Friday, December 29, 2006

Listen to the story

Recently, I've been writing a short story to submit to a publisher for a specialty anthology they'll be publishing in the summer. My first effort is a story I love so much, and the characters are so rich and situation so interesting, I had to rush the end to come in at the correct word count. After considering what I was doing and why, I decided to give that story the shot it wants at a longer version. I've come up with another story that should come in at the correct word count with no problems of the story getting out of control.

So, why should I decide to listen to what the story is telling me and begin writing a new story from scratch to submit instead? Because I'm a firm believer that the characters and situations should be what determine the length of the story, not some arbitrary yard stick we writers put down to measure length by. However, I do have a good idea when I start writing if I'm going to try for a novel, novella or short story. A lot of times I can tell by the ideas themselves if I can squeeze 90K out of it, or barely scrape by at 25K. A lot of times it depends on how intricate I get with subplots and backstory, or how complicated the conflicts. Me...I love a good complicated conflict.
So whether my heroes are slaying their foe to save the beautiful heroine like the Dicksee painting on the right, or traversing the galaxy in search of new worlds I want to give my story the opportunity to shine in whatever length they will best fit.
I'm just the conduit.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Schedule of Events for 2007

As a new self-imposed deadline approaches, I've decided I have too many projects open and none of them any closer to being finished. To that end, I've decided to take the time with the first six months of '07 to do what I should have been doing all along—finish the books I've already started before moving on to other.

I'm writing a short hot story for the Samhain "Midsummer Night's Steam" anthology. We'll see if they like it. If not, I have a pretty damn good premise for either a novella or a novel. But I'd really like to see it published by Samhain. For some reason, I've been really digging them lately.

Anyhoo, I have two novellas I promised to send to my publisher at Red Sage after the first of the year that I need to finish. One of them, "Mind Games," is the sequel to "Fatal Error" which is out this month, the other is "Gift Bride." It's the first and only shape shifter story I've attempted, but I've put what I hope is a new spin on an old theme. Then I have to get Corpesetti to Triskelion. With the launch of "Immorati" coming in March, I really need to get the other book written.

Then a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid that I call "The Ward" that I want to get placed somewhere, along with a fantasy called "A Conspiracy of Ravens" that has two heroes and heroines who are sisters. One is a queen whose country is under siege and the other a sorceress who has been sent by her order to infiltrate the enemy's camp. Then I have another sci-fi called "Diplomatic Relations" where old lovers have been reunited after their son is caught in a terrorist blast. Finally, I have "Trail of Stars," another sci-fi that deals with a young farm girl joining the galactic guard to escape the stifling conditions of her homelife, only to find more life than she bargained for among the stars.

I have a whole pile of other novels I want to work on for the last six months of '07 that are romantic suspense...well, contemporary with suspense elements. Those will be under my other name. - So many names. So little time. hehehehehe...

In between all this writing I need to find a good schedule for my promotional time. These book ain't gonna sell themselves.

I'm going to devote a part of each writing session in '07 to networking and promotion. I have to. I need to. I want to.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Have A Winner....

Thanks Stacy, for coming up with the name for my reincarnation book... It will now be known as Past Lives, Present Dangers.

-- and in other news.

I've been busy lately finishing up my WIP - Fangdango - it didn't end up the way I had planned it. Sometimes it's odd the way your characters will assert their will, when your outline says otherwise. It was my heroine this time that refused to do what I wanted. Ultimately, though, I think that characters acting out like that actually saves us from ourselves. The heroine in this case knew her own mind well enough, and I trusted her enough to let her end the story the way she wanted. I really wanted to see the heroine and hero married at the end. But the heroine says she needs more time...Ok, so I have a sequel in the works that will work well to see the HEA for my original h/h. It will balance out the main h/h from the sequel very nicely, I think.

As for plotting other books. Yikes!! I need to get banging on the sequel to Immorati, and get that to the publisher for consideration. I'm on chapter 7 or 8 so that's a pretty good start. I want to have that one wrapped up by February or so. - Plus I'm working on two novellas for Red Sage, actually three. - Busy, busy girl. I don't even know how I'm going to stick the holidays in here. I still have to finish Christmas shopping, which I'll do tomorrow. And one of Dave's presents still haven't arrived. I need to go to the online merchant I bought it from and see what's up with that...I'm getting a little nervous. It's the coolest present on the planet. However, I'm not going to mention it here, on the off chance he actually reads my blog.

For now, I have some crits I promised.


Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Doing the Genre Juggle

I love to read and write in several different genres. I've always been that way, since I first picked up a book and unlocked the mystery of the alphabet. In elementary school I had a vast love for the Brothers Grimm, Nancy Drew, and Barbara Cartland. (Yes, I read Barbara Cartland in elementary school. But come on, by today's standards they had nothing sexy happening on-screen.)

Currently, I'm reading Eragon. I received the book several Christmases ago from a very dear friend and put it on the shelf while I consumed title after title of romance. Now with the movie coming out this month, I thought I should pull it out and read it. I'm reading it with the same interest in which I breezed through Harry Potter. Though I often say that I won't read anything without a romantic subplot, I have to say the occasional foray into YA fantasy is a nice change to cleanse the reading palate. It makes me think of all the fantasy novels I have started and haven't finished. It makes me want to submerge my mind in worlds created in my mind alone.

The walls of my office are adorned in framed maps of worlds I created, and rendered in pen, ink and watercolor by my hubsand. Fantasy is the genre I started writing in when I first sat down to plot a novel. (The first book I actually finished in the long hand version, written in ball point pen and clasped in a three-ring binder.) So, what do you ask made me switch from fantasy to romance?

Glad you asked. Since I don't read the same types of books all the time, I don't think I could ever be one to write the same kind all the time. I don't care how much I love the characters or subject matter - I couldn't do it. I need to variety to keep the ideas fresh and me from feeling stale. My hat goes off to writers who can spend an entire career in the same genre. Now that's staying power. That's also the reason why I write under several psuedonymns. I want to separate the types of books I write as well as the parts of my personality that pens them. Fantasy and paranormal I write under the same name, while erotic romance gets another name, and contemporary with suspense gets yet another.

Usually people will ask me...How do you keep all those storylines straight if you work on projects at the same time? Easily, my books are so least to me, that I couldn't possibly get them confused.

Now, if I could only see great success under all three names, I'll be a very happy woman.


Monday, December 4, 2006

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

When you send off your manuscripts to an agent, editor, publisher it's always hard to mark that calendar for the proposed date you'll hear back. It's one of those things that you look at ...that big red date like a bulls eye...and's never coming to get here. It's like a kid waiting for their birthday or Christmas.

There have been times when I'm pleasantly surprised and hear sooner, be it good or bad news. The not knowing the fate of my blood, sweat and sometimes tears is worse than reading those letters or emails that say...sorry we can't use your project, it isn't what we're looking for, doesn't fit our needs...whatever. I would rather know something so I can switch to plan B, or get up and do the Happy Happy Joy Joy dance, whichever is appropriate at the time.

I find the best way to get through it all is to keep writing and submitting. I work on so many projects that I think eventually, I'll things coming and going on a daily basis. Then my calendar will be filled with red reminders and every day could bring good news.


Sunday, December 3, 2006

****Contest Blog****

The novel is a reincarntion story about a NJ bar owner, named Ian, who is plagued with the spotty nightmares of a beautiful woman who is pulled over a cliff to her death and into the rocky maw of the Delaware River.

For six months, Ian Delaney has tried in vain to find a way to rid his sleep of the nightmarish images of a young woman's death that he is helpless to prevent. If he can just make it to her once, Ian knows he can save her and stop the dreams for good. A foray into past-life regression uncovers the woman was his beloved wife, Adrienne. But the ghosts of past lives are not so easily tamed...

...When he meets her in this life, he knows he must save her from the current threats that are esculating around her or face losing her this time around as he did before.

If you can think of a good solid name for this it in the comments. I'll decide the winner on December 11, 2006. Please, no titles with the word "time" or "love" in them.

Good Luck,


Friday, December 1, 2006

Crossing the Finish Line

Why are some endings like pulling the ever-elusive hen's teeth and others flow so naturally you're amazed at your ability and grace to make it happen?

I'm struggling with the ending of my current WIP at the moment. I know what I want to happen. I even know where the action is to take's getting my characters to the final showdown in a logical fashion I'm having problems with.

I don't remember ever having such trouble wending my way to the showdown before. It's the only place I can have it since we're talking about an alchemist run amuck, so his laboratory is going to be in his home...there is no other alternative. Except maybe his Manhattan office...hmmmm...wait, that's a possibility...but not logical either.

Jamblammit!!! (A sound of frustration and not the opposite of Eureka)

It's funny, but the closer I get to the end of the novel, story, novella the more I drag my feet. Is it because I don't want the story to end, or I'm afraid of disappoint readers in the end. Not being able to keep up my part of the bargin? With this book, more so than others I've written, I'm afraid that the promises at the beginning may not be supported in the rest of the novel. That the problem with get too close to the project and can no longer judge it adequately. I trust my critique partners to let me know when I'm flubbing up the middle or end of a story. Lord above knows I can't be trusted.

I know when I've made a good ending and when the action doesn't disappoint. It's the ones, I'm not so sure of that make me scratch my head. And how much action in a novel is over the top? We've all seen Hollywood blockbuster blow-em-up movies. Things generally are bigger on the big screen, but do we need big screen endings in our novels like the final explosion of the Death Star in the good Star Wars?

I sure as hell hope so...because I'm going for it... well, maybe not the explosion via ILM, but I'm definately going to have a hot time in the old laboratory.