Ninie Hammon’s Blog for Readers

New book, first draft--DONE. Boo-ya!

Posted: January 24, 2015, 4:26PM
See Ninie do the happy dance!

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers,
the authorities, against 
the powers of this dark world.
The Bible
Ephesians 6:12


There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
William Shakespeare


The Devil went down to Georgia, lookin’
for a soul to steal
Charlie Daniels

       Those three quotes are on the first page of my new book. The book is based on a single premise: If there’s any truth at all in ancient Scripture, then we live on a battlefield and spiritual warfare is going on around us all the time. Demons and angels—locked in combat. Of course, we can’t see those battles. At least most of us can’t. But there are some who can, a few who … know.

       The book is called The Knowing and it's special because it isn't just one book. What I'm working on now is a series—the first one I've ever written! And I am stoked about it, having so much fun I can’t stop whacking away at the keys! All my house plants are dead because I’ve been too busy to water them. My husband will soon be dead, too, if I don’t feed him. (Healthy Choice nuke dinners and home-delivery pizza will only go so far.)

       The Knowing is about good and evil, and about a handful of people who can see the ongoing war between the two and who get caught up in it. They’re people just like you and me, ordinary folks who lead normal lives, who just had a flat tire or got a speeding ticket, who’ve forgotten the password to their Netflicks account or whose wife/husband/son/daughter/Aunt Hilda is driving them crazy right now. Garden variety people who walk into something they never expected. Suddenly, they’re fighting just to stay alive—and if they manage to survive, they will never be the same.

       Why a series? Because for the first time, the little California Raisins who are my creative muses—the ones who whisper stories into my ear while I sleep---have told me a story that’s too big for just one book. It may even be too big for three books, which is what I have planned right now. We’ll see.

 Guess a nuke-it dinner beats sandwiches. Hope so. I'm too busy to make sandwiches.

       Writing a series is NOT merely writing a reeeeally long book and then chopping it into pieces. The average novel is between 80,000 and 100,000 words, so theoretically my longest books were almost big enough to cut in half. That would NOT have pleased readers, though, because neither half would have been worth reading. Writing a series is writing three good books that are tied together. It’s tricky, because you must tell one complete story in each book—but leave an overarching conflict unresolved. You can read any one of the three books of The Knowing and enjoy it without reading the other two. But you’ll want to read the other two—at least I hope you will—to find out how the whole adventure pans out.

       Writing a series—at least the way I’m writing this one—requires me to write the whole thing, all three books, before I can publish the first one. That’s both the good and the bad news for readers. It’s the good news because it means that I’ll be releasing at least two and maaaaybe all three books this year. (Three’s a stretch—all my life planets would have to be in perfect alignment for that to happen.) The bad news is that the first book won’t be released until late summer. I completed the CFD (crappy first draft) of it before Thanksgiving and if it were a stand-alone book, I’d be publishing it before the crocuses started peeking their little yellow noses out of the ground.

       And I just completed the CFD of the second book this week!! See Ninie do the happy dance—which is an unlovely spectacle, I must admit, looks like a cross between gangnam style, Napoleon Dynamite and a walrus giving birth to triplets.

       Why write all three books before you publish the first one? Because writing a book isn’t a linear activity. You don’t write until you get to the end and then publish. You write…and then go back and change something earlier in the book because you discover that fill-in-the-blank has to happen in Chapter 2 so that fill-in-the-blank makes sense in Chapter 18. You change plot elements, settings, characters—everything. Again and again. The Muslim Arab Masapha in Sudan started out in the first draft of the book as a black tribal. Sarabeth Bingham in Home Grown didn’t get MS until the third draft. The whole story of The Last Safe Place was originally set on an entirely different mountain.

Let's observe a moment of silence in honor of my poor dead house plants.

Sometimes you write scenes out of order. Some writers even write the last chapter first. I could never do that because I don’t have any idea how the book’s going to come out—at least not the details—when I start. I changed what happened to Princess in Five Days in May half a dozen times until I settled on the right ending. LOTS of readers have told me they wish I’d done it differently. But there always seems to be one way a story comes out that may not be the happily ever after some readers want but which leaves me with an ahhh feeling and the certainty that I spoke the truth of the story onto the page.

       I’ll start on the CFD of Book III Monday. I know basically what has to happen in the book, but not a whole lot more than that. (No, I don’t know yet who lives and who dies. I’ll find out as I write.) Once I have the CFD of Book III done, I’ll go back to Book I and polish it—then publish it. I’ll whip Books II and III into shape after that and publish them.

       Here is a sneak peek, a small excerpt from Book I. Hope it whets your appetite.

Police Sergeant Jack Carpenter was running long before he had time to will his legs to pick him up out of the chair behind his desk. So were all the other officers. The squad room of the Harrelton, Ohio, Metro Police Station emptied in less than 30 seconds. Every officer rolled on pure instinct when the hot call came over the radio, the 6 words every police officer prays he will never hear: “Active Shooter at Carlisle Elementary School.”

       Hungry yet? I’ll be scattering more excerpt crumbs from the books into blog posts this spring—maybe get my Loyal Readers to help me untangle some plot snarls.

Write on!



Pamela January 24, 2015, 5:35PM

I like your STYLE. I'm going to become an author so I can order in pizza and fix nuke it dinners - not because I love them or because I hate to cook (which I don't) but because I'd have a spotless kitchen like in your picture. (Oh yes, and I could let my 8 year old African Violet pass in peace.)

Can't wait to read your trilogy - more?   Reply

Replies (3)

Karen January 24, 2015, 6:40PM

This is why I'll never be an author. I could never let the plants die! But the nuke dinners and pizza- yep I could do that!! I am tickled pink that CFD is done because it means one step closer to actually reading ...3 books!! Yay. :) write on Ninie, write on.   Reply

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Kat January 24, 2015, 7:17PM

I am so excited about your first trilogy! However, I must say that I like that your books have endings. So often today, book after book, ends in cliff-hangers. These are not long, delicious books like yours but usually 150 to 180 pages per book. After reading your reasoning on how a series should be written, I have every confidence that each of your books will be complete and awesome! I have a terrible memory for names. There are people I have known for two years and I have trouble remembering their names. Your books left such an impression on me that I remember your name. If I see a book by Ninie Harmon, I do not hesitate to buy it and it skips to the front of my reading queue. I love how real your characters are. I usually read your books from cover to cover with very little break to eat or sleep. In simple words, I AM A FAN. Thank you for the attention to detail and realism you instill in your writing. I can't wait to read this series.   Reply

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Kathy January 24, 2015, 7:55PM

You have recently become my favorite author of all time and I read a lot of books. I have enjoyed all of your books so much and can't wait to read more of your work.    Reply

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Donna January 24, 2015, 8:28PM

Excited to hear about your next book..I just finished When Butterflies Cry which was just as good as Black Sunshine..I hope you never stop writing because I need the emotional punch that your books give me.
Stay safe and happy!

Replies (1)

Colin Harris January 24, 2015, 9:40PM

I REALLY like your 'voice' - both in your books and on your blog...This newest soon to be released (hopefully) work sounds exciting. Be well!
Cheers and Blessings, C   Reply

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Honor W. January 24, 2015, 9:57PM

Congratulations Ninie! I'm sure that your trilogy will be as engaging as your previous "singles". They're definitely on my "to-read" list. I haven't read all of your other novels yet but those that I have read have I've given 5-stars! Your writing-style makes me feel that I know your characters. I love the sincerity and honesty of your writing. Take as much time as you need, it'll be worth the wait.   Reply

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Debbie L. January 24, 2015, 11:51PM

I am reading the first book I've bought of yours (Sudan) and it has me glued to it! You're a wonderful author and I really have enjoyed this book. It's taking me forever to read it though, because I'm taking online courses through Liberty University to get my AAS degree, and working full time. So I understand busyness! I also have "home Grown" downloaded and ready to go next.
But I have to admit, this new series you are doing really has me excited. I can't wait ! Good luck and God Bless!
Debbie   Reply

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Elaine January 24, 2015, 12:29AM

9e I am thrilled!!!! that you are writing a series. I am just starting "When Butterflies Cry" which will be the 6th book I have read. I love your style of writing, you give the characters such memorable voices. I can't wait to read the series!!
I also love your spirit, I feel I know you personally.

Write on Ninie   Reply

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Jaysie January 25, 2015, 11:40PM

I caint wait!!!!!!!!   Reply

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Peggy January 25, 2015, 1:06AM

I love you! You are so real and honest and your work is perfection! Please keep writing, I enjoy your work so much!   Reply

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Cindy Claar February 1, 2015, 2:05PM

I LOVE your books!! Princess (5 days in May) touched my heart in a way it will never heal. I couldn't do anything but read that book. I know what you mean by tv dinners, pot pies, etc. Ha! I read each chapter twice on the 1st way through. It was sooooo good!! I have also saved it
in my stash of ebooks (which I usually don't do).
I have also read the coal miner story. I have all your books so far. I have been saving them for special occasions to read.....making sure I had a really GOOD book to read when I need a really good book. It is devastating to need a GOOD book and then start reading one that just doesn't tickle that
scratch....just don't even find where the scratch is!!
I am getting ready to read SUDAN next. And after that Home Grown. I guess I can speed up my reading of Ninie Hammon books now that I know you are going to have a series soon!! I am a VERY happy woman!! Thank you Ninie!!   Reply

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Deanna Prather March 26, 2015, 2:43PM

I LOVE your style, in your stories and your website. I have been reading since I was three, books are my escape from my own humdrum world. I have read many wonderful stories from many authors, but yours stand out. Somehow, while I was reading, you opened a door and when I stepped through, I was in the story. You weave magic with your words that transports me to a different place and time. I, for one, am glad you gave up journalism, because writing your character's stories is your calling. Your sense of humor shines through, peeking out of the darkness that haunts your characters, and abounds on your blog. I truly look forward to reading every one of your books. Thank you. Thank you for being the voice of your characters. You bring them to life for all of us.   Reply

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"Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my name. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name -9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”)

Suspense Author

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn't ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced by circumstances to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It's always the game-changer.

Welcome to my world. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you'll see. My life isn't really an open book; it's more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I'd love to interact with you on Twitter, Facebook Fan page, and Goodreads. Or come visit with me at 9e's Kitchen Table, a Facebook group where readers and I hang out. I think you'd like it.