Hanging By My Fingertips
Ah, the life of a romance author. Always something new! Who’s going to steal state secrets? Who’s going to announce their secret baby? Who’s going to end up in bed with whom—
And who’s going to forget the end of the year picnic that they were supposed to bake ninety-six cupcakes for and only remember when their child says, “See you at the party this afternoon, Mom!” on their way out the door?
A romance author who’s also a mom, that’s who.
No, I haven’t forgotten the cupcakes (mainly because said child is old enough to bake and decorate them, thank goodness), but my house looks like a mess, clothes are only washed at the last possible moment, the dogs desperately need to go to the groomers, the cat who just turned one is still eating kitten chow because I have no time to get to the supermarket, the end of the school year is here so the kids need to be picked up at various times because, for some reason, the school district decided that they DON’T have to provide transportation for early dismissals during exams, dinner is a big question mark, and I just had to explain to hubs how to drop a pre-paid priority mail envelope in the mailbox in front of the post office. (“Is it local?” he asked. “It doesn’t matter—it’s pre-paid, pre-addressed, and all ready to go. Just drop it in the big blue box!”)
THAT is the life of a romance author who’s a mom.
Honestly, I don’t know how I do it. People ask me that all the time and I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I just don’t do it (see note about the laundry getting done at the last possible minute. I HIGHLY advise investing in another few packs of underwear for each person.) Sometimes I’m amazed that anything gets done at all.
Take now, for instance. I’m on deadline at the end of the month. The story has been kicking my butt because, for whatever reason, it wanted to be written episodically. I wrote the scenes as they came to me; now I have to tie them all together with transitions, making sure they A) go together, B) show the character arcs, C) are believable, and D) contain what readers expect from my writing, namely the world-building, snarky secondary characters, humor, and romance. And I have to get it to my critique partner by the weekend so she can work her magic over the next week so I can have four or five days to finesse it all into shape to give to my editor.
Normally, this is, well, not exactly a piece of (cup)cake, but a well-oiled machine, let’s say. Unfortunately, there have been a few bumps along the road in the past few months and my well-oiled machine needs a tune-up.
So I took it to the “garage.” For this, read “my local bookstore.” We just converted my dining room into my office (it gets much more use this way), with French doors and wonderful new furniture. It’s great. I have big windows, bird feeders just outside, the animals like to hang out with me… great.
Except everyone keeps walking in. Hello? Mom is at work??? What doesn’t make sense to them? The doors are closed, the earphones are in… what are you doing here?
So, off I go to the bookstore where no one bothers me and I’m surrounded by proof that this time crunch management can be done with successful results, and away my fingers fly on the keyboard.
That’s one of my coping mechanisms when things get hairy. Others are figured out on the fly.
So it was quite easy for me when I tossed Logan Hardington, the hero of my latest release, Catch of a Lifetime, a six-year-old son he never knew he had and watched him try to stay afloat. It was sink or swim time for the new father and if mermaid princess, Angel Tritone, hadn’t show up, I don’t know that he would have been as successful as he ultimately was. Though of course, there were some definite bumps along their road as well: namely a hammerhead named A.C. Hammer, a sea monstress with mothering issues, and the fact that all Logan wanted in his life was Normal and a mermaid princess was as far from Normal as he could get. Trust me, I ask myself a LOT what Normal is these days.
If anyone has the answer, I’d greatly appreciate hearing it!
About The Author:
Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did–right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books.
These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she’s still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends’ books.
A three-time finalist in online contests, Judi has enjoyed the reader feedback she’s received and would love to hear what you think about her Mer series. Check out her website at www.JudiFennell.com for excerpts, reviews and fun pictures from reader and writer conferences, the chance to “dive in” to her stories, and a sneak preview for her upcoming Genie series.
“Fennell’s got detailed worldbuilding, creative secondary characters and an impressive use of mythology in this great read. While this title is part of a series, it works well as a stand-alone. Angel and Logan are both incredibly textured characters. -RT BookReview Magazine 4 Stars
“Judi Fennell has extraordinary imagination and has certainly used it in creating this exciting and colorful story. Her characters are wonderful.” Fresh Fiction
“The best blend of both worlds. I… love each and every character in Catch of A Lifetime (and) found (it) well worth diving into.” Long And Short Reviews 4.5 Books