Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Day in the Life of… L J Charles (& Giveaway!)


Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

LJCharles I wrote my first book when I was eight on pink construction paper with a purple crayon. It was a romance that involved a princess, and although I remember very few details about the plot, I do remember that it was illustrated and there was music and dancing involved. At about the same time I penned my first story, I discovered Nancy Drew and my love for reading was born. It has only grown over the years, and I am rarely without a huge to-be-read stack, and a book within easy reach. Now days I write womens fiction and young adult novels. All of my stories combine romance, mystery, and paranormal elements. Guess I havent ever outgrown my early reading adventures with Nancy, Ned, Bess and George. I live in the frozen north with my husband, whose TBR stack is taller than mine, and two felines who have been known to add entire pages to a manuscript without telling me.

A Day in the Life of L. J. Charles

3 am:
The Hubby gets up, wakes both cats, and wanders into the living room to read. Not being able to tell time, the feline contingent of the family requests breakfast with baleful meows. I bury my head under the pillow. He appeases the “children” with lap time and pets.

5 am:
Hubs leaves for the gym, forgetting to feed the cats before he leaves. I stumble out of bed and dish up two bowls of fish pate, then head back to bed. The smell of the pate lingers, so I give up on sleeping, make a cup of hazelnut coffee, and settle back in bed, computer on my lap.

5:15 am:
I need information about “stuff” for each of my three Works In Progress, so I whip out two emails. Having not been in a Motor Vehicle Accident since they invented airbags (thank all the gods and goddesses), I asked two close friends, a paramedic and emergency department RN, both seasoned professionals, about impact injuries, smells, and treatment—anything that would bring my scene to life.

5:30 am:
Began to research K9 rescue dogs. My heroine was about to get one as a gift to protect her from a stalker bent on murder. Amazing animals. I nod off trying to decide between a German Shepard and Belgian Malinois.

6ish am:
The Hubby bounces into the bedroom, full of energy from his workout, wakes up the cats, and bedlam ensues. I growl.

7ish am:
Hubs leaves for work and quiet descends on the household. I decide to go with the Belgian Malinois because they need a lot of exercise and an experienced owner. It will be an interesting challenge for my heroine. I read through adoption forms to see how much behind-the-scenes work I need for a couple sentences of backstory.

8ish am:
My eyes are blurry from reading the computer screen. I zip through a million emails, set a few aside that need attention, and make a quick pass through facebook and twitter.

10ish am:
Promo takes much longer than expected. I hit the treadmill, hoping for a resurgence of energy.

11ish am: I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast. Stomach is rumbling and I’m cranky. No words written on my WIPs and it’s almost lunchtime. I check email. Respond to requests for retweets.

11:30 am:
I’m starving, find car keys, punch the automatic start button to warm car up (this is North Dakota after all), and grab my wallet. Backing out of driveway, I realize that it’s snowing, I have no coat on, and I’m still wearing my Victoria Secret flannel pajama bottoms and my husband’s t-shirt. The question: clean up or drive-thru fast food for lunch? I HAVE to get some word count in. Probably best to take the computer to Perkins and work through lunch—without the kitties to help me type. I pull back into the garage, grab a banana from the fruit bowl, and search for some clean clothes. Must remember to do laundry.

12:00 pm:
I’m back in the car with a load of laundry started, a clean body, semi-clean jeans and sweatshirt, and down vest. The computer, iPad, and cell phone are packed. Perkins is on a lunchtime wait and can’t seat me. I settle on a hard, wooden bench and pull out the iPad to read. Ideas percolate. I need to do some research on Molotov Cocktails.

12:15 pm:
They seat me, and thanks to their wonderful wireless connection, I make notes on blowing things up. Who knew it was so easy to do? Maybe… no, bad idea. The Hubs would murder me if I practiced in our backyard.

1:15 pm:
The soup and half sandwich were good, but I’m still hungry. I order pie and promise myself double treadmill time tomorrow.

1:30 pm:
I realize I’m not using local resources to the best advantage. Make a quick call to local police department and set up meeting with the K9 handler.

1:45 pm:
Order a pot of hot water and settle in for some serious writing. My heroine needs to get through a locked door. I head back to the internet to research lock picking. Several videos and articles later, I have it down. Sort of. Go back through manuscript and work in details teaching heroine how to pick locks. Fervently wish that I leaned more toward the plotting type writer than the pantser type. But no, my mind doesn’t work that way.

2:45 pm:
My server is ready to go home, so I pay my check and head out. Pull back into my parking place. The Perkin’s manager is a hunter. I go backside, corner him, and ask about handguns. He takes me to his truck for a quick lesson. I’m looking for smell, touch, anything to do with the senses and a weapon. There’s no smell. I NEED the gun to have describable odors. He suggests shooting something. A tingle spins through my body and I look around for a likely target. Cars, people, buildings. We’re standing in a parking lot…not the best place for a quick practice round. Drat! I decline the offer. Make note to discuss purchasing “family” weapon and organize practice time at the firing range with the Hubs.

When I get home, the cats greet me at the door expressing their need for an immediate snack. I pass out treats, plug in all the electronic stuff, and sit down to write my heroine into a crisis.

3:30 pm:
The Hubby calls asking me to reschedule an appointment for him. He’ll be doing overtime. I realize I’m sweating because I forgot to take off the down vest. I shrug out of it, sending it to the floor in a heap. The cats claim it, curling up for a snooze.

3:45 pm:
Hubby’s appointment is rescheduled, but I forgot about the laundry. His shirts are a wet, wrinkled mess. Set washing machine to run through the rinse cycle again.

4:00 pm:
Forgot where I was on WIP, so check email, facebook, and twitter. Agree to do a guest blog, panic because I have no clue what to write about.

4:30 pm:
What did I need for that other WIP? The hero was pouting in the back of my mind, wanting immediate attention. If I didn’t pay attention, I’d lose any hope of hearing where he needed to go next in the plot. And he was a hottie. No way did I want to ignore him. Switched to his story.

5:00 pm:
Cats request dinner. Dinner! Oh, drat. I forgot about dinner. Nothing is thawed, and fresh veggies are looking on the limp side. My lock-picking heroine has taken over and is insisting that I write her out of her crisis, preferably without killing her. I give up on dinner, grab a handful of cashews, and start typing. It doesn’t go well. Unless I kill her, and that’s not an option. I type two pages of worthless crap. I’ll revise tomorrow.

6:30 pm:
Cats run to meet Hubby, then flee when they hear his coat rustle loudly. They hate the sound of rustling coats. He looks me over, grins, and kisses me. “Wanna go out for dinner?”

6:31 pm:
All thoughts of writing evaporate and are quickly replaced with visions of the Ruby Tuesday salad bar.

8:00 pm:
Exhausted, I fall into bed but can’t sleep so I catch up on Twitter and Facebook while Hubby snores. Drop off to sleep with iPhone in my hand and Tweet half written.

Thank you so much L. J. for stopping by to share your day with me and my readers!

In honor of today’s visit – one lucky commenter will win an their choice of L. J’s e-books! 
HERE for a list of the books.

All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form!  This is open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. to see how much behind-the-scenes work I need for a couple sentences of backstory.

    Love that line! Happens so often with me. It's the Type A in us, I think. Loved this glimpse at your life (and your cats are hysterical!). If you try the Molotov cocktails in the back yard, TAKE PICTURES!

    1. I will definitely take pictures! Maybe I can talk my better half into exploding a small one...just a little ripple in the garden.

  2. Great post, Lucie! My household is totally 'cat run' household, too. And I luv sweet, spontaneous 'dates' with my DH. :)

    1. That is so true. The little one, the female, knocks everything she can get her paws on off my nightstand every morning at 4am. It worked once, and only once, to get her breakfast early. But has she forgotten that one time? Nope. Probably never will. I'm doomed.

  3. So funny. Well laid plans rarely come together as we think.

    1. Isn't that the truth. Just ask any writer. The hours slip by and characters get totally out of hand. Our work is never dull. Thank goodness!

  4. You're one busy lady. And a funny one, too.

    1. Thanks, Roxy for commenting on BOTH of my blogs today. That's impressive, and I'm grateful because I know you're a busy lady, too.

  5. Just a quick note to thank Aislynn for having me as a guest today. And to let you know that my books are listed on my blog at

    Wish I knew how to make that an active link...sorry.

    L. j.

  6. Never mind. Aislynn, bless her, has an active link in the original post. Would you believe I've revised two chapters this morning, and am blurry-eyed brain dead?

    1. Not to worry - I fixed the link as soon as I saw your email come through this am!

      Thank you again for participating in the feature :) :)

  7. I just found out...

    a Touch of Ice, the first book in my Everly Gray Adventure series, went FREE on Amazon. it's a chick lit, light paranormal, romantic mystery...if anyone is interested in checking it out.

    Happy Reading!

    L. j.

  8. OMG... you are *busy*. And your hubby gets up at 3am? *shudders*. I love reading about what authors do for research. I think I'd get so into it and having fun that the research would be all I do! Thanks for sharing and slip your husband a sleeping pill. 3 am is not morning. It's the later part of night! lol...

    1. Hi, Erin.
      You're so right about 3am. I shudder every morning. And you're right about being busy. Today is amazingly busy because of the 2 blog posts and Ice going free on Amazon, plus I have this novella that I didn't plan on writing that needs to be done before the end of the month. Good thing I had that pineapple coconut muffin for lunch.

  9. I love all of the things you are researching for your books... very cool. :)

    1. Thanks for commenting, Chrystal. I love the research part of my work too! The actual writing is hard work, but the research is mostly fun.

  10. Funny! Good heavens to Betsy, you are one busy lady! Loved the post, Lj!

    1. Thanks for posting, K.E. I'd like to be a little less busy so I can get more writing done! Looking forward to your next book.

  11. wow the books sound fantastic. I'm afraid I haven't read any of your books yet! thank you ever so much for the giveaway.
    susand1408 at googlemail dot com

    1. Hi, Susan. Thanks for commenting, and for the compliment. I'm so glad you think my books sound fantastic. The first book in my Everly Gray Adventure series is free on Amazon right now...just in case you'd like to try it on for size.

  12. Adorable cats!
    When your hero is pouting you know you can't put off his story :)

    1. Thanks, Na. They certainly have their adorable moments...and some not so adorable. The female likes to knock everything off my bedside table at 4am. It's her way of telling me she wants breakfast.

      My héros don't pout often, but when they do it means I have a lot of work to do!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  13. Nice post and very cute cats.

    1. Thank you. Oliver Biscuit and Harley are very pleased that you recognize their cuteness, but they're having a difficult time understanding why you can't reach through the keyboard and give their ears a scratch. I'm doing my best to make up for it.

  14. Ha! Found it...what a fun post! Giggled my way through :)

    1. Hey, crit partner, nice to see you here. Thanks for stopping by.


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