Honorary Heartlette – Jessica Andersen

June 1, 2008 at 7:00 am | Posted in contests, Honorary Heartlette, Jessica Andersen, writing | 17 Comments
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HIT THE GAS!

 

I’m a New Englander, which by definition means I drive way too much in the snow.  I know that isn’t really what we want to be thinking of when we’re at the verge of summer, but bear with me.  Or better yet, let’s turn it into a hydroplaning metaphor: it’s raining buckets and the roads are soaked. . . and you start to skid.  What do you do next?

Well, let me tell you from experience that ‘hit the brakes’ usually isn’t a great answer.  You’re way better off steering into the inertia, and either pausing a second… or hitting the gas.  If you hit the gas, you might go flying off the road, you might break the skid and continue on your way, or you might do something in between those two extremes.  But if you hit the brakes, you’re probably going to wind up spinning in place. 

 

And personally, I’d rather make a mistake going forward than keep spinning my wheels, going nowhere. 

 

The same can be said of the men and women of Nightkeepers (NAL, 6/3/08).  They’re ordinary people like you and me (most of them, anyway) who are just now learning that they’ve inherited extraordinary powers and the task of saving the world from the prophesized 2012 doomsday.  Time isn’t going to slow down and wait for them to catch up, nor are the Mayan demons who seek to precipitate the apocalypse four years before the 2012 end date.  The Nightkeepers don’t have time to coast, and they sure as heck can’t hit the brakes.  They can only go forward and deal with the consequences.

 

Will they fly off the road and wind up in a ditch?  Maybe.  Will they punch through and fulfill their twenty-times great-grandparents’ vow to protect mankind?  Maybe.  But you can be sure of one thing: they’re not spinning their wheels.

 

When I’m faced with a choice, whether in my writing career or my life, I try to make the active decision.  It’s not always the right choice, but it’s a choice, dang it. 

 

After I first conceived Nightkeepers, it took me a good eighteen months of research and writing, as well as an agent change, to get the project sold.  But I kept writing and rewriting, throwing out version after version as I iterated to the final story.  The same can be said of the writing process once the book sold, but in both cases, I kept moving forward.  When something didn’t work, I tried something else with one goal in mind: making the story the biggest, best, brightest, loudest, sexiest book it could possibly be.  I’d rather go down in flames for having tried something amazing and failed, than only partway failing because I only halfway tried.

 

So today, how about you challenge yourself?  Make sure you make at least one of your mistakes going forward (but do your best to stay out of the ditch, okay?).  And if you feel like it, let us know how it goes.  Or tell us about a recent forward-moving decision that worked… or didn’t.  Tell us… how did you hit the gas?

 

 

Jessica Andersen writes sexy medical thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue.  Her first single title book, Nightkeepers, will be released by NAL on June 3, 2008.

We’ll be giving away a copy to one lucky winner at the end of the week. Post a comment to be eligible.

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