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TURNABOUT’S FAIR PLAY–More Questions Answered

Saturday, October 29, 2011

As promised, I’m back today to continue answering questions, as well as to give you one more chance to earn entries in the TFP contest. But I just want to share this first . . . my ninth four-star review from Romantic Times magazine:

Dacus brings a sense of humor to her story, which makes the characters come alive. The relationship between Jamie and Flannery seems realistic and develops at a natural pace. The characters from the previous Matchmaker books weave their way into chapters. Although this book is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. All in all, this is a lighthearted, easy read.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

      Lady DragonKeeper wrote: “. . .how about a reflection on your thoughts about the Matchmakers trilogy (now that they’re all published)? Are they your favorite works so far? Is there anything that you would change or go back to? What did you love about writing the series? What drove you crazy during the writing process?”

One thing I always tell bloggers who want to start interviewing authors: Never ask an author to pick a favorite from everything she’s written. It’s impossible. It would be like asking Michelle Duggar which of her children is her favorite.

That said, I have posted previously that Flannery and Jamie are the most fun couple I’ve written to date. Writing the Matchmakers series was a much different experience than either the Bonneterre or Ransome series. In both of those series, I had all the time in the world to get the first books (Stand-In Groom and Ransome’s Honor) written—three years for SIG from first words written to “final” draft of it for my master’s thesis/what I submitted to Chip MacGregor (my agent) and Rebecca Germany (the senior editor at Barbour) and two-and-a-half to three years for Ransome’s Honor. I lived with the ideas and the characters for several years before writing the second and third books in each series. With the Matchmakers books, though, I only had a few months from the time the proposal sold until I had to start writing Love Remains. And though I’d written a previous but different version of LR as my third finished manuscript in 2003, I very soon set it aside and didn’t think much about it again because I’d come up with the idea for SIG. And I ended up not being able to use anything but one (heavily edited) scene from the original draft of LR anyway. I didn’t know Zarah, Bobby, Caylor, Dylan, Flannery, and Jamie the way I knew Major, Meredith, and Forbes before I started writing their books (Alaine was somewhat of an unknown quantity for me when I started writing A Case for Love because she was an outsider to the Guidry family). In the Ransome series, I stayed with the same characters for three books, with only a few additions and one deletion. But with The Matchmakers, each book was an almost entirely new cast of characters, so that was a bit more of a challenge to me.

What did I love about writing the series . . . learning more about my hometown through my characters’ movements around Nashville; incorporating the viewpoints of the senior adults; exploring different relationship dynamics between children and parents, grandchildren and grandparents, girlfriends, older women and younger men, women far ahead of men in their careers; how consequences from choices and mistakes from the past must be dealt with in the present and how those affect romantic entanglements; and, finally, just seeing how much fun I could have with my characters.

What drove me crazy? Not having enough time with each of the books. I had from December 1, 2009 (the day I turned in Ransome’s Crossing) to February 1, 2010, to write Love Remains (I finished writing it and turned it in on March 6, 2010); I had from August 3, 2010 (the day I turned in Ransome’s Quest) to October 15, 2010, to write The Art of Romance (I hadn’t finished it when I broke my ankle on November 4, and with that and the subsequent surgery and recovery, it was January 3, 2011 when I finished it and turned it in—and then, a week or so later, when I got my content edit back, I added almost 10,000 words to it); and I had from then until May 15 to write TFP (the original date was April 1, but I got an extension—and I only missed that deadline by a few hours, e-mailing the manuscript in after midnight, so, technically, I turned it in on May 16, 2011).

      From e-mail: “TFP highlights romances of two generations. Were there differences in writing the romances as a result?”

Life experience played greatly in trying to make sure both of the romance storylines worked—especially the romance between Maureen O’Connor and Kirby McNeill. Both lost the loves of their lives many years ago—but those spouses and the lives Maureen and Kirby shared with them couldn’t just be conveniently forgotten. I have to admit, being single at forty myself, it was fun to imagine what it would be like to fall in love at age eighty-five.

      CarolM wrote: “Then I see the massive piles of clothes I’m supposed to be going through and all I want to do is cry.”

Jamie here . . . Carol, what you need to do is invite your grandmother over. You see, I’ve discovered that when the housework gets to the point at which I don’t want to deal with it, the thing I’ve learned to do is to invite Cookie over. As soon as she sees whatever it is (the overflowing laundry basket in the laundry room, the stacks of books and magazines on the coffee table, the dust on the entertainment center), she can’t help but start cleaning. I tell her over and over she doesn’t have to, but it’s in her nature. 😀

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Really, Jamie? That’s how you treat your grandmother? Just for that, here’s how I’m going to close out the post:

12 Comments
  1. Saturday, October 29, 2011 6:55 am

    Wow, I can’t imagine having to write stories so quickly! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. Saturday, October 29, 2011 7:22 am

    That is unreal! I can’t even fathom having to writing your books that quickly. You are really good at what you do, if you can create such great stories so quickly. I would love to learn more about your writing process!

    Like

  3. Sarah permalink
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 9:15 am

    That’s crazy that you had to write that fast! I would be so stressed out. Thanks for answering all of our questions. Congratulations on the good book reviews.

    Like

  4. Saturday, October 29, 2011 9:34 am

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    JAMIE ANSWERED MY QUESTION!

    Well, it wasn’t really a question. Rather a statement of fact, but still!

    Ah, Jamie. My paternal grandmother is deceased and after my mom died, my dad pretty much cut off contact with my maternal side of the family so I don’t even know for sure if my maternal grandmother is still living.

    Now, my best friend, on the other hand… she might be of some use ;).

    Seriously, most of the clothes are either in drawers, waiting to be put in drawers or put back in the Rubbermaid tubs until it’s time to get out summer clothes come spring.

    What I really need is a housekeeper…

    😉

    Like

  5. Rachel Wilder permalink
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 2:18 pm

    And just how many times an episode does Alex O’Loughlin take his shirt off anyway?

    Like

    • Saturday, October 29, 2011 5:21 pm

      Once is about average, two or three times if we’re lucky. And if it’s a really good night, he’ll get wet, too. 😉

      Like

  6. Lady DragonKeeper permalink
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 3:31 pm

    “Never ask an author to pick a favorite from everything she’s written. It’s impossible. It would be like asking Michelle Duggar which of her children is her favorite.”

    LOLs, good point. 😛

    I like what you said about writing the series –even though I don’t read too much contemporary-set novels, I liked that you took different dynamics not seen a lot in Christian fiction (or at least they were new to me).

    I’m in awe that you were able to finish the Matchmaker books so quickly –I have a new respect for authors who publish multiple books a year …

    Like

  7. Pam K. permalink
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 7:03 pm

    Congratulations on all the four star reviews! I’m looking forward to reading Turnabout’s Fair Play.

    Like

  8. Audry permalink
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 7:35 pm

    What a conniver Jaime is! I hope Flannery knows what she’s getting herself into…

    Like

  9. Saturday, October 29, 2011 9:35 pm

    Oh my gosh…wow! I had no idea that you were writing so fast! That’s crazy. I shouldn’t complain during November then if I really do the NaBloPoMo. I’m sure I won’t write a whole book! 🙂 You definitely have talent, Kaye 🙂

    Like

    • Saturday, October 29, 2011 9:57 pm

      SpringRaine – This is the first time I’ve heard of NaBloPoMo! Thanks for mentioning it! I just signed up :D.

      I’m also doing NaNoWriMo with a goal of an 85K rough draft of the first book in a new series I want to write :). But I also need to get back into blogging. I’ll be preloading some book reviews that I need to get done but also want to try to post something brand new each day so this’ll be good :).

      Thanks!!!!
      Carol

      Like

      • Saturday, October 29, 2011 10:24 pm

        Enjoy! I’d heard of it other years but I’ve never done it. One of my friends wants me to do it with her though soo… it’s going to be challenging. I don’t blog very regularly lately. 🙂

        Like

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