Friday, August 23, 2013

[Book Tour] Rewriting is Simple. Really - Three Days on Mimosa Lane by Anna Destefano #Giveaway

 Seasons of the Heart, Book 2 
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date:  July 23, 2013

One day can change your life forever...Three days change a painful past into a beautiful tomorrow...

Once, Sam Perry had it all. A loving marriage, an amazing job she adored as a preschool teacher, and a beautiful home. She was safe, happy and secure. Then the unthinkable happened... Watching his once carefree wife withdraw into herself was almost more than Brian Perry could handle. The only thing that kept him going was knowing that he loved her more than life itself. Moving her out of New York to Chandlerville, a small, quiet suburb of Atlanta, felt right. Anything, to get her away from the memories of the buildings, and her world, crashing around her.

Now, two sons and many years later, Sam cherishes the new life on Mimosa Lane that Brian built for them. Until lightning strikes twice... Called a hero by her small community, Sam feels more like a coward than ever. Instinct draws her into an altercation at her children's school- an instinct that also drives her away from the warm cocoon of her family. Brian refuses to lose his wife again. He agrees to give her the space she asks for, but he soon realizes space isn't something they and their children can afford. He knows their love can still conquer all. But this time he'll need their entire community to help him win his wife back.

Available at:  Amazon

Rewriting is Simple.

The rewriting of a full draft…rarely wants to be rewritten. But your job as an author of a WIP isn’t over, just because you’ve written the first “The End” of your project.

Either the overwhelming work left to be done is going to win, or you’re going to win because you’re a professional writer. And the only way for you to win, is to take control and show those rewrites that you’re the boss…for as long as it takes for you to believe it, too ;o)

The rewrites for my last release, Three Days on Mimosa Lane (, had to happen quickly and flawlessly, and I was working on fumes. But they happened. They always happen. The only control I had was whether or not those revisions would make the book better. I was determined that they would, no matter how little time or energy I had left in my creative tank.

How did I do that?


No, the process isn’t simple. It’s your job to keep it simple—despite the chaos swirling around you. You have to know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you plan to make what you need to do next with your manuscript happen.

When you’re drafting with a plan (and you have a plan, right?) or rewriting with a plan (because you revamp your plan for your story before you rewrite, right?), you stop the overwhelming, sinking feeling that you can’t succeed at something as complex as creating a novel–by focusing on one piece of the story at a time, until the whole manuscript finally begins to take shape.

I encourage students to do what I do…focus on the beginning, middle, and end of your characters’ journeys, as you plot or deconstruct or draft write a novel. I also teach students to pinpoint the emotional focus of a character at the inciting incident of a story, then at the black moment, and only then at the middle of the book. If you can define for yourself or me or a critique partner what your character’s internal journey will be at these three story points , you’ll never be writing or rewriting into a void.

An example?

My protagonist/heroine in my next Mimosa Lane WIP (Book 3 of my Seasons of the Heart series) grew up in a dysfunctional family. That could have made her angry at the world and rebellious (as it does our hero, but that’s another blog post). Instead, while she’s wary of ever making family work for her, it’s made her a champion of other families and of the kids she teaches and cares for in her job (she’s an amazing assistant elementary school principal, whom you get to know in Seasons of the Heart Book 2, Three Days on Mimosa Lane Sound interesting? I hope so.

But that’s only the beginning. It’s nowhere close to a full story arc. Not yet. And if I’m going to rewrite my muddled and wandering draft into the best story it can be, I need to understand my protagonist’s emotional/internal journey as I weave her in and out of the external story points I’ve already created–I need to motivate her carefully and throw the right conflict at her for the right reasons (using my hero and key secondary characters), so that she’ll change and grow and achieve a goal by the end of the book that she/we wouldn’t have thought possible at the beginning–claiming the happy family she’s always wanted, even if that family can never be the perfect thing she dreamed of as a little girl.

The simple part (that’s taken me a long time to arrive at, longer than most other stories I’ve written, because of the complexity of the characters and community I’m writing about):

Heroine at the story Inciting Incident: She’s surround herself with love and family (other peoples’), focusing on her job and helping the ideal community she’s grateful to be a part of. Her success at her job helps other families and the children she’s responsible for thrive, and that makes her happy, or so she’s convinced herself.

Heroine at the story Midpoint: She can’t help two special children without working with and growing closer to the man and the family she’s secretly longed to know better. But inviting them into her life exposes her to the kind of chaos (and the chance of risking her heart) she’s refused to allow into her life since she left her own damaged family behind. She realizes that all this time she’s been “hiding in plane sight” and running from her past and fear of giving her heart to anyone again. She’s not equipped to handle the choices and risk that loving the hero and his daughter challenge her with–even though she can’t stop herself from fighting for them.

Heroine at the end of the story: The hero’s own damaged past and his secrets blow up in the most public, challenging, personal way–he is absolutely not the right man for an emotionally risk-averse person like our heroine.  But neither is anyone else, she’ s learned. All this time, she’s believed she’ll never find love, because loving someone will never be safe enough for her to handle. Only now she’s in love with the one person who should be the antithesis of safe to her–but she hasn’t been able to do anything all along but fight beside him and for him and his daughter. Has she learned enough to accept that this perfect family that has come to her will always be flawed and challenging and scary to her (because she loves them so much and can’t imagine losing them)–and that she can handle all of that, she can handle anything, as long as she has their love in her life?

As I rewrite, if I have these emotional turning points in mind as I work on every scene (and, you know, a thousand other details that I need to work out as well, because this series is so rich in setting and theme and secondary character arcs and community and so forth), I’ll keep my heroine on track and ever evolving and growing and changing from the amazing person she is at Page 1 to the even more amazing woman she becomes at the end of the story.

Simple, right? Nah. But it’s your job, so get to it…

This is story analysis. You do it while you plan story, while you draft story, and while you rewrite story. You’re a creator, but you’re also a crafter. You craft story and refine and shape and rework, like any other artist, until you show the reader EXACTLY what you see, once you can finally see clearly yourself.

What could be easier than that ;o)

For more craft ramblings by a working writer, visit my How We Write blog series ( Or come find me on Facebook and message/ask me anything you like. And Write On!


Nationally bestselling author Anna DeStefano has searched her entire life for the soul of the matter at the heart of her world's mysteries. As a small child, she drew from her experiences, senses, and dreams to paint a lush fantasy world, filled with endless possibility and characters of her own creation. Putting pen to paper, Anna transforms these inner landscapes into rich storytelling.

Hers is a realistic but optimistic vision, searching for hope and transformation through intense emotional journeys. Her fuel--the inner passions and conflicts of the characters she crafts. Much like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, Anna's characters face the ultimate of human choices: finding the courage to conquer their fears and thrive until, despite every obstacle, they become the beautiful things they're meant to be.

An author, workshop and keynote speaker, writing coach, and acquiring editor, Anna's creative vision permeates every challenge she undertakes. She wants you to stop, look, and keep digging, until you find the soul of your own fantasies. Her novels' rich blend of realism and fantasy invites Anna's readers into her creative mission to dig deeper and see each of life's moment with emotional honesty and clarity.

Discovery and joy are her touchstones, regardless of how difficult her characters' journeys might be. She will challenge you to transform into all you're meant to be, as well. She speaks and blogs regulary. Join Anna each week for Soul Of The Matter, Dream Theories, Things My Teenager Says, How We Write, Waterfall Challenges, and more.

Connect with Anna:

Anna  is giving away the following prizes at the end of her tour:
Kindle Paperwhite

One lucky commenter FROM EVERY BLOG STOP will win a digital copy of Three Days on Mimosa Lane
Leave your name and email address below to enter to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The book sounded good when I first heard about it but wish that for people disabled could get the actual book if they win and not digatally as i don't have any digital tech also have nerve disease and right hand is not workable so if i win digitally you can give to next person if not a book thanks so much i do hope alot of people buy it and I've been street talking about it also on the comp wish you nothing but success.

  2. I have been hearing a lot of good things about this book. I can't wait to read it.

  3. Interesting post on crafting a story. It is much the same as crafting a court brief in a litigated case. I was a legal secretary for over 30 years and through all the drafts of a brief that I redlined and changed I realized that there was a "plot" or method to the attorney's written preparation for his/her court appearance at trial. A beginning (inciting incident), a midpoint (argument in favor of plaintiff or defendant), and a conclusion (summation of points made). So I find it parallels with what this author has said here about crafting a story. Thank you for the clarification, Anna.

  4. I'm looking forward to a wonderful read.

  5. Greatly inspirational read...

    Michelle B. aka koshkalady

  6. I've been wanting to read this book for a while now, thanks for the giveaway!