Thursday, February 5, 2009

Murder for Money

by KJ Howe

Please welcome bestselling romantic suspense author Debra Webb to the lair. Now here's a lady who knows about murder and mayhem--and has a wicked imagination to support her "habit". Take it away, Deb...

Generally when the average person thinks of murder for money, they think of assassins or some sort of criminal activity that involves a cover-up--particularly the covering of one's a**. Many times, whether it be the cover-up of an embezzled/stolen sum or an insurance policy benefit, money is involved. I received a fan letter once from a woman in prison in Baltimore who was serving two consecutive life sentences for paying someone to murder her husband. Unfortunately, as with anything else--you get what you pay for. She'd gone low end and paid a small sum for the deed. The man she paid ultimately testified against her and you know the rest.

But I'm not talking about that kind of murder for money, I'm referring to what I and lots of other authors do. We write about murder--killing lots of perfectly ordinary and often times nice characters--for money. We devise in our minds gruesome, hopefully unique, methods for killing. Our inspiration comes from all sorts of sources. Real life headlines are the most interesting, in my opinion. At times the simplest, seemingly innocent thing can trigger a devious plan in our minds. I once had a friend who told me she'd run out of gas along a lonely stretch of road--thank God for cell phones. As she waited for her husband to come to her rescue, she noticed a garbage bag in the ditch. It was one of those large black bags with the yellow tie handles. The bag appeared partially full and looked as if it had been there for a while. Her mind instantly began running scenarios about what or WHO could be in the bag. How they might have been murdered and dismembered. By the time her husband arrived with gas for her car, she'd created a gruesome murder scenario. While her husband poured the gas into her tank she went on and on (in great detail) about how exciting this new idea was. Her husband turned to her and said what my own husband says to me quite often, “I can't believe I go to sleep next to you at night.”

I would love to hear the wicked thoughts that go through your mind. Have you ever been sitting in the lobby of the doctor's office and watched the people around you, wondering who would leave their appointment with the doc and meet their appointment with destiny? Do you watch your favorite television show or movie and lie in bed afterwards mulling over how that one murder scene might have worked better if…?

Murder for money, it's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. Think how boring television would be without the likes of Jack Bauer? Someone had to write all those great action and killing scenes! Thank goodness for the uninhibited imagination.


Deb, I couldn't agree more. My mind goes in that direction more often than I'd like to admit! So, Bandita Buddies, let's hear what's running through your minds today...

Debra Webb's romantic suspense publishing career launched in September 2000. Since then this award-winning, best-selling author has published more than seventy novels. Visit her website at www.debrawebb.com.

75 comments:

Keira Soleore said...

Yes, me, again!

Helen said...

Keira you are very fast
have fun with him

Have Fun
Helen

Keira Soleore said...

Debra, welcome to The Lair. This is my first "meeting" with you, so I'm eager to learn about all your books and especially your latest.

This was The GR during Kate's launch party. I wonder how he's going to be behaving today...

Off to read the blog.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Debra, welcome to the Lair.

I love suspense books, my favorite kinds of reads. Can you tell us something about your latest release?

Keira, WTG on capturing the rooster again!

Hmmm, I've gotten most of my ideas for my suspense stories from either taking classes (like psychology or criminal investigation classes) or from real-life cases, especially those that took place prior to 1920 or so. They're very intriguing, I think.

Keira Soleore said...

SEVENTY book in eight years?!? WOW!You must definitely not sleep. I think you've given up eating, too. At least you seem to spend some time with your husband. So, other than breathing, you must be writing, all the time, every day. WOW!

How do you organize your day and schedule in time for all those pesky things like groceries and doctors' visits? Do you set goals for the month/quarter/year? How do you then go about making it happen? What happens if you fall off the wagon for a bit, illness/natural calamity/etc.? How do you get back on track? What is your motivation (carrot and stick)? What is the one mantra without which you wouldn't have this success?

Obviously, as an aspiring writer, I'm looking for the Magic Debra Pill that I can ingest and be just like you. WOW! You've blown me away.

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, you're on a run! Congratulations! Come on, admit it - you lie in wait all day for the post to go up, don't you? You were so sick of being pipped at the post! And Helen, gosh, you were so close too! You know, it's no wonder he's unbearable when he has gorgeous women fighting over him all the time ;-)

Deb, welcome to the lair! Great blog!

70 books???!!! I bow to your greatness. Do you ever find yourself in a lull or do the ideas keep coming like waves up the beach? Do you have a favorite among all those books?

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, writers have funny minds, don't they? It would seem perfectly normal to me to look at a garbage bag in a ditch and wonder what was inside. And I don't write suspense! I tend to get odd flashes of future stories from things people say to me - my agent was joking about my new cover today and said something about to make room, they should chop off my hero's arm. Hmm, I thought with sudden excitement, a one-armed Anna Campbell hero. Could work! Could work very well indeed. The problem is I get about a million of these insights a week - I don't have time or energy to turn all of them into stories.

What's your work day like? You must be terrifically disciplined to have pushed so many books out onto the shelves!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Keira, just noticed that you and I had exactly the same question! 70 books in a lifetime is pretty impressive, let alone in a few years!

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Keira! I see the GR turned a bit green with all the alcohol he imbided at the launch party.

Welcome to the lair, Debra! Your out-of-gas friend wasn't wearing a wedding dress by chance, was she?

Just as artists see colors, shapes, and composition in everyday items, I think writers hear plots in everyday conversation. I've gotten inspiration from listening to talk shows, or the news, or reading (inner ear) about some historical event. No wonder we're not sane.

So do you have an extensive research library on fifty ways to kill your lover? (grin) Husbands of writers are made of sturdy stuff.

Keira Soleore said...

Fo, I'm awestruck by that seventy number and also the eight number. My brain simply cannot compute that, let alone write at that warp-speed.

Helen said...

Lets see if I can post my computer is really being bad to me.

Keira I love the green GR he is so cute he is really a jack of all trades was he serenading you while you took the picture.

Debra WOW that is a lot of books and I do love suspense a good who done it always gets me in so I will be watching out for your books and I am so amazed that you have time for anything else in your life.

As for watching people and thinking about what they are going to do later I guess I do sometimes but I don't have a very vivid imagination LOL.

Have Fun
Helen

PinkPeony said...

Hi Debra...and everyone!

Debra...I've read Traceless and I loved Vivian and Ryan in Nameless. Ryan was a great character. I've got Faceless in my TBR pile.

I'm suspicious by nature and like most people here, I have an over active imagination..is it safe to assume that? When I'm waiting around in public places, I love to watch people and wonder what their "story" is...airports are great places for this. I just finished reading a book in which the hired assassin falls for his target. It was actually believable. I suppose there are some assassins out there that have a heart. :)

Jane said...

Hi Debra,
I think a lot of us do sit around and think of how a certain person might meet their demise. I watch a lot of "NCIS," "CSI" and "Law and Order" and I see a lot of scenarios that make me wonder how the writers came up with those ideas.

Congrats on the GR, Keira.

Anna Sugden said...

OMG - Debra Webb is in the Lair!!! ['scuse me while I have a total fan girl moment!] Thanks for enticing Debra to join us, KJ.

Welcome Debra - I'm a HUGE fan of your Colby Agency books. That is one of my all-time favourite Intrigue series' and the gold standard I look to for my own attempts at RS/Intrigue.

I also loved Traceless and Nameless - I too have Faceless on my TBR mountin and I've just ordered Find Me. Folks, if you haven't read Debra - rush out and buy her books now!!

OK - fan girl moment over *g* - on to your question. I get my ideas from all sorts of places too. The funny thing is when I turned my mind to the idea of writing for Intrigue, a whole bunch of RS themes seemed to pop into my mind, instead of the home and hearth ideas I'd had previously. Although as my friend pointed out - my home and hearth stories always seemed to have a slight element of RS about them.

Snippets of things heard on the news are great for setting the mind whirring. Funny thing about that garbage bag story - I had a similar moment the other day!

The other thng that sets me off is those random items you see on the side of a road or in an out of the way place. Why has someone lost one shoe?

Yes, TV can set me off - I saw an episode of Criminal Minds last night that was particularly haunting and had my mind whirring about what happened after the story had finished. What if the story wasn't over?

I also have one 'big' idea which I would love to write one day - which has been hanging around for several years - I keep adding to it every now and again and waiting for the right moment to get it down on paper.

Anna Sugden said...

Yay Keira! Love your pic of the Golden Rooster - hope he's recovered enough from your bugalooing!

Pink Peony! Welcome!

Virginia said...

Congrats Keira on nabbing the rooster!! Enjoy him today!!

Welcome the lair Debra. I love a good romantic suspense book. I have your latest in my TBR pile and oh it looks so good. Wow to have written 70 books in 8 years is amazing, how did you manage that? You must have a good why to manage time. Myself I spend why to much time on this computer and I don't get anything done. The words must really flow for you. Have you ever had writers block?

Everyone have a great day today! I am going to see my sister.

Caren Crane said...

Great to have you back here, Deb. I am often surprised at the "nice girls" who write romantic suspense. You, Karen Rose, Lisa Gardner and many others. You don't seem scary. Where do all those dark, dark thoughts come from? Too much time in dark corners, maybe? *g*

Keira, enjoy the Golden Rooster. Long may he cluck chez Soleore!

Caren Crane said...

Hey, Keira, how did you know that Alan Adale from Disney's "Robin Hood" is one of my favorite narrators ever? I used to whistle along with him every time - we had the album of the soundtrack!

Kim Howe said...

Keira, have fun with the GR!!! Congrats!

Kim Howe said...

I often wonder if Deb has one hand on the keyboard as she sleeps!!! 70 books is just amazing to me. She's very gifted!

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Debra! Thanks for swinging by the lair! It's so much fun to realize how many of us spend significant time plotting murders in our heads. :-) And reassuring to know that they're all fictional murders. How freaky for you to get fan mail from a convict!

My imagination tends to run amok (unfortunately) when my husband's out of town & it's just me & the kids in the old creaky house. Especially when I've been reading (as I have been lately) the memoirs of a bunch of FBI profilers. I double check the locks a lot, & give thanks I live in the brutally cold part of the country where the bad guys would probably freeze to death trying to break in. :-)

Joan said...

Welcome to the Lair, Debra! Your process is interesting...if not a bit scary.

I do not write RS so can't say as I've ever thought about the "how" although when I was contemplating the best way to write the opening scene of THE PATRICIAN'S FORTUNE (the hero is about to be crucified) I was so absorbed that I drove right past a raging car fire on the road...and didn't notice until the fire trucks screamed past me.
:-)

Louisa Cornell said...

YAY !!! My Southern Magic chapter mate is in the Lair. Hey, Debra! Is it as cold your way as it is here in Wetumpka?

Everyone if you have not seen Debra's presentation on the Life of a Writer you have MISSED IT!! It is an absolute riot. How many author presentations do you see where the presenter strips down to her PJs?

Debra, you are one of my idols! SEVENTY BOOKS !!! And not a dud in the bunch. And a number of them have scared the BEJEEBERS out of me. I have slept with the lights on a couple of times after reading a Debra Webb book.

Some of my ideas have come from research - more often than not, even in the Regency, fact is STRANGER than fiction. My latest WIP is actually inspired by a very old movie where murder is done - Sunset Boulevard. It even has an Alabama connection as Tallulah Bankhead stars in it. (The movie, not the book.)

I taught high school and many of my students love to come back and visit. Our barbecues at my place are legendary for the food, the fun AND the philosophical discussions. Well, if you can call discussing the best ways to dispose of a body and IF you would help a friend who called you to HELP dispose of a body. These kids had great imaginations. At least I THINK they were imagining.

We once had a discussion about the efficiency of the alligator as a body disposal system.

Another scenario came up because of something that actually happened to one of their classmates. The question? If a buddy asked you to drive him to see his ex, you drive him there, wait in the car, he comes out covered in blood carrying a sword. He gets in, says "Take me home." What do you do? I'll be interested to see what everyone says as I know what this young man did.

Louisa Cornell said...

Keira !! You have become a Rooster Stalker! He has that effect, you know. LOVE the picture of him!

Keira Soleore said...

Helen asked, "Keira I love the green GR he is so cute he is really a jack of all trades was he serenading you while you took the picture."

I think he needs a stay with Louisa to improve his vocal abilities but his hula-dancing and ukulele-playing have become rather skillful.

Caren wrote, "Hey, Keira, how did you know that Alan Adale from Disney's "Robin Hood" is one of my favorite narrators ever? I used to whistle along with him every time - we had the album of the soundtrack!"

Looks like a stay chez Crane is also in order so that he can hone up his whistling skills. It's so cute, you recognized him from that one off pic.

Anna Sugden said...

Now see Louisa, I find the topic of an alligator as an effective means of body disposal a perfectly valid topic of conversation. When we visited the Everglades, I discussed that with our tour-guide and my hubby and by the time we returnd to our hotel, I had a story in mind! Hmm must dig out the notes on that one.

Of course, here in the Bandits Lair, planning murder and mayhem is quite easy when you have body disposal experts like the Duchesse and weapons experts like Cassondra and medical experts like Joanie and Suz. Add in the 'RS minds' of Banditas like Kate (has everyone bought their copies of Homicide in Hardcover yet?!), Beth, Jo, Nancy, KJ and myself and the Gothic tendencies of La Campbell as well as Joanie's Roman tortures (I haven't forgotten your crucifixion scene, Joanie!)the sheer creative and plotting brilliance of the others and well ... say no more!

As icing - sprinkle liberally with the knowledge and expertise and genius of our BB's and we are the Top Chefs of murder and mayhem!

Debra Webb said...

Good morning! I'm so behind! I think I must be password challenged, but I finally got it!

Debra Webb said...

Keira, thanks for the welcome!

Hey Jo! I loved writing FIND ME. My family and I moved to the southern coast of Maine in the dead of winter for me to write this one. It was quite the experience! Sarah Newton is my favorite kind of heroine. She's relentless and just a little jaded. She has survived a lot in her life and doesn't trust easily.

Debra Webb said...

Keira! I wish I had given up eating! I think the writing process is very different for everyone. And, for me, it has changed/evolved over time. I used to get up every morning and go straight to the computer (with coffee, of course) and work until about lunch and then do whatever I wanted for the rest of the day. Nowadays I spend way too much time doing other stuff and then working 24/7 until a project is done. It worried me at first, but somehow it feels like it works better because, although I'm doing other things, the story is peculating and then when I dive in it comes together beautifully and quickly. So, I think that even when I'm doing whatever, the story is building in momentum in my head. I hope that makes sense.

Debra Webb said...

Keira! One more thing, I would tell this to all aspiring to be published--DO NOT GIVE UP! Sometimes it's hard and you get so frustrated, but persistence is the key! I had 17 rejections before I sold the first book. And don't be afraid to start out doing something a little different than what you long to do. My first three books were romantic comedies.

Debra Webb said...

Good morning, Anna! The ideas and inspiration comes in waves--but not consistently. It's the funniest thing. I can be completely stuck and then it will suddenly come to me out of the blue. It's really odd--or maybe the Good Lord is looking out for me. But I do believe that if you try to push an idea it just won't work. You have to give it a little nudge and then let it come. Kind of like nurturing seed plants. You add the water and fertilizer, make sure it gets the proper sunlight and then let it happen.

Debra Webb said...

Anna, we do have strange minds, don't we? You're very right not to overwhelm yourself with the possibilities. Let them come, and the best ones will stay with you. The one that won't let you go is usually the one that you'll do the best job of turning into a great story.

Debra Webb said...

Donna! Sorry, no wedding dress but that's an awesome seed for an idea! I do have a fairly extensive library. I buy lots of books written by detectives (PIs and cops), former FBI agents--but I don't refer to them as much as I used to. I try to find real life sources to talk to. I read extensively--headlines, magazine articles. I like to stay on top of the latest lingo (cop speak, young people speak). But my favorite research is simply watching people! In fact, my next St. Martin's release, EVERYWHERE SHE TURNS, is set in the mill village where I now live. It's a very eclectic neighborhood and I love it. For years no one wanted to live here because of the "atmosphere". There's still quite a bit of trouble in the area but that's changing.

Debra Webb said...

Helen, thanks! More than thirty of those books are Colby Agency stories. My very first Harlequin Intrigue was a series idea I came up with that I hoped would go over with the editor and the readers. Victoria Colby and her private investigation agency is, I believe, the longest running author-created series at Harlequin Intrigue. I'm very much indebted to the wonderful readers who continue to love those characters.

Debra Webb said...

PinkPeony! Good morning! Thank you so much for the great compliments. Big time yes to the over active imagination! I do watch people a lot and create scenarios for who they are and what they might be up to--based on how they look and their actions. I think rather than being suspicious by nature that we're "curious" by nature. Whatever it is, I love people watching!

Debra Webb said...

Jane, I love 24, Closer, True Blood, and Lie To Me!

Debra Webb said...

Anna! Great to see you here! Thank you so much. Harlequin Intrigue is a fabulous line. I love writing the stories. It's different from writing the bigger books because you have to condense a good story into fewer pages but it's so much fun. Keep me posted on how it goes for you. Intrigue is always looking for great new authors!

Debra Webb said...

Virginia! Have a safe trip visiting your sister. Yes, I think a form of writer's block happens to everyone at one time or another but I don't look at it as a block--I look at it as a day off! I think taking your mind from the problem is the best way to get things flowing again! As for how it flows for me, I do see the story in big, extended chunks rather than scene by scene which helps me to put it on the page more quickly.

Debra Webb said...

Hey Caren! I honestly don't know where those dark thoughts come from. I had wonderful parents, terrific siblings...who knows where it comes from. But it comes! Some folks believe you inherit genetic memories and those influence your thoughts and decisions in this life. I sure hope anyone I inherited from was a writer and not an axe-murderer!

Debra Webb said...

Hey Kim! You are too funny! No hand on the keyboard when I sleep but the story thoughts do regularly wake me up!

Debra Webb said...

Susan! Yes, so glad they're all fictional. I did dream once that I had murdered some one and I woke up in a cold sweat with my heart pounding. It was awful! My months in Maine gave me a taste of that brutally cold weather! Good luck to anyone who wants to break in during that kind of weather--they're darn sure going to need it!

Debra Webb said...

Joan, oh my gosh! That happens though. You'll be so caught up in your story thoughts that real life just fades into the background--not a good thing when you're driving. But driving is when I get some of my best ideas. That could be bad for the other drivers on the road!

Debra Webb said...

Louisa! Great to see you here! Southern Magic is awesome! Good grief! Someone really did that? Surely not in sweet lil lo Alabama??? Bad things only happen in Alabama in our stories, right???

Debra Webb said...

I must hear more about all your thoughts on body disposal. That's one of those things we RS authors spend a lot of time thinking about "after the murder."

p226 said...

Hahaha, I don't have thoughts like that too often. I do perform threat assessments on everyone I see, which I guess is related, in a strange twisted way.

Thinking while driving? Indeed dangerous.

See, I'm a shower thinker. I get completely lost in thought in there. The problem is that our hot water heater's too small, and doesn't heat the water enough. This limits me to a grand total of about twelve minutes cognitive function per day.

p226 said...

I must hear more about all your thoughts on body disposal.

Water is the universal solvent. With enough time, it erases all evidence. Bodies go in water, and they need to stay there for a long time.

Beth said...

So good to have you with us, Debra!

My imagination definitely runs away from me - and more often than I think is normal *g* Or at least, normal to non-writers!

Thanks so much for being with us today :-)

catslady said...

I think that's one of the reasons people like to read or watch suspense - you think these "inappropriate" thoughts all the time but it's legitimate to read, watch or write it lol. Living vicariously through books and movies is safer lol. And when you find an author or writer who is good at suspense it's wonderful (I hate being able to figure it out).

Debra Webb said...

P226! I love that! "Threat assessments!" I'll have to start doing that. Sounds so cool. I never have been a shower thinker (in and out too fast I suppose), but a long hot soak in a tub will get the old muse churning.

Debra Webb said...

Hey Beth! I'm so glad to be here talking to you guys! What a cool and creative group!

Debra Webb said...

Catslady! You're so right. I hate being able to figure it out. My daughter refuses to go to movies with me because I figure it out too soon and can't keep it to myself. Speaking of movies, I watched TAKEN this weekend and loved it!

Cassondra said...

Debra, welcome to the lair!

I've always been awestruck by your ability to crank out so many books--yet they never get formulaic or repetitive. I know you can't make anyone a faster writer with your advice, but....how do you keep it fresh? How do you fill the well?

You even mentioned television shows you like and my gosh, if I watched television I would NEVER write. Yet I recognize that for many writers, that's a "well-filler".

Have you learned over the years of writing how to better keep the flow going? Have you ever been stuck in your writing?

And can you pass along any secrets to your success at juggling so many projects? For instance, do you work on one at a time or several? Is the time you spend "percolating" the idea the secret to quick writing for you? Any thoughts on how to let go and let the muse have its way under the writing load you carry?

Thanks so much for visiting with us. It's an honor to have such an accomplished role model in the lair with us!

Marisa O'Neill said...

Hi Debra!
I have a trillion things running through my mind... in fact I'm often found trying to make my mind blank for a minute or two.

You know I loved FIND ME! I'm so very glad you're into the murder for money business.

Debra Webb said...

Cassondra, you're too kind. I do think that allowing the story to simmer for a while is very helpful. When it builds enough, I dive in. Then it's that plain old sticking point of staying with it until I'm done. I allow myself free time to do the other things I love and I think that fills the well more than anything else. Music, movies, TV, headlines, just seeing something that triggers a reaction deep inside will compel me to get busy. As far as keeping it fresh, one thing I believe that has helped me with the Colby Agency is the fact that I know these characters so well. I am deeply invested in them as "real" and I know what they've been through. Characters are like people, if you really know them, they're all different. That's key because two different people rarely react the same to a situation. We all have our little idiosyncrasies and what we say and do is filtered by those. One last piece of advice, trust yourself. You are a storyteller. The story will come if you let it. Sounds corny, I know. Frustration pushes it away. Fear pushes it away. Don't be afraid and don't be frustrated with yourself--just write the story. It took me a long time to learn that core fact. So don't beat yourself up if you haven't mastered that challenge. I've been writing stories since I could read and write. So I've got lots of years under my belt of creating people and plots and learning to deal with the frustrations and fears.

Debra Webb said...

Thank you so much, Marisa! Writing FIND ME was a true joy. I think being immersed in the setting really helped me to get into that story. I trudged every step through the snow and ice alongside Sarah Newton!

Debra Webb said...

P226, very good point. The length of time in the water is extremely important. That's a part of research that I truly have fun with--discovering all those little things that happen to the human body after death and what an investigator has to do to find them. I did a book for Harlequin called NEVER HAPPENED. In it, my heroine was a "cleaner". She specialized in cleaning up rental properties where bodies had been discovered (usually the tenant). It was a very interesting field to research. Never Happened was the name of her business because when she finished, the place looked as if "it"--whatever it was--never happened.

Nancy said...

Keira, you're really on a roll! Congratulations.

Nancy said...

Debra, welcome! KJ, thanks for hosting today.

This is an interesting thought. I sometimes come home from conferences excited about cool-o (I think) information like how to make napalm. I suspect the dh finds this enthusiasm a little bent, but he tries to make appropriate noises. I've never needed to use that information, but I like knowing I have it in case a character needs it. *g*

Though the does like the Burn Notice voiceovers where they talk about making various gadgets, including explosives. Hmm.

I tend to wonder more mundane things about people--like what they're doing before they come into my line of sight and what they'll do when they leave.

p226 said...

P226! I love that! "Threat assessments!" I'll have to start doing that.

It's not necessarily as fun as it sounds. It's just become a function of day to day life for me.

Kate Carlisle said...

Debra, I'm always getting strange looks from my husband, just because I might've mentioned some particularly painful way I could kill someone off for annoying me at the office, or cutting me off in traffic. Is that so wrong? :-)

And then, there are the voices. He doesn't seem to understand that, either. *g*

I'm in awe of your writing speed!! And I can't wait to read your latest. I put my Amazon order in so it should be here any day now!

LOL Keira! You captured the GR perfectly! Such a bon vivant, isn't he? :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Debra, I'm so amazed that you and your family moved to Maine to work on this book. Can you tell us why you decided to do it and how it worked out for you? Will you do that again?

I'm thinking I might have to set a book in Paris and move there for a year. :-)

Thanks for your advice about fear and frustration. I'm printing out that comment and posting it on my wall.

OMG, I've got to find "NEVER HAPPENED."

And I love LIE TO ME!!

Threat assessments, p226? That's probably smart. :-) I have a friend who, first thing he does when he enters a room, is look for three ways to escape. Now I can't help thinking about it whenever I enter a new room.

LOL on your 12 minutes of cognitive functioning!

Pat Cochran said...

Nice to have you here today, Debra!
Just finished reading all of today's comments. Like the rest, I am so floored by the numbers. My brain hurts from contemplating all the "thinking" that goes into all your works! I've not read any of your books, but I'm going to take some aspirin and go out and pick up your latest.

Pat Cochran

Debra Webb said...

Nancy, conferences are great sources of info and inspiration! I missed everything last year but I'm coming to both RT and RWA this year!

Debra Webb said...

Kate, great to see you here! Never Happened was one of those books that was pure pleasure to write. Maine, well, it's a bit of a long story, but the condensed version is that we'd just sold our house and weren't sure what we wanted to do next. My youngest daughter was going through a tough time with a broken engagement and a horrible car accident in which her back was broken. We needed a change. My oldest daughter and I had talked about New England ever since we saw the movie Baby Boom. So, many years later, we packed up and went for it. We found a house that was empty for the winter (more than a century old farmhouse on 50 acres of land about 5 miles outside Camden). We could see the ocean from the kitchen window and the mountains were behind us. Truly, truly beautiful but cold! They hit a record snowfall that winter! But we had a great time. It was amazing and terrifying at the same time. I think the worst part was my poor husband having to drive that freaking U-Haul from Alabama to Maine. It was an adventure I will never forget and definitely I would do it again!

Debra Webb said...

Pat, thanks! I hope you enjoy the book!

Kate Carlisle said...

Aww, Debra, I loved BABY BOOM! I wanted to move to Maine, too, after seeing that movie. And hello, Sam Shepard! LOL

It must've been a strange and wonderful experience--and it certainly had to have helped with the book.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Kim Howe said...

I'm loving that "threat assessment" quote as well p226...do you also sit with your back to the wall in restaurants? :)

Deb, great advice today. I just wish I could channel your nimble fingers!

Cassondra said...

Debra, thanks so much for the great answer and for the encouragement.

Trust yourself.

Not an easy thing for a perfectionist like me. I know perfectionism is a muse killer, but it's a tough cookie to crumble.

How very cool that you just up and changed your life! I love that, and what a great example of trusting yourself--your gut--maybe the divine--and just going for it. BTW,I have a few friends who long to live in Maine--they were born there and say there's no place quite like it. I'm so glad it worked out for you. WAAAAY different from the south though...whoooweee.

Kim what a great blog! Thanks so much for bringing Debra to the lair today!

Debra Webb said...

Kim, I wish I had your travel calendar! I'm always envious of your wonderful trips.

Debra Webb said...

Thanks, Cassondra! The friends we made in Maine are priceless. A fiercely determined people. Survivors. And green minded. Camden was really big on recycling and taking care of the environment.

Keira Soleore said...

Debra wrote, "Keira! One more thing, I would tell this to all aspiring to be published--DO NOT GIVE UP!"

Debra, thank you for this. I seem to need to hear this often. Keeps the pits of despair away (and my hair safe). The Banditas are famous for keeping at it, and their success as yours is a testimony to persistence.

Keira Soleore said...

Kate asked, "You captured the GR perfectly! Such a bon vivant, isn't he?"

Now, the GR's sure to get swell-headed (and pigheaded). Too much praising. Must get the marinade started to bring him down a peg or two. Mwahahaha.

p226 said...

I'm loving that "threat assessment" quote as well p226...do you also sit with your back to the wall in restaurants? :)

Yes.

Louisa Cornell said...

Yes, Deb, it really did happen in Alabama - Montgomery to be exact. The kid in the car drove his silent, bloody friend home, dropped him off and went home without saying a word to anyone. There was talk of charging him as an accessory, but his lawyer's very sound argument was "What would you have done?" Guy gets in my car covered in blood holding a sword and says "take me home" I would probably take him home to avoid ticking him off. I, as an adult, would have alerted the authorities. I can understand why a teenager might not. The murderer by the way was found in his home with a gunshot wound to the head - suicide. It was a very sad case. The young man who did it was in several of my classes and seemed like a nice kid. You never know. I also taught Brent Springford for one year. Now you know why I don't teach anymore!

Debra Webb said...

Now there's some book fodder, Louisa!