I Don’t Write

Mindy PicOur special guest today is Mindy Mymudes.  Mindy runs with the Muddy Paws Pack in Milwaukee, WI. She insists she is alpha, even as the dogs walk all over her. She hunts, cleans the den and keeps them entertained. When she can escape the pack, she enjoys digging in dirt, listening to audiobooks, and weaving the antics of the pack into stories. The alpha male, Tall Dude, just shakes his head and stays out of the way.  Her debut book, George Knows, is the story of an egotistical magical basset hound who believes it’s his duty to train and protect his 12-year-old Girlpup, a greenwitch named Karly. He and his Girlpup must solve a murder as well as save their park from being developed. George is the perfectly designed familiar for the job.  George Knows will be released in December by MuseItUp Books.  Welcome Mindy!

I don’t write.

For over a year, I lied to my friend when she insisted I must. I told her I wrote technical articles, designed lab experiments, and wrote out dog training tips occasionally for ‘Dog Fancy’, but I didn’t write. For some reason, she didn’t give up. I finally told her I was working on something, but it wasn’t any good. The writers workshops I attended thought it was stupid and amateurish. Maybe I should find a better hobby.

I don’t write.

She asked if I would send a few pages. A few paragraphs. A few lines. I gave in, and surprise, she liked them and wanted to read more. She suggested I check out Magical Words, that she wrote for it, and it offered advice and tips for writing fantasy.  I checked it out, made wiseass comments, and took a lot of notes. Pacing and pantsing. Butt in chair. Outlines and ideas. I asked questions, got advice, quite often conflicting, but there was always an answer that worked.

The book How To Write Magical Words came out and I immediately got a copy. My textbook to go with my lessons.

I finished the first draft of my story.  Next began the rewrites. Rewrites. Rewrites. Rewrites. Elevator pitch. Crafting a query and a synopsis. Who knew they’d be harder than the book, and I wrote abstracts!  I sent out my queries, had requests for pages. Fifty pages, one hundred. I pitched at Romantic Times once in my Steampunk costume to an agent who didn’t want steampunk. I don’t write steampunk. She asked for a hundred pages.  I got great feedback from many of the agents and editors who read it. I agreed with most of it, and put it away, knowing it could be stronger. Somewhere along the line, Jagi and Faith independently suggested I write a story from a dog’s point of view. I disagreed. Dogs do not think the way humans do, and I didn’t agree with Disney’s take on dogs. I put butt in chair to work on something for ‘Dog Fancy’ and instead, a dog with the ego of an elephant showed up. I thought he was one of my springers, incognito, but by the third page he let me know that springers were stupid dogs who’d do anything for a treat. They let humans do all their thinking and couldn’t do anything on their own.  He informed me his name was George, a perfectly designed basset hound familiar and I was a fool to think he was anything less.

Yep, I had a smart-assed character talking back at me. Karma.

I’ve never had a basset hound and didn’t know much about them. The story was in present tense, which isn’t natural for me. I wrote it much more slowly than the first manuscript and about a hundred pages shorter. Most of the feedback from the workshop was positive. The one that stood out, of course, was how George was too much a cartoon character. George didn’t appreciate it, particularly when it became obvious the guy had no clue what middle grade was.

Like my earlier piece, I had a lot of nibbles. Agents were interested in reading more, but then rejected it for things like “human bones are too scary for young kids” or “a basset wouldn’t want bones.”  And so it went. I must have found a lot of non-dog-loving, non-middle grade people.  I was reluctant to send to ebook publishers. eBooks don’t seem like real books to me. However, I had sent a short story based on my first manuscript to a publisher in Canada called MuseItUp. They rejected it, but wondered if there was more backstory. If there was a whole book, could I send it? I did, and it was rejected with the caveat that if I wrote anything else, to please consider them. They loved my voice.

georgeknows333x500-1So I reformatted based on their guidelines and submitted George Knows to them. Within a couple of weeks I received a contract and a welcome to the family letter. Just like a ‘real’ publisher   the book would be edited. And EDITED.  AND EDITED. There would be a cover artist and I would get to give suggestions. There would be promotional material, and assistance with promoting. And if the ebook did well, it would be released in paper.  George will be released to the public as an ebook in December.

Thanks Faith, for pushing me, Jagi, and everyone at Magical Words.

I do write.



20 comments to I Don’t Write

  • Congrats and good to see it coming out soon. 🙂 Gonna have to pick up a copy for the little’n.

  • *Great* story! Congrats on the pending book release — I look forward to reading it!

  • mudepoz

    Thanks! I suspect George wouldn’t have been quite so insistent if Faith hadn’t been quite so pushy. However, when both Faith and Jagi suggested I write from a dog’s POV, I guess it had to be.
    *Shakes head* But why an egotistical basset hound?

  • You had books in you. It was obvious. Same as with MIsty who was writing short stories when I met her. She was chock full of stories. And a few books! For both of you, all I did was … keep saying write a book. Or two. Or three. And Mud, I knew it would be picked up by someone.

    I have a six year old nephew who will love it. He’s all into bones and dogs and dinosaurs and dragons!

  • carol gilreath

    This book sounds so enticing 🙂 I can’t wait for it to come out so my Great Grand Son Aiden can check it out. He loves dogs.

  • Julia

    Congratulations, Mud! That’s fantastic news!

  • Deb S

    Congratulations, Mud. The book and wisecracking George sound like something any kid, or kid-at-heart-type, would enjoy.

  • Janet Walden-West

    Told you so 🙂

  • Congratulations, Mud! I’ll definitely be getting a copy of George Knows. And thanks for sharing your journey from am-not-a-writer to am-a-writer with us.

  • Hepseba ALHH

    Thank you for telling us about your book! It is so lovely to hear these happy stories from regular MW contributors and to find out just what nifty things they’ve been working on. Your premise sounds like quite a lot of fun. And now I’m curious to find out just how not-like-disney your main character is.

  • Hep, just for starters, he farts, drools, and acts like a dog. LOL

  • Hepseba ALHH

    Not dog drool! *runs, hides* (actually, seriously, I’m allergic – plus I have a very specific set of childhood memories involving dog drool. But fictional dog drool has no power over me!)

  • Very cool, Mud! Congratulations, and great to see you posting here at MW.

  • Congratulations, Mud/Mindy! It’s been fun watching snippets of George on FB as the book grew and now the book is finally grown – I can’t wait to read it.

  • mudepoz

    Thanks everyone *Blush*. We’ll see. His drool IS magical. 🙂 He’s a familiar.

  • Congrats, Mud! You totally do write, and I can’t wait to read this novel. 🙂

  • lovely story! Way to stick with it, of course having wonderful author friends to encourage you and poke you with sticks when needed is a nice thing to have 🙂 can’t wait to meet George. We had a Si that sounds like he would have gotten along with George. He was one smart ass dog who constantly tried to challenge me. Even in a down stay he would fuss at me the whole time… but he didn’t move

  • Ken

    Congrats Mud!!! I’m picking up a copy 🙂

  • quillet

    Super late to this party, but I hope it’s not too late to raise a glass in your honour. Congratulations, Mud! *raises glass* 🙂

  • Vyton

    Even later, but congratulations, Mud! Thank you for sharing the story behind your story.