Reminiscing

I try to do this once a year, especially when my faith in what I’m doing feels strained and tattered. When the words are hard and I second guess everything. When the family is oblivious to how much I do. How little time I have to write. How little sleep I get as a result.

I do this… and it’s all worth it.

What’s my secret to refilling the Well? I take a little walk with Gregar, Shannari, and Rhaekhar.

The Rose of Shanhasson was the first book I ever finished. If you’re new around here, you may not know the whole saga. Those blog posts are long gone, lost in a domain transfer many years ago. But Rose is more than my first book. It’s my first love. It’s the first book that taught me to dream in rhyme. Where I learned to dream in words, rather than letting the movie play in my head.

It’s far from the first draft (I have sworn to permanently silence my sister if she even thinks about ever bringing that first awful draft out in public). It went through major revisions over several years.  Both my personal revisions after years of RWA contest circuits — and then my first editor’s revisions (that publisher long ago shut their doors). I was so thrilled when Dorchester requested a full, and agonized for YEARS waiting on an answer that never came. Another publisher closed their doors.

I still remember some of the things I had to change over the years with bittersweet fondness.  Like the sur’ami aspect (hello, budding bondage slave/Master writer) which I hacked out long before I submitted it to Drollerie. My editor at the time didn’t like me calling Varne “the Closest Blood” because she read it as Closet.  Though we changed it to Nearest, he’ll always be Closest in my head.

I know the characters so thoroughly that I could pick it up and write any of them today without having to refresh my memory on their voices or their backstory. They live in my dreams. They always will. There’s some indescribable magic that I find woven in those words. Maybe it’s the blood, sweat, and buckets of tears I shed on that story over the years, but I love it. So much.

The Shanhasson series is as close to my deepest darkest heart you’ll ever see without meeting me in person and getting me drunk. Laughs.

You might be surprised at the violence and darkness – mixed with the hope and love. There’s pain and death and agonizing loss. And the greatest love of all. Each book is not Romance (spoiler: characters die) but the trilogy ends on a huge happy ending reunion high note that I hope makes up for the hell I put you through to get there.

So much love. So much blood.

The only story that even comes close….

Charlie’s One Cut Deeper. And maybe that’s why I love him and Ranay so much too. Yes, there’s a Master/slave relationship too. Maybe my muse was trying to get back to that original vision of long long ago. Ranay reminds me of my early Shannari, before I wounded her heart. Literally. Before she had to learn to kill to protect herself. I don’t think Ranay will ever have to go that far. Charlie is more than eager to do any killing needed to keep his heart safe.

I thought of Gregar often while working on Two Cuts Darker. He’s still the first, the most honored, the deadliest of all. But his gift lives on in Charlie and his brother, Vince. The Shadowed Blood will always ride in my dreams, and when I’m especially lucky, he shows up in my stories too.

She pointed her sword at Gregar. “Back off.”

The Blood took a step closer, pressing the sword tip into his body. Her jaw tightened with determination and she pushed a little harder, puncturing his chest. Smiling with anticipation, Gregar pushed back. A little closer, a little more steel pressing into his body.

She shifted her grip on the hilt, fully prepared to skewer him. A coldness settled on her features that told Rhaekhar she’d killed before and often. Very impressive. He liked a hint of danger in a woman. Evidently, so did Gregar.

“Go ahead,” he taunted, his low voice echoing with amusement and his trademark wickedness. Shannari shivered and her eyes widened. “Run me through. I shall greatly enjoy it.”

Her gaze flickered to the smaller wound she dealt to Rhaekhar’s neck earlier. “Are you all crazy?”

“Gregar is… special. He used to be a Death Rider.” At the blank look on her face, Rhaekhar added, “An assassin. Death Riders delight in sacrificing blood to the Great Wind Stallion. Blood sacrifice is a very great honor among us.”

She jerked her sword away. Gregar wiped his hand across his chest and licked the blood from his fingers. “Would you like a taste?”

 

I Survived!

August and September were rough, but I made it. I turned Two Cuts Darker in on time, though it did come in a tad shorter than I expected.

I had some problems with this book that just made it harder to work my way through. The mind is a tricky thing sometimes and if my mind isn’t in the right place, the words are slow to come. I’ve been putting mental work into this book since May or even earlier–but the words were like pulling teeth. I had it plotted. I knew the characters. But I kept second-guessing my decisions.

Partly because I let reader expectations get into my head. It’s much easier to write a book when I’m writing it FOR ME. I don’t care if so-and-so won’t like it then. All that matters is that I’m happy with it. But the first book did well enough that I read many positive reviews, which is fantastic. But then you start worrying if the next book will match up to the expectations of the readers who enjoyed the first one. I joked with Molly that in some ways it’s much easier to deal with bad reviews. Then I can say, “HA, I’LL WRITE A KILLER STORY TO SHOW YOU!!”

Good reviews are harder to deal with sometimes, as crazy as that sounds. Will they like this as much? Did I make the right decision? Should I do xyz instead to make so-and-so happy?

YOU CAN’T WRITE THAT WAY. I know that, but it took me awhile to silence the voices that didn’t matter, and concentrate on the ones that did.

When I pitched book 2 to my editor, I didn’t expect Charlie and Ranay to be major characters. They’d show up, sure, but I just didn’t see a lot of carryover between those characters and the new ones I intended to introduce. But so many readers wanted more about Charlie, and I had enough time in between books, to start thinking, huh. Maybe I should plan more scenes for him.

Which meant a different plot than I’d originally sketched out.

Which made it more difficult to weave two separate story lines together.

Which made something as easy as POV a difficult decision. Because One Cut Deeper was first-person in Ranay’s POV.  I needed to stick with that for her voice. But Vince didn’t want to talk in first-person, so his story line was in third. That can make for messy story mechanics.

I wanted to include Charlie’s POV at least a little, but he wouldn’t cooperate for so long that I finally gave up and skipped him entirely. Only after I turned the book in and told Alissa I wanted to try, did he open up a little. Worse, he wanted to talk in first-person PRESENT.

Those scenes may not stay in the book. They may make it even messier. If we cut them, I’ll offer them as extras here on the blog.  Charlie’s head isn’t an easy place to be. He knows what he is and there’s no softening of those instincts and needs. It can make for a very dark place to be. So those scenes are short, and not nearly as crucial to the story as Ranay and Vince.

All in all, this was one of the hardest stories for me to write. I ended up very happy with it, but man, I really sweat bullets and blood through this book. I didn’t write it like any other book. Because I had two story lines, I had two separate folders in Scrivener and I wrote them like two separate stories, even after the lines merged near the last third.

I worried that I wouldn’t have enough sex to keep it in the same level of heat as One Cut Deeper… and then I couldn’t get the guys out of the bedroom.  I had two couples to keep up with after all.

I even ended the book with two separate sex scenes for two couples. I think that’s a first for me.

I pulled some very late nights. I used up almost all of my vacation except for the already-scheduled days off around the holidays. Dark & Early did NOT work this time. I relied on the 10PM-1AM or later window, while still getting up at 5:45 AM to get the kids up for school. I start the Evil Day Job at 6:45 AM. Some days I was exhausted by 2 PM and I fell asleep after dinner for a nap several times. Keeping up with the kids’ busy schedule with marching band season in full swing and basketball tryouts right around the corner was rough. Keeping food on the table each night, ditto.  I literally can’t remember what I regularly cook for dinner. Toward the end, we did more frozen pizzas, tortellini, bottled sauces, sandwiches, soup, etc. Easy stuff or quick things in the freezer.

Of course I also had edits on The Billionaire’s Christmas Bargain to pull off these last two months too.

All in all, I’m exhausted and ready for some pleasure reading, crochet, and cross-stitching. I have one more task to complete for this month (other than edits on Darker when they come):  Finishing a cute magic-themed novella. I have until 10/30 to get it finished and edited.

Otherwise, the rest of this month is going to be about rest, relaxation.

And planning what I’m going to write for NaNoWriMo.

Soooooo Busy

The next 6 weeks are going to be balls to the wall all the way.

With school back in session, I’m only getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night. I have to get up by 5:45 to start the to-school routine, so D&E would be 4 ish and I just don’t think I can do it right now. I’ve been staying up late and hitting bed more around midnight. We’ll see how long I can keep that up. The Evil Day Job is not full-on stress right now at least. I’m busy, but it’s not OMG we’re so far behind!  Whew, so good timing there.

Since my last update, I’ve done two rounds of edits on The Billionaire’s Christmas Bargain (final title!), finished a short story for the BDSM GoodReads group, fully plotted Two Cuts Darker and grinding away on it, and flying by the seat of my pants (mostly) on a fun wizard story for a Here Be Magic anthology.

The wizard story needs to be done 9/1 – 9/15 at the latest. I’m about halfway done, maybe a third done (wince) depending on how long this sex scene goes on, targeting 20-30K at the most.

I have a ton to do for Two Cuts Darker yet, but the story is clear in my head. It’s just slow going at the moment. I know eventually if I keep hammering away, I’ll look up and be ready to just fly through the final scenes.  Right now, that finish line still looks a long ways away. I’ve been editing as I go to keep in the story all the time, as much as possible, so that will help. It needs to be done by 9/30, though, and I don’t have much vacation left (unplanned, at least). If I get in a bind, I can steal a few days from the week I’ve got slated for Thanksgiving.

I’m hoping to share a newsletter soon with the cover reveal for the Billionaire story. I’ve also seen the cover for Two Cuts Darker and it’s AWESOME. Different – yet very cohesive with One Cut Deeper. I can’t wait to share them both with you!

I’m looking for help naming a fantasy land in the wizard story, so stop by Here Be Magic tomorrow for a chance to win a gift certificate and be named in the acknowledgements for your help!

Deadline AND Promo Mode

This month’s going to be pretty tricky. I have the following irons in the fire:

  • still promoting The Billionaire’s Ink Mistress from April.
  • Preparing for One Cut Deeper’s release on May 18th.
  • Which means Carina promo (done) and extra blog posts for other sites (I’ve done 2 so far). One of them is really fun – KoKoKoNa helped me!
  • AND on top of all that fun, I have a deadline for The Billionaire Grinch!  I promised it to Tera by mid-May.

AND the kids are SUPER busy with school out this month.  Basketball practices and games for two kids (at least Littlest quit softball so we don’t have entire weekends devoted to tournaments). It’s band and choir concert season (which means 4 performances – the pain of having musically inclined children) and a parade next week. So extra rehearsals after school…

Not to mention Princess’s job and upcoming trip to Hawaii end of this month.

PLUS: Huge Evil Day Job project stresses that I feel like I’m constantly behind on, because things keep getting added to my neverending list.

I’ve really been struggling this year with motivation and energy. Spending more time in front of the computer (whether Evil Day Job or writing) just wasn’t helping. In fact, it was slowly killing me (Sitting is the New Smoking).

My calves and knees are aching more. My wrists are killing me (even though I don’t have that many words to brag about). My overall energy has been really low in all aspects and I’m struggling to get things done, like I’m walking in quicksand.

I had to get a grip on things. My stress level has been through the roof, which isn’t good for my blood pressure. I’m sitting all the time, frantically spinning my wheels but not getting anywhere fast. I actually started to have some anxiety symptoms (tight chest) and my mouth is full of fever blisters.

Something had to change. I didn’t want a heart attack for my birthday this month!

So I’ve started a new program that’s really helped. My trusty old timer. I’ve been setting it for 20 min increments. Then as often as I can, I get UP out of my chair and do something. Like pick an upbeat song and walk around my office for a few minutes. Stretch. Do a few squats or pushups (though with KoKoKoNa in my office, getting down on the floor is an invitation for play time, not exercise).

I don’t have time for a huge workout program – and I don’t have the mental willpower to tackle Power 90 again. But I CAN do the same moves in three-to-five minute increments.

I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this. I’ve already “worked out” 15 mins today just by taking 5 min breaks as often as I can throughout my work day. I’ve done lots of stretches, marching in place and general steps from cardio programs, a little kick-boxing, some light dumbbells. I mean, I work from home, so no one can see me dancing in my cubicle. I might as well take advantage of it!

On the writing front, this is helping tremendously. I do the same thing: set the timer and write for 20 mins. During that time, I can’t check email or Twitter or open a browser at all. Just words. Then I can get up and take a break. The first couple of sessions, I’d only get 200-300 words. But now, I can get 500, 600, even 800 words in 20 mins. Crazy, right?

That’s 2000 words an hour. I couldn’t BUY 2000 words a DAY before this.

Without sitting and struggling for hours at a time.

The other thing I made myself do last night: I took my “outline” – which was really a couple of sentences in a loose 3-act structure and a few candybar scenes sketched out – and filled it out with much more detail. It took an hour, but I jotted down everything I could think of that I wanted to cover so far. It could use more work as I go (especially near the end), but having a better outline (than a note that says “the hero does the despicable” because I had NO IDEA what I meant by that….) has enabled the higher WPH counts.

So May’s a crazy busy month. I’ll post when I can – definitely when I finish BIllionaire #3. If anyone wants to beta read it before I send it to my editor, I’ll probably only have a day or two before I need to send it in, so it’ll be a quick turnaround. Comment or email me if interested.

Slow and Steady

I have a surprise coming for you tomorrow:  the re-release of Beautiful Death!  If you pop over to the book’s page, you’ll see the pretty cover that Angela Campbell made for me.

I’ve been hitting Dark & Early a couple of times a week and working on Billionaire #3.  I usually do pretty well Monday and Tuesday, but then I get lazier–and sleepier–and find myself staying in bed toward the end of the week. But I’m getting about 500 words a morning, and then trying to match that at night.

The nights are still difficult for me to concentrate. I might have to start going back into my office for a bit each night until I can get the minimum words in. I want a really solid draft finished by April 30th and I’ve scheduled two days of vacation that last week of April for a big push.

Usually, if I keep chiseling away at the story, everything will eventually click and the last 10-20K will come in a rush. That’s what I’m hoping. I still have a lot of story to go and it’s only loosely plotted after a tarot card session.  I have the ending, though, and sometimes that’s the most important scene to know.

The Evil Day Job has been pretty stressful this month so far, though quarter-end went okay after the scary production issue the day before. I have a lot of stuff that’s supposed to get crossed off my list tomorrow, but it’s going to be TIGHT. Some of the requirements changed, which means rework. And I’m waiting on people to get back to me on questions, which means I can’t go much further on various steps for fear of wasting time. That I don’t have.

Then there’s that project that’s waiting on me to get done with project A, that’s due by the end of the month…. when I want that vacation.  Sigh.  So this week is going to be packed.

 

Getting Unstuck – With Tarot

I blogged earlier that I was stuck on Billionaire #3 and started brainstorming the premise to figure out where I went wrong.  The final step for me to come up with a solution was flipping to my favorite tarot deck, The Steampunk Tarot.

That deck works fantastically for Lady Wyre’s universe, so I wasn’t sure if I’d get anything helpful on a contemporary idea or not. But it was worth a try.

Some background on this story idea:  When I first started working on this idea, for some reason I decided the heroine needed to change.  I built an entirely different backstory for her and gave her a different profession.  I loved what I built… but the story just died.  I couldn’t take it anywhere.

So the journaling and brainstorming I did first was to compare the original premise that I’d found lacking, and the newer premise that was a storykiller, and see if I could come up with a new (better) solution that solved all the issues my subconscious seemed to be having with both ideas.

My questions were about the heroine.  Who was she?  Why was she willing to step into this story in the first place?  What kind of woman is she?

Personally, I like to shuffle the deck 7 times and then spread them out in a line in front of me.  I don’t pick from the top.  I randomly drew 3 cards, flipped them over, and started taking notes one by one.

Note:  It’s important to LOOK at the card first, without reading anything the deck’s guide might have about it.  You’ll probably notice things that aren’t even mentioned in the guide that can add a cool layer to the story.

The cards I drew:

  • Queen of Wands
  • Seven of Pentacles
  • Five of Swords

This is one of the few times that the cards spoke perfectly to what I needed.  It’s not unusual for me to draw a card featuring a man when I’m trying to figure out a heroine.  That can still be helpful, but it’s not as “obvious.”  These cards were very obvious for this particular story.

Obviously the Queen of Wands is my heroine.  The first things I noted about her card without peeking at the book:  a riding crop (snickers, you know me so well), a sunflower, and a fox emblem that looks like a mask as part of the horse’s tack.  The book’s information about her was spot on.  This was my heroine to a T.  There are still several things I don’t know yet, but I’m hoping they come through slow revelation.

The Seven of Pentacles isn’t a character, but a message to me for this book. Yes, I should pause and take a full accounting.  Something’s not adding up.  There are good things in this idea, but not enough for success.  Evaluate.  (Which I was doing.)

The last card represents my hero, but also the book’s premise as well.  There are 3 main characters, two men and a woman, the same as my book.  One is obviously the “lord” or wealthy man.  Ditto.  It’s also a shifty deal-in-the-night-gone-bad sort of card — which my hero fully expects and experiences, even if that’s not his heroine’s intent.  The tarot guide says “He may have all the swords now, but I warrant someone will find something else to stab in his back.”

Oh yes indeed they will.

Now I feel like I can finish plotting this book!  I’m excited about it, where before I kept avoiding even opening my file.  Onward and upward.  I’ve got to hurry and get this one done, so I can change gears to Vincent’s story (Charlie’s brother).

Getting Unstuck

brainstormI’ve been stuck on Billionaire #3.  There.  It’s in black and white now.

I thought it was the holidays, birthdays (two of the monsters have birthdays immediately in January), basketball schedule, getting sick, Evil Day Job stress, other edits…

But in the end, I knew the truth.  I was struggling with an aspect of the premise.  I just couldn’t get my mind wrapped around it.  And if my subconscious isn’t buying it, then the readers surely won’t buy it!

Of course we ARE so busy right now that finding paper and pencil time has been difficult.  Either I’m in the car, or working late, or scrambling to pick up someone, or something.  I’ve had to do my “unstuck” process in pieces but I finally had a breakthrough over my lunch today.  I believe I’ve blogged about this process before, but I’ll talk about it again in case you missed it.

1. Set the stage for creativity with music.  I prefer to listen to an iPhone app, Naturespace, specifically the Peyote soundtrack that’s like a shaman beating on a drum.  It might also be a specific song that fits the story to a T (Take Me To Church was Charlie’s theme song).

2. Go back to the basics with pen and paper.  For me, that means a good quality notebook (but not so nice that I don’t want to write in and spoil!) and colored pens.  I *have* to have at least one purple pen.  Then green.  Those are my two “magic” pens.  But other colors and even a pencil is good too.  I like the colors.  It makes me see things differently.

3. Journal.  The first thing I do is write about why I’m stuck or the project in general.  What do I not like about it?  Why am I feeling reluctance or uneasiness for the project?  I have to drill down into what’s bothering me and that’s not always easy.  e.g. maybe I find myself cleaning the toilet rather than writing.  But why?

4. Using the colored pens and paper, start brainstorming.  This time, I divided the page into two and did a quick and dirty compare/contrast of two possible ways the original premise could go.  Pretty quickly, I had an idea of where I’d gone wrong, but I still didn’t know how to fix it.

5. Tarot.  Once I knew the problem, I wrote down a few questions I had to figure out.  Then I shuffled my favorite tarot deck (The Steampunk Tarot) and drew three cards only.

WHAMMO.  There was my solution in three cards.  Not joking.  That’ll be another blog post!

P.S. The journal you see is some digital papers I bought from etsy (store Tsunami Rose) so I could create my own artsy journal.  I ran through a buttload of ink over the holidays!

Do you have any tried and true methods to breaking through a writing obstacle?

Edit Hacks

Since I just completed a round of developmental edits on two different stories, I thought I’d talk about a few things I’ve learned over the years.

Some edits are pretty easy.  Tweak this, make this scene a little deeper or more emotional.  Not too bad, right?

Other edits are HARD.  Change (or clarify because you didn’t get it clear enough) a character’s emotional ARC through the whole story. Add a completely different component to a sex scene.  What makes these kind of edits hard (for me) is that the story vision is already complete in my head. I told exactly the story I wanted to tell. However, I probably didn’t get everything that was in my head onto the page, and sometimes my editor sees something I missed.  Or even better, she has ideas to make it deeper, more emotional, and worse for the character.  Then I’m slapping myself and saying why didn’t I think of that??

But changing the VISION is hard, even if you agree 100% with the editor’s suggestions. (I’ve been super lucky so far that I’ve never completely balked at something an editor has asked me to do.)

Remember the chaos effect: A butterfly flaps its wings in chapter one, and by the end, you have an entirely different story.  You have to stay true to YOUR vision while making it better, which really can be hard.

So here’s my edit process in case it will help anyone.

  1. Read the editor’s revision letter.  DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES YET.
  2. Think about the main points and come up with alternatives in your mind. Nothing has to be concrete yet.  For this stage, I find doing something rather mindless, like crochet or playing a BigFish Game, can free up my subconscious to work on it in the background. This usually takes me a couple of days to mull over in my mind.
  3. Jot notes about what you think you can do to address each point.  If possible, refer to page or chapter or scene.
  4. Start breaking those tasks down onto a calendar or loose timeline so you have a rough idea how long it’ll take.  Keep in mind that many edits at this point have a trickle down effect – one change might affect several chapters. That helps you prioritize the tasks and lay out all the various places you have to work.
  5. Build in at least one full day to do a final read through before the work is due.

As I begin breaking the edit points down into specific tasks, I realize that most of the work is early in the story.  For whatever reason, my first chapter or two is always heavier work, even in copy/line edits. Your major work may be elsewhere and it might take a few times for you to figure out where your weaknesses or strengths are.

For me, inertia is a problem because I initially feel overwhelmed. For Charlie, I had 5 pages front and back of MY notes I made while talking with Alissa, and then I printed out her revision letter too which was several pages long.  Where to start? OMG this is going to be soooo hard. There’s no way…

HACK #1:  SKIP YOUR WEAKNESS FIRST.  I know the beginning chapter edits are going to be hard (usually this is how a character is introduced and reacts for the first few scenes, so lots of work is involved).  So I skip the beginning edits entirely.  You don’t have to work on edits in a linear fashion. Pick one that’s easy, that you already clearly know how to address.  That way you start out solid.  Sometimes it’s just STARTING that makes all the difference, then you can chisel on each item bit by bit.

HACK #2: WORK IN LAYERS.  You don’t have to get the edit point fixed entirely in the first go-round. This is especially true if you’re working on character arc changes.  It’s going to take time to layer in all those changes across several chapters, so take it in pieces. Make one change in one scene, save the work, and I literally take a break. Either I read what I’ve done so far, or I jot notes on something else.  Then I come back and take a look at what I did and move forward from there. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed.

HACK #3: BUILD IN TIME FOR A READ-THRU.  At least one!  Just because you make topical changes to meet the editor’s suggestions, that doesn’t mean your job is done.  It’s your vision. You have to make sure that all of the little subtleties are there, that you’ve carried every little new thread through in a logical way. I save a copy and call it “approved” with all comments deleted, all changes approved, and track changes turned off.  Then I read thru form start to finish, and fine tune the real copy as needed.

Refer back to #2 at this point.  For Charlie’s story, I had to read thru several times, especially the opening chapter because so many things changed.  Little things, but I had to make sure they flowed, made sense, and didn’t mess up what I’d started.  Just make sure you SAVE the real doc before saving an approved copy with all the changes accepted, and then you make the corrections in the main copy.  I got messed up once and  saved my changes in the wrong version.  I don’t send that approved copy to my editor, so if I hadn’t caught it, that change would have been lost.

Do you have any tips or hacks for surviving an edit pass?

Balance for 2015

Balancing multiple projects at once has always been a problem for me.  I tend to become OCD with a project, especially once it’s over the hump and flowing in the Zone.  I don’t want to leave the Zone – I just want to finish.  Even if that means 5K, or even 8K, 10K days.  That means no sleep, stressed out, aching fingers and wrists, sore muscles in my back.  It’s stupid, really.

Though I have to admit I love careening down those deadly curves at breakneck speed.

I have multiple series and publishers to balance in 2015.  At least I do have contracts in hand to help me figure out which ones need to be worked on first, but overlap is inevitable.  Ideally, I’d like to have one in brainstorm mode while another’s in drafting mode, but that doesn’t always happen.

e.g. this month, I’m brainstorming and plotting two completely different books.  One has a higher priority and will be my drafting book by January, but if I get good ideas on the other book, I want to capture them at the same time.  I need the second book to be ready to go in the wings as soon as I finish the first.

Then add in promo, edits on other projects in various stages….

Yeah, it’s going to be fun!

I intend to use my timer more to help me focus.  Small bursts of time back and forth on projects as needed.  I’m also working on getting my bullet journal going again.  I slacked off right around the time we moved.

I’m also re-evaluating my three and five year goals.  I have a pie in the sky crazy dream I’d really like to make happen, but honestly, I don’t see how I can possibly make it.  Still, I’m going to put it on my dream big list and see what happens.

Do you have any tricks for switching back and forth between projects?

Sold!

I’m thrilled to announce that Charlie (the novel I finished for NaNoWriMo) and his brother, Vincent, are both going to have a home at Carina Press!

It’s ironic, because I started Charlie’s story for one of their Christmas anthologies last year or maybe even the year before (time flies).  But he had other ideas.  (The story of my life.)  His book clocked in at 91,500, one of the longest books I’ve written since the very beginning.

The reason I’m not saying titles is because we’re looking at new ones, both for the book and the series.  The original inspiration for the book was an interview I did for RT in Chicago:

Burkhart responded that an interesting mix would be romance and horor. Perhaps, even, some kind of serial killer romance. If she wrote one, the author revealed the title would probably be “Killer Of My Heart.”

So “Killer of My Heart” will be changing, but I don’t know what it’ll be yet.  The Gregar is strong with this one.  Very strong.  Yes, he’s an assassin/serial killer.  So is his brother. Very dark, bloody, and violent.  And erotic.  Mustn’t forget that.  *winks*

I’ll update the Coming Soon page once I have dates!