The Best Laid Plans of an Author

Pickled Petunia

2020 has been a year like no other, hasn’t it? I mean, it’s been three centuries long. So much has happened that I keep forgetting random massive events that happened in January or February because it feels as though they occurred a few years ago and not months.

And like everything else, my writings plans haven’t gone….to plan. I haven’t struggled for inspiration. But trying to stay focused in a trash-fire year has seemed almost impossible.

I fully intended to start November 1st with Pickled Petunia, book 3 of my Motts Cozy Series. It’s likely I’ll start a week late as I’m wrapping up another novel.

The lessons I’ve taken from 2020 have been to try and stay open to change. And don’t get so wrapped up in what and when you think things are going to happen. Life, particularly this year, doesn’t always go how we expect.

It’s not easy as an autistic. I like my routine. I need a schedule that makes sense for me. 2020 has shredded my regular routine completely.

I’m hoping to end 2020 with four novels written. I’m 80% through my third, Ghost Light Killer. With a bit of luck and hard work, I can add Pickled Petunia to the list. We’ll see.

What about you? How has 2020 affected your writing plans?

What have I learned?

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What I learned while writing Poisoned Primrose?

1. To love writing again.  And that was a doozy.

2. How to effectively use an outline as a pantser.

3. The importance of falling in love with your characters.

4. Finding that one character who fires up your soul to tell their story.

5. To keep notes on every detail of a character and the people around them for a book series.

 

My Favourite Moment.

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….from Poisoned Primrose

Why did I agree to this?

And why didn’t I put on my coat or a thick jumper instead of this hoodie?

Motts pulled her mobile out of her pocket when it rang. She answered on the fourth ring. “Teo?”

“What are you doing?” He sounded angry, but his voice kept cutting out.

Motts walked up the steps a little way. “I can’t hear you. It’s really windy. What’s happened?”

“Go….Orchard….almost there….hello?”

Motts pulled her phone away from her ear when they were disconnected. She tried to call him back, but the signal wouldn’t go through. “Bugger.”

My favourite chapter from Poisoned Primrose is the one where everything finally comes to together. I included a spoiler free excerpt above. It was really hard to find a snippet that wouldn’t give anything away.

It’s where we discover *redacted* is the one to *redact.*

Ha!

It’s the chapter where all the little knots I’ve tied into my plot suddenly begin to unravel.

*Redacted* appears out of nowhere. They’ve been slithering around in the shadows. And if I’ve done my job, they’ll be a surprise to all of you lovely readers.

And yet, that’s not why it’s my favourite chapters. Well, not entirely, anyway. I love it because of Motts. She’s wonderfully epic and courageous.

I adore her.

And this chapter solidified it for me.

 

 

Coming up with a Title

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It’s always fun to share the process of coming up with a title.
Primrose Poison definitely didn’t start there.
First, I had:
1. Under the Hedge
2. The Daffodil Murder
3. Lost in the Daffodils
4. Primrose Poise
5. Forgotten in the Foliage (I still kinda like this one.)
And then, at the VERY last minute, we changed it once again to Poisoned Primrose. =)

 

I’m Sensing a Theme

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Five gifts Teo and Motts (from Poisoned Primrose) would want:

1. Teo: Yarn

Motts: Origami Paper

2. Teo: Historical Books

Motts: Plants

3. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

4. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

5. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

(Image by Alexander Stein from Pixabay)

My Dream Research Trip

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One of my long-term dreams as an author is to be able to afford a research trip to Cornwall. There so many places in the UK that I’d love to revisit. But, I can’t really remember going to Cornwall as a kid during the time we lived in England though I’m fairly confident we went at least once.

And many of my books are based in Cornwall.

In my dream trip?

I’d visit Fowey, Polperro, Plymouth, Whitsand Bay. So many of the places featured in both the Sin Bin and my upcoming cosy mystery series.

What food would I want to try (whether for the first time or to experience again)?

Kern – Cheese. Because. Cheese. I mean, Freddie would want me to try Cornish cheese.
Saffron Cake
Cornish Pasties
Honeycomb

What would I like to visit?
The Coastal Path
Tintagel Castle
King Arthur’s Great Hall
The Lizard and Kynance Cove
Boscastle Harbour
Bodmin Moor

What’s your dream vacation spot?

((Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay))

 

Anticipation.

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What was the most difficult part of writing Poisoned Primrose?

Waiting.

That’s it.

That was the only hard part of writing late year’s NaNoWriMo novel.

I had the idea for Pineapple Mottley almost a full year before I was able to write her story. I began creating the book bible (where I put research, plot notes, etc) long before I wrote a single word. It was the story I wanted to write.

I had to slog through three other stories first.

And they were a slog.

2019 was a hard year where each story seemed harder to write than the last.

When I finally got to Poisoned Primrose, it felt like the heavens opened and the angels were singing. The book was a joy to write from beginning to end. None of it was hard.

I didn’t have to push myself or struggle for what happened next.

It was bliss.