Monday, November 11, 2013

Tag, You're It Blog Hop!

As you all know, I’ve been on hiatus for a quite some time, but every once in a while, I like to drop in and leave a little breadcrumb, so you all know I’m still alive.  While I’m still super busy writing and editing, I was tagged last week by fellow romantic suspense author Robyn Roze for the Tag, You’re It Blog Hop. 

This is an easy one, just answer 4 questions then tag 3 others.   All right, here goes…

  1. What are you working on right now?

Amidst all the edit jobs and critiques, I’m frantically trying to finish the last quarter of my second novel, LEVERAGE, a sequel to my romantic psychological thriller, The Mistaken.  Not an easy job when I never planned on writing the first one to begin with, let alone setting it up so I could plot a second.  Plus, my readers expect the same level of excitement or even higher, so I’m really revving it up big time in this next book.  Sure, there’s a lot more sex and violence, but also lots of twists.  That kind of plotting is difficult to pull off, and I want it to be perfect, so I’m not the 2-books-a-year kind-of-author, but it’ll be worth the wait, I promise!

  1. How does it differ from other work in its genre?

Both The Mistaken and LEVERAGE are thrillers, but they’re definitely not your usual fare of cops and detectives or spies and conspiracies.  No sleuthing here or end-of-the-world scenario, just a regular family thrown into the very depths of hell, trying to save themselves without succumbing to the same type of evil that put them there.  I try to write characters readers can relate to.  I can’t tell you how sick I am of über-rich, fantastically good-looking alpha males and the weak-kneed damsels who fall for them.  Please!  It’s so cliché.  Give me a regular blue-collar guy with a mortgage and a kid in college and I’ll thrown flaming poisoned darts at his head and try my best to crush his life.  But I do include a great deal of romance and the forces that try to destroy that, so even romance readers will find something they can love.

  1. Why do you write?

When I wrote The Mistaken, it was out of boredom, mostly, since the ragged economy had nearly destroyed my design business, but there definitely was that voice or muse that whispered in my ear, so I just went along for the ride.  LEVERAGE has been different, more of a challenge to see if I could do it again.  Plus, I fell in love with these people—um, I mean, characters—and I want to see where they go next.  I write now because I’ve discovered how much I love and enjoy it, and I’m not half bad at it either, so why the hell not?

  1. How does your writing process work?

Typically, something sparks an idea.  I then take notes which eventually form into an outline.  But that outline will turn more into a handwritten first draft without much dialogue and absolutely no setting, just the bones of the scene and segue into the next chapter.  Once that’s done, or nearly so as in the case of LEVERAGE, I sit with that outline and just…write!  I fill in the blanks, add setting and dialogue, then sprinkle in backstory.  I don’t edit until I’m done, but I will send chapters off to my CPs and betas to get an idea if it worked for them or not.  Once I’m done writing and I get all chapters back from my CPs, I’ll edit the crap out of it, rinse and repeat until it’s all sparkly.  Before publishing, I brainstorm and gather what I need for cover art and typography, blog tours and reviews, and the all dreaded marketing. 

Okay, so now to tag a few of my own.  

Let’s see, how about…

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: In Loving Arms

It’s the first Wednesday of the month.

I’m gonna keep this relatively short and sweet today.  I learned a good lesson Monday.  You see, I went like five or six days straight without an ebook sale on Amazon, the one place where I can track my progress, or lack thereof.  I’ve learned over the last year not to get all bent out of shape when I get a bad review, and luckily, I haven’t had very many to react to.  But when my Amazon sales rank skyrockets, I get worried.  When it soared to the upper reaches of heaven on Monday, of all days, I downright panicked.

I reached out via Facebook, and many of my friends took my hand, offering support and a shoulder to lean on.  But I also encountered a few unexpected angels up there in heaven.  They rallied around me, told me how much they loved my book, how skilled they thought I was, but they went even a step farther.  They formed a street team, a group of loyal fans, friends, and followers who’ll spread their love of my book using various forms of social media.  Then they did, they spread.

And then today, I saw that my wicked streak had finally broken.  Now, I don’t know if they had anything to do with that shake-up, just like I don’t know what caused the slowdown in the first place, if it’s indicative of how things are going right now, which seems the case according to many of my author friends, or just an anomaly.  Either way, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is, I had the loving arms of some amazing people to hold me together.

So that’s my message.  We authors are already a rather sensitive, insecure bunch, so if you’re putting yourself out there, make sure you surround yourself with folks who will catch you when you stumble, will bolster you up when your confidence sags, will nudge you when your afraid to go any further.  With a year already behind my launch, I’m usually the nudger to my lesser experienced friends, but I’m not too proud to acknowledge when I need help and to accept it when it’s offered.  Honestly, I’d never make it without that.