Take your time – Do it right
By Andrea Cothern
Nothing annoys me more than reading a book and knowing that the author has no clue what they’re talking about. The importance of doing your research can’t be emphasized enough. Sure, nobody’s perfect, but assuming that your readers won’t notice is simply insulting. You will get someone who is anal enough to look something up, and the next thing you know, they’re writing about it on every social network they have access to and you look like a fool.
If you’re going to write about making cupcakes from scratch, for instance, you must list the ingredients.
When I was writing my debut novel, Ruby Sun, I had everything mapped out. My idea was simple enough: What was my idea? Aliens coming to Earth. From where? Scientists had recently stated that they had found a system that would possibly support life. I found the system, figured out which planet would support life (there are four in the system) and made that their home.
When I was co-authoring Corona with Bernard Hovestadt (a sci-fi novel that involves some pretty funky stuff on the ocean and the Titanic), a beta reader thought it prudent to tell me I was wrong about something. Imagine my satisfaction when I was able to come back with my source and prove him wrong. Being able to defend yourself and your work is vital.
Conversely, a reader contacted me one day, very pleased that when they had Googled Gliese (the red dwarf star that is the center of my aliens home system), they found it! I didn’t have to use a real planet or system, but because I did, it might make it more real to some readers.
Isn’t that the point? Having the reader get lost in your work? I may never have stated it in my book, but I had hours, days, months, the year, and the lunar calendar noted. If my characters were outside at night and the moon was out, it obviously wouldn’t be the same moon two weeks later. It might not have mattered. But then again, it could have.
You just never know. If you’re going to be a writer, don’t do it half-assed. Someone out there will know, and they’ll rip you a new one. And they might just have a voice big enough to ruin your career.
Where to find them:
Life in Blanding’s about as thrilling as watching paint dry. Nothing exciting ever happens. Then the Sheltons move to town, and Beth’s life will never be the same. What’s up with this new family? Their son Robert’s drop dead gorgeous—and he’s got a chip on his shoulder the size of a planet! Lizzy is lively and fun, not like the bossy and demanding Clare, who’s supposed to be Beth’s best friend! Until she sets her sights on Robert, that is! The mystery begins to unravel after an innocuous trip to the museum. Can this be true? Are they really extra-terrestrial visitors? Has Beth fallen in love with an alien? When did her life become like an episode of the X-Files?
Getting Robert to tolerate being around Beth is only the tip of the iceberg, as she falls head over heels for the gorgeous outworlder. But that love is threatened by a mysterious man who seems to be after the family. Who is he, and what does he want? And to what limits will he go to obtain his goals? Will Beth end up relocating to another planet to stay with her newfound love, or will she be forced to let him go to save him?
Ruby Sun excerpt:
My head started swimming as his lips parted and mine opened in response. His breath was sweet on my face, and I was drinking it in. The full kiss only made my lightheadedness worse, and my knees started to give out. As if he was reading my thoughts, he pushed me further into the kitchen without breaking the kiss. His arms traced down the sides of my body to my thighs, where he gripped hard and lifted, placing me on the counter. Taking my cue from him, I wrapped my legs around his waist with his hands still in place, pulling him closer to press his body against mine. With the same urgency, he kissed my cheek, moving down my neck and around to my throat. When he reached my collarbone, I remembered that I needed to breathe.
Who needed air at a time like this?
I took a deep breath and shuddered—the butterflies rode a roller coaster in my stomach.
This was wrong.
Then again, nothing had ever felt so right.
Andrea Cothern is the author of two novels. The first, Ruby Sun, is currently available as an ebook at museituppublishing.com and amazon.com. Its sequel, Sapphire Moon, will be available through the same publishers late 2012. In her spare time she enjoys painting, crafting, reading, writing, and spending time with her husband, Jason, and their daughter Madison. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida.
Thanks for stopping by, Andrea, come back soon!
Until next time, take care!