Hello, my name is Sarah Grimm, and I’m an addict. I read my first romance when I was twelve years old. I don’t recall the title, you think I would with something that changed my life so dramatically, but I don’t. The title doesn’t really matter does it because it was just the beginning for me? That one book led to another, then another. Pretty soon I was devouring romances like my life depended on them. Somehow, I didn’t see anything strange about that.
One day my mother walked into my room without knocking and she caught me reading. I dropped that book so fast, tucking it under my thigh so she couldn’t see the cover! But I wasn’t fast enough. My mother knew what I was doing – reading romance in a ‘mystery’ house.
She kept an eye on me after that, locating all the paperback and hardcovers in my closet and under my bed. She told me I had a problem. I told her I couldn’t stop – even to make her happy. Instead, I lured her into my world. I gave her her first romance, then her second; her third. She is stronger than me – romance never took control of her the way it did me.
I began reading romance everywhere: curled in the corner of the couch while the family watched television, in the back of the classroom while the teacher talked biology. I didn’t need to learn biology, I had romance novels. I couldn’t get enough – the promise of happily-ever-after, of love being enough to heal all wounds. *sigh*
In no time at all my addiction grew stronger. Just reading romances wasn’t enough. Suddenly I had this urge, this new and frightening, uncontrollable urge…to write. I wasn’t strong enough to resist. Who is? I began carrying a notebook with me everywhere I went. A notebook I filled with dialogue and partial chapters, story ideas and possible titles. Some days it got so bad that the world around me faded away. While others enjoyed the sun or the lake, I wrote.
It’s hard for some people to understand, this addiction to romance. I’ve endured the odd looks, the smirks, and even those who say, “You’re poisoning your brain with that stuff.”
Well guess what, if stories that celebrate falling in love, emotion and commitment are poison, I don’t want the antidote! I love the stuttered heartbeats when the hero and heroine first meet, the gut punch of sexual awareness. My heart races with the sweetness of that first kiss, and the momentary panic over the realization they’ve fallen in love. I thrive on the idea how even at the worst of times, at those moments when you least expect it, two people can find love.
Yes my friends, I’m an addict, and happily-ever-after is my drug of choice.
Writing has never come easy for me. It’s a compulsion, an obsession really, which is why I do it. But it’s also a long pain filled process. Not just because I can’t seem to write anything that isn’t laced with deep emotion, or as my friend and fellow writer Vonnie Davis calls it, “emotions so sensually thick they wrap around you like a plump down comforter”.
Dialogue is the easy part. Perhaps because I honest and truly hear my characters voices in my head. They talk, I take dictation. My first drafts are always just that; dialogue. Conversations between the characters: comment, response, comment. Page after page after page of dialogue that may or may not have any sort of tag as to who is speaking. If there are more than just two characters conversing, I will leave a name behind the line of dialogue, but that’s all it will be: “dialogue” name
The next time I go through my work in progress I sprinkle in emotion. Sometimes this is easy as I’ve always had the ability to put myself into my characters shoes and FEEL what they feel. But sometimes that ability makes every word, every glimpse inside the character a painful, highly emotional, and draining experience. Then there are the times I’m not exactly certain what my character is feeling. If that sounds odd to you, go back and look at the bit about dialogue. My characters speak, I take dictation. That can leave me guessing right along with the hero whether or not his last comment angered the heroine.
So what’s the worst part of writing, the most difficult part for me? Choreography. Yup, you read that correctly, choreography: who does what when, how they move, and what expression they wear as they deliver their emotion packed line of dialogue. I loathe that part. Loathe. It. I don’t kid myself and think I am the only one, but I will guess those like me are in the minority. I’ve seen a multitude of classes on dialogue, but I’ve yet to see one on ‘getting your character across the room’. Laugh if you want to. Heck, I’ll laugh with you. Spending days staring at a nearly complete manuscript, searching for the right way to describe an action while ‘show, don’t tell’ runs endlessly through your mind... It’s quite pathetic.
In the end – after more than a few curse words, false starts, and glasses of wine – I’m usually happy with what I’ve got. Sure, you will nearly always find more dialogue and emotion in my books than actual character movement, but I don’t write action thrillers so that’s okay. Besides, by that final run through of my WIP, the stars of my next book are chattering away in my head, insisting that I get to telling their story. Let me assure you, you don’t want to put off a demanding alpha male for too long, or he’ll start interfering with your sleep. And not in a way that is at all physically pleasing.
As a writer, the question I get asked the most is ‘Where do you get your ideas?’. The second most popular question I am asked is ‘Once you have an idea, where do you begin?’. This question is actually a bit more difficult to answer, but I’ll try. Story ideas come to me all of the time. The trick is being patient enough to wait and see if the idea has legs. What I mean is, some ideas come to me like a butterfly, then flit away just as quickly. Then there are the ones that stick, the heroes who won’t stop talking to you, even at three in the morning, that question that hangs in the air, day and night, that I feel compelled to answer. These are the ideas with legs. The ideas that force me to put pen to paper - or more and more often now, fingers to keyboard – and begin writing. These are the ideas that become my works in progress, or WIPs.
Once I’m ready to begin writing, I...heck, I’d love to tell you that I have a series of questions I ask myself or an outline I’ve worked up, but that’s not how it works for me. You see, I’m what they call a pantser – which means I write by the ‘seat of my pants’. That’s right, I don’t have much more than a title (which I can’t seem to begin without), and my hero and heroine’s name. If the idea came to me in the form of a question, which it sometimes does, then I have a bit more. If it came to me in the form of the hero’s voice in my head, nagging me to get on with it and tell his story, then I may only know how it ends. After all, heroes aren’t always prone to tell you how he got himself in the position he’s in, just how he wants that story to end. LOL
But, if the story idea came to me in the form of the opening scene (which is usually how they come to me) then I don’t know much at all. Maybe just what kind of person the hero/heroine is. And that’s when the fun begins for me, the moment I sit down and just begin typing. Letting the story unfold as it may, discovering the events that take the characters from the opening scene to the happily-ever-after. Yup, I just dive right in. No character sketches, outlines, or blurbs. Not until I’m farther into the story – like half way. For me, knowing too much before I begin spoils the fun. A complete outline before I’ve written a single scene, and I’ve lost the excitement, feel as if I’ve already told the story. Odd, I know, but true.
So that’s how I start a WIP. I get an idea stuck in my head, think on it a bit, then take myself and the voices in my head to my laptop and start writing. Does that make me sound a bit unhinged? Probably. However, I believe on some level all writers are…but that’s a different blog post.
"Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing." ~ Margaret Chittenden
10 Things You Might Not Know About Sarah Grimm
Word Search for Warriors is here! I'm super excited and honored to be a part of this project! It's probably the coolest thing I've been invited to take part in, and I couldn't be happier about how the book turned out.
Forty-eight authors, with help from Lucky 13 Book Reviews & News and Pink Ink Designs, have come together to support Healing Heroes Michigan (HHM), a non-profit charity that trains rescue dogs to become service/assistance animals. The number of veterans returning from combat with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is staggering. An average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day, a number that is heartbreaking and unacceptable.
HHM is helping to give the veterans their lives back and by purchasing this book you're helping too. 100% of the royalties go directly to HHM. Qualifying dogs are paired with their human counterparts and become constant companions. The freedom to participate in activities they'd been avoiding is something each veteran treasures, knowing if they do have a PTSD episode, their canine companion will provide comfort and protect them from inadvertently hurting themselves.
Thank you for supporting this great cause! We hope you enjoy Word Search For Warriors and also find some fabulous new authors and their books.
***Intended for adults only. Unsuitable for children.
A few years ago I read a blog post by an author on deadline who hated the book she'd written so much that she deleted it. With something like 28 days left before she had to turn in the book, she deleted it and started again on page one. What?!
I thought she was nuts! Seriously, had she completely lost her mind?! Then 2017 happened to me...
The year began with a virus that turned into pneumonia. Two courses of antibiotics later, I barely felt better. Pneumonia turned into the stomach flu and after two months of being sick... I'd completely missed my deadline to release Haunted. I was forced to postpone.
Fast forward a few months of frantic writing whenever the day job permitted. I finally had the first draft done. Hallelujah! Until I read through the book from beginning to end and hated it. Yes, hated it. This is not the story I wanted to tell. This didn't do Kirk and Ava justice. So what did I do? The only thing I could do. I deleted the book.
Yes, you read that right. I. Deleted. The. Book.
I finally understand why that author made the decision she made so many years ago. I know exactly why she deleted the book and started over instead of attempting to fix the parts she hated. Because sometimes it's just easier to start over. Sometimes you have to accept the fact that what you have is garbage and go back to the proverbial drawing board.
So that's what I've done. I threw out the disastrous first take on a story was meant to be hauntingly beautiful but completely missed the mark. Why? In favor of writing the story you, my readers, deserve. The story I always meant to tell. One of two lonely souls who realize how much more they can be -- together.
My writing inspiration for the week...
I discovered this beautiful dress on a resale site in my area and fell in love. Unfortunately it isn't my size. Well, maybe it's fortunate since the only place I could wear it is around my house. LOL
Since cleaning the house in a white dress and tiara is completely unpractical,
I decided that one of my characters needs to have this dress.
What inspires you?
MULTI INDIE AUTHOR SALE EVENT
April 19th & 20th.
Over 100 Indie authors have placed one or more of their ebooks on sale for $.99 or FREE for this two-day event as a way to help readers find new authors.
To celebrate, there are several things taking place.
1 - FACEBOOK EVENT - https://www.facebook.com/events/1347821225278586
Join us for two days of author takeovers, contests, and all around fun!
2 - RAFFLECOPTER - Want to earn chances to win the grand prize of an
Amazon Gift Card valued at $100?
There are hundreds of ways for you to earn a chance to win and find new authors at the same time! http://gvwy.io/q8lpu6l
3 - LIST OF BOOKS ON SALE - Follow the link to discover all the books on sale!
But hurry, because the prices go back up after the event is over! Don’t miss out!
Don't miss the fun! You'll find WRECKED and MIDNIGHT HEAT on sale for this event!
I also have an author takeover on Wednesday, April 19th!
Join me for a look at my current releases and upcoming books. You could #WIN
ecopies of my books and other exciting prizes! Just follow the above link to the
Hey, Mom, I dug you a few new holes to plant some flowers!
You wanted flowers in the middle of the yard, right?