One of the projects I'm tackling this year is a collaborative effort with five other authors. Helping Hands Press is publishing the San Francisco Wedding Planner series, a light romance. Our publisher presented us with the context for the story and the main characters. It's up to our team to fashion a fun, interesting story. To launch the project, each of the six authors wrote one chapter of the opening story. The Initial Consultation was published in February. I will also be writing the complete story for volume 6, but I have to wait until volume 5 is written (the beginning of June) so that I can tie the loose strands together to end this first series. Volume 6 (my story) is scheduled for release on July 3rd.
For the second series of the San Francisco Wedding Planner, each of the authors is writing a prequel about one character from the first series. My character is Heather Donovan, wedding planner extraordinaire. I'm just putting the finishing touches on Life Lessons, which will be published in mid-July. Heather is in her first year of nursing practice, experiences her first love, and comes up against some challenges which cause her to examine her choices.
I am finding this project challenging in several ways. First, there is only one plot which is shared by all six authors. You never know what interesting twists the writer before you will throw into the mix. Another challenge is the quick turn-around time for writing. Each writer has between two to three weeks to write 10,000 words once she receives the story previous to hers. I'm also finding it a challenge to write for the general market - keeping the story light, funny, and interesting, but also offering the reader something to think about.
Here's a teaser for you:
"Ms. Simons is in labor and will deliver soon. You'll assist, of course. She has requested a late-term abortion.""How far along is she?""Twenty-two weeks.""That far? What if the baby is viable?""The fetus will not survive. Do you understand?"Heather searched Jonathan's eyes. "What are you saying?""You will not provide any extra support that could determine viability. Ms. Simons is near the edge mentally and I've agreed to perform a late-term abortion for health reasons.""But Jonathan. How can you even say those words? Do you realize what that means? Baby Shannon was born at twenty-two weeks and she's viable. How can you not provide the same level of care for this baby?""Because my patient, Ms. Simons, has the right to choose. It's our job to meet the needs of our patients.""But technically, once the fetus is delivered, he or she becomes your patient too. Do we just stand by and let him or her die? Doesn't that make us complicit in murder?""Heather, you studied abortion. Didn't you know you'd be asked to provide medical assistance with these types of procedures?""Of course, but I never expected to be presented with two babies at the same gestation, with totally opposite requests for care. Did you encourage Ms. Simons to consider adoption?""Heather, you know that's not my place. Yes, I presented her with options, but she had to make her decision. I couldn't sway her.""But what about the Hippocratic Oath, specifically that phrase about never doing any harm?""I'm glad you brought that up, because providing treatment to the fetus may prove harmful to Ms. Simons. I have my instructions from her and I intend to carry them out. What I need to know is whether you're prepared to back me up or not. I'm hoping I know the answer to that question, but I need to be sure before we assist Ms. Simons.""How can you even ask me to do this?" Heather glared at Jonathan."Because it's your job." He glared back. "This may be the first time you've been asked to help with this procedure, but it won't be the last." He grasped her firmly by the shoulders."I know it's tough, but as a medical professional you must do it.""And if I refuse?""You don't want to go there."
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