Friday, September 19, 2014

Sticking Up for Nice Guys and Other Writing Endeavors

The reviews for A Very Plain Young Man continue to trickle in, but at least the trickle is made up of drops of glacier-pure watery goodness filtered for thousands of years until all the impurities are gone. Both and Austenesque Reviews gave the book 5 stars, to my utter delight, and there all the excitement peaked.

Although Meredith of Austenesque urged one of the commenters to "hurry, catch up before Book 3 comes out," I'm sorry to report I'm only on Chapter 7 of said WIP because of TWO MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS which I'll get to...

Hugh Hapgood, rocking the plot twists [pic from]
I will say that there were a few reviewers who were glad that Elfrida chose Frederick (hope that wasn't a spoiler--this is the Romance genre, after all, not known for pulling the rug out under readers!) because Cousin Hugh was "old" and "boring." "Old"!!! "Boring"???!!!! The very idea. I happen to like Hugh Hapgood, and it's not his fault he's not as youthful or playful as Frederick Tierney, and how could he be, when he couldn't help his age and we were not able to hear the story from his POV?

Nor was Hugh Hapgood the first of my fictional rejected suitors to be criticized. In my debut novel Mourning Becomes Cassandra, similar comments were made about Cass's co-worker James, whom I absolutely loved. What was not to love about a kind, persistent, impulsive ex-nerd who was employed and didn't live in his parents' basement? Were Hugh and James too nice, in a world where nice=bland?

Having always liked nice guys myself, I'm letting Hugh Hapgood have his revenge because Hugh Hapgood is the love interest in Book 3 of the Hapgoods of Bramleigh series. Poor widowed Hugh with his three motherless children! If ever a fellow needed a romance-writer to take charge of his life, it's him. And I have picked him out the loveliest wife...

But, as I was saying, the writing is proceeding slowly because of those TWO MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS.

Development Numero Uno:
I got a job. Part-time, three days a week, assistant to a private career coach in Seattle. If you're trying to figure out what to do with your life, or how to get back into the workforce, or how to switch career gears, Elizabeth is the person you want to talk to. I love hearing people's stories, and tomorrow I even get to participate in one of her Tools for Transition Career Workshops!

Development Numero Due:
I've been hired as a ghostwriter. I'm not kidding. I suppose, after having written a ghost story, it's only fitting that I try my hand at ghostwriting. While I've only committed to trying out a chapter or two (20ish pages), if it works for both of us I may go the distance. I'm pretty excited about both the story and the challenge. The freeing thing about already having a few books with your name on them (however obscure they may be), is that you don't much care if the next thing you write has somebody else's name on it!

But I'll finish Book 3 in any case, in the little nooks and crannies of life. And then get to Book 4, of course, because how could I not tell Miss Margaret Hapgood's story? Although I might pull a switcheroo and make Book 4 Miss Edith Hapgood's story because that idea is firmer in my mind. Maybe Margaret might marry last...And then I'm already thinking about some of those cousins, Hugh Hapgood's children.

Thank you for your readership and patience, all 100 or so of you. I'll keep you in the loop!


  1. Love being married to my "old" and "boring" Hugh for 47 years:)

    1. Uh huh. Don't think I haven't heard you say how handsome you think your Hugh is. You're so shallow. :)

  2. Love all of your books, and can't wait to read about dear Hugh!