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Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down is now available online!

The first book of my new vampire series is now available for sale on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com! It’s out as an e-book for $3.99 but you don’t have to have a Kindle or Nook to read it, they have free downloadable apps so you can read it on your PC, or even your phone. It’ll be available in print as well in a couple of weeks through Amazon.

I wrote this one during November for NaNoWriMo and I’m super happy about how it came out and how the characters evolved. You know me and taking breaks are non-mixy things, so I’m currently working on the outline for Mercy for the Damned, due out next spring. My Vampire Diaries fanfic idea fell flat after I got the first chapter done, so I’ve decided to put that on hold and wait for better inspiration while I continue to work on Mercy and the Push fanfic (which doesn’t have many readers, but I’m loving the characters there!).

In the meantime, Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates them, and don’t worry, it’ll all be over soon to those of you who don’t. ;)

Happy Turkey Week!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could take the whole week off for Thanksgiving like my kids do from school now? I could laze around, drinking cocoa, wrapping X-mas presents, watching cheesy Hallmark movies on TV, getting to some writing when I felt like it… on second thought, that’s not such a hot idea after all. For whatever reason, I need the stress of a deadline to help me produce, and so far so good this month, it’s Day 21 of NaNoWriMo and I’m up to about 62,000 words of my new vampire novel, Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down.

I just finished the final update of my Vampire Diaries Fanfic, Dark Side of the Moon and that always gets me to thinking about starting something new. I can’t wait to start the next one, but it’ll have to wait a few weeks I think until the novel is edited and ready to go. I might even take a break and get to some reading I’ve been looking forward to (Got Storm Chaser by Mark R. Hunter already downloaded to my Nook and ready to go!) before I start the next book in The Fallen series.

I’m looking forward to some turkey with family and friends this week. I always make the same delicious recipe with lemons, rosemary and dijon mustard. (I know it sounds a little weird, but it makes the best gravy!) I’ve just about got my holiday shopping done too except for some online purchases, how about you guys? Are you going to brave the Black Friday deals or settle in with some cocoa and hit the online sales?

A Taste of Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down

Day ten of NaNoWriMo and I’m going strong! Up to 32,626 words so far, and it’s going well. I thought I’d give you guys a little taste. Here is our heroine Anja who has just woken up in the hospital morgue, to the surprise of the guys about to transfer her to the Medical Examiner’s office.

(I should preface this by saying in the spirit of National Novel Writing Month, this is an extremely rough draft. Punctuation and such is bound to be way off.)

A millisecond before the sheet came off, my eyes popped open and a high, keening cry leaked out of me like the air out of a balloon; my only available version of a scream, I suppose. The effect was electrifying. Both men screamed, and like a switch was flipped, I felt the energy rush back into my limbs. Filling my lungs with air, I screamed right back at them, and we stared at each other, all of us screaming for a good ten seconds before the room got really quiet.

“You’re… you’re…” The guy dropped his clipboard as he backed up a few feet. The other man, the one who came to get me I assumed, continued to stare at me like I had just risen from the dead, which was understandable.

“W-where am I?” My voice sounded shrill to my ears and I couldn’t help but wince, doing my best to swallow back my fear. I felt… wrong somehow, but I couldn’t quite identify why, finding myself in such strange surroundings was too distracting.

“Shoreline Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. You’re um, you’re supposed to be dead.”

“I’m sorry…” slipped out reflexively, though what I had to be sorry about, I couldn’t imagine. Shoreline was the same hospital Bridget worked at, and I wondered if she knew I was there. I was tired of lying down and I might have said something to that effect as I pushed myself up to a seated position, but I was too busy looking at my surroundings to be sure if I’d spoken out loud. It wasn’t my own bedroom, or a hospital room as I’d assumed until they started talking about death, but what looked like a morgue, based on my experience with tv and movies.

I was still half lying on a gurney, but a large stainless steel table stood in the center of the room, with holes drilled through it for drainage of various… ugh, I didn’t want to go there. “I feel…” dizzy, confused, itchy, nauseous, sore, tired…wrong… “…different.” My tongue finally supplied and I again marveled at the sound of my own voice. Was it my ears or the timbre of my voice that had changed? It was impossible to tell.

“That’s understandable, you’ve been dead for over an hour,” the morgue attendant replied distractedly, bending to pick up the clipboard.

NaNoWriMo is upon us!

Once again, I’ve signed up for the crazy breakneck pace of National Novel Writing Month. This year I’ll be working on my new vampire series, and hope to have the first draft done my month’s end. I’m stealing the name from one of my fanfics, Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down. Apart from some similarities that are bound to come up in the transformation process, it’ll be a completely different story though. I was thrown for a bit of a loop at the end of last week’s Vampire Diaries when I saw they were making the Originals be Viking in nature, but I’ve decided to go ahead with my idea anyway. I guess great minds think alike!

I don’t have a formal synopsis written up yet, but the basic premise is this:

This series is about a girl in San Francisco who is turned by an ancient race of natural born vampires that are very reclusive. She remembers very little about being turned, the circumstances necessitated her maker leaving without explaining who he is or anything about the fact that she’s becoming a vampire, so it’s partly a mystery for her to figure out what’s going on. It’s set in a world where vampire society is very strictly controlled, and you need permission/papers before you can turn a human. There is an order of vampires set to uphold the laws and police them, keeping their presence a secret from humans and my MC is a little surprised when The Order shows up at her door, demanding to see her papers. Through a series of events, the fella who’s supposed to put her down for being an unlicensed vampire ends up helping her, forging documents and helping her be accepted.

She’s still clinging to her human life, so she’s trying to keep anyone from knowing she’s been turned and struggles with keeping her humanity in the face of how she has to live now. Because she was turned by such an old vamp, she is much, much stronger than typical newbie vampires, which leads people to believe she’s a few hundred years older than she is, and she has to pretend to be someone she isn’t in vampire society as well.

Out there somewhere is the vamp that turned her, his own reasons and motivations shrouded in mystery, and there are ties between all of them.

I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with mythos for the origins of vampires in this one, blending norse mythology with vampire lore, and I can’t wait to get started!

Pretty Witches All in a Row is now available online!

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Amanda McLain-Young who won a free copy of Angel of Mercy! Thanks to everyone who voted on the cover art for Pretty Witches All in a Row. It looks like the blue cover won by a landslide, and I have to admit, it’s my favorite as well. I was worried it would look a little busy shrunk down small, so it’s nice to know you guys thought it looks good too. Pretty Witches was the second book I wrote, and I’m so excited about finally getting it polished and published! I have a soft spot in my heart for Nick and the witches. :)

And now Pretty Witches All in a Row is now available for sale as an eBook on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com! It’s out as an e-book for $3.99 but you don’t have to have a Kindle or Nook to read it, they have free downloadable apps so you can read it on your PC, or even your phone. It’ll be available in print as well in a couple of weeks through Amazon.

So I’m taking the month of October off of writing (apart from fanfic, I can’t go cold turkey!) to gear up for NaNoWriMo, recharge my batteries and focus a little on marketing. But… I’m in research mode for my new vampire series which I hope to have out in December or early January. It’s a big project because it involves a lot of research and world building, but I’ve been looking forward to getting some of it down on paper for a while now. After that it’ll be Mercy for the Damned and then… anything could happen, I have sequel ideas for all of the books or I might focus on getting Moonsong cleaned up to be published.

Writing Tips

The new book is going well, I’ve just crested the 18k word mark and the 2k per day quota is working out fine.  In getting a very nice review on my True Blood fanfic, someone asked for some writing tips and I decided to share them here in case anyone is interested. 

The number one piece of advice I can give is to write every day, I suppose that applies to either.  Unless there’s some kind of cataclysmic event that prevents you, even a few hundred words per day will help you keep connected to your story and keep your momentum going. 

For novels, I always make sure I have an outline before I start so I know how the beginning, middle and end are going to turn out, and hopefully plenty of bits in between.  When you think you’re ready to start writing, don’t.  Take another couple of days to revisit that outline, adding to it and fleshing it out (I even add bits of dialogue that come to me along the way).  When you get stuck on the novel later you’ll be glad for the pre-work you’ve done to get you back on track.

Also, don’t stop writing if you get stuck on a scene.  It’s okay to keep going even if you know a scene isn’t working just right.  You can always go back and fix a scene later but you can’t fix what you never write in the first place.  This I learned from NaNoWriMo which encourages you to just write like crazy for a month with absolutely no editing until you’re done with the first draft.  Before I started writing this way I was always a victim of my inner editor and I’d never get past a few chapters.

Also, also, I find it helpful to set a daily quota for myself when working on a book.  Even if it’s self imposed and no one else will ever know if I make that quota or not, it keeps me on track.  I’ve done it with a 3k a day quota and written a 100k book in 30 days (which is rough with a full time job I admit, but can be done) and I’ve done it with 1500 words per day (which is easier on the schedule but doesn’t quite move things along as well as I’d like) and the one I’m working on now is coming in at about 2k words per day.  This seems to work well, and I can still enjoy some evening time with the family and I should be done in just over a month’s time if I get a little extra in on weekends. But of course YMMV.   

Also, also, also, you’ll want to keep your first book in the 80k to 90k range at the most or publishers won’t take a chance on it. 

In other thoughts, who else is excited that Vampire Diaries is coming back on the air soon?!?