Friday, September 14, 2012

The Making of a Novella! - Book giveaway!

Personal news:
I'm getting braces! Yes, the wire kind with rubber bands that last 3 years! Ugggg..  I've been putting this off and off, but finally decided it would be best. So if you see me at a book signing or conference in the next three years, please have pity on me and don't laugh!

I'm in San Francisco today with a great author friend who flew out here from South Carolina with her husband on business but they took the time to drive all the way from San Diego to the Bay Area (where I live.. and a good 8 hour drive!)  just to see me!  So, it's off to do the sightseeing thing in San Fran today.   I'll post pictures next week. My friend, Debbie Lynne Costello is a great writer, by the way, as yet unpublished, but I know she will be soon. Check out her website:  Debbie Lynne's Web Site!

Some of you may know that I recently had a new release, in addition to Veil of Pearls. It is a novella entitled Central Park Rendezvous. A novella is just a fancy word for short story or short novel. So essentially Central Park Rendezvous is a collection of short stories.  In this case, there are four stories written by four different authors (Yours Truly included). Normally in a novella, the stories are all tied together somehow, either with theme, location, or time period.  

If you'd like to win a copy, leave a comment on this post, along with your email. I'll choose a winner on the 21st!

If you haven't read the novella, each story is set during a different war-time period (Present day-Afghanistan, Vietnam, WWII, and the Civil War), each is a love story, each revolves around the same family, each ends with the couple expressing their love on the Bow Bridge in Central Park, New York, and each is tied together by an heirloom that Colonel Wolfe gave his fiance right after the civil war.  The piece is a Civil War Coin on which is inscribed Love Never Fails W.W. Central Park. Oh, and the theme of Love from 1 Corinthians 13 runs through all the stories.

The stories include
Dream a Little Dream, by Ronie Kendig  (Afghanistan Sar)
A Love Meant to Be by Dineen Miller     (Vietnam War)
To Sing Another Day by Kim Vogel Sawyer (World War II)
Beauty from Ashes by MaryLu Tyndall (Civil Awar)

Recently a reader wrote in with some questions about how in the heck did four different authors write four different stories that somehow all fit together in one neat story that spanned four different generations?  

Do you all live relatively in the same geographical area?  
Nope. Two of us live in California, but the others are spread over the U.S.

Who came up with this idea/suggestion? Who decided that it would be you four in particular ... are you all close or great friends (besides being fellow-authors)?
The entire Novella was Ronie Kendig's idea. I never would have considered writing a novella. I'm not very good at "short" stories.. I can do LONG.. but not short. LOL.  Ronie then contacted the rest of us to ask if we wanted to be a part of it. I adore Ronie so I didn't want to turn her down.  I know Ronie and Dineen pretty well.  I've never met Kim, but she's a doll to work with.

I am especially intrigued on how or who came up with this story-line idea of crossing the four generations?
That would be Ronie. We all did some brainstorming but it was Ronie who proposed we do a cross history military-themed set of stories that spanned 4 wars. (If you haven't read her books, she's got some FABULOUS military romantic suspense books!!) 

How did you each decide who was going to write about what era?
That was easy. We knew the 4 time periods we were writing about and we all simply chose the ones we preferred. Since both Kim and I are historical authors, we choose the earlier dates.. then Dineen got the Vietnam story and Ronie had dibs on the modern day one because the whole thing was her idea.
And how did you each know what to write about? Did someone sort of take
charge and say:  "you -- write about this", and "you write about that", and "I'll write
about this"???     

I would say that Ronie was the chief conductor in all of this. I wish I had saved the tons of emails that passed between us all!  We plotted the entire thing over email, if you can believe that!  Once we came up with the heirloom coin idea being passed down, we knew we wanted to have the modern day couple find the heirloom and start looking into the history of it. After much discussion, we all agreed that the best way to do that would be to have the present day story (Ronie's) scattered between the other stories..  which I thought was a GREAT idea. The present day couple finds some old letter..etc.. and then we go back in time to the couple the letter talks about. That story is told, and then it's back to the present where their story progresses a little and then they discover something else about the past and then we switch to the past again.. to another couples story.. and so on and so on..  We were all JAZZED about the idea!!

Did you each individually come up with your own ideas for each of your eras, or, was it all carefully planned out/thought out/prepared as to how it would all tie in together, and everyone told what to write?   
Basically we each came up with our own ideas for our stories, but then we had to all get together, go over the ideas, and pull information that we needed from each others' stories, since some characters overlapped and we needed to get all our stories straight.  I had the easiest job since my story was the oldest and there was a huge gap between the Civil War and World War II where Kim's story picked up. So, I didn't have to worry about my story touching the other authors' stories as much.
Clear as mud?? 
Keep the questions coming!!
Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. The novella sounds so interesting!
    I hope everything goes well with the braces. They aren't so bad, and, if you do everything the dentist tells you to do, you might even be able to get them off early. I was able to have mine off very quickly.

  2. Oh! I'd love to read this book so please enter me! :) My email address is: bethanydaughteroftheking{at}gmail{dot}com. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book! Have a most blessed day in San Francisco!

  3. Shh...don't tell Mariah, but I think I will buy this one for her as a Christmas gift! Sounds fantastic!

  4. Fri Sept 14th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First off -- you will likely be a disciplined student of wearing 'braces', doing "all" that they recommend for the best results. And good grief, no, I would NEVER laugh at you ... my hat is off to you, getting this seen to ! Good for you !
    Secondly, hope you have a wonderful day in San Fran -- doing all the sightseeing things, and enjoying the company of your author-friend.
    And thirdly .... thanks so very much for answering "all" of the questions !!! "Clear as mud ?" you ask .... definitely, it is more than clear ... totally understood !!!
    Wow -- most interesting, and I can just imagine the ton of e-mails going back and forth between you all. I was already wondering if Ronie Kendig was the main overseer.
    Well, you gals more than pulled this off ... excellent job of the stories, and the coordination involved !
    Super job MaryLu ... of answering the questions presented ... and thank-you. Just found this 'novella' idea of the stories blending together -- fascinating, to say the least !!!
    Have a great weekend.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  5. I don't think I have it in me to say no to a chance at a free book! Please enter me into the drawing!


    Have a wonderful time with your friend! And I hope you and all your readers have a great weekend!

  6. Thanks for the giveaway, MaryLu, and for explaining how the four of you worked together! Even though it was work, you make it sound fun :) I have no doubt you'll look beautiful with your new braces and those 3 years will go by FAST. Have fun with your friend and thanks for leaving her website :)

  7. Thanks so much for the giveaway! Looks like a really awesome story.

    About those braces...I had them myself (actually I've had them off for a year now as of yesterday...yay!!!) But they weren't that bad. And I don't think I actually had them on for three years. I started out with a palate expander, though, so that was about six months right there. I'm sure you'll do fine, just takes a lot of prayer. It's actually a very interesting experience.


  8. The novella sounds really good, I can't wait to read it! I really like the idea of the modern story going on throughout the whole book.


  9. The book sounds more and more exciting every time you share more information about it! :-)

    And don't worry about the braces, MaryLu - my (also college-aged) cousin is having to get them, and a middle-aged lady I know from church also had them recently, so you won't be alone. ^_^ And I've heard that if you have to attend a special event (like a wedding or conference) where there will be a lot of pictures taken, in most cases, dentists can take them off for a couple of days (for a lot of money, of course). I'm also worrying over a dental decision right now - I need to get my wisdom teeth out, but I'm terrified of going under for the procedure. So I'll probably procrastinate for a few years and let it get worse, lol.

    sapphirefeltner (at) optimum (dot) net

  10. I would love to be entered to win.
    jrs362 at hotmail dot com

  11. I can't wait to read Central Park Rendezvous! All of the stories in it look great!

  12. Good luck with the braces! They are so worth it in the end!

    Thank you for the chance to win.


  13. I would love to read this book.
    rdunson (at) knology (dot) net

  14. I love your books and if they're friends of yours, they're friends of mine! Hope to win!

  15. This book looks wonderful! I am from New York. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Linda Cacaci

  16. MaryLu, your beautiful smile will far outshine those braces, so you have nothing to fear. :)

    Hope you have a wonderful time with your friend in San Fransisco.

    I love the concept of "Central Park Rendezvous". And I like how the story works backward instead of forward. Can't wait to read it. Please enter me in the drawing. And have a great weekend!


  17. Good luck with the braces! I follow Deb's blog; she lives near dh I think SC. Have fun!
    I've had my eye on this please count me in.
    Jackie S.


  18. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book, "Central Park Rendezvous".
    Braces aren't so bad once you get used to them.
    Janet E.

  19. MaryLu, the novella, Central Park Rendezvous sound amazing. So happy you wrote the Civil War story. I would love to win it. But tonight I am
    starting Veil of Pearl with I just received this week.

  20. I'm impressed with the great group of authors gathering to write Central Park Rendezvous, I know it will be terrific. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  21. I would love to win this! I love M.L. Tyndall books! Veil of Pearls was wonderful, of course. =)

  22. I'd love to be in the drawing but I think the book should go to someone who is new to your writing. The rest of us know it and love it. This novella collection has some amazing authors involved, and I love the premise of the coin!

    Enjoy your day of fun with Debbie Lynne and her hubby!

  23. Historical Fiction is my very favorite. This will branch me out a little!! I would love to win. Have a fantastic day together. Yay! Kathleen

  24. I would love to win,Enter me!
    Sarah Richmond

  25. Normally i don't enjoy novellas, but somehow when they are 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 they are in a whole different category. i would love to win this one for my Mom - she is 86, and not doing so well after an emergency colon surgery, but is just now getting back to reading. Thanks for the chance! This one looks great.


  26. This novella collection sounds rather unique in the way the contemporary story is woven through the other stories in the book. It sounds intriguing.
    You mentioned you hadn't met Kim. She is a Kansas author (I live in Kansas)who has met several times with my Christian book club. She's a very nice lady and wonderful author.
    I'd love to win a copy of Central Park Rendezvous. Thanks!


  27. Normally i don't enjoy novellas, but somehow when they are 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 they are in a whole different category. i would love to win this one for my Mom - she is 86, and not doing so well after an emergency colon surgery, but is just now getting back to reading. Thanks for the chance! This one looks great.


  28. I enjoy novellas that are interwoven. I've read some set in "States" and it is interesting to see how the different characters' lives interweave. Sometimes in the same time frame and sometimes over generations. This should be interesting! I'd love to receive a copy :)

  29. sorry about the email "leave off" here it is
    godleyv at yahoo[dot]com

  30. Thank you all so much! I finally got back online to find all your wonderful comments! I've entered you all in the contest.. Wish I could respond to you individually.. but I never seem to have enough time these days...

    My friend and I had a blast in San Fran. We even made it to Napa to see all the vineyards and wineries.. very pretty and interesting. Then it was back home to pick up my hubby and out to dinner. A wonderful day with a wonderful friend. :-) And thanks for all the well wishes about my braces. I'm not looking forward to it but I know it will be fine. uggg...
    Have a great rest of your weekend!

  31. HapPily, you did come up w/ the idea ~ no matter how ! looking fwd to the new reads ~ always great to have something shorter for those perfect little moments !
    faithhopecherrytea at*gmail*dotcom

  32. This novella is written by all such wonderful authors!! I can't wait to read it!!

  33. I was wondering about how it was written! What a great Q&A! It sounds like it was a blast to write! And what a great way to stretch your creativity! What a blessing to have friends like to to stretch and grow you. :)

    So glad San Fran was a great visit, and Napa too!

    I'll be praying for you and the first few weeks of the braces; been there. ;-)

  34. Wow that sounds intense! Like many others, I have wondered how several authors keep everything straight when they are writing an anthology! :)
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  35. The book sounds great! Novellas are fun to read and it looks like there's lots of work and fun put into writing them. I like reading through different time eras and war is an interesting topic. Blessings!


  36. Aw, dont worry about getting braces. Everyone gets them. Im getting them soon. I dont think you need them you are already so pretty, but whatever. ;)

    The Novella sounds awesome! I still havent been able to buy it but I really want it! I cant wait to read it, Im never read a Novella before.

    Thanks for the chance to win, MaryLu!

  37. This book looks fabulous! What a collection of authors!!!!

    sherrinda (at) gmail (dot) com

    p.s. Braces aren't so bad. I had them for 2-1/2 years when I was 30. Had 4 teeth pulled to help with the crowding...soooooo pretty!!! Ha!

  38. Would love to win this Novella. It sounds so great. Blessings!!