The Phone Call and Sam

As you know, my second novel, The Phone Call, will be released by Solstice Publishing next Tuesday, December 12th. That brings me such joy and pride, it is hard to adequately describe my emotions.

But, as I have also said before, the whole tenacity-in-writing thing was largely pushed not by me, but by our middle son, Sam. Sam always believed, he just believed that if I kept trying, The Phone Call would eventually get published. When I would let my writing drop for a while, he’d be the first to do a, “Mom, get going. It’s going to happen, I know it.” And he always added that when it did, we would all go out to dinner, and order whatever we wanted… He could visualize it long before I could, and his belief was much of what kept me going.

Sam died unexpectedly in October of 2013, at a point in my life when I had let the writing go for a while. For a long time after his death, the grief was so strong and debilitating that I couldn’t fathom trying to write again. Eventually, with the support of my amazing husband, children and their friends, I printed out The Phone Call and That One Small Omission, put them in binders, and went at them with my colored (not red) pens. Eventually, I started submitting them again, and joy of joys, publishing contracts arrived.

The Phone Call was the first book I completed, although it isn’t the first published. As I celebrate its release this coming week, it will be with the knowledge that Sam always knew it would happen.

 

Upcoming Events!

Wow, it is a BUSY time of year, and with my publishing journey, it’s even busier than normal. I wanted to let  you all know of some upcoming events/dates in case you are interested.

That One Small Omission will be offered free in e-book from 12/7-12/11 on amazon.com and solsticepublishing.com — it is my hope that a lot of readers will be interested in downloading and reading it!

The link to download it on Amazon (or buy it prior to 12/7 or after 12/11) is: That One Small Omission

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Then, That One Small Omission will be the featured free download on December 9th the book advent calendar on the Books Go Social site at https://booksgosocial.com/ — if you click on the Santa on the right side of the screen, it will take you to the calendar. Lots of great books that can be downloaded for free or sale prices!

Finally, with great joy and excitement, my second novel, The Phone Call, will be released on December 12, 2017! The Phone Call has been rattling around in my head for a long time, decades really, and I am so proud that it will finally be out in the world.

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That One Small Omission and The Phone Call — where did they come from?

My debut novel That One Small Omission was published by Solstice Publishing in October 2017, and my second novel, The Phone Call, will be published mid-December 2017.

Where did the stories come from? How did I decide to write them? How the heck did this all happen?

It was pretty simple, really. I always wrote, even as a child. I daydreamed by the hour, making up complicated stories in my head all the time. So, by the time I was in my early 20s, I actually decided to try my hand at writing a novel, which eventually became The Phone Call. I worked on it for years, on and off, until eventually it was signed for publication last summer. In The Phone Call, Kat met the man of her dreams while still in college, and immediately dreamed of a life with him. He begged her to call him, but when she called, he didn’t answer. That night, her life was thrown into complete disarray, and she spent the next five years trying to find her footing again. When they met again, Alex knew he wanted her in his life forever, but Kat was certain he wouldn’t love her once he knew the truth about her past.

My second novel, That One Small Omission, which actually was published first, is about Maggie, a dedicated educator and single-parent. When Maggie met Andre on a work trip, she thought she’d met the man of her dreams until she realized she could never tell him about her life, as he stated so clearly he would never want to be a parent. Maggie ran away, never telling him the truth, but when they find themselves together again in a very strange set of coincidences, their love can’t be denied.

Guest Blogger — Jaci Wheeler

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Jaci Wheeler —

 

Silent Song coming to life by Jaci Wheeler

        Many authors I know pull from events or people from their own lives for inspiration or storyline. I’ve never been that way personally. I’m an extremely private person by nature, so its very unusual for me to use any of myself in my books. That is actually my favorite thing about writing, I’m able to fully create worlds and people out of thin air. It allows you to become whoever you want for the moment. I usually create a main character who is nothing like me because it allows me to be and do all the things I’ve always wanted to.

I’ve had a very eventful life. Those who know me well always ask why I’ve never drawn from my real life for a novel, since my life is pretty much a lifetime movie. The idea of writing anything close to home has always been completely horrifying for me. (Super private remember?)

I have a pretty unique situation where I lost my hearing at eighteen years old. (You can read more about it in my letter to the reader in Silent Song.) Deafness is one of those subjects that most people think they understand…but actually don’t. There is so much more to deafness than not being able to hear. There are levels (decibels) of sound that is so intricate that it is much more than just you can hear or not.

A few years ago I read a book that had a deaf main character. The book was amazing, but there were so many things that weren’t accurate. It wasn’t glaringly obvious unless you were deaf, but it really bothered me. I had brought up the issue to a good author friend of mine and I’ll never forget what she said to me.

“The only way to fix this problem Jaci, is to set it straight. That means you are going to have to write the story of a deaf person from their perspective. Show people not only your world, but help them understand the deaf world. Who else will?”

I instantly shut her down. Theres no way I’m writing anything close my life. A few months went by and then I had to explain a few things about deafness to people that they just never knew. Like just because you speak English doesn’t mean deaf people can write in English without struggle. Almost every hearing person I talked to didn’t know that American Sign Language is NOT english. It has its own structure and rules like any other language. ASL is my second language, but it’s the main one I use at home with my husband. It’s hard for my brain to switch back and forth between ASL and English. Because of this I tend to change tenses when I write, which is very frowned upon in writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve driven every editor I’ve ever had to drink over this little fact.

After having to explain this to several people over a very short amount of time I finally came to terms with the fact that I was going to have to write a story with a deaf character.

I decided to go home and just see if I even had a story in me. I don’t outline, ever. I just start writing. I usually write the end first, then the beginning and fill in the middle. (Yeah I’m weird.) So I went home and just started writing to see if I even had a story in me…and I couldn’t stop. I wrote through he night, and all weekend long. By the time I took a break I had almost written half of the book. This is the only book I didn’t have to re-write or revise. It was trapped deep down and apparently ready to be freed. I cried more while writing this story than I have probably ever cried in my life. But it was also the most cathartic thing I‘ve ever done.

This story isn’t my own, but the feelings are completely mine. The pain, fears and passion is all mine even though the story belongs to Barrett alone.

 

Silent Song by Jaci Wheeler is available on Amazon today.

 

 

 

Oh, yeah — it’s the holiday season!

Since the third week of October, we’ve been in a bit of a tizzy due to my mom breaking her leg, meaning that we’ve been doing a lot of elder care. Then, add in the incredible excitement of That One Small Omission being published, and doing the final editing and proofing of The Phone Call, and I have to admit that my brain has been family and writing focused only.

So suddenly today, I realized that in the midst of all the craziness, we’d basically forgotten Halloween, and Thanksgiving was a lot of running between households taking care of loved ones. I hadn’t really even thought of the fact that Christmas is right around the corner. I guess now that our children are basically grown, I don’t look at the holidays quite the same was as years ago. But, today our grandchildren came over for a hike and lunch, and I got out holiday dinner napkins I made more than twenty-five years ago when our kids were little, and gave our oldest granddaughter, three years old, the one with teddy bears wearing Santa hats and dancing around Christmas trees. Her excitement looking at the napkin suddenly made me remember the joy, love and excitement of the season. So, tomorrow I will start getting decorations out!