Guppy Hosts Anna Zabo on the Daily Grind Blog Tour

Book Cover: Daily Grind by Anna ZaboA man discovers that love can show up when you least expect it—and in a much different form—in this piping-hot romance from the author of Due Diligence and Just Business.

Brian Keppler, owner of Ground N’At, the coffee shop beneath SR Anderson Consulting, doesn’t have time for a relationship. His most recent girlfriend broke up with him because he’d become married to his shop, which is falling apart without his favorite barista, Justin.

As he struggles to stay afloat, the arrival of handsome British high-tech whiz Robert Ancroft becomes another complication. Rob quickly becomes a fixture at the shop with his sharp wit and easy charm, and Brian soon finds himself looking forward more and more to Rob’s visits—to the point where his heart skips a beat when he walks in.

But will Brian be able to come to terms with his previously unexplored sexual identity and find happiness now that he has a chance?

  • File Size: 1634 KB
  • Print Length: 342 pages
  • Publisher: InterMix
  • Publication Date: February 21, 2017
  • ASIN: B01CZCW3LY
  • Purchase from Amazon: Audible EditionKindle Edition

 

I’m so pleased to welcome Anna Zabo here to WLP on her Daily Grind Blog Tour. Ms. Zabo is an author I started reading within the last year or so, and she quickly became an auto-buy author for me. I love how she portrays her characters and how they deal with their conflicts. I started with Takeover, which is the first book of her series of the same name, and have loved them all. While Daily Grind is book 4 in this series, these books absolutely stand alone. The characters from Takeover appear in this book, but only peripherally, and everything you’d need to know about those characters is explained so you never feel like you’ve missed anything. Though I totally recommend reading them all. 

So without further ado, here’s Anna Zabo in her own words talking about how this book came about.

Blog Tour Banner. It's the cover from Daily Grind and includes "Blog Tour - Feb 20-Mar1"

Daily Grind is the longest book I’ve written recently—it’s about 98,000 words. It’s also the book I wrote the fastest—I drafted it in about three months. I’m not a full-time writer, as I have a day job, so all of Daily Grind was written on evenings and weekends.

How’d I manage it? I did something I’d never done with a book before—I sat down and outlined the damn thing from start to finish, including pretty much all the scenes before I started writing.

I’ve always been far more of a seat of the pants writer than an outliner. I love discovery writing, those moments when the characters come alive and shape the story, when they do things I don’t expect, and when I type something, then stop and say, “Oh! So that’s their deal!” I always figured any attempt to outline would kill this process entirely. There’s no fun in discovering the story if you know the story already!

But…at the same time, I really wanted to be able to write more than one romance a year. To do that, I needed to become more efficient at writing a novel. So I started looking into how people write multiple books in a year. The answer kept coming back to outlining and plotting and figuring out stuff before writing.

I was not the happiest camper about that.

Now, it’s not that I never ever outline at all—I’ve always had a good idea of the start of my novels and the black moment, and usually the end, but everything else was often a mystery to me until I got there.

With Daily Grind, I thought, What the heck. Let’s give full outlining a try. I’d read Take Off Your Pants by Libbe Hawker and used a modified version of her outlining technique  to figure out Brian and Rob’s story, plunked down sketches for the scenes in Scrivener, and started writing. Three months later, I typed The End.

During that process, I discovered three things.

First, I still was a discovery writer—I found out so many things about the characters during the writing process. I knew Rob had issues with his parents, but not what happened with them until I wrote it. Heck, I had no idea where the scar on his wrist came from until I wrote that.

I knew what the conflict would be between Brian and Rob, but not the actual content of the black moment as it unfolded. I didn’t know Brian’s middle name until the last scene. I had no idea Rob would get a garden…nor anything about Brian’s siblings. None of that stuff was in the outline. It unfolded in the writing.

The second discovery was that the outline could change. Brian and Rob had their own ideas about how the story was going to go, so I ended up removing several scenes and adding new ones. My default is to trust my characters and that journey they want to take will be better than the journey I want to force them on.

Lastly, I found out that it wasn’t the outline that I needed. What helped me the best was knowing the overall shape of the story. What’s the driving conflict? What’s keeping them apart? What’s pulling them together? What do they need to learn? That stuff.

The heart of Daily Grind is Brian discovering where his priorities lie. It’s also about Rob deciding how much he’s willing to put up with—that is—it’s about the two different breaking points for these men and what they’ll do when they hit them and the choices they make afterwards.

Outlining gave me a map that told me the lay of the land—the shape of the story—and a path that Brian and Rob could take. What I discovered is that I (and they) don’t have to follow the first path. I (and they) can still take detours and discover new things as the story progresses—but the journey was so much easier when I had a picture of the whole coffee-laden land Brian and Rob were travelling through.

I do hope you enjoy Brian and Rob’s journey as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thanks for stopping by, Anna! I loved Daily Grind and look forward to reading more from you, and hopefully you have more plans for the crew at SR Anderson Consulting.

Lynda the Guppy
aka the Fish With Sticks

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