Meet Emory Alice

My muse is quiet today. She’s given me the name of a new heroine, but no story, no hero, not even a setting. She’s teasing me, knowing I want to work on the book I’ve already started and that I really like although it’s going slow. Slower since the muse dropped that name on me in the middle of a recent night.

Does this happen to you? When you think you’re fully invested in the story that greets you every morning from your screen, does someone or something else insinuate into your psyche and say things like, “I’m Emory Alice. Tell my story.”

“Writing this morning?” my husband asked a little while ago. I said I was, but I haven’t been. I’ve been fighting with that damn Emory Alice whose story I don’t know. I’ve read emails, written emails, cleaned a little corner of my desk, visited blogs, commented on blogs, and gone back to see if anyone commented on my comments. I have played solitaire, lost at solitaire, and said I wouldn’t play anymore. I have played more.

I thought I had it for a while. I’d give in to her, I thought, and start free-writing her story–I’m not a plotter anyway. It could be a little side-gig I’d work on in afternoons when I finished my actual work for the day. But halfway down the first page, she went curiously silent. I’m pretty sure she rolled her eyes. Fine, I thought. I called her a few names and went back to the WIP that’s my serious story.

And couldn’t write a word. Emory Alice is there, pinching me. Watching. Chewing the skin around her thumbnail and scratching her left calf with the toenails of her right foot.

What does she want?



AHeartwarmingChristmas (1)

On another note, A Heartwarming Christmas made the USA Today bestseller list this week. It’s my first visit there and I’ve been fairly impossible to live with ever since. Even the cat ducks his head when he sees me coming. In case you haven’t read it yet–come back here! I’m not done yet!–here’s the stuff on it. Have a great week!

This holiday season, warm your heart with 12 connected sweet holiday romances from 12 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually. A Heartwarming Christmas will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1200 pages. Foreword by small town lover and New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins.

Google Play:


Meet Emory Alice — 24 Comments

  1. How exciting to make USA Today! Congrats!

    Muse’s are tricky. They wake you at all hours of the night, tease you and tempt you. But in the end, they always pull through. Awesome post!


  2. That is the best-worst feeling ever, I think! The promise of a new story is always bright, and it always dims what we’re already working on, but we can’t stop working on that project, and… You know. Can’t wait to hear more about Emory Alice!

    • Yeah. Sigh. It’s that dimming part that’s giving me trouble. The story I’m working on isn’t contracted, so it COULD go to the back burner, but it seems as though I do that too often.

  3. Doesn’t it drive you crazy when they keep nudging and nudging? I’m having the same issue with Annabelle–she won’t let me write the WOWB novella I’ve been working on–she keeps getting in the way! Yikes! And yeah, you just be impossible–I’m so proud of you! USA Today is amazing and truly awesome!

  4. I love this post. Your own character showed through. Your aggravation, your curiosity, and your humor. Maybe you’re Emory Alice! I haven’t had too many characters interrupt WIP. I’ve had them introduce themselves, but not get in the way of my writing. I just dash off a short paragraph, stick it in my ‘ideas’ folder and get back to writing. I guess my characters aren’t as talkative as I am! Congrats on the USA Today feather in your cap.

    • Oh, me, too. And I’m so hard to convince that I usually have to rip out a couple of scenes I’ve written instead of listening to their silence. It’s what comes of thinking I’m the boss. :-)

  5. I know this feeling all too well! I have a book I began over 15 years ago and have 30K written, but can’t seem to continue. My characters have gone on vacation and refuse to return (they’ve come back to tease me with a scene here, a word there. VERY frustrating!).

    I’ve also got a deadline breathing down my neck and my heroine refuses to speak to me. I’m on Ch. 4 and need to finish it, as my release date is literally 2 months away.

  6. Well, Liz, Emory Alice had an itch and you had to scratch. Sometimes, you have to put down what has to be said and can always edit or use later. Some of the best bits come this way.

  7. Liz, I’m thrilled for you! USA Today bestseller list is fabulous! Love the name Emory Alice. Let’s see who wins the wrestling match–her or you 😉

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