Sunday, July 26, 2015

Author Confession

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
This is Oatmeal. He has trouble finishing what he starts, too.
When people who know me read my Monster Haven books, they laugh and say they hear my voice coming from Zoey. She often says things I would say and in a way I would say them. I laugh and reassure them I am not Zoey.

Now I have a new series out. Wynter says a lot of things I would say, too. I am not Wynter.

But here’s a confession: I was Wynter, not too long ago.

Wynter starts a lot of things—relationships, jobs, craft projects—and she never finishes them. She’s stuck in a life she doesn’t like with no hope of ever changing it because she can’t follow through to change herself.

I never patterned Zoey after anyone but the character I made up in my head. Wynter, however, was born from the memory of what I once was.

Depending on how you count, I’ve been engaged four or five times. I have credits from six different universities, but never finished the degree. (Don’t ask. I moved a lot.) I have bags and bags of half-finished cross stitch, polymer clay, crochet hooks, knitting needles, and yarn.

And up until four years ago, a hard drive full of unfinished short stories and novels.

Despite being, technically, in my senior year, it would take me at least two years full-time to complete a degree at this point. I’ve let it go. I’m 47 and doing what I love. (The P.E. and math classes I still have to take won’t make me a better writer.) My eyes aren’t as sharp as they used to be, so cross stitch is probably done for good. My hands hurt from typing all day, so crochet and knitting attempts are over. I’m married to the man of my dreams, so I won’t hightail it out of here like a runaway bride and restart my entire life—again.

Last week, I published my seventh full-length novel in less than four years. So, no. I am not my character, Wynter. But I was, not so long ago.

And maybe by the time her whole story is told, she will be more like me. After all, aren't we all works in progress?

Unfinished Muse (Mt. Olympus Employment Agency #1)

Wynter Greene is a chronic quitter—in work, in life, and in love. When she quits a job, a boyfriend, and a seemingly minor craft project all in one day, the dormant deity blood in her veins triggers a Welcome Package from the gods. A talking—and singing—houseplant named Phyllis bullies Wynter into taking a job at the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency.

Stuck with a job in the Muse department, Wynter discovers that helping others finish what they start isn’t easy, especially for someone who can’t seem to finish anything of her own. And how is Wynter supposed to focus on anything when that guy from the Dreams and Nightmares department keeps distracting her with his rippling muscles and magnetic stare?

Wynter needs to figure her job out soon. Each failure is a tick mark on her record, and if she continues to miss her deadlines, she’ll be reassigned to the Underworld as a dog walker.

And scooping poop for a giant three-headed dog is nobody’s ideal career.

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