Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Day Job Rules

Annual Conference time for the day job--yes, we finish the day RWA begins so I am off to San Francisco directly from Atlanta. If you want to see what I've been doing, check out the work blog. I hope to blog from RWA, so come back soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Story Remains the Same

This morning, while flipping through a notebook I'm planning to take with me on work travel, I uncovered the opening scene for Line of Scrimmage—written in long hand. Since I rarely write in long hand and have no memory of beginning LOS the old-fashioned way, it was quite surprising to find these pages just 40 days before LOS hits the streets. I've since changed Howard's name to Henry and Miller to Merrill, but otherwise, not much has changed from this first rendition. In fact, it's exactly as it will appear in the book!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Surreal Moments Along the Way

Last week, one of my Sourcebooks sisters, Loucinda McGary, whose book "The Wild Sight," will be out in October, hosted our lovely editor Deb Werksman on the Romance Bandits blog. As part of Deb's day on the blog, IOU copies of the Fall releases were offered.

The woman who won "Line of Scrimmage," Australian romance author Suzanne Brandyn, posted this note on her blog after winning the book:

"Oh, I won a novel on Romance Bandits, which was a pleasant surprise. The story, a contemporary (right up my alley) Line of Scrimmage by Marie Sullivan Force. The excerpt sounds fantastic. I think this will be another one of those sit/lie down and keep reading right until the very end, all in one sitting. Don't you just love books like that. You can find Marie's website here:

I have a reader in Australia! Loucinda and I have had several chats about how surreal it is to realize that people we don't know will soon be reading our books. Just another fabulous--and surreal--moment on the journey. Watch for our books on September 1 (Line of Scrimmage) and October 1 (The Wild Sight).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Hate the All-Star Break and Other Ramblings

I want baseball back! After just a few days without the Sox, I'm feeling twitchy. Nothing is right in my world without the boys of summer. I miss Manny and Pap, Tek and Big Papi. Bring back Euc and Pedroia and Jacoby. Enough with the time off and the well-deserved rest. We're back in first place—granted, just by half a game, but we'll take it. How am I supposed to get anything done when the best part of my evening routine is missing? I feel aimless without Don and Jerry, the New England Sports Network announcers who are more of a two-man comedy show than a play-by-play team. The season resumes tomorrow when the Sox play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Whew.... Back to business as usual. Enough already with the All-Star Break. I'm glad the AL won in case the Sox make it to the World Series again this year because we'll have home field advantage. But enough already with the vacation. Back to work, boys! Your fans have missed you!

In other news, my daughter will be 13 tomorrow. Nuff said.

My comical son Jake's latest funny line: "Dad, what year did Lance Armstrong walk on the moon?" I can't make this stuff up.

Forty-four days until "Line of Scrimmage's" launch date, but who's counting?

One week until I leave for AGA's annual conference in Atlanta. The conference is a month later than usual this year, which has thrown me all off. Of course RWA starts the day our conference ends, so I who HATE to fly am jetting right from Atlanta to San Francisco. That ought to be oodles of fun.... However, despite the trial of getting to my favorite city in the world, I can't wait to meet all the great friends I've made online in the last year as well as my new agent and my editor. I'll be away from home for 10 days, which is a long time to leave the kids. I've decided to enjoy the break as well the pain and suffering Cliff Clavin will endure as he takes on the kid duties. Last year, he didn't suffer nearly enough. Someone took the girl child away for four of the seven days I was gone and with her went the person who fights best with the boy child. That is not fair. So this year I added four additional days to my annual summer trek to get even. :) When I call and ask how things are going, he will tell me he's suffering terribly. This year, he might actually mean it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

And Now a Word from Susannah...

I'm pleased to welcome my guest today, Susannah Sanderson, wife of NFL superstar Ryan Sanderson—

Susannah: Ex-wife. Don't forget the ex. My fiancé might be reading
this. He hates when the media refers to me as Ryan's wife.

Marie: My apologies. Ex-wife. Although, you're not technically his ex yet, are you?

Susannah: No, ten more days and then I'm FREE!

Marie: And that's what you really want?

Susannah: It sure is. I've put up with a lot for more than ten years. I finally have the peaceful, calm life that I craved while living in the fishbowl with him.

Marie: Isn't your new life kind of boring after all that excitement?

Susannah: (thinks for a moment) I guess some days it is, but I prefer predictable to the roller coaster.

Marie: Hmmm, I'd think it would be pretty hard to find a guy as magnetic—and let's face it, downright sexy—as Ryan.

Susannah: Oh my God! You're a fan of his! I should've known.

Marie: Not a fan, per se. Let's just say we're friends.

Susannah: (rolling her eyes) Oh, so you're a groupie.

Marie: Not exactly. I'm the one who wrote your story.

Susannah: What do you mean? What story? I never heard anything about that.

Marie: Uh oh... You haven't heard about the book?

Susannah: What book?

Marie: Um, well, Ryan wanted the world to know how very much he loves you and how desperately he wants to put your marriage back together, so he hired me to write your love story.

Susannah: I'm going to kill him. I'm going to shoot him and then bring him back to life so I can do it again.

Marie: I'm really sorry. I just assumed he would've consulted with you about such a personal story.

Susannah: (swallows hard) How personal?

Marie: Ah.... Are you currently armed?

Susannah: Just tell me!

Marie: Very, very personal.

Susannah: (blushing to the roots of her blonde hair) He's a dead man.

Marie: Aren't you the slightest bit curious?

Susannah: If I know Ryan, I can only imagine where the focus lies.

Marie: It's not ALL in the bedroom, don't worry.

Susannah: I repeat: I'm going to kill him.

Marie: I'm curious as to what you see in Henry. He's Ryan's polar opposite.

Susannah: Exactly! That's what I love about him. He's safe and settled and not on the cover of every sports magazine in the country. He doesn't have women coming up to him in restaurants and pushing me out of the way to get to him. I don't miss that.

Marie: Is there anything you do miss about Ryan?

Susannah: (a wistful expression on her face) Do you promise this won't end up in the book?

Marie: (sheepish) It's probably already in there, whatever it is...

Susannah: (sighs) Sometimes I miss the fun Ryan and I had when it was just the two of us. He used to make me laugh like no one else ever could. He can be really sweet and thoughtful—when he wants to be. I just wish he'd been like that more often when we were still married. Maybe then none of this would've happened.

Marie: I think you still love him, and so does he.

Susannah: I don't! I love Henry. I'm going to marry him.

Marie: Ryan might have something to say about that. In fact, I know he does. You've got that dinner party with Henry and his parents tonight, right?

Susannah: (wary) That's right. How do you know that?

Marie: (shrugs) Let's just say a little bird told me. You might want to leave the front light on after your company arrives.

Susannah: What's he planning? Just tell me, will you?

Marie: I can't do that. You know I can't. Read the book and find out for yourself.

Susannah: Where can I get it?

Marie: September 1st in your local bookstore. It's called "Line of Scrimmage."

Susannah: (rolling her eyes) Figures he gave it a football name.

Marie: Actually that was my idea because you, my friend, are about to go nose to nose with your ex-husband. Get ready for some fireworks.

Susannah: I suppose there's nothing I can do to stop this book?

Marie: It's at the printer.

Susannah: Did I mention that I'm going to kill him?

Marie: (laughing) That's not all you're going to do. Thanks for hanging out on the blog with me today. It's been great having you.

Susannah: Yeah, it's been a real blast. Any idea where I can find a gun?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Update on the Summer Off

July 4th has come and gone, the kids have three weeks of sailing camp under their belts, and my WIP hasn't been opened since mid-May. The summer "off" is going well. However, just because I'm not working on the WIP doesn't mean I'm not writing. As the launch date for "Line of Scrimmage" nears, I'm blogging, promoting, and writing—about a book that's long finished. I'm fortunate to have the luxury to take the break from creating new work and focus on making my debut novel as successful as it can be. I'm working with my agent and editor to determine which of my already-finished books will go next. I think we've got it narrowed down, and I hope to be able to announce that news very soon. After taking some heat about my "backlog" in the past, I'm pleased that it is paying off for me now.

I'll confess that I expected the urge to write to come back before now. I've had a few "tingles," some moments of inspiration, and an idea for a single-title contemporary that I'm excited about. And yet, I have no desire to write it. That tells me this break was needed even more than i thought it was. It's telling me the ideas are still coming and the desire to write them will return at the end of my self-imposed break. In the meantime, I'm reading a lot, doing revisions to the existing MSs and some copy editing for a couple of clients. I'm keeping my hand in the game even as I give myself a much-needed rest from the creative side.

I'm plugged into the metaphorical charger, and the light is blinking, but the charge is not yet complete. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ryan Sanderson Interviews His Biographer

So much for my big plans to blog every day. Life is definitely getting in the way lately. Until I can get back on schedule, here is an interview Ryan and I did for the Casablanca Authors blog last weekend. And yes, to me Ryan IS a real person by now! Happy Fourth of July and enjoy the interview!

Hey folks,
Ryan Sanderson here, bringing you greetings from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado, which is still celebrating the Denver Mavericks' third Super Bowl win in five years. I gotta tell you, from my perspective as the Mavs' quarterback, it's just as cool to win the third time as it was the first. They said this was a "rebuilding" year for our team. That cracks me up. We showed them! Anyhow, I digress...

Since we won the Super Bowl—again—a lot has been written about me and the team. People are interested in ALL aspects of my life, even the embarrassing romantic side of me. In fact, there's a book coming out in September called "Line of Scrimmage" that tells the story of how I supposedly "blackmailed" my wife Susie into giving me a second chance. I think "blackmail" is kind of a strong word... All I did was show up ten days before our divorce was to be finalized and tell her we were going to spend the next ten days as Mr. and Mrs. or I'd stop the divorce. Is that technically blackmail? Apparently, she thought so. Since she was already engaged to her dweeby ex-boyfriend from high school and they were getting married in a month, she wasn't too happy to see me—especially since the dweeb and his parents were over for dinner when I got there. I'll let you read the full story in "Line of Scrimmage," but I've seen an advance copy, and I have a few questions for the author, Marie Force.

Ryan: I'm curious as to why you thought our story was compelling enough to write a whole book about us.

Marie: Hi Ryan, it's good to see you again, and I'm glad you've recovered from the bashing you took in the Super Bowl.

Ryan: Yep, my handsome mug is back to normal.

Marie: There's that legendary Sanderson ego on full display! Anyway, the reason I thought your story was so compelling is you don't often read romances involving established couples with a decade worth of history under their belts. I thought it would be fun to write about a couple who had hit a few bumps—

Ryan: A few bumps? She was about to divorce me!

Marie: Okay, a lot of bumps. Potholes, in fact. It was a challenge for me as the writer of your story to tell it in a way that slowly shows how you came to be broken up in the first place.

Ryan: Yeah, we went through some rough stuff, and I didn't handle it as well as I could have.

Marie: But you learned a lot about yourself and Susannah while you were separated, right?

Ryan: I sure did. I found out that the only life I want is the one I had—with her. She's one sexy lady, and she keeps me sane.

Marie: You mean she keeps your ego from taking over your life.

Ryan: What ego?

Marie: (Snorting) Whatever. Anyway, you didn't expect her to be so over you when you got home, did you?

Ryan: How did you end up interviewing me?

Marie: Just answer the question.

Ryan: Okay, you're right, I didn't think it would be very hard to convince her to give me another shot. I mean, she's loved me since she was 18 years old. It was unimaginable to me that she didn't love me anymore, which is why I launched what you like to call the Hail Mary play of a lifetime to win her back.

Marie: I'm very proud of that phrase.

Ryan: Excellent use of football metaphor-ology.

Marie: Thank you! So you discovered that Susannah had changed while you were split up, right?

Ryan: We both grew up a lot, but we'll let people read about that in the book. Back to my list of questions for you... I want to know why you gave me uniform number 18—the same number that wuss Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts wears. Tell me you're not a Colts fan...

Marie: It has nothing to do with Peyton, and I'm NOT a Colts fan. Eighteen happens to be my lucky number. Both my kids were born on the 18th of the month, and I finished my first book on the 18th. That was why.

Ryan: Well, I guess that's kind of cool then. Why purple and yellow for the Mavericks' team colors?

Marie: Purple is my all-time favorite color and yellow seemed like a fun color to put with purple. Nothing more scientific than that behind the decision.

Ryan: Why did you pick Denver as the setting?

Marie: Great question! In November of 2006, I was sent there unexpectedly for work. This was right around the time that my muse showed up with you, and I was looking for a place to set your story. I ended up having a day to kill before my commitments, and since that was my first time in Denver, I used the time to walk all over the city. A lot of details from that day appear in the book. I also stayed at the swanky Brown Palace Hotel where a very important scene in "Line of Scrimmage" occurs.

Ryan: (Lascivious grin) I loved that scene.

Marie: (Laughing) I bet you did! It's my favorite part of the book.

Ryan: Mine, too. (Clears his throat and his dirty mind) Were you a football fan before you wrote my story?

Marie: I'm glad you asked that, because the answer is NO! I actually kind of, um, hated football.

Ryan: WHAT? How can anyone HATE football?

Marie: I know, I know, that's unimaginable to you. But remember, Susie didn't even know what a quarterback was until she met you.

Ryan: That was kind of cute. I liked that she wasn't a football groupie when I met her at the University of Florida. I managed to bring her around, though. What about you? Have you changed your mind about football?

Marie: You've converted me into a fan. I tried to re-make you into a baseball shortstop, but when you refused—

Ryan: Baseball is for wimps.

Marie: Be careful... You know how I love my Boston Red Sox... Anyway, once I realized you were a football player through and through, I forced myself to learn the game and came to appreciate it. Now I am a huge fan of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.

Ryan: He's the man.

Marie: That's something we agree on.

Ryan: Well, thanks for giving us the behind-the-scenes story of "Line of Scrimmage." When will I see my share of the profits?

Marie: In your multi-millionaire dreams!

Ryan: (Laughing) When does it come out again?

Marie: September 1st in a bookstore near you.

Ryan: I can't wait!

Marie: Believe me, neither can I.