Archive for the ‘about’ Category
My name is Arlene Hittle, and I like to laugh. I hope my books make other people laugh, too.
The never-ending bundle of energy that is Jamie Raintree recruited me to take part in a blog hop about my writing process. I met Jamie in 2009, when I undertook the NaNoWriMo challenge for the first time. We hit it off, and she’s been reading my stories and encouraging me ever since.
Online sprints with Jamie helped me finish my still-unpublished 2010 NaNo manuscript three days early and 3,000 words over the 50K limit. And in 2011, her cheering pushed me to pull a marathon eight-hour shift at Starbucks before work on Nov. 30 to squeak to a NaNo win. (That MS is also still unpublished.)
Let’s start hopping!
1) What am I working on?
Actually, this post catches me between projects. I just turned in edits on SLIDING INTO HOME, my April 2014 Turquoise Morning Press Release. I haven’t yet begun to write a fourth book in my Love & Baseball series, nor have I decided whether to tackle Mel’s brother’s story. (Mel was the heroine in DIVA IN THE DUGOUT.)
I’ve been trying, without much success, to write the last 10K or so to finish the first draft of TROUBLE IN PARADISE, which I want to release this winter, to follow up BLIND DATE BRIDE, which I’m planning to release myself in June.
Mainly, I’ve been gearing up to promote the two books TMP is releasing this spring: BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER in March and then SLIDING INTO HOME in April.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Excellent question. All funny contemporaries depend on the author’s imagination, sense of humor and voice. The situations I put my heroes and heroines in are different from the circumstances a character in, say, a Kristan Higgins or Tracy Brogan novel would get themselves into. Give all three of us the same waitress heroine and cop hero, and we’d all come up with very different stories.
So I’d say it’s my unique perspective that makes my stories different.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Another good question. In its purest sense, the answer is that I have stories to tell, and I want to share them with the world. Characters pop into my head and won’t leave me alone until I tell their stories.
Inspiration comes from the darnedest places. For BLIND DATE BRIDE, I was driving somewhere and a radio news report sparked my interest. I wrote a one-act play, which I submitted to my then-local theater company in Logansport, Indiana. That play later became the basis for the opening scene in my novel.
Matt, the hero of BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, used his buddy Dave’s story as a justification for something he did that upset Meg. That reason became DIVA IN THE DUGOUT’s storyline. (I wrote BEAUTY first, and when it finaled in the Golden Heart in 2011, I decided I ought to have other stories to go with it. DIVA sold first, and because the action in it happened before Meg & Matt’s story anyway, that worked out fine.)
4) How does my writing process work?
I am a pantster all the way. I don’t outline and usually only have a vague idea of each character’s growth arc from Point A to Point B. I should probably do a bit more advance planning, actually. When I pre-planned my NaNo novel in 2010, I finished three days early with 3,000 extra words. A bit of extra work before I start might make the words flow that much faster.
Then again, maybe not. Since my day job at the Arizona Daily Sun involves copy editing, I do a lot of self-editing as I go along. It used to frustrate me to no end in NaNo word sprints when other folks were throwing down 1,000 words or more and I only had 400. Then again, my 400 tended to need a lot less editing than their 1K, so that’s a plus.
I do most of my writing at Starbucks. I got more done before they started offering free WiFi for everybody.
NaNo taught me I CAN buckle down and write a complete 50K story in 30 days—but I don’t like to keep up that breakneck pace every day. I’m more of a 1K-a-day girl—unless I’m suffering from writer’s block, as I am now. For some reason, Beth and Cody don’t want me to finish their story. Time to sit them down for a heart-to-heart chat so I can figure out where it went wrong and how I can get them back on track.
Jamie Raintree writes Romantic Women’s Fiction about women searching for truth in life and love. She has completed her first novel and is seeking publication. In the meantime, she posts original fiction online, as well as motivational messages for all the other dreamers out there. She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two young daughters. Her website: JamieRaintree.com
Susan Haught calls the mountains of Arizona home and has lived in Payson most of her adult life. With the majestic Mogollon Rim in the background, Susie never tires of the small-town atmosphere. When she isn’t creating quaint towns with captivating characters or wrestling a busy day job, you’ll find her tackling an overgrown garden, engrossed in a movie or curled up with a good book—her dogs and a stash of Australian black licorice close at hand. Find her: SusanHaught.com.
Diana Rose is a Russian native who lives in New York. Her stories transport readers to the fantasy filled worlds where she brings royalty and magical beings to life, with colorful romantic scenes and characters that her imagination creates. She fuels her creativity while reading romantic novels. When Diana is not writing, she enjoys spending her time with her family and friends. Find Diana at The Writer’s DreamWorld.
Okay, it may not be the left lane that’s closed — but my corner of the information superhighway is under construction.
In preparation for my indie publishing debut, my website is undergoing a complete redesign. Please bear with me while Larissa from dot.Dalton works her magic.
When she’s done, it’ll be a much nicer place.
Earlier this month, my awesome CP Jennifer Faye tagged me for a Sunshine Award. The fact that I’m just now getting around to sharing it is all on me, not Jenn.
As with most awards, ‘The Sunshine Award’ comes with a few simple rules:
(1) Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post.
(2) Do the Q&A below.
(3) Pass on the award to 10 – 12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs.
Thanks for thinking of me, Jenn. How did you know I needed to write a new post to keep my writing blog from dying a slow, agonizing death?
Rule 2. Q&A
Favourite Colour: Starting out with a toughie, I see. It’s so hard to pick just one, as my favorite changes with my mood. Sometimes, I love deep, forest green. When I’m feeling dramatic, I love the red/black combo. But I guess if I have to choose just one, it’s purple. My college colors were purple and white.
Favourite Animal: Yikes. Another hard one. If I say “dog,” my cats will get huffy; if I pick “cat,” my dog Cocoa will pout. How about I go with “panther” instead? Panthers are so sleek and graceful.
Favourite Number: Not 13, that’s for sure. I have an aversion to that one, which makes me very nervous for what this year holds. I’ll say 9, because the multiplication table for 9s was easy to learn once my dad showed me the trick.
Favourite Non-alcoholic Drink: I’d like to be able to say H2O — but I can’t. Give me an ice-cold Diet Dr Pepper any day. (I know it’s not good for me, but it’s one of my few vices.)
Facebook or Twitter: They both have their purpose, and I love — and hate — both of them equally. I love that they give me a chance to share my thoughts, make new friends and keep up with everyone’s news … but I hate how they siphon time away from writing. I have precious little free time as it is, and sometimes I look up from the computer to find I’ve frittered it all away farting around on the internet.
Your Passion: Umm, can I steal Jenn’s answer to this question? She wrote:
I have two. Reading and writing. And please don’t ask me which passion came first. It’d be like answering the age old question of which came first the chicken or the egg. I love them both.
I know exactly what she means, and I’m not sure I could answer this one any better. I love to read, although now that I spend most of my free time writing, I don’t do as much of it as I’d like (witness the stacks of books on every available surface).
Giving or Getting Presents: That depends. It’s fun to find just the right gift for someone I love … but I’m not sure anything beats receiving a hand-picked gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, just a little something that says, “I was thinking of you.”
Favourite Day: Any day I don’t have to go to my day job (which is really a night job, since I work from about 3 to 11 p.m.). Currently, that’s the weekend — a real Saturday/Sunday. But in the past, I’ve had Wednesday/Thursday/Friday off, and Sunday/Monday.
Favourite Flower: Daffodils. I’ve loved bright yellow daffodils since seeing them grow wild on the hillsides of England as a student at Harlaxton College in 1992. We also had a patch of them in our front yard when I was growing up. Tulips, which also grew in my yard, are a close second.
Rule 3. Spreading the love.
Not sure I can think of 10 to 12 folks to pass this along to who haven’t already been tagged, but here are six I’d like to nominate:
Karen McCoy, The Writer Librarian. Karen is in my RWA chapter, NARWA, and her enthusiasm is contagious. She also edits the chapter newsletter.
Susie Haught, another fellow NARWAn who writes women’s fiction. Her blog is fantastic, and funny.
Gwen Hernandez, another of my Starcatchers sisters and resident Scrivener expert. (She wrote the reference book “Scrivener for Dummies.”) She also recently wrote a blog post titled “My Big, Scary Goal” that set the wheels in my brain turning.
Ashlyn Macnamara, another fellow Starcatcher (Golden Heart class of 2011). She writes Regency historical romance described as “A dash of wit, a hint of wicked.” Her debut, “A Most Scandalous Proposal,” is available now; “A Most Devilish Rogue” comes out in August.