In the fall of 2014 I attended a writing retreat in the mountains above Heber, Utah. I did a bunch of writing, made some great new friends, and took advantage of the opportunity to learn from others. Near the end of the conference, mention was made of a new anthology endeavor that was on the horizon.
At first I didn't think much of it. The idea of writing a novelette (a story about 1/3 the length of a typical novel) didn't really appeal to me. I tend to be a wordy writer - often having to edit out a serious amount of text from a typical manuscript to get it to an acceptable novel length. But I stewed on the idea. Could I do it? Would it be fun? Was it worth a try?
In the following days I went on a road trip where I introduced the idea to my hubby. Not knowing how serious to take it, we brainstormed some ideas. By the time we reached our destination we'd brainstormed a pretty decent outline for a story about an awkward, computer geek girl, with a seemingly boring job with the NSA.
After returning home from our trip, I pulled out my laptop and started writing. Before long Samantha Perry came to life. Within weeks I had written my complete novelette, HACKED. It was soon after accepted for publication by the Sweet and Sassy Anthology group for their "Secret Identities Collection".
But there was a hitch. There was more to Sam's story. And so, I kept writing.
As it turns out, writing within the guidelines of a shorter format was a great exercise for me. I needed to do this project more than I ever imagined. Not only did I love exploring Samantha's introverted, awkward, sassy character, but I learned so much about telling a story without a bazillion unnecessary words. I saw measurable improvement in my craft... and I fell in love with Samantha, the man she knew as Seth, the idea of halibut fishing (read the series and you'll understand), and some beautiful parts of the United States.
HACKED proceeded HUNTED, then shortly afterward HOOKED came to fruition. And all three books are now available on kindle and in paperback. They are short and sweet and sooooo much fun.
And the best part? Within days of its release, HACKED hit #2 on the best seller list. HUNTED and HOOKED followed suit with their releases. Apparently readers are really liking the fast paced, quick, in-and-out of a story they can read in a day! Wow, am I ever grateful that I took the challenge and brainstormed that first story.
To find out what the buzz is all about, visit www.stephanieworlton.com .