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Friday, August 27, 2010


Today’s guest author at Book Club Friday is Sue Ann Jaffarian. is the bestselling author of the award-winning Odelia Grey mystery series.  The first book in this series, Too Big To Miss, has been optioned for TV, while the fifth, Corpse on the Cob, was recently released.  Sue Ann also writes the Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series. The second book in this fun paranormal series, Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini, will be released February 2011.  Coming in September 2010 is Murder In Vein, the first book in Sue Ann’s new vampire mystery series. In addition to writing, Sue Ann is a full-time paralegal for a Los Angeles law firm, and is sought after as a motivational speaker. Visit Sue Ann at her website and her blog.

Sue Ann will be giving away a copy of
Murder in Vein to one lucky blog reader who posts a comment this week. -- AP 


I recently saw this quote on a poster:

“The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.” – James A. Yorke, Mathematician

My first reaction was to chuckle, then I gave Mr. Yorke’s words the consideration they deserved. 

It’s true, those who are good at Plan B (or Plan C, or Plan D, or even Plan E) do eventually succeed.  Why? Because success is not about having multiple plans, it’s about having persistence and flexibility when your original plan doesn’t go as you had envisioned, or even explodes in your face.

Then I got to thinking about my plans for my writing career.  Originally, I thought I’d simply write my Odelia Grey series and the occasional stand alone novel and my career would soar like an eagle. That was Plan A.  Not that my Odelia Grey series hasn’t done well. It has. But when given the opportunity to write a second series two years ago, I quickly saw the numerous benefits of having two very different mystery series running simultaneously. Enter Plan B – write Odelia Grey and the Ghost of Granny Apples and the occasional stand alone novel.

Okay, now where in my Plan B do you see anything having to do with vampires?  You don’t?  Well, don’t feel bad, because neither do I.  Yet here I am, writing a vampire mystery series, along with the Odelia Grey and Ghost of Granny Apples books.

You see, somewhere along the line, Plan B became Plan C when I realized that now was the right time to write the vampire series kicking around inside my head, even if it meant juggling my already packed schedule.  Yet it wasn’t the right time to shove aside one of my already thriving series. If I wanted to take advantage of my particular twist on the vampire genre and reach my goal of becoming a very successful mystery author, I would have to adapt and roll with the special opportunities that came my way.

Changing plans doesn’t always mean your prior plan burst into flames. Sometimes we have to change plans simply because new choices present themselves. In those circumstances, it would be easy to say, “No thanks, I’m fine with Plan A.” Had I said that, I wouldn’t have known the joy of writing about ghosts or the fun of writing about vampires.  And my writing career would not be as steadily growing upward as it is now.

Although we’re trained to think of Plan A as the top of the heap – the ideal golden first choice – when it comes to career tactics, Plan B isn’t always a step down. Neither is Plan C.  Subsequent  altered plans can turn out to be the best and most successful of the bunch. At least I feel that way about my decision to chuck my original design for my career and revise my plans.

When Murder In Vein, the first book in my new Fang-in-Cheek mystery series, comes out in September 2010, remember, it was never in my master plan. It was an add-on. A glorious Plan C.  Makes me drool to think what opportunities Plan D may offer, if and when it presents itself.

So when faced with your own Plan B, be open and ready to embrace it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Plan A failed, just that Plan A wasn’t the road you were meant to travel.

Thanks for stopping by, Sue Ann! So what do you think, readers? Any of you moved on to Plan B? I certainly have, but you’ll have to wait to Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun comes out to learn why. And believe me, it’s not pretty! Let’s hear from you. Remember, post a comment to be entered to win a copy of Sue Ann’s Murder in Vein. -- AP


Peg Cochran said...

Great story! I'm on plan A, but I can see Plan B on the horizon. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Becke Davis said...

All of those are fabulous titles! Sue Ann, did you come up with those yourself? I hear some publishers prefer to pick their own titles, but it seems like all of these are giving us a sneak preview of your witty voice!

Kathy said...

Looking forward to Murder in Vein. I've been a vampire fan since Dark Shadows.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Becke - my titles are about 50/50 on who chooses them. Murder In Vein was my publisher's idea (isn't it GREAT?), while the other two posted here were mine.

Terri P said...

I am glad you are open to NEW plans and expanding into such fun places!


Carolyn Wright said...

Great Blog! I won't worry about changing plans then. Thanks for the advice.

J Hali Steele said...

Great post, and I've embraced my plan B wholeheartedly. Good to know that it's okay. I love all twists on vamp stories--by the way, Murder in Vein has an awesome cover. Congrats!

Fricka said...

Sue Ann,
I agree with Becke Davis, who wrote that all your titles are fabulous.She beat me to asking the next question, about who thinks up the titles? I am just a sucker for puns. I had an American Lit professor who said that puns are either the highest or lowest form of humor, and I've always thought they are the highest, ha ha, so that means my preference must make me more high-brow.
Loved your comments about being able to make changes...especially in light of Robert Burns' poem of the best laid plans...
Am looking forward to reading from your new series now.

Jill McCullough said...

Corpse on the Cob - What a hoot! Plan A-Z, I agree! If at first you don't succeed...

Here's to hoping great success will come your way early in the alphabet! Happy Friday, all!

Unknown said...

Glad to hear Odelia was optioned for TV. She's a great character! I hope Seamus will be in there, too -- he's one of the best cats on the pages.

I like the idea of Plan A, B, and so on; the ever-changing industry requires it. As long as there's no Plan 9 from Outer Space you should be fine!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by early on a Friday with such great comments. Keep reading!

Jill - I already have a plan D & E waiting in the wings ... just in case.

Sunny Frazier said...

I've always told authors to be "flexible," but calling it Plan B (C&D) plants the idea firmly in place. Thanks for the words, Sue Ann. It's all in the way you say it!

Carol M said...

I enjoyed your post and I totally agree!
I love starting a new series from the beginning and this sounds like one I will really enjoy!

Marja said...

Great post! Since I just started a Plan B book, I have to agree with you. Flexible is a good thing, I think.

Congratulations on the opp for TV!

pennyt said...

Thrilled to hear that Odelia may become a TV show. I think that will expose her to a whole new audience.

And I certainly agree that plans B,C,D, etc can be positive reactions to new choices in life.

Can't wait to try your new series.


Holli Castillo said...

Great post. I think evolution is imperative to keep a career interesting, even if you are doing your dream career. You can't keep writing the same book over and over unless you are Janet Evanovich. Plan B's are good for life in general, but particularly for writers. My Plan B is screenwriting, which I work on in all that "spare" time.

Holli Castillo


I want to thank Sue Ann Jaffarian for stopping by today to be our Book Club Friday guest author. Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who wins a copy of MURDER IN VEIN.

janimar said...

Murder in Vein sounds like a great new series.

jeff7salter said...

Fantastic post by Sue Ann.
I can see why she's a motivational speaker.
Please enter me in the drawing if it's not already too late.

Jeff Sherratt said...

Sue Ann,

Your plans seem to be working. Yesterday at the local B&N I saw MURDER IN VAIN face out in the new mystery section. Love the cover!

Jeff Sherratt

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by to post. This was a very fun discussion. And thank you, Jeff, for letting me know MIV is at B&N already! YAY!

G.M. Malliet said...

Late in dropping by to say congratulations on staying with your dreams, and staying flexible with them!

Unknown said...

Someone said 'life is what happens while you're making other plans', So keep on with plan B. C, or whatever.