Monday, July 6th, 2015
Happy Monday! Hope everyone who celebrated Independence Day in the U.S. had a great time. We stayed home and really enjoyed it. I got some real downtime in this weekend.
I’m also working on promo blogs for the two blog tours and started thinking about some of the best advice I’ve gotten over the years. I wanted to share these four with you guys (although they may be repeated in my blog tours ):
1) No one will believe in you until you believe in yourself. This was before I was published and I was whining to a friend about people not taking me seriously as a writer and wondering if I would ever make it. My friend looked me dead in the eye and said, “No one will believe in you until you believe in yourself.” That was a light bulb moment for me. Why was I looking elsewhere for validation? I started treating myself as pursuing a professional writing career, not a hobbyist. And I quit looking for validation from everyone else. Instead of talking about my career goals, I focused on believing in myself and achieving them. Believing in myself help me focus on my goals, and once we do that, we begin achieving our goals.
2) The only one standing in your way is you. I believe this was way back when I decided to try to write paranormal and I was scared, throwing out excuses. One of my writer friends, Marianne Donley, told me the I was the only one standing in my way and it stuck. It’s very much like the time I was talking to my oldest son about colleges. I was helping him fill out paperwork for the state university, while he was telling me his high school councilors told him he “should be going to an Ivy League school.” He absolutely he had the grades, intelligence and drive. But this was a life lesson. His dad and I had clear goals about what we wanted to teach them, so I explained, “We are not paying for college. We will help, and the harder you work to make things happen for yourself, the more we will help. But if you think an Ivy League school is the way to go, then you go out and make it happen. Don’t ever let your dad and I stand in your way. Ever. If you want it, you can make it happen.” Oldest son has done well — it doesn’t matter what path he chose, but he made his life happen and is very successful now. This is exactly what Marianne meant — the only one standing in your way is you. If you want it, then you work your butt off, as hard and long as it takes, to make it happen. No excuses.
3) Never tone down one character to match the other. This was advice from Laura Wright. It was when I was revising a book, maybe Blood Magic, and the editor felt my hero was overshadowing my heroine. My editor suggested I “tone down” the hero. Laura and I were discussing the revisions and I told her that. Her response was NO, NO, NO and NO. Never water down a character (unless he’s an offensive jerk), but bring the heroine up to match your hero. I did that and it worked. It was harder than just toning down the hero, but it made for a much better book. A stronger heroine to meet a powerful hero automatically creates more conflict.
4) If a scene isn’t working, even if that scene is “gold,” dump it. Cut it. Get rid of it! This one is my advice to myself and one I’ve repeated over and over, especially in the last few years It just happened in Caged Magic. I had a scene of Linc and Risa spending some time together, laughing and building a rocket. My reasoning was trying to give the two characters a lighter-falling-in-love moment in a darker book, and at the same time, reveal more about the characters. It totally worked, except for one thing — Risa’s beloved baby was missing and there she is laughing, playing, flirting and falling in love while her godchild is out there in the hands of a demon spawn. The scene was well written (my editor said), but it didn’t belong in this book where it clashed with Risa’s internal and external motivations. And it was going to make any mother out there pissed at Risa. My editor suggested I keep the scene, but tone down some of the fun and cast more of a shadow of worry over it. To quote Laura, NO NO NO and NO. That scene belonged in a fun contemporary book not a dark paranormal. If I’d tweaked it, I would have been forcing a square peg into a round hole. Instead, I kept the key dialogue in the scene that revealed character and brutally cut the rest. Then I took the opportunity to write a new action scene where the two of them are trying to find the baby, and threaded in the dialogue. It made a huge difference in the book, and showcased Risa in a much better light. And it ended up showing them connecting on a deeper level than my original scene. Don’t be afraid to dump a scene and take the opportunity to up your game in the book. Yeah, I had to put some serious time and sweat into doing it, but the story improved dramatically.
So there’s some of my favorite advice to writers.
Now it’s your turn. If you’d like to share your advice or thoughts, I’d love to hear it. Or tell me if you had a good weekend, I always lover to hear what you guys are up to.
Friday, July 3rd, 2015
I can’t believe I leave for New York in 19 days! Where is time going? I’m trying to get all my promo work done before hand since I’ll be leaving two days after Caged Magic releases, then Exposing the Heiress will release less than ten days after I return. It’ll be a whirlwind, but it’s fine. The bummer is I haven’t started writing a new book yet, but that’s just part of the business.
I am bugging Wizard for a dog (only halfheartedly, because we both have mixed feelings), but that ended up in a bet dirty, sexy bet involving chocolate chips and a video. We then got into heated negotiations on the terms of the bet and dissolved into manic laughter before we could actually do anything too wild or crazy. Seriously, we really should have adult supervision. Things have only gotten WORSE since Wizard retired. We are a bad influence on young minds or puppies…just saying…
Anyway, let’s move on, shall we? It’s a holiday weekend–July 4th–here in the states. Wizard and I are staying home, probably making some tri-tip steak, and hanging out by the pool. See? Sometimes we can act like adults. I’m also thinking I will finally break down and make him brownies–if he makes me a margarita, and once margaritas are flowing, well…then I can’t promise we’ll act like adults…
What are your plans this weekend?
Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
It’s so cool to get some advanced feedback on CAGED MAGIC and it’s good! Things like this one on Goodreads:
I rarely give 5 stars to books, I always give 4 stars because on those books there is always something missing. But with this one, I couldn’t find a reason to not give this book less than a 5, if there was a number higher than a 5, I would give it in a heartbeat, because this book had everything.
I know, I sound like Sally Field at the Oscars, “You like me, you really like me!” LOLOL!! Of course, not every reader will feel the same way, but this is a huge relief and happy dance for me. Since only my editor, copy editor and formatter had seen the book before it went out, I was a tad nervous. (Ignore Wizard’s choking sarcasm A tad nervous? You haven’t slept more than four hours in weeks! He’s just amusing himself)
Okay so just one more thing then we’ll move on. I have all the pre-order links except B&N. I should have that one today — it just wasn’t showing up when I checked yesterday as B&N was doing some site maintenance. If you’d like to check out pre-orders that I have so far they are:
And now for Wednesday Worthy Candidate.
So what do you think, is he worthy?
Monday, June 29th, 2015
Busy weekend! Wizard and I had a great time at the beach on Friday. We tried a hole in the wall pizza place for lunch, and that got a big fat thumbs down. But then we headed over to another place for chocolate dipped ice cream cones that got two thumbs up. We passed a French bulldog too.
“Look, it’s a French bulldog.” Naturally I couldn’t resister pointing him out.
Wizard took one look and proclaimed, “No way, witch. That’s not a dog. We can’t get that!”
“You are a dog snob!” Then I tortured him endlessly all weekend long.
And FYI — it’s humid and miserable here. We spent the remainder of the weekend in the house. Ugh!! I succeeded in getting Caged Magic up on Netgalley and am now tackling the remainder of the pre-orders, plus working on the Blood Magic file. Things are moving alone, I just need to clone myself to get it all done
So how was your weekend?
Friday, June 26th, 2015
It’s been a long week, and dang, but I’m so frustrated that Caged Magic got held up in production for something I can’t control. I’m pretty much banging my head on my desk. It’s not a major deal, I just want to get it up on Netgalley for reviewers and up for pre-orders. It will get done, just not fast enough to suit my impatient self. But we still have plenty of time, so it will get done long before the release date.
In other news, I will be re-releasing the first four Wing Slayer Hunter books, which is great news. I don’t have a time table yet, but I’m excited to get control of the entire series! And I truly appreciate Random House’s cooperation. I’ll be working as quickly as I can to make it happen and should have a time table for the release in July.
But you know what? Life is about more than work — even when we love our job as much as I love writing — so today I have granted myself time off! Yay! Wizard asked me if I wanted to go have lunch down on the beach, and I was like:
Heck yeah!!! Except I didn’t look as cute as this dog when I said it.
So we’re taking off to enjoy a few hours away. I really do take time off — although few people believe that, LOL!
What are your plans this weekend? Are you doing anything fun?
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
I totally missed posting on Monday! My only excuse is that Sunday, Father’s Day, was way too much fun and by the time the last people left around 9pm, I was zonked.
Yesterday, I saw the first proofs of the print version of Caged Magic. It’s going to very pretty once Amy (my formatter) and her team are finished. She’s also working on the digital files. As soon as I have those, I’ll get more pre-orders up.
In the meantime I’m supposed to be working on blogs for the two blog tours but I’ve been finding a million other things to do But no more procrastinating…no really…
So for our Wednesday Worthy candidate, I’m bringing back an oldie. I went looking through my files for a new image I had recently purchased and got sidetracked by this:
Vintage stylized monochrome sepia classic portrait of young male model (Photo has an intentional film grain)
So what do you think? Does he seem worthy of sidetracking me24?
Friday, June 19th, 2015
I know a lot of you are getting rain, but it’s been HOT here. Over a 100 every freaking day!
In other news, it only took me 3 different trips to a store on 3 separate days to get new towels, a rug and a toilet seat cover for the downstairs powder room. It’s a good thing I didn’t take up a career in Interior Design! Wizard, by the way, thinks this is hilarious. I can raise three boys and deal with a sick mom at the same time — all while writing a book, but I can’t seem to buy simple household items.
I’m also **trying** to rest a bit since I have a cold (mild) and my ankle is acting up. But resting is hard when there’s so much to be done!
Now for the important thing; Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
I got this photo from Bigstock because it reminds me of Wizard. He was the kind of dad that was always happy to get home from work and hang out with the kids. For a few weeks, our youngest son, BLB had some mild colic. Every night around dinner time, he’d cry. Wizard would come home from work, change and immediately take over. I’d tell him he didn’t have to, but he’d just say, “You need a break too.” Then he’d hold BLB in his arms, walking around the house and outside, soothing him while playing with our two older boys and listening to their chatter about their days. It was so sweet and sexy and to this day, Wizard is still like that. When the kids need him, he’s there.
I wish all children had a father like that, but most especially boys so they could see what is true strength in a man.
Sunday, Wizard’s brother is visiting from out-of-state, and for sure Middle Son and his girlfriend will come over. I think BLB will be here too. CPA boy and Special K will be on a camping trip. We’ll see them soon. Oh and Bailey Dog is coming too, I think
What are your plans for this weekend/Father’s Day?