Monday, December 5, 2016

The Novella Newby

Yeehaw! We've sure been having fun celebrating the release of Seven Brides for Seven Texans, and I want to thank all of you for sharing in our excitement. For me as an author, writing with these six women has been a true joy, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to join them.

As a reminder, each of us seven authors will be taking turns sharing on this blog. We are appearing in the order of our stories. Since my story "The Heart of Texas" is second in the book, I get to follow the terrific Gabrielle Meyer. You can go back and read her posts if you missed them, and Erica's yesterday about the story behind the story.

Week One: Nov. 28-Dec. 2 ~ Gabrielle Meyer
Week Two:  Dec. 5-9 ~ Lorna Seilstad
Week Three:  Dec. 12-16 ~ Amanda Barratt
Week Four:  Dec. 12-23 ~Keli Gwyn
Week Five:  Dec. 26-30 ~ Susan Page Davis
Week Six:  Jan. 2-6 ~ Vickie McDonough
Week Seven:  Jan. 9-13 ~ Erica Vetsch

To many of you, I'm sure my name seemed like a new one. I've written six books for Revell (the Lake Manawa Summers series and the Gregory Sisters series) , but this is my first novella. Yep, you read that right. I'm a novella newby. When Erica asked me to join the group, I must admit a little jolt of fear shot through me. You see, my novels were each around 90,000 words. Could I write a story in only 25,000 words?

Then, I remembered that I hadn't always written book-length stories. When my creative writing juices first began flowing, I started out writing Sue Thomas, F.B.I. fan fiction. Did you ever see that show? Fan fiction, in case you aren't familiar with the term, is fiction written by a fan of a particular television series, movie, etc. The writer uses character from the series and creates original stories around them. 

I wrote stories at It's gone now. Blew up one sad day in a great cyber cloud, but it was a wonderful place to hone writing skills and get encouragement from other writers. My first story there was only 9,000 words. Now that's short!

It was through writing fan fiction that I discovered I liked writing things with an element of humor in them. We had contests at the Romancefanfiction site, and I decided to try my hand at the humor category. One day, my husband asked what I was doing and I told him. He said, "Why? You're not funny."

"Well," I said, "I'm funnier on paper." 

Seven books later, he claims he didn't say that.

But I know better. 

Wives never forget.

So, after I talked to Erica, I recalled my fan fiction beginnings and remembered I'd written a lot of 25,000 word stories then. Surely, I could do it again. Right? 

I'm glad I tried something new when I started writing fan fiction. I'm glad I tried something new when I started writing humor into my stories, and I'm glad I tried something new when Erica asked me to join this wonderful novella collection. Who knew? I could still tell a story in 25,000 words.

It turns out that my fan fiction was great preparation for this collection in another way. Seven Brides for Seven Texans is like a season of favorite television show with an ensemble cast. Different characters may star in each episode, but you don't have to say good bye completely to anyone.

Now, pull up a chair and let's sit for a spell and chat! I have some warm apple cider with cinnamon sticks just perfect for sipping on a cold day. Tell me, what new things have you tried lately? What's your favorite television series with an ensemble cast? What do you enjoy about books in a series?

And if you have any questions for me, please ask away. I'm an open book. (Author pun intended.)


Lorna Seilstad
Lorna Seilstad brings history back to life using a generous dash of humor. She is the author of the Lake Manawa Summers Series and the Gregory Sisters Series and is a Carol historical romance finalist. She and her husband are almost empty-nesters and call Iowa home. 
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  1. I'm sorry for being a little tardy this morning. I forgot to hit the word "Publish" last night, but let's party now!

  2. Last week I went to a restaurant the food I ordered came with coleslaw. I never had coleslaw before so I tried it. I was not a huge fan. My favorite tv shows are Once Upon A Time and CSI. Love fairy tales and crime shows. The thing I love to find in a book series is a character finding their true love and have a better relationship with God.

    1. Kirsten, you are so brave! I haven't tried coleslaw since I was a kid. I really like Once Upon a Time, too, but I missed most of a season and I'm a little lost. I think I need to go do a binge watch.

  3. Oh too funny on your hubby's comment! I can't wait to read the stories. I love what each of you authors have put into it. Hubby and I really enjoyed the action of Hawaii Five-0 as a series. Also the NCIS and CSI type shows get us intrigued. Thanks for the yummy cider! :)

    1. Thank you, Susan, for sharing in our excitement. We've watched a few episodes lately of Hawaii Five-O which was just enough to make us want to go back and watch it from the beginning. I'm a big NCIS fan, too.

  4. I am so glad you said YES! My favorite shows with ensemble casts are NCIS, Numb3rs, Elementary, and Castle. Hmm...looking back on this list...crime, crime, and more crime. :) I guess I like the good guys vs. the bad guys. :)

    1. Erica, I'm the same way. I like a lot of crime shows with a few others sprinkled in like Dowtown Abbey and Call the Midwife.

  5. Howdy, Lorna! I'm so glad you said yes when Erica asked you to join the collection. Working with you behind the scenes has been fun.

    I'm another novella newbie. I tend to be a wordy writer, so the shorter word count was a bit daunting. I have a short story that was published in a Guideposts Christmas collection a couple of years ago. It was only 6,000 words. I told myself if I could do that, I ought to be able to tackle this. It took some doing, but I completed a story I'm happy with and that came within my word count. Phew!