Morning: I’ve got to admit it, the last divine chew and swallow of the peanut butter muffin brings about several minutes of reflective sadness, the taste buds sort of wilt, and I swear to you, the characters must be sad too because they stop in their tracks and stare at me. A moment later, I hear Savich or Sherlock speaking in my ear, “Hello? Time’s awastin’.” So I throw myself back into the gnarly mysteries S&S are trying to figure out before the bad guys do their worst.
Interesting factoid: This happens rarely -- I type 95 words a minute, no lie, but sometimes the characters are talking so fast I can’t keep up with them. Does that sound crazy? You bet.
I always try to write at least six new pages every day. Sometimes the pages pile up sometimes they don’t, and sometimes, like this past weekend, I was nearing the end of ENIGMA (the next FBI thriller) and I wrote twenty-five pages non-stop. What a rush.
But you know what I’ve learned and what I yell to everyone who wants to be a writer? JUST WRITE: if you write crap, it doesn’t matter, at least there’s something now for you to work on. Odd, but I’ve yet to edit a blank page. Being a ‘pantser’ (writing by the seat of my pants rather than outlining), I’m always doing the ‘backward build up’, I call it. Edit what I wrote the day before or two days before, a week, always making adjustments, forever tweaking.
Finally I make it to mid-day: I go to the gym three days a week, right after lunch. At noon the gym is a strange and magical place. Only a small group is usually there and we all know each other and bust around. I post my new book covers on the cork board and my gym buds swear they’ve pre-ordered the book, but are those noses lengthening?
Then it’s home and either more writing or taking care of business. For example, when a new book is coming out, there’s lots of stuff to do, mainly social media, about which I’m an acknowledged idiot. It amazes and humbles me to see all the talent brought to bear to get my books into your waiting hands.
There’s a warning to a writer’s life: To be a writer means you never have a day off. I might be on vacation or with family or skiing, but the characters are always wreaking mayhem in my brain. The last time I was skiing, I nearly ran off-trail into a tree because a character acted ‘out of character’ and did something without running it by me first, like murdering his mother-in-law, the little butthead.
So, bottom line, writing stories is front and center in my life. I can’t imagine not writing and pray every single day that there will be readers out there who like my super-exciting, mindbending, never-will-you-figure-it-out murder plots. And when people ask me, “Are you still writing?” my reply is “Am I still breathing?”
Evening time: If football’s on or the Warriors are playing, then I’ll stay up. If not, then it’s off to bed to snuggle with the critters (if they let me) and a good book. My dreams are always an adventure, wild and hairy, and thankfully, so far not fatal. Sometimes a dream will even show me how to save a mother-in-law.