Monday, November 16, 2015

Writers, Dreamers, Inspiration & Words

It's not an exaggeration to say that writers are dreamers.
We have to be, if for no other reason than to be able to create rich worlds and characters, and stories. We may dream up our stories at night, or in snippets here and there during our waking hours. We may hear the voices of our characters begging for their story to be told, or telling us the story over and over again, until we have no choice but to let it out, to let them out.
Our inspirations come from life, from color and form. Even music or a simple conversations can plant an idea in our head that may grow and blossom into something amazing.
Hours spent at a computer or with pen and paper, time that many people would consider wasted, becomes fantasy, becomes prose, becomes an alternate reality... Strangers meet in a dimly lit bar. A damaged warrior seeks solace and peace, and finds so much more. Vampires, werewolves and gods spring to life and off the page.
A kind of magic is created by writers. And it takes a special something to be able to create it. For writers, their creations are their life and as important to them as their loved ones, as cherished as a child.
I'm thankful everyday that I can find the words to put to paper, the ones that describe a scene or emotion, the characters and all the little bits that individually may seem insignificant but when compiled together are absolutely intrinsic to the worlds that I'm creating. Every day that I can find the inspiration I need to write, I know that I'm alive and while I may not be living the life that many can understand, it is the life that truly makes me happy.
Find your inspiration. And you'll find the words will follow.
Today this is mine.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1st... You Know What That Means!

It's November 1st and that means a couple things are going on RIGHT NOW!

First, today is National Author's Day... Or so the internet and Facebook tell me. So to all my writing and author friends out there - here is wishing you the most glorious of days! :-)


It's National Novel Writing Month - the month long writing challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days.

I'm doing it again this year. I've even got a nifty little widget down on the left hand side on this site that *should* show you a running log of my total words written. So here's wishing myself and all the other NaNoWriMo-ers out there a very sincere Good Luck!

I'm off to get my butt busy. Talk to you again soon!!

I will finish The Queen's Mate this month... I will finish The Queen's Mate this month... I will finish The Queen's Mate this month...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ready To Start Sharing... Paranormal Love Blog Hop

This year I'm once again doing NaNoWriMo in November but I can already tell you that I'm sort of cheating because some parts are already written. I want to finish the manuscript I've been working on in fits and starts, piece by little piece for the last couple years. It's actually the story I intended to start the last time I participated in the month long writing event... However at that time life intervened and the story didn't get written.

I've spent the last 6 weeks or so planning, outlining and playing through scenarios for key points in the story. Originally I thought the story I was going to tell would be one book. Now I know it's actually 3. My focus in November will be to get the first book The Queen's Mate completed so that it can move into editing and beta reading. I'm really hoping that I'll actually be able to publish it by January 2016, with book 2: The Heart of the Healer, and book 3: The Touch of Winter to release in the months following. They will be the first three stories of the paranormal romance series I'm calling the McKenna's End Series

Today I'm pleased to share the blurb for THE QUEEN'S MATE... 

Years after they loose touch, two friends are reacquainted after the death of ones' parents. Winter Tallant and Dawn McKenna quickly become the best of friends, but is it Winter that keeps Dawn tied to the Tallant family or is it something more?

Dylan Tallant feels like his world is crumbling around him. When his parents die and leave him responsible for his siblings, their home and all their secrets, Dylan has no idea how to deal with the curveball life throws him in the very alluring shape of Dawn McKenna. 

Can Dawn and Dylan overcome the obstacles they've built up in their minds? Can the two of them face the secrets that they keep and finally let them go? Will they reach the tipping point naturally or will they be pushed off the edge by circumstances beyond their control? 

I'm feeling very giving today so... Here's a wee excerpt too! (This comes from an unedited, rough draft.) 

"I've lived in your house for nearly a year, how could I miss your scents?" Dawn was shocked by the scent that she could now sense and was completely flabbergasted as to how she hadn't noticed it before. 

Dylan shook his head. "How did I not scent you?" He asked her and nodded at the expression that flashed briefly across her face. "Exactly. You were obviously trained to hide your scent just the same as I was." 

"But Aidan? Winter?" She questioned. "I've never sensed they were anything but human." 

"They've always scented that way for me as well. Dad always believed it was because they couldn't shift." 

Now it was Dawn who shook her head. "I've never come across that before. Even those who couldn't shift still smelled of the animal that was in their blood." 

"I think it comes from my mom. She never smelled of her cat unless she was close to her shift or shifted." Dylan explained. 

"Dylan..." She said softly with wonder staring at the man, no the lion shifter standing in front of her. 

"I know," he replied. "We've been damn fools."  

Well I hope you've enjoyed this sneak peek into my head. This project is one that's been brewing for a long time and I simply can't explain how excited I am to be getting closer to my goal, nor how overjoyed I am to be able to share it with you... Well, overjoyed and slightly nauseous. But I'm sure I'll be alright. 

This post was lovingly prepared as part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop! Thanks for stopping in and don't forget you can catch all the blog hop submissions for this Wednesday by going to the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop page... See you again next time!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Next Step of The Journey

We write. We read. We edit and re-write. We re-read and then edit and re-write again.

We authors do everything in our power to make our manuscripts the very best that they can be.
We try to eliminate typos and grammatical errors. We strive to ensure that John doesn’t mysteriously become Desmond, only to turn back in to John. We push ourselves to ensure that the timeline of our back-story doesn’t clash (or *gasp* contradict) with the timeline of the rest of our story.
We do all of these things but we are human and we still make mistakes.
So we employ, beg, or plead for beta-readers and editors. Those people who are going to read our stories and tell us what works and what doesn’t. Those individuals who we trust to rip our precious babies apart and then help us put them back together and make them (hopefully) better. The like-minded peeps who look for all the nitpicky errors of people, place and thing, and actually enjoy telling us when we’ve done something wrong. They are the men and women who are going to say to us “why?” and “no, just no” and even “WTF is going on with this?
These people are in many ways our guardian angels, our saviors, our own personal heroes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Writing... Why?

I’ve been writing for years. I have a hard time expressing myself in spoken word (not to mention that I get stage fright anytime I have to open my mouth and speak in public) but give me a pen and paper, or a computer and keyboard and I can put exactly what I want to be said, and explain everything that I want to be understood, into written words with little problem.

I’ve always told stories. I remember being in Jr. High School and getting on the bus in the morning and telling my friends about the dreams (even then they were incredibly vivid dreams) that I’d had the night before. Sometimes I’d write them down in a notebook or my diary, sometimes I wouldn’t.
In high school I wrote several short stories that my teachers told me were wonderfully imaginative and well written. In university I heard the same kinds of comments for my writing.
It wasn’t really a surprise (to me, anyways) when I finally decided that I wanted to publish. The journey has been long and has had many detours and road blocks that have crept in the way. Through it all though, writing was one thing that I knew no one could take away from me. Other’s could make me feel horrible about myself, to the point that I found it difficult to even write, but no one could take away my ability to tell a story. Not completely anyways.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m back to focusing on writing (and promoting of other authors’ works as well) nearly full time. I don’t know what’s different this time but I just know that this time I’m actually going to get to the point where I actually do publish. Whether I make a name for myself, whether I make money or make enough money to support myself by writing isn’t important – I really just want to publish. I don’t know whether I’ll end up publishing by traditional routes or via self-publishing, but I want to publish and I’m going to do it.
I want to be able to tell people that my books can be bought on Amazon, or iTunes, or Kobo, or Smashwords, or whatever. I want to be able to say “yeah I’ve got 3 published novels”, or “I have 17 novellas available for purchase.” The money hardly matters, though yeah, it sure would be nice. But making money isn’t the reason to be writer. It’s not the motivation behind it, or it shouldn’t be.
Honestly, really, I just want to tell my stories. They’ve been mine so long and the characters just want to be given the opportunity to make you love them as much as I do. So I have to write them. I have to publish them.
Yes, I hope you like them. I hope you love them.
Yes, I hope I make at least a little bit of money – you know maybe enough to pay the bills and feed my kids.

But the truth is... Whether you like my stories and characters or hate them, whether I never make a dime and or break even in the process of publishing, I’m still going to write.

And maybe that’s the difference this time around. Rather than worry about creating something that everyone else might like or might pay for, I’m making sure that I’m creating something that I love and something that I can be proud of.

Because in the end, that’s what’s really important.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Coming Back

When I started this particular blog I was writing a lot. Not always every day, but taking time a couple of days a week to put words to paper.

Then I really got into things and did start writing every day. Sometimes for several hours, sometimes only for a few minutes here and there, but every single day. That time was wonderful and honestly was one of the best writing periods of my life. 

And then I let life absorb me and I was hardly writing anything more than a grocery list for months and months on end. I barely read a book, I definitely didn't work on my novels or any other writing, and I gradually became more unhappy.  In time, some aspects of life turned around and though I became happier, I still wasn't writing.

As often happens, life changed again. And I was destroyed.

I became not just unhappy but miserable. I wasn't writing because I simply couldn't find the words. I was reading, some, but nothing new and everything was very dark, very depressing.  I holed up in my house, only leaving when necessary and stopped talking to all except a select few.

Weeks, and then months went by and I knew that I something had to give.  Nothing was going to change if I made no attempt to change it; if I gave no effort towards making a change.

So I focused on my kids, my family, and I made every effort to spend time with them. Took the extra steps to make that time special. I cleaned my house - going through boxes and bags that had been put into storage, getting rid of things we no longer needed and making sure to preserve special items.

I purposely sought out "happy" books to read, or maybe happier is a better description. And though my own words still wouldn't come, I signed up for and diligently worked to help promote the works of other authors.  I kept myself busy reading, reviewing, blogging and doing promo's for others, so that I didn't leave myself a lot of time to think about all that I'd lost.

Then one day I sat down at the computer and opened a new Word document, and the words just started pouring out.  Maybe the story idea had been percolating in my mind for awhile without me really even knowing, but suddenly the words were simply there.

A couple hours later I looked and I'd written over three thousand words.

It's been a few months since then and I've been writing my own words in fits and starts, and whenever I can. Sometimes it's a blog post, sometimes it's fan-fiction, and other times, the really good times, I work on my own stories.  Not always the same one but I'm writing again, and it's a beautiful feeling.  A wonderful feeling.  It's a feeling that I've missed for a long time.

That idea that came to me out of nowhere and slammed three thousand words onto the page, now sits at just under 20,000 words. The whole story has been planned out and my main objective over the next couple months is to finish it, and then to do whatever necessary to get it published.

This time, I'm not going to let anything get in my way. 

This time I won't give it up.