The Book Deb Linda Still Guiltily Clings To

In a Fix is the second novel I wrote, and the first one I sent out into the world.

I’m very lucky (A) that it got me a wonderful agent (the amazing Never-Say-Die Michelle Wolfson) and (B) that it sold. (Yay, Tor! Hooray, Melissa Frain, Editor Extraordinaire!)

Not that I didn’t rack up my fair share of rejections with it, both on the agent front and, later, on the editor front. Believe me, I have plenty of battle scars. (If we ever meet in person, we can compare, if you like. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. *grin*)

But since this post is supposed to be about the books we left behind, I guess I’ll have to tell you about my first baby.


*sigh* I still love that book. Warts and all.

When I finished writing it (let’s not go into how long that took me), my hubs made me a special manuscript box for it:



Wasn’t that sweet of him? He found letter stickers that look like typewriter keys to spell out the title and my name. The paw on the upper left side is kind of self-explanatory, and this . . .



. . . is a singularly appropriate sticker he came across. Catspaw is paranormal suspense, and the characters would do well to put safety first. Though, of course, they don’t. Wouldn’t be much of a book if they did.

When I finished Catspaw, I had every intention to start shopping it around. But I just wasn’t ready. Or rather, I didn’t think it was ready. However, I knew I was still too close to it to be ruthless enough with the revisions, so I decided to put it away for a few months, to give myself some distance.

(Distance is the best revision tool I know ofβ€”nothing makes problems with a manuscript visible quite like not staring at it for a while.)

To keep myself busy while I was waiting for those ms faults to float to the top, I decided to write another book. As luck would have it, while I was in my car traveling down the Fairfax County Parkway one day, I happened to spot a vanity license plate with the name “Ciel” on it, and bingo, my new MC was born. She was quick to blurt out her whole story while I feverishly took dictation.

Frankly, I had so much fun writing In a Fix, I never went back to Catspaw. The poor thing is still languishing in its box, waiting for me to fulfill my promise to it. (GAH! The guilt!) I decided to shop In a Fix instead, just for grins. And now I’m almost done with Quick Fix, the second book in the series, and have ideas bopping around in my head for the next one after that. (Gosh, that makes it sound all fast and easy, doesn’t it? That’s only because I left out the boring part about how many times I rewrote it for CPs and my agent and my editor along the way. Trust me, it was work. Fun work, but still work.)

But anyway, it’s not like I intentionally abandoned Catspaw. I still think I’ll get back to it someday, when my fling with light urban fantasy has run its course. I just hope it’ll forgive me when I do.

So, do you have anything tucked away out of sight making you feel guilty?

If not a book you wrote, maybe one you bought on impulse but haven’t gotten around to reading?

Or perhaps an outfit you bought but never wore? A half-made quilt? A boyfriend overseas you said you’d get back to but then somehow married somebody else instead?

(Not that I *cough* have personal experience with any of those. Much.)

Do share!

30 Replies to “The Book Deb Linda Still Guiltily Clings To”

  1. “A boyfriend over seas you said you’d get back to but never did then somehow married someone else instead” Oh, Deb Linda–now THERE’S a book waiting to happen!

    I LOVE that you gave Catspaw its own house. Wow. And I love even more that your husband found those stickers. What a sweetheart.

    Let’s see. I have piles and piles of papers that need filing and thank you notes that need writing and laundry that needs washing. Please tell me that counts because the guilt is crushing. I think I’d feel less guilt for an overseas ex-boyfriend πŸ˜‰

    1. LOL! Now, there’s a book I’ll never write. πŸ˜‰

      Papers and notes and laundry? Ugh. Me too. Let’s make a pact, okay? I won’t feel guilty about it if you won’t.

  2. Yes to the book. Yes to the outfit. Triple yes to the half-made quilt. No to the man overseas. Why don’t I have a man overseas? I really should have one. (Also, yes to the laundry. Always yes to the laundry.)

    I love that MS box.

        1. Well, judging by his wife and three kids, I’m pretty sure he got over me. But who really knows? There COULD be pining. It’s not inconceivable, right? πŸ˜‰

  3. Clothes with tags, books I intend to read, cleaning tools I meant to use, my food dehydrator…where do I begin? They’re all in the closet of shame, but I still PLAN to get to them…someday. I hope you get back to Cat’s Paw. I LOVE that title!

  4. I have all those things. Even the quilt that I promised a cousin as a wedding gift (I think they just celebrated her 15th anniversary – let’s face it, that quilt is never getting made).
    I think looking forward is a good thing-we learn and grow as writers and often times, looking at an old project can be darn scary. But you can always harvest them for parts. I’m totally guilty of that. Nothing goes wasted.

  5. Awww…your hubby is so sweet!

    I’m the queen of guilt. I have so many books I have promised to read and I feel awful I haven’t gotten to them yet. And my hubby bought me a lovely sweater for Christmas and I haven’t worn it yet. The last gift top he got me for Christmas, it took me a year to wear and now I wear it all the time. I must fear change. LOL

  6. that MS box is a fine looking piece of equipment. it brings a certain level of class to the “drawer novel.” mine’s not even in a drawer. (i need to get better equipment.) (and a better boyfriend.) (well, i’ll start with having A boyfriend first. πŸ™‚

  7. TOUCHING THE SURFACE was my first baby, but I have lots of half finished craft projects tucked in every corner of the house. It made the completion of the book even sweeter. <3 Love that box for your CATSPAW!!!

    1. Thanks! The funny thing is, if I ever do get CATSPAW published someday, I won’t know whether to call it my first book or not. I mean, IN A FIX will be my first published book, but I finished CATSPAW way before I finished it. Publishing is weird. *grin*

  8. First off, any manuscript with such a nifty looking box to call its own simply MUST find its way into the world. I hope you revisit it someday.

    The project on the back burner that causes me a teensy bit of guilt from time to time involves pictures. Boxes and envelopes and folders of photographs taken over the past thirty, maybe even forty, years, that have never found their way into an actual photograph album. I’m not kidding; there are SO many of them, I don’t even know where to begin. (I did manage to foist some of them on our kids…)

    1. Oh, man, I know what you mean. I SUCK at organizing photo albums. I feel so guilty about the boxes of pictures in our “picture closet” (it used to be a small linen closet in our room, but the pics–obviously breeding when we aren’t looking–took it over) that I try very hard not to think about them. I figure if I wait long enough, they’ll be the kiddos’ problem. πŸ˜‰

  9. I’ve always been terrified that the WIP I’ve been pouring my heart into will become a dusty MS under the bed. However, if it does, I know, like your Catspaw, it will be for a good reason. That being said, I’ve accidentally forgotten to finish many a many a many sketches. I have books full of unfinished charcoal sketches and I haven’t gone back to them in…years. Sigh. I should do that again. Thanks, Linda! Also, the Catspaw box TG made is AMAZING. <3

    1. I firmly believe that no writing is ever wasted. If your WIP doesn’t turn out to be The One, then it is, at the very least, a necessary stepping stone on the way to The One.

      And, yes, you SHOULD go back to those charcoal sketches. And then you should show them to me. πŸ™‚

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