Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Worlds of Wonder (Writing Process Blog Hop)

Happy Almost-the-Weekend!

If you've found your way to this post, no doubt it's because you followed the link from Meredith Daniels, creator of Devotion, Georgia, and the Southern Honor series. If you've found your way here through some other windy, twisty and very interesting route ... Congratulations! That's the way all the best stories happen, so welcome to the inner mind of an author.

That's sort of the point of this meandering literary offering. This is one stop on what I hope is for you a fun-filled ride of exploration into how and why writers write. Each author on this blog hop answers the same four questions about their current works in progress, their process and how they go about getting the voices out of their heads and onto the screen or page. You can go backwards or forwards in this journey, following the links and threads to see what makes writers write.

Like many writers, I think, my love of writing sprang from my love of reading. There's something uniquely special about breathing life into a whole new world, giving birth to captivating characters and putting them into some pretty amazing situations.

1) What are you working on?

Three things, actually.  

One is Hidden Jewel, the third book in my Jewel trilogy with Siren Publishing. Stolen Jewel, Book 2, came out in January, and it's a followup to The Family Jewel, my most popular futuristic erotic romance. Hidden Jewel features warrior Isvan te Jerran - the grown son of my heroine in The Family Jewel - teaming  up with his lover, former sex slave Coren Riker, and spy Nerissa to crack a slave ring. 

Two is Three Wanton Wishes, Book 2 in my Love in a Bottle series with Samhain, which started with Three Wicked Wishes. In Three Wanton Wishes, my genie Jane aims to get a devoted single dad together with his daughter's sweet, exotic nanny.

And three is Hounds, the rewrite for my Young Adult novel featuring werewolves and hellhounds. (Yes, I swear I'm still working on it!)

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre? 

I like to think the humour in my writing sets it apart from others - and, yes, I know we all like to believe we are perfect little snowflakes, no two alike. Even though my characters get into some pretty terrible situations, I like to help them find time to laugh. I know I do when I write certain scenes or dialogue, and I hope my readers are laughing right along with me.

3)Why do you write what you write?

This one's easy: I write what I love to read. Space, starships, hunky heroes and smart women. Magic and mystery, genies and wishes. Even werewolves and mermaids and rock stars, oh my! All with love and out-of-this-world passion, and adventure and fun, fun, FUN!

4) How does your writing process work?

Trickier ... I know how I'd like my writing process to work. I'd like to be able to plot my book from start to finish, schedule a regular writing time every day, blow through those revises and edits, and never, ever get waylaid by life's little challenges like cooking, cleaning, the day job and, oh yes, making sure my family doesn't forget me because they never see me emerge from the writing cave.

In reality, I almost always start with the kernel of an idea. It could be a character I want to write a story for, but it usually begins with a situation and answering the question: What if? What if the Little Mermaid found out her prince was an ass, and went back to the loving arms of her yummy merman? (Oh, yeah - forgot to add that to my list of works in progress, though all I've written so far is the bare bones of an outline.)

I take my idea and power-write in bullet points as much of it as I can think of in one sitting, which usually involves start, finish and some major plot points in between. Sometimes it involves the rough details of my main characters, although they usually evolve out of the scenario. From there, it's pantser all the way. When I start writing, it's always best if I write straight through, without pausing to reread what I've written. If I get stuck, I try to skip ahead to what I know in my mind should happen after whatever was giving me a hard time, then come back to it later. If I reread what I've written before I finish, I get sucked down the self-editing rabbit hole. It happens much more often than I'd like.

On the plus side, I usually only write one draft, then do a run-though to polish it up before submitting it. I wish I could produce far more books than I do, but there just aren't enough hours in the day. I still love it, though, when I can get lost in world-building and exploring those new realms with my characters.

Wow. I can honestly say I never intended to write this much. See, that's what you get when someone is asked to talk about themselves. Yak yak yak! :lol

With that said, I hope you enjoy my writing world as much as I do.

Now, I'm passing the blogging torch to Maia Strong. A Joss Whedon fan and writer of galactic adventure - a writer after my own heart. Check her out! 



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stolen Jewels and Science Fiction

Originally posted on the ARe Cafe on Jan. 20, 2014

La rêve d’étoiles.
That phrase has stayed with me since I first read it in a Star Trek novel decades ago: the dream of stars. I think it perfectly explains my fascination with science fiction. It is mixing wonder with the wonderful, the unknown with unending possibilities. Is space the home of human nightmares, the monster in the darkness? Or is it a stage shrouded in mystery, waiting for the curtain to go up and the spotlight to blaze on the start of new adventures? 
My earliest memory of a special childhood treat is those times my dad let me stay up late to watch the after-midnight Star Trek reruns with him in the ’70s. I saw Star Wars when it was released in the theater of the military base we were stationed at. (That opening scroll across the star field is pretty jaw-dropping for a six year old.) I first saw an adult man wipe tears from his eyes at a screening of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, proving it’s all right for everyone to feel and share emotion. And while George Lucas may have been thinking “space western” when he created Star Wars, Joss Whedon really brought it home with Firefly and Serenity.
Some of my favorite authors write science fiction: Robert Heinlein, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey (science fiction with dragons!), F.M. Busby, Robert Buettner, Kim Stanley Robinson, Linnea Sinclair, Orson Scott Card, Lara Santiago, Annabel Wolfe, James White (Sector General books), Suzanne Collins, Frank Herbert, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, S.L. Viehl (who writes the Darkyn series as Lynn Viehl) and J.D. Robb.
My interests aren’t limited to science fiction – I enjoy romance, suspense, fantasy, urban fantasy and more, too – but I often revisit Ender and the Battle School (Card), Gillaine and Mack (Sinclair), Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr (Huff) and Jaxom and Ruth on Pern (McCaffrey).
Now that technology is catching up with what authors envision on paper, science fiction on TV and the big screen is attracting a larger audience than ever. Science fiction films have broken away from the cult status of Blade Runner and Total Recall and given us the likes of Avatar, District 9, Elysium, Man of Steel and the new Star Trek franchise. The Outer Limits, the original Star Trek series and The X-files led the way, and we’ve reached the point where a growing segment of television funding is given to shows like Chuck, Fringe, Almost Human, Intelligence and others. 
Science fiction can be set in a place far, far away or as close to home as one wishes, finding life in a future limited only by our imaginations. I prefer to think of space and that future as full of the hope and wonder implied in la rêve d’étoiles.
It’s good to see the dream is spreading.

NOTE: Congratulations to Loray for winning a copy of The Family Jewel!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

RT bound ...

Hi folks!

I'm on my way to Kansas City, Missouri, for the RT Booklovers Convention. I'm really looking forward to hooking up with old friends and meeting new ones. It's always my favourite trip of the year, not least of which is the fact I'm surrounded by all things writerly -- other authors, readers, and folks who generally love books and reading as much as I do.

This year I'll be at the ebook fair on Thursday. Drop on by to say hello -- and forgive me if I get tongue-tied -- and enter your name in a draw for a gift basket that includes the DVD boxset of Season 1 of I Dream of Jeannie, in honour of my Samhain release, Three Wicked Wishes.

Hope to see you there!