Too Much Work … Not Enough Holiday Time

deadlineI know, I know, everyone’s thinking holiday blogs, holiday blogs. I’m not quite there yet. I would be but I still have work to do that takes precedence over the pre-Christmas tidy, or decorating, or wrapping presents. Just a side-note, I’ve already finished shopping. AND I did put up my outside decorations on what was possibly the last warm day in Eastern Canada until next April.

In addition to my own writing, I’ve taken on a new job as an outline writer. Now I can’t imagine writing a book, especially a romance, from someone else’s outline. My characters often kick my butt and run off in an entirely different direction. I can’t picture being tied to someone else’s idea of how the chapter should go.

Yet, here I am, being handsomely paid to fill another author’s head with great characters and an even better plot. The funny thing is, I almost talked myself out of the job. By being honest.

snoop writesPart of the interview process required me to read two assigned books from their current catalog and then answer some pre-designed questions about the books. Problem was, I wasn’t impressed with either book. As a matter of fact, I was unimpressed. With the first book there was no real plot and, what there was, strayed off into left field so often I’d forgotten the initial objective. And, worst of all, there was no resolution. The second book ended about one third of the way through, followed by scene after scene of sex. Not lovemaking, just sex.

I answered the questions, as asked, but then felt compelled to ad lib. I posted the questionnaire to the proper place and waited, somewhat impatiently, for the CEO to review my answers and then tell me to go “take a hike”. Instead, he did something totally unexpected, he went out and bought two of my books and read them.

During our follow-up conversation, he admitted he was a bit peeved at my harsh critique. He also admitted he’d never read the two books I’d been assigned. After taking the time to read those two and the two books I’d written, he said he had no choice but to give me the job if I still wanted it. He also offered me the opportunity to write for them under one of their corporate pseudonyms. I accepted the outliner position and declined the other. I have enough of my own writing to complete. I didn’t need to add another full book to my workload. Especially one that wouldn’t bear my name.

The entire experience did leave me wondering though … just how many of these companies use outliners and ghost writers? I like to think when I connect with another author, it’s a personal connection not just an auto-bot for selling books. It also reminds me of how grateful and blessed I am to have a wonderful publisher like Soul Mate. I know, with them, what I see is what I get!

~ ~ ~

One of the books the CEO chose to read was Home is Where the Hunk is, my multi-award-winning secret baby book from Soul Mate Publishing.

16.1 HomeIsWhereTheHunkIsWhen globe-trotting photographer Allison Cain comes home to her family ranch in Montana it’s to get to know her nephew and to make amends with the widowed brother-in-law she’s left alone to raise his young son.

Evan Carver could never deny his late wife’s younger sister anything, despite the fact she’s been conspicuously absent over the past three years since her sister’s death. Now she’s home again on what she’s called an extended vacation. Evan’s first concern is for his son, Cody, and how his aunt’s visit will affect the five year old when she decides to return to her high profile career.

Allison has no intention of going back to work. In addition to getting to know Cody, she needs to confess her biggest secret to Evan. How do you tell the man you’ve always loved that you’re not just his son’s aunt, but also his mother?

~ ~ ~

Just to show that I do have some holiday spirit, I’ll be drawing three names from those who comment on this post and giving each winner an autographed copy of Home is Where the Hunk is. You may even get it in time for Christmas!


About Nancy Fraser

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
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3 Responses to Too Much Work … Not Enough Holiday Time

  1. Cindy Tomamichel says:

    Its an interesting job you describe. Most writers have more ideas than time (I know I do) so perhaps the concept could work. Who are the authors then if you are the outline ideas person? Is it a common thing, or just this one company?

    • Nancy Fraser says:

      Apparently there are a few fiction publishers out there that use ghost writers … this is totally new to me and I’ve been in this business for 25 years. The authors write under a different pen name for each romance genre. I know there have been hundreds of ghost writers in other genres (such a non-fiction biographies), I guess I just never pictured it for romance.

      • Cindy Tomamichel says:

        Yes, I knew about the celebrity bios etc. I guess there must be money in it. Does make you wonder now which are ghost titles.

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