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:~: Sunday, July 19, 2009 :~:

Freebie Day #5 - Guest Author Alice Sharpe!

I'm keeping this widget at the top of every post to remind people to enter. If you've already entered the STOLEN HEAT Contest, scroll down to see today's Freebie Giveaway!

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elisabeth naughton
And now today's Guest Author...Alice Sharpe!

Alice is one of my dearest friends and a phenomenal writer, so I'm thrilled to have her with us today. Alice has published over 40 novels over the past twenty years. Currently, she writes for Harlequin Intrigue and spends her days conjuring up murder and mayhem and creating characters who keep the world safe. Her latest book, AGENT DADDY, hits store shelves in October.

***


Thanks, Eli, for including me as one of your freebie guest authors. I know STOLEN HEAT is going to be a huge success. (You had me the moment I read the first page -- way back when -- and I understood there were going to be Egyptian artifacts involved.) And I'm delighted to offer a free copy of my October Harlequin Intrigue release, AGENT DADDY, to one lucky commenter. AGENT DADDY is the loosely connected sequel to MULTIPLES MYSTERY and follows the character of Faith Bishop as she struggles to reclaim her life (and stay alive!)


WHY I LOVE BEING A WRITER

I suppose it's inevitable in any job to have times of burn-out, stress, dissatisfaction and head pounding doubts. The same is true with writing. Pre published, you have to keep up your enthusiasm in the face of rejection (and this doesn't change even after publishing.) You have to fight your own qualms about the depth and reality of your talent and sometimes those of people close to you who
don't understand the driving need you have to express yourself.

I am currently running behind on a deadline. The book is due in two days and life has intervened to the point where I'll be glad to get it out of the house next week. It's going to be late, my editor understands this, but I hate being late on a deadline I know is tight. And when a deadline is tight for a write I know it's
tight for the publisher, the editors, everyone else connected to your book. As hard as I sometimes find this to believe, I am not the only writer they deal with. So, if I'm late, then my editor can't read my manuscript as scheduled which puts her behind.

That's stressful for me. And at first I thought I would blog about stress for a writer, but then last night as I was sitting on the deck thinking about how to write this blog it also occurred to me how much I love being a writer.

Let me list five ways:

1. Deadlines. Okay, yes, they can suck, but think about it. Having a deadline means you have a contract. It means your book is going to live to see the light of day. It means you've accomplished what you worked hard to accomplish and that you have validation of your skill. Deadlines mean you have arrived. Maybe not at your final destination, maybe not even at the exact place you set off for in the first place, but the next time you have an idea, someone is likely to pay attention. This goes for contest deadlines and queries off to agents and publishers, too. Entering your work for judgement, putting it in front of a reader and waiting to hear how it's received means you're serious about publishing. I don't think anyone who isn't serious about it is going to find it happening any time soon. I.e., you're working toward your goal.

2. My writing friends. I cannot emphasize enough how much they mean to me. They understand the bad times, they share the good times. Their accomplishments spur me on with my own. And what other group of people can you think of who write better emails than a bunch of writers?

3. Ebb and flow. That's what life is: ebb and flow, and a creative life illustrates this better than any other life I can think of. Some of it has to do with working for yourself, but some of it the very nature of creativity. This is what I mean: You work hard on a scene, but suddenly, you're stuck. It's April and the sun is
actually shining, so you wander outside and lay down on the sun warmed wood deck and just soak it up and think about nothing -- and suddenly you aren't stuck. You take a walk and the ideas come, or you take a drive and the plot unfolds like the petals of a flower. You write some more, you wander around the house and yard, you write a little more and gradually, day after day, you create a book with people who matter to each other, real people who face real challenges and here's the kicker -- those people would never exist if you didn't daydream. How cool is that?

4. Self esteem. I like being a writer. I like writing it down under Profession. I like the way the word sounds. I like the way writing makes me feel about myself. Being a writer is part of who I am. If you're reading this blog and visiting Eli's wonderful website, I bet it's part of who you are, too.

5. Making a difference. Yes, I know, I write entertainment fiction. I don't usually tackle huge social issues. But I know through letters of people kind enough to take the time to give me feedback that my stories, my characters, my ideas have touched them in some way. As human beings, we all have the opportunity to make a difference in another human being's life. As a parent, a nurse, a teacher, a taxi cab driver -- we all matter to each other in a wonderful maze-like kaleidoscope. But when you create something -- a painting, music, a book -- you reach people you don't interact with on a personal basis. You help them laugh or feel better or get a few tears out of the way. You get their heart pounding or breaking, you share something of yourself.

I know I've left out many other reasons I love being a writer. I'm hoping you can take a moment and share what you love most about your chosen profession. And thanks for having me, Eli!

To win a copy of AGENT DADDY, simply tell Alice what you love most about your job. And if you don't love your current job, how about telling her about your dream job.

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12Comments:

Blogger Paty Jager said...

Alice, I agree with everything you said. And I like being a writer because of the new and interesting characters I meet. The ones I dream up in my head.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Amy M said...

I do love my job. I kind of have the best of both worlds for me. I have 4 children, three boys ages 10,8 and 5. And one girl who is 3. I work from home part time as an underwriter for a credit union. My daughter has some pretty serious health issues, so after she got sick I was able to work from home. So I get to be a stay at home mom and work a few hours a day too.
Thanks!
Amy M

1:36 PM  
Blogger Genene Valleau said...

Hi, Alice! Hope your laptop is cooperating better today.

I really like your list of why you love being a writer. The ebb and flow one especially appeals to me right now--maybe because the sunny summer days are a wonderful time to slow down and let the creativity flow. Ahh!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Alice Sharpe said...

Hey Paty, good to see you here. And I agree about the people you meet in your head although on occasion, I find them ODD, too. I guess the odder the better, right?

3:45 PM  
Blogger Alice Sharpe said...

Genene -- Mom actually went back to her residence today. She still has a pneumonia in her right lung, but the fever was down and infection tests were good.

You are so right about the ebb and flow thing really showcasing itself in the summer. Between the endless trips to Albany and the continuing 5:30 wake-up calls by the puppy, however, I feel I'm currently ebbing way more than flowing!

Thanks for stopping by.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Alice Sharpe said...

Hey Amy, I love a woman who loves her job!!!! It does sound as though you have the best of both your worlds. Hug to the kids, esp. your little girl.
Thanks for leaving a comment!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Alice, thanks for being here! I love all the reasons you listed. :)

5:21 PM  
Blogger Refhater said...

I'm a secretary at the local hospital's rehab services department. There are several things I love about my job.

The first being that I love that I have the job. Lots of people here in Michigan don't have a job right now. Then I love the people at work. The staff and the patients each bring something interesting to each day. And finally, I love the hours that I work each day. 6AM is early for most, but getting out at 2:30 PM still give me most of the day to get any and everything else I might need to get done done.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Alice Sharpe said...

Can I call you foxy lady? Does that fit your picture? If you aren't a writer, are you a reader of romance?

Meanwhile, having just spent the weekend in the hospital helping my elderly mother with a bout of pneumonia, I have nothing but respect for anyone involved in health care. What a job. And it's not just in Michigan, believe me, that people are learning to appreciate the fact they are working, period.

I would love your hours, too, and if there's one thing about my job I find trying it's the fact the hours never seem to end. They are balanced by the freedom to choose hours that someone with a regular job doesn't have, but sometimes it sucks that the office is always ... well, HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

10:09 PM  
Blogger LORETTA CANTON said...

Well, I am retired which I love. I can do what I want to do. I help out at the food bank every weeki and I belong to a book club that I meet with every week.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Karen H in NC said...

I absolutely love my current position.....I'M RETIRED! Can't get much better than that, right? The job I had just prior to retiring was office manager in a small, family owned business with only 4 people employed, including me. Worked there for five years and loved every minute of it.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Alice Sharpe said...

Loretta -- My husband is retired, too, and he loves it as well. That's great that you help out at the food bank and I bet you have a ball with your weekly book club meetings (Is it just me or can I hear the laughter all the way in Oregon?)

Thanks for leaving a comment.

6:31 AM  

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