Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Author's Ka-Tet.



I'm rereading Stephen King's DARK TOWER series again. (Hence my slacking on the blog) and I've been thinking a lot about the concept of a "Ka-tet." "Ka" is the word for "fate" so, (Quoted from Wikipedia):   "ka-tet is a group of beings brought together by ka. "We are ka-tet. We are one from many," says Roland Deschain on the day before the Battle of Algul Siento.[1] Ka-tet is the belief that a group of people can be tied together by fate, or ka. It is said that a group has shared "khef" or the water of life. Sometimes the symbol of water is used literally, as in a ritual Roland and his ka-tet performs the night before the battle of Algul Siento. In the seventh novel, Susannah Dean, who ends up understanding ka maybe more than Roland himself, comes to the understanding that in simple terms, "ka-tet" means family."


I'm all down with this. I firmly believe that some people are meant to become part of each other's lives. And when my crit group formed, our skills and accomplishments sky-rocketed. We are definitely a ka-tet. :)

Who's your ka-tet? Or have you found them yet? 

Friday, May 25, 2012

When did I become a workaholic?



Yesterday I finished revising the first in my Urban Fantasy series and prepared the query. Before that I finished the rough draft of my 2nd Regency Paranormal. Before that I finished revising BITE ME, YOUR GRACE (well, until my editor gets through with it, lol.)

I figured I'd take a few days off. Last night went okay thanks to a mini Big Bang Theory Marathon, but today I'm all anxious to be working on something. My fingers are literally itching to be writing again. I have two projects that I want to tackle, there's my long-neglected roadie story I want to enter in the IWL contest, and of course, there's book 3 in my regency paranormal series.

So, though I'm going to try to take it easy this weekend, I might just tinker a little bit on the keyboard. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Holy Crap, I think I'm a Plotter!


My suspicion started when I realized 2 things: 

1.) I tend to jot down quick notes of upcoming scenes in whatever project I'm working on. 
2.) I'm pretty damn good at the dreaded synopsis.

My theory that I may be a plotter was confirmed when I landed my 3 book deal for my regency paranormal romance series. The editor asked for concepts for the next two books...ones I had not written, much less visualized. It was scary, but I pulled it off. And you know what? Not only was book 2 the smoothest book I've ever written, but my CPs say it's even better than the first. 

Now a friend of mine wants me to critique his entry for the annual Idaho Writer's League contest. "Are you going to enter?" he asked. "Or are you too much of a hot shot now?" 

I laughed and replied, "No, I just can't afford the entry fee."

"Well I'll pay it if you critique my entry," he offered.

So I was all, "Oh crap! What do I enter?" 

I don't want to enter my urban fantasy or paranormal stuff because it never seems to go well with the judges. They seem to gravitate toward the normal. So I really want to enter one of my rock star novellas, namely HIS ROADIE because it opens with a bang.  But as you can see from my progress bar, I'm not too far along with it. The entry will consist of the 1st 3500 words, which is fine, but I also need to include a synopsis. 

At first I was all, "Damn it!" but then I remembered how well my 2nd regency paranormal went when I wrote the synopsis in advance. I have a feeling that after I write the synopsis for HIS ROADIE, my progress will increase.

So, HOLY CRAP, I think I'm a plotter! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Hidden Sign of a Good Publisher


So you've sent out queries and garnered a few requests from publishers. Then one of them offers. A friend had this happen to her a couple months back.

I asked her the usual questions:

Do they check out on Preditors and Editors?

How long have they been in operation?

How do the rights and royalty rates compare?

How is their distribution?

Everything seemed to check out there, but then I thought of something else, a detail that seems to be ignored in a lot of "seeking a publisher" blogs.

Do the authors stay with the publisher?

I remember reading a book by a certain publisher that I really enjoyed. I've been looking forward to the author's next book. But there hasn't been one. And the first one came out in 2009. The publisher has great connections, excellent staff, wide advertising and distribution, but authors usually only stay with them for one book.

It makes me think of my publisher's motto: "Sourcebooks publishes authors not books."

Obviously those other guys only publish books.

Luckily, the publisher making an offer on my friend's book appear to keep their authors and everything else looked great, so she accepted.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm So Excited!


Things have really been moving along for me this month. I finished the rough draft of book 2 in my Regency Paranormal Romance series, I had my author photo shoot, and got a lot of votes and title ideas from this awesome online community.

Today I sent in the list of titles and was informed that Book 2 will be released in Fall of 2013. That means I have TWO books coming out that year!!! YAY!

For now I'm working on revising WRENCHING FATE, the 1st in my Urban Fantasy series. I hope to have it ready to query sometime in June. Then I go back to revising Book 2.

I'm also finishing up the last 6-8 weeks at my janitor job. Then I shall take a month off before I GO BACK TO COLLEGE! Since I can't use my automotive degree anymore, I figure an English degree would do me some good. Awesome news on that front: I DON'T HAVE TO TAKE ANY MORE MATH!! I'll also have my A.S. degree in only a year.

SO EXCITED!!!

How's everyone else doing? I love good news!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

4 Reasons Why Ronnie James Dio is One of my Muses.


For those of you who don't know, today marks the two year anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's death. :( I wrote a huge memorial post about him last year. I also drew a portrait of him for my husband for our wedding anniversary, which is on the 30th. 

I swear, whenever I'm not writing, he seems to be glaring at me. 

 Anyway, somehow, in the last few years, Dio has become more than a favorite musician, he's also become one of my muses. I mentioned the realization to my husband and asked, "Do you think he'd be all weirded out, that some crazy romance author sees him as a muse?"

My husband shook his head. "No, I think he'd be flattered."

Maybe he's right. After all, I do believe that all artists and musicians really are muses.

And here's why Dio's one of mine:

1.) His music: Music has always been one of my primary inspirations to create. I hear a song and I picture a scene in my head. Often that scene becomes a story. Dio's songs always told stories. In fact, he once said in an interview that if he weren't a musician, he may have been an author.

Here's the song "FEVER DREAMS" from the album, "Magica." I have a novel in the works about a singer in a metal band who discovers she's the prophesied savior of another world. She has some strange dreams beforehand. I heard this song and thought, "Wow, he's singing about my character." Okay, not really, but it's still a fun thought.


Also, "Lately when my demons drag the night across my eyes..." is the coolest metaphor for falling into an uneasy sleep that I've ever heard.

2.) The inspiration of his life. Dio didn't build a successful music career that spanned across six decades without hard work and dedication. Any time I consider whining about the writing being hard, I think of him and remember that he wrote hundreds of songs and made a ton of albums. That took work. He also took lots of time to do concert tours and interviews and interact with his fans.

I try to think of each chapter I write as a song, and each novel an album. And I will strive to treat my fans as good as he did. He once sat out in the rain for HOURS signing autographs.

Here's a video of Dio in the studio, hard at work. :)


3.) We have a lot in common, so I can actually imagine talking to him. Dio loved to read. He was also really into fantasy and medieval history. I wish I could ask him if he's read PILLARS OF THE EARTH, or any of the HARRY POTTER series. Obviously, he loved music and a lot of the bands he's mentioned and toured with are among my favorites. He loved animals, cats as well as dogs. And he was short. I'm only 5' and I took a lot of crap for it growing up. So it's extremely inspiring for a fellow short person to become a giant.

You have to be big to tackle Aerosmith's "Dream On."



4.) He was damn good looking. I'll admit it, romance authors are always inspired by eye candy. I'm a sucker for great hair and eyes and Dio had both.

His wife was one lucky lady.
Muses are a good thing to have, truly. So in honor of Dio's memory, I'm going to rock out to his music and get back to work on another novel.

Who are your muses? What keeps you going when you're at the creative grindstone?

Monday, May 14, 2012

When Our Favorite Authors Crash and Burn




I am sure this happens to you all often. You get hooked on an author, eagerly awaiting their next release while voraciously re-reading their previous books to whet your appetite for the new installment.

You bring their newest shiny book home, perhaps you even call in sick from work to devour it. You crack it open and begin reading the first few pages with a joyous grin. Then, it starts. Your smile dims somewhat. This character would never do something like that. However, with high hopes, you read further. Perhaps there's a nifty twist to explain it. A few pages later, a perplexed frown mars your features. Either a crappy character or a cheesy plot device has entered the picture. And is that yet another typo?


You finish the book and close it, aching with disappointment. What happened? If this were anyone but your favorite author, you would have tossed the book aside by the second chapter. Nevertheless, meager hope shines in your breast. Maybe the author was having some personal issues. Maybe this bad book was needed to lead up to something awesome. But....you have a bad feeling. You wait for the next book, but not with half the excitement as before. You don't run to the closest bookstore to get it. Instead, you search for the best bargain, and even then part with your money grudgingly.

And your suspicions were confirmed. This one is even worse than the last. Still, you've invested a lot of time with this author and retain some loyalty. You wait until the next one is released in paperback...and again it was a waste of money. Better just get it at the library next time.

As a reader, I feel horribly betrayed when this happens.

As an author, I fall on my knees and pray, "Please don't let me end up like them!"


But really, what happened? I hear rumors sometimes that this or that author has literally gone insane. I read in the news that another had lost a close relative. Or perhaps it is as simple as not following Stephen King's credo to "write with the door closed" during the first draft. It is hard enough for an unpublished writer to refrain from talking about their project or even showing it to friends and family. I can't imagine what it's like for best-sellers whose work everyone and their cat is clamoring for. But like King says: "...if no one says to you, '....this is Wonderful!,' you are a lot less apt to slack off or to start concentrating on the wrong thing...being wonderful, for instance, instead of telling the goddam story."


Of course...there are a few out there that I am more in favor of the "gone insane" theory. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Telling vs. Showing...or my new catchphrase!

Sorry about the lack of posts, I've been crazy busy finishing up my 2nd Regency Paranormal and working on edits in other projects. And speaking of edits, I'm running across a lot of telling instead of showing, which brings this video to mind. Here's the Hercules actor saying his lines and he accidentally yells the word "Disappointed" which was in parentheses in the script. He was supposed to sound disappointed, not yell it. 


That said, I think when something unpleasant occurs, I'm going to yell "Disappointed!" at the top of my lungs from now on. :)

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Help me find a title!

Well, I'm coming up on the finish line of the rough draft of the second novel in my regency paranormal romance series and I STILL don't have a title. I have a few ideas, but nothing has quite clicked yet. Luckily my editor wants a list of lots of ideas, so I am appealing to you awesome people to help me choose and/ or add to it.

Here's the basic setup of the story:



Vincent Tremayne, Earl of Deveril and Lord Vampire of Cornwall is approached by the Dowager Countess of Morley because of an ancient alliance between their families. Her son, the earl, has died twenty years after marrying a chambermaid and moving to America. He left a daughter and the Countess fears the “uncouth American” will ruin her other granddaughter’s debut. She prevails upon the old alliance and asks Vincent to become Lydia Price’s guardian.

 Due to the countess’s utter biliousness, Vincent agrees. He plans to not only get her married off quickly and thus off his hands, but to ensure that the heroine outshines her cousin just to spite the countess.

But when Lydia arrives in Cornwall, Vincent has a problem: he wants her for himself. But the Lord Vampire of London urges Vincent to follow his original plan- or face dire consequences. 

Since the first book is called "BITE ME, YOUR GRACE," I'm trying to include the word "Bite" in all of the titles, but if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

So here are my ideas so far. Forgive me if a few are bland. 

1.) HER GUARDIAN VAMPIRE

2.) BITE OF A GENTLEMAN

3.) A GENTLEMAN'S BITE

4.) GUARDIAN'S BITE

5.) HER GUARDIAN BITES

6.) BITE OF AN EARL

7.) AN EARL'S BITE

And just to help us with inspiration, here's a hot pic of Wentworth Miller:

Give him long hair and Regency clothing and he could be my cover model! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

AWAITED by Lynn Rush releases today!



Driven to write, Lynn Rush often sees her characters by closing her eyes watching their story unfold in her mind. Lynn Rush is a pen name that is a combination of two sources – Lynn, the first name of her mother-in-law, who passed away and Rush – since the author is a former inline speed skater and mountain biker. All of Rush’s books are dedicated to Lynn, her namesake.
Rush holds a degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master's degree from the University of Iowa. Originally from Minneapolis, Rush currently enjoys living in the Arizona sunshine by road biking nearly 100 miles per week with her husband of 15 years and jogging with her two loveable Shetland Sheep dogs.


Connected with Lynn online
Catch the Rush: www.LynnRush.com

~~~See you in the paranormal~~~


Awaited (Wasteland, #2) –Available May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 9781937254216
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/JewjTX
All Romance E-Book: http://bit.ly/HHTx2U

Book Blurb for Awaited:
The voice is a powerful thing. . .
Russell Leonard is a centuries-old Guardian who’s lost faith in his purpose. So when he’s charged with procuring the first female Guardian in over two centuries, he can only hope it’s the red-headed beauty who’s been haunting his dreams for months. And if it is, he intends to claim her as his. But when he finds his dream woman, Annabelle is mute and bears no Guardian’s Mark.
He soon realizes she’s been tainted by an ancient evil. Russell must somehow release the secrets trapped within this delicate soul to help her tap into the only weapon powerful enough to silence a millennia-old demon—her voice.
“From the first action-packed scene, AWAITED grabs you and doesn't let go until its awesome conclusion.” ~~Caridad PiƱeiro, NY Times Best-Selling Author