Creativity,  Finishing Strong,  Guest Post,  Inspirational Books,  The Writing Life

Finishing Strong With Robin Patchen

Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

I’m pleased to welcome Robin Patchen to this month’s Finishing Strong. Robin is not only a romantic suspense author but the owner of Robin’s Red Pen. So if you need a freelance editor, I can tell you from experience that she’s a joy to work with. Welcome, Robin!

Planning Well Leads to Finishing Strong

I’m not one of those people with a million ideas floating around in my head at the same time. I usually just have one decent idea at a time—and I’m glad to have it.

When I start a series, I don’t even know who all the books are going to be about. I usually only know how many books I intend to write and what genre they will be.

For instance, with the Hidden Truth series, I had the idea for the first book, Convenient Lies. I plotted that book and started writing it, and when I introduced Samantha, Rae’s best friend, I knew she would eventually have her own book. But the deeper I got into Rae’s story, the more I knew book two had to be about Nate. I’d put him through such horror in book one, I figured he deserved it. As I finished writing Convenient Lies, in the back of my mind, I was already plotting Nate and Marisa’s story. Halfway through writing Twisted Lies, I was planning Sam’s story. By the end of Generous Lies, I knew poor Eric had been left out long enough. He and Kelsey became the protagonists for Innocent Lies. So, I’m generally thinking and planning only one book ahead.

All that planning fell apart as I started writing Beauty in Flight. It was intended to be book one in a four-book series that takes place in the fictional town of Nutfield, New Hampshire (where the Hidden Truth books take place.) Unfortunately, Harper’s story got completely out of control. It became far too long, and there were three distinct parts that didn’t flow well together. I reached a point when I realized there was no way I could tell her story in one normal-length novel. I stalled out, and the book sat and sat while I agonized over what I should do away with.

Finally, I decided that I would write the story as three books, and with that plan in mind, I was able to finish them up. For me, when a plan stalls, I do, too. It’s not a pretty picture. But when a plan (even if it’s a new plan) comes together, it’s a beautiful thing. I’m thrilled with the three books that make up the Beauty in Flight series.

I think some writers would have moved on to a different project all together. Maybe that would have been wise. I’m a bit stubborn, honestly, so when I decide I’m going to write something, I stick with it until it’s written. And in this case, I couldn’t leave Harper and Jack’s story unfinished. I rarely know exactly how a story is going to end when I start it, and I wanted to know what was going to happen!

The moral to the story for me is that I have to plan my projects well, or I’ll cause myself lots of grief.


About Robin’s latest release, Beauty in Hiding, book 2 in the Beauty in Flight series:

Harper’s second chance at life will become a second stint in prison if anyone connects her to those two dead men. 

Nutfield, New Hampshire, is as good a place as any to hide from the murderer Harper left behind in Maryland. All she has to do is lie low and make enough money to keep herself and Red alive until she can figure out who her enemies are. 

Jack Rossi is mystified by his beautiful new tenant and her confused grandfather. Something’s not right, but the love he sees between them and the care she takes of the old man convinces Jack they’re trustworthy. As drawn as he is to Harper, she’s his tenant, so she’s off limits.

Derrick, Harper’s ex-boyfriend and Red’s grandson, needs to find his grandfather and get his hands on the old man’s money before Derrick ends up with a bullet in the skull. And when he locates Harper, she’ll be sorry for what she’s put him through.  

Harper and Jack grow closer, but so do her enemies. If the truth comes out, she may lose her freedom—or her life.

Don’t miss Beauty in Hiding, Book 2 in the Beauty in Flight series.

Beauty in Hiding links:
Amazon Series Page:


Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Download a free copy of Convenient Lies, book 1 in the Hidden Truth series, when you visit Robin’s website,

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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