07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Three Bears of Writing Size

by M.L. Buchman

Well, it's that time where bears are looking for places to hibernate with bowls of porridge and beds of just the right size to stretch out in.
And while bears aren't a big deal on the Oregon beaches, I'm sure they're up in the Coast Range hills, somewhere. We used to have a nice little brown bear that lived behind our backyard in Western Washington. Alas, we never saw him/her with a mate or cub, and we always felt a little sorry for it at this time of year having to curl up all on its lonesome. Friends who lived on various sides of its range always reported it alone.

Well, I've got some big, middle, and small presents to help while away the winter season. And I'll mention just a few things about them as I going.

I was always afraid of writing short stories, I "think" in novel and series lengths, not short fiction. "I don't write short!" I said it so many times that an editor I know said, "Okay! Now you will!" She invited me to be a name author on the cover of her Christmas Ghosts anthology. Well, like a bear backed into a corner, and knowing better than to even think about fighting with this particular editor--Kristine Kathryn Rusch (aka Kristine Grayson) can be fierce--I wrote a "Night Stalkers" Christmas story. I threw it toward her from my narrow corner and ducked, waiting for the laughter. Instead she purchased and published it...who says editors aren't confusing.

The result, available now in the splendid Fiction River anthology "Christmas Ghosts," from my "Night Stalkers" military romantic suspense series about which Publisher's Weekly says:
>Among the standouts are M.L. Buchman’s “The Ghost of Willow’s Past”<
Once I stopped struggling and whimpering, the story took less than a week to come together. Now that my baby bear seemed to be resting happily, I had to think about my Mama Bear. Mama Bear's are fun. The mid-sized, short romance novel, especially the romance Christmas novel is so much fun to write! It's an opportunity to just go in and play as an author. It's not like a short story, which I still find a bit scary, with all of its fussy little details having to fit together like a tiny jigsaw puzzle (ever try to make a baby quilt? they're like that only worse). Nor is it the papa bear of a full-length novel in a series (that I'll get to in a moment).

In my "Angelo's Hearth" contemporary foodie-romance series, I admit to being startled when Angelo's mom showed up in his restaurant and announced that she was his new pastry chef during book #2 in the series, Where Dreams Reside. It didn't take me long to understand that Mama Maria Amelia Avico Parrano and her Italian pastries weren't going to settle for merely cooking in the background. Within just chapters of her arrival she started messing with her son's love life and befriending his love interest causing no end of consternation from one end of the cook line to the other.

So, she insisted on her own book, but she was a pretty determined woman and she knew what she wanted. She started working on me last spring for her own book and, as Mama Maria always does, she got exactly what she wanted. I'm thrilled to present Maria's Christmas Table.

Then there's Papa Bear! My Papa Bear this Christmas season will be book #4 of my "Night Stalkers" series. Originally conceived back in 2010, he'll be crawling out of his cave on December 3rd. A beast like that can literally take me years to build properly. While writing other books, I'm reading research. In between edits and publishing of other works, I'll work on character, story, plot. I can't begin to tell you how many walks with my wife turned into brainstorming sessions (thankfully, she's a very patient woman). Then I get it a third written...and I begin to weep, because that's where I always get stuck in any book. (did I mention how patient my wife is?) And finally with the help of many people including my wonderful editor Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks, copyeditors and the like the book is ready to be born.

Take Over at Midnight is already garnering such praise, I find myself a bit surprised and more than a bit humbled.
  • Fans of Buchman's Night Stalkers series will delight in this strong fourth installment -Publisher's Weekly
  • Buchman proves his literary military romance prowess with likable and multifaceted characters, a good plot and riveting action. -4 stars, Romantic Times
  • Once again Buchman takes the military romance to a new standard of excellence. -Booklist

It is currently available for pre-order (due out Dec 3rd):
Kindle, Print, Nook, iBook
Hope you feel as snug as I do!
Thanks so much for reading.


Diana Mcc. said...

Congratulations on all your up coming releases. I've said it before, you amaze me working on so many different projects at once! Happy Halloween!!

M. L. Buchman said...

It's one of the great joys of being a full-time writer, you get to play: big, little, and middle. So much fun!

Judith Ashley said...

Love the picture of Mom and the kids strolling down the highway or are the ambling?

Congratulations on a string of releases! You are living by your own principles - and it shows in your productivity.

Do you include recipes in your foodie series? I'd love to see what Mama Maria's recipes look like. Does she have one for tiramisu?

M. L. Buchman said...

Regrettably, no recipes in the foodie series. A failing, I know. While I'm a good cook, almost all of my cooking is based on the recipes of others. Though I began cooking full meals by the time I was 8, our family passed down only 3 recipes: spaghetti sauce, a stew that we loved as kids but is pretty awful as an adult, and a spaghetti-clam casserole. Mama Maria's cornetti and Panettone bread are wholly out of my reach without opening a cookbook, to which someone else holds the copyright. :)