Inkwell Guest: Pepper O’Neal

Hi, everyone! Today, I’m pleased to welcome fellow FF&Per Pepper O’Neal to the blog talking about her newest release, Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny. You’ll want to stick around for this one. 🙂

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Ever had one of those weeks? Seven days that only happen in your nightmares, or better yet, only happen to other people—you know, those people who, unlike you, of course, really need to get a life.

I was tooling along thinking things were going just dandy. I had my second book coming out, my office was clean, my paperwork organized, and my taxes done. I mean, my life was handled. Then I got a frantic call from my editor. Her assistant had discovered some plot problems both she and I had missed in my book, Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny, which is due to be released by Black Opal Books on April 30, 2011. That’s this coming Sunday, folks, in case you didn’t realize it, and my editor wants revisions at five minutes to midnight on dooms day?

I was so sure she was wrong, I laughed. I’d already considered that problem and fixed it before the last edits. So in my self-righteous, tolerant to editors, frame of mind, thought, “She’s crazy. I’ll just go through and highlight the places where it’s fixed.” Uh-huh. Guess what? I searched through the book, only to discover that, oops, much to my chagrin, I hadn’t fixed it after all. Not only hadn’t I fixed it, I’d based a couple of major plot points on something that not only didn’t work, it couldn’t possibly work.

To put it mildly, I freaked. I called my editor back in a panic. And of course, the first thing she does is tell me not to panic. Excuse me? I’m way past panic here, in fact, my blood pressure is currently through the roof. “Relax,” she says. “We’ve got a couple of weeks, and luckily it’s the ebook that’s being released on April 30th. The print book doesn’t come out for another few weeks. So there’s time.”

Obviously, my editor is not an author, because she doesn’t understand the severity of the problem. I’d written a paranormal/romantic suspense, and my world doesn’t work! This book was done. Done! I’d finished the damn thing, and now I find out it’s not done. Not only isn’t it done, it has to be undone and then redone. Okay, deep breath. All I have to do is take out what doesn’t work and put in what does. Simple, huh? No, not really, because first I have to figure out what will work and how that will affect all the other elements of the story.

What did I do? Well, in my other life, I’m a researcher, and I know about experts. So I did the only thing I could do. I called an expert. In this case, friend, fellow author and paranormal world builder, LJ DeLeon. And the first thing she says? You guessed it. Don’t panic.

So, we talked it through, and she helped me figure out how to make what doesn’t work, work. Okay, I tell myself, I can do this. It may take me some 18-hour days, but okay. It’s worth it. This was Thursday. Friday I get the flu, and as I’m lying in bed with my emesis basin, I’m telling myself not to panic. It’s not a lot of comfort, but, hey, it’s what everyone else says.

Now as I’m writing this blog, I’m taking a break from going chapter by chapter and ferreting out all the little places where the plot and characters are affected by what doesn’t work. You wouldn’t think telepathy would make such a difference in a plot, would you? Well, let me tell you, it does. So, in case I’m still buried under a mountain of manuscript papers on Sunday, April, 30th, here’s some photos representing some of my characters: the hero, Roman, a half-Vampire/half-Lycan; the heroine, Chase, a half-human/half weretiger; and the sidekick, Drake, a weretiger. My critique group has a betting pool going on whether or not I’ll make it in time for the book to be released on schedule. Right now, I can’t decide whether to put my $20 on my making it, or not making it.

Visit my website: http://www.pepperoneal.com

Learn more about Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny at: http:www. http://pepperoneal.com/blood-fest-series/

Read an excerpt of Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny at: http://pepperoneal.com/blood-fest-series/excerpt-chasing-destiny/

By Michelle

I love dragons, castles, fairies and elves. I drink coffee, wine and martinis. Fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance author. Proud Texan.