Hello from a newbie….

- by Roxanne Rustand

This is my first post here, so I suppose an introduction is in order. I’m Roxanne Rustand, and I’ve been writing for a while. First, sixteen romantic suspense novels written for SuperRomance and Everlasting, then several years ago a change in gear brought me to writing for Steeple Hill, where I’ve now sold twelve for their suspense and romance lines.

While getting set to write this post, I scrolled back through dozens of previous blog entries, and became so entranced by the great advice and amusing anecdotes and serious commentary on the business of writing that way too much time passed by.

Now it’s evening and my little brain cells are rebelling over the prospect of having to come up with anything pithy or profound or even mildly amusing. After all, they were busy until two o’clock this morning, working on extensive line edits (all very much deserved–I am so thankful for my editor!)….and then they were pressed back into battle just a couple hours later so those line edits could arrive on my editor’s desk, exactly when promised.

For me, the writing process calls to mind Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands to fill the time available” except that there is never quite enough of that precious commodity to go around. How I wish for more time in the day! Despite lists upon lists, a Franklin Planner, and those marvelous e-mail reminders from Google Calendar, I always wish for just a few more hours. How about you? Are you super organized, or are you always scrambling to catch up? Do you have any secrets you can share for keeping your life on schedule and productive?

I’m writing you from our acreage in the Midwest, where we live with three rambunctious dogs (hint: Border collies aren’t exactly the best house pets, but they are lovable all the same), plus a dozen cats in the barn and a couple of fat and sassy geldings. None of them care about time or goals…unless it involves food. The horses certainly have their feeding time down pat. If breakfast isn’t served on time–that involves me, plodding out to the barn in my jammies and barn boots–the entire neighborhood hears about it. Their frantic whinnies could wake the dead.

And the cats–oh, my. Outside my office window right now , the lawn is lush and green and dotted with cats watching me. I think they believe in the powers of telepathy, for they are all staring with the same, ferocious intensity. They want FOOD.

I know what will happen when I go out there. You’d think they might form a courteous escort to make sure their servant arrived at the barn safely. Not. As soon as I go out, they’ll begin sinuously winding around my ankles. All of them, in an endless flow, rather like a furry anaconda. And believe me, doing the barn cat shuffle to plow slowly through their midst without toppling over is an exercise fraught with peril.

But I wouldn’t give up a single one of these creatures. In fact, a lot of our animals have appeared in my books. Even Ssssid the Albino Corn Snake–all three feet of him–who was in my very first novel. How about you? Do you have demanding friends with feathers, fins or fur?

Wishing you all the best,
The All Creatures Great and Small Place,


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