Sunday, August 21, 2011

Manic Monday with J.E. Taylor

Welcome to another Manic Monday. 

Since I had no one slotted for this particular Monday, I figured I'd give you all a peek into what it is like to write a book with an eleven-year-old boy.   Anyone who is hooked into my Facebook page, will have already seen some of these funny scenarios. 

First off, my son and I are writing a series together called The Death Chronicles.  This is his brainchild and I have to admit, the premise is solid.  How did this get rolling? 

Well, one weekend in the spring, we were up at our place in Maine and walking the two miles into town so he could get a birthday gift for his girlfriend (yes he has one and has for three years - but that's another story).  He takes the opportunity now that he has my total attention to talk about an idea he has for a book.  And almost from the first pitch, I'm intrigued.  My publisher bell is ringing on this one - it's a fairly unique idea and as an added bonus, he wants to write it with me.  Well, as we walked, I asked a hundred and one questions, flushing out his thoughts into a full blown plot that works.

Now, as a mother, this is such a neat idea and the fact that my son wants to delve into the writing world with me is like the highest of praises in my eyes.  If nothing else comes of my writing career - the fact that I have made such an impact on my child is more reward than anything I could of ask for and honestly, I'll take this over the New York Times bestseller list anyday.

But I digress, back to the process of writing with my son.  He came up with the series name: The Death Chronicles and when he told me the story line,  I chose the name of the first book - Don't Fear The Reaper.  Those of my generation will get that the title is a throwback to Blue Oyster Cult - but it is very appropriate to the story line and that makes my rocker soul a bit giddy.  The fact the character's name Dylan Nicholas Ramsay is another one of those fun inside jokes - one that initially wasn't obvious.  My son thought up the first and middle name and wanted the character to go by his middle name - but I threw in the last name once I realized the progression of initals.  When I explained what D.N.R. stood for - my son LOVED it.

Now our thirteen-year-old main character 'Nick' has a love interest in the book.  So when we came to a scene where Nick kisses her cheek, I wanted to impress upon my son the need to engage all the senses in writing and asked - what does Nick's girlfriend smell like?

I got the three headed mom look.  He didn't know what in the world to say here.  So I asked what HIS girlfriend smelled like.   Ok - maybe that wasn't a cool question for MOM to ask, but his reaction was hysterical.  "I don't know, I don't go around sniffing girls."  He ranted a bit between gales of laughter "What am I supposed to do, walk up to my girlfriend and ask her if I can sniff her and tell her it's for a book?"  He didn't expect me to say yes - and that brought on a whole new set of giggles.  Well, when we got this settled and I got a particular scent out of him, my next question threw him for a loop as well.  How did Nick feel when he kissed her?

Another blank look.  Now this question gets a little tricky - ok, How do you feel when you kiss your girlfriend?  After fifty-three shades of red, and a lot of false starts, he finally said he feels sick to his stomach and alive.
Now imagine being an eleven-year-old boy having this discussion with your mother.  Fun times.

Anyhow - after all of this angst and pulling out information about sights, sounds, smells and such - this is the passage in Chapter two that we wrote:

Don't Fear The Reaper....Chapter 2...

I never thought the vinyl-clad bench seat would feel so good, so free, as it did today and I closed my eyes, letting my body melt into the seat for the half-hour ride home.

“Nick?” Jessica’s voice interrupted the stupor I had fallen into.

I opened my eyes to her soft brown gaze so full of worry that I had to smile.

“Scoot over so I can sit down,” she said, shooing me aside. When she settled in the seat, she turned toward me. “Are you really okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. I just needed to get away from the school.” I leaned over and kissed her warm cheek, catching the sweet scent of strawberry shampoo. My stomach dropped through the floor from the adrenaline rush I always get when my lips touch her skin.

Her cheeks flush and I lean back, studying the red hue and the almost shy smile. She settles back in the seat and takes my hand for the remainder of the ride.

I closed my eyes, remembering the first time I saw her. The moving truck pulled away from the house next door and there she was, this little princess dribbling a soccer ball across the yard with her long golden hair flowing in the breeze behind her. And all I could think was smoking hot.

I snuck a peek at her. She’s still smoking hot after five years and she’s all mine.

Thanks for joining me today.
Until next time,

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