A post about HOME FREE by Claire McEwen. I had the most wonderful time writing my new book, Home Free. The connection between the hero, Arch Hoffman, and the heroine, Mandy Allen, was a joy to describe. Mandy and Arch made me laugh …and cry! And Shrimp, the miniature donkey? Well don’t even get me started on that little guy, because I could go on for days about how cute he is. Just visit my Pinterest page and you’ll see for yourself!
Home Free’s Fabulous Foundation
I had the most wonderful time writing my new book, Home Free. The connection between the hero, Arch Hoffman, and the heroine, Mandy Allen, was a joy to describe. Mandy and Arch made me laugh …and cry! And Shrimp, the miniature donkey? Well don’t even get me started on that little guy, because I could go on for days about how cute he is. Just visit my Pinterest page and you’ll see for yourself!
Another reason I had such a great time writing this book is because I got to write part of it with the help of an incredible writing instructor, Margie Lawson, and a fun group of committed writers. We all signed up to spend five days studying in one of Margie’s immersion classes.
What’s an immersion class? Well, one person donates their house, and participants show up there early every morning and work on their stories until late into the night. Margie teaches a class each morning. An incredible, participatory class that gets you thinking about your own writing and teaches you all kinds of strategies and techniques you can apply to strengthen it.
Then, in the afternoons and evenings, Margie works with each student individually. The days are long, but also incredibly rewarding. It reminded me of the time I ran a half-marathon. There were moments when I wondered why, exactly, I had signed up, because I was tired and it was overwhelming. But I knew I’d be so glad that I’d pushed myself!
Margie is a very funny person and I loved working through the opening scenes in Home Free with her. I wanted to show what Mandy’s life was like, in a succinct way, in one of the first paragraphs. Margie had been teaching us about repeating certain sounds as a way to make our writing flow. So I came up with “She was as stuck as a truck in a high desert wash.” I wanted to add in the word muck, to keep the rhyme going. And Margie had another rhyming word she wanted to contribute, which I won’t repeat here. We laughed so hard as we tried to decide how much rhyming was too much!
But Margie’s immersions aren’t for the faint of heart. She is honest, and will tell you when something still needs a lot of work. Here is an example of just one paragraph of Home Free that we worked through together. There are a lot of marks on the page!
Writing is such a solitary profession, and I loved receiving this kind of feedback on my work, and giggling so much in the process. Margie’s teachings changed my writing, honed and polished it, and I think it really shows in Home Free.
About the Author
Claire McEwen lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. Her books feature strong heroes and heroines who take big, emotional jo
urneys to find their happily-ever-afters. When not dreaming up new stories, she can be found digging in her garden with a lot of enthusiasm but, unfortunately, no green thumb. She loves discovering flea-market treasures, walking on the beach, dancing, traveling and reading, of course!
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