Let the Fun Begin: A Dozen Apologies

2014 January 20

A DOZEN APOLOGIES FINAL FRONT COVER (282x425)I’ve had the great pleasure over the last two years of working with four different collaborative novellas. Three of those novellas centered on a main character. The pages took the heroine of each story on an adventure.

Following the success of Write Integrity Press’s 2012 novella, Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, I began to think of an idea for a Valentine’s Day project. The gals in the steno pool (my equivalent to Stephen King’s guys in the basement) kept sending me one image.

Now, if you can clearly see a picture of the game in your mind  (outside of the one I posted below), you’re giving away your age. Here goes, four words: The Mystery Dating Game.

I had the early 1965 version even though I was closer to being out of diapers at that time than I was to dating.

Anyway, the gals insisted that my idea would come to me from that silly game where you opened the door and your date would be standing there. Too bad for you if you got the bum. Except for me. I must have been a bum magnet at an early age, because that dude kept showing up for me so often that I fell for him. Yep, the bum was my favorite date.

714043011571_bigAnd that’s when it hit me. A twist on the old Mystery Date Game. The bum became the most attractive girl on the college campus. She appears sophisticated, witty, and her looks—they are deceiving, and in her time at the University of South Carolina (yes, just a bit cliché with the Southern Belle thing, but, hey, I didn’t make her a cheerleader), she deceives twelve different men.

Now, not all of these guys are nerds or losers (after all, haven’t we learned anything from Bill Gates. Nerds are not losers). I digress. By the time our little bum—I mean girl—and her sorority sisters play their game of seek, flirt, and destroy, Mara leaves twelve men and their self-esteem demolished in her wake.

Yet, Mara’s story doesn’t stop there. If it did, what kind of a heroine would she make? No, Mara learns from her mistake when God allows the same thing to happen to her—with higher stakes–and Mara through a new relationship with Christ, learns that past actions can have some pretty big consequences.

Again, the gals in the steno pool kept pointing back to The Mystery Dating Game, and I realized that even though Mara was the bum, out there in the big wide world were twelve guys who were Mystery Date worthy, despite what Mara and her friends thought.

Who were they? How had Mara hurt them? How could the readers meet them?

That’s when A Dozen Apologies was born. I pitched it to my longsuffering editor, Tracy Ruckman, who sanctioned the madness, and we set out to find ten other writers and a contest winner (also a writer) who would bring Mara’s dates to life.

Working on a collaborative novella is a blast. Seeing others get your vision, or in the case of the two previous Christmas novellas, getting the vision of another, and working together to make the project sing, produces a feeling like none other.

Over the last several months as the authors worked together, excitement for the project began to build. Chapters were drafted, edited, revised, and re-edited. Mara came to life in our minds and in our hearts. Heroes were born and swooned over, and now we have come to the time when we can begin to share with you the passion we have for this project.

The first chapter of A Dozen Apologies can be read on Write Integrity Press’s blog today. Every day, Monday through Friday, a new chapter will be published online up through February 5, when you will meet the last hero.

Guess what? The insanity pool didn’t stop bubbling there. I proposed even more lunacy to my longsuffering editor, and again, she dove right into the pool with me. On February 5, the voting begins. Yes, readers can vote for their favorite hero.

And why would you do that, you ask.

You’d do that because the last chapter in Mara’s romance has yet to be published, and your vote just might decide the hero who wins Mara’s heart.

One of the authors of A Dozen Apologies suggested—and we all high-fived her for the suggestion—that the creator of each hero will remain a mystery until voting has closed.

After the voting has closed, you can still head here for more. On the Ledge, each day, February 9 until we finish, one author and her hero will be in the spotlight.

Then, if that’s not enough, the winning chapter will be offered for free on Kindle beginning Valentine’s Day and running through February 16. Wait. Like the commercials, there is more to the offer. The rest of the book comes with the winning chapter.

Okay, I just couldn’t resist that one.

I truly hope you’ll join us each day to catch up on the chapters and to visit the author’s blogs and guest blog posts.

We plan to be everywhere because, well, we’re all romantics at heart.

So if you haven’t already done so, head right over to Write Integrity Press, and meet Mara in the first chapter of the novella. Then return tomorrow and each day to meet Mara’s heroes. Afterward, come on back here and get to know each hero even better—because (shh, Mara doesn’t know this, and I saw on Facebook where she isn’t happy about it) I’m the one who hunted the guys down and got exclusive interviews from them.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. January 20, 2014

    I love hearing how a story begins. I’m excited to read Mara’s story and I adore the concept of readers choosing the hero. Keep up the good work, Fay!

  2. January 20, 2014

    I love this post.

    My parents always told me I was too young for a Mystery Date game, and then when I was old enough, I was too much of a tomboy nerd to admit still wanting one. LOL! (Yes, tomboy and nerd – what a combination. I wore flannel shirts to school.)

    Longsuffering? Nah – I just love creativity and you’re full of it. Creativity, I mean. 😉

  3. June Foster permalink
    January 20, 2014

    I’m looking forward to reading this one.

  4. May 28, 2014

    Fay, I was stopping by your website to let you know I’d nominated you for a Liebster Award. However, as I was going through looking at your post, I found the first one for “A Dozen Apologies” and you have me intrigued. I plan to go to Amazon right after this and check it out. I hadn’t heard of the Christmas one either so will be looking for that one too.

    As for the Liebester Award, you can find out more here: http://kristenatunstall.com/ive-been-nominated-for-a-liebster-award/. You can choose to accept it if you like as it’s optional.

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