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Monday, May 1, 2017

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Fat Girl Begone! by D.E. Haggerty


Title: Fat Girl Begone!
Author: D.E. Haggerty
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Published: May 1, 2017
Word Count: 70,000

Book Description:

I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it.

Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business.

Just call me Ms. Drama.

Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed.

Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.


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How I underestimated writing a romanceD.E. Haggerty


Confession time. I totally and completely underestimated how difficult writing a romance would be. It’s not like I don’t like romances. I read them. Some may say I read them too much. Others would venture to argue that I’m addicted to reading romances. But that’s just a gross exaggeration. It’s not like I miss sleep, ignore people, or cancel social outings to read. Ummm … not too much anyway. Okay, I may have a problem. Moving on.

Each of my novels has an element of romance in them. In fact, in the majority of my novels, romance figures quite heavily in the story. I’ve even penned a romantic comedy, Molly’s Misunderstandings. But Molly’s story – while definitely being romantic – focused on her reinvention of herself after her husband’s betrayal. Although Fat Girl Begone! also has a back story of Everly overcoming hurdles in her career, the main focus is most definitely romance. And boy was that tougher to write than I expected.

I may be a romance addict, but I’ve always believed romances were simple stories. After all, there’s no mystery to solve, no suspense to build, no character growth to chart. It should be easy, right? Introduce the characters, have a meet cute between them, add in a bunch of interactions in which they fall in love, add some false drama in which the characters break up for manufactured reasons, and then end with an emotional scene where they get back together and live happily ever after.

As soon as I started writing Fat Girl Begone!, I realized my idea of romances was outdated. Despite reading the stories like they’re going out of style, my thoughts behind the writing of a romantic story were somehow still based on those old-fashioned Harlequin romances I used to sneak out of my mother’s crocheting basket. That general progression outline of 14 sentences I made wasn’t going to cut it.

What to do? Besides drown my sorrows in a lovely bottle of Malbec? After a glass (okay, three) of red wine, the solution sounded simple. Add complexity, character growth, and a whole gaggle of fun side kick friends. The next morning, head pounding and mouth full of cotton balls, my ideas didn’t seem as cut and dry as the evening before. Funny how that happens. So, I did what I’ve done with each of my previous novels, I started plotting. That’s right – I’m a plotter and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Turns out writing a romance is like writing any other story – complete with the five essential elements every story has: characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Instead of solving a murder – a story development that easily fulfills the plot, conflict, and resolution elements of a story – I needed to have my main characters fall in love. Conflict and resolution? Falling in love has those elements in spades. How in the heck had I forgotten that? I’m just going to blame my twenty-one-year-old marriage on that. I haven’t dated in over two decades. I think I can be forgiven. 


I’m not entirely sure I’ve actually figured out how to write a romance yet. But I certainly won’t underestimate how difficult writing a romance is in the future. Why in the world did I decide my next book would be an historical romance? Oh well, there’s always Malbec to help me figure things out. 

Excerpt: 


“You should totally jump that, chica.”
It’s Monday, and I’ve just survived another Zumba class. I only hit Tara once. Okay, twice, but who’s counting? I’m still trying to catch my breath and stop my heart from jumping out of my ribcage. None of which stops me from panting after my personal trainer. Before I get a chance to respond to her comment or tear my eyes away from Gabe’s epic ass, the rest of the gang joins Tara and me.
“What are you bitches yapping about?” Oh great, Charise didn’t just say that at maximum volume or anything.
“Everly taking her personal trainer for a ride.”
Oh my god. Please tell me no one else heard Tara announce that I’m lusting after Gabe. I hear giggles and murmurs of agreement from the other exercisers exiting the group exercise room. Of course, everyone heard. Charise, Tara, Naomi, and Jessie have one volume – embarrassingly loud.
I ignore them and head to the locker rooms with my head down. Of course, I can’t help but sneak another glance at Gabe. He’s doing squats for God’s sake! I defy any woman – or man for that matter – to not look. I keep my eyes glued to those glutes as I walk in the opposite direction. My foot hits something and before I know it I’m going down.
I end up sprawled on the floor of the gym. I look down at my outfit and sigh in relief. Good. No rolls of fat are showing. Thankfully, I had put a long sweatshirt on over the loose tank I was wearing during class. A hand appears in front of my face.
“Let me help you up, babe.”
I look up to see yet another example of male perfection. Does this gym have a portal to Mount Olympus for the Greek Gods to come and go as they please? Because damn. This is one fine specimen of manhood in front of me.
“Babe?”
His voice startles me out of my perusal of his perfection. I reach out and he grabs my hand to pull me up. Only he doesn’t stop there. He pulls me flush to his body and then leans down to whisper in my ear. “It’s okay, babe. Happens all the time when girls look at me.” And crash. There goes my adulation of the man. I knew there was a reason no one believes in the Greek Gods anymore. Vanity is not attractive. 
I pull on my hand until he releases me. “Thanks.”
“You okay, sweetheart?” As if I couldn’t be embarrassed enough, now Gabe’s here.
“I’m fine. Just wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking.” Out of the corner of my eye, I see the former Greek God puff out his chest as if I had paid him a compliment. I can’t help it. My eyes narrow at him, and I attempt to engage my eye lasers. Just like the two gazillion other times I’ve tried to use those lasers, they malfunction.
Gabe ignores the entire episode. “You here to do your exercise class?”
“Nope.” I shake my head. “I just put on some workout clothes and then ducked my head under the faucet to get my face and hair wet.”
My personal trainer laughs and grabs my shoulder to give it a squeeze. Why is he squeezing my shoulder? “You’re funny, sweetheart.” I wasn’t going for funny but whatever.
Someone shouts ‘Gabe’ from the other side of the gym. I look over to see the blond bimbo he was training staring daggers at me. Gabe squeezes my shoulder again. “Sorry, sweetheart, I need to get back to work. I’ll see you Wednesday, right?” I nod, and he winks before walking off.
“Looks like I’m not needed here.” I forgot Mr. Vanity was still standing here. I don’t bother responding to his obvious pout. I shake my head and walk to the locker rooms.

About the Author: 

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.

After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a BandB.

Turns out being a BandB owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before deciding to follow the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.

But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Fat girl Begone! is my eleventh book.



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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting Fat Girl Begone! on your blog today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, and the wonderful giveaway for readers! :)

      Delete

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