Monthly Archives: June 2015

Daughters and Their Mothers – Riverton Road Monday

Mother-Daughter Split imageA Year of Summer Shadows is the second story in my current romantic suspense novel series and it is a hotbed of daughter-mother contention. As follows.

I’m Hailey. My mother is Annemarie Lambert and she’s a stranger to me. I was my father’s girl until he died and left me to watch my mother falter and stumble in a daze from one foolish choice to the next.

Too many of those bad choices involved men. A string of them – each more useless than the last. We live in a small town called Riverton. Everybody saw my mother’s behavior and gossiped about her in hushed tones. I heard them anyway and felt ashamed.

She still lives in our old house on Academy Avenue which has deteriorated along with my mother since Dad died. I go there as little as possible and try to live my life in an upstanding and responsible way so I may never be mistaken for Annemarie.

I’m Julia. My mother is Virginia Hargate and I wish I could get free of her. She’s loomed over me for as long as I can remember and dictates every moment of my life according to what she thinks I should be. She even took my best friend Hailey from me when I most needed her.

My father was an important man in Riverton but he was a busy man too and hardly ever anywhere but his office. So I rattled around alone in our huge house on Blakely Street doing my best to keep out of range of the sound of Virginia’s harping voice.

She wants more than anything for me to be a lady the way she sees herself to be. Admired and envied. Perfect in every way. Her desire for that has given me my revenge. I’ve made myself into the opposite of a lady. I’m neither admired nor envied. I am Virginia’s shame.

I am Angela Kalli. I have four sons but no daughter. I made a special room in our house at on Riverton Road – yellow and pale blue and empty except for the occasional guest. I go there when my husband Gus is away and daydream about the little girl who might have grown up here.

These are the daughters and mothers of A Year of Summer Shadows at the beginning of my story. Will they be changed at the end? We will simply have to read and see.

 RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Launched with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel. I am its mother and it is my daughter. We had a contentious relationship but now we’ve reconciled. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

How I Marketed My New Book – Ask Alice Saturday

Question: How did you go about promoting your new book?

Answer: I developed a Modulated Marketing Plan. I’ll share it with you?

Shout Out imageFirst I established a couple of basic principles. I discovered they are basic with me anyway. Maybe they’ll feel basic for you too.

Do what you’re most comfortable with at the beginning when you’re searching for your rhythm and your groove. Accelerate at your own pace after that. Don’t ever panic. This is three principles rather than a couple – the trio I kept in my consciousness all the way through.

What was most comfortable for me was to write blog pieces. I learned the art of the brief blog entry when I was down-for-the-count for a while with cancer and drugs had shortened my attention span. An editor friend taught me to write short and my blogging career was born.

More recently a well-organized friend got me on a three-posts-a-week schedule. This is Ask Alice Saturday of that schedule. I’m comfortable here so I created Riverton Road Monday too – named after my series – and the first phase of my marketing plan fell easily into place.

Meanwhile the initial step of accelerating at my own pace was to look at what I was already doing that had a marketing angle. For example – what was I doing on social media?

My granddaughter put me on Facebook in the same bedridden period I mention above. I wanted to keep in touch – especially with other writers. Facebook was a comfort zone that turned into a visibility place for me and my books. Though I learned early not to direct market much.

Twitter was another thing entirely. All those postoids streaming past bewildered me until a writer friend turned my on to TweetDeck. Suddenly the incomprehensible stream sorted itelf into manageable lists. I love Twitter now. Though I keep direct marketing at a minimum there too.

Let me speak about indirect marketing. What you’re selling/branding on these media is you. I try to be my best authentic self. My most positive me. If people are attracted to that person – maybe they’ll also want to read my books. Which I do market more directly for a bit at launch time.

Next I got a new website. My old one was about me in a former incarnation. This one is about me in my new incarnation – as a full-time writer. I hired good help and found a visual image I felt represented who I am now. You can check out the results at www.aliceorrbooks.com.

A newsletter is the latest step in my modulated plan. Research told me I like the Debbie Macomber model. Personable. Low-keyed. Not very sexual. The first issue comes out next week. Go to my website address above and sign up if you’d like to see my newsletter too. You could win a replica of my favorite coffee mug in my first-ever giveaway. “Have a Cuppa with Alice.”

This plus some Guest Blogging is most of my marketing so far. A media savvy friend says YouTube is next. That makes me shiver in my summer sandals. But the third principle of my modulated plan is never to panic. Let’s just say I need to work on that one.

RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2 – officially launches THIS COMING MONDAY – JUNE 22nd! At http://www.amazon.com /dp/B00ZBOTH5O and lots of other places. This is my 13th novel and I thank heaven for my Modulated Marketing Plan. Feel free to make it your plan too – adapted to the comfort level and pace that’s right for you. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

 

 

Your Place of Maximum Possibility – Orr What? Wednesday

Sky's the Limit imageMy grandmother used to say “Always put your best foot forward.” She could have been speaking to anyone who hopes to be published today. I’m speaking to that very audience and as Grandma’s good girl I say “Always approach publishing from your place of maximum possibility.”

“Where is that place?” you might ask. Your maximum possibility resides in three venues. Today I address the first and what I consider the foremost of those – your writing work. I’ll get to the other two later.

To be in your place of maximum possibility for finding a traditional publisher or a readership as an independent publisher – you must write the very best work you have in you. The very best novel. The very best memoir. The very best nonfiction book. The very best story or article. That YOU have in YOU.

Anything less than your very best won’t be good enough to get you where you want to go in this extremely competitive media environment. On the traditional side agents and editors have piles of pages and a plenitude of digital submissions to select from when it comes to what they will represent or acquire.

“Choose me. Choose me” every eager writer cries. Your voices and mine are among them.

On the independent side readers have a multitude of eBooks and even indie published print books to choose from. We talk a lot about discoverability in the indie community. Those conversations have lurking beneath them our own cries of “Choose me. Choose me” as well.

Whatever your publishing medium choice may be the central question is the same. How do I emerge as one of the chosen? You write something absolutely bang-on terrific. That’s how.

You do that by getting your writer self into study mode. Study authors who are doing it right already. Study books on writing craft that can help you hone your own. Grab most tightly onto the tomes with lots of hands-on exercises. Do those exercises with your current writing project in mind. Because you must take what you learn and practice – practice – practice.

This also means going back to school. Find a writing course taught by somebody who truly knows how to teach. Listen to the jungle drums of student comment to know who that good teacher is. Then don’t miss a single class or blow off a single assignment. Take criticism with gratitude and run with it straight to the best writing you have in you.

Polish your writing until it’s a brilliant gem that will shine like a beacon to light your way from here. Because as you hold this writing gem in your hand and heart – you’ve reached the first great milestone without which the rest of your author aspirations cannot happen. You and your very best work have entered your own Personal Place of Maximum Possibility. And Grandma is really proud of you as am I.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Officially launches with summer on June 22nd but is already available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. This is my 13th novel and I wrote it from my place of maximum possibility. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

 

 

 

 

I Can Go Home Again – Riverton Road Monday

Alice at SRWA Workshop - August 1994I was in Saratoga Springs this past weekend. More specifically I was in the North Country where I grew up and where I’ve set my first romantic suspense novel series. I’ve been writing this series for months now but I haven’t been back north physically or geographically or emotionally in quite some time.

Those trips I did make were mostly to campuses and groups of other writers from other locales. Or I’d be staying with somebody I’d known a long time. Actually visiting the small town of my friend’s individual life – more than I was visiting the landscape surrounding that life or the general presence of the people who live there and make it what it is.

This trip was different. I was generously hosted by Joyce – a lovely lady I’d previously met but didn’t know well. Staying at her comfortable home gave me distance from the intense personal involvement and long-shared personal history that usually accompany my North Country jaunts.

Yet there we were – Joyce and I – in her kitchen until almost 1 a.m. talking about some very personal details of our very personal lives. That’s pretty much characteristic behavior in our pocket of the northeast. We cleave fairly close fairly fast and – on short acquaintance – trust each other with intimate details of our lives. At least we women do.

Even beyond that delightful person-to-person sharing the trip was an extraordinary experience. Despite the brevity of my time back home I remembered – both on the surface and deep down – what it feels like to be where I was born and raised. Where I became so much of what constitutes the human being I am.

Then all of a sudden I was in the middle of a group of authors who are another deep part of back home for me.  We share a passion for writing but much more than that. They come from where I come from. Most of us grew up there. We know the weather and the character of the place and the character of each other.

That afternoon I remembered how I feel a certain amount more at ease among people I share so much with underneath whatever surface differences there may be in our individual lives. I also remembered how much I like the people I come from. How much I in fact love them.

I’ve been a lot of places since I was last really back home. This past weekend brought me out of that away-ness and those other places just long enough and profoundly enough for me to feel all the way inside the North Country again.

I can’t tell you how much all of this means to me on several levels that run straight to the center of my heart. Except I guess I have just told you. I re-read this post and find myself stumbling around my mind in search of a way to bring you inside with me. Inside my Riverton stories which are the subject of these Monday meanderings.

Of course Riverton is back home and this past weekend I discovered I truly can go home again. Not only in the pages of my stories but on an Amtrak train as well. Up the gorgeous Hudson River at sunset to a place where when I’m bound to go there – gracious and giving North Country folk are bound to take me in.

Special thanks to Sally Booth and Saratoga Romance Writers – SRWA – for our years together. That’s us in the photo in 1994. Thanks for this past weekend too. I hope I can keep coming up with pretexts to travel north and regale you with what’s on my mind at the time until you’re terminally sick of me. May that malady not afflict you any time soon.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Officially launches with summer on June 22nd but is already available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. This is my 13th novel and it’s all North Country all the time. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

How to Knock Their Socks Off on Page One – Ask Alice Saturday

Socks Knocked Off imageQuestion: How do I write an opening that knocks their socks off?

Answer: Let’s talk about openings that keep the footwear solidly in place.

This is my second “Ask Alice Saturday” post about story openings. This should tell you how critical I believe they are. This is also “Ask Alice Saturday” happening on Friday because I’m on the road tomorrow debuting a new workshop called WE’VE GOT THE POWER: How Choice Changes Everything about Publishing Today. Wouldn’t it be great to see you there?

Back to story openings. First there’s the nineteenth century standby – the weather. Contemporary writers too often forget what millennium we’re in and default to this outdated opener. As a general rule weather is a non-starter start – a wheel spinner – a bore.

UNLESS – the weather is actually foreshadowing. A haunting hint at what’s to come that sets the reader on edge. OR – a blatant contrast with what’s to come that sets the reader up to be shocked and surprised. In each of these cases there’s a plot purpose for the meteorological beginning. Otherwise it’s just – ho hum – the weather.

Ho hum no-no number two. Transportation scenes. On a plane or in a car are the transportation alternatives most popular with writers. Unfortunately cars and planes are confined spaces. This dooms your opening scene to a static bit of non-business. Talk talk talk and little action.

UNLESS – the vehicle is involved in a chase. OR – is about to crash. OR – is being hijacked. OR – is the setting of a truly traumatic character interaction. All of these are high tension situations that serve the purposes of a taut story line.

A high tension situation gives your story and your reader a slam bang start. Slam bang is the pace to pursue when crafting the opener for any piece of writing – fiction or nonfiction. Start slam-bang into the middle of things where the action is for fiction. Start slam-bang into a high interest anecdote for nonfiction.

Don’t ease us in. Drop us in. Straight to the thick of things before we have a chance to get away. Or put the book back on the bookstore shelf. Or stick the magazine back on the newsstand rack. Or switch the device to a different screen. Hook us into intensity before we can make any of those dismissive moves.

Do this and we’ll be hanging on your every word and hungry for more. Plus we won’t want to walk away and leave our knocked-off socks behind.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Launches with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and by the end of the Prologue you just might be barefoot. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

 

Make a Plan – Hear God Laugh – Orr What? Wednesday

 

God Laughs image“If you want to hear God laugh – make a plan.” I’ve heard that so often because I say it so often. Too bad I apparently didn’t listen to myself saying it. I went made a plan for launching my next book. A well thought out and specific plan – maybe even foolproof – or so I believed.

I alerted everybody. The wonderful women at The Killion Group Inc. who design my covers and format my books and get them into print. My website developer who is also at Killion. My brand new newsletter designer. And of course my controlling self.

“Let’s all be on the same page.” That was the message. We’d be coordinated and ready on the same day – Monday June 22nd  – absolutely not a minute before. I sincerely believed I could make that happen just because I said it would happen. Has anybody ever heard of Hubris?

I happened to be on line last week at the amazon.com site and there it was. The print paperback version of A Year of Summer Shadows. It’s been there since April. You can see for yourself at http://amazon.com/author/aliceorr. Not supposed to be there but it is.

What the hey! I say. The closest I was allowed to cussing back in the North Country when I was a kid growing up where my story’s also set. Let’s put out the eBook early too. Except – at last sighting – amazon had missed my memo. Print book and eBook aren’t on the same page.

I hear laughter. I can’t tell if it’s on high or only inside my head. I made a plan. I convinced myself it would work. Most foolish of all – I believed it made a difference. I forgot that when it comes to writing stories and putting them out into the world only one thing matters.

“You find your readers one person at a time.”

Remembering that jolted me to my senses. For one thing the words strike me as absolutely true. For another thing they prompt me to ask myself how we do that. How do we attract readers one at a time?

The only conclusion I can come up with is this. We must each turn the question toward ourselves individually. “How do I do that? How do I find my readers one at a time?” Which prompts other questions also.

#1. What is the special gift I have to offer others – one potential reader at a time?

Maybe it’s humor. Maybe it’s expertise and insights. Maybe it’s simply telling a damned good story. We must open our kitbags and examine the contents closely. What is in there that others might need? What is in there that others might want? Then we must resolve to give it away.

#2. What access can I create for giving my gift away – one potential reader at a time?

When searching for resources – we must first step outside our own front door and look up and down the street. Start local. Cultivate that ground. Plow on from there. Our own front door being any repository of information about people we actually know – or almost know – firsthand.

#3. What if someone says this is too slow to go – one potential reader at a time?

Personally I do my best every day to fight back that fear. Because I know full well in this internet place I am a single voice among a thundering avalanche of voices. But as a giver of my gifts to each single soul I am singular as well – as are you. And that single number counts.

So we keep on Facebooking and Tweeting and Uploading and all the rest. We keep on making plans. Maybe God is laughing but I believe that laugh has an affectionate ring. Meanwhile – down here in this crowded world – we would do well to keep in mind and heart the best plan of all. To have some fun as we reach out toward one reader – one person – at a time.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Launches with summer on June 22nd – or whenever – at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and while God may be laughing I can’t help but smile. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

A Year of Summer Shadows – Riverton Road Monday

 

A DELETED SCENE

A Year of Summer Shadows - Final Cover -JPG file smallThe memory rush didn’t happen immediately.  Todd unlocked the door while Hailey stood behind him on the wide veranda.  He swore softly as he fumbled with the key.  He’d had some trouble getting it in the hole, and when he did the key wouldn’t turn.  She wondered if he might have had a drink or two earlier, before the club.  She took a step backward and pretended to look out over the vast lawn toward the street.  She didn’t want him to know she’d observed his fumbling.  She was that careful of people’s feelings, at least some people’s feelings.

He turned and looked at her, a fleeting glance in the dim light from the carriage lamp wall fixtures on either side of the double, glass-paned door.  Each of the two panes was etched in a smoky pattern of scroll shapes around an M for Massey in script at the center of the design.  Hailey didn’t so much see as remember that monogram in the dim light, but she could see the expression on Todd’s face.  His eyes were uneasy and his smile unnatural, as if to convey that everything was all right while he felt anything but.  Hailey understood then that his problems with the key had nothing to do with how much he’d had to drink.  Todd was nervous.

She wondered if he might be thinking about how she’d never been invited to this house when she was growing up in Riverton.  She and Todd had gone through junior and senior high school together.  He and his family gave lots of parties in that time, but Hailey hadn’t been on the guest list for any of them.  She wasn’t the sort the Masseys wanted in their circle, not back then anyway.  She felt a stir of anger, not untinged by triumph as he finally succeeded with the key.  She was here now, wasn’t she?  If there was ever to be a concrete Riverton affirmation of her current status as a successful woman, a hometown nobody who made good, standing here on this veranda just might be one.  Walking over the thres­hold into the Massey house was another.

She had actually been here once before, but that didn’t count because she was only tagging along with Julia at the time.  Her mother Virginia had insisted on it as one of her very occasional attempts to make a silk purse out of Hailey’s sow’s ear.  The evening didn’t turn out well, but the full picture of its disas­ter didn’t become a visual recollection until Hailey was inside the house and Todd had switched on the lights.  They were standing at the top of the two carpeted oak steps that led down into the gra­cious living room.

Hailey didn’t remember this room at all.  She’d been a junior in high school at the time of her one previ­ous visit.  She imagined the place had been redecorated since then, maybe more than once.  Mrs. Massey had always been known for her exquisite home.  She was most likely the type who updated that exquisiteness, and added a notch to her reputa­tion as a decorator, regularly.  What Hailey guessed to be an Aubusson carpet on the living room floor attested to that reputation being well de­served.

Hailey turned away, partly to squelch the distaste she generally felt in reaction to shows of wealth.  That was when she saw the staircase and the memory picture came.  She’d brought her friend Lucy with her that one other time she was here.  Hailey had understood she was the poor friend Julia had been forced to drag along to the Massey party. Hailey would be on her own once they got here.  The thought of that had terrified her.  What if nobody spoke to her?  That was entirely possible among the snobby types Todd and Julia hung out with.  Hailey knew how humiliating such a snub would be.  Her solution was to bring Lucy.

Even at the time, Hailey wasn’t sure why she’d picked Lucy for that honor.  Maybe because Lucy would jump at the chance to rub shoulders with Todd and his rich friends.  Hailey had been right about that. Lucy was in her glory, or so she thought.  She’d come dressed in her version of high style – a low-necked, tight-bodiced, short-skirted dress and too-high heels.  Her toothy smile clearly signaled that she was ready to make that shoulder-rubbing quite literal with whatever guy might indicate an interest.

Hailey only half-noticed Lucy’s mention that she was going upstairs to “powder her nose” before she’d hip-swayed off and Hailey suddenly realized she was alone.  Just as she’d feared, nobody spoke to her.  Nobody seemed to notice she was there.  Julia had long since disappeared into a crowd of her cronies.  By the time Lucy started back down the staircase from the second floor powder room, Hailey was anxiously awaiting her return.  She smiled upward at Lucy whose own smile swept the room in accompaniment to what she obviously intended as a grand entrance.

Lucy’s smile faded only a little when the slip first happened, and a slip was what it had to be.  If she’d caught her heel in the stair runner, she would have pitched forward.  Instead, she went down backward, onto her rump, but she didn’t stop there.  She continued to slide down the stairs, from one to the next in a bouncing motion, all the way to the bottom.  Hailey should proba­bly have run to the rescue, but she didn’t.  All she could think of at the time was how much she hoped no one would remember she’d come to the party and how much more likely it was that they’d never forget.

RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story – Launches with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel. When you read it see if you can figure out why this scene didn’t make the cut. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

How to Be a Pantster – Ask Alice Saturday

Flying Woman imageQuestion: Are you a Planner or a Pantster?

 Answer: Back when I was first a book editor then a literary agent and still a publishing author I was a Planner big time. I even wrote an article called “The Painless Synopsis” for Writers Digest Magazine. I was devoted to planning my stories in detail up-front. I had to do that because my writing life was regularly interrupted by my day job.

My workday mind had to be deep into agent tasks. I needed a synopsis to keep track of my story as I dragged my head back and forth between my agent brain and my writer brain. My guess is that most people juggling a full-time job with a writing regimen need to do the same.

Now that I’m a full-time writer I can indulge myself with the joy of making it up as I go along. Because I write Romantic Suspense I start out with three characters – a murder victim, a heroine and a hero. I also know the conflict that motivated the killing and at least a little about how the heroine and hero fall onto opposite sides of that conflict.

I also try to have an idea how the story ends – who committed the murder. But I’ve written two books this way so far and by the end of both of them the identity of the killer had changed and the stories were better for it. I now understand that I shouldn’t cast the ending in stone up-front. It’s better to leave room for my imagination to find its way.

Kurt Vonnegut compares this approach to driving at night. You can see as far as the headlight beams allow you to see. A former client of mine Jo Beverley calls it “Flying into the Mist.” I call it fun.

I’m playing with my story and my story is playing with me. I can afford the luxury of this playfulness because my head is pretty much always in the story. I no longer have to interrupt the flow to bury my gray cells in my day job.

In my case at least the choice between Planner and Pantster couldn’t always be about preference. It had to be about my circumstances. Like so many of us – I did what I had to do. I feel blessed that what I have to do now is have a storytelling good time.

RR

My current novel is A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #1 – available at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – launches with summer on June 22nd. These are my 12th and 13th novels and both were Pantster born and brought to life. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

How Far You Can Go – A Writer’s Business Plan Step 3 – Orr What Wednesday

Road Runner imageRefresher Course. A Writer’s Business Plan Step 1 – Work Your Butt Off. I told you about a high time I had with a long table full of clients back in my agent days. High in every respect because we were in a revolving restaurant at the top of a fancy hotel. And I got there by working my butt off.

Refresher Continued. A Writer’s Business Plan Step 2 – Do Everything Right. I told you about doing something crucial very wrong – my first lunch with an editor. Thank heaven she was a compassionate soul or I’d have made an even bigger fool of myself than I did. BUT I never let myself play the fool again.

Now we’re at Step 3. Which takes me back to the beginning when I had the wild idea to become a literary agent – my previous profession before becoming a full-time writer. Please forgive me if I digress to tell you where that brainstorm bright light epiphany idea came from.

I’d been enjoying a good run as an in-house book editor. I edited mystery novels – intense and demanding – no loose ends allowed. And Regency Romance novels – fun fun and more fun. So I had a good work balance going. Except for one thing. I was employed as an editor but I had the soul of a writer.

An editor’s job is to serve the interests of the publisher she works for. High – perhaps highest – among those interests is contract negotiation. The editor is supposed to get the writer to sign on the line for the least money and the most punitive terms possible. Sorry if that offends anyone. I don’t edit or write for a publishing house any more so I can be straight-from-the-hip all the way.

My main personal problem as an editor was my gift for contract negotiation. For some reason – probably my genetic gift of gab – I could whittle authors and their agents down down and down some more. But I didn’t like myself for doing it. So I decided to switch teams and use my negotiating skills on behalf of writers instead.

Then somebody told me I needed a Business Plan. “Why do I need a business plan?” I asked. “In case you have to go to the bank for a business loan,” was the answer. I couldn’t imagine wanting to deal with a bank that would trust me with their money at that tenuous point in my agent life. But I worried myself over the plan thing anyway.

I bought books at my favorite indie store – long-since gone. I researched in the library. This was back when we still did that. I checked out the internet too. What I found were basically templates and templates didn’t say much to me about what I wanted to accomplish in my career.

The truth was – at that point – I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to accomplish in my career. That lack of knowledge became the saving and the making of me as a businesswoman. I didn’t lock myself into specifics because I had no idea what they should be.

A single sentence popped into my head. “Let’s see how far I can go.” I wrote it on a sheet of paper and hung it on my office wall. That sentence turned out to be the brainstorm bright light epiphany I needed because it made all of what came afterward an adventure.

Granted I worked my butt off and enjoyed the successes and hotel-top parties that brought me. I also did my best to do everything right and when I fell sort I learned and changed tactics. The same way I changed tactics after my editor lunch debacle. Beyond that I kept the future open and my Velcro grasp at the ready to latch onto every opportunity that came my way.

Plus – I kept on keeping on in the direction of how far I could go at the fastest pace I could manage. Because – like the Road Runner – I know that Wile E. Coyote is back there. And even though he may not be so wily – coyotes have teeth.

I leap into my new adventure as a full-time writer with all of that in mind. If you asked me what you should do I’d advise the same. Let’s all of us simply See How Far We Can Go. My experience tells me we’ll be in for a happy surprise.

RR

My current novel is A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #1 – available at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – launches with summer on June 22nd. as my 13th novel.  Let’s see how far it can go. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Giving Thanks – Riverton Road Monday

Thank You imageA Year of Summer Shadows is the second story in my romantic suspense novel series set in a town I call Riverton that is reminiscent of North Country New York State where I grew up. We didn’t have murders at every turn like you find in my stories but we did have warmhearted people. I thank those people for giving me a strong start in life as both a storyteller and a person. Thank you Homies.

A very special thing happened to me during the writing of this book. My husband Jonathan Orr became my editor again as he was with my former novels before the hiatus preceding this series. We worked together well back then and we’re repeating that now. Our new partnership is a gift I didn’t expect and I’m extremely grateful for it. Thank you my beloved Jonathan.

I once again acknowledge Kristen Lamb author of the wonderful book The Rise of the Machines. This time because her blog writings got me to step all the way into the Twitter river at last instead of timidly dipping my toes there. She’s the social media maven we all need to follow. Thank you Kristen.

I don’t have to look further than my local RWA Chapter to find another media maven – one of the best – Maria Ferrer. She guides RWA/NYC and she has guided me with a marketing mind like few others I’ve seen. One Idea After Another – that’s the pace at which she thinks and her generosity with those ideas has helped me more than I can say. Thank you Maria.

I also repeat my thanks to the amazing writers of selfpublish@yahoogroups.com. They continue to offer all of us the benefit of their experience every day. Plus another yahoo group I’ve discovered more recently – mfrw@yahoogroups.com. The initials stand for Marketing for Romance Writers and that’s what they help us do. They’re surely helping me. Thank you generous writer friends.

And what would I do without the topnotch professional look of my books? The Killion Group Inc gives me exactly the covers I envision from multi-talented Kim Killion herself. Not to mention hassle-free formatting and uploading and just enough hand-holding from Jennifer Jakes. As if those weren’t blessings enough – Killion’s Shawntelle Madison makes my website what it needs to be. You can actually follow me now at www.aliceorrbooks.com. Thank you Killion.

My cup also runneth over and always has from the writers’ community that embraces me despite my history of consorting on the other side of the desk for a while as an editor and agent. My writing buddies at RWA/NYC are especially supportive along with the other RWA chapters that invite me to present workshops for them. Thank you romance writers.

Nor can I forget the International Women’s Writing Guild and its members who enrich my life in so many ways. As do my other writer friends – including the members of Liberty States Fiction Writers – and my civilian friends as well. Thank you all.

Leaving the best for almost last I begin always with my grandma Alice Jane Rowland Boudiette who has left this earth but not my heart. My daughter Kathleen Zea and son-in-law Luis Zea. My son Ed Vesneske and daughter-in-law Deborah Edison Vesneske. My grandchildren Maya and Julian Vesneske. Thank you my beloved family.

Finally I thank my God and the faith she inspires in me. It takes a village to create my Riverton and she dwells on every block and every page. I would be nothing and nowhere without her. Amen.

RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story – Launches with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. The paperback is already available at www.amazon.com under Alice Orr. This is my 13th novel and I’ve had a world of help to be thankful for with every single one. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.