Aloha to all of you readers out there in cyberspace. How exciting to be back on the Fresh Fiction Blog and in such good company.
This month I have plenty to celebrate. HOMECOMING, my first book for Steeple Hill, will go on sale today.
Set in the 1870’s, it’s the story of a young woman who is “rescued” from the Comanche clan that abducted her as a child. She has no memory of her past when she is taken in by Hattie Ellenberg, a woman who has suffered at the hands of the Comanche herself. Joe Ellenberg is Hattie’s son. He’s a man who has lost his faith and his hope for the future—until this lovely young woman searching to know “Who am I? Where do I belong?” comes into his life.
It’s a book I truly enjoyed writing, even though I began with a little trepidation. I’ve never written an inspirational before and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to achieve the goal I was going for: a page-turner filled with emotion, tension and characters readers would remember long after the last page was read.
So, when I finished, I gave the book to two friends and fellow writers to read. Stella Cameron (A MARKED MAN, Mira) was the first. She was here for R and R and I gave her only the first fifty pages and she came back begging for more until she’d read the entire book. Not only that, but she gave me some ideas for elements to put into the final “happily ever after” scene–which I never write until the final final draft.
The second read was by Kristin Hannah (FIREFLY LANE from St. Martin’s). Kristin has a home here in Hawaii and we share a lot of beach time doing plotting and brainstorming while she’s on island. She also blazed through the read. Whew.
Next, HOMECOMING was off to my editor–and as it turns out, she loved the book so much for the first time in what seems like forever, I had not one revision! I was so fired up I’ve already finished my second book for Steeple Hill. AN ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN will be out next year.
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks “touring” around on various blogs to promote DESTINATION: MARRIAGE and HOMECOMING. (It’s a lot easier than leaving the island, believe me.) It’s been fun and exciting. Writing is a solitary endeavor and at times it’s hard to stay inside when there is so much to see and do all around me. When I’m in the writing “zone,” sometimes a lose a whole day. I get up, shuffle to the kitchen, make some oatmeal, sit down to write and look up and it’s two in the afternoon. Lately I’ve been trying to turn over a new leaf and take short ten to twenty minute breaks at least every hour or so. I’ve been walking the neighbors’ dog. Riding my bike to the post office and back. Walking myself around. Puttering around the garden. It sounds like avoidance, but it’s actually working! I’m getting more done and enjoying what I’m doing. It’s a mini way to celebrate every day and not let life slip by while I’m plunking away at the computer.
Speaking of celebrating, July is definitely the month to have fun. Not only are my brother and his wife coming to visit us here in Hawaii, but the 4th is just around the corner. Here we celebrate by attending a friend’s fantastic bar-b-que and pot luck at a nearby beach. She has an invite list of 400 and they bring friends! Not only that, but there’s live entertainment all day long, which includes hula. You can bet I’ll be dancing.
Above all, enjoy your day, enjoy life, and celebrate!
Jill Marie Landis