Archive for July, 2008

Jul 31 2008

Taint of Shadow – August 22!

Taint of Shadow CoverNow that August’s almost here, I can let you know when you can get your hands on this first piece of my werewolf Heart of Darkness series! Come August 22, get yourself down to Cobblestone Press and grab your copy of Taint of Shadow!

This story is among my favorite things that I’ve ever written. It’d dark, it’s sweet, it has hot werewolves and a battle between good and evil. It’s got a beautiful cover to go with it. I’m so excited for this to come out.

I’m sure I’ll be talking a lot about this between now and release day, so make sure you read regularly to hear more about this piece of a werewolf epic!

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Jul 23 2008

Taint of Shadow Cover!

Taint of Shadow Cover

Oh, I’m so excited. There’s just not much more exciting than getting your cover art…

Except getting cover art that you’ve been dying for because you knew what the picture looked like beforehand!

This picture was a cover that was premade. I saw the look on her face, the glasses, and his strong pose, and I just fell in love with it. So I asked if the artist, the gorgeous and talented Sable Grey, would hold onto it for me. She kindly agreed, and I wrote Taint of Shadow based on that picture. That is the heroine, Kayla. That is what she looks like, and her attitude. It was so perfect.

And now, finally, I get to share it with everyone. I’m over the (full) moon!

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Jul 16 2008

Truly Random

Published by under Random Musings

I’m a little scattered today. I’m about to embark on a busy, busy weekend, and my brain’s pretty much everywhere.

Taint of Shadow comes out next month. I’ve seen the cover art for it, and it’s just awesome. Now I have to wait for the final pictures to come to me so I can show it around. I’m also holding my breath for the exact date when it will come out. I’ll know soon, and I’m so excited about it. But… I hate waiting. I’m no good at it. I have no patience.

Which is too bad, as I’m waiting for both tomorrow and Friday. Tomorrow is not only my fifteenth wedding anniversary, but also, a friend of mine is coming halfway across the country to see me. I’ve known this person for five years, and we’ve been through a couple layers of Hell together, but we’ve never met in person. Exciting and nerve-wracking, all at once.

Friday is the premier of The Dark Knight. Oh, man, I’m looking forward to this movie. Finally, someone’s getting Batman right. We already have our tickets. Babysitting is secured. We’re ready for liftoff.

I’m working on a short story with the hope of submitting it to Changeling Press. This story is a real departure from my other stuff, to put it mildly. Most folks that don’t live in my house don’t see my more…there’s no polite word for this…odd work. I have a bent for the dark, the different, the punch to the gut, and most of it stays on my hard drive. But I really like this idea, so I’m going to put it out there.

And while I write my little tale, I’m deciding what major thing to write next. Yeah, yeah, you’ve all been down this road with me before. This time, it’s down to two choices. One, I have about 20k words in on already, but I think that, to continue it, I need to cut it all the way back to the beginning and start again. Some of those words will get reused, but the bulk will be gone. The Word Assassin strikes again.

I need a banner for that. Or a button. I’m a heartless word killer.

The other choice is another story that got about 5k chopped on it months ago. Again with the word death. But it’s such a compelling story. I love it.

Both stories need new outlines and plotting. Both will be awesome to write. It’s just a matter of if I have a heart to face cutting 20k words, or if I ought to start with the one that’s still reasonably “fresh”. Admittedly, when I get to the point where I have to cut everything I’ve written on something, I usually just scrap the idea. These are too good to kill entirely.

I still have to clean house. Oh, man. Have I washed the sheets? Is my fishtank clean? Why do I care?

I’m going to be a wreck by the start of next week.

Edit: Ask and receive, thanks to Bree
Word Assassin

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Jul 11 2008

Between Book Housekeeping

Published by under Website Information

As you can see, I’ve done a little housekeeping around the site. Mostly, I’ve improved, tidied, and added nifty eye candy. Odds are good I’ll continue to fiddle with it for the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled!

I’ve added series information for my upcoming release, Taint of Shadow, which is the first book in the Heart of Darkness series and is coming in August. I also did up a spiffy picture. Enjoy!

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Jul 09 2008

It’s Done!

Well, so much for needing a couple more days to finish it.

I knuckled down yesterday and cranked out the rest of the last chapter and the epilogue. So Stain of Midnight is now finished! I’m very proud of myself, as well as pleased with the finished product.

This book represents a lot of firsts for me. This the longest thing I have ever written. Back in the day, I wondered how I’d ever manage to write longer stories. I’ve fought with that since I first picked up a pen. Lately, though, I’ve learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. The words come, and sometimes, I have a problem making them stop. I had to throttle them back on this one, or it would have run very long.

This is, consequently, the longest thing I’ve ever finished. The old “longest thing I’ve ever written” wasn’t done yet.

I started this book on June 5. I finished it yesterday, July 8. Since I take weekends off, and had at least one three day weekend in there, it means I finished it in about 20 days. It’s 62k long. That’s not too shabby!

I’ve never done a sequel before, either. It has a lot of very unique challenges, and continuity’s just the first of those. You have to keep an eye to not only the plot of this book, but to the overarching plot that spans the series. This is challenging, rewarding, and absolutely fascinating.

Now the edits start. But the main work is over, and I can breathe. I can also take a few days to catch up on my promo, my web work, and all the other whatnots that crop up. Whew!

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Jul 08 2008

I Want One!

Published by under Random Musings

I really, really think I need one of these

My blogging has fallen behind recently because honestly, I’m about done with Stain of Midnight. Just a couple more days of writing will do it, I think, and that means almost every word I type on the computer right now is in that document.

This book has been a hell of a ride for me for various reasons that I’ll discuss at a later moment. And now, I’m excited to see the end of it.

So enjoy my taste in garden decor, and I’ll check in when I’m finished!

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Jul 02 2008

The Writing Process

Published by under Random Musings

(This was written for the blog tour. I figured I’d put it up here, too, just in case you missed it.)

It seems like every author has a process, some little ritual that gets ideas from their head into their word processor. I know I do.

This is a process I like to call “whatever works”.

I do have a usual modus operandi. I start by outlining my story on actual paper. I like Mead’s Five Star notebooks for this, since they’re sturdy and can take the abuse I give them. My notebook gets hauled around in the car, in my bag to the pool, on my lap, on my desk, on the floor, on my bed… College ruled, please! Otherwise, my handwriting’s illegible.

My handwriting’s illegible anyway, but nevermind.

I write out a longhand synopsis of the plot. This is where the real work gets done. If something doesn’t make sense, it’ll come out in this stage. Here’s where I see that gee, the heroine is really too stupid to live, or I have a massive deus ex machina at the ending, or hey, what the heck’s the point of this thing that’s going on? All the threads come off the spool here and get woven together.

I’d rather revise a longhand synopsis than words I’ve gone to the trouble of typing out. For example, my current work in progress, the sequel to my upcoming shifter book “Taint of Shadow”, has had three outline revisions already. I haven’t typed a word, but it’s been revised three times. Better now than later.

The outline doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes, it gets broken up by pages of notes, ideas, brainstorms, character interviews, vignettes, whatever. If I’ve got a writer’s block, I write through it (or go take a shower, which almost always gives me something to work with). At this stage, my web browser also gets overworked. When researching, I’ll have three tabs worth of websites open in Firefox at times.

My wiki gets a workout here, too. Pages for characters, world notes, plot points, sometimes even the synopsis get put in. I work in a lot of mediums.

Once I have that synopsis hammered out, I usually do an old fashioned outline, still in the notebook. I want to break that thing down into chapters, digestible bites, and points of view. It’s like a car. I’ve built the chassis, but now, I need the frame to put it on.

For more complex stories, the outline and synopsis go into a program called Power Structure. Simpler stories just get the paper outline, or sometimes an outline in the wiki if my writing’s particularly messy.

Now it’s time to write the story. This usually goes fast, since I know what’s going on already. I write at least two thousand words a day (except on short stories, where I obsess over every word, and then I allow myself a thousand a way). I start by reading over what I’ve already written, at least a few thousand words. I do a little polishing here, then write the next part.

My husband reads each chapter as I finish it. This is my first “reality check”. If it’s not working, I know right away.

After it’s done, it goes to my crit group. I polish it up, then send it out.

This process does change up sometimes. Every now and again, I write completely by the seat of my pants. I usually have the plot in my head, and I just go from there. Sometimes, I just use paper. Sometimes, I just use Power Structure. It really is all about what works for that particular story.

Short stories don’t take me that long to plan. A week, tops. For longer, more complex stories, it can take me two or three weeks to put together. I try not to stress about the time not spent writing. Ideas come to me every day, they get woven in and integrated, things get reworked, and everything gets put together in the best way I know how. When the ideas stop flowing, I know the plotting’s done. I have everything I need.

Meghan’s Submission had no outline, just the words in my head. New Life, my upcoming Vampire Oracle story, had a paper outline. Taint of Shadow, my upcoming shifter book, had four paper synopses, two outlines, a Power Structure file, and wiki information.

Whatever works.

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