m sure our new PAW people will do it well, too.
This month, Karen Fulbright of Tailored Book Trailers will be our guest for part of the PAW meeting. She did a book trailer for me–the one I won from her at RWA National, for my Pet Rescue Mystery OODLES OF POODLES, and it’s really fun!
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