Sunday, October 4, 2015

Aiden's book is out!

Hard to believe it is October already! The Mating Challenge was released on Thursday and my computer took a nose dive. Thankfully, it seems to be working ok now, because we got a new monitor. And that's a good thing because I am plunging ahead with The Mating Season, Tristan's book. Lovestruck, the prequel to Xavier's book, is being edited as I write this.

I made goal, actually, I exceeded my goal last weekend. Instead of getting to 25,000 words on Tristan's story, I reached 28,000! And then I hit a roadblock... not just the day job and working long hours there, but I fell ill and then the computer got sick, too. Such is the life of an author...

I'm hoping to finish Tristan's book by month's end, because I have to really crack down to write the new Navy SEAL book for HQ that is due in January.

Balance, balance, I keep telling myself. The cleaning lady told me today that "You work too hard. You always working!"

And I told her, "I have bills to pay, lol."

Truth is, I love to write. It's not work, as much as it is fun. But the other side of being an author is work...the promotional stuff, paying the vendors, formatting, publishing, etc.

Writing is fun. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth and frustrating, like today when the computer went dark. But it's wonderful to create a world where I can indulge my imagination, and provide readers an escape from the gloom and doom of the world.

And speaking of writing, it's BACK TO WORK!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Working hard...

Aiden's book comes out next week, Oct. 1. I can't believe the release date is upon me. In the meantime, I'm writing, writing, writing. I'm focused on Tristan's story, The Mating Season, and determined to make a huge dent in that book before I have to yank my attention to the Harlequin, due in January.

I decided, with two big projects I must tackle by year's end, that I need a road map so I wrote a synopsis for Tristan's story. It really helps to have one, so I can ID the conflict, both the external and internal. Writing a synopsis is required for all my HQ books, and it's a very useful tool for my indie books as well.

I'm hoping to reach 25,000 words by Sunday on Tristan's book. A very lofty goal and I will probably not meet it since I need to have a life, too. But we'll see!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Creative writing

Last weekend DH and I went away for a much-needed mini break. We headed to the west coast of Florida, where we always go when we need a weekend away. The beach is quiet, wide and lovely for walking. Our hotel sits on the beach and if we are able to snag a room with an oceanfront view, we can sit on the balcony and take in the briny air and listen to the seagulls.

I've written a couple of stories at this hotel, inspired by the setting. When I get away for a few days, I leave behind the responsibilities and distractions of everyday life, such as dogs, laundry, the business, the day job, and whether or not I should clean the house.

While driving over there, I got inspired and took out my alpha smart and began to write. I had an idea for a short story. I fell in love with this story as I wrote on and off all weekend. A writer's imagination never stops. Friends ask, "Where DO you get your ideas?"

It's easy for me. In this short story, which I am calling "Lovestruck," I had a scene for Xavier, the Crystal Wizard, and the heroine, Ciara, as I sat on the beach in the shade, writing on the alpha smart. I could "see" Xavier in his beach chair, glowering as the cute cougar shifter flirts with Ciara. Xavier set up the meeting, but secretly, he wants Ciara for himself.

Even when we ended our trip with a visit to the flea market, I had an idea. I could "see" Ciara standing at a market stall, selling her artwork. And she has a painting of Xavier, and she misses him oh-so-badly. There was a grizzled biker with a bright orange shirt passing us by as DH and I ate hot dogs, and he went into the story.

Beware. You never known when you will inspire an author!

I had so much fun writing Lovestruck, and freeing my imagination. The story still needs fine tuning. I had to set it aside and focus on edits for another story this week. Edits are another kind of beast. You have to switch from your right brain creativity to your left brain, and that's always challenging for me.

But I slogged through and I'm proud to say that I finished edits last night. The book is "almost" ready to go to the proofreader. And when I am finished, I will reward myself later this week, when I am off from the day job, by returning to Xavier's story and finishing it.

Making a living from writing is hard work. You have to promote yourself all the time and you are only as good as your last book. But it is fun, especially when I get to create entire new worlds where love is the answer, and magick rules.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Creating a world

One of the fun things about writing paranormals is creating the world. I'm now tinkering with the deeper world of the wizards of the Werewolves of Montana. For example, in Tristan's book, in order to get his love to Tir Na-nog, where he lives, he must take her through the Shadow Lands.

What are the Shadow Lands?

The Shadow Lands exist in a murky world that is like a purgatory or a parallel universe. OtherWorlders who have died and committed some kind of offense, or they aren't ready to go to Tir Na-nog live there. They can redeem themselves and be reincarnated, usually by doing some kind of brave task. 

Drust, the dragon shifter who was Sebastian's great-grandfather, who committed a grave offense against Tristan, was banished to the Shadow Lands. Tristan will run into him when he takes his love there. The Shadow Lands hold all sorts of wonders, and perils. There are Fae who will charm you, and kill you. The Shadow Lands are like a glittering Fairy world combined with the perils of the fire swamp from Princess Bride.

Then there are the Dark Lands. This is the universe created for those who have committed the gravest of offenses. There is little way of escaping the Dark Lands, only if an Other makes a true and noble and selfless sacrifice. The Dark Lands are for those who kill for power and greed, and those who harm children, etc. 

The wizards, who are all immortal, can choose other ways to punish and imprison Others who have committed offenses. Xavier, the Crystal Wizard, had a special prison constructed for Changeling Gnomes (Obsession, Mating Mini #2). 

The wizards themselves have immense power, but they are vulnerable as well. They can travel back in time, but they are restricted from sharing their powers or their immortality. There is a way they can share their immortality, as you will see in Tristan's book, but they must be very judicious about it. In Temptation, a dragon story, the four wizards make a potion to aid Tristan in his quest to bring his love to Tir Na-nog. 

It's fun to create new worlds. And even more fun to write the characters who inhabit them! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Changing writing tactics

This weekend we went away for my husband's birthday to a quiet beach on the west coast. Three glorious days away, free from stress, despite the ominous hurricane/tropical storm brewing down south.

As DH drove, I got an idea. And I started writing on my alpha smart a short story about Xavier, the Crystal Wizard in my Werewolves of Montana series.

I love my alpha smart. It's terrific for traveling because I press a button and can create. And as I wrote, I realized my muse needed this vacation as well. It's been a long, long time since I wrote for "fun" and something that just came to me as an idea.

All weekend, in between walking on the beach, dining out, having fun, I wrote. I did what I call my roller coaster writing. I write bits and pieces of scenes as they come to me, and later, flesh them out.

The short story is not complete, but almost. In all, I wrote 12,000 words in three days. 12, 000 words!

It was proof that my style of writing works for me. It may not work for everyone.

It's a good story and different, told only in the POV of the Crystal Wizard.

Best, I had MORE ideas for the full stories for these four guys... and how to end Tristan's story, which I'm also writing.

Then, as we drove back from the west coast, I had another idea. I didn't want to stop with the short story. I started to write the beginning of Xavier's book. The short story flows into it.

I realized I hit upon a new self-publishing technique, at least for me. Write the short story and then later, the full book and blend them together so they flow into each other.

I feel very victorious with my writing. I wrote a total of 14,000 words this weekend.

Tomorrow, it's back to the day job and then the daily duties of being an author. But it was so much fun to let my imagination soar, and write what I wanted to write, for the sake of being creative!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Waiting, writing, waiting

I changed my writing tactics. I put Mating Challenge up for pre-order on Amazon this week, and because it is a long wait time for readers who have already waited so long for this book, I decided to expand a short story I wrote, and release that in the next two weeks.

The short story is entitled Waiting. I did make goal and expanded it from 5,000 words to 11,000. This gives a better insight into Nikita, and Tristan, and their backstory. Now it needs proofreading and then formatting. And a cover.

I also started working on Tristan's book again, and made progress. I'll be working on this book along with the new HQ book. But I discovered today that my new editor is leaving. Le sigh.

Trying to juggle projects, along with home chores, like laundry and getting the house ready for a birthday party tomorrow, is a challenge in itself. I honestly don't know how I did everything when I worked FT. Oh wait. I did not write as many books.

But I do feel more confident about the books I am releasing. I really like Waiting, and love Mating Challenge, and hopefully readers will as well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hoping for a productive week

This weekend was not quite as productive as I'd hoped. Waylaid with a wicked sinus migraine that lingered for four days, plus the stress of a friend's mom's funeral, and some other things, writing was not a priority.

I worked on edits for The Mating Challenge. Still not happy with that book. It needs tinkering. 

But this morning as I got ready for the day job, I had an epiphany about Submission, the next dragon story. I'm writing this one for fun, to renergize my creative muse. I wrote down my ideas in a notebook, which I carry with me at all times. It helps when I get sudden bursts of inspiration.

And then at the day job it was, deep breath, you can do this. 

When I start a story, I need to visualize the characters first before I dive into the plot. Plotting is one of my weak points. But I love sketching out characters. I had the perfect scene for Justin, and to make him a soft "bad boy." A dragon with a wicked rep and a heart of gold. 

Kate's going to be harder. I have to find a way of balancing her troubles without making her weak or too aggressive. Then again, it's all a learning experience with new characters when I start a book!