Monday, August 20, 2012

Crazy Town, Table for 50 please...

    Welcome to our new visitors from Jordan and Georgia! I hope you find something on the blog you enjoyed and want to visit again.
    It’s official. My poor blog is suffering from deadline neglect. We rolled over the 6000 mark this week folks and I missed it. Can you believe that!!! I can't. I thank you all so much. Without your visits that number wouldn't be possible. To say thank you, I’m hoping this odd post makes up for my lack of blog discipline.
    For those who write, you will understand when I say my characters are constantly chatting away inside my head. Some are kind and wait their turn but others don’t have such good manners. It’s been a busy few weeks in my noodle. I’ve spent half of my work time trying to shut the characters that aren’t on deck up and coax the ones who are onto the pages. Sometimes they win, sometimes I win. Like I said, it’s been busy.
    As the title suggests, I have A LOT of characters to sift through. They are sorted over eight different manuscripts which are in various stages of completion. To give you a better idea (and to relieve some of the pressure they’re putting on me) I agreed to let them ALL visit the blog today since lately I’ve been focused on one particular manuscript. So here goes.
    To set the scene: imagine a living room. This is the place inside my head that my characters reside. It’s a comfortable place with lots of chairs, supple brown carpet and exactly eight mahogany tables. The lights are soft and the walls are painted a soothing caramel. There’s a huge fireplace made of river stones. I’m tired today so the usually roaring fire of my imagination is down to glowing embers. Each table has a lamp with a black number embroidered on the shade. Scattered on the tables are various games; Uno, Boggle, Scrabble, Candy Land and Poker to name a few. There’s everything but Monopoly because K.D. can’t stand the Monopoly. Plus, Book Five’s characters are always fighting over the damn racecar and paper money.
    There are lots of people too. The folks at Table One are really tired because we worked from midnight to six in the morning on their manuscript before starting this post. They’re lounging, eating donuts and waiting for me to stop fiddling with this blog and go to bed.  Everyone else is chatting away. Dear readers, this is your chance to eavesdrop on a very secret place in my head. Enjoy!

(Book One)Hayden: How long is this blog crap going to take?
(Book Six): Shut it Dude! *A cheese puff lands on Hayden’s arm and laughter erupts* You had your turn.
(Book One)Hayden: Real immature Six
(Book Six): We’re a Young Adult novel; it’s sort of a requirement
(Book One)Hayden: Smart mouth
(Book One)Nathan: Where’s Five? Nib owes me twenty bucks from last night’s Poker game.
*From the darkest corner of the room, a lamp snaps on. Eight pairs of slanted eyes focus on Nathan. Black wings uncurl and tentacles shiver when table five’s occupants begin to yawn and stretch.*
(Book Five): Come and take it flesh-bag…if you’re brave enough.
(Book One) Nathan: Hey man … you can give it to me when you can. It’s cool.
*The kids at Table Six snicker and make chicken sounds until those alien eyes turn in their direction*
(Book One)Neely: Thanks for waking them up Nathan. Now K.D. will never fall sleep.
(Book Five): We will do our best to respect our mistress’ slumber today.
KD: Thank you Nib
(Book Five)*He smiles large enough to show the double row of fangs in the back of his mouth* As my mistress wishes.
(Book Four) *props his boots on the table* It’s getting deep in here today.
(Book Five) *Hisses* Four, being shelved has made you abnormally grouchy.
(Book Four) *flips Five off*
(Book Seven) Come on over here with us Nib. We’ll keep you company. *The Chick Lit girls raise their glasses and cackle with laughter* Plus, we have mimosas!
(Book Five)*A feminine tentacle smacks the back of Nib’s head when he starts to stand* I’m afraid I must decline, but thank you for the offer ladies.
(Book One) Nathan: I’ll be over in … I mean … at Seven if y’all need me.
(Book Seven) *Naughty cougar cheer*
KD: Okay guys, it’s time for you to play nice on your own. I’m off to bed.
(Book One) Neely: Thank goodness. Hey, can rest my head on your shoulder Hayden?
KD: Come on Eight, we have a few things to discuss.
(Book Eight) Can I bring my gun?
KD: Of course.

So there you go folks. Hopefully this little peek into a writers mind will help you understand us a little better. Especially when we stare at a wall and say huh when you ask us a question.  
Till then,


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Welcome Joelle Charbonneau to the blog!

    Thanks for visiting the blog! You're in for a special treat. I can honestly say I've met some of the coolest folks since joining the writing community. But there have been a few true standouts too. Today's guest makes me want to squish our home states together just so we can hang out. She is a doll! Please welcome Joelle Charbonneau, a gorgeous, flame-haired songbird and accomplished author. She's hanging out for a bit to tell us about how she began her writing journey and her new book.

KD: Thanks for visiting with us today Joelle. I'm really excited to tell the folks about your new book MURDER FOR CHOIR. But first, tell us what led you the writer’s life?

Joelle: Hi KD.  Thanks so much for asking me to visit!  I’d never dreamed of writing a novel. In fact, my undergrad and graduate degrees (from Millikin and DePaul Universities) are in music and theater.  For years, I performed dinner theater, opera and children’s theater around Chicagoland.  However, I loved to read. Then one night while driving home from a performance I had an idea for the opening line of a book and I started to write. I found my passion for creating characters lived on the page as well as the stage, which was a total surprise to me.  
    I still teach voice lessons and sing for the occasional professional event. But the rest of my time is spent with my husband and son while dreaming up new and interesting stories.

KD: As a former Glee Club member at West Jones High (GO MUSTANGS!)  the title really sparks my curiosity. Tell us a little bit about the book.

Joelle: Murder For Choir is about a classically trained singer waiting for her big break in the opera world.  Since she needs to make ends meet, she takes a job as a high school show choir coach thinking that it shouldn't be too hard to teach a group of teenagers.  Wrong!  The teens want to win competitions this year and they don't think a classically trained singer is what their show choir needs.  To top it off, she stumbles across the dead body of a rival director and her best male singer comes under suspicion for the director's death.  Determined to prove her student's innocence and win over the choir, she starts asking questions and finds her own life in danger.

KD: Congratulations Joelle, MURDER FOR CHOIR sounds like a really exciting mystery. Did the inspiration for the story come from your experiences as a voice coach and singer?

Joelle: Ha!  Yes:)  I know a lot of people think the inspiration was Glee, but I have to admit (and please don't throw tomatoes) that I don't watch Glee.  I keep meaning to, but a four-year-old in the house means I'm mostly watching Blues Clues and Elmo.  However, I am lucky that Glee is so popular because it made using my life experience as a singer, stage performer and voice coach a popular choice among publisher.  The sleuth of MURDER FOR CHOIR, Paige Marshall, is near and dear to my heart because I have felt all the things she is feeling.  I know what it is like to go to audition after audition and get close but not quite make it in the door.  I, like Paige...or she like me, turned to teaching to help the bottom line.  However, I immediately loved teaching and am grateful I still get to do it.  Paige...well, she's still attempting to find the joy in working with ambitious teens.

KD: Paige sounds like a very interesting character indeed. I'm anxious to discover how her character evolves. MURDER FOR CHOIR being the first of the Glee Club books, can you tell us how many adventures there will be for Paige?

Joelle: Good question!  The answer is--I have no idea.  Honest!  I'm not being coy.  Thus far, three books are under contract in the series.  So there will be at least that many opportunities for Paige to get into trouble.  END ME A TENOR will be coming out on April 2, 2013 and the third book will hit shelves sometime early in 2014.  Hopefully, readers will connect with Paige and her supporting cast so I can keep writing this series long into the future.  Trust me, after working as a professional performer for fifteen years, I have lots of material to get my inspiration from.

To reach Joelle, email
On Sundays, Joelle blogs at Do Some Damage
On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, Joelle blogs at the stiletto gang
Joelle’s events are listed on her Facebook page
You can also contact @jcharbonneau on Twitter

Skating Over The Line ~ Out Now! ~ Minotaur Books
Murder For Choir ~ July 3rd ~ Berkley Prime Crime
Skating On The Edge ~ October 2nd ~ Minotaur Books
The Testing ~ Spring 2013 ~ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's