Friday, December 16

Authors Have Such An Easy Profession

(J. Paulette Forshey)
Authors have such an easy profession
How I came to write my holiday story "33 Days Til Christmas"
Ever open your mouth and agree to do something and then hear that voice in your head mutter, "What the heck was I thinking!"
I did that in May when my publisher, Whispers Publishing, sent out an in house submission call for Christmas stories based on holiday movie classics. My hands flew to my keyboard and typed in a loud YES. Then they asked for a pitch, and I fired off "terminally ill woman helps a disillusioned angel find his Christmas Spirit again", and the story would be based on The Gift of the Magi. The Whispers CEO wrote me and said she loved the idea and couldn't wait to read the story. I was pumped, jabbing my fist and arm into the air with a resounding, yea, I did it, I nailed that rascal.
Two days later that voice was screaming in my head, "What the heck were you thinking? You write about dragons, elves, vampires! What the heck do you know about angels?" Okay, I'd seen the movie "Michael" and the ones with Christopher Walken and the funny one with George Carlin and Matt Damon. I had the pitch, the premise, the support of my publisher, a deadline of October 01, 2011 and that was it, squat, nothing, zero, zip.
By June I was getting antsy with still nothing and the calendar days disappearing one by one. When July arrived the cold sweats and sleepless nights were a constant threat. My local writers group kept throwing ideas at me and I missed each toss. Then one throw hit me square between the eyes, and I started writing, and writing, and writing. Some things I kept, some made the circular storage bin, but I kept writing.
August came and went and the word count started to climb, but not high enough to hit the minimum magic number. September arrived, I wrote and I swore if ever asked to do something like this again I'd stomp my foot and cry out no.
The last week in September came; my wonderful husband was on vacation for the week. Monday morning he took one look at his wild eyed wife (me) sitting at the kitchen table pounding away on her laptop and muttering to herself, and decided to take matters into his own hands. That fabulous man loaded up the household, put food and water within reach of his crazed spouse, and fled to higher land.
He brought the family back around five o'clock and told me to save and shut down for the night. I growled, he brought the whip out, I smiled, he developed a nervous tick at the corner of one eye, but stood his ground. With a superior tone he pointed out I'd taken off my glasses, and had my nose touching the laptop screen, with the zoom set at 200%, it was time to quit for the night. I let him lead me away, and ate the hot meal he put in front me.
Bright and early he found me sitting again at the table typing madly.
Wednesday morning I was emailing and on the phone with a fellow author begging her to edit what I was madly writing. I offered cash. She took pity on me, took the cash and said yes. I wrote then emailed, wrote some more, checked my email for her reply, fixed the problems and repeated the process. I had 18,000 words, the minimum was 20K.
Again the family fled the house; I mean took off and gave me a break from the chaos. I wrote and wrote and wrote. By Thursday my angel, my friend, and I were only sending edits back and forth. I'd finished the story at 25K plus, but something was missing, the ending didn't feel right. A quick phone call to another author friend, a lightning fast email with attachment and an hour later I had my answer. A quick rewrite, a little tweaking and it was finished!
Friday morning I sent the completed novella of over 25K to my editor, took a shower ate some hot food and wander out to where my darling hubby had a fire started. I sat, he poured wine and I swore I'd never do that again to him, my family, or myself.
Once my better half stopped laughing, he kissed me and assured me I'd do it all again tomorrow if they offered me the right carrot on a stick.
It wasn't until Monday morning that I actually read what I wrote from stem to stern. I not only liked it, the suspense in the ending brought me to tears. Now to keep my finger crossed the editor would appreciate my hard work.
My editor loved the story and so did the proof reader, hopefully it'll generate great holiday sales for my publisher and me. And that's how I came to write "33 Days Til Christmas".
Oh, and I have until May to finish my next short, a horror story, for my wonderful publisher due out July 2012. The sign is on the door "I'd turn back now if I were you. The crazy author is in the house!"

Leave a comment:Authors, writers I'd love to hear how you came up with your latest WIP. Readers I'd like to hear how you think we whip up our novels. - and your name will be thrown in the hat to win a copy of my e-book "33 Days Til Christmas" and an angel wing necklace!

33 Days Til Christmas
What's an Archangel supposed to do?
Archangel Gabriel has been given a cake-run assignment, or it would have been if his Boss, the big guy in the white robes and beard, hadn't stuck him in a powerless human meat suit. Gabriel figures The Boss did it because Gabriel's has been complaining about humans and their lack of respect to The Boss. The assignment guard a woman, Zipporah (Zippy) Campbell for the next thirty-three days, Gabriel's a good soldier and does what he's told without question. He finds his job is more difficult than he imagined, Gabriel has to watch over Zippy without falling in love with her. But when Zippy ends up in his arms, well there's only so much an angel can do.
33 Days Til Christmas
Chapter One
Gabriel Archer hunched his shoulders in his bomber jacket bringing the sheepskin collar up further on his bare neck. His gloveless hands were thrust deep in its pockets. The cold air nipped at the tip of his nose, while his boots crunched the snow and ice beneath them as he made his way among the shoppers. This was his third trip up and down the crowded sidewalks. The people were thick on both sides pushing, shoving, and bumping into each other without an “excuse me” or “sorry.”
Most grumbled under their breath, some didn’t care and said one of several expletives common to the time. The masses seemed to have no thoughts on their minds other than finding that perfect gift, even if it meant maxing out their credit cards.
Yeah, they had the Christmas spirit all right.
He’d been sent here to find and protect one woman for the next thirty-three days. He hadn’t seen any sign of her yet, and day was quickly turning to night. To make matters worse, The Boss sent him here without his powers. He was to do this job as a human. Who said The Boss didn’t have a sense of humor? Many didn’t think The Boss did, when actually, He had a good one, and at times it could be labeled as twisted. One word came to mind about The Boss’s humor, platypus. Gabriel shook his head. He was still trying to figure that one out and why The Boss snorted and guffawed when the word platypus was uttered.
“Excuse me. Happy Holidays!”
The voice yanked him from his morose thoughts.
“Merry Christmas.”
The voice, clear in the crisp air, rang out over the clash of bodies and traffic. Gabriel focused on the sweet sound and zeroed in on her voice. A dark blur caught his peripheral vision amidst the colorful shoppers snatching his attention away from her for a split second.
A terrified scream yanked him back. His assignment was flying through the air…straight into the path of an oncoming car.
Gabriel vaulted a bench, hit the ground running, and didn’t think; he just dove. He was a warrior and fierce as they come.
His six foot six frame wrapped around her mere five foot seven one as he snatched her from the path of the car sliding on the ice straight for her. The throngs on the sidewalk had bumped her into its path.
Twisting his linebacker’s bulk to take the impact of the landing, he smacked the frozen ground, breaking their fall. They skittered across the slippery road, causing other pedestrians to scatter out of the way. He slid with her atop him to finally land in a heap against a pile of snow left by a plow.
Great puffs of white escaped from his mouth as his inside warmth met the frigid outside air. He’d never seen his breath before. Holiday lights danced above his head from strings on lampposts blinking their celebratory colors. Quarter-sized snowflakes drifted lazily down on his dark chestnut hair like an afterthought to splat on his nose and cheeks.
All new experiences for him.
“Wow! That was some ride.” She squirmed against him. “Hmm, sir, you can let go of me now.”
Gabriel lay on his back and dipped his chin to look at the bundle he held tight to his chest. Pansies. Big. Spring. Purple pansies, was his first thought. He’d never seen eyes that shade on a person. Her skin, almost translucent, made the dots of pink from the cold on her cheeks stand out like paint on a doll’s face. A red and green knit cap adorned hair as black and shiny as a crow’s wing, hair that swooped forward to brush and tickle his nose.
“Sir, are you okay?” said the bundle that wiggled against him, stirring things down below that shouldn’t be stirring. After all, he was an angel, and angels weren’t supposed to have stirrings.

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Social Media Sites of
J. Paulette Forshey
Twitter@ ForsheyJ

Other book by J. Paulette Forshey
"The Tarczal Alliance" which is about my own breed of blood drinkers is the start to my Tarczal series. I just love the Tarczal guys so alpha and not looking for love, until it and the woman who rides in with it smacks them in the face.
"Chances Taken" my contemporary romance whisks you off to the Emerald Isle where asking for a ride can get you more than you expected.
The Tarczal Alliance and Chances Taken are available from
Cat and the Wizard is an adult fairy tale written in the language of traditional Celtic folklore. This book is available from smashwords

I'm working on a horror short "The Estate" due out July 2012 from Whispers Publishing. It's about magical books, an abandoned house, and a spirit looking for love. Also, hoping to have the next in the Tarczal series, The Archway, finished and out, it's a time travel romance.


  1. Great post, Pepper! I think most writers can identify with the crazed moments of 'OMG, I'm such a failure--and I have a deadline! Gaaaah!'

    LOL. My first mass market paperback was sold on the basis of a one page idea and my last published book. I was offered a whole series! Yay! Go me! Then I had to write the damn thing, and I was never so terrified.

    I'd sit at the keyboard each morning and (with great trepidation) ask my characters, "So, what are you up to today?" Little did I know that's the definition of a character-driven novel. LOL

    Oh, and the series was a hit. I was just offered a spin-off series. Fortunately, book 1 is almost finished and I have a rough outline for book 2. When I get to book 3 I may be tearing out my hair again...or not. It seems that the better I know my characters, the easier it is to predict what they'll do.

  2. Great post, ladies, and that roommate's a keeper!

  3. FAB premise and I love the idea of fresh holiday stories based on holiday classics - I'm'a have to go check 'em all out!

  4. I love the premise. I get all my stories from dreams and songs. I have a pretty twisted dream life.

  5. Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments!

  6. I'm sooo late coming by, but a great story! Can't wait to read it!