Karolyn Sherwood, Author

James Patterson, Save Me!

It’s easy to see how a writer can get distracted. “They” say that a writer dreams of the day he or she can escape to a mountain top to gaze over the ocean to write his/her masterpiece. Well, hello? Who among us could be plopped down in a foreign country and NOT want to explore a bit? It’s a different world here in Costa Rica, and there’s so much to see and do. Put me in a dark quiet room someplace boring! (I did not mention Des Moines.) (Jail wouldn’t be so bad if I had Internet access.)

I’ve been happily ensconced in my “office away from home” writing away. The first draft of my novel, The King Family, is now over 55,000 words (nearly 200 pages). On a good day, I write 1500 words, on a really good day I write maybe 2500. On a bad day, I take out most of those. At this rate, I could be finished with a strong first draft by the time we go home to friends, family, and freezing rain. (Please, no freezing rain in April!)

So what’s the problem? And why the hell would you ask James Patterson for help?
Excellent questions.

I have a good friend, Larassa Kabel. She’s my John Galt. Larassa is an extremely talented artist, one whom I formerly represented. (www.larassakabel.com) We usually meet once a month for coffee, and she alone can recharge me when I begin to flounder in my long trek toward “published author.” If only I were as good at writing as she is at painting! Anyway, she once told me that the really good inspirations we creative types get are the ones that you can’t get out of your head no matter what else is going on in life. That’s how an artist/writer knows what project to devote their precious time to. So, I have one of those.

Last June, my husband and I went to NYC to visit two of my sons, Ryan and Elliott. One night, a friend of Ryan’s joined us, Ariel. Ariel looks a lot like my son Ryan except for one distinction. I sat across the table from these young men and thought they looked like twins, with this one exception. I jotted a note to myself about my observation and thought ‘no big deal’. Ok, so that little note has become the idea that won’t leave my head! Those four words have germinated into a novel that begs to be written, complete with characters, names, places, crises, multiple crises. Now what am I supposed to do?! Whatever happened to writer’s block? I need to write faster! I need James Patterson to be my co-author!
(ooh,ooh, just kidding)

Anyway, that’s my life in a few sentences (450 words). That, and my husband and I just bought one way tickets to Panamá. We fully intend to come back, but…

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