Category Archives: Undesirable

Pew, Mind Blown, a #MondayBlogs

What happened to me blogging every Monday? Where’s the love? Where’s the romance?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Deadlines. Deadlines are what happened. It’s tough to publish a book every two months even if those books are more novella than a novel. What hasn’t been a book signing, a family reunion of some sort, or a ball game (I brake for the Toronto Blue Jays,) has been me with my butt in the chair and writing. It’s rather grueling to write historical romance and goes something like this:

Patrick gave his horse to the stable hand at Fort Leaven…..wait. What did they do with horses at Leavenworth in 1866? Google, horses at fort leavenworth1866. Nothing. Okay, assume there are stables… Fort Leavenworth. Grabbing his saddlebags…no, would he have saddlebags? Google, army officer saddlebags? Crap. Army officer saddlebags 1866. Eh, no. Again, we punt and assume there are saddlebags. Where was I? Oh, right, Grabbing his saddlebags, he went to the…..crap. They’re not BLQ (bachelor living quarters) or were they? Google, history of army blq. Okay, not an answer.

See? Okay, so this is the hard way. The easy way would be to read all the research first, then write. Maybe. I’ve been to Fort Leavenworth, Fort Larned, and Fort Dodge many times but there’s only so much that’s been carried forward from history. The land has been cultivated and modified into something the early trail riders wouldn’t recognize.

So yeah, when you add the historical accuracy to the spelling and grammar, writing well and engaging the reader, making an ongoing hook to keep the story flowing and interesting, and managing interruptions of all kinds that pull you out of the world you’re writing? It takes time.

I do have two other topics in this makeup post. Romance: My husband has been a darling this past week. We were out getting out the votes for the midterms when I tripped on a dodgy sidewalk. I’m an expert at stumbling and catching myself but when the second foot comes forward to hit the same thing my first foot caught? Boom. I literally landed on my face. My husband ran and brought our vehicle to me, brought every bandage from the drugstore along with ointments, aspirins, and wine when needed. I’m fine, and the injury looks far worse than it hurts. I suppose if I had to be housebound with a black eye, a deadline week was the best time to happen.

Second topic? A writing tip. Okay, when I hit submit to Santa Fe Woman on Friday, I was free at last. Free to play computer games, go shopping (my eye and face looked a lot better by then), and even better? Read! I had a new story in a genre I LOVE but don’t write in to read. Yay!

I already have an author who I worship in that particular genre and made grabby hands for the new author in the same genre. They are worship author equals author A, and new author equals author B. Okay, B was good. I read her first book in the series and loved the world, the couple, thought the sex happened a little too soon after traumatic events, but I’ve been married 24 almost 25 years. My perspective is different. Author A tends to wait longer for her naughty stuff even if the attraction is instant between the couple.

Still, I did love author B and will, of course, read more. But it got me thinking about something. Why will I read the grocery list of A as soon as she writes or types it and I don’t mind waiting when B does the same? Why the hero worship of one and not the other when most things about their work are the same with the same elements?

I was laying in bed thinking about this before going to sleep when it hit me. Emotional events and the point of view. Boom. I’m going to make up the events, so they’re fiction, but here goes. Let’s say, and I’m going to use situations NOT in these authors’ genres, that a train’s boiler explodes when our hero is nearby and hurt. The heroine comes up on the scene and begins to help him with his near-fatal wounds.

Author A would have the hero’s point of view during the explosion. We would feel his fear, surprise, and pain during the event. Then, when the heroine arrives, we’d switch to her point of view to feel her fear, surprise, and empathy for the hero’s injuries. All the feels.

Author B happened to do the opposite, and I bet I’ve done this in my books, too. She wrote the explosion in the heroine’s point of view when she arrived. Then, in a bit of a tell, not show, we got the hero’s point of view during the heroine is caring for him scene. So we missed out on the initial shock from him of the explosion, and we missed the fear for the hero’s life from the heroine. We do feel, but superficially.

I’ve always known point of view matters. The same story told by different characters ends up being vastly different. I use this in the last half of Undesirable and the first third of Uncivilized. Undesirable is through Sam and Marie’s point of view. Uncivilized is the exact same events, conversations, everything, but through Del and Ellen’s eyes. Words in the conversations are identical, but the feelings surrounding them are vastly different. Making sure the dialogue perfectly matched was tough but I had a blast with writing those books because of the point of view shift.

So there you have it! Part of what I did on my summer vacation! By the time you’re reading this, I’m getting ready to or on my way to Florida for a conference. I plan on learning more and meeting people I’m in awe of while there. The husband and I are crossing off Cape Canaveral from our bucket list. Should be fun!

Comment below with any concern, questions, or even random thoughts.

Summer Vacation, Part 1 for #MondayBlogs

This year, I’m having three summer vacations. Yep, three. Am I lucky? Heck yeah! I’m also paying for it and working hard to earn them.

The first one and subject of this post was in Dallas for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention last May. I’d toyed with not going because money. The ROI (return on investment) isn’t there. I ended up giving away more books than selling, which I expected. I want readers who enjoy my work and if that means give to get, I’m ok with that a hundred percent.

Gosh, the workshops? Wonderful. Pushing myself to ignore the shy and meet authors I’d admired? Fantastic. Ava Branson deserves all the credit for me saying hi to so many people this year.

What was even better was I learned so much about being a better writer and getting my work out there. No one can follow exactly in an indie author’s footsteps but I can go in the same direction and find my own way. Isn’t that really true of everything in life?

Icing on the cake of work-I-love vacation? Seeing a beloved aunt and uncle, seeing the Red River full (too full!) of water, getting to decorate my parents graves (they’re nine hours south of my home), birthday cake ice cream from Braum’s (none near my home), mini champagne bottles at the events, new friends, and giving out swag like a big shot.

Not so fun things I missed? Being too self-conscious to ask my cousins to interrupt their weekdays or Saturday for a visit just from me. Their kids and grandkids are super active and I didn’t want to intrude. A champagne event that I was on time for but missed because of a meeting. Business first, champy and choccies later.

Pluses bigger than the minuses, right? I had an awesome time and am already looking forward to RT16 in Vegas. Even more friends will be there and we’ll get to be a gang! I really can’t wait.

Bonus for readers?

People who went to RT15 and saw my swag table already know this, but you don’t! I have Smashwords 50% off coupon codes for the Manly Series and for the current Oregon Trail novel, Undeniable.

The Very Best Man’s code is AP26W and The Very Worst Man’s code is NJ54V.

For Undeniable and Undesirable? Undeniable is free from today until June 20, 2015 everywhere, while Undesirable is $0.99 at the same time and places. It makes Undesirable’s 50% off coupon code of La32N redundant until June 21, 2015.

Coupon codes expire May 31, 2016, feel free to share.

THE Secret to Hitting 50K Words for NaNoWriMo. #MondayBlogs

If you’re a writer, chances are you’ve heard of the National Novel Writing Month.  Every November, writers of all kinds begin typing or scribbling the Great American Novel.  Only this is worldwide and not necessarily American.  No matter, many will begin and many will finish the 50,000 words.  You’ve won when you have 50K verifiable words.  There are no rules about which words are used in a winning document, that’s up to you.

Enough of that.  What exactly is the secret to winning?  Having won NaNoWriMo three times, the secret is Planning.

That’s it.  Planning.  Plan what?  I have the answer to that, too.

1. Plan on this being a team effort. Let the people who live with you in on this endeavor.  If you live in a supportive environment, this may be all you need to do.  If they’re the sabotage type, maybe don’t tell them.  Plan on it being an anti-team effort.  Letting others know what is going on will help explain it when things slide due to you working on your word count for the day.

2.Plan ahead on errands and appointments. You’re going to have things in November that will take you away from writing.  This will be true if you have 8 minutes a day or 8 hours a day to write.  Be aware of days where you can’t get in enough words to goal so you’re prepared and not pressured.

3.  Plan your daily word count.  With 50K divided by 30, you’ll need to write 1,666 words a day minimum.  If you’ve done step two, you’ll know what days will need 1,666 and which will need double that.  In my three times of winning, I didn’t have a laptop.  Plus, every Thanksgiving meant at least 35 hours of driving in that four day weekend.  I wrote longhand what I could in the first year.  The next two?  I adjusted my word count so I was done with NaNoWriMo by Thanksgiving weekend.

4. Plan your Plot.  Start now.  Don’t wait until November 1st to think about your story.  No, you can’t write a word until that day, but you can research, invent, and plot out the novel.  Are you a die-hard pantser?  You can still plot and pants.  Just know your beginning, know your end and have some idea of the middle.  Then pants to your heart’s content.  Have an extensive backstory and world to create?  Do it now.  When November arrives, you’ll be ready to write, not research or wonder what genre to pick.

5.  Plan to ignore your prior day’s work.  I’d read the last page of my work, maybe let myself edit it, and used that page to get into the flow for writing the next page or hopefully several.  When you’re done writing, you’re done.  No going back over to edit.  If you have the time to edit, you have the time to write. If you have the time to write, then write and get ahead of your goal. Why?  Because no matter how well you plan ahead, things will happen. You’ll get behind or be close to doing so.  Edit to your heart’s content when the clock strikes 12:00am December 1st.  Write until then.

Fun fact?  All three of my Oregon Trail novels were NaNoWriMo winners.  I started Undeniable in 2008 and when the hero’s brother kept taking over, I ‘promised’ the next NaNo book to him.  Undesirable in 2009 is his story and wouldn’t you know?  Another secondary character wouldn’t stay secondary, so I promised him his own story in 2011.  I’m still writing on it, Uncivilized.  These all started life as a 50K novel and needed another 50K each for the story.  Want to know more about them?  Click the above tab “The Oregon Trail Series” to see.

#MondayBlogs Post and You Want Me To What??

Howdy #Mondayblogs fans!

 

My book, Undesirable, hit Amazon on the 14th.  Since then no less than four people have asked me what’s next.  Sure, I know what’s next on my plate, but it might be a while.

Secretly?  I like the impatience and curiosity of my friends and family.  It means they like what I do well enough to want more.  That’s never a bad thing and I’m thrilled.  So while I’m writing a prequel to my Oregon Trail series, get started reading Undesirable or maybe Undeniable first if you’ve not read it yet. Out of order is fine, too, and you won’t be lost, it’s just not what I’d prefer.  Meanwhile, I’ll be planning arguments, fights, and love at first sight.  When that’s done and I get to type the last line, my next task is to paint another cover for Unavoidable, the Oregon Trail series prequel.

After that, there’s a lot more down the road. The last book in the series, The Very Worst Man, three more American West novels, some paranormal romances, and some science fiction.  There’s be mysteries, romance, and all sorts of plot twists in these.  I’m so excited at the projects hovering on my horizon and hope my readers are, too!

It’s out!

My new book, Undesirable, has finally hit Amazon!  It’s out for Kindle and will soon be available in paperback.  All my good words went into the novel, I’m finding, and writing anything else right now is tough!

Anyway!  Back to the fun!  You can click on over, read the description for yourself and download a sample.  Here on the blog is where I can tell you this is the least explicit of my novels so far and I did NOT plan it that way.  There’s a cutting room floor of sorts, aka, Undesirable’s Leftovers.doc.  I’d planned on the book being a lot steamier.  All the love scenes my characters weren’t feeling went in there.  Yes, I’m ordered around by the characters and the story.  Yes, I did try just putting in the sex no matter what.  I just couldn’t do it and stay true to the book.  Sexual tension in it is off the charts, though.  I re-read the first kiss scene and got goosebumps!  I know, it’s kind of like laughing at your own jokes, but still.  If I can imagine, write, review and still go ‘oo!’?  It’s good.  Bottom line is I write the romances and other stories I want to read but can’t find.  Undesirable is one of them.  Click the image to visit it at Amazon.

Undesirable, available July 14th!

Undesirable, available July 14th!

 

Book Release date set!

Available on Amazon July 14th, everywhere else October 13th.  

Want an email the second it hits the store?  Sign up for the newsletter, the link is on the right side. No spam, not now not ever.  Scroll down for more content. 

Undesirable, available July 14th!

Undesirable, available July 14th!

It’s been a long time since Lucky’s Christmas Wish dropped into stores and I’ve forgotten how much fun this is!  I’ve also forgotten what all I need to do to get the word out about this book.  I’m a new enough author that I can’t get, or rather haven’t dared to get, the pre order option.  So I feel odd about advertising before the product is out there for purchase.  At any rate, I’ll probably make time on this blog each day for a post.  Today is nervous excitement, tomorrow may be the value of a good editor.  Who knows?  I’ll be posting things I’ve learned each day before the book drops, so that if nothing else, when Uncivilized is ready to go, I can come back.

In the meantime, and if this sounds disjointed, it’s because my mind is still back in Oregon Territory, August 1858.  There’s a rescue to choreograph, a death to mastermind, and maybe a gratuitous sex scene to write.  

 

This is not the MondayBlog you are looking for.

Yes, I had plans for this post.  Maybe.  Sort of.

Ok, I’ll ‘fess up.  I’ve been so focused on Undesirable, wanting to finish the last chapter and a half already.  Some authors experience grief when typing ‘The End’ to their books.  Not me.  When this is done, I’m moving on to Uncivilized, which has its bare bones typed in already.  Even after that, there’s the Santa Fe Trail, Orphan Trains, and either the Pony Express or the Mormon Trail.

Then too, I may take it in a totally different direction and go all science fiction on everyone.  I know, logically, that I’ll be more likely to see superstar success if I stick to and build up one genre of my work.  Emotionally and as a reader, I never read just one genre.  How can I write only one?

So my question is, if anyone chooses to answer, are you a laser focused reader or writer?  Or are you more of a shotgun, reading or writing everything and anything?  Answer in the comments and don’t be shy!