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The Procrastinator

Thea here, confessing I’m a world class procrastinator. I am distracted at the drop of a syllable, generally by bright and glittery things — like the tv screen.. I don’t know how I get things done.

I only know I have this interior war everyday about what NEEDS to be done, which is: do I write vs do I clean, and since writing is so much fun and I feel so guilty, I lean toward cleaning. But then, cleaning is such a chore and takes me away from writing … so I find reasons to avoid doing that.

Generally, when I’m on deadline, I can with good conscience clear the decks and drive everyone nuts in service of my finishing The Book. I recognize that this is NOt a healthy work habit. I’ve been analyzing my incessant complaints about how I never have time to do anything.

My Mom always used to ask, who’s stopping you?

There’s a rock hard question to stop you in your tracks. How do you explain to a not-writer? The dishes are piling up. The laundry needs to be done. I have to write. Mom would then say, so — load the dishwasher, do the laundry and write.

She just didn’t understand.

I need that time not to do dishes, laundry, writing. And I haven’t read a book in months. I watch too much tv. I’ve become an expert at manipulating my husband and son into the kitchen to make dinner. The day doesn’t have enough hours for me to avoid chores and writing.

Right now, I’m working on revisions for Beyond the Night, the long-awaited sequel to The Darkest Heart.. I promise you, I’m doing them in a timely manner. After I watch Kathie Lee and Hoda. After I procrastinate a couple of hours over this post … By noon. After lunch. Promise.

Anyone else a procrastinator? What’s your excuse?

Thea Devine is the author of over two dozen erotic historical and contemporary romances. Beyond the Night, the sequel to The Darkest Heart will be a September 2014 eBook release from Pocket Star.

What Do You Like To Read?

Thea Devine here, curious to know. I told you about all my to-be-read piles, didn’t I? I know what I like to read — or should I say what we all first and foremost probably read: romance. But over and above that, what books do you love to settle in with on a cold snowy day?

My list includes romantic suspense, serial killer mysteries, gothics, women’s fiction, hearth and home novels, category romance, thrillers — especially object of desire quests. What I’m not reading a lot of recently is historical romance and erotica, which you all know I write. I wonder about that sometimes; if what you read is a reflection of what you love to write, I should be devouring historical and erotic novels by the armload.

But I really love romantic suspense and a good gothic mystery. And I adore books (and tv movies) about women returning to their small town roots, especially if they live down south. And I’ll “read” Pride and Prejudice dozens of times as long as it’s broadcast in 6 parts on cable tv. Preferably in a marathon.

Inquiring minds want to know — do you write the kind of book you like to read? Or is your reading for pleasure light years away from what you write?

Thea Devine’s novels defined erotic historical romance. She is currently working on her next erotic contemporary romance. She’ll be speaking at the NJRWA Put Your Heart in a Book Conference in October.

Desk Set

I started excavating my office today. Yes, you read right: excavate — my son just asked if that was wish fulfillment; like, if I write it, it will become?

Because my office has gotten to the point there isn’t an inch of space to put anything, including my computer, and I swear, if there’s even just a mild earthquake, I’ll be buried under papers and books for years.

But look, I needed all those research books. And my girls’ series books? I love rereading them. And I had to store my author copies somewhere — what better place than a sorely needed closet? But then that kind of cluttered up is my wealth corner (oh, that’s why …) However, I thought those milk crates made a great file for my paper manuscripts, even if it did block one of the bookcases. And I did make a path to the printer around the first of my to-be-read piles.

The desk is impossible. I pile everything on it, including my jewelry, and various files and papers I need. Hey, no problem, I’ll just sort through it tomorrow and neatly file it all away. Well, except, I have to clear off my chair which is piled high with family papers, a basket of jewelry, books, CDs — and there’s the second of the to-be-read piles on the floor under my desk.

Okay, I’ll get the stuff off of the files by the window. No, can’t get to the window till I clear away the stuff on the floor. Or sit till I clear off the chair. Oh rats — the wooden coat hanger on which I store my tote bags (twenty at last count) just cracked under the weight and is leaning on the topmost milk crate where I store my purses. Which just slid to the floor.

Where there is the third of my to-be-reads piled in a department store shopping bag. But never mind that. I have to pick up the tote bags — and put them where? Maybe John will fix the coat rack, because there’s no room on the back of the door where I hang all my pocketbooks.

Okay, leave that for tomorrow. Let’s see — what can I accomplish today? I can’t even look at the pictures of my friends I have hanging around the desk — I’ll feel too guilty — they’re all so well-organized and get their work done without all this mess and fuss …

I think that’s all I can do today. I turn out the light and walk into the hallway where the fourth of my to-be-read piles rises nearly halfway to the ceiling. This is the one thing over which John might divorce me. He doesn’t believe for a minute I’m going to read them all.

But you know I will, don’t you? Even at the expense of clearing out the office. Someone has to do it. Wouldn’t you?

Is your office even as remotely cluttered as mine is? How do you keep it all together? Any tips?

Thea Devine’s books defined erotic historical romance. She’s currently working on a contemporary erotic romance. Her sequel to The Darkest Heart, Beyond the Night, will be published by Pocket Star in 2014. She is speaking at the NJRWA Put Your Heart In A Book Conference in October.

How Does He Know …?

Greetings of the season everyone. Thea Devine today. I hope you all had a magical Christmas. I know I did, having spent three days previous to Christmas and Christmas day itself, with our grandson. I now know the purpose of grandmothers — it is to have the joy of stepping back, as I’ve commented to some of you — and really see and appreciate everything that as a first time mother you were to scared, too cautious, too focused on not making a mistake to notice.

I was thirty-two when my first son was born, absolutely certain I was ready, had the reserve of patience, balance and practicality to deal with a newborn. NOT. I was on the phone with my mom-in-law every day. I was scared witless. And sometimes felt helpless.

But this first-time grandma found that all her apprehension about whether she even remembered what to do with a baby evaporated in weeks and what took hold was observing the miracle of his progression from newborn to nearly 11 month old and all he’s learned in between.

How does he know …
to open his mouth like a little bird when Mama feeds him; to reach, to grab, to hold; to kick; to get up on his knees and rock back and forth; to push a button; to sit; to manipulate things with his fingers; to laugh — what is funny to a baby? –; to be in on the joke: when I’m feeding him, sometimes he catches my eye just as he clamps down on the spoon with his teeth, and then he gives me a big smile.

How does he know that? He’s about two steps and a couple of bounces away from walking and talking. He babbles non-stop. He’s the energizer bunny. He found the kitchen cabinets. How did he know? He can spend a day pulling himself to a standing position, taking two steps and flopping, and up again before you can count to five. How does he know that pushing his cover into a mound in his crib will elevate him to see better? How does he know that’s him in the mirror? How did he figure out what a kiss is, and to respond by pressing his open mouth against my cheek?

I am awed and floored by his progression so far. He is excellent company, easy to be with. His one year birthday is coming soon and I can’t wait to see what happens after that. But that’s his story.

There’s a lesson here for authors too. Step back sometimes and really see what’s going on in your manuscript. Consider the small things, the simple things about your characters and why and how they know what they know and do what they do. Don’t let them take baby steps. Let them grow organically. Let them show you what they want to be when they grow up.

Any grandmas out there? What awes you about your grandchild?

Thea Devine’s books defined erotic historical romance. She’s currently working on her next erotic contemporary romance.