Characters taking control of the plot and sexual tension in historical inspiration novels- can it happen?

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I guess that is why I like to read and now, to write. Yesterday I was working on the fourth part of my family sage, Matty’s Summer, when suddenly a romance I hadn’t really thought about bloomed right before my eyes. Apparently two of my characters had their own ideas about the way they wanted the story to go. Talk about a story taking off on it’s own.  It’s kind of cool and certainly a “novel” experience (has, ha, pun intended) for me.

Has it ever happened to any other writers? I wonder. Post your thoughts below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

On a side note, some of my colleagues and I have been discussing whether or not there can be sexual tension (no overt sexual acts) in an historical inspirational novel for young adults and older. I’d love to hear your comments on that thought too.

Unearthing old manuscripts and bringing them to life

All Kinds of Crumbs book CoverLast year my older son mentioned he had been telling his daughter about my children’s books I had written, drawn and made for him and his brother when they were little. I was surprised he remembered and it touched my heart.

This fall I decided to look for the manuscripts (I found one finished, the other one was missing a few pages). Using Shutterfly I created the books for my sons for Christmas presents this year so they could share the story with their own children. I hope they enjoy it. Here is the cover to the first book written about 1986.


Random thoughts on my November & December writing

Well, I started out thinking I’d get a lot of my fourth section of my novel done. I’ve gotten at least half of it done, changed the title a little (it’s now Matty’s Autumn instead of Summer) and have an idea of the direction I am going to take with the last section of the novel. I also thought I’d get a lot further faster than I have. In the meantime, I have spent time with family, celebrated the holidays and spent time trying to be healthy. These are all things my characters will have faced too, after all they are human (at least to me).

Like Little Women, this book starts out with a woman and will end with a woman, highlighting the struggles and triumphs they have as well as other family members have.

I had done extensive research through the years about the 1750-1820 time period, especially around Pittsburgh, but the 1830-1850s will be another matter. I am researching as I go along.

One of my Beta readers suggested I slow down the plot and develop my characters more. I know I did that more as the book progressed, so I will have to think about it for Helena’s Spring. I think sometimes because we know a character well we forget others , our readers don’t.

More work ahead.

I had hoped to get my novel to an agent earlier than this, but… I think polishing it and get it in better shape than it was will be for the best. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and may the New Year 2020 bring joy and blessing to all.

Spending Christmas with family

My chapter proposal has been accepted for inclusion in a book now what?

So I just heard my nonfiction chapter proposal for a book has been accepted, however, now they (the editors) have to make sure the publisher is onboard with the whole idea of the book. It’s another hurry up and wait time, so I think I will let my brain start formulating ideas on what I will write in that chapter drawing upon my proposal.

But wait! When I look at my calendar I see next week is chockful of activities. Tomorrow and this weekend may be the lull before the storm. I’d better get organized and start putting my ideas on paper so to speak, prior to Monday! Between workouts, babysitting and traveling next week there may NOT be much writing time. I know I can’t write when I travel (can’t read much for that matter either since I am a lousy traveler) so I know better than to try.

Any advice? What would you do? Do you have similar experiences to share? Feel free to comment below.

The Waiting Game

Your novel has been edited, you’ve sent it to Beta Readers and now you wait. What do you do while you are waiting? Give me some ideas, please! I also need some motivation to retype my murder mysteries in digital form. Sigh. Just can’t get motivated!

My sister Janyce Brawn says “Challenge yourself to do one little thing each day, step by step.”

I guess writing in this blog is step one.

Dealing with Hardship

What do you do to help you through hard times? In my novel I am writing that is a big theme that runs throughout the book. Here is a conversation between James and his wife Jennet as they discuss waiting and suffering during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812:

James told her, “Tis true that the waiting part of the war is as hard as actually fighting the war. I remember the stories my mother’s friend Mary Foster told me about their lonely vigils during the last war.”

Jennet smiled and tucked her arm through his as they sat on a fallen log and watched the sunset. She looked off at the sunset as she thought and said, “It seems to me there are many different types of physical and emotional hardship. There’s also the hardship or pain you face with death. A person can die fighting, suddenly or slowly- that’s physical. The other kind is to die inside, a little bit at a time when loved ones suffer or die. Thank goodness God can revive us at our low points. I hope Johanna realizes that, when she thinks about Jake.” Jennet turned and looked at James, her big green eyes serious, “Do you think Jake is still alive?”

A new domain, a new me

I’ve had a busy day. A friend and I updated my wordpress site and I have my own domain. It is called:

This led me to think of what inspires me and what influences my thoughts and writing process. Prayer, creative activities, friends and family as well as time for reflection are key for me. That led me to search for an icon to associate with my site. The reading angel struck a familiar chord with me. I love reading, finding inspiration for writing from reading and letting my imagination soar. Hence I combined those ideas with the soaring care of an angel in my icon.


How do/did you choose your icon mascot? Please share your own experiences!

Linda M. Au

Humorist. Novelist. Scapegoat.

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For articles, books, historical inspirational fiction, non-fiction and mysteries this is the site to see!

Janyce Brawn

Illustrator, writer, encourager

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