Worthy of the Trash Can?

C.S. Lewis, who wrote the Narnia books that includes The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, is also a science fiction author known among true aficionados of the genre.

Yeah, that’s me.  I’ve actually read all his SF, too.  Go head.  Say it.  I’m a geek.

What you might not know about Lewis, though, is that he was a friend of J.R.R. Tolkien’s, and the two of them had a bet.  One had to write a space travel story.  One had to write a time travel story.

Lewis won the bet by writing The Space Trilogy.  Tolkien never did write the time travel story, which makes me sigh with regret for what might have been.

There are some equally odd stories behind some of the more famous books out there.

Suzanne Collins got her idea for The Hunger Games when she was sleeplessly flipping TV channels one night, and swapped from a reality TV show to footage on the Iraq War.  She married the two together and came up with a culture that glorified violence.

Stephen King got the idea for Carrie when he was teaching at high school and watched one of the outcast students get ground down into complete submission.

He went on to write the story in a drug-induced haze, figured it was no good and tossed it in the trash can.  His wife Tabitha retrieved it and told him to submit it.  The rest is history.

There are a lot of stories out there about how authors get their ideas.  From Newton’s apple dropping on his head, to the movie version of a writer being struck by a novel idea, whole and complete, in a single instant, then going home to hammer the novel out (always on an old Imperial typewriter, of course), in five days of sweat, to go on to be a best seller…because the idea just came to him.

Why am I mentioning all this?

Because the reality is very different.

Oh, there are some authors who get struck blind by a blazing story, whole and complete.  It’s even happened to me (I got the idea and “wrote” the entire Eva’s Last Dance one night).

But it doesn’t happen very often at all.

Especially when you write a lot of novels, like I do, most of the time how a story comes into being is a matter of slow process and building layer upon layer.

Which is what happened for the third book in the Project Kobra series, Heart Strike.

I started off with no clue about how the story would go, except for a few points I had to include about the Kobra himself, and that the story would feature Fabian Santiago.

Bring on the sweat.

Building a story is the most unromantic thing you’ve ever seen.  I sit with a blank screen and write notes to myself.  Usually they’re in the form of questions.

Who does Fabian meet that changes her life?  Why? 

What’s his story?

What is the worst thing that can happen to either of them in this story?

How does that happen?

And so on.  I ask the question of myself, and answer it.  Sometimes the answer takes a long time to come to me.

Sometimes, I answer quickly and follow that storyline down a deep rabbit hole before I realize it isn’t going to work for some reason, and have to back up, scratch that bit and find a different answer.

There are a great many questions and answers that go into making a novel.  All the answers have to fit in with all the other answers, too.  Plus, this is book 3 of a series, so all the other answers in earlier books also have to fit in with this one.

And here’s the really weird thing about this story, that doesn’t happen often for me.  I had planned the entire novel, everything was locked in, and I was staring at CHAPTER ONE and a blank page, and still didn’t think the story was a good one.

Most authors can’t tell if their stories are any good.  Not even Stephen King, who threw his in the trashcan.

But something magical did happen with this book.  I made myself sit down and write, because the book was due.

And by the time I had finished writing the first conversation between Fabian and Mischa, I was hooked.  Grabbed.  I couldn’t write the book fast enough.

This is one of those stories when the writing fell out of me.  I just typed as fast as I could and tried to keep up.

But the planning of the story was painful.

I’m hoping you’ll love this story as much as I do.  It’s a unique setting, and it’s a fun ride from start to stop.

And I would love to meet Mischa one day…

She’s American, he’s Russian.  No one wants them to be together.

As a victim of the Kobra’s bomb, and with unique access to classified information, Fabian Santiago isn’t content with justice being delivered someday. When the Seven Seas unit bogs down in trivia she heads to Ukraine to find the Kobra herself.

When she falls—literally—into the arms of Mischa Sokolov, a charming Russian living in Kiev, their affair is so heated she is distracted from her very personal mission…until she leans that Mischa is not quite what he seems, and that her coming to Ukraine is shaking apart decades old conspiracies…

This romantic thriller is the third book in the Project Kobra series.

1.0: Hunting The Kobra
2.0: Inside Man
3.0: Heart Strike
…and more to come!

Praise for the Project Kobra series:

Just when you think you know exactly where the story is going she steers it in the opposite direction.

Tracy brings serious competition to the big boys of spy thrillers.

Every time I thought I had it figured out another twist or turn would make me second guess and start to suspect someone else.

An unbelievably good book! It is fast moving with so much going on that you will never want to put this book down.

Tracy Cooper Posey once again proves why she is a master at the Romantic Thriller genre.

Tracy Cooper Posey writes incredibly strong, intelligent female characters who shine in this series.

What a whirlwind adventure! I never saw that coming and now I’m stuck in another series! Awesome!

Now that the first two books in the series will shortly be in the Kindle Unlimited program, this book will be removed from sale from all non-Amazon stores in just a few weeks, so it can join the rest of the series in Kindle Unlimited.

Also for the launch week, the first two books are on sale:


INSIDE MAN:  $2.99



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