Please welcome guest author Kathryn Lively to the Cafe!

I envy the authors who successfully stick to a routine, and can concentrate on their writing during timed word sprints. Occasionally I’ll see authors calling for buddies to participate in a “1K in 1HR” race and I think of how dearly I want to join. I could, but I know better than to expect good results. Sometimes I’m like a cat distracted by a light point. I’ll spy a red dot wiggling on the carpet then zot! It’s on the curtains, now the sofa cushions, now on the kitchen floor and….oooh, lunch.

The Internet is my dancing point of light. I’ll settle down after everybody is in bed or zoned out by the TV, open my laptop, then…

Check email
Check Twitter
Check Facebook
Follow a clickbait link to a “Where are they now?” article about the cast of M*A*S*H
Check Wikipedia to see if a certain M*A*S*H guest star is still alive
Check email again because it’s been an hour since I last checked

You get it. Distractions for a writer are plentiful, and I find removing them doesn’t help me. While writing Finish What You Started, I realized having the distractions helped me take the story to a good place.

The idea for Dash and Gabby’s second chance at romance happened when I received a call for contemporary novellas. I’d planned to retool a few books that reverted to me, but the prospect of having something new to promote appealed to me more, and the idea of a Hollywood-set romance had percolated in my mind for a while. The story of a former A-list actor turned Z, trying to get back on his feet with the help of his former co-star outlined itself. It helped that the two were previously married. J

Okay, so novella length. I’d done it many times and figured distractions couldn’t keep me from the goal. As I wrote, though, I found I needed to research a few points for accuracy. Some authors will write past all the speedbumps, then go back and correct things. I’m a little different. I want to know things before I write them. When I described Dash’s motorcycle ride from his home to the office building housing Gabby’s production company, for example, I left the book to Google map the route.

When I needed information on the business in general, I read up on the Screen Actors Guild and even a few wiki articles on former child stars who struggled to transition to leading roles. The more I researched, the more I realized the story was too big for a novella. I liked Dash and Gabby too much to cut their story short, and while hopping around the Internet at gossip sites and informational articles on the industry I continued to build upon their careers and grow their renewed passion for one another. I watched clips of awards shows and shuffled through pictures of actors at fan conventions to get a feel for the world I was writing.

All these “distractions” resulted in a longer book, and while I missed the deadline on the call I’m not disappointed. Totally Bound offered me a contract and here we are.

The lesson here? If a wiggling red dot takes you away from work for a few minutes, or hours, don’t feel discouraged. You may find the distraction helpful.

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Finish What You Started

In this business, it gets hot under the spotlight…

Finish What You Started coverOnce a teen idol, Gabby Randall now spends her time behind the camera. With her show Danse Macabre scripted and a greenlit for a popular streaming site, she has everything she wants…except her star. Deadlines are looming and she’s desperate to cast the role of a modern-day, motorcycle-riding Grim Reaper. She never thought she’d end up hiring her former co-star, TV’s most beloved geek…and her ex-husband.

Until the day he dies, people will remember Dash Gregory as Freddie ‘Grody’ Grodin, the token geek friend of the cool kids at Wondermancer High. After years of casting agents overlooking him for plum roles, Dash wants to show Hollywood he’s more than a one-note player. He’s ready to break the vicious typecasting cycle, and he’s set his sights on the lead role in a sexy new series too hot for network TV.

When the director yells “Cut!” the star wants to keep up the action behind the scenes. Are Dash and Gabby willing to make ratings history again?

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Kathryn Lively is an award-winning writer and editor, avid Whovian, and Rush (the band) fan. She loves chocolate and British crisps and is still searching for a good US dealer of Japanese Kit Kat bars.

Kathryn is a regular contributor to the Sexy To Go authors group and enjoys the outdoors, when she’s able to get out.

You can take a look at Kathryn’s Blog (http://www.kathrynlively.com) and follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Kathryn-Lively-Author-674430962660461/?fref=ts) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/MsKathrynLively).