• Grace A. Johnson

What's Your WIP Tag


I absolutely LOVE this tag...even though I’m at the point where Bound and Determined is a wee bit beyond the work-in-progress stage and where I’m not actively working on anything else because I’m swamped with editing. So even though y’all may *think* you know everything there is to know about Bound and Determined and y’all may be tired of hearing about it by now, I’m just gonna give in and share more about it!

Besides...there are some noobs around here that ain’t got a clue what I’m talkin’ about...so this is for you!

Thank you to Vanessa Hall for reading my mind and tagging me! The link to her post is below; y'all gotta check it out! Her WIP sounds FANTASTIC!

 

the rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog. (Thanks so much, Vanessa!)

  • Link back to the creator, Katja @ Little Blossoms for Jesus, & add the tag graphic. (Thank you, Katja!)

  • List the rules.

  • Answer the questions.

  • Feel free to add snippets!

  • Tag as many or as few people as you wish & let them know they’re tagged.

  • Add a clean copy of the questions at the end of your post for the tagged.

 

the questions

Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?

It has a final title, naturally! Bound and Determined! Fun fact: this title is dual-purpose. It plays into the plot, in that Daisy is determined to find her sister and Keaton is bound to help her (I know that’s backwards, but still)...and it fits with the rest of the titles! Held Captive, Prisoner at Heart, and Bound and Determined all include an element of imprisonment/captivity, which fits the stories PERFECTLY!

In Held Captive, Rina is “held captive” (I drop the title so many times in the story *shakes head *) by Xavier and her own sin. In Prisoner at Heart, Crimson is a prisoner to her past in her heart; Elliot is a prisoner to his guilt and prejudice; and naturally, Crimson is a literal prisoner to Rina and Elliot is quickly captured by Crimson’s charms. *snorts*

And in Bound and Determined? Well, Daisy’s bound in slavery, in sin, in generally wretched life circumstances, and Keaton’s bound to his past and guilt and basically every other problem out there. (I just kinda heaped it on for him…)

And that was a much longer answer than I’d planned…

Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?

Yerp! I have two, actually! The original one is up on the homepage, and the official one will be going on the back of the book! (Speaking of, I need to add it to Goodreads…)

So far, I’ve only shared the official one with my beta readers and cover designer, so now is the time for the synopsis reveal… Drum roll, if you please.


Port Royal, Jamaica

1686

A wicked twist of fate—or perhaps the hand of God—has landed Captain Rina Bennet in the most precarious situation yet. When her husband and the father of her twin boys leaves at the behest of a family friend, she is left to take charge of the ship she has not sailed on in two years, alongside her two toddlers. She finds herself between a rock and a hard place when her first voyage drastically turns into a rescue mission, leaving her to the ghosts of her old life.


Daisy Sharow has risked it all by escaping from her owner’s tavern in search of her sister. Following God’s direction, she seeks out the only person she trusts to help her: Keaton Clarke. When Daisy stows away aboard the Rina, quartermaster Keaton is faced with a ghost from his past and a decision neither he nor Rina are prepared to make.


Rina has to make a judgment call when the ghosts come knocking, a call that could mean either life or death—for both an innocent girl and herself. Can Daisy, Keaton, and Rina band together to save Daisy’s sister...or is the risk too great?

Y’all let me know what you think in the comments! *grins *

Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?


I actually have a mock cover, but it’s not much to look at… I do have an idea for the actual cover (which my designer will be getting to work on very soon!), and I’ve filled up a Pinterest board with inspiration! Y’all can check that out here!

How did you get the idea for this story?


Good question! My answer could be a post all its own, actually, so I’ll keep it short...but BAD has existed in one form or another since I first started writing The Lady Pirate (the original version of Held Captive), because I have OSD. (Obsessive Story Disorder, which causes me to create stories for every. single. Character.) In the early versions of HC, Xavier had a sister, who OF COURSE, needed a story...so I invented the lovely Keaton Clarke to be her love interest.

Well, as I rewrote HC, I wrote Xavier’s sister out of existence (she came back as Xavier’s half-sister Chloe and as Keaton’s sister Christabel) and gave Keaton another story, based on a prompt from a local writing friend. Once HC was actually written and published, Keaton’s character and storyline had changed, and therefore, so did Bound and Determined! And, y’all, this story has really changed SO MUCH just since I started writing it! Sure, the plot and characters are the same, but everything has grown and become so much more vivid and defined!

How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?

HA. HA HA HA HA.

This puppy turned out WAAAYYYY longer than expected, at 210k words and 65 chapters (not counting the epilogue and prologue). I’d been shooting for 120k originally, I think, and the more I wrote, the longer this story got! I’ve been trying to cut down the word count during edits, but it might not be by much. So far, I’ve only trimmed it down by a thousand words or so!

Who’s your favourite character so far?


I’ll tell y’all this...it ain’t Daisy or Xavier. Otherwise, I don’t know!! It is SO hard to pick a favorite! Naturally, I ADORE Rina...Keaton gets on my nerves but is also my perfect baby...Mathew and Tomas and Billy are mah sweet little baby boys...Crimson is just PERFECTION in this book...Elliot ALWAYS cracks me up...Scarlette and Julius are so wonderfully horrible (or horribly wonderful?)...the twins are the CUTEST little munchkins EVER...and the VILLAINS!!!!!!!!!!! Yes. I actually have villains this time. And, no, Scarlette does not count as a villain, despite all appearances.

Granted, these villains aren’t your typical villains—more like sources of immense conflict for a period of time. In all honesty, they’re kinda like Cutler Beckett and Captain Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean. Good, bad, and ugly. Either way, I love them. They’re awesome.


What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?


Favorite memory? Shoot! When you’ve been working on a project for over two years (two and a half just writing; four years having it around in your brain), you end up with too many memories to remember. (Which is an oxymoron…)

Honestly though, I know there has been at least one time (probably three in total) that I got teary-eyed and achy-hearted (#notaword) while writing BAD. I rarely ever cry while reading/writing, but sometimes...the emotion just hits you. I know I’ve sat on my bed, in the middle of the night, whispering to myself about how intense or beautiful (or heart-breaking) the scene I was working on was...and then just crying. Some of these moments...characters...themes are literally a piece of me. Heck, the whole book is a huge chunk of my soul, more so than any other project has ever been, and the entire journey of writing it—from the tears to the maniacal cackles—has been one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences of my life.

Any special person(s) who helped create it?


Dude. That’s tough. Again, with two-to-four years of work in this book, there have been SO MANY people who poured a little bit of themselves into it. Some for just a moment, others for a year’s worth of writing…

In the end, though, the one person who has just poured so much of themselves into BAD is Sophia. We connected back in December of 2020 when she won one of my books in a giveaway on Goodreads, and by March 2021, we’d become bookish buddies and she’d become one of my first official fangirls. I asked her if she’d be interested in alpha-reading Bound and Determined, and she agreed! Fast-forward a year later, and she has cheered me on, helped me brainstorm, given me the most amazing feedback, and generally been an insanely epic person. Just...I couldn’t have done it without her. My story-esteem (like self-esteem, but for stories *winks*) was CRAZY low for BAD, and she boosted it up SO MUCH. I’m honestly not sure if I would’ve made it this far without her encouragement and friendship!

And I’ve gotta give Issabelle a shout-out too, of course!!! From sprinting with her to sharing snippets to threatening to kill Xavier (the threat is still on the table), this girl has been a HUGE inspiration and encouragement to me!!! Not to mention, my second official fangirl! She’s one of my beta readers now, and Y’ALL. Her feedback and reactions are pure gold!

Then there’s Kristina and Vanessa who have kept me on track with getting this puppy finished...and my local friends who’ve asked me every time they see me when that third book is coming...and so many of y’all reading this blog post right now who have just supported me and loved on my books so much.

Y’all, I’ll be here all day if I start listing everyone who has been a part of this book! I can’t imagine how many more will join us in giving this story life!


What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?


Can I pull the it’s-65-chapters card? Keep in mind that’s like 2 scenes per chapter average, so that’s at least 130 scenes and you want me to PICK ONE? My FAVORITE ONE?

Wow.

Um...lemme see...to be honest, my favorite scene is one of the most spoilery… Actually, all of my favorites are spoilery. They’re either romantic scenes, spiritual scenes, or action/suspense scenes…

Let’s go with my one slightly-humorous scene then, shall we? This one is just hilarious and so sweet to me, because we’ve really never had a scene that was just Rina and Elliot. That is, Rina and Elliot and no yelling.

Fun fact: I actually got the chance to make and try the Jamaican chocolate tea featured in the scene below!


Can you give us a snippet?


Fortunately, I can! Feast your eyes on this!

 

When we entered the galley, I found Mav already seated with a bowl of soup before him and—oh, what was that heavenly smell? I gently set Dick in the chair beside his brother and leaned over to breath in the delicious aroma emanating from Mav’s cup.

Chocolate.

My insides melted as my stomach gurgled and my tongue slickened. I’d not had chocolate in years! Not since Lavinia, I believe, for she had been the one so fond of chocolate that she had all but trained Uncle’s cook in preparing it. After she’d left and Dorian replaced our old cook, I’d tried to get him to make the beverage according to the fragments of Lavinia’s recipe I remembered, but my attempts were fruitless.

I glanced about the galley for the origins of this delightful concoction to find Elliot standing over the fire.

My jaw dropped.

“You…” I stalked both toward him and the source of the cocoa-scented steam, wagging a crooked finger. “You’ve been holdin’ out on me, El. All these years, you’ve been hiding this from me…to think, I could’ve been getting drunk on chocolate all these years.”

My ex-first mate snorted, pouring a ladle-full of chocolate into a cup. “First of all, ye can’t get drunk on cocoa and milk. Second, ‘tisn’t been ‘all these years.’ I only ever remembered less of Lavinia’s recipe than ye; ‘twere Crimson who knew how to make it an’ helped me fill in the blanks.” He extended the cup, and I eagerly wrapped my hands around it and groaned as the rich, spicy scent of cocoa, cinnamon, cream, and some indiscernible something assailed my nostrils.

“You, experimenting in the galley with Crimson? That I’d like to see. Or, rather—” I raised the cup to my lips and took a small, savoring sip “—taste.” Just a drop of chocolate was enough to set my senses on fire as the warm goodness burnt a trail down my throat.

“Well.” He hitched a shoulder. “When ‘tis just ye and yer new bride sailin’ fer days on end, ye’ve got t’ find something to entertain yerself with.”

I downed a whole gulp this time, amazed by how well this matched my childhood memories of nursing cup after cup of chocolate whilst avoiding my evil stepmother (well, evil would-be aunt, that is). The flavors were exquisite, sweet cream, exotic spice, and rich cocoa married perfectly. If only Europe and England knew of this wonderful Jamaican treat; rather, their cocoa was so bitter one might as well be eating the beans themselves.

I sighed into my cup, spewing out the first thought that came to my mind. “Stay with me, Elliot.” And make us gallons of chocolate every day. We can bottle it and sell it. Start a whole new venture, spreading chocolaty goodness across the Seven Seas.

A deep groan cut through my thoughts. “Y’know I can’t do that, Rina.”

Very well, only one gallon of chocolate a day. And we could start a shop rather than bottling it. We’d be settled then.

“But you must, Elliot! I’ll not be able to survive without chocolate after this.” I gave him my best Scarlette impression, sticking out my lower lip and batting my lashes over widened eyes.

“Don’t make light o’ it. We both know there’s more than chocolate to do with this.”

There was? I didn’t—

Oh.

Yes.

 

*coughs* Did I intentionally leave that last bit as a cliffhanger? Why, yes. Yes, I did.

Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?


HA. HA HA HA HA. (You’ll notice me laughing a lot during this post…) Y’all, this story has gone CRAZY. I knew the backbone of it long before I began writing, and the story itself hasn’t strayed much from my outline/idea...but Y’ALL. Keaton Ellioted the whole story and turned it on its head in a way that just blew my mind. No spoilers, but uh...let’s just say one of the most climatic/intense/dramatic moments was ENTIRELY unplanned. Like, unplanned even while I wrote the words.

And, yes, Elliot is a proper verb. I even use it in the book. Multiple times.

Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?

We gon be here AAAALLLL day. I’ve got my object inspiration (aka physical aesthetic) board HERE and my written inspiration (aka written aesthetic) board HERE, both of which are FULL of quotes and images that have inspired (or are just eerily similar) to this story!

As for specific Scriptures…

Matthew 14:30-31, 2 Corinthians 12:5, and Isaiah 43:2 were just a few of the verses that have inspired the themes and messages in BAD!


When and where have you done most of the writing so far?

My bed. At night. Specifically during January of 2022. Somehow, that was one of my best writing months ever. I may have had better months back in 2020/2019 that I didn’t keep a record of...but I highly doubt that.

Where do you get inspiration for this story?


Everywhere. Specifically Pinterest and Spotify...because Y’ALL. The playlist for this book has 86 songs, and I STILL keep coming up with new songs!


Are you a plotter or a pantser?


Technically a plantser. I pants my stories, then plan them. Or I plan them, then pants the actual writing. *shrugs* I do it all.


Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?


Not really. Since I write at night before bed, there’s no music, no food, no drink, no nothing, really. I try to get everything done for the day before I focus on writing, and sometimes I’ll read back over what I’ve written before to get inspired for the next scene.


Are you thinking of publishing this story?

We all know the answer to this one...YEAH DUH.


What things have you learned while writing this story?


Everything. Like, everything.

Specifically that I probably need sensitivity readers for everything I write from here on out…

*coughs* I’ve learned about grace, faith, salvation, repentance. I’ve learned about consistency, time management, and more about what makes me feel accomplished, as well as my writing style. And the entire process of this book has really served to define and strengthen my convictions, what I write and why, and my audience. (Which is not ten-year-olds. Sorry.)

 

tags + clean copy

I tag Saraina Whitney, Kads, Lily Keith, and Issabelle Perry. Just gonna stick with three this go-round, because I kinda stink at remembering people. THAT SAID, if you wanna answer ANY of these questions in the comments or steal the whole tag, PLEASE DO. Tag piracy is encourage here; y’all know that.

Y’all will find your clean copy below! *grins*

Also, if any of y’all are interested in reading more sneak peeks of BAD, check out this post, and this post, this one here, this ol’ thang, and ye olde sneaky peeky!


  • Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?

  • Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?

  • Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?

  • How did you get the idea for this story?

  • How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?

  • Who’s your favourite character so far?

  • What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?

  • Any special person(s) who helped create it?

  • What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?

  • Can you give us a snippet?

  • Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?

  • Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?

  • When and where have you done most of the writing so far?

  • Where do you get inspiration for this story?

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser?

  • Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?

  • Are you thinking of publishing this story?

  • What things have you learned while writing this story?


yours in spirit and script,

Grace


#tag #blogtag #tagged #boundanddetermined #sneakpeek #snippet #wip #abouthebook #abouttheauthor #aboutme #writing

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