April 20, 2011

Virtual Book Tour: The Showboat Affair

Today it's my pleasure to host fellow The Wild Rose Press Author, Gwyneth Greer. Gwyneth is in the middle of a blog tour promoting her new book, The Showboat Affair. Welcome, Gwyneth. 

Guests, Gwyneth will be giving away a copy of The Showboat Affair in any format (including print) chosen by winner, pink laser flip-top mirror with engraved info about book, and a $10 gift certificate to Bath and Body Works to one randomly chosen commenter.

Recently, reading an interview, I was struck by the author’s thoughts on revising. In a nutshell, he feels that books it’s possible to do too much revising and end up making something right, wrong!

As someone who used to write strictly for my own entertainment, I’ve had to learn to look at my manuscripts with a critical eye. It’s no secret that the first draft always stinks! But does it simply emit a bad odor or does it smell to high heaven? Is it unpleasant or malodorous? Could it be described as a stench or worse?

A dog who’s tangled with a skunk gets a bath in tomato juice. What to do with a manuscript that has clearly tangled with the literary equivalent of Pepe LePhew?

Every author has her means and methods of dealing with the dreaded first draft. Letting it sit for a while is good advice—but if it stank when it was put away, it’s still going to stink when you get it out again. Maybe it’s just that the writer’s sense of smell has dulled—or maybe it’s sharpened with purpose.

I let my first drafts sit for an indeterminate period. If it’s something I’ve done for NaNoWriMo, I’m just too tired to deal with it anymore. Inevitably, it comes out again, and I wonder how I could’ve ever penned such drivel. It’s tempting to hit the ‘delete’ button straight away! But I don’t, and sooner or later, I get back to work.

The second time through, the process goes something like this:
(1) Fix inaccuracies in timeline.
(2) Do a complete turnaround for boring characters/get rid of same altogether.
(3) Change repetitive words.
(4) Tighten sentences.
(5) Throw out flowery description.
(6) ‘Listen’ to the dialogue with an ear for realism.
(7) Double-check facts worked into the fictional narrative.
(8) Get rid of scenes that don’t drive the plot.
(9) Put back scenes I think are too brilliant to be cut.
(10)Get rid of the scenes again and/or write new ones.

Then I do it again. And again. And again.

Finally, in fear and trembling, I write the dreaded synopsis and submit.

The interviewed author also commented that something “doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.” He’s right.

Writing a book is a lot like raising a child, I think. You (and your blessed editor) do the best you can and hope for the best. But somewhere along the way, when someone says, “Your son/daughter is SO nice,” you smile and know that making the decision not to shred the child/manuscript was the right one!

My latest effort with The Wild Rose Press is The Showboat Affair written as Gwyneth Greer. Visit my website (www.judynickles.com) to read the first chapter free!

by Gwyneth Greer

Available from The Wild Rose Press

Despite over thirty years in a faithless marriage to wealthy investment broker Rand Kingston, Jean is shocked when he asks for a divorce. Encouraged by her former housekeeper-turned-best-friend, she determines to rediscover herself as an independent woman and move on with her life. Nick Cameron, prominent attorney and long-time widower, would like to figure in her plans. The opposition of their adult children surprises them. Then, a series of chilling near misses makes them wonder who really is determined to keep them apart—and why.


The peal of the doorbell startled both of them. “This could look bad,” Nick said.

“Not if it’s Selina. Maybe it’s her. She went to look at some of those ice cream parlor tables I was telling you about last week.” Jean eyed him critically. “Button your shirt.”

“It’s pretty rumpled.”

“Button it anyway.” She brushed past him on her way to the door. “Maybe you should disappear.”

“Are you serious?”

Jean sighed. “No.” At the front door, she peered through the viewer and let out her breath in dismay. Juliana stood there, her jaw set, looking primed for battle. Jean unlocked the door and opened it. “What brings you here so early, Juliana?”

“I had some errands over this way. Aren’t you going to ask me in?”

Jean stepped back. “Yes, of course. Come in. I have a guest.”

Juliana’s eyebrows met her hairline. “A guest? I am interfering with your sleeping arrangements then.”

Jean made a quick decision not to defend herself. “Come in the kitchen. I’m making waffles.”

Nick rose hastily as the women walked in.

“You must be Nick Cameron,” Juliana snapped.


“My mother’s lover.”

“Juliana!” Jean felt the blood drain from her face. “How dare you!”

Nick’s eyes flashed, but his voice was courtroom courteous. “I spent the night on the sofa.”

“Of course, you did.”

His mouth twitched. “But if I’d spent it in your mother’s bed, it would have been her business, not yours.”


Autumn Jordon said...

Gwyn, I love stories that have older characters. Your blurb is excellent and I love the excerpt. I immediately felt I was there and privy to went what was going on. Love it. I need to check this book out. Showboat Affair is going into my book budget.

Emma Lai said...

Congrats on the release Gwyn. The Showboat Affair sounds like a really good read. I'll have to add it to the TBR list.

The Word Place said...

Hope you'll both enjoy the book. I've had several people tell me they couldn't put it down once they started, so that's a positive note. Thanks for dropping by!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Since I was 54 and my husband 70 when we met--online, no less--I love romances involving older characters. Romance is sweet at any age. Much luck to you!!

The Word Place said...

Thanks to you ladies for dropping by and to Sarah for hosting me!

Sarah Grimm said...


It's been great having you here. The best of luck with the rest of your tour. I hope it brings you many, many sales. I know I'm adding The Showboat Affair to my TBR list.