Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bunnies Hop and So Do Blogs

Several authors in the blogosphere are posting about their writing process, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I know you’re supposed to tag four other people on your post, but I kind of forgot I was supposed to do that, so I’ll probably have people tagged in the next day or so with some linkage. I don’t follow directions well…

Anyway, thanks to Meredith Daniels for tagging me. Here are my answers to the questions provided. I hope they don’t lead any budding authors down the primrose path of corruption.

*1) What are you working on?’m currently working on a few things, but the main thing is a sequel to Necromancing Nim, from Samhain Publishing. I left our heroes and heroine in a bit of a bind at the end of that book, so I’m trying to get them back out of it. I’m also poking around at a paranormal romantic suspense and a follow-up to Blood on the Ice, my new book coming out in June from Samhain.

*2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

I like to try to subvert tropes I see in other writing. For example, Necromancing Nim has a love triangle with none of that angsting about which man is the “right” one. Nim just goes for both of them. I also like to throw weird stuff together and see what falls out. Blood on the Ice features a professional hockey league where the players are all vampires. The story kicks off with a human NHL player being turned right before the Stanley Cup Finals, and takes him through his journey to get his life back. Mostly I’m just a little off-kilter, and so are most of my books.

*3) Why do you write what you write?

I write what entertains me. Or I write what my best friend tells me to write. One of those. Sometimes both. Mostly, I’m not going to waste my time laboring over a story that I don’t enjoy. This business is too stressful, difficult, and bizarre to make it even harder by forcing yourself to write what’s “in,” or what’s supposedly the next big thing. Unless the “next big thing” really turns your crank—then go for it.

*4) How does your writing process work?

It doesn’t. Well, okay, it does, but just when I think I have a workable process down, I start a new book and end up doing something completely different. In general, I start at the beginning and write until I get to the end. I usually have an outline. I don’t always follow it. My characters often do whatever the hell they want no matter what I have written down that they’re supposed to do. Most of my first drafts are a mix of handwritten and computer written. Sometimes I write on the computer, sometimes on the iPad, most frequently in a notebook with a pen. I’m not one of those people who gets up at the same time every day, sits down in front of the computer or other writing apparatus, and cranks out X number of words in X amount of time. Sometimes I do that. Most of the time I write whenever I can grab the chance, then hope all the pieces fit together when I stick them all in Scrivener.

Next Tagged Authors:


*drum roll*  Marteeka Karland

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cheating on My Own Blog...

I know I haven't posted here in a while. The reason is that I've been posting for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers on the regular, and my blog-fu has been going to them. For those who'd like to drop by and see what I've been up to, here's a list of links to the blog posts I've done so far:

Learning from Television: The Art of Predictability

Mixing It Up--You're Doing It Wrong

Wrapping It Up--Finishing a Series

Feeding the Muse

Making a Big Deal out of It

Gadgets and Spreadsheets and Apps, Oh, My!

Spicing Up Your Stories

I hope you'll drop by and take a look. And I'll try to get a big more news coming on this blog. I have some news regarding an upcoming release, and I'm looking forward to talking about it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Coming Soon, plus New Cover!

Coming soon from Shara Azod, LLC:

Snow: White Tiger Shifters Series

Jayanti is pissed. The last thing she knew, she was cavorting with tigers in Rewa, India. Then suddenly she's abducted and dragged off to a zoo in the US with no safe way to shift back to her human form.

Dr. Logan Carter, DVM, has worked his whole life to try to preserve white tigers. When an apparently wild white tiger arrives at his zoo, he sees hope for a new genetic line to revitalize the animal.

But it's not long before Logan discovers his new tiger isn't what she appears to be. And that's when things really start to get interesting...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New Book on the Way!

Taylor Pyatt. He sat on my casting couch and he liked it.

Today is October first. What does that mean? Opening night for the NHL, of course. It also means I'm going to announce a new book.

I just signed a contract with Samhain Publishing to publish my book Blood on the Ice, a literary look at the importance of... no, that's not right.

It's about vampires who play professional hockey. If you see anything particularly literary in it, please shoot it.

On the eve of the Stanley Cup Finals, Travis Payne of the Chicago Blackhawks intervenes in a vampire attack outside a bar where he and his friends are celebrating. The vampires in question turn on him, and just plain Turn him.

Waking up in the Warm Room of the Cook County morgue, Travis discovers his whole life has been turned upside down. He can never play for the NHL again. Fortunately, there's the VHL--the vampire-only league--and his contract is transferred to the Chicago Cobras.

Marcus Antonius, ex-gladiator, has been a vampire since the days of Julius Caesar. He's also the Cobras' captain. He takes on the job of mentoring Travis, helping him adjust to his new team, his new life, and his shifting views of sexuality (that last one means there's lots of vampire sex...).

I'll be talking more about this book in the future, as we get closer to the release date. It's scheduled for next year, but I don't have a final publication date yet. In the mean time, visit the Pinterest board where I've assembled a lot of my research materials and my "casting couch." I've added some short excerpts so you can have an advance taste of the rest of the novel.

And be sure to tune in tonight to see the Blackhawks decimate the Washington Capitals!! :-D

Monday, September 16, 2013

See You at Colorado Gold! Sneak Peek

I'll be at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold conference this weekend, and I hope to see some of you there! I'll be presenting a workshop on Friday at 5 pm in the Big Thompson room called "In the Middle: Pluses and Minuses of Small-Press Publishing."

I decided to talk about this topic because I've noticed that in a lot of writers' conferences and events I've been to, there's a lot of talk about "Big Six" publishing and a lot of talk about self-publishing but not a lot of talk about all the opportunities that lie between these two options. I've had a good amount of success with smaller presses, and I wanted to discuss this sector for those who might be frustrated with the Big Six and not quite comfortable with the self-pub option. There's a big, bright world out there for you to explore.

If you're going to be at Colorado Gold and are interested in attending the workshop, my handouts are available for download at . (I've been scribbling additional notes on them, though, so you'll miss out on my last-minute brainstorms, numerous asides, dorky goof-ups, and irrelevant stories if you don't attend the workshop.) There'll also be a Twitter hashtag for the session at #rmfwsmallpress so you can follow along whether you're at the conference or not. I hope folks will take advantage of the Twitter option, because I think it's a great idea.

Friday evening starting at 8, I'll be signing books, too, in Ballroom B, so drop by and say hi!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coming on Monday--a New Blogging Series at RMFW

I've taken on a regular blogging gig at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. My first blog will appear on Monday. I'm starting out with a series called "Learning from Television," where I'll yammer about my love for TV and how you can learn important writing skills from your favorite shows. I'll be posting on the fourth Monday of each month, except for November and December when the dates will shift to earlier in the month to accommodate the holidays. I hope you'll drop by and say hi!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beware the Candy

I'm here today to talk about the horrors of addiction. Not to drugs or alcohol or even Nutella--that would be far too serious for this blog. No, I'm talking about the soul-crushing, life-ruining horror that is Candy Crush.

If you've never played Candy Crush--and if you haven't, for the love of God don't start now--it's a member of the Bejeweled family of Horribly Addictive Games where you swap pairs of pieces to create matches of at least three in a row to eliminate those pieces from the board. Four or five in a row will create one-up pieces that explode larger portions of your board. In Candy Crush, the pieces are shaped like--you guessed it--candy. As you progress, the game presents new challenges like weird bottlenecks, portal squares, bits of chocolate that creep across the board like some kind of brown gelatinous ooze, and licorice strings that introduce your bits of candy to the joys of bondage. Cut scenes feature frightening little girls, whales, bunnies, and other creatures that appear to be constructed of cut paper fastened together with brass brads. I don't even want to know what kind of post-apocalyptic world this is, where everything has transformed to permutations of sugar.

I don't know why this type of game is so damn addictive. I went through a thankfully short but intense relationship with Bejeweled a few years ago that I was able to end fairly gracefully after spending hours swapping jewels while watching original series Star Trek. But Candy Crush? Man, I wish I could quit you. Instead I fritter away hours swapping bits of candy that look like Chiclets and Good n Plentys and smacking myself on the head when I accidentally waste one of those cupcake things with the sprinkles. If you do play--and PLEASE don't, I beg you--you'll know you've hit rock bottom when you're up at midnight paging through the app store looking for a game that's similar to Candy Crush that you can play while you're waiting for your allotment of lives to replenish. My not-Candy-Crush game of choice is Jewel Mania.

I've done my time in addiction and recovery with Farmville, Words With Friends, and even Angry Birds. I've justified time spent with these games because often I work out plot tangles while I'm feeding my bunnies or crushing pigs under complex architectural constructions. But Candy Crush is well on its way to becoming my undoing. I can't warn you strongly enough to stay away from it. And if you succumb to the allure of the bright candies--well, that's between you and your god.