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Writer on the Verge

June 18, 2008 by in category Writer on the Verge by Kate Carlisle tagged as ,

Baby Steps – by Kate Carlisle

The moment I received The Call last October was one of the best of my life. It represented the culmination of everything I’d worked for so long to achieve. Just one short phone call changed my life in so many ways.

But in so many other ways, everything stayed the same. I went back to the day job, I did the laundry, cleaned the house. Kept writing.

Life rolls on.

But every so often, I take a baby step forward on the road to publication. I have a deadline to meet, or I get an email or a phone call that reminds me all over again – Hey, I’m a published author!

I signed my first contract. My husband took my picture. It was pretty exciting.

I received my first check. They paid me! I made a color copy of the check before I put it in the bank.

I got my cover copy. Brilliant! I wouldn’t change a word. Hey, there’s my name!

Oh, and I met my first deadline. Whew. I’m home free, now!

Spoke too soon. I got my first set of editor notes. Yikes. Now what?

I made that deadline, too. I rock! Sort of. Now I wait to see if my editor is happy.

Sent in the proposal for Book Two. Woo hoo, accepted!

Then I saw my first book listed on Amazon. Wow. No cover image yet, no description, nothing but the name of my book and an ISBN number – and my name. I’m the Author. It’s not much to get excited about, right? But I cried. And laughed. And told my whole family and my friends – who all immediately pre-ordered five copies each and forced their friends to do the same.

I sent in my author photo. Do I really look like that? I should have used more product on my hair. Can you fix those wrinkles?

Then yesterday, on my birthday, I saw my book cover for the first time. My book cover. It was surreal to see someone else’s notion of what image and design will best sell your book. I stared at that cover for hours. It’s absolutely nothing like I imagined or expected it would be. (A good friend admonished me that from now on, I am never to set expectations of what my book cover will look like. Good advice.)

I love my book cover. It’s beautiful. It’s warm and charming and funny and sinister. It’s colorful and perfect for the market. It makes me happy. It makes me feel like a published author. Somebody pinch me.

That was yesterday.

Today, I’m back at the day job. Must remember to stop at the market after work. And I’ve got to call my mom. Pay some bills. Life rolls on.

But now I’ve got a book cover. And an Amazon page. I can’t wait to take the next step!

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Desperation — and Inspiration!

May 19, 2008 by in category Writer on the Verge by Kate Carlisle tagged as ,

By Kate Carlisle

The best of intentions get blown into the wind like a dandelion sometimes. Take this blog, for instance. Earlier this week, I had every intention of getting up bright and early this morning and posting a blog all about the need for meeting our deadlines.

How ironic.

Instead, yesterday morning I drove 140 miles out to the desert to take care of some things for my mother. I spent all day and part of this morning out there, then drove back home–and only then did I remember that I had a blog to write.

Ah, well. Anyway, instead of my brilliant and passionate spiel about meeting deadlines, I’ll simply make everyone’s day and post a photo of the man who inspired me as I wrote the hero in my new mystery series. My character is a former British Commander turned security agent. With that sort of background, who else could inspire me more than … well, you know.

So here’s a little inspiration for the remainder of your Sunday afternoon.


Kate Carlisle writes the Bibliophile Mysteries for NAL. Watch for the first book in the series, HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER, in February 2009.

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No Whining!

January 18, 2008 by in category Writer on the Verge by Kate Carlisle tagged as , ,

By Kate Carlisle

Just once, I’d like to get through an entire blog without whining.
I mean, let’s get real. I like to whine, and a blog is a good place to do it.
I think I blogged once about having a headache. Probably more than once. I get headaches a lot.
And then there’s blog that goes something like…”All my good friends keep nagging me to keep writing.”
Or, my very latest favorite whine—and I’ve got to admit, it’s a good one! It goes …“Oh dear, I sold three books and now I’ve got a deadline. What ever shall I do?”
Yeah, that’s a good one. But enough is enough. No more blog whining! Okay, yes, I am on deadline and yes, all my friends do nag me, but thank God! What would I do without them? I’m so lucky, I have black and blue marks from pinching myself all the time. So from now on, I’m all about good news. I’m perky! Happy! Yeah! Don’t be nervous. I’m a little manic but I’m mostly harmless.
So here’s my happy news of the month – I’m going to plot group!
Tomorrow I leave for Las Vegas to meet up with four of my favorite people in the world (Maureen Child, Susan Mallery, Christine Rimmer and Theresa Southwick, yay!). We’ll plot ten books in four days. It’s intense, insane, fabulous and fun. It’s hard work and good times.

And this time, we have a few important milestones to celebrate so there will be cake!

And cocktails!

All good things for which I am very grateful and happy. Not whiny at all. Yay, me!
Next month I’ll tell you how it went. 😉


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Writer On The Verge

December 18, 2007 by in category Writer on the Verge by Kate Carlisle tagged as ,

Why I Can’t Blog Today

1. I have a headache. No, really. And no, it’s not a hangover so just don’t go there. It’s my sinuses. I’ve got bad ones. And with the rain and the changes in barometric pressure, I get all stuffed up. I’ll be okay, but I really can’t blog today.

2. As mentioned above, it’s raining. And rain effects the electrical connections in my house causing little brown-outs, which messes with the router and I lose my internet connection. How can I post the blog without an internet connection? I can’t. So I’m really sorry, but I can’t blog today.

3. I can’t concentrate on blogging because I’m stuck in Chapter Seven. Why am I stuck in Chapter Seven, you ask. Because in Chapter Seven my heroine has to go home, and I have to describe all that “home” stuff. Now, some of the home stuff has little to do with the mystery—and some of it does. But the point is, this is the chapter where I’ve got to introduce some of the ongoing characters who will appear and re-appear in subsequent books in the series. It all happens in Chapter Seven. So you see my dilemma, right? I mean, what if I give my heroine a sister with twins and a nice husband and a cozy lifestyle in the mountains near Lake Tahoe and it turns out in Book Four that the sister should’ve been a New York fashion editor? I could screw up the whole series. Or what if the heroine’s mom is a bi-polar hairdresser and her dad owns a liquor store, and then it turns out in Book Twelve that I really needed the heroine to be an orphan? You’d think I’d already worked all this out, and I have—for Book One. But what if I was wrong? What if–well, you get the idea. Who has time to blog when all this turmoil is eating away at my brain?

4. Christmas is less than a week away. I know most of you are just sitting around waiting for the fun to start but I’ve still got a pile of Christmas cards to write and address and mail, and a whole bunch of presents to buy, and hey, I’ve got to finish that stupid Chapter Seven (see Item No. 3 above), then start Chapter Eight, then pack for the trip to mom’s, and oh yeah, and I’ve got to stop at the drugstore to pick up sinus medicine (for my headache–see Item No. 1 above). But before that, I’ve got to make breakfast, take a shower, get dressed, go to work, FedEx a bunch of stuff to the family back East, then come home, wrap all those presents, finish Chapter Eight, pay bills, and bake cookies for the office holiday party.

So I think I’ve made my point here, right? I’m just too busy to blog. Sorry. Maybe next month.

But meanwhile, y’all have a Happy Holiday and a Wonderful New Year! Cheers!

[Kate Carlisle would’ve posted her really cute photo and some of her truly impressive writing credits but she was just too busy!]

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Writer On The Verge

November 18, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as ,

A Cautionary Tale

Can I just say “Ditto” to what Maureen Child blogged about yesterday? Because if there was ever some good advice to be given to someone who has the desire to be a professional writer, it’s that they absolutely should be writing every day.

Case in point: Me.

As a public service, I’ll tell you my story, along with some advice. Don’t let this happen to you.

A few months ago, I sent a revised proposal to my agents. Then I waited. Just a week or so. I mean, I’d busted my butt to get the proposal as perfect as I could make it, so I deserved some time off, right? Sure.

Well, the proposal turned into a three book deal and needless to say, I was thrilled. So did I jump right back into the project? Start right away on the next chapter? Um, not exactly. Come on! I had to celebrate, right? I mean, it’s been a long road for me. I needed to savor the moment! The moment turned into three weeks.

But finally I did sit down to write the next chapter. And I’m sure you can guess what happened. I’d literally forgotten how to write! I’d forgotten how to start a chapter, how to describe a character, how to write sparkling dialogue. All that stuff. Worst of all, I’d lost my confidence. I couldn’t do it. I’d lost my mojo. I was a loser. I’d have to give back the advance money.

I was pathetic!

It took me three weeks to get back into the rhythm of writing, not to mention build my confidence back up. So I stand before you now–actually, I’m sitting, but you get my drift–and hereby vow never to go more than two days without writing something, even if it’s just jotting down ideas and brainstorming, anything that will keep me immersed in the story, as Maureen says.

Okay, gotta get back to work!


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