Welcome to Living the Write Life, Clare! I am in awe of the concept behind the Monday’s Child Series! How did you come up with such a unique idea?
One rainy day, a rhyme popped into my head that we’d had on the wall at work – a funny version of the poem Monday’s Child – Monday’s Child is red and spotty… I knew I had seven novel ideas tucked away in a folder on my hard drive – including three finished ones—and dragging them out, realized that each would fit a line of the original nursery rhyme. I emailed Nicola Martinez, editor in chief at Pelican Books with the idea and she loved it.
The rewritten poem was based on a prose tagline version I sent my editor, Lisa. She made it rhyme, Nicola made it scan and the rest, as they say, is history.
Monday’s Child must hide for protection,
Tuesday’s Child tenders direction
Wednesday’s Child grieves for his soul
Thursday’s Child chases the whole
Fridays Child is a man obsessed
Saturday’s Child might be possessed
And Sunday’s Child on life’s seas is tossed
Awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost.
Well, I think it’s genius! Will these be full-length novels, or shorter novellas?
They are all full-length ones. The challenge with Monday’s Child was keeping it below 80k.
Oh, good – more to read! LOL Tell us about the first book in the series, Monday’s Child.
Monday’s Child has had many titles since the first version was written in 2002. It’s been Sara, The Beach, A Piece of Sky… It was started on the very beach in Winterton in the story. We’ve stayed in that chalet park several times, walked across those dunes… And as for Scotland, I could move there in a heartbeat. I love the windswept beaches, the mountains… And Sara, being the person that she is, has a very special way of pronouncing Luke’s title throughout the entire book. I had to teach my computer to spell leftenant correctly. LOL.
Here's what it's about:
Monday’s Child must hide for protection...
This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn’t be so bad if Sara wasn’t such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her.
When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection programme, she becomes the “wife” of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke’s American bravado, she finds he’s kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was.
But things aren’t always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he’s fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he’s no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it’s a race against time to find her husband’s killer before Sara is silenced forever.
A sneak peek into Monday's Child:
Luke smiled at her and offered his hand.
Sara ignored it, staring aghast at Wilcox, shock resonating through her, and not just at his abrupt tone. Was there something wrong with her hearing? There was no rank of lootenant in the English police force for one thing. For another, he didn’t look like a soldier, and— Wait a minute, did he say marriage? “I’m sorry?”
“Lieutenant Nemec will be with you on a full-time basis. As far as the world is concerned you’ll be his wife. First name terms only.”
Furious, Sara shook her head. Her eyes narrowed and her lips set. “Oh, no. There is absolutely no way, either in this lifetime or the next, that—”
“Don’t you Sara me. I am not going to live with anyone, Inspector. Especially someone I’ve only just met. And I am definitely not marrying him.” She glanced at Luke, deliberately pronouncing his title the English way. “No offence, Leftenant Nemec.”
Luke slid his hands into his pockets. “None taken, but my name is Luke. If it helps any, I was just told myself.”
Taken aback by his accent, Sara did a double take. “You’re American.”
“And you’re British.” He tilted his head, flashing his teeth in a broad smile.
Oh, yeah! Sounds amazing. How different is it to write, knowing your work is already contracted? Does it make any difference in your commitment, or your process of writing?
It’s very different. I have a deadline for each book — still have two to write—and it's no longer a case of, "Oh, I don’t want to write today, I’ll do something else instead." I had a set amount of words I have to do if I’m going to make the deadline. Some days are easier than others. Especially if Cade (my muse) decides to go take a hike. Or if Evan (my inner editor) decides he hates the previous section.
I actually spend every day, apart from Sunday, writing at some point. I hand write the first draft, usually in note form, then type up. For some reason my notes are always in the present tense, no idea why. But sometimes these notes are in the main manuscript, which then makes it harder when filling in the gaps.
You’re from England, and I know some of the differences in the meanings of words from there to here can be challenging. Can you share something humorous that resulted from this kind of thing?
(Blushes…) I had my Thursday’s Child heroine chuck a rubber from her desk at her boss… Can I just say a rubber is an eraser here before anyone says anything…? :P. Usually found on the end of a pencil, but not always.
And then there are pants and suspenders. Any Brit will give you a really weird look if you insist on holding your pants up with suspenders. It’s not physically possible, as what you (Americans) call pants are actually trousers. Pants are what you wear under them, and suspenders the bits of lace and hooks we hold our stockings up with.
But the thing I find most hard is the spelling. You guys leave u’s out of almost everything. And put s’s in instead of z’s. :D
ROFL! That’s hilarious. Yeah, the eraser thing would have left a few chins hanging here in the U.S. (And, of course, we think you Brits add u’s to almost everything – and put z’s in instead of s’s. LOL)
I always like to ask inspirational authors about their favorite verse of scripture. Do you have one, and if so, why is that verse special to you?
1Peter 5:7 - Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
I’ve had this picture of a small girl in red pj’s (that’s pyjama’s with a y ;-) with a dog above my bed since I was tiny. Above it is written He careth for you. It’s a reminder that no matter what happens, God cares, even when no one else does.
What a sweet picture! And what a wonderful verse. Thank you for sharing.
But enough of the serious stuff! Let’s have some fun.
A box of crayons has many color choices. Which color are you? Why?
Depends on my mood (LOL), but usually lilac. Because it’s the colour (with a u :D) of bluebells and lavender and my bridesmaids' dresses. Because some days are blue but not completely, if that makes any sense.
It makes perfect sense. (I’d be purple – just because it’s my favorite color. And, of course, the color of passion...and the color of royalty. We’re at least in the same color family! Ha.)
You’re stranded on a remote island. What ONE item from home do you absolutely want with you?
Just one? Ummm….my Kindle. Because it’s got over 200 books on it, including a Bible, and has a keypad so I can still write.
Oh, great choice! I hope you have a power supply on that island. And speaking of power…which super power would you like to borrow for one day?
I’d like to be able to do two things at once. So I can write and clean the house.
Good thinking – and so practical! :) Which cartoon character are you?
Little Miss Stubborn. Not just ‘cos she’s lilac (LOL), but ‘cos once she gets an idea in her head, nothing is going to shift it.
Very cute! She must be a British cartoon...or am I just that far behind times? LOL Thanks so much for allowing me to pick your brain…and your funny bone! :D
You’re welcome. And thank you for having me here. :D