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Thursday, April 14, 2016

#ThursdayThoughts: Guest post by Karen McCullough

Good Morning Friends!

I pray you've had a lovely week so far. Today I'm happy to bring to you my guest, Karen McCullough to share some thoughts with us.

So without further ado.....Here's Karen.....

Baseball Season Again (and the Connection to Being an Author)
By Karen McCullough

Confession time: I’m a sports geek. Football, basketball, and baseball seasons cover pretty much the entire year, and that makes me happy. Always something fun to watch on TV and sometimes I get to go to a game.  The NCAA tournament is behind us now and my team didn’t win it all. Oh well, they got to the tournament and made it to the Sweet 16. Pretty good for a group that was seriously under-manned. But I’m ready to move on.

Spring is officially here and that means baseball season!

There’s something particularly exciting about the start of a new sports season. Everything’s fresh, new, and fraught with possibility. This could be the year my team wins it all. And even if they don’t, there’s always the chance that something amazing will happen during the season. This is especially true with baseball, which is a long season with a lot of games. That means plenty of opportunities for great plays, amazing hitting streaks, unexpected success stories, etc.

That’s kind of the way it feels when I start writing a new book. Since I’m a pantser, I generally have no idea what’s going to happen on the book. Each day, when I sit down to write I hope something amazing, something wonderful will happen. I never know what interesting idea, unusual detail, or surprising plot twist is going to pop into my head.

That’s the thrill of both baseball and writing for me. The next pitch could be a home run. The next sentence I write could be the brilliant bit that knocks the story out of the park.  The sheer thrill of creation keeps me writing when it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, rejections mount, or publishers fold.

And speaking of that, something else is new for me this spring. Since Five Star folded up its mystery line in January while the second book of my Market Center Mystery Series was still in the editorial process and rights were returned to me, I’ve decided to self publish it and subsequent books.

Wired for Murder is currently with my former Five Star editor, who is doing an edit for me on a free-lance basis. I’m happy she could do it, since she’s very thorough and has already read the first book in the series.

I’m also agonizing over cover.  I want to redo the cover for the first book at the same time as getting a new cover for the second book, something that can brand the series and will work for future books as well.

And I’m drawing up a list of blog sites for promo once I get the edits back and cover done. As yet I don’t have a release date, but I’m kind of hoping I can manage July 1st.

This is so much more work than going through a traditional publisher, but I do like having final say on everything!

Karen McCullough is the author of a dozen published novels and novellas in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres as well. She has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy, and has also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Daphne, Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, four grandchildren and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenMcCulloughAuthor

A Gift for Murder (Note: the cover here will soon be changed since I’m want to give the series a unified look. The price is likely to change as well so you might want to grab a copy right now if you’re interested.)

The Gifts and Home Decoration trade show provides Heather McNeill with the longest week of her hectic life. As assistant to the director of Washington, D.C.'s, Market and Commerce center, she's point person for complaining exhibitors, missing shipments and miscellaneous disasters. It's a job she takes in stride—until murder crashes the event.

Read an excerpt and get order links here: http://www.kmccullough.com/Murder.php
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CGKYNT6

Oh wow, I haven't enjoyed a good baseball game since my brothers played back in the 70's...well except for an occasional LSU game.

Anyway, Thanks Karen for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm a 'panster' too so I know exactly the thrill of starting and discovering a story!

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends. Hope to see you again soon for Saturday Spotlight, Tuesday Treasures and of course, Thursday Thoughts!

Until next time...take care and God Bless!


Gail Kittleson said...

Enjoyed the sports connection, Karen, and I'm rooting for your new ventures. I'd be glad to host you on my blog.

Lynn C. Willis said...

Great post, Karen! I'm an outliner but feel the same way when I begin a new project.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Karen, best wishes and best of luck with your stories. I don't do much planning. I am working from a contracted synopsis now but find I am deviating, which is totally fine LOL. For one thing, Doc Holliday told me he needed to have a speaking part. I love when a character tells you something you didn't know and when the journey takes you to undiscovered country. Hugs to you both. Howdy, Pam.

Patricia Kiyono said...

I guess I'm a plantser. I plot, but things don't always go as planned. Best wishes with your new project!

marilyn leach said...

Hey, I hope all goes like Trevor Story's first 6 games this baseball season: a homerun in every game, but one, and that's when he had 2 homeruns. He's setting records. Cheers, Marilyn

Karen McCullough said...

Pam -- Thanks for hosting me!
Gail - Thanks for the other. I'm responding privately
Lynn -- Smooches, as always!
Tanya - Yes, that's part of the joy of writing, when something surprising happens!
Patricia - I'm another mostly pantser, too, but I try to plot out a bit.
Marilyn - Exactly! Isn't that a lovely way to open the season?

Leah St. James said...

Good luck forging your path. Karen! The only sport I follow is football, and I know what you mean about the start of the season. I have a long wait between seasons though. :-)

MJ Schiller said...

I can't focus on baseball while the Stanley Cup Playoffs are going on! Love hockey! I also love the title of your book, Karen. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing yourself with us today. Once you get things down, self-pubbing is a breeze. (Just a lot of info up front.) Best wishes for all of your writing endeavors!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Karen,

Having raised sons who were jocks and a husband who was also an athlete, I've seen a whole lot of sports. Congrats on the publication of your new novels. Sorry that Five Star has folded their mystery line. So many talented writers have lost out. Best wishes on your self-publishing venture. And you're always welcome to appear on Author Expressions as well.

Susan Coryell said...

I, too, am a sports fan--by default, since my brothers, husband and children all drew me in with various sporting activities--everything from cross country running to water polo! Good luck with your new venture. I admire your tenacity!

Kathleen Kaska said...

Best of luck with your new release, Karen. Baseball's my sport and the season is starting off well for my favorite teams.

Alicia Dean said...

SO sorry I'm late to the post, it was awesome!! I love the way you compared writing and baseball. I am a HUGE baseball fan. (Although, my Reds are not doing well at the moment, in spite of their promising start, but lots of games left!). It's almost like we're kindred spirits, other than the whole pantser thing (I'm a plotter, have to be, especially with suspense). Suspense is my favorite genre, AND, July 1st is my birthday, so....all sorts of connections. :) Best wishes on the book, sounds like a winner!

Darcy Flynn said...

I'm a baseball fan, too Mostly college, though. Go Rebs! But years ago when we lived in Kansas City, I did enjoy many a Royals game! Best of luck with your new release!

Sandy Elzie said...

I get an idea and start writing. Then halfway through, I outline the rest (middle and end), but I usually have an ending twist in mind from the beginning. Of course, like some of the others, sometimes the characters take on a life of their own.

Good luck on the release!