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    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Meet The Muses: A High-Class Hillbilly Writer & Her Muse Lucky Lucy

    Today, here in D. D. Scott-ville, y'all are in for a real hoot of a treat!

    To celebrate yesterday's release of MUSE THERAPY: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL, I'm hosting a Saturday Series of Meet-and-Greet the Muses.

    And here to get us going in one heckuva fun way are a couple of my new BFF's, the amazing, High-Class Hillbilly Writer herself Tonya Kappes ( and her super-sassy muse Lucky Lucy...

    So here we go...straight from Tonya and Lucky Lucy's world...


    Writing is NOT easy or for the faint at heart. BUT when your muse isn’t cooperating, writing is damn near impossible!

    Let me rewind. . .

    Three years ago my DH (dear husband) asked, “Can I talk to you?”

    With a scowl on my face, I removed my nose from the crease of Jane Porter’s latest novel Odd Mom Out. Carefully I placed this precious piece of work in my lap and softly spoke, “This better be good.”

    I noticed a little sweat above his brow and a nervous twitch in the corner of his lip. “I. . ., er, I think you need to write a novel. I know you can do it.”

    I laughed, not really, I guffawed! And really almost wet myself. I looked at my watch because I knew it was September, 2007 and I wanted to make sure I haven’t been reading until the following April fool’s day because I have kids to take care of. (At least I pretend to take care of them.)

    Needless to say, I went into the kitchen to get a snack because the DH already ruined my concentration and I wanted to check to see if he’d gotten into the liquor cabinet.

    I remember it like it was yesterday. I got what I consider my first piece of muse chocolate cake. Quietly I took the cake back into the den, sat in my chair, pulled my quilt back up over my lap, put my cake in my lap, and picked up my book. Only this time it was different. I looked at the book cover, I read the acknowledgements, I read Jane Porter’s bio, and I grabbed my computer and goggled Jane Porter.

    So Jane and I aren’t the same, but I can be a writer!! She inspired me. I went through her website and I wrote her. She was so nice. She wrote me back and sent me a lot of goodies in the mail. (She even sent me a Christmas card that year!)

    Anyways, I took my DH’s advice and started to write a story, a tall tale with a few familiar traits to people I know—hey they always say you write what you know.

    I found that I couldn’t just sit at the laptop and type. What was I going to do?

    Well. . .I went to the bookstore and decided to look around, NOT buy - this would be the first time - and just like the sky parted and angels started to sing. There it was. Exactly what I needed. A journal!

    I don’t know why this leather journal made me feel good, but it did. I can’t explain it. I wrote quotes about writing, favorite writing websites, favorite authors, and all things favorite! I even wrote the first 20k words of my first novel in that book.

    I have no idea what happened, but the beautiful leather book stopped working and I couldn’t get motivated to continue to write. I’d just sit and doodle, play pogo on the laptop, watch TV or just sleep.

    My ever so favorite author, Jane, continued to put out more books and ONE was going to become a Lifetime movie? How did she do it?

    I googled and googled some more. Until I saw the word MUSE. It jumped out at me like a ton of bricks had hit me.

    My muse had died. Been stabbed, killed!! I was depressed because I had no idea how to get my muse back to me.

    I was babysitting my sister’s dog around this time and she needed to be walked. I took Lucy for a walk and mentally went over what I could do to restart my muse. I don’t know if it was the walk or my mental pep talk, but my muse was talking to me. She was talking loud and clear! She just wanted to be a little pampered. A little “me muse time.” I grabbed Lucy, the dog, and kissed her square on the dog lips! And Lucky Lucy was born!

    Only she was harder to keep happy. A couple years and two more novels under my belt. I was tired begging Lazy Lucy to show up so I went searching again for some help. And there it was, “Get your muse in check with Muse Therapy.”

    Muse Therapy?

    Okay. I’ll bite! I’m glad I did. I met D.D. Scott and she showed me how to make Lazy Lucy, Lucky Lucy all the time!

    Yes! D.D. even sent me this cool therapy holder that I keep in my office (former den) so every day I remind Lucy that if she doesn’t show up, I’ll call D. D.

    Six novels later, I’ve had to come up with all sorts of solutions to make Lucky Lucy stay lucky instead of Lazy Lucy. We’ve been to the spa, beach, coffee shop, Kmart! You name it and I will take Lucky Lucy anywhere as long as she performs.

    With the help of D. D Scott and her muse therapy, Lucky Lucy has helped me sell two novels that will hit book stores next year!

    Oh, by the way. . .my favorite author Jane Porter is now my friend and she’s coming in town next month and staying with MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Now how's that for a bit of Meet The Muse fabulous-ness?!

    Thank you, Tonya and Lucky Lucy!!!

    You both are such an inspiration to writers the world over!

    And that's the heart of MUSE THERAPY - writers helping and inspiring other writers along their Yellow Brick Roads to Publishing Oz.

    Sexy Sassy Smart MUSE THERAPY Wishes --- D. D. Scott

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    Blogger D.D. Scott said...

    Here's a huge 'ole D. D. Scott Muse Who-ville Shout-out to you, Tonya and Lucky Lucy too!!!

    Sooo fabulous to have you here today!!!

    Sexy Sassy Smart MUSE THERAPY Meet the Muses Wishes --- D. D. Scott

    October 16, 2010 at 5:43 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    D.D. thanks for having me and asking me to kick off Muse Therapy Craze!! All stories aside. . . your therapy really does work and makes so much sense. After my critique group yesterday with wonderful authors Heather Webber, Shelley Shepard Grey (Shelley Galloway), and Cathy Liggett~talk about wonderful PUBLISHED authors and little ole me~Lucky Lucy wanted to stop by Charmin' Charlies to get a new scarf. Well. . .she didn't see anything she liked so her need was fixed by me just walking around and we left. When we got home she sang all night!!

    October 16, 2010 at 5:43 AM  
    Blogger D.D. Scott said...

    Oooo...nothing beats a little bit of scarf and/or all-things-accessory shopping!!!

    And yes, me and my muses The Carrie Squad are huge, huge Rachel Zoe fans! We do some serious "therapy" time watching her shows!!!

    I'm sooo thrilled my Muse Therapy Trips are working for you and Lucy!!!

    Sexy Sassy Smart Scarf Shopping Wishes --- D. D. Scott

    October 16, 2010 at 5:46 AM  
    Blogger Dru said...

    That is so cool. And by reading this article, I just discovered a new-to-me author in Jane Porter.

    I'm glad Lucy is singing with words on the printed page for you. Can't wait to read your books.

    October 16, 2010 at 5:56 AM  
    Blogger Renee Vincent said...

    Tonya, you are absolutely adorable! This post was SO cool! LOVE the leather bound book! How neat is that! As always, you never cease to amaze me, darlin!

    October 16, 2010 at 6:00 AM  
    Blogger Suzanne said...

    Loved your story, Tonya. Jane was an inspiration for me, too...back in the days when I hoped to become the next Presents author. She's an automatic read for me, too, and a highlight was when, as chapter VP, I got her to come visit our chapter and talk. We were blown away.

    So glad Lucky Lucy is with you.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:03 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    When I wrote my mystery,, Lucky Lucy couldn't get enough of Veronica Mars~We watched the ENTIRE series in under three weeks!! Lucy loves Netflix!

    October 16, 2010 at 6:03 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    Dru you are going to LOVE her books. She's an amazing writer!! PLUS her books are great too. She did Heather Webber's book blurb. I'm so excited to see her soon.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:27 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    Thanks Renee! You're pretty great too:) I actually have a journal for every novel I've written. Lucy and I actually go to the store, feel all of the covers and which ever one best describes the book I'm going to write or "speaks" to me~I get! It makes Lucky Lucy sing!!

    October 16, 2010 at 6:29 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    Thanks Suzanne! She is amazing! I can't wait for our fun girlfriend sleep over!! She is definitely a go-to-author-HAVE-to-read! Thanks for stopping by.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:30 AM  
    Blogger D.D. Scott said...

    Count me in too as a huge, huge Jane Porter fan!!!

    I just finished SHE'S GONE COUNTRY and just know that will sooo be her next Lifetime Movie!!!

    Sexy Sassy Smart Jane Porter Wishes --- D. D. Scott

    October 16, 2010 at 6:44 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    I haven't read She's Gone Country yet b/c I'm going to get it when she's visiting for her booksigning!! *SQUEEEEE* If you can't tell, I'm sooooooo excited to see her. She's amazing and lights up a room.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:52 AM  
    Blogger jeff7salter said...

    Enjoyed the post. Discovered it bothers me slightly to know that you kiss your sister's dog on the mouth ... but, hey, whatever.
    The subject of 'muses' has fascinated me for most of the past five decades. [Until about age 10, I didn't think about such]. Having found poetry as my main written form of expression for much of my life, I strained to understand why there would be 'dry' spells (in my creativity) with seemingly nothing to write about ... and periods when I couldn't write fast enough to keep up with what was pouring out of my inner depths. I still don't know.
    But having to write on deadlines -- in newspapers for years ... and on four large non-fiction efforts (plus numerous smaller N-F projects) -- I found that I could force myself to 'produce' even when a muse was nowhere to be found. Was that forced, deadline writing really top-drawer, creative stuff? Well, not usually. But it was successful. And some was pretty dadgum good ... especially under the circumstances.
    So discipline could allow me to squeeze out pages when I absolutely had to have them. But I much preferred those heady (but exhausting) times when the muse would latch on to me and refuse to let go until I had done her bidding.
    How do I rein her in? I don't. When I get a printed copy of D.D.'s book, maybe I'll learn how. For now, I go with the flow: when the muse is "IN" I make myself available.
    To keep going during those other times, I set specific word-count goals, especially when I'm in the middle of the first draft of a new novel. I keep track of my progress. If I fell below my word-count goal on one day, I urge myself on the next day ... to make up for it.
    When a draft is complete, I begin revisions. I find I need to dangle a goal: usually it's rather ordinary (e.g., that the project be complete enough for someone else to read). After I've accomplished that, my revised goal is that the project be polished enough that I could show it to someone in the industry (if requested).
    When the muse gives me the cold shoulder, I revise what I've already written. Or, I re-visit some of the three dozen other novel concepts or 'starts' that I've got notes or pages on.
    When arthritis freezes up my fingers, I read.
    All that said, I journal daily, and interact a lot on blogs and Facebook. I find that interaction very stimulating and often I get ideas which simmer in my head until such a time as the muse zooms back through my zip code.
    The muse is a lovely creature, I'm sure, but I conclude (in the long run) it's a good thing she does NOT reside with me 24/7 and 365. If she did, one of would go crazy.

    October 16, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
    Blogger Misa said...

    Fun, fun, fun story! You will be a Lifetime movie someday, Tonya. ;) Hmm, who will play me?

    I think it's so cool and serendipitous how your story comes full circle, starting and ending with Jane. Just goes to show you how small actions with no intent can end up having a major impact on your life.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:11 AM  
    Blogger Heather Webber said...

    Love your story, Tonya! What a great husband you have (mine also inspired me to write--they're keepers!). Love the Jane connection, because you know I love Jane (and her books)!!

    October 16, 2010 at 11:41 AM  
    Blogger Lee A. Lopez said...

    I loved the post Tonya, and the idea of a book. Like your DH, my Poppy, sat me down recently and said, "Go back to historicals. Do what you love. It's a lot more work, but your happiest in the past." Wow, I thought he hit the Tequila a little hard too. So I bought a leather, worn looking type note book, and started plotting, writing ideas, making notes on the period my novel will be set in. I hate it when he's right, about writing.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:03 PM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    Misa I wish!! Only no one would come b/c really life outside of Lucky Lucy isn't so interesting. BUT I'd take movie based on one of my books:)

    October 17, 2010 at 4:03 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    Hi Heather!! We do have some great guys in our life~don't we!! Soon we will both get to hang with Jane. She's definitely ah-maaaaa-zing!

    October 17, 2010 at 4:04 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    Lee it's interesting how well our husbands do know you and strange at the same time. I guess when we are loving what we are doing our happiness shines through. Just like you and historicals. You do write beautiful historicals PLUS you love the research.

    October 17, 2010 at 4:06 AM  
    Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

    Hi Jeff!! I also make myself do a specific word count a day when I'm working on a new WIP. BUT I do have to negotiate making me stay longer. It might be something like jumping on facebook or walking around the towne center, but I definitely get those counts done. When I'm in edits, I negotiate the number of chapters I edit a day or number of pages the editor sends back to me. Still I have to work with my muse to keep me motivated. AND as for kissing Lucy on the lips...YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 17, 2010 at 4:10 AM  
    Blogger jeff7salter said...

    Of course, I've never met your Lucy dog. But I've also never met any dog that I cared to kiss on the mouth! I mean, do you realize where that mouth has BEEN? LOL.
    When my grandkids were toddlers, they were just the right height for my daughter's two Labs to lick them all over the face. And they just took it in stride! Yuck.
    Anyhow, this has been a great post, and D.D. is a wonderful hostess.
    I need to work in some 'breaks' such as you describe ... though I doubt the Towne Center would appeal to me. But I should take a short walk or even just sit on the porch a while. To use Facebook as a 'break' is not really a break (for me) -- same chair, same screen, same keyboard. Same arthritis. Ha.
    Anyhow, congrats on that new Halloween anthology.

    October 19, 2010 at 8:17 PM  

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