by | Nov 1, 2016 | guest post

November has come! Hope you got all the treats you wanted last night (and no tricks). Today, I am welcoming fellow author J. L. Salter onto my blog. He’s here to talk about his newest release Size Matters. He is also offering a digital copy (Kindle only) of this novel (Size Matters). The winner will be determined by a drawing from those who leave comments on the day this post goes live (November 1st). So, before I start rambling, I’ll hand it over to him.

What I Wanted To Say…

As a kid, I saw the feature film Tom Thumb and I was transfixed. “How cool it would be,” I thought, “if you could REALLY become tiny and slip into places where nobody else can go… and nobody even knows you’re there.” Later on, I would see several of the popular sci-fic movies – starting with the Incredible Shrinking Man (from 1957, though I saw it later on TV) – which featured people (or creatures) becoming either tiny or gigantic. One movie, about Gulliver’s travels, had both — he was gigantic in one segment and doll-sized in another. One thing clear from all those films was that life is not a bowl of cherries when you’re pint-sized.

So in my story, I wanted to show the fun parts of being tiny… along with the difficulties and scariness. I also wanted to focus on the emotional aspects, including the oppressive fear that you might not be able to return to normal size. To keep everything moving along, I needed a bit of comedy (mostly from her neighbor and the neighbor’s boyfriend) and a nice portion of romance (from her hunky lawyer, Logan Stride).

I also wanted to focus (just a bit) on the prevalent notion that so many people seem so dissatisfied with the way they look — and want to look better, be taller (or shorter), lose weight, develop six-pack abs, have more dramatic cleavage, etc.

Furthermore, I wanted to say something about the dependence so many Americans have on daily maintenance medicines. It’s a miracle of modern medicine and visionary science that people have developed drugs which allow folks with horrible diseases to cope with their symptoms — and I certainly don’t case any aspersions on any of that life-saving, cutting edge treatment protocol. But I do read a lot about people getting hooked on daily maintenance doses of drugs which have stupefying side effects and may even make them sicker than the original condition for which they were seeking relief. And that’s what I touch on in part of my story.

But, my soap-boxing about Big Pharma aside, this story is entertainment. Fun to imagine what it would like to be tiny. And if you played with Barbie dolls as a child, I think you’ll especially enjoy how my heroine Emma Hobby interacts with the Cyndi dolls in her collection. And their clothes!

6b2b0212-2Thanks for such a fine introduction to your work! And for being on my blog today. First, can you tell us a little about your novel’s concept?

Accidentally swallowing a mysterious pill from her eccentric scientist cousin causes Emma Hobby to shrink to under a foot tall. When she resumes normal size, she must track down her cousin, who’s obviously in trouble (based on those crazy messages he sent). Can those sci-fi miniaturization pills help find him? How about Logan Stride, the attorney who wants to handle more of Emma than her case?

Intriguing. What a truly unique idea! What was the inspiration for Size Matters?

In my head as I awakened on Sept. 16, 2015, was the rough concept of a woman who discovers she can transform herself to the size of a fashion doll. The first time was accidental but she later realizes it could be useful to become “Barbie” sized — even though it could also be quite dangerous. The working title was “Being Tiny.”

It is interesting how and when inspiration hits. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

If not before then, certainly by Third Grade. I was composing little rhymes and (short-short) “stories” before I reached Jr. H.S. By my sophomore year in H.S., I had a “real” story published in the school’s creative writing anthology and had begun writing “serious” poems. By my senior year, I had won a regional (university-sponsored) poetry contest and my winning entry was published on the front page of my hometown newspaper.

Wow! What a great start! I know there are parts of the process we as writers love and parts we tend to not love so much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

I love drafting, but really dislike editing, revising, overhauling, re-writing, etc. Oddly, however, I DO enjoy proof-reading.

Ah, I can certainly understand. I have places/times that I feel that I’m more able to focus and truly think I work more efficiently. Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

After I retired from librarianship, we moved (from LA to KY), and later built a house on my wife’s ancestral farm. That new house provided me with my own study/office… and that’s where I do most of my writing. Before I got involved with all the necessary networking and promotional efforts – through Facebook and Twitter, for example – I used to “write” in the mornings and late evenings. Now, however, it seems my mornings are sucked dry by networking, so I write mostly after supper.

You are not lying about that networking stuff. It can be a time drag! Especially when all I want to do is write, write, write. How long does it take you to write a book?

That depends a lot, of course, on the external distractions and commitments I have. Assuming my schedule has nothing unusual in it – beyond the several things which I do have to deal with each week – I can typically average between 2k – 3k words per day (on days I can write at all). Other than my first three novels, I believe the other 14 titles have each been drafted within some 6-8 weeks, typically. Of course, that first draft is usually pretty durn rough and needs a lot of work in round two.

One last question, then we’ll hear more about Size Matters! Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

It took only 29 writing days to complete my first draft (about 44,000 words) of this story, though those days were distributed among just over seven calendar weeks. The longest stretch that I could NOT work on the story at all was six consecutive days. Highest daily output was nearly 7200 words on Oct. 4, 2015.

Thanks again for being on my blog today!


Size Matters

Emma Hobby mistakenly takes a pill from a bottle mailed her by her eccentric/brilliant cousin — and it reduces her to eleven inches tall. Now she’s eye to eye with the Cyndi dolls she collects and sells in her shop. Nobody – not even her best friend – believes her, so Emma takes another pill to see if it happens again. It DOES! This time she has a witness (Vickilee), who records things as they happen… and establishes a partial timetable.

Now that she thinks she knows what happens and when, can Emma use these pills somehow to help rescue her cousin? And will that handsome attorney she’s almost dating help her efforts? Or will Logan Stride just get in her way?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“What do you mean you were a foot tall?” asked my friend Vickilee, after I’d tearfully repeated what happened to me last night.
“As in literally,” I explained for the fourth time. “I was standing eyeball to eyeball with thirteen Cyndi dolls in my big display in the main room.” I live above my shop but had fallen asleep downstairs still wearing my traveling clothes.
Vickilee sat me down again — though I kept popping back up because I was too rattled to sit — and tried to pin me to her chair by pressing on both shoulders. “Now, start from the beginning, after you woke with the horrid migraine.”
This wasn’t helping. It was early Saturday morning, and I’d invaded Vickilee’s home, where her fiancé Brisco was loudly snoring in the back bedroom. “Maybe it was a mistake to come here. I’m sorry.” I tried to peel her hands from my shoulders so I could slink away into the Verdeville, Tennessee, morning.
After she released me, she slumped back into her own chair with tears in her eyes. “Emma, I want to help, and I’m trying to understand. Honestly, I am. But all this malarkey about being one foot tall is freaking me out. Is this about your dreamy lawyer boyfriend? What’s going on?”
“Logan Stride is not officially my boyfriend yet.” Though I already thought of him that way. “I told you he’s a stickler about not dating clients. So we’re just pre-dating until Grandma Nana’s estate is completely settled.” 

Buy Links

More About J. L. Salter

Romantic comedy and romantic suspense are among thirteen completed novel manuscripts and four completed novellas. So far, fourteen of these seventeen titles have been published and one more is expected during 2016.

I’m co-author of two non-fiction monographs (about librarianship) with a royalty publisher, plus a signed chapter in another book and a signed article in a specialty encyclopedia. I’ve also published articles, book reviews, and over 120 poems; my writing has won nearly 40 awards, including several in national contests. As a newspaper photo-journalist, I published about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos.

I worked nearly 30 years in the field of librarianship. I’m a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force (including a remote tour of duty in the Arctic, at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland).

I’m the married parent of two and grandparent of six.

Connect with J. L. Salter and His Books

Facebook Author Page:

Twitter: @AuthorJLSalter

J.L. Salter blogs on Thursdays here:

What would you do if you were suddenly under a foot tall?

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Sara R. Turnquist