Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lucky or good?

My brother had a baseball coach way, way back when we were little that once told his team and its supporters that he'd rather be lucky than good. At the time, I was like nine or ten and this didn't really make an impact on me. Besides, I was certain that in sports as in everything else talent is what would make you a success, right?


Now, before anyone jumps up with a harsh retort, let me finish. Talent and success can get you a long way. You can become successful, but it isn't always enough. If there are two teams equally matched in talent, how does one win over the other? It is often the team that gets a lucky break. Whether a close call goes their way, an error opens up an opportunity, the sun got in someone's eyes, or a ball just happens to bounce the right way, luck can often become the deciding factor. No matter how much talent you have, a bad call or a lucky bounce can snatch defeat from certain victory.

You may be asking yourself what all this has to do with writing, and I'll tell you. Other than I'm a major sports nut and my team's game was rained out leaving me with a whole day of no baseball -- being lucky is important in writing as well. Forget all the luck involved in getting your story noticed or having just the right reader see it at the right time to mention it on just the right blog or forum to catapult you to success. The luck I'm talking about is in the crafting stage of a story.

I just recently finished a book. I'd had an idea for another story rattling around and I was adding paragraphs and scenes here and there fleshing it out slowly as I did other things. Then wham! It hits me. A totally different story crept right up behind me and blindsided me. Suddenly, everything else went silent as this new cast of characters pushed and shoved at me trying to get the story straight. In the beginning, I couldn't even keep up with the story. The plot moved along so fast. I wore my fingers out writing.

I don't know why suddenly, now at this time this particular story just demanded for me to write it. The characters have come across so strong it's like I've known them forever. I have to wonder if they'd been there all along and I just never noticed or if they are just that strong and dominate. I've abandoned writing everything else at the moment. The flow of this story is so strong, I'm thrilled to be along for the ride.

Whether the rest of the storyline will come along as neatly and strong as the start, I have no idea. I like to think I'm talented with creating stories that readers find interesting, but I'm so glad I got lucky with this story that ambushed me out of no where. I understand all about being lucky. I'd have to agree with that coach. I'll take the luck anytime.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Writing Confessions

I love to write. I could write all day and all night. I could write until my fingers cramped -- and sometimes I do. However, there is one confession I have to make. I hate dialogue. It's a bit ironic considering I love to talk just as much as I love to write -- so why does dialogue give me fits?

I chalk it up to letting other people talk -- even my characters -- cuts into my talk time. It sounds like a good excuse, but if I was being completely honest that isn't want troubles me about dialogue. I actually fear that at times when I write, I'm getting it all wrong. I'm just certain even though I hear what the characters are saying and doing in my head that it will all come out sounding like something I'd say. I mean the best way to show differences in your characters is to listen to them talk. People talk differently. They use different catch phrases. They have favorite words. Just the way they string words together is different.

The voice of a character is so important. I mean if you're doing your job and getting the character right, you should be able to pluck out a line of dialogue and know who's talking without seeing a 'so and so said' tag somewhere. In my head, I know each voice. They are very distinct and separate, but when the words get onto the page there is no voice to set them apart. It all has to be in word choice and structure. I was never any good at building structures.

Right now dialogue is even more of a pain as I'm currently writing in two different genre. What the fantasy characters in my head say and what the contemporary characters say are vastly different. I just know that one day I'm going to slip up and have cross dialogue mash ups. Of course, I could then just turn the whole thing into a time travel story and viola! Why don't I think it would be just that easy? I guess because my characters are never that cooperative.

Time to dive back into writing. You'd think once you finished a story you'd be able to catch your breath, but no. I've got a war of words going on in my head. We'll see which side is the victor and gets their stuff out first. I'm always a little surprised which story forces itself to the front of the line. It's never what I expect.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rise of the King -- now available!

Yes! It's never easy getting through the editing process, but once you have it finished there is no other thrill quite like it. Rise of the King, the second book in The Chronicles of Vlandamyuir fantasy series, is now available on Amazon. It's so exciting to see the story continue and see where these characters will go next.


With the second orb missing and his father dead, Kallum Syer Theras must continue on with the quest outlined in the ancient prophecy. He is forced to return to Livingston to claim the crown and locate the third orb.

Before he can reach the capital, Kallum is pulled in two directions and is forced to split the group again in order to rescue those he left behind in search of the second orb.

In Livingston, Kallum will have to face off against the Vlandamyuirian nobles to avoid a civil war to keep the Dark One sealed in his void prison while dealing with a jilted betrothed and a plot to keep him from the throne.

In celebration of the release of Rise of the King, the first book in the series, The Path of Light, is now available at the low price of just $1.99 for those of you that haven't yet been able to begin the adventure. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Friday, April 6, 2012

April -- What a month!

There is nothing like April. There are so many great reasons this month happens to be one of my favorites of the whole year. Forget for a moment that this is the month when spring starts to seem like spring. We get more sunshine. Birds sing. Flowers bloom. It is all great -- but not why April is so great.

It isn't even the fact that this particular April will see the release of the second book in The Chronicles of Vlandamyuir fantasy series. Yes, Rise of the King is in the final editing phases and will be out first as an ebook within the next week. Very exciting, but not why April is so awesome. I say that only because it's not every April -- so far in my life -- that one of my books has been released. I might have to revise that in the future. We'll see what happens next April.

We're getting closer to why April is so great when I say -- Baseball! Yes, that's right. April and Opening Day for baseball go hand-in-hand. Nothing gets me more excited than realizing from now until October I'll have a baseball game to yell, cheer, scream, and cry over. Since my team -- the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants -- will be taking the field this very day, I'm on the edge of my seat. Kicking off a summer full of pitching, hitting, running, sliding, and scoring makes April awesome. I'm going to savor every day of it.

However, the reason April is the best -- well, one of the best months -- is that April also happens to hold my birthday! Ah ha, yes, that is what makes April so very special -- it's got a day dedicated just to me. How can you go wrong there? My birthday and baseball -- April is hard to top!

Do you have a favorite month?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lucky 7 Meme

Opps, It's happened again. I've gotta watch my back around that Summer girl. She's always tagging me! But seriously, I want to thank Summer from Writing Belle blog for tossing me another tag -- this time in the Lucky 7 meme. In this meme, you need to go to page 77 of your current manuscript and go to line 7 and copy 7 lines, sentences or paragraphs. Then you pass the tag along to 7 more bloggers.

I'll share a snippet from the upcoming Rise of the King: The Chronicles of Vlandaymuir Book Two, which will be coming out in April. So, if this wets anyone's appetite you can dive into the rest of the story very soon.

“Mayhap Sera is just with me this night. It has been a long stretch since I had time to test the fates.” Chance shrugged and tossed more coins into the pot.

Another few rounds and again the dice tipped and toppled into new formations after Chance tossed them. He grit his teeth and clenched a fist as it cost him another win. He hid his discomfort behind his mug, drinking deep as Jayde giggled in his mind.

“Enjoying yer game, Jayde?”
Laughing louder now, he could just picture the gleam in her eye, “Aye, I am. You should have taught me the game. I would be better at fixing things for you.
I hope this little tease has caught your attention. Now, it's time to announce the recipients of my tagging! Here they are, in no particular order:

 Georgina Taylor
Ann Cory
Liv Rancourt
Angela Scott
James Garcia
Morgan Shamy

Sunday, March 25, 2012

To pen name or not to pen name -- That is the question.

While I love my fantasy series, and as I'm anticipating the final touches on Rise of the King, book two in The Chronicles of Vlandamyuir series, I've had some other story ideas bouncing around in my head. I'm excited about them, and have already jotted down some basic story points as I continue to let these new ideas develop.

The thing is, my new stories are in different genre than the fantasy I've been writing in so far. One is a horror short story. Well, short story right now. We'll see where it goes as it develops. My stories tend to start small and want to grow as I write. The other story is a murder mystery/romantic suspense.

I know. I'm all over the map. So, what I've been wondering is do I release these different genre under my name, which is already established as a fantasy writer, or do I release them under pen names? I know that some of my favorite authors have released different genres under different names, but eventually, it seems that they all end up feeding back to whatever name is the most popular.

I guess what it comes down to, especially in these days of social media, do we just write what we want to write and use one big brand name to cover it all? Do we establish different brands for each genre especially if they are vastly different? Is there no crossover? I know that I read many different genre so I believe that I would read something out of what I would consider the author's main genre just because I enjoy their writing and story telling.

There are so many questions, and I'm sure a ton of different ways to look at this situation. It's not something I have to decide right this moment as the other stories are still early on in the planning, plotting and writing stages. However, if I'm going to use a pen name -- the sooner you get that name out there the better, right?

My biggest fear is that I barely have enough time to attempt marketing with one name, what would I do with multiple pen names? I think I'm overwhelming myself. I definitely don't want to get swamped in social media overload -- at least not more so than I already am. Decisions, decisions -- I can see this debate lasting a while. Let me know what you think. Do you write in multiple genre? Do you write under multiple names?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From Writer to Reader

It's always a nice time to get that work in progress finished. No matter how annoying all the editing is, I am grateful to have something accomplished. I can then take some time to enjoy another passion -- reading. When I'm in the middle of writing, I have a hard time concentrating on anything else. My characters clamor at me during all hours. My mind fills with scenes and dialogue leaving very little room to concentrate on other things.

So, when I set aside that finished work in progress my characters quiet down for a little bit, and I can drag books off my to-read pile and dive into other stories. I love that change of pace. It's exciting to explore the worlds others have created and it's nice to enjoy characters that I know have been bugging other writers. It's like a breath of fresh air. It clears the mind and usually allows for some new set of characters or story to begin forming.

Yes, I still have to stop and jot down ideas or plot additions or some other inspiration, but for the most part I am transported to some other place and time for a bit. I managed to make a small dent in my reading pile. Of course, that just gave me the excuse to add a half dozen more books to the list. Read one, add two. It's not a formula that actually shrinks the pile, but I've always loved to read as much as I love to write. Keeping that pile looming reminds me to take some time to indulge in a little reading from time-to-time.

I'm going to dive back into a few more books. The next round of edits quickly approaches. The beauty is my mind has been free of my own characters for a week, and I will be able to approach my own work with a fresher set of eyes. See, reading does do more than just entertain -- well, at least that is my story this week.

Where do you sneak in your reading or other passions?