Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flashback Fever

It’s revision time in my neck of the woods (Sooo excited about PERFECT SHOT—isn’t the cover fantastic??). PERFECT SHOT is my standalone debut so I very much feel like a newbie going through the whole editorial process.

Yes, another opportunity to check my ego at the door and take a cold hard look at the issues with my writing. In so doing, I realized just how much of a flashback freak I am.

Funny thing is, when I’m talking I really do make a lot of references to the recent past. I’m starting to understand why my husband cuts me off as I’m babbling about my news of the day.

“Focus,” he likes to say when I detour to a sidebar or back story.
I’ve always been fascinated by oral storytelling. It truly is an art form. I used to think I was a heck of a storyteller. Mostly because my younger sister Golda always told me I was. When I’m sketching a verbal picture for her, the girl can actually see it. Her eyes widen and whatever I’m recounting seems to come alive before her eyes. Sometimes you can even catch her eyeballs scanning said image.

Golda allows me to go into delicious details. And probably because she’s such a supportive audience, my tales have the freedom to unravel more vividly than with any other listener.

It’s the opposite scenario with my older sisters. When we get together, the storytelling battle royal commences and the competition to be heard is fierce. Everyone talks at the same time, and if you can’t keep up…oh well. What usually happens is they interrupt, force a subject change, drown out my voice—you name it. Because of birth order (or passive tendencies), I have to settle for telling tales that are abridged or ill formed.

And then there’s my husband. “Focus,” he’d say. “What happened next?”

But I don’t take this to heart. Number one, I admit I do go off on a tangent a lot of times. And secondly, I know my hubby isn’t one for suspense. He just wants to know the upshot. What settles him is if you preface your “unexpected blackout” story by assuring him, “The lights are now back on.”

Flashbacking will be a tough habit to break—mostly because it’s the way my mind works. The trouble is, I feel I’m shortchanging the listener if I don’t inform them about the history of something. I always feel like there’s a back story to the story. And sometimes there’s a back story to the back story...

Somebody stop me!


Erin Downing said...

The cover is great - this looks really good. I'm looking forward to it!

Debbie Rigaud said...

Thanks, Erin! :-)

JamiePonti said...


Congratulations on the new book. I'm sure it's the first of many stand alones. Also, a belated welcome to the RoCom club. (I'm sure the others have extended it, but I've been digitally absent for some time.) And, if I read right (and it's late so maybe I didn't) if you live in Bermuda, take some swim lessons. Which, ironically, is one of the main plots of Animal Attraction - my first standalone. Because I grew up in Florida and was a terrible swimmer.

Debbie Rigaud said...

Jamie--that's so crazy that you mentioned swimming lessons. When the hubby and I moved here almost 2 years ago, that's one of the things I vowed to do. My lessons stars in August--finally. :-)
Thanks for the welcome. It's so great to be a part of the RoCom club!

Anonymous said...

the name of this book is the same as one of the sweet valley high books. also the cover is almost the exact same thing except for the fact that the girl isn't holding a ball.did you know that?

Jennifer Echols said...

Anonymous, authors usually don't have much say about their covers, and sometimes they don't have much say about their titles, either. And with so many YA books out, some are bound to look alike. There are just so many ways to depict a boy and a girl on a cover. The important thing is, the stories are original.