Saturday, January 14, 2017

THE WRITE WAY by Sabrina Tate of The Black Cat Knocks on Wood

As a mystery writer, I spend a lot of time thinking "WHAT IF?" What if a woman served on a jury and the defendant she helped to acquit started sending her flowers with love notes? What if a woman finds a photo of a person she never saw before standing in her own home? What if a man attends the funeral of a friend only to run into the friend - very much alive - the following week? What if a woman quits her safe and well-paid job as a paralegal in the city and moves to the country to write full-time? I'm living out that "what if" as we speak.

A little over a year ago I made the big move to Lavender, Texas. I love living near my Aunt Rowe and my best friend Tyanne, and I have a nice nest egg so I don't have to worry too much about the lack of a paycheck. I'm away from the noise and horrid city traffic. I have the most wonderful pet imaginable - Hitchcock, a black cat who found me rather than the other way around. What could be better?

For one thing, I could be better at focusing. I want to make fast progress on my novel, I really do. I set daily word count goals. I set a time to work on my book every day. I write in the same place (well, except for when I'm writing at Hot Stuff Coffee Shop), I give myself weekly deadlines. Sometimes it simply doesn't matter how hard I try. I mean, who can stay seated in front of a computer when the cat's calling to me about a dead body nearby? Or when Aunt Rowe goes off to perform dangerous stunts in a rodeo, for crying out loud. Some things can't be ignored. So I get up and follow clues and lend a hand to solve a murder. Anyone would do the same, but my writing has suffered. There are some who refer to my writing as a hobby, and that really annoys me. I'm committed to proving them wrong. 

I have an agent now, and my friend Tyanne believes publication of my first novel is right around the corner. A real book deal would make all the difference in the way I handle my time. I would buckle down and start grinding those books out one after another. I would absolutely start doing things The Write Way - right?

What tricks do you use to keep yourself on task when you're working on a project?

Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling author of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries by Berkley Prime Crime. Though her character, Sabrina Tate, has left the paralegal profession behind to move to the Texas Hill Country, Kay still works as a paralegal at a Houston, Texas law firm. She resides in a Houston suburb with her husband and pets. Visit her at


  1. I have to keep a daily to-do list to keep me on track. The more I check off, the more motivated I am to get the list completed. Hahha!

  2. I have sticky notes fever. I make notes to me to remind myself of tasks I hope to finish. I say hope, because things do not always go as planned. And for me it is true, when certain things are done, it makes me feel lighter, taller and much happier.