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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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Writer on the Verge

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

by Kate Carlisle
Will it ever ring? Will they ever call? They never call. Sigh.

I think I’ve been waiting for “The Call” since … well, probably since I had a phone that looks like this one.

Fifty years? Okay, maybe not that long. Maybe only twenty years.

But the waiting is over, my friends.


And oh, it was a sweet moment. And at the risk of sounding really silly–like that’s ever stopped me!–I’ve got to tell you, everything in my world changed in that single moment, when my agents told me that a senior editor at a top publishing company had enough confidence in my writing that she was willing to buy three–THREE!–as-yet unwritten manuscripts from me.

Oh yes, everything changed.

It shouldn’t be that way, should it? A word from one person and suddenly you’re more important or special or different than you were a minute ago? Validation shouldn’t have to come from outside. I should have confidence in my own work. And I do. I know I have writing talent. I work with the most fabulous agents in New York City. I’ve won writing contests and received requests for my manuscripts and studied writing craft and I usually know what I’m doing when I sit down to start a new manuscript.

But something is still missing.

And like magic, when The Call comes, everything changes and all the years of hard work and rejections and hitting your head against the wall and stumbling and picking yourself up and starting over again — all that background story suddenly hits an incredible turning point and spins and twists and explodes in an amazing climax. And whew, everything is different. And it’s fantastic.

Don’t believe me? Just wait. It happened just like that for me and it’ll happen to you, too, if you just remember three little words. Maureen Child used them yesterday and I’m repeating them today because they just may be the key to getting what you want.

Three little words …

Never Give Up!!!

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