Today I have the honour of sharing with you fellow blogger Debbie Pierce from Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom blog and author of her first book Unplayable Lie.
Hi Debbie!! Thanks for Sharing your story with BnV today. Please tell us all about yourself!
About my blog
My blog, Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom, started for two reasons: to capture my son’s college experience and to follow recommendations I’d received at a writer’s conference to build a platform for my writing.
To say it’s evolved would be an understatement!
I post once a week (more often when I can). Once a month, I share information gleaned from research into healing gemstones. That’s an extension of one of my hobbies, jewelry making. A few years ago, I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and try writing poetry. The result is an eclectic mix of haiku, limericks, free verse, ballads, and more catalogued on my Poet’s Page. The bulk of my posts are “slices of life” revolving around seasonal nature photos, travels, parenting, or humorous incidents (some narrated by my Sheltie). And lately, I’ve been including updates from my writer’s journey.
I strive for a conversational tone, like I’m writing a newsy letter to a dear friend. The thing that surprised me most about blogging was how supportive and encouraging this community is. I was a shy child and still tend toward introversion; it required a BIG leap of faith to put my poetry online for others to read. Imagine my delight when they said they enjoyed it!
I’ve written since I could hold a pencil. When I was a kid, I’d check out immense stacks of library books, then tuck myself away visiting new worlds until I was called to chores. I remember starting (but never finishing) novels over most summers. To me, inspiration is all around! Whether it’s a news story in the paper or an overheard conversation or a snippet of research into something interesting, I find ideas plentiful.
On my blog, I avoid contentious discussions about politics, and I keep things family-friendly. I’ve found it next to impossible to write sex scenes in my novels, too. There’s enough of that sort of thing out there without me. Being true to oneself, I’ve found, is the best policy.
My book, Unplayable Lie, is a fiction/thriller about a journalist who faces danger when he allows himself to become emotionally drawn into a story he’s following.
Here’s the premise:
Texas journalist Josh Griffin lives for scoops, but he’s never faced real danger to get one. Nor has he ever been emotionally drawn into his stories. Then he gets an anonymous tip that teenaged golf superstar Lexi Carlisle has been kidnapped, and Josh embarks on an investigation destined to change his life forever.
Lexi Carlisle is the daughter of Josh’s college sweetheart; watching Amanda agonize over her missing daughter while refuting police insinuations that she had something to do with the crime is more than Josh can handle. And when he unravels the web of lies spun by Lexi’s crazed kidnapper — who has killed once and isn’t afraid to do so again — Josh realizes the story takes second place to the girl’s rescue.
The book is being published by Waldorf Publishing and is scheduled for release on Oct. 15, 2017. For now, it’s available for pre-order online at Amazon and Target. (Shameless marketing plug!!)
The spark for my story came one day as I was golfing with my son. One of the holes lay parallel to a tangled overgrown area, and the idea of a kidnapping took root, refusing to let go.
I gravitate toward third person Point of View. Like Mary Higgins Clark or Mary Jane Clark, I prefer to pick out a set number of characters to tell the story, and I rotate POV among them based on what they’re seeing and experiencing. I tend to write short chapters that end on a cliffhanger, and I love throwing in a variety of twists and turns.
I’ve tried to outline, but I don’t like to because I’m not good at it. I think that’s because as a kid, we had to outline everything. So even though I don’t do a formal outline, I’d be lost without making notes about plot points, scenes, characters, and so forth. I’ve never done NANOWRIMO (the write-a-book-in-30-days challenge) because I’m not a writer who tosses together a rough draft, then edits to tidy things up. Nope, I tend to edit as I go along, making for a slow go initially (but when I get to the end, it pretty much is!)
A secret about my book – I changed the hero’s name three times before I was happy with it! The first name I selected was actually the name of a living athlete, and I knew that wasn’t going to work. It took a while for me to get comfortable with the final choice, but I think this one fits him.
Have I written characters I don’t particularly like? Sure, but I hope I’ve concealed that and treated them kindly!
Best advice for other writers? Butt in chair, hands on keys, and start putting your ideas down. Writing a novel is lots harder than some would have you believe, especially for those of us trained in journalism. Sure, you’re telling a story, but the author is a puppet-master while the journalist is quoting facts, documents, and other sources. While I was writing Unplayable Lie, I often felt like I was living in two worlds, my reality and the novel’s fiction. It got to where someone in real life would ask me a question and I’d mentally weigh my response based on which character I was thinking about at the time!
I write under a pen name, something my mom is still having a hard time with!
For years I was a working journalist, so I got used to seeing my real name in print. And it worked for factual stories. However, this novel is fiction, so it just made sense to write under a “fictitious” name. I gave my pseudonym a great deal of thought and I’m pleased with the decision. It honors my Irish heritage and solves the quandary of being christened with a common name.
I guess I’ve always been a creative person. My hobbies and interests have evolved, just like my writing. As a child, I played piano, picked up clarinet and a bit of sax in school, and now am learning the flute. I love most sports, though golf and tennis hold a special place in my heart. I’ve done needlepoint, embroidery, and crochet. I taught myself to bead one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, including Rosaries. I zone out with mindless coloring of mandalas and such while talking on the phone, I’m an avid reader, and I write.
Because I’m the sole caregiver for my aging mom, I constantly struggle with time (or, rather, a lack of it!). I’ve found that having interests all over the board keeps me sane and helps me cope with the stress. While hobbies add to my enjoyment of life, sometimes pursuing them makes it hard to find the time I need to write. Having a deadline (one that’s self-imposed or from my publisher) helps immensely.
My day job is designing Web pages. It fulfils a need to express my creativity through color and design, as well as to work for myself. I also make time to take long walks or enjoy a bit of retail therapy. I don’t need crowds of people around me; rather, I gravitate to solitary activities. Because I can always find something to do, I’m rarely bored.
While I’ve been from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, I don’t really consider myself well-traveled. My favorite place for a getaway is close to water. I find the rhythm of waves very soothing, and there’s something about a salty climate that makes me sleep better. My ideal destination is Ireland, a place I briefly visited a few years back.
People who don’t know me don’t know how independent I am. I need plenty of time alone to regroup, daydream, and create. I don’t like lots of drama (except on the page or stage), and I avoid people who can’t accept boundaries. I have lots of acquaintances but few in my inner circle. There’s a BIG difference between being lonely and being alone. The former can happen in a crowd; the latter is a necessity for creatives (writing isn’t a spectator sport!)
Please do stop by and visit Debbie through one of her social Links:
Author website (https://www.caleighoshea.com/)
I’m also on Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, and have an author’s page on Amazon.
Thank You so Much Debbie for sharing so many insights and giving us a peak into your first book.