Please welcome my special guest this week, another debut Down Under author, Sharon Archer whose Mills and Boon Medical Romance, Single Father, Wife and Mother Wanted, is about to hit the shelves!
You can visit her website at www.sharon-archer.com
Hi Christina, thank you for asking me to visit! I'm thrilled to be here! You said I could feel free to send a picture of a 'hottie' so I thought I'd offer this one of Gerard Butler that I found on http://www.hunkdujour.com/. I love his pensive expression in this photo and the little curl at the corner of his mouth.
Well, we’re always more than happy to have Gerard Butler visit!!
SINGLE FATHER: WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED is Matt and Caitlin's story. They meet at a motor vehicle accident – a truck towing a horse float has run off the road. In the float is a heavily pregnant mare. Small-animal vet, Caitlin, swings into action and, with Matt's help, she saves the new-born foal.
Caitlin is a life-long nomad whose heart yearns for somewhere to call home. She's travelling to a small town in western
Matt, is the town's GP. After a disastrous marriage, he's got his hands full making a home for his son so the last thing he wants is to fall for Caitlin. But she captures, not only his heart but his son's as well.
Caitlin longs to fit in to the niche that seems to be made just for her. But before she can belong, she needs to reveal who she is and why she's really there.
Christina, I was going to cut and paste an excerpt here, but then I remembered that Mills and Boon
Ooh, great chapter! How did the idea for the plot come about?
The idea for this story developed out of a love for horses and genealogy – which sounds a bit bizarre for a medical romance, doesn't it! I live in country
At the time, I was unpublished, so I could indulge myself and play around with the more unconventional idea of having a veterinarian as one of the protagonists in the story.
I love sale stories (ok I am just nosy!!) so can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?
SINGLE FATHER: WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED took two years to travel from the slush pile to “The Call”. It went through three lots of revisions in that time. And I have to say it was the most marvellous experience to work with suggestions from an editor.
I've written six full manuscripts now. The first one was truly awful – apart from that idea about the heroine's background. Chronologically, SINGLE FATHER was the fourth story that I completed. The first three manuscripts plus a couple of partials got well-deserved rejections.
“The call” came at about after I'd been outside for much of the day burning off on our five-acre property to prepare for the summer bushfire season. I'd only just come indoors – if I had raked leaves for another five minutes, I wouldn't have caught the phone call! Anyway, the phone rang and it was the editor in the
It was a huge relief when she followed up with an email because as soon as I just hung up the phone, I was thinking... “did she really say what I think she said??!”
I love that sale story! Who or what inspires you and why?
Story ideas are everywhere – it's a case of being open to them and playing the “what if” game. Which sounds rather grand.... as though ideas must be swarming to get into my head! Sadly, this isn't true and I'm still learning to be more open to the “what if” game. But I'm enjoying the process.
Because I'm writing Medical Romance, I spend quite a bit of time researching and sometimes that inspires an idea for a scene. Often it will be for a completely different story line to the one I'm working on. There's nothing more tempting to a muse than something new. Still, some of those ideas.... you never know when they might be handy...
There was an interesting blog recently by Josie Metcalfe on the e-Harlequin Medical Authors Blog where she talked about a writing exercise that she uses. She randomly picks a newspaper article and then gives herself two minutes to work up a story line about it. It really resonated with me so I've decided to prod my muse more often and get it doing some stretching exercises.
I find going for a walk can get my thoughts flowing. Sitting on the back of the motorbike can really help me there too – I think my muse is a biker chick!
Where do you see yourself as a writer five years from now?
My writer wish list is...
--- that I'll still be writing for Mills & Boon
--- that I'll have heroes and heroines lining up to have their stories told
--- that I'll be a much much MUCH faster writer than I am now! And MUCH more disciplined!
--- and lastly, I'd really like to see myself perfecting the art of being a “hobo writer” so I could combine two things that I love – seeing new places and writing. We've just been travelling for three and a half months and I found fitting in manuscript time was a challenge. We stopped in Broome for three weeks so I could complete the revisions on my third manuscript. I'm pleased to say that the revisions got finished, I fell in love with Broome and I was reminded all over again why I fell in love with my husband. Without his patience and support, I'd have been tearing my hair out to try to do the work on the road.
Your trip sounds awesome. What's the best, and worst, things about writing for you?
The best thing about writing is the opportunity to indulge in day dreaming and to be able to call it working! What other job gives you that sort of permission!
The worst thing for me is starting a new manuscript – that 50,000 words still seems huge. I'm a tortoise with an over-active internal editor so I squeeze words out slowly. I'd love to be a hare with an internal editor who knows how to look the other way – but then I guess that would come with its own set of issues – I'd have to delete more words!
Which brings me to the second worst thing for me as a writer - having to push the delete button! That's painful for my tortoise! But revising and editing are such an important part of the polishing process.
Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?
The first bit of advice stems from being a tortoise because I'd say don't be too impatient. Use the time while you're unpublished to learn, to make mistakes, to perfect writing craft, to try different things.
My second piece of advice comes from my time working with a Romance Writers of
Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?
Yes! Yes! YES!
(Christina: LOL, that’s a yes, then?)
It is! I have fabulous critique partners who are also very dear friends. They read my manuscripts and give me wonderful feedback . And I don't mean that they've told me what I want to hear.... they've accorded me the respect of telling me what I NEED to hear. It's always lovely to hear that someone thinks what you've written is marvellous – but it's pure gold to have someone tell you why a scene isn't working or that a character isn't behaving logically or that you need more emotion.
I met my writing CPs through Romance Writers of
I also have non-writing friends who have read and given me feedback and encouragement along my writing journey too – including my husband who was my only reader at the time I completed my second manuscript.