Lila Bruce

LB TOBYLIKELB Cats

Hello Readers! Nope! Thats not Toby…it’s Roxie, Lila Bruce’s cat. Don’t you think she looks like my little grey cat? 

Lila wrote a guest blog for me this week. Other than her cats and her writing, I adore Lila’s sense of humor. You are in for a treat this week with her warm and funny blog about things that inspire her writing. 

I first met Lila at the GCLS two years ago in Virginia. We ended up sitting next to each other and chatting while we waited for folks to work their way around to where we were seated. I enjoyed spending time with her and learned a lot from her. This year, at the GCLS in Pittsburgh, I again had the opportunity to sit next to her during a workshop. It was a pleasure to see her again. I asked her to write a blog for my website, and she has produced a great one. I hope you will enjoy reading her blog as much as I did.

                  AJ Adaire


Lila Bruce

I met AJ a few years back at one of the GCLS conferences. She’s an A, I’m a B, and so we ended up sitting next to each other during the Author Autograph session. When she recently asked me to do a guest blog, I was thrilled to say yes. Well, thrilled in that introvert Oh my God, what have I agreed to sort of way, but thrilled nonetheless.

I’m currently wrapping up what will technically be my fifth novel. I say technically, because I wrote its first line way back in 2015—two novels, a short story, and a novella ago. I was on the way back to Atlanta from New Orleans, where I’d attended my first GCLS. Having never been to the New Orleans’ airport (other than when landing from Atlanta), I arrived two hours early for my Sunday morning flight home. Had I been at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, with its epically long TSA lines, I would’ve been pushing it to make it to the gate on time. In New Orleans, however, arriving two hours early meant I had an hour and forty-five minutes to kill before my flight.

I ended up in one of the airport’s restaurants, you know, the kind where a two-egg breakfast will cost you fifteen dollars. Twenty if you want coffee. At the table next to me was an older couple I’d guessed to be in their seventies. Neither of them looked particularly happy to be with the other, so I pegged them to be in one of those long suffering marriages you stay in just to make sure the other one dies first. The husband kept saying her name, which she blatantly ignored while sipping her coffee and reading her newspaper. On the third or fourth mention of the name, the first line of a novel popped into my head.

For a dead woman, Loralyn Baker looked pretty damned good.

I can’t say why that line or where it came from exactly, but, in the way that random things come to authors, there it was. And you know what I mean by random…like that one time I was walking through the Walmart looking for a bottle of soy sauce and walked past a man who was wearing Bermuda shorts, sporting a prosthetic leg, and pushing a shopping cart full of bread. I’m not sure what his story was, but I decided that he needed to be in one of mine. He became the armed robbery suspect in my novel Hurt. Random.

So, having the first line to my next novel, I went and did what all good authors do—I wrote a different book. But, I still had that first line, all tucked away in my Big Book Of Things That Need To Be In A Book. It was on page 12, stuck between the character description of a 1880s female card shark for that historical novel I’ll probably never write and the line, “I don’t argue with big butch women unless it’s to my benefit.” I returned to the line after writing that other book (Love Bites) and toyed around with what sort of book it belonged in. I typed out a chapter, decided I hated it, and then wrote another novel. After that next book (Little Lies) was released, I came back to Loralyn, played around with storylines and plot points, then wrote and published two other completely different stories.

I’m now in the final stages of writing/editing Loralyn’s book (entitled Echoes, by the way) and hope to release it in October. Honestly, I’m not sure who is happier about that fact, me or my friends (you know who you are) who are sick of hearing me talk about not writing the thing for years. Oh, and please don’t ask for a blurb or synopsis, but I’m not in that place just yet. (I would daresay that every author everywhere will attest that the writing the blurb is the hardest part of any novel, but that’s a different blog post for a different time.) What I will give you is that first line, and a little bit more:

For a dead woman, Loralyn Baker looked pretty damned good.

In life, she’d never been one to shy away from the make-up brush, and, as usual, Loralyn’s contouring was spot on that evening. The blush of her cheeks nicely accented the pink satin lining of her rosewood casket. However, as Detective Avery Smith admired the ornate bouquet of pink and red roses blossoming across Loralyn’s taffeta dress, she couldn’t help but notice a single lock of platinum hair, so strikingly out of place and falling across her forehead. Given that everything else about Loralyn was immaculate, Avery had a pretty good idea as to when the hair had escaped her bouffant do. 

Here’s a sneak peek of the first chapter: https://www.lilabrucebooks.com/echoes

She can also be found at www.lilabrucebooks and on Twitter @AuthorLilaBruce 

Purchase her books on Amazon.

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© JEN 2014