The Fable of the Cat Blanket & NaNoWriMo

Last November I listened to a random urge to participate in NaNo and signed up for the Savvy Smackdown. One of the best parts was meeting my team mates, including the fabulous Teri Anne Stanley. Because I love her sense of humor, I asked her to be our guest today.

Here’s Teri –

Thanks for inviting me to visit your blog!  I have a fable to tell you…teri stanley

Once upon a time, a silly scientist with a house full of teenagers and dogs and other nonsensical chaos read a romance novel. “I could totally write better than this,” she thought.

Dionysus, sitting high on Mt Olympus (note that I said he was high), cracked up laughing. “Hey Apollo! Check this out. This human broad thinks she can write better than the author of that novel! This should be good.”

Apollo took a hit of whatever D-God was smoking, and said, “Well, maybe she can. She’s a scientist. She’s smart, right?”

Aphrodite stopped for a toke, and said, “She loves romance. Whoever loves romance has to be wonderful. I think she can do it.”

The three gods started placing bets. Aphrodite snuck to earth and whispered in the human’s ear, “Get writing. I’ve got a lot of money riding on this.”

And so the human was compelled to try her hand at writing a novel.

She convinced herself that it was just a brain exercise, that she really didn’t have any aspirations to publish anything. She took a couple of writing workshops and started blogging, just to connect with other writers.

Hades got wind of the wagering, and popped up to visit the human, and said, “You know you really want to be published.”

The human ignored him. She started writing a story about a guy who wakes up on the deck of a houseboat with no memory. And then she saw a tweet from an agent about how waking up with no memory was an overdone cliche. So she put that story away and started writing one about a raccoon that attacks a woman on her way to a job interview. But then she realized that there was no actual plot to that story, so she put it away.

And so it went. The human started a dozen stories, and finished none of them.

Then one spring, she decided to enter a contest. She dusted off a few chapters of a story, and sent them to Cleveland. Surprisingly, the judges were smoking the same thing the gods were when they convinced Teri to start writing, because she placed first. Amazingly, she finished that manuscript, but she was still in denial about publishing, so she filed that away.

Life started to happen. Her teenagers got more dramatic, and she allowed a couple of trolls to move into her basement. Her husband was travelling more.

The gods got bored, and started guessing when Prince William and Kate would have a baby.

The human was thinking that it might be time to delete her blog and start doing something useful for society, like make blankets for homeless cats.

Then, one day, she accidentally read a newsletter from Savvy Authors with an announcement about a NaNoWriMo Bootcamp. And the human thought, “Oh, hell. I might as well give it one more month.”

She signed up. She joined a team with four other romantic suspense authors and got some pointers from editor Nina Bruhns, as Entangled Publishing.

Aphrodite took a break from royal watching and took notice. She tried not to let Hades and Apollo see what was going on, however.

The human worked like crazy, and cranked out several thousand words of a story about a scientist who meets a maintenance man who is really an undercover cop. She tossed in a couple of gangsters and some weird drugs.

At the end of November, the editor announced that she would look at the unfinished manuscripts, and choose one for publication. Perhaps Dionysus then visited the offices of Entangled Publishing, because these stories were incomplete, unedited, and…rough–but in January, the human got a phone call from Nina saying that she wanted to acquire the human’s manuscript!

There is no moral to this story. Aesop is too hungover to mess with it right now.

But stay tuned for the sequel, which involves Hermes and Ares in a battle with the human’s self-esteem, trying to destroy it before her editor gets back to her with the next round of revisions and a publication date.

And so it goes with your less than typical “call” story! (this is Cathy back again).  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read her debut from Entangled when it releases. I asked Teri for social media contact info – not that she’s a fiend on twitter or anything – but we might have to out her in the comments.

Originally posted on our group blog, Blame It On The Muse

And I tracked her down at 


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