December 3, 2011

Mystery We Write Winter Blog Tour 2011 Presents M M Gornell

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has three published mystery novels—PSWA awarding winning Uncle Si’s Secret (2008), Death of a Perfect Man (2009), and her latest release, Reticence of Ravens (2010)her first Route 66 mystery. Reticence of Ravens is a 2011 Eric Hoffer Fiction finalist and Honorary Mention winner, the da Vinci Eye finalist, and a Montaigne Medalist finalist.

She continues to be inspired by historic Route 66, and has recently completed Lies of Convenience, which hopefully will have a 2011 winter release date. It is a tale that fictionally connects murder, truths untold, and Chicago’s Lake Michigan with California’s high desert on the opposite end of The Mother Road. Madeline is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave in a town on internationally revered Route 66.

Thank you, Beth, for hosting me on your blog! I’m pleased to be here.

I think the topic you’ve asked about is an important one, and interesting to think about. For me, putting my first publishable manuscript together was sort of like learning how to swim (way back when)—where you learn all the bits-and-pieces, arm strokes, kicks, breathing, etc.—then one day all those parts somehow become one fluid act.

There were so many individual bits-and-pieces that had to come together before I was publishable. But luckily, two definitive things came about that brought it all together. Even
though I thought I knew how to write, and already had short stories published, I decided to take an online writing class from Mike Foley, author/instructor.

He helped me in so many ways—storytelling mechanics and POV in particular. Those classes were the smartest thing I ever did! During the same time period, the “gods smiled,” and I became friends with a wonderful agent and editor, Kitty Kladstrup—who has taught me so much via editing. What I didn’t know about punctuation—and I certainly should have at this point in my writing career—was amazing. I still break rules, but usually it’s on purpose, and I know why I’m doing it.

Is there a lesson here? I’m not sure, because every author is different, every approach individual. I guess Listen is the key word, then decide if it’s something that will help you.

And most important, I keep learning with each book, with each edit, with each rewrite. Which as an aside, I now love to rewrite. It’s the part of the process where my ideas become a novel. Indeed, my author’s learning journey has become a wonderful thing!

Beth, it’s been fun posting on your Blog, thanks for the visit and your thoughtful questions!

Thank you, Madeline!  Folks, come back tomorrow to see another fantastic author, and don’t forget to leave a comment so you’ll be in the running to win a book!

Cheers, All, Betj

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13 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Madeline: I love the analogy about swimming compared to writing a novel. Very apt. There is so much more to writing than I imagined before I set out to finish a full sized book. Thanks, Wendy
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  2. Good morning, Beth. So glad to be here with you this morning. It’s unusually cold and windy (on the fringe of a big storm going through)the High Desert, so it’s nice getting away!

    Wendy, thanks for stopping by so early, love when you visit. I so agree, what you don’t know is amazing–you just have to go ahead and jump…


  3. We definitely keep on learning as we write–and that’s a good thing. Good post Madeline.

  4. It was a good post, uplifting and very interesting, I thought. Sounds like you really did what was best for your writing career early on–learning as much as possible from pros in the industry. I’m looking forward to reading your new book!

  5. Yeah, Marilyn, every time I’ve ever thought I knew it all, I have been proven quite wrong! Trying not to make the same ole mistake in my writing.

    Beth, so glad you enjoyed. Unfortunately, “early on” turned out to be much later than it should have been! And I am enjoying. Thanks for stopping by.


  6. Excellent post, Madeline. Although we all take different paths to publication, there are common elements we simply cannot bypass. Your writing is exeptional so you must not have taken any shortcuts.

  7. I meant to say exceptional but my computer’s not very good at spelling sometimes. 🙂

  8. Madeline, looks like we all had a similar journey. And it’s not over yet. We can still learn something new.

  9. Oh, my, I loved your post, Madeline. I’ve always thought that in order to break rules effectively, you have to know what they are first. That’s why so many unedited or poorly edited books drive me bonkers (not a long drive).

  10. I think we’ve all learned basically the same lessons only some of us had to focus more on one than the other. It’s all good, although I sure can’t say it’s all been fun, but for the most part, it is, or we wouldn’t be doing it. I’m having a big fight with myself right now over that first line in the next book. How traumatic is that, especially when we finally write it and then over a period of months rewrite it a hundred or more times until we hit on the right combo of words and emotions. But it’s still all good. MM, thank you so much for visiting her today and telling us a little more about your own journey to publication. Many good wishes for you in your current and next books.
    XOXO, Beth Anderson

  11. Jean, thanks for stopping by, and you can spell exceptional any way you want–I’m honored and blushing!

    Earl, you can say that again. It’s not over yet… (and that’s one of the great parts!)

    Love your sense of humor, Alice. I certainly know about the short drive to bonkersville! No matter how much you edit, you don’t get it all (evil gremlins!) but sometimes it seems like there wasn’t an effort made?

  12. Beth, this certainly was a fun and positive day! Thanks for letting me hangout and ramble on.


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