The latest release, Triage, is live on Amazon!
The idea for this story started as an assignment for last summer’s in-person Romance Spies workshop from WMG Publishing.
Our instructor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, crafts the most brutal of classes, but you’re a better writer for it when you're through.
During that four-day course, we had three short stories to turn in. One historical, one based on a field trip to the Atomic Museum, and one corporate-based story. The tales had to have romance at the forefront and spies all around.
I’m not a romance writer.
And I’m not a spy.
So, it was a stretch. Little Miss Muse, of course, loved being back in Vegas despite being banned from the shark tank swimming pool.
When it was time to write the last assignment, she was not in a cooperative mood.
“I want to do something light and easy. The first one was on the Civil War. Then the nuclear testing zone, for crying out loud. I’m thinking of a cozy feel with dueling dog groomers or something like that. An easy, fun take on corporate espionage.”
I believed this was the “handshake” that sealed the deal. I thought my muse and I were on the same page.
I start typing.
It started light. Then… nope.
My little imp muse sneezed her purple glitter all over my screen and poured grape soda over the keyboard, and the whole thing took a turn. Ditch the picture-perfect cozy setting. Ditch the dueling dog groomers. Ditch the top-secret doggie shampoo formulas. Ditch the comic relief wiener dog wearing his paw-print parka.
No, no. Now, we’ve got a grieving trauma physician teaming up with a former high school sweetheart to take down evil — and run a dog grooming business on the side.
Little Miss Muse let me keep that in the story. The dog grooming bit.
About two-thirds of the way through, I realize this is not a short story; it’s the start of something a tick longer. I slapped a hurried ending on it and turned it in. Kris agreed. “Write the book.”
So that’s what I did.
I — I mean, Little Miss Muse and I—wrote the book. (Credit where due.)
Or, rather, we fought, wrestled, stopped, started, deleted, time-hopped, whined, cheered, backspaced, procrastinated, never-gonna-do-this-again-ed, moped, celebrated, and nearly mud-wrestled this one into existence.
I think I made my proofreader cry.
Actually, I’m quite positive if her face didn’t leak big, ugly tears, it surely contorted into all manner of shapes as she tried to make sense of my writing-during-what-is-surely-a-midlife-crisis manuscript.
This is the story that gave me fits during Chicken Sittin’. I could’ve handed the laptop to that evil orange hen, Wanda, and she’d have made more progress pecking at it than I did that week.
But alas, it’s done. It’s out. And I’m on to my next project. Which won’t have a lick of romance in it…
I’m on to — I mean, Little Miss Muse and I are on to our next project.
For now, you can get the ebook or paperback through Amazon (I’ll be loading it to the other distributors and here on my author page in the next week or so).
Also, local-ish peeps can get a signed copy at one of these upcoming events:
2023 Tri-State Food Truck Battle September 30th
Indiana Author Extravaganza: October 6th and 7th