la·gniappe (lnyp, ln-yp) n.
Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi
1. A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase.
2. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit.
I hope these entries give you a little something extra with posts about this southern gal living in the north, about writing, author interviews, new releases, and occasional photos from my photography sojourns.
Thanks for reading!
Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe
Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains
Monday, November 10, 2014
Visit with Zoe McCarthy - "Calculated Risk"
Good Monday Morning Readers!
Today, Zoe M. McCarthy visits Lagniappe. How many "reasons" have you let roadblock your writing dream? Zoe discusses why you shouldn't let those excuses hold you back. Welcome, Zoe
You Can Get Published Even if You Never
[Fill in the Blank]
When you realized you
wanted to write, did the “nevers” attack your creative muse and discourage you?
If yes, I invite you to peruse my “nevers” to encourage you to persevere.
Never 1 - Daddy didn’t gush over my cowboy story.
Although Daddy loved
books, he never encouraged me to
Around age eight, full-length
movies played in my mind – cowboys and calvry (my cavalry pronunciation). One
day, I penned a great story brimming inside me. I jotted my last period on my
one-paragraph story and presented it to Daddy. I don’t recall what he said, but
it lacked zeal. I never delivered a
story to him again.
Like many novice novelists
most of my story remained in my imagination with little richness reaching the
I changed my dream job to
grocery store checkout clerk. If I couldn’t write, pushing buttons on a 1950’s
cash register looked fun.
Never 2 – Where are those kids today who won honors
for their writing?
I never won prizes for my writing. But, boy, did I have story ideas. Young,
blue-ribbon writers could write, but my ideas were at least equal to theirs. If
I’d known that, I’d have spent my allowance on an eight-year-old ghostwriter.
At writer's conferences, I’ve
met writers who were child wonders. And they do win contests. But they don’t
always win contracts. They wrote so well as children they never learned to persevere.
I’m good at persevering.
Never 3 – Flowery words wilted in my gray matter.
Daddy pooh-poohed Mom’s
vote I major in English. Only math was worthy for a decent career. So, my sister
and I majored in math. Although I have an analytical side, math didn’t seed
many flowery words in my mind.
Because I couldn’t think
of flowery words, I thought I’d never become
an author. Then finally, I realized writers don’t necessarily write flowery
words but strong words that evoke pictures in readers’ minds.
Arthur didn’t run quickly to
the store. He sprinted to the mini-mart!
Never 4 – How many partial manuscripts can you store
under your bed?
Believe me. Scads.
Literally. My substandard writing hadn’t stopped the ideas. After my second son
was born, I learned Judith Guest was 40 when she wrote Ordinary People. If someone that old could get a book published,
hope remained for me.
About that time, metal
detectors appeared in airports to prevent hijackings. I had an idea and
finished a romantic suspense. The hijacker taped a needle inside his fingernail
clippers, and after takeoff, attached it to a syringe full of poison to threaten
a passenger and hijack the plane.
I worked hard on that book
during toddlers’ naptimes, but the book was rejected. I’d never be a writer.
Never 5 – Short stories! Are you kidding?
In my early forties, I was
midway through writing a steamy historical romance. Then I became a Christian.
I read books by Bible
scholars and attended Bible studies. I wrote contemporary short stories to
explain to myself what I’d heard or read. Others encouraged me to publish the
stories. But I disliked short stories. If I wrote them, I’d never become a novelist. Obeying God’s
call, I self-published two books of short stories and performed dramatic
readings in various venues.
Never 6 – Neverland made good.
I removed all the racy
parts and finished my now Christian historical romance. I pitched it to an agent
at my first writers conference. I think she signed me because I’d persevered in
self-publishing two books and finishing one manuscript.
After it was rejected, I decided
I’d learn to write. I read craft books, went to conferences, and wrote, wrote,
wrote. My writing improved with each of the next three rejected romantic
suspenses. The editors always said they liked my ideas.
After I found my voice in
a couple of sassy and humorous short stories, I attended a workshop Agent Chip
MacGregor led. He said writers who finish four manuscripts learn to write. Their
fifth book receives a contract. I was writing my fifth book when he said that.
And that book earned a contract!
Neverland produced my
Zoe M. McCarthy believes
the little known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian
contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is “Distraction
to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites.” Calculated Risk, Zoe’s debut novel will be available November 21,
2014. Christian Fiction Online Magazine published two of her short stories. Zoe
enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing, speaking about her faith,
planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren, and exploring the Blue Ridge
Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.
Jilted by the latest of
her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation
to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick
LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to
make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take
advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.
Nick wants little to do
with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He
extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to
make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he
can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe
Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.
Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.
I pray you find
"a little something extra"
in each of your days.
What has been the excuse that has kept you from pursuing your dream?
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