Welcome Jeannie Ruesch to the
Pubbed Margie-Grad Blog!
Jeannie writes for Carina Press and Cloaked in Danger is her second novel. She knew from the single-digit age that she wanted to be a writer. And she's achieved her goal.
You can find Jeannie at jeannieruesch.com, on Facebook, and Twitter at @jeannieruesch
Cloaked in Danger
Historical Romantic Suspense
Aria Whitney’s life has taken her from the sands of Egypt to the ballrooms of London, but when her father goes missing, can the handsome earl with a dark secret help her find him, or will a dangerous scandal threaten both their lives?
Hello Blog Guests!
Jeannie Ruesch writes fresh. Enjoy these fresh dialogue cues!
1. “I believe you believe that someone is keeping your father from you,” he replied with the calm, pacifying tone that made her want to throw something heavy at him.
2. “I shot a man.” The words were heavy, laden with the guilt he felt for not feeling guilty.
3. His brisk, do-not-argue-with-me tone raised her temper and she stood taller, squared her shoulders.
4. “What I feel...I don’t know what I’m doing.” Her words were choked out, clogged with pain.
5. The words flew out like desperate birds, and Aria clamped her lips shut to keep any more from escaping.
6. His voice had grown thick, a deep caress that sent tingles up her arms. He remembered, too.
7. John’s words were losing form with each syllable, his head sunk further into the pillow propping him up.
8. “Shhh, shhh.” The voice was a low rumble of her childhood, one that used to soothe her.
9. “What I feel...I don’t know what I’m doing.” Her words were choked out, clogged with pain.
10. “Your first husband almost killed you, Blythe.” Adam kept his voice low, but the memory lived like a permanent scar on his heart.
Margie Asks Jeannie:
How has what you've learned from me impacted your writing?
Jeannie Responds: Oh gosh. Everything. And I know we all gush and talk about how wonderful Margie's teachings are, but it would be hard not to gush. I recall one of the first Margie workshops I attended—it was a weekend retreat in beautiful Monterey.
During the workshop, I read the examples Margie gave from Lisa Gardner (who I have since grown to idolize), Harlan Coben, Tana French and others. I reveled at the impact their words had on me, the emotion in their writing. I hoped for the day my writing might be worthy of such good company. I wanted to infuse my writing with that kind of power.
I've learned it's possible. The love of writing is the part that keeps our butts in our seats, but the craft — learning how to mold it, how to take a sentence and make it sparkle, that's learnable.
Margie Chimes In: Yes! You learned dozens of deep editing techniques to empower your writing and make it compelling. And you applied what you learned exceptionally well!
Margie's lessons have taught me how to do that with tangible methods. Rhetorical devices (the names of which I can NEVER remember). Backloading. The EDITS System. Deep Editing. Body Language. Dialogue Cues. And Cadence...
During Immersion, Margie and I spent time on my current WIP, refining, polishing and making it so the words roll like a drum beat. Margie taught me the TOOLS for writing with power. That was such a joy-filled revelation for me.
Margie Chimes In: Jeannie wrote: ...the words roll like a drum beat. Beautiful!
Margie Asks Jeannie:
Cloaked in Danger came out in January with Carina Press. That was your first time working with Carina. What was it like?
Jeannie Responds: My experience with Carina has been tremendous.
I received "the Call" from Angela James Thanksgiving week in 2012 and it took a year and 2 months to publication. Which seems like a long time, but it didn't feel like it. There is definitely a difference in writing with deadlines than in writing pre-contract. It's a bit like yanking the training wheels of the bike. After I received the contract from Harlequin, it truly hit me that this is a business. We writers are truly small business owners, but it's not often we think of ourselves that way. Cloaked in Danger wasn't my first published book, but for some reason the lawyerly speak of the contract hit home (and yes, I know that's a cliche! ;))
Margie Asks Jeannie:
Could you share some examples from before you learned my deep editing systems and techniques and after?
Jeannie Responds: You bet! I had to dig further back into old versions of Cloaked in Danger. I save versions of my books along the way instead of just rewriting over my words. It can mean I have anywhere from 5 to 10 revision files of the book, but I like to go back and see what progress I've made on my writing.
Wow! The difference in my writing pre-EDITS and post-EDITS is astonishing. I'm not afraid to say I've come a long way, and that is due to the editing systems constructed in my brain by Margie. Which makes her sound a little frightening, and I promise you, she is not. But she does live in my head while I'm writing.
Margie Chimes In! Jeannie -- So fun that I'm in your head, pushing you to write fresh!
Elisabeth got the fire stoked and the sharp, woodsy flavor of the fire rose up.
After -- 2 paragraphs:
Elizabeth got the fire stoked and the sharp, woodsy flavor of the fire rose up. The combination of scents swirled, formed a wall that closed in on her.
Her heart slammed into her throat, her hands became fists ready to battle the invisible foe, and the feeling of a hand at her throat, pushing, threatening, filled her mind until she nearly blacked out.
Deep Editing Analysis: In context, you'd know the fire was a huge emotional trigger.
Jeannie added amplified visceral responses. Seven Emotional Hits in one cadence-driven sentence. Well done!
He was not happy to see her, clearly. And yet she felt this crisp energy flowing through her all of a sudden.
His brisk, do-not-argue-with-me tone raised her temper and she stood taller, squared her shoulders.
Deep Editing Analysis: Love Jeannie's hyphenated-run-on! She used his dialogue cue as a stimulus and showed the POV character's I'll-take-him-on response.
The momentary flash of wildness disappeared from his eyes, leaving them cold and flat. “You were never interested in him. His touch meant nothing to you. You belong with me.” He paced in a circle, one hand tapping fiercely against his thigh in a fevered rhythm.
“You are mine. Every bit o’ you. You’ve always been mine. Do you understand?” His words were feverish, sounding nothing like the smooth tones he spoke so carefully. His speech had slipped, along with his façade.
Deep Editing Analysis: Jeannie contrasted how he sounded now, to how he used to present himself. She ended with a power internalization that carried a punch.
Aria’s limbs shook. Her insides felt full of boiling water as she watched the man who had to be responsible for her father’s disappearance walk away from her. She wanted to scream. She wanted to throw stones at him and call him every swear word she’d ever learned.
After -- 3 paragraphs:
Aria’s limbs had frozen.
The man who knew something about her father’s disappearance walked away, and she couldn’t move. She wanted to scream. She wanted to throw stones.
She wanted to kill him.
Deep Editing Analysis: Lots of white space. Four short power-punched sentences. Rhetorical device: anaphora. Makes the piece cadence-driven and compelling.
Margie Asks Jeannie:
You've taken a variety of my online classes, and attended your first 4 1/2 day Immersion Master Class last year. How would you describe Immersion class?
Immersion Class, April, 2013: Left to Right: Bron Jones (New Zealand), Susan Baker (Texas), Lisa Miller (Texas), Kristin Meachem (Australia), Margie (Colorado), Julie Winterling (Maryland), Jeannie Ruesch (California), and Mary Birk (Colorado).
Jeannie Responds: Transformative. I didn't want to leave Margie's mountain at the end of our class, even though my head felt like an overstuffed pillow with fuzz leaking out of my ears. (And a wave to my fellow Prose Pros!)
There was SO much! The interaction and daily work with the entire group was invaluable. Digging in even further to the EDITS system was so helpful, especially when it comes to conflict on the page. Even with all the workshops I'd attended, that was something I struggled with. In Immersion, as a group and in one-on-ones with Margie, we dug through some great examples of conflict, talked about how to build it, what it is, and adding the emotion onto each page in different ways.
I left that class with confidence that I finally understood how to recognize conflict on the page. And more importantly, when it wasn't on the page.
I loved the one-on-one time every day with Margie. It gave us the ability to ping ideas back and forth, to really work the words on the page, and pull out the emotion. All that work went beyond improving the WIP I was writing, it helped me see the page and the words differently. The process with which we improved sentences, thoughts, everything has become a part of my every day writing.
Jeannie -- I enjoyed getting to know you in Immersion class. And loved our bonus days together!
Jeannie and Margie at Red Rocks Amphitheatre:
Jeannie snowshoeing in Margie's yard.
Jeannie Ruesch bid on the Immersion Package on Brenda Novak's Diabetes Auction. She won!
I donated the same Immersion Package this year:
- Registration for an Immersion Master Class, 5 days, 4 nights. Travel is not included.
- All meals.
- Lodging in Margie’s guest room.
- TWO BONUS DAYS with Margie!
The winner stays two additional days. Margie will work with you, deep editing your manuscript, three hours on each bonus day. The winner will stay in Margie’s guest room a total of 6 nights.
The Diabetes Auction runs May 1 - 31st!
Post a comment on the blog, and you'll be in the drawing for two gifts:
-- Cloaked in Danger!
-- An online class from Margie Lawson!
4. What you need to know before you ask for that review -- 2 week class -- Instructor: Heather Lire
5 Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist -- Instructor: Margie Lawson
We'll have the drawing Tuesday, February 18. 8:00 PM, Mountain Time!
Post a comment on Monday and Tuesday. Jeannie will be here, waving, and answering questions.
Say Hi! Let me know you're here. You may be one of our WINNERS!