The Joy of Writing…

Writing is many things – exciting, daunting, wonderful, and exasperating. 🙂 I love what I do, but there are days when I wish I’d never drafted that first character. Today isn’t one of them.

Today is when I bow down and thank God that I am blessed with writing as my vocation.

I get email from readers who want to know what the hold-up is. I appreciate those letters.  Because it reminds me that I’m not the only one invested in my work. 🙂 I apologize to everyone who’s reading this who wants more stories from me.

I’m working on it. I promise. Every day.

🙂 But the hold-up is that I’ve been honing my craft. When I was discovered with TIGER BY THE TAIL, I was a babe in the woods when it came to how to cobble together a decent story. In the last three years, I’ve written, attended workshops, rewritten, attended conferences, and rewritten. Every time I sit down in front of the computer, I have a little bit more of a clue.

The problem with learning by the seat of my pants is that it’s a time-consuming process. BLOOD AND DESTINY is a step in a new direction for me. I’ve learned so much that I’m working to roll it all into my next story. Vivian doesn’t have a title, but I thought everyone would like to know what’s up with the next St. George book.

Now, Vivian isn’t a St. George girl. No, she’s a whisper from Marcus Smythe’s past, about twenty-five hundred years ago. Yes, she’s a vampiress that circumstances have backed into a corner.

So, what does a vampiress two millennia old do when forced to act? Well…I’ll keep you posted. *wink*

In the meantime, rest assured that I’m working diligently to improve my writing for your enjoyment – and hope that I’m living up to the promise of better books to come.

Go TEAM JACOB!

Okay,

I’m behind the times. I admit it. After reviewing TWILIGHT (on audiobook) and determining the material raised too many issues I wasn’t ready to discuss with my daughter who reads several grade levels above her own, I put the Saga on the shelf to deal with when it was more age appropriate.

This past week, I was having a phone conversation with a friend. We were talking about BLOOD AND DESTINY. I admitted that I am surprised by the surge of mail and support the book was receiving. I love the story. I wrote it, after all. But it’s something else to hear how readers feel about it.  *grins*

Her response was, “GO TEAM EDWARD.”

I had a blink, blink, pause moment. Yes, it took me a moment to make the connection. I’m behind, remember?

“You know, TWILIGHT?” She laughed at me.  “Fine, skip it and just rent NEW MOON.  It’s right up your alley.  You’ll love it.”

So I did. And I finally understood what all the fuss is about despite having gone through the unabridged audiobook and the TWILIGHT movie. Now, Team Edward has all the attractions from the James Dean persona – and he’s immortal besides. But I’ve never been attracted to the man who’s cloaked in danger who holds himself apart from the world no matter who he hurts.

No, that’s not my thing.  I like a little Boy Scout in my heros. I like a man who can swallow his pride and put his heart on the line…and yes, beg if he has to. Or, just maybe, I like my heros with a little bit of fur.

Whatever the reason (and yes, I know how the series ends), I found myself sitting in front of the TV wanting to change it. Even though the furry, chivalrous, oh-so-sexy-abs dude doesn’t have a chance, I’ve  picked my side of argument.

GO TEAM JACOB!

UPDATES, Contests, and Coming Soon!

Hello!

BLOOD AND DESTINY returned to Anne in the weee hours of the morning.  I’m excited to say that it was bleeding to death in the comment margins.  Why?  Because every change only makes it a stronger book.

What am I working on while I wait for it to come back to me for the next round?  Two free reads written in the same world as BLOOD AND DESTINY.  The Ladies of St. George’s Home for Abandoned Children have a lot of stories to tell.

For Christmas and Valentine’s Day, there will be two shorts involving Yasmine St. George.  She’s a werewolf who longs for the home and family she never experienced as a child.  Can she find that with Kale Henderson?  Can Kale convince her that his pack will embrace her as his mate?  Tune in for the answers starting in December.

What’s better around the holidays than the word FREE?

Speaking of December and free, there’s a BIG CONTEST about to happen.  Do you have a Sony Pocket Reader?  Do you want one?  If so, read on.

Beginning BLACK FRIDAY, there will be a FIND THE ICON scavenger hunt involving about 30 authors (give or take).  What do you have to do?  Simply tune in for the list of participating authors and browse their sites looking for the contest graphic.  More specific details will follow.

In January, my novella LOVE AT FIRST SHOT releases from The Wild Rose Press.  There’s a lot of happening things over the next few months to talk about.

Is it too early for Christmas music?

What a difference a year makes.

What a difference a year makes.  Wait.  I just said that.

Last year at this time, I was sitting at home reading all the posts from people that were returning from Nationals.  They were all inspired, motivated, and recharged about writing.

I so was not.  I was staring at the second Tigers manuscript and seeing the fatal flaws in it.  I couldn’t get beyond it.  I was questioning my choices and wondering why, of all things, I had decided to attempt being an author at all.

So, what’s a writer to do?  Pick up the phone and call a friend.

Vivi Andrews, who took home the Golden Heart this year, gave me the talking to that I so richly deserved.  Her advice?  “Get out of your own way.”

She said other things, too, but that was the one comment that I carried in my heart.  So, I sent the manuscript off.  Immediately after that, I looked at my files and found another project outline I was passionate about.  I tinkered with character building scenes and then launched into what is now BLOOD AND DESTINY.

My editor saw the same fatal flaws in HEART OF THE TIGER and sent a very informative, very kind revise and resubmit with a lot of suggestions on how to correct the problems.  For those of you who are still interested in the Tigers, the revamp is pretty extensive and it’s been put on hold until I can devote the time of effort it needs.  Anyway, it reaffirmed that I wasn’t naive and clueless when it came to critiquing my own work.

I put Destiny aside and looked over another novella with a renewed sense of confidence.  After a little minor tweaking, I submitted it out and pulled up another project I had begun to doubt.

ANGELIC AVENGER.  With my heart in my throat, I polished the synopsis, wrote a new query letter, and sent it to my Samhain editor.

LOVE AT FIRST SHOT was well-received, but needed some work.  Taking that revise and resubmit offer in hand, I tooled it accordingly and sent it back.  Three times, I sent it back until it was finally right.  The Wild Rose Press agreed with me and offered a contract just days before Samhain offered for ANGELIC AVENGER.

Strangely enough, after months of self-doubt and second-guessing myself, I remembered why I was writing.  It wasn’t to torture myself.  It was the joy of being able to share my stories with others.

Returning to BLOOD AND DESTINY, I began to retool the wordage lost when I converted from a PC to a Mac.  For some reason, the last three chapters on Destiny had gotten eaten.

This time, the writing came easily to me.  Why?  Because I’d finally gotten out of my own way.  I’d put aside my doubt, embraced my characters, and let the words flow.

Everyone says writing is a lonely job.  And it can be very isolationist.  But, there’s a solution.  We’re in a digital age.  With IM, online groups, and forums specifically dedicated to writers, it’s easy to find people who are not going to look at us as if we should be locked up when we mention the little voices in our heads.  Or better yet, give you that horrified look when they ask what you do and you tell them you’re a romance writer.

The solution to the loneliness?  Network, find a group of writers that will embrace you with all your quirks, and get a good long distance plan and lots of cell phone minutes.  Then, when you need that extra nudge or bullying, pick up the phone… or answer it when they call.

Exciting News!

Okay, I’m a bad blogger.  I’m sorry.  I have no excuse except there has been a lot of things to deal with on the personal front getting the family moved once the school year ended.

We have made it and mostly settled in the new house.  I’m finding Florida to be a wonderful place to write.  In fact, I just wrote “The End” to BLOOD AND DESTINY.  It’s been sent out to my friends to see if they can find any mistakes I might have missed when I went back over it.  BLOOD AND DESTINY is a shapeshifter/vampire romance.  I hope to have more information to share on it soon!

I have a cover!  LOVE AT FIRST SHOT was contracted by The Wild Rose Press.  While I still don’t have a release date, I do have a cover.  This novella was originally drafted as a Tickle My Fantasy submission to Samhain, but didn’t get picked up.  After significant expansion (to the tune of 12,000 words), The Wild Rose Press contracted it.  Stay tuned for more information about Emma and T.J.’s pending release.

ANGELIC AVENGER has a release date.  October 6th, 2009, Bella’s story will be available for sale.  I’m very excited to see my first book hit the bookshelves.

As to what I’m working on now?  The next Angel story.  I hope my current productive streak holds true and that there’s more news to share soon.

Coming February 17th
Coming February 17th

The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo, and the Poltergeist Accountant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is that a brilliant title or what?

For those of you who follow Samhain releases, I hope you are watching the calendar because the Tickle My Fantasy releases are coming.  This one releases on February 17th, so I thought I’d take a moment to put it on your To BUY list.

Why?  Because it’s a riot.  I mean, come on…how many books do you know with Gigolo in the title?

But that’s not what makes it a wonderful book.  It’s a grand story for a novella.  Vivi Andrews writes it with such humor that it’ll make you think even while you’re reaching for your inhaler because you’ve laughed to the point you can’t breathe.  Yes, I know this from experience.

When she first showed this to me, I literally choked on my coffee as I sat down to read it.  The sheer brilliance of the premise combined with her humorous style had me in stitches from the very first line.   I lusted after the hero, related to the heroine to the point I wanted to be her, and found myself cheering for the plot.

When I flipped the last page, I was smiling with a lighter heart than when I started.  Why?  Because there’s nothing like a great story and honest laughter to lighten the soul.

Lucy is a Ghost Shrink who helps wayward ghosts release their worldly cares and transcend into the great beyond.  Unfortunately, a dry spell has put her a little on edge and created a situation where she’s attracting sexually repressed ghosts who just can’t get over the fact they died before they could live out some of their sexual fantasies.  In walks Jake Cox, who is thankfully not a ghost.  He’s a private investigator bent on talking to a specific ghost that he’s been tipped off will come to Lucy to work through his issues binding him to the world.

The problem?  Lucy and Jake have an instant connection and he has to keep his hands off her or the ghost won’t come.   Tie in a poltergeist account who thinks Lucy is his destiny and you’ve got a plot fit for Comedy Central.

This is Vivi Andrews first publication; however, it is not the end to her brilliance.  Her Single Titles are just as fabulous.

If you’re interested in a closer look at Vivi’s perspective, she’s the feature author on my website until the end of February where she talks about writing and how she came upon this story.

And for a teaser, why not check out Samhain’s Coming soon pages for the official blurb or link to the excerpt here?

Happy New Year!!

2009 opened with a sigh rather than a bang around here.  My husband and I looked at each other at quarter past eleven and decided to give it up.  He was sleeping soundly when I watched the clock turn, my mind awhirl with excitement over the coming year.

Closing out the 2008 year, I had some serious reflection and reorientation of direction.  It marked the publication of my novella and a host of learning on my part, but it also was filled with trials – mostly internal.

I only made one resolution for 2009 – to but all that behind me and move forward.  There’s no where to go but up!

ANGELIC AVENGER is back in the vault pending revision.  HEART OF THE TIGER is awaiting revision, too.  LOVE AT FIRST SHOT is finally coming out of the vault and on the market.

The docket for 2009 is pretty  much set.  I have a vampire book nearly finished, a werewolf story ready to start, Del and Doom are slotted, too – for those of you who have asked for more of that story – and added to it is another Angel book – this one darker, edgier, and more romance oriented.  Yes, I’ve taken the wonderful feedback from ANGELIC AVENGER to heart and refocusing the Angel world accordingly with renewed excitement.

Stay tuned for more news as the ball gets rolling.

How did you close out 2008?  What kind of resolutions and realizations did YOU make?