by Jackie King
The best advice I can give to fledgling writers is never give up! Don’t believe anyone who tries to discourage you, no matter how important that editor or agent may be. Don’t listen to the doubting thoughts inside your own head. You can be a selling writer if you follow these three rules:
1) Write every day it’s humanly possible.
2) Finish the novel you start.
3) Submit what you write.
I forget to follow my own advice sometimes and get into trouble. This happened with my 2nd Grace Cassidy mystery, THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR. Because of this lapse, the book almost didn’t make it to publication.
What if the entire, odious family of Wilbur Wimberly shows up for a reunion at the B&B? This bunch of folk were sure to be so hateful that one of them might kill another.
What if to complicate things, Grace’s awful boss had an identical twin? Only instead of being abhorrent, this man turns out to be so charming that Grace is attracted to him?
What if when things were rocking along fairly well, her cat Trouble finds a body in the bathtub?
And so on.
As usual, I started the book with a great deal of enthusiasm. Writing first chapters are usually fun. The panic hits about midway when I begin to wonder when the heck this thing will be finished. Will I be able to connect all of the dots? Do the red herrings work? And worst of all: what made me think that I could write a mystery? Self-doubt attacks every writer. Ignore it.
I set my face to slog through to the end, when life dealt a blow I didn’t expect. Suddenly my energy disappeared. I’d always been a gal who could push herself even when bone-tired. Finish the draft and then go back and polish until I was satisfied that I’d done my best, no matter how tired I became. So I tried to forge through the malaise, but my body just wouldn’t cooperate. I could write for about 20 minutes, then exhaustion seeped into my entire body. It seemed as if my bones had dissolved. I had to crawl into my bed and rest for a good-long while.
Had age finally caught up with me? Did I have some awful disease that the doctors couldn’t pinpoint? I went to my internist and demanded that he find out the problem. “It’s more than my age!” I said.
He began ordering tests. One was a sleep test. This insomniac had to spend the night with wires fastened over most of her body and a space-travel sort of mask strapped to her face. It was horrible, and it was inconclusive. I had to do the whole thing over again. I so wanted to quit. But I didn’t.
With a lot of determination or maybe just plain stubbornness, I learned to sleep in that *#!% mask.
The doctors also implanted a pacemaker for my heart problem . These two procedures gave me back my life.
These issues delayed me, but didn’t stop me from finishing and publishing my 2nd Grace Cassidy mystery.
THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR
The family reunion from hell is bound to end in murder. At least that’s what Grace Cassidy, inn-sitter, figured when her boss’ screams announced the arrival of his identical twin. This guy was supposed to have drown 7 years earlier, and no one in the family was happy to see him. When he turned up dead in Grace’s bathtub, she is the one who had to find out who killed him.
The Corpse Who Walked in the Door
Available on Amazon