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Monday, June 14, 2010


This post is part of Cindy's Virtual Book Tour, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. By leaving a comment on this post, you will be entered into a random drawing for a signed print copy of her book All the Good Men and a branded "Fiction for the Bad Girl in Every Woman" book bag. Her other tour stops can be found here:

The Pumpkins, the Pumpkins

By Cindy Jacks

My family worries about me when I talk about fictional people as if they really exist. And I won't even go into looks they give me when I say my characters talk to me. I think they've got the funny farm on speed dial in case I start running through the house wearing only a tiara shouting, "The pumpkins, the pumpkins! The pumpkins are after me!" But I assure them, I'm no crazier than any other author--yes, I know, that gives me a lot of wiggle room--and the things that go on in my head are vital to the production of quality work. Hey, don't hate me because the voices like me best...kidding, kidding. But take last night for example.

I went to bed feeling pretty good about myself as a writer. I finally finished a 65K+ novel I've been working on for months. Though I know a first draft is a long way from a finished product, I allowed myself to bask in the glow of the accomplishment. Desire is a tale of the Greek god Bacchus, his fall from grace and return to glory. All deities grow up, all but one. Until now. Bacchus, the god of intoxication and ecstasy, lives an existence that makes Peter Pan's look like that of a middle-aged soccer mom. When the Council of Deities grows tired of his irresponsible ways and strips him of his divine status, he's cast him down as a mortal to the earthly plane. Now, he'll have to mend his immature ways. But even exile doesn't inspire the god to straighten up and fly right until he finds the proper motivation in the form of troubled beauty named Arianna. Bacchus must prove he's up to the task and, in saving Arianna, also save himself.

I drifted off to sleep with that warm, fuzzy feeling only a completed first draft can give. And then the rudest thing happened!

My characters tore me from slumber to start telling me all sorts of things about themselves that I didn't know. What? How could this be? The manuscript took me months to write in the first place because these stubborn characters wouldn't open up. And they pick 2am to get chatty? Begrudgingly, I staggered out to the living room and jotted a few notes in my journal, then stumbled back to bed. But there Bacchus and Arianna were again making suggestions for backstory I could add, popping up in my dreams and opening up to me about the laughter and tears that would round them out with some depth.

About 5 this morning, I gave up on sleeping and pulled out the laptop. Now I have at least another 10k - 15K to write, which on one hand is good. The more layers of personality and meaning I put into the book, the more enjoyable a read it'll be. On the other hand, I want to beat Bacchus and Arianna. I'm serious, WTH? They could've told me all these things months ago when I was begging them to...or at least have waited until a decent time to propel me out of bed. Characters can be so inconsiderate sometimes. I suppose I shouldn't complain. They could've kept mute and left me with a fluffy romantic comedy instead of one with real roadblocks, desires, and insecurities.

So this morning I took Desire out of my finished draft folder and put it back in the WIP file. Speaking of which, I best get back to work while my muse, Brighid, is all hopped up on caffeine. I always say, a muse in the hand is worth two in the bush. Okay, I never say that. Not even sure what the original version of that adage means. Anyhoo, back to the grindstone. Quick, Brighid, before the pumpkins come after us again! Now, where did I put that tiara....?

Prior to becoming a writer of romantic and erotic fiction, Cindy was a 'jacks' of all trades. Besides obtaining a BFA in sculpture, interning as a pastry-chef, and learning the art of furniture restoration, she worked for ten years in the corporate arena, but now happily spends her days as a full time author. Her first published work--"The Point of Distraction Series"--was inspired by a collection of short stories she wrote to entertain her best friend. Since then she's explored her inner bad girl and penchant for love stories by producing books full of humor and packed with real emotion. When not chained to her laptop, she enjoys belly dancing, international cooking, and making jewelry. She and her family call the Washington, DC area home.


Donna said...

I love the premise of your book! It's going to be great!

The pumpkin thing is kind of silly. Everyone knows it's the tomatoes you have to be concerned about. As in 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes", where tomatoes rape and pillage. That still confuses me a bit...

She said...

Good essay. Nothing is worse then trying to sleep but your mind is racing. Desire sounds good but don't let Bacchus lose all his childishness. And don't worry I hear voices, too. ;)

Andrea I said...

It's fascinating to me to hear about your creative muse and how a book comes about.
I'm such a logical person, an accountant and not creative at all.

flchen1 said...

LOL, Cindy! Guess it's hard to control when Ms. Muse might strike and drag you off to have her way with you :) Thanks for sharing about some of the process!

Michele said...

I think my muse is afraid of me. she never wakes me up in the night... when DH does, he get's whomped. I dream, maybe that's her tiptoeing though my mental landmine?
Anyway - great post..but where's the whipped cream? It goes great on pumpkin pie.

Kristin said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE BACCHUS-eh, or I once did before I grew tired of him and moved on, ROFL!!!!
More than loving Desire, I LOVE Cindy Jacks! You are an amazing and talented writer. YOU ROCK!

Cindy Jacks said...

ROFL, Donna! Great, now I'm worried about the box of Campari tomatoes in my fridge. I think one of them was looking at me funny this morning. Thanks for stopping by!

Cindy Jacks said...

It's so great to know I'm not alone losing sleep because of the voice, lol.

Cindy Jacks said...

Hmmm, I suppose accountants aren't encouraged to get creative with the books, Andrea, lol, but there's always your days off to cut loose ;) Great to see you again! It means a lot that you've followed my tour.

Cindy Jacks said...

Thanks, Fedora! It is a pain when my muse wakes me in the middle of the night, but I know if all else fails, I can hang out with my girls at Heat Wave Readers ;)

Cindy Jacks said...

Hey Michele, you are so lucky! Maybe I need to beat my muse into submission. Hmmm...nah...I'd probably lose that battle, lol.

Cindy Jacks said...

Kristin, Bacchus told me to tell you he will always think of you as the one who got away ;) And you know I got nothing but love for you!

Lorrie said...

As I read how your characters interfered with your sleep, and me being a person who needs to sleep to function, I thought maybe you could try crushing a sleeping pill in Bacchus's wine goblet. After all, we all need our rest, even our characters.
A fun read. I enjoyed it.