I’ve started writing a new book. As always, I begin with two main feelings: excitement over the possibility of creating a good story, and acknowledgement of how much hard work it will take. I don’t outline my books in advance. I don’t “pre-write” or create character sketches or do any of the other exercises that are often assigned by creative writing instructors. I don’t mean to imply that such methods aren’t valid; it’s just not how I work. Every writer must find her/his own path.
I usually begin with an incident. In this case, the incident comes from a letter to the editor which appeared in my small local newspaper about two years ago. As soon as I read it, I saw it as book material so I clipped it out and put it in my Ideas Box. Every so often, I read it again and each time, possible scenes occurred to me. A character began to emerge. My head is a muddle of such future scenes and people, often for more than one book. It’s small wonder that I forget to put out my garbage on collection day.
I’ve seen a draft of the cover for Runaway Twin, and I like it a lot. My only request to the illustrator was to please make the dog on the cover look like the dog I describe in the book. I’m not just being picky. When Pasado’s Safe Haven had a fund raising auction, I donated the opportunity for someone to have their pet in one of my books. The winning bidder asked me to use her dog, Snickers. This dog is in Runaway Twin. I had sent pictures of the real Snickers to my editor, who sent them to the artist.
My fun surprise of the week was that I won a door prize when I attended a benefit lunch for Seattle Children’s Hospital. This is the hospital where my grandson, Mark, had his brain tumor removed. Every year I attend their holiday lunch and donate books for their silent auction. This time I won an ice-cream cake from Baskins Robbins.