Archive for September, 2010

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
It’s Here!!!

That’s right, BLOOD LITE 2 is officially out. I went by Barnes and Noble to pick me up a copy (I haven’t gotten my author copies yet.). I’m so excited to see this book in print. It’s a big step for me. I am now officially published in a genre other than romance. Woo Hoo!!!

To celebrate, I will be giving away ONE copy of BLOOD LITE 2. Leave a comment if you’d like to toss your name in the hat. I’ll draw the winner when I return from the Novelist Inc. conference on October 11th. 🙂 Good luck!

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Jennifer Rardin

I found out last night that Jennifer Rardin died suddenly on Monday, September 20th. I don’t know what happened–she was quite young, but I do know that I will miss her wit. I loved her Jaz Parks’ books. They always made me laugh. As readers we are very lucky that she was able to finish up the series before her passing. I can only imagine what she would’ve come up with given more time. 🙁

May she rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Getting Ready For The Next Hill

While I was away I set my brain to work on the problems I was having with my YA Fantasy. The story has had me locked up creatively for months. And yes, I’ve tried to work on other projects, but couldn’t stay focused. Much like Paperback Writer, I’ve experienced a myriad of highs and lows. It’s not been fun. Getting out of the country helped a lot. If for nothing else to distract me. I didn’t have to hear daily how the publishing industry is falling apart. Instead, I listened to a recording by Michael Hague and Chris Vogler repeatedly. They were discussing how to deepen characterization and in turn the story. It wasn’t until I returned and the jet-lag began to fade that I realized what’s been missing from my YA. It was something so very obvious, yet I couldn’t see it. I think my face left permanent imprints on the glass it was pressed so close to it. Michael Hague and Chris Vogler had been repeating the information, but I wasn’t listening…until now. I’ve written 170 pages of the YA and will probably have to throw out 80% of it because the focus of the story has shifted. And that’s okay. I believe the changes that will come from fixing the missing elements will make the story stronger, better. The changes could be the difference between selling and not selling, but to be honest, I’m not worried about that now. I’d just like to finish the story to prove to myself that I can write in this genre.

This story started out as a straightforward YA fantasy romance. Through brainstorming, the plot deepened, becoming more complicated. I got feedback telling me that I needed to add more romance. That’s when things started to fall apart. (Do you think it’s a sign?) I tried so very hard to shoehorn this size nine story into that uncomfortable size five shoe. No matter what I did the story always seemed ‘off’ to me. I realized that while there will be romantic elements in this book that’s not what the story is about. Losing track of the true story you are trying to tell is one of the biggest time wasters for an author. It’s my fault. I never got the story straight in my head after all the changes were made. (I’m the type of writer who can’t write unless I have the story fairly straight in my head, especially the beginning and the ending. I knew that. And yet, I ignored it and surged ahead…straight into a wall of thick glass.) It’s been a hard lesson, but given what’s been going on in the industry, one I’d rather learn now when I don’t have a deadline.

I’ve started work on the new website. I’ll post the link to it here when it’s finished, but I won’t be posting links back to this site. I want them to remain separate. The new site is not for romance, not even paranormal romance. It will be for Urban Fantasy, YA, Horror, and experimentation. So it you aren’t into those genres or free-thinking exercises, then you should probably stick with reading this site. 🙂

Friday, September 17th, 2010
Pretty Cool

I caught this from a Google Alert. I thought THIS was pretty cool. I believe this is a myspace entry for the model from my Dead World series. Love the pictures that Chris took. Wish a few of them would’ve ended up as my covers. She doesn’t like the bare-chested guy on the Red cover. Funny, neither did I. LOL!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
Blood Lite 2

I’m really proud of my contribution to this anthology. Tastes Like Chicken comes out September 28th. Just in time for Halloween. Bwa ha ha!!!

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
It’s Been Such A Long Time

As you can see, I’m back from my extended trip abroad. It was great to get out of the desert for part of the summer. I’m currently planning a way to do that EVERY year. I’m still quite jet-lagged, so do forgive the rambles. The cruise over to Hamburg from New York on the Queen Mary 2 was fabulous. The captain of the ship said he’s never in his thirty years of sailing seen the North Atlantic look that calm. We had days of utter glass. It was beautiful. The QM2 definitely lives up to her reputation. She’s a grand lady. The food was wonderful and so were the numerous lectures and balls. Dh and I quickly figured out that we need to take formal dance lessons. An hour lesson does not a ‘waltzer’ make. LOL! The ship was greeted with little fanfare when we arrived in Southampton, England to let passengers off and refuel, but Hamburg, Germany came out in droves. Even the rain couldn’t keep the crowds away. The Germans really love the Queen Mary 2. It was cool to see. We drove a few hours to my SIL’s house. Unfortunately, I came down with a head cold. It was the first one I’ve had in a year or so. Bummer timing, but it didn’t slow us down. We explored the nearby towns and went bowling with our niece and nephew. Lots of fun. We even managed to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in ten years. It was truly a fabulous time. We miss everyone already.

We left Germany via train for Paris. The ride took us through Belgium. I had no idea the country was so pretty (and ‘hilly’-at least in the section I saw). Paris was as beautiful as the last time we saw her. It was nice to see all the trees in bloom. The parks were full of sunbathing locals and plenty of tourists (like me) taking dozens of photographs. Unfortunately, Paris was also full of women claiming to be from Bosnia needing assistance for their families back home. At first I felt really bad for them, then I realized they weren’t targeting all the tourists–only the english speaking ones. I also saw the employees of a Starbucks run them out of their place of business. I realized fairly quickly these weren’t truly people ‘in need’. They were scammers who’d come in to work the ‘summer crowd’. And they weren’t the only ones working scams. There was a few men who would throw down a ring and pretend you dropped it. Even when you told them no, they’d insist that you ‘keep the valuable ring’, then ever so calmly ask for a ‘donation’ for the ring. It was an interesting scam. I fell for it, but I only gave him what the ring was worth…about three bucks. *ggg* I took the ring, which I later realized probably wasn’t part of his scam, but it worked for me. 😉 Fortunately, we managed to have one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life at Guy Savoy, so the trip to Paris didn’t leave a bad taste in our mouths. It did however change our minds about renting/buying a flat there to escape the desert summers. I think I prefer Paris in the fall and winter. Much quieter. 🙂

From Paris we flew to Scotland. I know I’m biased, but Scotland never sucks, even when it’s raining (which is most of the time). *G* We managed to take a trip to the Isle of Skye. The weather was remarkable. Sunshine, blue skies, clear water, and warm weather. In other words, perfect. And it was like that the entire time we were in Scotland. Dh and I are convinced we bring the sunshine with us. 😉 We didn’t manage to catch up with friends, but we did have a nice visit with family and got the chance to explore a few castles. (Can never get enough of that.) We had a wonderful time.

Our last stop was to London. Like Scotland, the weather in London was wonderful. They had the occasional shower, but it ended quickly and the sun came back out to kiss the seventy-two degree air. Really didn’t want to leave that weather once we found out what was waiting for us at home. Since we only had a few days in London, dh and I played tourist. We went to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and did a tour of the palace, which sounds a little cheesy, but turned out to be fabulous. You actually got to go through a lot of the formal reception rooms and see where the Queen knights people. The tour also included the stables. I love horses so that was a high point for me. 😀 London was wonderful, even though it turned into a bit of whirlwind.

We are back home now. Tired, but finally unpacked. YAY! It’s time to buckle down and get a lot of work done before the Novelist Inc. conference next month. (No, I’m not looking forward to packing again, but clothes are required. *ggg*) Came to a lot of conclusions while I was away. Made a few observations. I’ll get into them later. For now, I’ll sign off. Hope you’ve had a stimulating summer, too. Ciao!