I have to have a calendar in front of me when I write. I might have an idea of what's coming next when I sit down. I might be totally blank. The calendar isn't there to tell me what comes next. It's blank, too. I have a template I've been using for fifteen years. Each book as a manila folder filled with pertinent research, the selling synopsis, and the calendar. I have the folder in front of me, too. I generally start my day by reading over what I wrote the day before. I might do light edits, if they present themselves. I might not. The point of reading is to allow the story to absorb me. And, if I've gotten out of the way of the process, I hear voices. My characters voices. They just start talking. And my fingers start moving. When the first scene break happens, I stop, pick up my pen, and jot a note on the calendar template, documenting the scene on whatever date the scene took place.At any time during the process of a creating a book, I can look at that calendar and see a scene by scene overview in chronological order. I can pull out a folder for a book I wrote ten years ago and see the chronological order of the scenes all neatly plotted on the calendar. It would be great if I could start each book with the calendar! If I could know, each day when I come to the office, what my job for the day will be. What I have to write. But for me, plotting ahead of time ruins the process. If I plot it, I've told the story and I'm done. The entity becomes stale. Been there done that.
And, as some inexplicable energy dictates, there always seems to be an exception that proves the rule. It Happened On Maple Street is that exception. Fifty six books into this life as a writer and here I am with a book like no other. There is no calendar for Maple Street. No synopsis, either. There's a folder. Until I received some emails pertaining to the book, business emails, the folder was empty. It's never been on my desk. I've never referred to it, or noted anything.
It Happened On Maple Street is raw truth. Truth being the key word. The story was created over thirty years. Every step I took, every decision I made were the creators of this story. I didn't get to pick and choose, or imagine, or wait for what would happen next. I simply told what happened.
I am a USA Today Bestselling Romance writer. I've been penning published love stories for nineteen years. My books are fiction. Some say fantasy. I've always believed that the love I write about is true. That the kind of love embodied in Harlequin Books is real and powerful and the most important aspect of human existence.
It Happened On Maple Street is my proof. It's my own true love story. They say that writers should write what they know. And that's what I've been doing for my entire career. (As a disclaimer, for legal purposes, a middle portion of the book, from the last time Tim and I saw each other until we reconnected, is fictional.)
The story has all of the elements of a romance novel. It has goal, plot, motivation, internal conflict, external conflict, hills and valleys, beginning, middle, end, love scenes and tears. It has two points of view - first and third person. It has dialogue and introspection. And all of these elements were just there. I didn't make them up. I didn't craft a story. I simply sat down and told my story. It reads like a romance novel.
And like all romance novels, the hero and I had journeys to travel before we could get to our happily ever after. In this case, as in most of my books, the journey was a sometimes very painful one. Much like my heroines, I had some intense hurdles to overcome. And in this book, I'm telling a story that no one but my hero knows. /p>
It Happened On Maple Street is out tomorrow. One more day until the debut of my life.
To celebrate, Tim and I are hosting a cyber blog tomorrow and you're all invited! There are six blogs, random book giveaways, and everyone who comments on all six blogs is entered to win a one of a kind collectible Maple Street collection of Tim and Tara favorites.
The theme of the party is The Writing of Maple Street. And Tim tells it like it was! To read the story in order, click on the schedule in order: MIRA Authors, HCI Books, RomCon,National Domestic Violence Hotline, Chapter's Books, Border's Books.
We'll be here all day, responding to comments, so please join us! And then we hope you'll continue on with the blog tour with us. We're visiting fifty sites over the next several weeks, all with original posts and giveaways.
This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit tarataylorquinn.com.
All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. Gift Basket given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is, please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline, or call, toll free, 24/7, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The call can be anonymous and is always confidential. There is not one second of life that is worth wasting.
Next tour stop, Friday, April 1, MIRA Authors /p>
To get your copy of It Happened On Maple Street, visit your favorite bookseller, or MapleStreet.com
Beginning April 1, 2001, It Happened On Maple Street is available on Kindle and Nook, too! Click Here!
Don’t miss The Chapman Files! Still available at: Amazon.