Lets take a moment to welcome Cindy McDonald, author of Hot Coco, to our blog, The Writing World. Thank you Cindy for giving a bit of your time to share some of your thoughts.
At the end of Cindy's post, you will find my review on her book, Hot Coco. Over to you... Cindy.....
At last! At last! I’ve finished my manuscript! Ahhh, after months of writing, rewriting, thinking, and yes banging my head off my desk—HOT COCO is complete. She’s got it all: beauty to equal any Playboy centerfold, sensuality that will set the room aflame—unfortunately for Mike West it ends up being the kitchen. Yessiree Bob, Coco has turned out to be everything, and more. I can upload it to my editor right away, right? Whoa, not so fast—not for me anyway, this is where patience must persevere, and sometimes that’s a mighty big order.
Okay, take a deep breath, because its time for the marinating process to begin. Yep, that’s what I said “marinate”. You’re probably wondering if I’ve hit my head off the desk one too many times, not really. When I’ve finished a manuscript I do the same thing most authors do—I start over from the beginning and read, tweak, read, tweak, and then read and tweak some more. And after I’ve gone through this procedure several times, I close the file and let it marinate. I let the file sit for up to six weeks without opening it, without re-reading or tweaking it. But I never stop thinking about it. I keep a notepad close by and jot down thoughts during those six weeks that the manuscript is becoming juicy and succulent. It is definitely an exercise in fortitude, but hey, ya know what? It always pays off in a very big way because when I open the file to re-visit the story, I’m reading it with fresh eyes and fresh thoughts and the results are always well, fresh.
Hurrying my manuscript is never an option for me. I wanted to make sure that HOT COCO was a story that my readers would not be able to put down. HOT COCO would make them smile and laugh and as the plot unfolds, it will employ the reader to contemplate the metamorphosis that the characters are experiencing before their eyes. This isn’t just a story about a beautiful klutzy blonde, goodness no! It goes much deeper than that. Read closely. This is an expedition where the characters find out who they want to be, where they want to go, and how much forgiveness it requires of themselves and others to reach their destination.
Every author has their writing rituals, for me it is contemplation. Beyond marinating my manuscripts, I usually take short breaks during the writing of a book as well. Sometimes I will walk away from a manuscript for a week or so. If I find that I am becoming frustrated with my story, I know that it is time to take off my glasses, turn off the computer, and go for a walk or take my dog, Harvey, for a nice long run. The sunshine clears my head and it feels good to stretch my legs for a while—I was a professional dancer for twenty-six years, I need to move around a bit! But, if I return to the problem pages and nothing has been resolved, then its time for a break from Unbridled. Honestly, it doesn’t take long until I’m missing my characters and I’m back in the saddle, tapping at the keyboard once again.
Yes, it’s true, marinating and contemplation is a long process, however I am so very pleased with HOT COCO, and I’m certain that you will be too.
You don’t have to be an author to slow down the process on an important project that you’re working on. What do you think that you could “marinate” to get a better result?
Book reviewers: If you would like to read and review DEADLY.COM or HOT COCO, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot Coco by Cindy McDonald is a pleasant read for those who like to laugh mixed in with a bit of romance. The characters are loveable and easy to fall for. I loved how the Pittsburgh Steelers was mentioned several times within this book as well as some places around my home which pulled me in even more. I loved the horse farm setting with the cowboys. I love Coco and her klutzy character and I felt for Margie. By the end of this novel, each character felt real and this is why I enjoyed this book so much.
I give this novel 5 ***** stars.