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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wired Differently

I guess history does repeat itself.

Growing up, I marched to my own drummer, or at least seemed to be either ahead of the times or lagging behind; you be the judge.

In school, even though I wanted to 'fit in', my best friends were mainly guys. I wore what I was comfortable in. I read books and wrote nonstop.

As a young adult, I was slightly fashion-conscious, and when I found a brand of clothing I liked, I pretty much wore nothing else. And continued to read books and write nearly nonstop.

Over the past year, I've studied other published authors; we've become close friends; I've finally written something publishable. So why the small gripe?

Over and over I hear others complain about the mainstream published books and the head-hopping; the not-always-HEA; the 'obvious' mistakes; and how they will quit reading a book because of it. Or give up on an author mainly because they've 'betrayed' them somehow.

I guess I'm still inexperienced enough not to let these issues get to me. Yes, I've noticed a slight tendancy over the years to think in the back of my mind, 'I would have worded this differently; like this...' or throw the book across the room (not literally) if I was unhappy with the ending. But the only times I've 'given up' on a particular author was 1) when every book dealt around something which didn't particularly interest me; 2) I didn't like the way the series was going; or 3) I discovered I was mislead by the blurb or excerpt and it wasn't to my liking, after all. And to be honest, I've only found one author who I will NEVER read again, strictly because this author's work is unappealing to me. I never even made it through his first book, and when his books arrive on the bookstore shelves, I skip over them. I don't even admire the covers.

But for the record, I don't mind an unhappy ending, especially if it ties up loose ends; the only books where the writing drives me slightly crazy are the 1st drafts of authors who can't spell or use punctuation/grammer properly (I'm not talking typos here...I mean throughout the entire 20+pages!); I don't mind the head-hopping, as I have no problem keeping the characters straight!

And in college, I was puzzled by my fellow classmates' 'confusion' when we had to read 'Common Ground', a book about the integration/bussing issues in Boston during the 1960's. The book showed three different families and how the issue affected them, alternating chapters. I was the only one, it seemed, who read the entire thing cover to cover and had no problem following the storylines of all three families, even when a fourth POV was introduced halfway. The only time I skipped around was while I was writing my paper, and that was stricly for footnotes, and to make sure I had my facts straight.

I guess I'm just wired differently.

Have you heard the news?  

Think back to when Prince's Purple Rain tour was one of the Hot Tickets in town.  Madonna wore a white wedding dress and sang "Like A Virgin".  Tom Cruise danced around in his underwear in Risky Business.  The ORIGINAL Footloose was in theaters.  When electric typewriters were AWESOME.  Pay phones on every corner (or at least at every gas station!).  Cosby Show, Cheers, and Night Court were the Thursday night lineup on television.

Or, just your own college experience.  Did you live in a dorm?  Off campus?  Or wanted to go but for whatever reason couldn't?

Relive those days with my Arbor University Tales.  We'll start in the fall of 1984 and go all the way to 2006....and maybe even beyond.   But first, meet Elicia Keller, Gretchen McLaren, Keri Patterson, and Stephanie Ridgeman in book #1, Love on the Rocks, releasing next Monday Oct 24th.

“The tape won't stick. I'm using a push-pin.”

“That’s a good idea.” Stephanie nodded. “Where do you work?”

Keri finished tacking up her last poster. “Nowhere yet. But I’ll be spending a lot of time in the lab and it’s harder than it looks.”

“But look on the bright side.” Gretchen squeezed past Elicia and leaned against Stephanie’s closet door. “If we ever have car trouble, Keri’ll be able to help us out.”

“Yeah, that’s right.” Steph looked at Keri. “What’s your fee for flat tires?”

Keri squirmed. “Normally, I only ask that you supply the parts. But for flat tires...probably a Big Mac.”

“I like you.” Steph nodded. “Can I take you home with me?”

“Sure. Just feed me.” Keri slipped her shoe back on. “I know Gretchen’s got a car but do either of you?”

“You have a car?” Elicia’s jaw dropped. “My parents want me to wait a year.”

“That’s what I get for being an only child. It was a graduation present.”

“Sit down.” Stephanie pushed aside her pillows on the bed and patted the space beside her. Gretchen did so, and Elicia settled herself in the beanbag chair in front of the window. “Sometimes, I wish I was an only child. I’ve got three older brothers.”

“Mine’s younger.” Keri made a face.

“No brothers, just an older sister.” Elicia looked at Stephanie. “How old are your brothers?”

“The oldest is thirty, Alex is twenty-five, and Greg is twenty-two. And all married, except Greg, and he’s engaged.”

“Damn.” Elicia snapped her fingers. “Don’t you know it’s a cardinal rule that someone must have an eligible brother?” They all laughed.

“Well, you’re all welcome to my brother, if you don’t mind a younger man.” Keri leaned against the wall.

“The closest I can come is to introduce you to some of the pilots at the base.” Gretchen hugged her knees to her chest. “Grandma has several officers and noncoms that she adopts and they even call her ‘Mom.’ It’s the best I can do.”

“You live on the base? And you’re not dating any officers?”

       “Are you kidding? Some of them are so rowdy in their off-hours; it’s ridiculous. And the majority are either married or have girlfriends. The others just treat me like a kid sister.”

Available Oct 24th at

Enter the Countdown Contest over at my blog for your chance to win a free copy of 'Rocks' next Monday!


Amber Skyze said...

You're not wired differently. I'm pretty much wired the same way. Okay maybe I'm different too. :)

Looking forward to reading your books. I loved the 80s.

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Molly. If a book entertains me, I don't care if there's head-hopping or whatnot. I enjoyed it, period. The reading public doesn't know - and I'm sure they don't care - about all the writing rules. They want to be entertained. If we've done that, then we've succeeded.

Your Arbor University Tales sound great! Congrats on your upcoming release. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amber and Tina:) I began writing this series in 1985 and finished book #7 in 2003. Then Kenzie took over the brain the past few years, lol:) I'm hoping to release the rest of the series between now and 2017...which means I need to finish books #8-12! (#13 and 14 are finished.)


Liz said...

great post Molly. I love a not so happy ending sometimes. sometimes....
good luck with your release!

jean hart stewart said...

I've always felt I was different, in school at least. I actually liked and you weren't supposed to. I don't get all the editors being so picky about head hopping. The divine Nora does it all the time.

Molly Daniels said...

@Liz: I like Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult. A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless!) said once she will NEVER read another NS book or watch a JP movie because of the sadness at the end. Sometimes you HAVE to watch a sad movie (Always, Notebook) b/c you just want/need a good cry. IMHO.

@Jean: I've been told that until we hit her status, then it will be okay to break the rules. I say, just put that nice disclaimer at the top...'Omnicient POV'. I LOVED Anny Cook's Rescuing Clarice and did not find it at all distracting to be suddenly in his POV two pages later....and then back to hers:)

Harlie Reader said...

I was actually a senior in high school in 1984. I didn't graduate until May of 1985. You're series is just flooding my brain right now with all of my awesome memories.

Congratulations early on the release.

Harlie Reader said...

BTW, I still have my How To Speak Valley Girl Dictionary/Primer.

I know, sick right?

Molly Daniels said...

@Harlie: Like, for sure; like totally awesome you have, like, the know.... August '83 we took a Jeep tour up Engineer Mountain in Ouray, Colorado, and the CUTE guy who sat next to me mentioned he loved girls who spoke Valley. Do you know how HARD it was to quit saying 'like' after every other word?

'Gag me with a spoon...'

Cara Marsi said...

I have to say I crave happy endings. I don't read books without them. Years ago I used to read the last page of every book before I started. If it didn't have a happy ending, I wouldn't read it. I don't do that anymore, but I've been upset when I've read a story I thought would end happily and it doesn't. I won't read that author's books again. I used to feel an obligation to finish any book I started. Now if a book doesn't grab me by the third chapter, I stop reading. I don't care if there's head-hopping or if the writer hasn't followed the "rules," if I like a story none of that matters.

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