My sixth novel is finally released and available on all platforms. It is crazy to think that this whole creative ride came about because I got bored during business travel.
And this latest project was written because my massage therapist wanted more of Maxi and Zach. Just crazy…
Oh, and did a mention there is (or will be) a Maximum Trilogy? Maximum Something will be coming soon (I promised my M.T. the next will be ready in less than 5 years).
Until then, please enjoy Maximum Mayhem.
I can’t believe five years have passed since you first met Zack Brady and Maxi Malone! The inspiration for my second book started with a friend running late and out of boredom, me eavesdropping on the conversation on the next stool at a local dive bar.
Maximum Trouble came about in a bit different fashion.
My massage therapist (everyone should have one – especially if you are subjected to migraines…) wasn’t ready to give up Zack and Maxi. She insisted that there must be more to their story. “You can’t leave them in happily for now land.”
I have trouble with endings. I can write an entire book, 60,000+ words, and then write another dozen endings. I never feel like I get it right. Happily, ever after is too sappy. Happily, for now too temporary. In between too I am so done with this!
I think you understand. As a reader I feel ripped off if the ending is too simple. I try really hard not to do that to you.
Anyway, I listened to my MT, looked at a few vacation pictures from Aruba, visualized the boat off the coast, and the rest, well the rest is Maximum Trouble.
And here’s the best part, well for you, for me it is a lot more work… There is a third book with Zack and Maxi on the way! No title, only Maximum Something. Maybe around 6,000+ words in a very, very rough draft, yet the last in the trilogy is coming soon (keep in mind it took five years to get Maximum Trouble).
Maximum Trouble is available at a few places now yet I will do a big IT’S HERE hoopla thingie within the next week.
Thank you to San Fransisco Review of Books for their fabulous look at Uncle Neddy’s Funeral! Click here to read.
This week’s creative is young, talented, a writer to watch, and she happens to be my niece. Amanda has been published in several literary magazines along with a study gig writing for Courthouse News and Westword. Her talents extend beyond the writer into translating and editing. Here is her creative process:
“If you haven’t written a word since your last school assignment, you probably think writing is a magical thing that happens to a few gifted people with great grammar. Truth is, I would be lost without spell check and muses are a lot like lightening, if you’re waiting to be struck, you’re probably still waiting.
My process is slow and tedious and involves countless hours of going back and crossing out whatever I finally managed to write down.
On a good day, I’ll wake up a good hour or two before everyone else in the house, make a French press, and get to it. On a bad day, I sleep in and spend the afternoon lying to myself about how I will make up for it later then inevitably go to bed early.
For me, the two most important parts of the story are the ending and the twist. Without those, my character is all dressed up with nowhere to go. In the case of “Two Soups for Table Eight,” I began with the idea that I wanted to write something that might be seen differently on the second reading—either Jean’s a bored waiter with a big imagination or he really is a reporter. I also wanted to capture that angst of being stuck at a day job, when you (feel like you) have more important things to do.
I try to put some truth in every story and challenge myself to experiments with new techniques.
I figure if I keep grinding away like this, the muse just might strike day and I will be ready for it with a kite and a key.”
I am fortunate to have many wonderful writer’s who work with me on my projects, inspire me to reach further, and encourage me to continue honing my craft. It’s a great life.
Way back during my undergrad at UConn, several writing professors had the book
Writing Down The Bones on their optional reading list. Since I first purchased this classic, I have re-read it a dozen or so times. Natalie Goldberg’s classic inspires, directs, and assists writers through the process of writing.
I had the honor to meet Ms. Goldberg at The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar in Lenox Massachusetts where she was promoting her latest book, Let The Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir. Here she shares her cancer journey through writing and Zen. I bought her new one yet got my 1986 copy of WDTB signed.
I learned a few important things during her session. 1. When I asked a writing question, she answered, “one must just shut up and write” (she really wanted to talk about her new book) and 2. Ms. Goldberg doesn’t like cameras.
About WDTB from Amazon: “With insight, humor, and practicality, Natalie Goldberg inspires writers and would-be writers to take the leap into writing skillfully and creatively. She offers suggestions, encouragement, and solid advice on many aspects of the writer’s craft: on writing from “first thoughts” (keep your hand moving, don’t cross out, just get it on paper), on listening (writing is ninety percent listening; the deeper you listen, the better you write), on using verbs (verbs provide the energy of the sentence), on overcoming doubts (doubt is torture; don’t listen to it)—even on choosing a restaurant in which to write. Goldberg sees writing as a practice that helps writers comprehend the value of their lives. The advice in her book, provided in short, easy-to-read chapters with titles that reflect the author’s witty approach (“Writing Is Not a McDonald’s Hamburger,” “Man Eats Car,” “Be an Animal”), will inspire anyone who writes—or who longs to.”
With some deep thought (still healing and getting more mobile 😊) this summer I will be switching up the blog. There will still be book updates, yes, I am still working on Maximum Trouble, and am hobbling to a concert or two, however I thought it would be fun to introduce other creatives I have the pleasure of spending time with during this crazy journey and sharing how they create.
Writers, artists, poets, musicians and more!
For example, I am a puker when it comes to writing. No, I don’t ingest weird stuff until I get sick, I write out a semi-complete project, usually without an ending, then go back and outline to see what I am missing.
My process takes longer than those who plan ahead yet in my mind, my characters and their situations dictate the story. Sometimes it works while other times the half story ends up in my W.I.P. folder to get re-hashed, reviewed, or deleted later.
When I get genuinely stuck revising, I go to other projects like writing this blog or building websites, maybe designing a book cover, or helping with a children’s book, usually for friends, to relax my brain. Doing this currently works for me.
(Ta da!) This is my process.
Here is the part where I ask a couple favors from all of you; please let me know if you like the new format. Feel free to leave a comment so all can see or message me privately.
And, for all those who have read Maximum Mayhem, if you have a better title idea for the sequel (yes, you read that correctly… Zack and Maxi are coming back to a bookseller near you) than Maximum Trouble, do the same here via private message or in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
*lyrics by The Grateful Dead