Sunday, October 12, 2008

New book is out!

hi all,

just an FYI that my new book is out at Mills & Boon. This is my third book, The Emergency Doctor's Chosen Bride. It's set in a fictitious town in the state of Virginia, USA, but the setting is based on my experiences living in Charlottesville, Virginia, for 3 years. This is the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, in the midst of The Blue Ridge Mountain chain. Absolutely beautiful country and fantastic history are at the heart of this location.
So this is where I've plunked down my hero and heroine, given them each a past that they must overcome in order to find the path to their future. Being a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and falling in love with a physician who was born in a bucket of money, there's bound to be some issues. But seeing the goodness in each other is what makes this story a winner.
I hope you like it and visit my website at
I have built a trailer for this story. If you don't know, a trailer is a series of photos, set with music, that depict the written story of the book. It was fun making this up and I hope to do one for every book I write now. This trailer can be seen at:
Love, Molly

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's In A Title?

My new book is out. The title is: The Emergency Doctor's Chosen Bride. It's not bad. It's not great. Titles are in the realm of of the publisher and they (for the medicals) choose the titles. When I first started writing medicals, I was a bit shocked at the titles. They were just so. . . not-American-sounding. My first book for Mills and Boon medicals I titled: Runaway Nurse. I thought that said something about the book, would intrigue the reader enough to pick up the book and read the back blurb. But Runaway Nurse wasn't appealing to the UK editors and they changed it to, The Surgeon's Marriage Proposal.
What did that mean? I couldn't pick titles well enough? I was so nervous and excited when my editor called me that I really didn't care at the moment what it was called as long as they accepted it and paid me for it. They did and the book has gone on to be published in romance, medical romance both hard and paperback, large print hardback and French in a duet wtih another book and author.
So what does that tell me?
Not to be married to my titles. I use a working title, the most recent of which was Scars, another was Small Town Story. It gives me a little bit of focus every time I open the computer to work on it. In the end the publisher and editors are the ones who make some of the decisions regarding my books, they create the titles and also are the ones who pay me. So I'm okay with it.
Thanks for reading my blog and reading my books. Without the fans, we writers wouldn't be out here.
Molly Evans

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Pirate

Who doesn't love a good pirate story? Unfortunately, they've been pretty scarce until the recent Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3 sailed across the big screen. These movies have been very successful. Though fun to watch, there are things to be learned from each of these movies that can help improve your writing, things that will help bring out the inner pirate hiding inside of you.
Lately, I've been watching the movies while wearing a pirate medallion, skeleton earrings, and saying “arrr” a lot. I've even made myself a purse from pirate fabrics. So what, right? What this has done has enabled me to get in touch with my inner pirate and this hopefully translates to my writing.
What can we learn from watching POTC over and over? Aside from the obvious-Johnny and Orlando are totally hot-writers and pirates have many things in common. I've listed a few of them below. See if you can discover others hiding within you.
--Be passionate about everything.
--There must be something worth dying for, worth claiming as your own ,and worth giving up your old life/habits for.
--There must be action, there must be sweat, and even a few tears.
--If you're afraid, you can't show it. Never let the enemy see fear in your eyes.
--Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. If none are coming, you need to make something happen to change your current situation.
--Honor and integrity do not come without a price.
These are values not often taught in the film industry, but are embraced by the outlaws of society-the pirates.
As writers, how can we use these teachings of pirate characters?
For one, dress the part. I find when I wear my pirate attire, minimal though it is, I take on an entirely different attitude than my usual charming self. I'm bolder, more daring, and take more risks in my writing than usual.
Adventure and discovery: A pirate captain is always on the lookout for some new, undiscovered artifact, treasure, jewel or booty. Discover a new layer in your story that has been hidden. Is there an adventure for your characters to be had that deviates from the original plan you had mapped out for them? Can you take them through waters previously uncharted in your synopsis? (And don't forget about some unplanned booty!)
--Permit yourself to be wild and uncharted, fierce and deadly, in your writing.
--Learn to sail foreign waters. You may find success outside your comfort zone.
--Take no prisoners.
--Throw your hat in the air!
--Laugh, even when you're fighting the bad guys, enjoy it.
--Drink lots of rum. (Well, in moderation anyway)
--Lie on a beach once in a while and soak up the sun. (We all need more Vitamin D anyway)
--Curse a lot when things go wrong
--Raise a ruckus when there are things to celebrate—even the small stuff.
--Never, ever make a deal with a sea monster.
Being a pirate is mostly about attitude and making other people believe you're a pirate. Didn't Jack Sparrow introduce himself as Captain Jack Sparrow each and every time? He always corrected those who didn't address him properly. Even without a ship we believe he is Captain Jack because he makes us believe it with every breath he takes. Even without a contract you are a writer. It is your job to make us believe it. Not that you have to go to the lengths Sparrow does to get what he wants, but get used to thinking of yourself as a writer.
I just really wish I had his compass.
Other things to learn from pirates:
The art of negotiation is truly an art and it's never the same twice.
There are very few rules to being a pirate. Forget the rules and write.
Evolution of Character. Will Turner changed the most in these stories, but he still always maintained his honor and his integrity. Even though he became an undead creature enslaved to the sea for an undetermined period of time, he was still totally hot and true to his cause.
May the trade winds always keep you on the right course. May there always be enough rum, and may there always be enough booty (whatever kind you like) to satisfy you.
So put on your pirate hat, crank up the POC soundtrack, and get in touch with your inner pirate.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

After The Call-The First Year

Around October 1st, 2007, I realized that a year had passed since I received the call from my editor, Jenny Hutton, with an offer to buy my first book. Then I stopped and lived in the moment for a while, remembering how I had felt at the time. How I still feel when thinking of that milestone in my life.
Jenny had requested several revisions on this first manuscript before she bought it, but I just couldn't "get" what she meant. I know we were both talking the same language, and I understood the words, but their meaning and what I was supposed to do with them left me mystified. I thought I knew what the word revisions meant, but after doing my version of revision, Jenny still came back with more, and I realized I was just word-smithing, not revising. I could hear the frustration in her emails that I wasn't getting "it" whatever "it" was.
And then finally, the epiphinal moment came. I understood what Jenny wanted and went to town snipping and hacking away at my manuscript, removing large chunks of text that just didn't need to be there and slowed down the story. That did it. She bought the book.
Selling your first book is no easy task. I think I actually had more angst over the second book than with the first one. With the first one it was at least a complete project. With the second book it was a whole new concept that was born, brainstormed, and written/revised within a few months, not the luxury I had had of a year or so with the first book.
Can I do it? Can I do it again? Will I forget everything I know about writing? Do I know anything about writing? It all ran through my head as I waited for Jenny to get back to me on revisions for the second book. It was worse than the first book! At least that's what I thought. But going through her revision letter one paragraph at a time, breaking it down into manageable bites, helped immensely. I could do this, one thing at a time, even though there were multiple issues with it.
Out of the 210 pages, I deleted 75 pages and rewrote them. Tackling this round of revisions took about a month to accomplish, but it was worth the time and the mental energy it took, because I learned more from the revisions than I did from the original writing of the book.
Jenny accepted the revisions with enthusiasm stating that I had written a "real cracker of a book."
The things I've learned over the last year of being published are many, but some of the most important ones I want to share with you all.
Take your ego out of it. This endeavor isn't about your ego. If it is about ego, then you need to rethink exactly why you are writing and what you hope to get out of it. The rewards are few and far between, though when you get them, they certainly are wonderful. I've often heard people say that "I've final-ed" or "I've won" in a contest. YOU haven't final-ed, it's your manuscript that has. Step back and let the manuscript speak for itself. Not that you shouldn't celebrate your successes, you should, but make sure you leave the ego behind and write the best book you can.
This isn't your baby. This is an inanimate object, an artifact, and needs to be treated as such. No one else cares whether you've struggled for weeks, months, or years on a book, except you. What the editor cares about is: can I sell this book? That's what you need to focus on and DO! If the editor asks for revisions or a rewrite, do it. That leads to a sale and sets the tone for an ongoing relationship with this editor who will buy future books from you if she/he can work with you. If the editor wants to change the story, do it. That also leads to a sale. Working with an editor and having a receptive, open attitude is what leads to a career.
Be Bold! Assertive. Confident. Happy. Smile. Enjoy. Celebrate. Take chances. Believe in yourself and your ability. Spend time learning the craft.
Never be: Afraid. Aggressive. Arrogant. Unhappy. Difficult. Depressed. Make an editor roll her eyes. Too much artist, not enough business.
Don't get attached to titles.
Learning to write with a global voice. One of the unusual experiences has been writing as an American for a largely Eur/Aus/NZ audience. What to me may seem mundane, may actually be exotic to others.
Flexibility has taken on new meaning.
Being open minded has taken on new meaning.
Setting goals (Thanks Barb, Sheley, Gabi) is important. A six month, a 12 month, and a five year goal plan keep you focused.
Creativity is important, so find little ways to produce something that is creative because we have to wait so long to have an end product (Yes, it's a product, not your baby) with our writing. I've recently learned to make cards. Takes anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour to make a tiny work of art.
Exercise. I despise exercise with a passion, but it's become necessary for me on an almost daily basis, so I'm learning to accept the need in my life. But I still hate it and I am enjoying my right to hate it.
Don't overdo the chocolate-you can make yourself sick and will have to do #11 more.
Celebrate every chapter, every scene, as progress toward the end. So what if it isn't perfect! The end product won't be perfect either, because your editor and the line editor will be messing with it long after you've turned it in anyway. Accept and move on to the next project.
Learn about and accept that this is a business. If you are in it for publication and to make money you must learn the business end of this. After all, this is about money. That's not jaded, that's just a fact. If the editor doesn't believe that your manuscript (yes, it's just a manuscript at this point, not a book) won't sell, she won't buy it no matter how much merit you think it has.
Above all, celebrate your writing successes, no matter the size.
Keep writing! Never give up.
Molly Evans

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's late, but it's still the first day of the new year. This is the day we all think about changing something in our lives, hopefully for the better. And I'm no different. I want to be thinner, happier, work less, play more, and write every single day in 2008. Who knows if I'll be able to accomplish any of these things, but I'm sure going to try.
To accomplish anything in life, there are times that you must push yourself out of your comfort zone, and I'm working on that right now. Being in a comfort zone is too, well . . . comfortable. We must stretch our our boundaries or we will never know what we are capable of. That applies to our work life and our home life and our writing lives.
We strive to fit in and then we strive to be different. Live outside the box. Live large. Live boldly in brilliant color. Climb to your highest peak of creativity and leap off of it.
You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.