My Books available from Amazon

Saturday, September 24, 2011

And So it Begins, Again

Ok, so I have taken a week off writing, well sort of. I published my second book last Sunday and ever since my mind has been toiling away at what will happen in my third installment. I have been plugging away at my outline, for the third book and I was having some fun exploring different angles at which to take my characters, and what I wanted to have happen next. For me, working through the outline motivates me to get the story going, a very good feeling.

My OCD is kicking in, and I feel as if something is missing if I am not working on my story, and taking it to the next level. The characters have been running around in my head for the past week letting me know they need to have their adventures written down. Break time is over.

I already purchased the cover are from an amazing graphic designer, Tishia from Paragraphic design, because she is awesome, and I love what she creates. So, with my cover in hand, and my outline in place, the time has come to find the words, and put the story that is in my mind down to digital paper.

Today will be all about the writing, and see how many words I can get down. I love that, going back at the end of the day and finding how many words were done, I wonder if I can get to 10,000 today? A lofty goal? Maybe. But where would we be without lofty goals? ( I wouldn’t be writing right now, that’s for sure!)

And I already have another idea in my head for another series. I think I am going to save the for November though, for NaNo month. And it is a story about vampires. I know it has been done multiple times, but I have some interesting ideas floating around that would make a really cool story. So hopefully, I can complete my third in the first series, so I can dedicate November to the new idea, only time will tell.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Intenral Motivator

The question I am asked the most after people learn that I have written a book is “What makes you write?” Many times I stare at them, blankly, and wonder how to describe what it is that makes me write.

I don’t have a muse hanging over my shoulder with a knife to my throat telling me I must write, even though, sometimes that is what it feels like, in order to get all of my thoughts typed out. At times my fingers cannot type fast enough for my muse, which prods me to attempt to go faster, and just keep writing. It is almost like a runner’s high. (Writer's high, maybe?) You work and work and work, and then everything comes together, and BAM! The first book is done, and BAM! The second book is done, and it just keeps happening. For me, it is one of my favorite feelings.

The drive just continues to build, and what starts out as an outline has become 90,000 words of a story, how cool is that?

Every day I sit down to write, and when I’m done, at the top of my rough draft, I put the date, and what my word count is. Then for my reward, I figure out how many words I was able to get out. But the best part is when I look back over several weeks, and see how many words have been added to the story.

So for me, building on to my story, and counting my words motivates me to do more, and see how many more words I can push out. I enjoy competing against myself, and improving day by day, and week by week, and in no time, a story is born, or continued, depending on which book is being written.

So I guess the simple answer to what motivates me to write? The only answer I can come up with is personal satisfaction.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dark Dreams Teaser

All right, so the second book is completed, and being edited as I write this, so I wanted to share a little more with you. This is the first six pages of my second book, and the second in the series.
I would love to know what you think, and hope you enjoy it.

A Brave New World
They had done it. Kate and Jack had arrived safely and together at their new home. Friendly faces from around the cavern greeted them. Jack was standing in the center of a circle looking to a mass of people who seemed ecstatic at his presence.
 Kate could feel a deep  admiration from the strangers that were now surrounding them. She watched as the people rushed up to greet the man she loved. She noticed how he seemed to have this effect on people, not only her. She had known there was something about him that drew people too him, and now she had justification of her feelings.
 Jack was still wearing the same outfit he was wearing when he and Kate had first met Dark chocolate colored pants, cream button down shirt, tall leather boots, and a dark long coat that almost touched the ground. Kate stared at him, he looked pristine.
Jack looked as if he had just stepped out of a magazine. His dark hair was striking against his pale skin. His amber eyes burned with victory. They had arrived safely, and unscathed to their new home.
The people that had gathered were trying to move closer to him. Some were patting him on the back while others seemed to be happy just to be able to see him. While the group was busy congratulating Jack on making it back with his love, Kate was distinctly aware of how she was being looked at. She noticed quick glances, coming at her from many different angles. Some stared with looks of adoration, others with a look of wonder. Still others were smiling so big, there weren’t words for the looks on their faces.
She wondered how hideous she must have looked. She hadn’t showered in over a week. Her wild auburn waves were loosely pulled into a shabby ponytail. She raised her eyes, and from the corner of her eye, she could see a few curls sneak toward the front of her face. She tried to hide behind them.
Her outfit was in even more disorder. She took her one free hand and tried to brush some of the dirt off her pants while no one was looking directly at her. Kate noticed a few dirty spots on her shirt as well as she was looking down.  She crossed her arms while she fidgeted, trying to cover the random smears of dirt on her shirt.
 Kate looked out at the crowd, and smiled shyly to her onlookers. She moved herself closer to Jack, trying to disappear behind his broad frame. She kept her hand intertwined with his, as he was repeatedly being patted and moved by the crowd.
The mass that had gathered was closing in around them.  Kate was thankful she had never been claustrophobic. She stood on her tiptoes to be able to reach Jack’s ear. He felt her inclining up toward him, and leaned slightly for her to be able to speak to him.
“Jack why are they looking at us like that?” She wasn’t used to being the center of attention, it made her feel uncomfortable. The only time people usually stared at her was when she had done something clumsy. Because she was standing close to Jack, she didn’t have the opportunity to be clumsy, yet.
 Even though she was more like Jack now, since he had saved her life with a potion from his home, she still felt gangly and awkward.
He turned his head toward her and squeezed her hand tighter. “I told you Kate, you are special. Do you believe my words now?” He had a mischievous smile on his face. She was willing to bet a rapid glow appeared in his eyes as he spoke to her. But he wouldn’t know for sure a she was still hiding behind him. She scowled and then returned to her former guarded self, smiling pleasantly at those who were surrounding her and Jack.
   After she got over the immediate discomfort of being stared at as if she were a celebrity, she started looking closer at the people that encircled them. She could see a faint iridescent glow to the skin of some of the people. The majority of them looked about the same age as Jack, maybe a few that were older, but not many. There were some children too. But even the children had grown up appearances. She remembered seeing Jack in her dreams, when he was young. These children resembled her memory of Jack. They were well dressed, and neat.
 She took relief in knowing there were so many people that had been able to escape the invasion that had taken place on the surface of the Earth. Even if the majority of them were from another world, they all appeared to be human, no different from anyone who would survive on the earth’s surface above them, if there were any survivors. Jack interrupted her thoughts as he spoke to their newfound admirers.
“Friends we have had a long trip, please allow us to rest, and will continue our discussions soon.”
The crowd began to talk amongst themselves, their heads nodding up and down as they dispersed, allowing Jack and Kate to continue walking forward. It felt more as they were walking down a parade route. The people separated along either side of them, creating a path of well-wishers. Kate felt her eyes get wider as she watched the crowd as they, in turn, watched her. She had never seen anything like this, unless she counted on television.
Roscoe, Kate’s bumbling Rottweiler, was the opposite of Kate when it came to being the center of attention. He seemed to be happy with his sudden popularity. From the people lining their walk, Roscoe would wander back and forth, and tiny hands would reach out and pet at the dog. If he had a tail, it would be wagging madly. His big pink tongue danced at the side of his open mouth as he smiled at all of his new friends.
Kate felt a stream of questions filling her mind while they walked. She had never expected this.  She had never anticipated the number of people, and that they would all be so curious about her. She wasn’t anything special, was she?
“Yes Kate you are.” Jack stopped as her turned to face her. She looked up into his eyes, which were now glowing intensely. “I love you Kate.” He said as he raised her hand up to his lips, and gently kissed the back of her hand. Kate felt the electricity from his kiss jump start her heart.
The glow began to pulse over her skin, and the people cheered and applauded. Kate wasn’t sure, but she thought she heard a few cat calls as well. She was completely confused, and Jack chuckled.
“I promise to explain everything, soon.” His eyes were smoldering as he looked to her. Kate opened her thoughts, letting Jack inside of her mind.
“I am counting on it”. She thought as she returned his gaze. He laughed, as he was obviously in tune to her thoughts.
They continued their walk as Kate took in the city that they were in. The path had widened, and she was able to see houses that had been built into the walls of the cave that bordered them. There were streams of light filtering down from the roof of the cave. Slender slits of light trickled down, lit up the cavern, and bounced off the houses, as if it were daytime.
 Kate stared in wonder at what she was seeing around them. Rows and rows of house fronts jutted from the walls of the cave. Kate could see people, hundreds of people peering out through the windows of their homes. Some were staying behind the safety of their curtains, stealing glances while others were coming out from their homes, and waving as Jack and Kate walked by.
The continued on with the precession for what seemed like hours when they had apparently reached their destination. A large group of men on horseback was lined up in three perfect rows. The horses were all jet black with deep mahogany colored bridles. Each rider had a long dark crimson cloak. As Jack had always worn with the same coffee colored pants, these riders did too. Their tall boots matched Jack’s as well.
 Kate was running down each bizarre instance in her head like a checklist, and the events leading up to this moment were beginning to make sense to her now.
“Um, Jack, I don’t think you told me quite everything about yourself when we first met.” She said quietly, never taking her eyes off the immense horses lined up in front of her. Each of their massive legs stood perfectly still and matched. Their glossy coats had a deep ebony glow. They were beautiful. Everything here was beautiful.
Kate saw a man moving toward them from behind the horses.
“Jackson? Is it true? Have you come back to us with your love?” He said, smiling. He was a tall, broad man with the same face as Jack. His eyes were older and very kind. His hair was like Jack’s, only it was grey. He didn’t look old, experienced was a better word to describe him Kate thought.
Jack smiled at the man as he approached them, a smile of deep respect and love. He took a step toward the man as he reached his arms out wide in welcome to both of them.
“Father, I have missed you.”
Jack’s father Kate thought. Her eyes were wide. She had never anticipated she would be meeting his father. Her hand squeezed Jack’s a little tighter as she tried to continue hiding behind him. His father spoke to Jack, but looked to Kate.
“And I you Jackson. Now please, introduce me to the young lady that you have brought with you.” He said, his eyes smiling to Kate.
Jack beamed as he released his father, and took one-step to the side, so Kate was in his father’s full view.
“Father, this is my Kate. Miss Katherine Montgomery.” He bowed as he said her name with a deep reverence. She could feel his love for her in the way he said her name.
Kate felt the same way for him. She had waited her entire life to find this man, who came to her through her dreams. Her dreams had actually helped guide him to her. She was still having a hard time accepting that.
 It seemed like so long ago when she would dream of him, and he wasn’t real. Now he was, and standing next to her, professing his love in front of his father and all of these people. She felt the glow of her skin continue, and intensify.
“Kate, this is my father, King Samuel Hannerbe.” Kate felt the smile on her face turn to one of surprise. She had to concentrate to make sure her mouth didn’t drop open. She didn’t know how to reply. Did she call him sir, your majesty, or maybe your royal highness?
“Um…hi, er, I mean….hello sir, it is a pleasure to meet you.” She felt the awkwardness of her words. She thought about bowing, but wasn’t sure how to do it.
Samuel just laughed as he took her free hand in between his.
“Please, call me Samuel, everyone else does.” He laughed harder and Jack stifled back a laugh as well.
“I am so honored to meet you Miss Kate. Jackson has been away from us for such a long time in his quest to find you.” He stepped away from her and looked at the pair of them. Jack took a step closer to Kate, his arm protectively slid behind her.
Feeling him close to her like this brought her back to her happy place, and she knew in her heart that they would always be together. Samuel patted Jack on his shoulder as he looked at the couple from a small distance. Kate wondered if he were summing up if she were good enough for his son.
“I am so grateful you both have been returned to us safely.” He turned to address the people that had filled in the empty space behind Kate and Jack.
His hands rose up in friendship to all of the people. “My son has been traveling this world for many years in search of his other half. And he has found her. Of all places she could have been, she was very close to us the entire time. Jackson and his bride have been returned to us.” Samuel smiled at the crowd, his serene voice joyful. “Tomorrow we will all celebrate their union. Please, my friends let us all rejoice tonight as we prepare for their celebration tomorrow. We shall leave you now, until morning. We invite all of you, our friends, to celebrate this union.”
The crowd erupted into applause and cheers.
Samuel turned to head back from the original direction that he came, from behind the horses and Roscoe eagerly followed him. “Well hello friend.” Samuel said to Roscoe.
Roscoe answered him with a quick jump. Samuel twisted as he reached down to pet the big dog. Kate felt her cheeks turn red as her dog climbed on a king. Samuel just chuckled, petting Roscoe as if he had been awaiting his return as well.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My New Book Cover

Ok, I am incredibly excited beyond anything I can think of to be able to put these words here. The second book in my series, Dark Dreams is finished! I can’t believe it! After only 6 weeks, I have been able to finish it. The reason I am so surprised, is the first book took over 2 years to get done. And when I say done, I don’t mean ready to publish, but done in the sense that the story has been completed, along with a tie in to the third book.
So now the work really begins. Time to tear into it, and edit, and rewrite until it is perfect, well perfect enough to send to an editor.
So in my short little rant about the book being completed (sort of) I wanted to share the cover for it.
I had anticipated working with the artist who did the first cover, but then I met this amazing artist on twitter this is her site: She is very gifted, and reasonable.
She has great covers as samples on her blog, not only showing you what she can do, but if you see something you like you can buy that book cover, unless someone like me has seen it and snatched it up!
I have really enjoyed working with her because she communicates, and lets me know how things are going, and what she is thinking about the cover as it is progressing through its process. And with doing the entire publishing process myself, it is nice to have one less thing to worry about.

So for the first time, I would like to share the cover for my next book, Dark Dreams

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thick Skinned

I haven’t been creating many posts for my blog as of late because I am in the zone of finishing the second book in my series. Even though I want to do regular posts, my mind has been heavily engaged in my work in progress. The second book is nearing completion, and then the real work comes of editing, and re-editing.
That being said I did want to share a moment I had with my daughter the other day.

Katie just started high school. My youngest is now officially in high school, and that raises many other issues for me personally, but we had an interesting conversation.
Just like me, she has a passion for writing. She is a voracious reader, which is a feat in itself for her because she is dyslexic. Thankfully, she has been able to learn how to cope with this, and now we are repeatedly making our way down to Barnes and Noble to find her something else to read.

Now that she is in high school, she has been able to have more variety to her classes. She chose to take newspaper, and she is able to write articles that will hopefully make it into the local high school paper. After the first week of school and this class, she didn’t seem to hold the same fervor that she had originally held.
I asked if she wanted to drive into town with me, and she agreed. She doesn’t have her driver’s license yet, and escaping from the country for a little city stimulation is always welcomed to a 15 year old girl.

We started driving the 30-minute drive into town, and having her as a captive audience, I decided to engage her in some small talk.
So being mom, I asked, “How is your newspaper class going?”
She asked how I would feel if she dropped the class.
I thought about it for a minute, and then told her that if that was what she wanted to do, I was ok with it. After all, I want to make sure she wants to learn, and has classes she loves.
But I wanted to know why, so I dug a little deeper.
“Why do you want to drop the class? Is it too hard?” I asked.
She explained to me that after she turned in her articles, her fellow classmates criticized it, or said she needed to change this, or something else didn’t sound right……you know where I’m going with this.
I explained to her, been there done that. But then, I also said to her that even though it sucks to have someone tear apart what you have written, and it hurts, each time that it happens, your writing will improve from it, and it won’t feel personal after a while.
I didn’t want to sound like I was lecturing her, so I just used examples from my own writing for her, she has been with me every step of the way creating my first book, and she has heard me dissecting feedback.
I told her what I do after I have someone read something I have written, and I get the feedback, skim over it, get all butt hurt, let it sink in for a little bit, and then I read it again, and again. I take the recommendations that my reader suggests because that is what I want, to produce something that will be great and I can’t get that without some feedback, good or bad.
I also told her that it helps you to gain “tough skin” and with each instance, it gets a little bit easier to take it, and then I use that information and learn from it. It’s hard not to take it personally at first, but when you get that very much needed tough skin, your writing will get better and better, and it won’t bother you, because the words from others will make you better. Not only will it help your writing, it will help in many aspects of everything you do. Having a tough skin will help you to overcome setbacks, and adversity thorough out your life.
She just nodded and smiled from the passenger side of the truck, and then we started listening to an audio book as we drove into town.

Later that night, she came to me and started asking questions about a sentence, or a synonym for something and then scurried off to her room again, sitting at her computer. Curious, I asked what she was working on. She said, “My article for the paper, it’s due tonight, so I got to get it too my editor.”
I know I looked confused when I responded to her. “I thought you were going to drop that class?”
She looked up from her computer, “I thought about what you said, and I’m going to stick it out, because I need a thick skin.” She smiled at me, and then went back to her writing.