Tag Archives: Fiction writing

Merry Christmas and happy #MondayBlogs!

There’s going to be so much in this post! Grab something to drink and get comfy because this’ll be fun.

First off, happy holidays! No more Christmas music! Yay!

Whaddya mean you're glad it's over?

Whaddya mean you’re glad it’s over?

I know. I’m one of those people who dread the music every year. I do try to like it, but nope. I’ll let others enjoy the tunes. Even better than the lack of Jingle Bells sung a million different ways? Free trash pick up! That may be for only our city, but it’s wonderful and I love it. Trash men are magicians, no kidding.

My writing is my life, but my publishing is my business and I have goals for 2018. Readers will be happy to know I’m expanding a beloved series and adding more to a currently in progress series. If I stick to plan, I’ll have at least eight novels and three short stories drop in the next year. They’re all plotted and waiting for me to write them. Along with all the writing, I’ll be creating  another spin off series and maybe launching it late in 2018. Everything depends on God not laughing as I plan.

Meanwhile, 2018 will find me upping the romance in my life and hopefully in your life, too. I’ll be researching and posting practical action items we all can take to help add love and romance to our day. I don’t intend for my posts being all for married people. I want to help singles find their best match possible or how to enjoy being on their own.

I hope you either join or continue on this vastly fun journey with me in 2018. Click subscribe or follow me on the various social media outlets I play on right now.

 

#MondayBlogs and Spring Fever!

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Our weather in the Midwest US has been so lovely this week! I’ve struggled to stay inside and work but gave up on everything last Saturday. My husband and I spent the day running around town. I even took off a lot of Sunday. I’ve not taken off that much time in a row for weeks.

I needed the break. After going over The Very Best Man for its rerelease, Surplus, the fourth book in the Nova Scotia Murder Mysteries needed me. I’m almost done with chapter three and while that doesn’t sound like enough, there are only twelve chapters plotted. My only hang up is the murder is a stabbing, exactly what happened in Pleasures. Does it bother anyone else when a murder mystery series has too many of the same kind of deaths? Appearances is going to have a unique murder, Rage is a bit predictable but not a stabbing, and Honeymoon? I don’t know how I’m killing that random character.

Creepy, isn’t it? Such fun, though! Being a writer is the best job I’ve ever had. The boss, me, is a bit of a hard ass, however. Never letting me goof off outside or anywhere else, really.

#MondayBlogs and Introducing a New Series

Writer’s Block. Nope. Not around here. This post is all about what’s been going on around here. It’s been really fun. The photos below are scenes from the stories, too.

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I’ve spent the past month writing like a fiend. Actually, it’s been the past two months. The whole process has been super exciting for me and I hope the readers catch that when they begin reading. What’s all the fuss? Here are the first three stories in order and where to find them.

Imposter- A Vancouver, BC doctor learns someone is admitting patients using his credentials. It’s fraud and if someone dies? A homicide. The short story is a thriller and part of the Thrill of the Hunt anthology. You need this anthology and not just for my story but for the other six. They’re super exciting and each one is by different authors. I had a blast writing my part of it and the awesome Miranda Nading edited. See my prior post to read her wonderful writing.

Holidays-I backed off the death and dismemberment for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The characters are in Halifax, Nova Scotia, now, and it’s where the rest of the series is set. This short story is out everywhere, and sets up everything for the reader. The romance, the family, and beginning to heal are all the focus of this story. I loved writing the holiday scenes between the Hays family. A little bit of my own family is in their dialogue. DSCN0253

Betrayal-The first novel in the Nova Scotia Murder Mysteries! Yes, Virginia, there is a death, and while it’s gruesome, I try to keep things on the cozy side. No insect details, or in this case, shrimp and other bottom feeder details. Our characters from Holidays and Imposter link up to figure out what really happened to their friend. This has been one of the most surprising books I’ve ever written. I plot these things out, bit by bit, but Betrayal took detours I didn’t see, but enriched the story. I’ve had so much fun writing this book that I didn’t stop and went on into….

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Impatience-The second novel in the series picked up in the same scene and time Betrayal left us in. When an elderly lady is wheeled into the ER and later dies, it’s easy for everyone to blame old age. Until, one of our characters finds out, this wasn’t due to natural causes. I’m around two hundred words into the story, less than this blog post, so anything could happen.

There you have it! Why my fingers have been keeping the keyboard on fire and why I’ve been MIA just about everywhere except Facebook.

Mutiny of the Genres, guest post by Miranda Nading. #mondayblogs #TheExtinctionSeries

Hey fellow #MondayBloggers! The ever wonderful Miranda Nading has given us a post for this week. In her Mutiny of the Genre, she ruminates on what happens when a writer goes genre hopping. Before you settle in to read, go grab her latest story, Genesis, the first of The Extinction Series. I’ve read and highly recommend it. Doesn’t matter what your favorite genre is,  you’ll love this story.

Are you back? Good, now read what Miranda writes about her experiment with genres.

Most writers embrace the genre they love to read, and why not? They have great taste. With their genre set, they step up to the bridge, grab the wheel, and begin the slow, painful process of crafting their stories and gaining like-minded readers to help them on their way.

Once their ship is crewed with a healthy reader base, anything that jeopardizes the readers faith in their Captain could lead to mutiny; being hung from the yardarm, walking the plank, and otherwise losing those readers until the writer has learned their lesson.

Everything that I am goes into every book I write. Echoes of Harmony held within its fiction the worst memories of my childhood, the surgery I endured before its writing, and my struggle to be a better person. Caliban delved into my fear of another cancer diagnosis and my need to understand the beast. Canyon Echoes touched on emotional isolation and the need for, and fear of, family. The influence of my life, and that of other writers, is not obvious to the casual reader who picks up a novel to escape from the daily grind of their lives, but it is there in every book.

So what happens when the journey changes the writer? When horror and serial killers have been purged from the system and the ship begins to find a new point on the compass? Will we find ourselves in the midst of a mutiny? Hung from that yardarm or walking the plank? Will new readers under a new genre see the books you’ve written in the past and for fear of disappoint, turn to a different Captain? Do you hold your course, or navigate by a new star?

For writers with that precious Constant Reader following we work so hard to achieve, it is, unfortunately, a very real possibility. Readers of Erotica are not likely to enjoy a book devoid of sex or strapping young men and women. Likewise, readers of Westerns are not going to receive an Erotic novel with joyous abandonment. If the essential core of what you write changes, the readers will change with it.

So what is a writer to do when they find their ship adrift with no wind in the sails, caught between one point on their trusted map and the next with the decks empty and awaiting a crew?

This was the biggest concern with the decision to write The Extinction Series. There are no serial killers, no voodoo rituals, no ghosts or beast borne of genetic engineering. There are only people trying desperately to survive. What’s going to get the readers on board? If you assume a nom de plume, you are faced with starting the journey from scratch, having to do all the groundwork of building a reader base all over again.

It’s always an option, but is it necessary? Why did you gain the readers you have? What is it that they love about your work? What do they zero in on when they leave that rare treasure, the review? For me, the answer is the suspense, not know what’s coming at them next. Most of all, it’s the characters.

Those essential elements are part of who I am as a writer. I thrive on adrenaline. I demand a great deal from characters and I insist they change in some fundamental way as they walk through the fires I light in their path. The course may have changed, I may be following a new star on the horizon, but my ship is steady and strong. Every writer’s path is different; the questions they need to ask themselves, before making the course change, are their own. If the core of your writing doesn’t change drastically, use it to bridge the gap. Ease your readers into this new course by using the strengths you’ve honed over the years.

Most of all, be true to the story waiting to be written. It’s crafted the same way you are, with the experiences and choices you make as a person as well as a writer.

#MondayBlogs-A Writer’s Life for Me

Something I’ve been seeing a lot of lately is the lack of balance in indie authors’ lives. When you’re the one responsible for all creative content, giving direction to the marketing department*, and the chief financial officer, it’s easy to ignore everything else until later.

And that would be…? After the book is written? No. Edited? No. Published? No. Marketed? No….

Here’s the thing. If you’re like me, your work is written in ink, your personal life is in pencil. There’s nothing wrong with it until the personal has been completely erased. Your family wonders if you’ll ever be there for them. Your clothes don’t fit unless they stretch. You’ve not eaten anything resembling real food in who knows how long. Sleep? Sure, in between telemarketers’ calls.

So we all know putting everything but the writing aside is tough. I know for me, I think “Just one more page, one more marketing blog post to read, one more finding a new cover, one more post about the writing, and I’ll be done.

I never am done. Like the laundry, dishes, mowing, and dog walking is never done, so it is with the writing.

What’s the solution? Those who are born organized already know this answer, but for us others, the answer is simple. Ink in your personal tasks as if they were professional. Family deserves ink. Your health deserves a black Sharpie. Carve in stone your sleep times. Eat the veggies and fruits as a snack. Your health and personal life help feed and nurture your professional life. Take good care of one so the other can flourish.

*even if it’s a department of one person

Uncivilized is finished!

At least the first draft is. And what a draft it is! 133,600 words when I was aiming for 100,000. So I have my work cut out for me in the cutting out department.

While I’m working on the edits and sending documents off to my wonderful editor, I’ll be plotting the next series of books. What will they be about? I don’t know.

Really, I don’t know. Yes, I have so many ideas, but don’t know where to start.

The American West series of historical romances?

The Love’s Travels series of historical romances?

Or the Needing a Title set of murder mysteries?

Maybe the several stand alone story ideas, aka free range books?

They all sound appealing, right? That’s my problem. Where to start? This is like a chocolate buffet and I want everything right this minute.

If you’re reading this, what do you think? Tell me! What setting do you think is woefully missing from the literary world. I can’t guarantee I’ll write about it, but will consider it!

Too ADD for #MondayBlogs! #RT15 bound!

Hi everyone! I’m going to be at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Dallas starting tomorrow. There are so so many Facebook friends who are amazing writer and superstars. It’s going to be tough to not be shy and all shucks when anywhere near them.

But, I’ve promised to be my usual outgoing self, so, ok!

What value added substance can I give you on a day where I’m too excited to think straight? Easy!

My daughter turned me on to sleep helping tunes and hypnosis. Sounds freaky and new agey, but it’s totally not. I love to go to Ipnos Soft for my fall asleep to tunes. While the binaural beats sound interesting, I’m not sure they’re effective. Hypnosis to fall asleep to or just listen to on a sleepy afternoon? Glenn Harrold and Amy Applebaum have wonderful and free apps. The additional sessions are super reasonable too. Sadly, you can’t learn by osmosis when asleep, but these do knock me out when I can’t take hours to fall asleep.

Why the Ipnos? Because you can mix and match sounds. Like in my case, when I want to daydream about wagon trains and the old west, they have an app for that. I can add in song birds and flowing rivers to wagon wheels and get the perfect background noise for my novels.

Why Glenn and or Amy? Because every writer has an insecurity about their work. You’re creating something from your imagination. How much more nebulous and personal can you get? Then to put it out there for people to hopefully love, but probably laugh at? Yeah, it’s hard! I love their confidence hypnosis. I don’t know how much it helps, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Then for the readers, there’s all sorts of sports performance, healthy body attitudes, stop procrastination, and a host of other affirming hypnosis scripts.

I’d want to warn anyone who tries these out to NOT and NEVER do so while driving or operating heavy machinery. I’m a person who has a really tough time falling asleep and yet these products knock me out cold. It really is a never do. So go, try them out while not driving anything and see what you think.

I don’t mention Mike Mandel, THE greatest hypnotist, because he’s more of a teacher and serious therapist. He’s who you see when needing serious mental help and a general script can’t help you. He and Chris Thompson have a Brain Software podcast that is serious, silly, and always entertaining. I also don’t mention Joseph Clough because while I love his podcasts, I personally can’t listen to his hypnosis. He whistles his s’s and x’s, and I can’t take it. But that’s me. You’re mileage may vary and probably does.