I’m so happy to have my friend and fellow Bliss author, Paula Altenburg, here with us today! Paula is one of the smartest, wittiest people I know and I love what she’s sharing with us today. She’s also giving away a copy of her book, DESIRE BY DESIGN. Details below! Thanks for joining us, Paula!
Ill-Conceived Life Choices
By Paula Altenburg
Welcome to a writer’s world.
We’re not well known for our good judgment. In a business that involves a high level of uncertainty, and with the majority of circumstances beyond our control, we’re forced to blaze our own trails rather than following a clear-cut path to professional success. Sometimes we end up in beautiful meadows filled with flowers and sunshine and singing birds.
Most days we’re chased through the bushes by bears. In the rain. At midnight.
Our entire lives are riddled with poor judgment.
I’m sure elementary school teachers can spot a blossoming writer with ease. When the class lines up for a fire drill and is told turn to the right at the exit, the young writer goes left, then stands there, confused. When the teacher asks the class to write about what they did on their summer vacation, the young writer writes about where their mind went, not necessarily what their body did. My Grade One teacher wrote in my report card: “Paula writes too many thrillers.” My English teacher mother wrote back: “Paula can write what she wants.”
What’s also odd is that I seem to have worn out my interest in thrillers in Grade One, because I have no interest in writing them anymore. At the time I wanted to be Nancy Drew when I grew up. See what I mean about ill-conceived life choices?
I fought being a writer. To me, it looked like a lot of hard work for little reward. (Turns out I was right.)
I remember sitting on a city bus in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, stressing about declaring my university major. I had to make a choice, yet nothing quite grabbed me. I probably should have chosen English, but History looked interesting. But everyone takes English and History, so I started to flip through the course catalogue, got to Cultural Anthropology, and had a winner. It was close to History, but just different enough to keep me interested for an entire degree program. The whole decision making process took me fifteen minutes. Maybe. It never occurred to me to consider my future job prospects.
There’s step number one to becoming a writer, by the way. Make sure you limit your options for anything else.
So began a lifetime of acquiring skills but no direction. The only thing I’ve never abandoned is writing, and writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, as well as the least fiscally rewarding. Yet I continue.
Fortunately, my characters don’t need to suffer from any severe writer affliction. Cass, the heroine in my current release Her Secret, His Surprise, has her act together. She’s an engineer. She knows what she wants out of life and she goes for it. Not even an accidental pregnancy will slow her down. The only thing that throws off her life plan is Logan, the baby’s father. While she thinks he’s pretty hot, she also thinks he lacks direction in his life.
Logan has plenty of direction. He simply can’t discuss it with Cass, so when he finds out he has a daughter, that limitation drives him crazy. He’s investigating her company, and her department in particular, on a matter involving government security. Logan is the Canadian version of a spy.
My poor judgment in the decision making process is actually a real asset when writing because I can empathize with my characters and their mistakes. I can also be useful to them. My favorite Jack Colton line from the movie Romancing the Stone: “Okay, Joan Wilder, write us out of this one.”
I can totally do that.
Writers may make ill-conceived life choices, but our characters benefit from all the lessons we’ve learned. Cass and Logan sure did.
Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up…until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.
Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded…and then he meets Cass’s daughter.
I adored this book! You can grab your copy here if you’d like:
Paula is giving away one eBook copy of her other wonderful Bliss book, DESIRE BY DESIGN, to one random commenter. Leave a comment – any comment – and you’ll be entered. The winner’s name will be posted in the comments on Sunday, August 10th, so be sure to check back!
Paula Altenburg lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and twosons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys working fromhome and writing fulltime. Paula currently writes fantasy, paranormal andcontemporary romance. Visit her at www.paulaaltenburg.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulaAltenburg.