Writing Timelines

I’ll be honest, I hate timelines, they are a pain in the butt. Sadly, they are very necessary in books. How many times have you read a story and went, “What? Wait a second. That’s not right!” Sometimes it’s minor, and sometimes it is MAJOR! Enough to annoy a reader and turn them off from your books.

I work hard to make sure my timelines flow in my books. I track them through a spreadsheet in Excel, and one of my proofreaders loves to nit-pick them so intently that I believe she has an addiction. It’s a good addiction!!! One that I seriously appreciate!

Last week I wrote about 27,000 words on a new book. Riley is the fourth book in the Loving a Young Series, and it is coming out in February. I was rocking right along until I paused and went, Wait! I need to adjust the timing on this! Then I made changes. I ended up having to make more changes and add in two chapters, and then I needed more changes.

Then I realized I had screwed the timeline up so much that I didn’t even know what everyone was doing or when!! So I had to stop and find another way! I ended up using my regular calendar connected to my email.

Now I have it all down correctly! But man did that take a while to get it corrected! Now, when you click on those lines, there are notes about the chapters and details of what needs to happen when! Perfect!

I do have to add that while Riley is an intense timeline – it is now where as crazy and intense as The Twisted Love Series! This picture is the timeline that used to be on my wall – That is 11 feet of timeline!! Take about details to track on that series!

Using what you know to write

I have to say that I am quite thrilled to be a new author to Authors’ Billboard and posting a regular blog on the 27th of each month. For those who don’t know me, I’m a retired police officer/detective, a mother of two, grandmother to one, happily married to an incredible man, a total Disney Freak, and so much more!

I’m also a firm believer in writing what I know, and as I’m nearing the age of fifty I realize that I know quite a lot. Which is quite funny because I don’t think of myself as a very intelligent person. However, I do know there is a difference between being book smart and street-smart, and I can honestly say that I am 100% street-smart.

Because I spent sixteen years as a police officer, I tend to set a lot of my books into the law enforcement world (See-writing what I know!). Some of my books are romantic suspense, some contemporary romance, I even have a few paranormal romance books in the cop world, too. I am sure you can imagine the kinds of things I witnessed in my career. I have stories that would make you laugh till you cried, and stories that would make you sob for hours with emotional pain. I spent thirteen years working primarily patrol, and small investigations. Around my fourteenth year, I started getting involved in more in-depth investigations and moved on to be promoted to detective. I became a certified Crime Scene Investigator and thrived on those kinds of investigation.

The only reason I retired was that I sustained a second major concussion in ten years and had a lot of issues afterward with headaches and memory. I tried to go back, but it just didn’t work and I realized it was safer for all involved if I hung up my handcuffs.

One of the major cases that I worked on was a domestic violence homicide. I will never forget the day I stood over her body and my own past flashed in front of me. Words spoken to me so many years ago about how if I didn’t do something, I’d be killed. My entire life shifted that day-like it was a major adjustment to the way I saw life and I decided that I couldn’t stay quiet anymore.

And that’s why I write about domestic violence. I know it. I have felt it. I lived with the hand of control holding my throat, and cutting off the oxygen from my lungs. It’s why my books on the subject are so real, they come from experience, and sadly, from what I know.

But my books are not all doom and gloom. Most of my books are romance and I write that because people want to feel alive-feel loved. After being a victim of domestic violence, I know what it is to want to feel loved, in a healthy way. I’m so lucky that I am now married to a man who loves me for me, and has never tried to change me, threaten me, or hurt me with his words. Its possible for everyone to find that, they just have to believe.

I look foward to sharing with you more about books, life, kids, Disney, everything! Thanks for stopping by to say hello!

New Projects on the Horizons

For those of you who know me, you know when I write – I write fast. I fall into my stories and I get lost. My characters take over my mind, and devour my soul. I miss that.

For the last four months, I have been recovering from a bad concussion. While I can now do the normal everyday kind of things like cook, clean and play mom taxi to my 12 year old daughter, there are still a whole bunch of things that I can not do. One of them is write for any length of time. In fact, I’m averaging about 600-800 words a day. Which is nothing compared to my 12-16K a day that I used to write – or the 56K I wrote in May in just 4 days. But…. the good news is I am healing, slowly and my brain is finally beginning to kick back in on the creative side. Now if only my left eye would cooperate!

Those 600-800 words a day I write? – I use to test myself on how easily it would be to write a police report. I miss my job and I can’t wait to get back to work. Some people probably think I’m nuts for that. They would probably kill to be able to stay at home – but not me. Me, I want to get back to work. I want to get back to my hectic schedule and my 16 hour days. I honestly just want to get back to being me… It’s gonna take me a little bit longer to do – but I’m going to get there.

So, what does all this mean to my future writing? Lots…

First off, Second Shield II, as soon as I am strong enough to dig back into that story – I will. I hate that I do not have this one out for you all yet, and I swear when my strength and cunning return, I’m jumping back into this story with a vengeance to get it out to you.

Second – There is a new exciting novella that has been started and that is what I have slowly been working on to gauge my ability to push myself with writing.? I can’t tell you much about this – but soon I will.

Third – I have two plot lines that I have been jotting notes down on recently. One is about a woman with a concussion (gee… where did I get that idea?) and how in-depth this injury is compared to what people actually think. TBI’s (Traumatic Brain Injuries) are not jokes – and I intend to explain just how serious these injures are in a fictional story based on my own experience, kind of like Whether I’ll Live or Die.

The other plot line I have just starting spinning around in my mind… well… It’s about first loves. The ones we let go of – or lose and then years later we wonder about them… I already know the title of this one – It’s called Tempt Me Too and it’s named after the boat that Max owns. You can read a little about my thoughts on this book on it’s book page… Here

All in all…. I’m slowly getting better – not fast enough for my taste – but I’m getting there. Every day just a tiny bit better. I can’t wait to get back into writing again and let some of these characters come back to life. Until then – thank you for your patience!