Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

Can you believe it's December already? Almost 2016!

This time of year is always hectic for me. I'm bad about piling too many projects on my plate to begin with. Then with all the extras around the holidays, too many things fall off and plop on the floor.

Every year I fear I won't get everything done. Somehow, most of it gets accomplished. And some doesn't. I'm sure this year will be the same.

So on to this month's blog.

I promised you a guest. He's been out of his writing cave for a few weeks promoting his newest novel, and I'm honored to be the closing act for his Salem's Daughters Blog Tour.

Here he is . . . Stephen Tremp!

Thanks Carol for rounding out my Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour! You are the final stop. It’s been a lot of work and I’ve been looking forward to spending time Under the Tiki Hut and drinking Mai Tais.

For my protagonists Bob and Debbie Stevens, Murcat Manor is their Tiki Hut, a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of a back-stabbing corporate life. Unfortunately, thirteen cats, witches really born four hundred years ago, have different plans for the Stevens and their guests.

Writing a book is a funny thing. You begin with an outline, you know the end from the beginning, you develop characters and give them names, but you’re not quite sure who is going to live and who dies until the dust finally settles.

For me, after I bullet point the outline, I’m a panster and fill out the story here and there as I jump around. And as the story unfolds, the story itself actually begins to take over and write itself. I just let it flow naturally, allow for the characters to fight amongst each other for face time, and pay attention to what should naturally happen during each scene.

So I don’t select who lives and who dies when I outline a story. That only becomes clear as I write the book. It’s really a mystery to me. Often I say to myself, “I didn’t see that coming.” And it’s often sad to kill off a particular character. It’s easy to become attached to them. Developing characters is similar to raising children as we develop them over months or years of writing.

I didn’t realize how many people died in Salem’ Daughters until I wrote down the names after my final edit. The witches, now in the sixth of their nine lives, killed fifteen people, Of course, the witches had to die too, bringing the total to twenty-eight. But don’t feel sorry for Emily, Rebecca, Annie, Chloe, Amy, Helen, Angel, Scarlett, Isabella, Rachel, Jacqueline, Esther, and Madelyn. They’ll be back as they still have three more lives to live.

Well folks, that’s it. Time to bring Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour to a close. It’s been a lot of fun and thank you all for your support. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I did with all the tour stops.

Murcat Manor Kitty
Not Waving Goodbye
Fun Facts It is known that 25 percent of cat owners blow-dry their cats after bathing.

Did You Know Cats are often lactose intolerant, so stop giving them milk!

Question How do you go about killing off your characters?

A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast.

Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here.

Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs.

For a full synopsis and to download Salem’s Daughters Click Here.

Thanks for blogging with me, Stephen.

I just want to say I want to be sitting in one of those chairs in his tiki hut photo! But I digress.

I owe Stephen an apology. He provided me with a copy of Salem's Daughters. I'm so far behind in everything that I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm hoping to remedy that next year - the story sounds fascinating, and I'm looking forward to meeting all those witchy kitties.

I'm coming back in here to talk about killing characters. When I have to do that, I actually can't write for a few days before I do it. I guess I'm grieving and saying goodbye. Finally on the day, I tell myself I'm just going to do it. The scene then writes itself very quickly, and the deed is done. Then I can go on.

I guess if I killed as many as Stephen did, my books would never get written, LOL!

Does anyone else have this problem?

I will be back here on Monday, January 4. Until then,

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year


Stephen, you killed off a lot of characters! I've only killed a couple over the course of four books. I'm such a slacker.
Carol, you have a wonderful Christmas!
Carol Kilgore said…
Alex - Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, too!
Wow, what a glorious death count. We write comedy, so it's harder to justify killing off a character unless it's hilariously ridiculous... which has happened a few times.

Have an awesome Christmas, Carol, and a happy New Year (while you're at it)!
Stephen Tremp said…
Carol, thanks for hosting me today! What a great way to end Salem's Daughters Blog Tour. Kill off a bunch of characters, then relax with some Mai Tais.
cleemckenzie said…
No, I can't believe it's the end of 2015. I would like another month, please.

I enjoyed reading Stephen's post here. I can't imagine any cat of mine allowing me with ten feet of it with a hairdryer in hand. As to killing off people. . . I say go for it. That's part of the novelist's fun.
It's December? Are you sure? Sigh.
Overwhelmed over here too.
I have seen Salem's Daughters across the blogosphere, and lusted after it. Amazon recommended it to me this morning as well (what a coincidence). When my unread mountains reach scalable heights I will get it.
A very happy Christmas to you both.
Murees DupĂ© said…
Killing off characters tends to be easy for me, because I like to think of it as characters that had it coming. I think if I had to kill off a character I liked, I might be upset:)

Have a wonderful Festive Season!
Carol Kilgore said…
Beer - Thanks! That's the plan :)

Stephen - You're buying, right?

Lee - Yes, another month! Maybe two :)

EC - Happy Christmas back!

Murees - The killing of innocent characters is difficult. For me, anyway.
Jemi Fraser said…
Not too many of my characters die - probably because I'm writing romance - but there are a few :)
28 killings? That's quite a bit!
...and what's with cats being lactose intolerant? I always thought that milk is the staple diet for kittens.

Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your holidays Carol!
When characters get killed off I might have end up in tears, just saying
Carol Kilgore said…
Jemi - Not too many of mine die either. But I write suspense thrillers, so . . . .

Michelle - Thanks! You, too :)

Jo-Anne - It's as hard for this writer as it is for you as a reader. I can't speak for other writers, though.
Twenty-five percent of cat owners blow dry their cats after bathing them??? OY! I guess the other seventy-five percent have more sense... and less scratches. It's all I can do to cut my cats' nails. Ain't no way I'm gonna try to bathe them, let alone try to blow dry them.

I only killed two people in my book, but it broke my heart a little. One died in an airplane, and the other died after suffering a stroke. Not sure I could handle killing 27 of 'em.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, Carol! (Relax. You'll get done whatever has to get done. Or you won't. No sense stressing out over it.)
Helena said…
I definitely cried a little while I was writing the death scene (by accident) of a minor character who was really a good guy. But I have no trouble killing off bad guys, which isn't very nice of me.

This witchy novel sounds fascinating, so I'll definitely check it out.

Merry Christmas to you, Carol!
VR Barkowski said…
Twenty-eight deaths may be a record for one novel! Feels odd to read about a book with witches, Salem, and murders while I’m editing a book with witches, Salem, and murders (and a cat). I write psychological suspense, so the killings usually take place off the page as does the hunt for the killer. My focus is on torturing survivors. :)

Merry Christmas and the Happy New Year, Carol!

VR Barkowski
Misha Gericke said…
Stephen, I'm the same to the large extent in that even if I'm rough drafting three or four times, I still can't see what happens in the rewrite until after the dust settled. :-)
Carol Kilgore said…
Susan - I need you to give me that don't-stress reminder like every other day :)

Helena - Despite what we write, maybe we have soft hearts.

VR - -Same to you!

Misha - We all write in the way that works for us. Vive la difference!
Anonymous said…
All those deaths? Sounds intense and gruesome. :D I used a blow dryer when bathing kittens who soiled themselves. I rarely wash adult cats.
Melissa said…
Hi, Carol. :)

Congrats, Steven. I love the witches-as-cats concept.

I write like you - outline, then pants the details. I've done both with killing characters. I've killed one as a scene decision that came about as I wrote, and in another story, one will be axed in the opening as a planned part of the plot.

I wish you both a Merry Christmas. :)
L. Diane Wolfe said…
Character killer!

How on earth do you blow-dry a cat without getting clawed to death? We just towel dried Hobbes. (Who was fortunately the only cat we ever had to bathe.)
Stephen Tremp said…
Alex, it's not as hard as it seems.
Crystal Collier said…
28 kills? Yikes. Okay so I've written large tragedies with nameless masses biting the dust, but if people know the names and traits of characters, I feel heartless taking them out of the picture. There have been a couple and it hurts. Oh it hurts.
Carol Kilgore said…
Medeia - We had a Siamese cat that lived to be 17. She got a bath a few times a year - at the groomer. No way would I even attempt that. Much less use a blow dryer :)

Melissa - Merry Christmas to you and your family, too.

Diane - Hi :)

Stephen - I guess I become more attached to my characters - even the nasty ones that really need to go, LOL.

Crystal - Hurts me, too.
Christine Rains said…
Twenty-eight! Wow. I'm a pantser, too, so when a death comes along, I'm equally surprised. One just happened in a novella I just finished writing, and I was like shocked. It makes perfect sense for the plot, though! Have a wonderful holiday season. :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Christine - Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Loni Townsend said…
Stephen's writing style sounds like mine. :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Carol!
Julie Flanders said…
Congrats to Stephen on a successful tour! I've seen him and his kitty cats everywhere. :)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Carol!
Carol Kilgore said…
Loni - Just came from your blog. I LOVE your new office. Your husband is awesome for building it for you. Better keep him, LOL :)

Julie - Back atcha!
Congrats to Stephen! Looking forward to reading about your "Kiss of death," Carol.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Lexa Cain said…
I'm pretty stunned it's Dec too. I have so much to do and the time is just flying by - yikes! I loved Steve's post and the cat comics! Have an awesome weekend, both of you!
Carol Kilgore said…
Julie - Thanks, and same to you!

Lexa - You, too!
Emily R. King said…
Wow, Stephen, you sure did your research! I love the premise of this book. Congrats!

*waves to Carol*
DMS said…
What a great guest post by Stephen. I have been seeing him all over the blogosphere and enjoyed learning more about his process. Wishing him all the best!
Carol Kilgore said…
Emily - Waving back!

Jess - Stephen has worked hard to get the word out about these witchy kitties.
Stephen Tremp said…
Thanks again everyone for stopping by my last stop on Salem's Daughters Blog Tours. It's been a lot of work but well worth it. Now where is my drink?
Sandra Ponsoby said…
Tiki hut looks really nice in garden area and also in beach where you can enjoy with near and dear ones. While sitting in tiki hut you feel good.
Carol Kilgore said…
Stephen - It's been a pleasure. Thanks for blogging with me.

Sandra - Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Lynda R Young said…
Hi Carol!! Hi Stephen!!

Wishing you both a wonderful Christmas and an even better new year.
Carol Kilgore said…
Lynda - Right back at you! Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy :)