Archive by Author

Repeat after me…you’re never too old to–

4 Jul

OK, just to set the record straight, I’m not ancient by any stretch of the imagination. For one, I have too many kids to keep me active for that :). For another…I think in my head I’m still somewhere in my early thirties and man, I plan to keep it that way!

Being an author is my second career. I’ve already had one very successful career, about as far away as you can get from writing, in the IT industry. I can look back on this now and how it developed with some objectivity, but really…I surpressed my creative side for my more practical side. You know, I did want to eat back then. On a regular basis :). So I did a business degree in college and put everything else on the back burner. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed what I did. I was good at it. I achieved all the goals career-wise and financially I set myself, but…it didn’t light my soul on fire.

it wasn’t that long ago, but I didn’t start writing until I was forty *mumble, mumble* something. At first, it was just an exercise to keep my over-active brain occupied when I quit working to spend more time with my family. And what do you know? It didn’t take long for me to ‘remember’ that this is what I always wanted to do, this is what I’d wished for, hoped for, dreamed of doing in the darkest, most secret recesses of my mind. I sorta, kinda feel like I’ve started over. Emotionally. Spiritually. But hey, that’s OK because I’m finally doing something that really feeds me. My soul, that is :).

On this American Independence Day I’ve been reflecting about where I’m at and where I’m going with being an author. It’s a pretty exciting place to be but I’ve learned a lesson, especially with friends facing terribly health issues this year. Life is too short. It’s never too late. It’s never over till it’s over. And you’re never too old to follow a dream, no matter how big or small.

Happy 4th of July to those who celebrate. May you spend happy times with family and friends, stuff yourself with delicious food, stay safe and think about living YOUR dream.

And just for fun…how would you finish this sentence…  You’re never to old to–?

Disabilities in romance!?

20 Jun

I’m currently doing edits on the second book in my new paranormal series and the heroine has a disability. I didn’t exactly plan it that way at first but when I started to develop her character and round out her quirks, well…there it was. It’s who she is. It doesn’t define her, she doesn’t let it dictate to her, but it’s an integral part of how she came to be the person she is. As I look at layering the book further to bring out more of this characterization, I started wondering about disabilities and how they’ve been represented in other romance novels over the years. The first that comes to mind are JR Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There’s a blind king and a warrior with an amputation for starters. Are there any other books that stand out? That have made an impression?

As a writer, this provides a great opportunity to explore the character and some unique scenarios, providing an added level of richness and depth if handled correctly. I’m not going to give away exactly what disability my heroine has because it’s kind of a surprise as the story unfolds, but it doesn’t weaken her, it doesn’t make her a victim. In fact, it’s hardened her to others somewhat and it’s actually made her a stronger person. By the end of the book she’s also finally able to come to terms with her situation. Of course, the book is a fast paced paranormal read so this doesn’t get a lot of page time, but it is a critical piece in understanding my heroine. I do wonder though how readers will perceive this.

So what do YOU think about disabilities and how they’re represented in romance?

First Lines

25 Apr

As an aspiring author there always seemed to be a lot of emphasis placed on the beginning of a book, particularly the first line to immediately grab the reader’s attention. And when you’re ‘aspiring’, that was an editor or an agent. I can’t recall the number of times I either saw this stated and emphasized online or at workshops during writing conferences. When I thought about this post, I tried to think of books whose first lines had been riveting, had grabbed at me right off the bat. Know what? I couldn’t think of a single one LOL. Nothing that stuck with me enough to be in the recall banks, anyway.

As a published author I spend a great deal of time on the opening of a book. It’s important to set the tone and I want to engage the reader as quickly as possible. I tend to start a book in the middle of something. No long, descriptive narrative for me! It’s not the way I write and not the way I like to read. As such, that first line to me as a writer is key.

First lines from my own books:

“Christ, he was a sick fuck.” – PICTURE THIS (and he really is, but Jillian sorts him out)

“Yes, yes, Rio, yes…oh…God, yes…” – PAY UP (Yes, that’s really what you think it sounds like)

Crap.” – PLAY ME (LOL. Yeah, that’s the kind of day Lily was having)

Don’t worry about making a fool of yourself.” – POINT BLANK (It’s Lanie’s mantra. And it works!)

“This was the life. Or it would be if this kind of crap was anything he cared about.” – RISE OF HOPE, coming August 2012

It was fun to go back and take a look at these because it’s important for me to set the tone of the book with that first line and to build a relationship with the reader immediately. Even if no one ever remembers a single one :).

So…what’s some of your favorite first lines or book openings? Or do you even notice them?

BTW, the pic? Completely unrelated to the topic, but OMG, right? Enjoy :).

Writing Sex. Good Sex.

28 Mar

From the title of this post you probably know what I’ve been doing for the last couple of days. Yeah…I’ve been entrenched in a couple of love/sex scenes. I know some writers who can’t wait to get to this part in a book. Others may dread the writing of them and I know some who like to leave the “good stuff” till the end :). Me? I write these scenes when it feels right and the characters are ready. Yes, okay, I am weird when it comes to my characters but this usually means it’s toward the end of a story, when all the scenes are drafted, the emotional arc is strong and the core of the relationship thread has been pulled tight.

To me writing a great sex scene isn’t really writing about sex at all. Not the choreography of it, not exactly how they “do it”, not what tab goes in which slot and when. No, it’s about the emotional journey one or both of the characters go on, what changes from the beginning to the end of the scene, what’s revealed, what level of intimacy is actually achieved. It’s all of that in varying degrees. It could be “quickie/hook-up/just met” sex, it could be “friends with benefits” sex, it could be “can’t keep our hands of each other even when it’s not a good idea” sex and it could be “full-blown loving, emotional, ready to make a committment for real” sex. Regardless, something is happening in the scene besides good humping to further the story along. And if it doesn’t? That scene isn’t really needed. At least in my opinion for great romance to be, well…great.

Each of the pictures in this post tells a story, elicits a particular emotion, I think. Yeah, they’re hot and heavy and getting it on, but they all have the potential to be at their most vulnerable during these moments. Their expressions, their body language, how they hold themselves, how they’re interacting with their partner…all of this tells a story beyond what’s happening physically. Ah…some days it’s great to be a writer!

   

Hot Men, Hotter Guys

14 Mar

OK, this is me messing with the “searchers” again :). I love looking at what search criteria people use to land on certain websites and blogs. And yeah…hot guys seem to be a favorite. Well, this is the place for it. Passionate Reads is a blog by authors who spend an incredible amount of hours thinking about hot guys, fantasizing about hot guys, searching for pictures of hot guys, all in the interests of our craft, of course.

I thought I’d share some pictures from my own personal stash of inspiration. All for research purposes, you understand ;). Not too many, because too many at once could make you go blind. Click on the link below, but be warned, some of them are, well…HOT

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I Declare it…Pretend Boyfriend Day!

29 Feb

So, I’ve had sick kids home for 3 days in a row! 3 days!! I’ve got edits due and book 2 in my new paranormal/urban fantasy series due at the end of March. That’s like…almost tomorrow. Do you realize how hard it is to write gripping, emotional, HOT sex to the sounds of Mickey Mouse Club House? Dora? OMG, Tinkerbell? That is just so wrong, on so many fronts LOL.

So while I haven’t been able to get into my story to the depth I’d like this week, I’ve still been using the time wisely. I’ve been searching for inspiration pictures for my many heroes under development. What!? That IS SO time spent wisely! I’ve found so many great images which has led to many plot bunnies developing for new stories. Not exactly what I intended, but it’s been great to outline some new ideas.

While I was doing this “research”, my mind has completely retreated to fantasy land. Oh-ho, right? But you know, when you look at a great picture, don’t you all imagine what he’d be like as a friend, lover, a partner, a for-real-boyfriend? Well, I do so I’ve declared today at Passionate Reads Pretend Boyfriend Day. If you could have anyone as YOUR boyfriend, who would it be? You can see mine below. You’re welcome :).

Your “ideal” Hero

15 Feb

I know, I know. I blog about him a lot–the hero in romantic fiction. I think about him constantly and why not? I happen to think in these types of books it is all about him after all. Sure, readers have to relate and root for the heroine. She can’t be too weak, too whiny, too dependent, too…a lot of things. And she also can’t be too perfect. It’s a fine balance, but the reader has to find him attractive, think he‘s totally hot, believe he‘s absolutely right for the her and fall a little (or a lot in my case) with him. That’s kinda tough, you know, for a writer because everyone has different tastes.

I was having a conversation on Twitter recently and people were identifying celebrities, models, rock stars, actors they thought hot, hero material. Me? I couldn’t come up with a single one. LOL. Not. A. One. Well, not a real person anyway. I’m just not wired that way. I can appreciate aesthetics, but they’re not necessarily up to the level of “hero” in my eyes. Perhaps that’s why I create fictional ones because the only one that came to my mind was Christian, the hero in book 3 of my new series. God, I sigh every time I think about him.

Anyway, I digress :). Do you know who came close recently though? Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Seriously! I’ve always thought him a little too muscled. Yeah, OK I’m seriously fussy, but you know what really won me over to him? It was another convo on Twitter where a bunch of writers were having some fun constructing a story line and identifying real life guys to play roles. One of them was The Rock and the plot was that the heroine could have him and another hero. Why choose? Then HE responded with – “I fight for and protect the woman I love – but I can’t share her. Ever. ” He was having some fun, but how freakin’ awesome is that? It’s that base sentiment that I strive to create in every single one of my stories and my heroes. Double sigh…

So…do you have an ideal hero? A guy who epitomizes what you think a hero should be? Who looks like what you envision a hero to look like?

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