WIP Wednesday—Forgotten Folders

Ciao, amici! It’s been a long time since I did a WIP Wednesday post. And this one is going to be slightly different. It’s not a work in progress so much as a work in the past. More than one, actually. Let me explain.

Those of you who’ve been on this journey with me for a while know I used to write romance. Some leaned heavily into the suspense/thriller genre. I’d categorize Medici Protectorate in that way, with a supernatural element. Others, like Cathedral Lake, were lighter on the romance, focusing more on family relationships while the mysteries unraveled. Yes, I wrote a cozy (Mystery Heir) with no love story, but I also wrote two novellas that were strictly romances and a paranormal romance. (If you’re interested, you can peruse those titles here.)

Long story short (okay, not too short) I used to write romances. But I really loved the suspense part of my novels. And no matter what, I prefer character-driven fiction. So, here was my thought process—people may find themselves embroiled in a mystery, but they also had undeniable attractions. To craft realistic characters, I wanted to make well-rounded people who sought safety but also sought love. Aren’t those basic needs we all crave?

Over the last few years, I leaned more heavily into the suspense genre (with a brief foray into sci-fi). But I had a bunch of straight romance work sitting on my hard drive, languishing in folders I didn’t expect to ever open again.

Then I thought… why not? They’re just sitting there. Just because I’m no longer actively writing romances doesn’t mean I can’t publish the ones I wrote before. Especially considering I’ve been ghostwriting this year and don’t have a publishing credit under my own name. People might forget I even exist if I don’t drop something.

So, to that end, I’ve polished some of my “forgotten folders” work. If you’re a fan of clean romance, I think you’ll enjoy this series. If you’ve been waiting for my suspense titles, sorry. I licensed those novels to another author, so stories in that genre with my name on it will to have to wait a little while longer. But I promise, I am working on something that will be from me. I expect to start releasing in that genre in 2022.

In the meantime, maybe you’ll enjoy the Keystone Couples series. I’ll do a cover reveal for the first book in October. Until then, I’ll leave you with this snippet from the novella. Let me introduce you to our heroine, Piper Seidel, who is in for a run of bad luck.

Rick opened a folder on his desk. “How would you characterize your relationship with Tyler Mortensen?”

Uh-oh. “I don’t have a relationship with Tyler Mortensen.”

He sighed. “Piper, why do you have to make this more difficult than it already is?”

“I’m not sure what you’re referring to.” Except she had a sinking feeling she did.

“Did you have words with Tyler yesterday?”

“We had a discussion.”

“Did you call him… are you really going to make me say it?”

“Did he seriously file a report on me for an argument?”

“Which was it, Piper? A discussion or an argument?”

“He’s a hack, Chief. He doesn’t know his job. And he certainly doesn’t know mine. What did he say?”

“That you were verbally abusive.” Rick passed her the file.

While skimming it, she smiled. “That bit is colorful.” Then she chuckled. “That was creative.”

“Piper!”

“What?” She passed the folder back to him. “Oh, come on, Chief. I’ve heard far worse for far less egregious infractions from other people.”

“Maybe. But those are one-offs when someone’s having a bad day. You do this to people all the time.”

“Not all the time.”

“Often enough.”

“I don’t think that’s true.”

“You just threw a bow into Gary’s bruised ribs.”

“That was a varsity limp for your benefit.”

“I don’t think so.”

“And it worked! Come on, Chief.”

“Piper…”

“For the Best Faked Injury, the Oscar goes to—”

“Seidel!” He opened his drawer, retrieved a thick folder, plopped it on his desk. “This is your personnel file. There are more complaints in here than commendations. By a mile.”

“People are too touchy these days. Everyone wants a participation trophy. Everyone’s so PC. Can’t say anything that might hurt someone’s feelings. Remember when you had to earn an award? Remember when you had to have tough skin to be in this business? People aren’t cut from that cloth anymore.”

“You think you have tough skin?”

“Of course.”

“I’m glad you feel that way. Because I’m letting you go.”

Piper’s perception of her luck (or lack thereof) is the driving force of this novella. More details to follow soon.

That’s it for me this time. Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday. I’d love to know what you’re working on and how it’s going. Drop a comment below. Saluti!

49 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday—Forgotten Folders

  1. I wonder what it is like to do ghostwriting as a job, Staci. Are there deadlines for completion? You probably have the original writings or stories from your customers and it’s not entirely creative writing, is it right?
    It seems like Pipes is pushing for her luck. Great excerpt, Staci. I’m glad you could dig up some forgotten stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I had a drawer full of incomplete works, Staci. Not a one. Your path as an author is unusual compared to most of us (the authors I know, anyway) with ghost writing and liscensing out your stories. It would be interesting to learn how that came about and your decision process. Congrats on giving the books a chance to shine. The snippet was fun. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HI Staci, this is a nice idea to keep your name out there. This is why I publish poetry and include my short stories in anthologies, I like to keep the momentum going and poetry and short stories are nowhere near the effort required for a full length historical novel. Is ghost writing more lucrative? Is it like having a day job?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s exactly like having a day job. In fact, it is my day job. That and editing. The other writing I do (the writing as me) has taken a back seat in recent years due to the ghostwriting and editing. But a girl’s got to pay her bills somehow.

      I have stories in anthologies, but it’s been a while since I’ve participated in one. Perhaps next year. You’re right; that is a good idea and takes a lot less time. Thanks, Robbie.

      Like

  4. Staci, it’s wonderful that you took these stories off the shelf and made them available. So what if you’re writing in a different genre now! Well done.
    I have plenty of “forgotten folders” too, but mine aren’t finished… Some are barely started. So many ideas, so little time. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the WIP peek, Staci. Good stuff! Lemme ask ya this. Do you find it hard revamp a truck novel? I’d toyed with the idea for a while, with one particular storyline that still haunts me. The manuscript’s a train wreck. Hence why I keep setting it aside whenever I get the urge. Part of me wonders if it’d be easier to start from scratch but use the characters and plot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Depends on how clean it was to start with. The ones I’m releasing now are pretty clean, so that wasn’t a problem. I have another series that I want to polish and release after that (romantic suspense, heavy on the suspense). That’s going to take a bit more work because it was an even romance-suspense blend before and I want to strip most of the romance out. But it’s not just a matter of deleting scenes. It requires rewriting scenes because of the way things unfolded. I wouldn’t start from scratch, but it’s definitely a harder job.

      Unless your trunk novel is complete drivel but a great idea, I’d revise rather than start over. You might just need to prepare for a LOT of work.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hard to believe, given my current hatred of all things HEA, isn’t it? lol. But that’s actually the focus of most of my existing body of work. (Well, that’s under my name, anyway.) The public shift is coming after this series drops. Thanks, Tessa.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t believe for one second that you’re too old. But change can be reinvigorating. In the end, I think you just have to write whatever is speaking to you at the moment. Romance definitely hasn’t been speaking to me for quite a while. The change did me good. But not publishing the work I had already completed was just stupid and petty on my part. So, I’m clearing out the folders, “for better or worse” as the case may be. 😉

      If you do try a new genre, I hope you like it. But if you opt to stay with your niche, I hope your joy is rekindled.

      Liked by 1 person

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