“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans,” Allen Saunders famously wrote. Resonate for you? It sure describes my last year as an aspiring fiction author!
It was all so simple and straight-forward. I’d adapt my passion project screenplay into a YA novel. While querying agents, I’d work on the prequel. Along the way, I’d nurture the online presence for my pen name, Kady Winter, so that when my first novel came out, I’d have a relationship with readers who might enjoy the book.
Sounds good, right? And everything was going according to plan. I even wrote a short story to give readers a sense of my writing style and genre. (“Silver Moonlight” is available for free at kadywinter.com and Wattpad.) I finished my debut, “Golden Apples,” in late spring 2013. It won a contest and finaled in another. By summer, three agents had requested it. I was well underway with the prequel and the delightful Andrea Whittle had even profiled me on her Penny Dreadful Books and Reviews blog! Whoo hoo!
Then “Life” happened, decided to pull “Golden Apples” from the agents to restructure, ended up writing the first draft of a new novel and its sequel during NaNoWriMo, a 30-day writing challenge held each November. Thus, on December 1st, I found myself the proud author of four incomplete or unedited manuscripts, each one a long way from being ready for others to see, much less agents. Sigh.
But Life’s still grand, and Andrea kindly invited me back to share some more of my journey. Here’s a sneak preview of my N/A historical with paranormal elements, “All That Shimmers.” It’s my NaNoWriMo novel, the first of a series and set in the world established in “Silver Moonlight.”
Working at a ‘grand hotel’ resort while World War I rages overseas, whimsical Vanessa enlists the aid of some enchanting water nymphs in her misguided quest for a rich husband, but does she recognize true wealth when she sees it?
“Last dance!” called the bandleader. Vanessa was glad to see Avery heading in her direction. Her previous partner had been more enthusiastic than skilled, and she looked forward to ending the night on an up note.
Dancing with Avery would be the perfect cap to a delightful evening.
“Save the best for last?” Ned’s breath was warm on the back of her ear, his scent a risqué blend of booze and wintergreen mint.
Her smile was demure as she turned to face him. “If you’re asking me to dance, I’d say that’s exactly what you’ve done.”
He grinned. “Spunky. I like that.”
She took his warm hand as ‘The Missouri Waltz’ began. In moments, his arm was firmly around her back as they glided across the floor together. “I’m Ned Cooper.”
“A relative of Isabel Anderson’s?” he asked. “I believe she’s a Perkins.”
“Anything’s possible,” Vanessa replied with a smile. Who knows, even a famous heiress like her must have distant cousins.