One Bite at a Time

Ah! May! Hello everyone! It is gorgeous here in Georgia with all the flowering plants and shrubs and it’s beginning to be quite warm. I hope the scenery and climate are beautiful where you live, too.

Zeroing In and Moving Forward

Often, I have several stories floating around in my crazy head and it takes a while to settle on just one. I bet I have over a hundred drafts stored in my computer as we speak.

Once I settle a new project, in my case a new manuscript, my personal process is not always a consistent one. I guess you could call me a “pantser” or “a seat of my pants kinda gal.” I’m a moody writer. In other words, I have to be in the mood. Once I get started, the time will fly by, and I often find myself glued to my desk for hours upon hours.

Although I am sometimes scattered, I do have a checkoff list of things I must do before I can even begin to create.

I take one bite at a time – slowly at the beginning, then charging ahead.

  1. I come up with a working title. I don’t always stick with it, but it helps me with compiling information on the computer and hard copy files (which I still use). With my newly published novel, RELATIVE CONSEQUENCES (RC), I must have had five or six working titles before I settled on THE one. With my new manuscript, I temporarily went with Kenzie’s River, which has now changed to LIES IN THE RIVER. I think I like that one the best.
  2. Once I decide what the story will be about – a general picture in my brain – I write down options for the story arch – specifically, a beginning, a middle and an end usually in single sentences. Then I begin researching different subjects pertaining to the story. For instance, in RC, I dug into 1950’s history, Florida history, Civil Rights history, and even 2006 history. I also investigated how people dressed back then, their hairdos, popular music, etc. I make notes — too many notes — on what I research and then I put them on my computer in a somewhat unorganized-but yet organized fashion. I often go back and eventually delete them. By this time, I have chosen the final title.
  3. The next step involves creating my main characters.
  4. Secondary characters fall into place.

I will expand on Steps 3 & 4 (my favorite tasks) in my June Blog.


Since I plan to spotlight The Writing Process in the next few months, I invited a published author and member of the Facebook Group – Authors Ignite, (, to give us her perspective on the writing process.

Kathy Stagner Nichols states that women empowering women is her passion. She wrote The Sometime Sister and The Unreliables, is on the board of Sisters In Crime Atlanta, and is Vice President of the Atlanta Writers Club. Kathy lives in Lilburn, Georgia with her husband, two rescue dogs, and two rescue cats.


By the way, don’t forget to check out my first published novel, RELATIVE CONSEQUENCES, released on March 12, 2022, which has received much-appreciated five-star reviews.

I am proud to say that today my novel is currently for sale at The Eagle Eye Book Shop in North Decatur, Georgia. You can check them out on Facebook at, on Twitter at, and on Instagram at

Here is another excerpt from my book.

“Chapter Five – Beaufort Boil”

“At the end of an oyster-shelled driveway sits a colonial-style house—the home Harrison purchased for his mother five years ago. Rita scratches an itch on her hand as she gazes through sunglasses at a rocker-crowded veranda that hugs the entire front of the refurbished white two-story clapboard structure. Four sleek ceiling fans orbit in harmony over the colorful rag rugs scattered on the wide-planked floor.

Harrison leads the way towing both pieces of carry-on luggage.

She steps from the car feeling the Low Country sun bake her exposed shoulders. A bead of perspiration trickles the length of her breastbone. Slowly climbing the stairs to the porch, Rita passes a daisy-shaped ceramic ashtray, one of several placed at the corners of the wooden railing.

Why in hell did I quit smoking?

Thank you to all who have purchased RELATIVE CONSEQUENCES. I hope you enjoy reading it. Please consider stopping by Amazon and/or Goodreads and posting a review. Thank you again.

Available on:
Amazon (both Kindle & Mass Market Paperback) –
Barnes & Noble –
BookShop –

You can catch me on:

See you in June and don’t forget to read!


P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter – Jody’s Journal – on this website.

Published by jodywritessouthern

Jody Herpin writes with a southern accent. Re-discovering her love of writing in the last ten years, she has completed her second novel, "Relative Consequences," and is currently researching her third. In 2015, Jody received First Place for Novel Submission at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for "Weather Permitting." In 2014, she received Third Place for the Microcosm Award at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for her piece, "View of a Lifetime." She's constantly reading, researching and soaking up knowledge about her craft. Born in Savannah, Georgia, she has lived most of her life in the South, attending Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia and living in Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolina, Florida and Virginia. If she's not writing, she is decorating her home, attempting to paint with watercolors, reading, rediscovering the guitar, walking her Mini-Australian Shepherd, Bella, or cheering for her beloved Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Jody married the love of her life in 2014, and she and her husband, Mike Boggioni, a professional musician, live north of Atlanta, Georgia. She has two grown children and six amazing grandchildren all of whom live close enough "to holler at."

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