Archive for the 'Whatever' Category



Monday, May 16th, 2011
Building a World

So right now I’m building a world. (In my head I’m hearing Let’s build a word! Let’s built it! Let’s build it now! which you won’t understand unless you have a child who watches Word World on PBS Kids.) Ahem. Anyway, right now I’m building a world (and some words too).

This world is new for me, having wrapped up the end of my Dark Magick series with Midnight Enchantment (Jan, 2012). I’m now hard at work on the first book of my new series for Berkley. It’s based in large part on Nordic mythology and I’m breaking my brain (honestly, not the strongest organ of my body anyway) on a whole bunch of books about it.

I’m not creating a who’s who of Nordic myth, though. I’m using it as a foundation. I’m weaving in legend from many countries and then adding my own twist. My “twist” is pretty significant. I’m hoping that my world is much different than others of authors who have also used these traditions to build their worlds.

It will be. Because that’s the really cool thing about minds. They’re all different. We all interpret things differently, “read” texts differently, ect. We all have different filters through which we view our worlds that are created as a result of just about everything that’s happened to us since we were born (well, and our basic genetic makeup) It’s what gives every author her individual voice.

So I’m wrestling with some significant questions like, what kind of religion exists for these people I’ve created? How are laws made and enforced? What are the conflicts between the different types of supernaturals within this world? Lots of questions. So far I only have partial answers for some of them, but it’s amazing how more answers evolve as I write. If I sit there with the questions in front of me, trying to answer them like the essay section of an exam, I can’t do it. But if I put myself in the world, write from inside my character’s heads…it develops. That means a bit of rewriting, of course, but whatever is most effective, right?

Sometimes I wish I could rearrange my real world like that. Just a little rewrite over here…no more homophobia! Gone! Hit the delete key and make a little change over there…ethnic cleansing? *poof* Racism? Goodbye! Famine? Disappear! People putting melamine in baby formula? Never happened! You get the picture.

Aw, it would be nice anyway.

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
Ten Things I’ve Learned About Writing

These are things I’ve learned about writing. They might not be true for everyone. Accept at will.

1. Writers Write to be Read.
I don’t know why, but they do. Most writers don’t write manuscripts and then hide them under their beds or only let their relatives and friends read the book. Writers want to give their words exposure. I’m no exhibitionist…er, actually, let me rephrase…I’m pretty shy and introverted and would never want to be a celebrity or anything, but I want my words read. I want to share my characters and my worlds with others. That’s a strong motivator for me.

2. Write What You Love, Not for Market.
I know it’s a cliche, but it’s true. It’s always one of those things that women writers are told, (along with a condescending pat on the head), more than male writers are told. I do think to some extent a writer should be looking at the market, but within that parameter they should write something they love. I’ve watched writers trudge away at a book in a genre they don’t enjoy, just because they think it will sell. The problem is that their lack of enthusiasm comes out in the writing. That’s going to be a No Go no matter what, eventually.

3. Being Able to Butcher Your Baby Look at Your Writing Objectively is a Good Thing.
I have developed the ability to stand back (well, okay, mostly) and look at my book when it’s done and then say, “Oh! Lookee! That book should begin on page 50! That thar is a false beginning!” and then cut the first 50 pages out with a nary a blink of my eye. (Okay, I might blink, and I definitely wouldn’t use so many exclamation points.) It’s easy to get so attached to your work that you can’t cut text, or delete unnecessary subplots or characters. Eventually you have to learn to do it because sometimes cutting out some of your precious words makes the work stronger.

4. Crit and Be Critted.
Join a crit group or find a good crit partner. Although, caveat…it may take you a few times to find one you fit with. I learned so much by critting and being critted. Not only does it allow you to glean and share crafty-type knowledge and learn from the writerly travesties and triumphs of others, it toughens up your skin. You need to have a few callouses built up before you try and publish, and you *really* need them after you’ve published.

5. Make Friends With Other Writers.
So important. Only another writers know and understand common writerly angst. There is SO MUCH writerly angst. Plus, the sharing of knowledge is good — which houses and editors are acquiring, ect. Joining RWA as an unpubbed writer was one of the best moves I ever made.

6. Develop a Writing Habit.
Set aside time to write no matter what. If the muse isn’t working with you, if the words aren’t flowing, write anyway. Shite can be revised. You can’t wait for inspiration all the time. Sometimes that’s a long wait for a train don’t come, (2 pts for anyone who can name the movie I took that from). Sometimes you have put your ass in the chair and just write. “BICHOK” say the category romance authors — Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard.


7. You Can Always “Deepen” Your Character(s).

I have found I can always go back to a manuscript and find new ways to bring depth to my characters, whether it’s in the characterization or in their overall development. There’s always somehow I can make my characters more “real,” or show the changes they’ve undergone a little better. Always.

8. The Publishing Industry is about Money and Marketability, Not About “Art”.
The publishing industry is not an industry filled with fluffy bunnies. Editors are looking at the bottom line. They’re looking at marketability. That’s how badly written books make the bestseller list and some well written books never see print. It’s just a fact.

9. You Must Put Yourself Out There.
Over and over and over. Initially it’s sending your stuff out to be critted. Then it’s sending your stuff out to be assessed by editors and agents. Finally, it’s with the readers. Every day I throw myself out there, whether it’s socializing on my loop, posting excerpts, or arranging chats. I throw myself out there knowing that sometimes I won’t get responses, my excerpts will be ignored, ect… It’s just something a writer has to do. Throw ourselves out there and know we might be rejected. Over and over and over, and in many different ways.

10. I’m never happy with the finished product.
I’m never happy with my finished work. I can always go back and find flaws and things I’d like to change. I actually try very hard to never read my work after it’s been published because of this. If I must, I do it through my fingers (you know, like how some people watch a horror movie?). I’m extremely critical of my work. I’m probably my own worst critic, in fact.

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
Playlist for Dark Enchantment

Music really helps me when I write. In fact, I think my iPod and iTunes should qualify as a tax deduction. They’re writing tools. (Too bad the IRS doesn’t agree with me.) Anyway, music can help get my head in the game when I’m distracted or not feeling the way I should be emotionally for a scene.

Because of this, every book I write gets a play list. The music I use differs according to book and series. For example, the music I’ll be selecting for my new Brotherhood of the Damned series will be a little bit harder and intense than a lot of the music I used for my Dark Magick series, which tended to be (yes) darker and a tad more mystical sounding.

I use music that complements the tone and pacing of the book I’m writing, so when I’m working on the story, it puts me in the right frame of mind.

Here’s my play list for the book I’m writing currently, Embrace of the Damned:

1.) Seven Sirens and a Silver Tear – Sirenia

2.) Turn the Sky (featuring Apocalyptica) – Angelzoom

3.) Liar – Rollins Band

4.) Cokkha – Apocalyptica

5.) It Can’t Rain All the Time – Jane Siberry

6.) I’m not Jesus (Featuring Corey Taylor) – Apocalyptica

7.) Golgotha Tenement Blues – Machines of Loving Grace

8.) Stop a Bullet – Black Light Burns

9.) Color me Once – Violent Femmes

10.) Uninvited – Alanis Morissette

I thought about finding all these on Youtube and posting the vids here for your listening pleasure, but, frankly, I’m not sure that would be kosher copyright-wise, so I’ll let you look them up on your own if you’re interested in hearing any of them.

Just because I’m always looking for new fodder for my play lists, what music do you listen to or what would you recommend to me? I listen to all kinds of stuff, but I definitely have my favorites. What are a few of your favs? You know, those tracks you play over and over again and never get sick of.

Oh, and speaking of vids, I just finished the book video for Dark Enchantment (April 5th). The music used in all my book vids is purchased from a stock music site. It’s always rough trying to find the right sound to fit the book, especially when my options are limited. I was going for dark, dreamy and intense for this one.

How do you think I did?

1.)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Dark Enchantment releases today!

***SCROLL DOWN FOR THE BOOK OF THE DAY***

Dark Enchantment releases today!! I’m so excited to have you all read the third installment of the Dark Magick series!!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Dear Reader,

The morning after Charlotte Bennett has the most deliciously decadent and erotic dream she’s ever had, she’s dismayed to discover it wasn’t a dream at all. It was a binding spell, laid by Kieran Aimhrea, one of the biggest, baddest Unseelie fae around.

Charlotte is a human who has been raised to hate and fear the fae, and, especially, to never, ever visit Piefferburg, the place where they live. Even so, through the magick of the binding spell, Kieran draws her inexorably across the country to that magickal prison. Charlotte carries the secret of the location of an ancient artifact that can break the wards that imprison the fae and Kieran will risk anything to get it.

And Kieran is risking a lot.

He is the recipient of one of the most unpleasant curses that can be laid—if he ever falls in love, he and his partner will die horribly. The binding spell he’s cast on Charlotte is designed to lure love to his side, which is why he has never used it. But the stakes are high and he figures his heart is far too dark and jaded to love at this point, and Charlotte is hardly love match material anyway. Surely there’s no chance they will succumb…right?

Yet love is a force that can never be planned for or controlled, it simply is. And hearts sometime change, grow wiser, when offered new perspectives from which to see the world.

As it turns out, the love curse is the least of their problems. There are plenty of people who don’t want the fae to be freed from Piefferburg and every last one of them is going to stand in their way.

I hope you enjoy taking this magickal journey with Kieran and Charlotte as much as I enjoyed writing it. These characters have chemistry that sizzles on the page and I really had fun with them.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Special Announcement: Operation Auction

Operation Auction is to benefit Fatin, a friend of the romance community, who was recently widowed due to an awful act of violence. She has children to take care of, so the romance community has pulled together to raise money for her.

Stop on by and take a look. There are some great things to bid on and it’s all for an excellent cause. My agent, Laura Bradford, has a critique up for auction, as does my editor at Berkley, Cindy Hwang.

I have a critique up for bids too–the first three chapters and a synopsis of a paranormal and/or erotic romance.

If you’re an aspiring writer, this is a great time to get feedback you might never have a chance to obtain otherwise! If you’re not interested in critiques, there are baskets of goodies, ARCs up for grabs, conference packages, all kinds of stuff.

Have fun!!!

Saturday, March 26th, 2011
It’s the weekend!!

Please check back on Monday for a new book of the day and to check to see if you’ve won. Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Friday, March 11th, 2011
Auction to Benefit Fatin!

If you’re in the romance community, you probably know Fatin, aka, “mad” or “mad4rombks”. She runs RR@H Novel Thoughts. She is a wonderful woman, has never failed once to contact me before a new release to offer a review or a spot to guest blog. She’s been a wonderful friend.

Sadly, she has recently also been the victim of a tragic act of violence, leaving her widowed with children. You can read about the tragedy here.

We want to do something to help.

This next part is copied from Lauren Dane’s blog:

If you are an editor / agent / author / Or anyone else for that matter and would like to donate something for the auction – such as a critique, mentoring, lunches at RT or RWA, swag, signed books, etc., please contact Lauren Dane with your donation items. Your help is greatly appreciated! Some examples of auction items might be signed books, baskets of fun stuff, critiques, lunches, mentoring, ARCs, pitch help, offers of specialty services like graphics design, etc. The totally awesome Larissa Ione asked readers recently what type of items they’d most like to bid on, so you might find this list helpful.

Monday, March 7th, 2011
Can you help?

I didn’t know Tena McNeely, but her story has really touched my heart. A friend of mine told me about these unhappy circumstances over the weekend and the moment I heard about these cats, I knew I needed to do whatever I could to help them find homes.

Forty nine year old McNeely was beaten to death in her home on January 3rd. She was an animal rescuer, who had taken in a dog and a group of cats that no one else would care for. In times like we’re having right now in this country, with so many pet abandonments, these people are gold. In every news article I’ve read about McNeely, it’s mentioned how much she loved her pets.

As a cat rescuer myself, it’s hard for me to imagine McNeely resting easily, knowing that some of her beloved pets have not yet found homes. They’d probably be euthanized by now, but McNeely’s vet graciously took the animals in, knowing how much McNeely loved them. It’s been two months and ten of those cats still do not have homes.

They were beloved pets once and they deserve to be beloved pets again. The vet who is keeping them is growing desperate to place them.

For more information about these cats, call Dr. Kathy Belcher of East Shelbyville (Kentucky) Animal Clinic at 502-633-2061.

Here are their pictures and names:

Bandit

Pity Poo

Red

Violet

Sassy

Twerp

Little Girl

Furry Murray

Pumpkin Puss

Dottie

If you live in Kentucky or in a neighboring state, or if you know someone who does, will you please consider these beautiful cats? If you can’t take any of them in, maybe you know someone who might? Please pass the story on.

Anything you can do to turn this very sad story around for these cats would be appreciated. They lost all the love in their lives because of a cruel and brutal act and are now at the whim of harsh reality. They need your help.

If one of you does adopt one of these cats, let me know. I’ll send you a happy kitty adoption gift. Even better, you will have a wonderful new friend who will return all the love you give with interest.