Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Thank you all for the wonderful reception of Consequences. It has been an amazing journey, and I am so glad you stuck with me though some emotional book endings :-). I hope I made it worth the wait. 

Now down to the brass tacks. A lot of you have been asking if Olivia and Holden’s world is over. I have had this question enough now I felt it warranted a blog post. The answer is: no, their world is far from being over. I have plans. *insert devious laugh*

Okay so here is the plan for my world of the Abyss. In December I will release Easy Bake Coven. It will take place in the same world as the guardian trilogy. In fact, the events of the Guardian Trilogy are the spark that ignites the events in this series. There will be new characters, but we will also see some of our old favorites from time to time too. Then in March and May of next year I will release the other two books in this series, Hungry, Hungry Hoodoo and Pickup Styx. 

No you are saying, that is fine and dandy, but that’s not what I want. I want more Holden, Olivia, Baker, or Femi (and maybe a few of you are even rooting for Quintus). First, let me applaud you for saying fine and dandy, well done *golf clap*. Second, I’m getting there. Yes, I have plans to start a Femi series as soon as I finish Easy Bake Coven. I don’t know how many books will be in her series because I have a feeling it might be an ongoing series. 

I also left the ending of the trilogy open so I could one day come back to it. I feel since I have a Guardian Trilogy I should have a Jinn Trilogy to keep things fair (it isn’t like I miss Holden terribly or anything). But do not look for this to start until 2014 at the earliest. However, I do have one or two special little plans for them in the meantime; however I don’t want to spoil the surprise. :-)

I haven’t forgotten Baker or Quintus. I will revisit them at some point as well, but I have no immediate plans at the moment for their own projects.  

So these are my plans for the future books. I love to hear from you guys and your opinions really do matter to me. If you really want a story about something in particular please let me know and it will factor into my consideration.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary

In October I once again have the privilege of joining some of my very wonderful author friends in an anthology. Last time in Cupid Painted Blind we brought you steamy paranormal romance stories. This time we are trying something a little different. We all channeled our inner Poe and the result  is a bit more scary, creepy, and with a touch of Halloween mixed into the short stories.

The Visitor by Liz Schulte

Reverend Black hated storms. Rumbles from the Heavens promised violence and retribution this night, but he could only watch as the blackness descended. The tempest did not come alone. A visitor walked before it—patient and silent. The torrential downpour would wash away the mask, the gales would tear away carefully constructed lies, and the flashes of light would expose the truth—a truth that wouldn’t set him free.

The others stories that are completely awesome (I know because I read them). 

Carnival of Darkness by Stephanie Nelson- Andee Baker met the man of her dreams and then made a complete fool out of herself. She thought she would never see him again until her best friend, Claire, got an invitation for both of them to attend the Carnival of Darkness from the guy Andee couldn’t stop thinking about. They jump at the opportunity to go, but even before Andee crosses the entrance, she realizes there's something peculiar about the carnival. The ticket master's red eyes and the waltzing ghost are anything but cheesy special effects.
Andee discovers at the Carnival of Darkness not everything is as it seems.

Miss Stake by C.G. Powell- Alligators, snakes, and old boyfriends...Oh my. The swamp is a dangerous place, but it’s nothing Veronica can’t handle. That is until a weekend in the marshes brings to light a whole new set of dangers. Now that the supernatural cat is out of the bag, Veronica’s life will never be the same.

Redeemed by Mandie Stevens- Eva never claimed to be a good guardian angel, but she tries. After losing two charges, the Powers That Be have begun to doubt her abilities. To redeem herself, Eva sets out to rescue Elsie, granddaughter of the former king of the Fae. A Demon has kidnapped Elsie to complete an ancient ritual that will allow them to slip through the veil between Earth and Hell on Halloween.
With unlikely friends in tow—a human liaison, a fallen angel, and a powerful yet distractingly charming vampire—Eva is in a race against time. Save Elsie, save the world—and her job.

Vicis by Cait Lavender- Raised captive by a powerful corporation named Vicis, life inside the facility was all 56 knew until she met Adam. When she's slated to be euthanized, no longer considered a valuable asset for the company, she takes her life into her own hands. With her considerable abilities and Adam’s help, 56 will fight to free them both from Vicis’ clutches and learn to feel something she's always been denied: Love.

Dark Road Winding by Olivia Martin- Johana Hall has her hands full juggling personal life and her public relations career in Washington DC. The last thing she needs is to get called back to Texas because her Grandpa H.M. believes he’s being haunted. Adult Protective Services wants to put the elderly ex-con in a nursing home, but mysterious happenings at the homestead convince Johana he isn’t as crazy as everyone thinks. Getting to the bottom of the local legend is the least of her worries when she realizes someone is willing to go to any means to get her grandpa off Sara Jane Road. Can she figure things out before it’s too late?

Machado by Lola James- A weekend of fun, romance, and ghost stories at abeautiful beachside hotel was the plan. But Mackenzie had a bad feeling about the trip since the moment her husband and friends brought it up. The Machado Inn was a place where legends came to life and the past roamed the hallways. Guests came to stay the night, but few made it out alive.

What is your favorite Halloween story?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Best of Both Worlds

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I get asked this question a lot and I normally say I am pantser because it is easier than explaining what I actually do.

I don’t often blog about writing because I know a lot of you know don’t care about the mechanics behind the story, but I also know some of you are interested in writing. So while I was procrastinating working on my final round with Dark Passing before it goes to the editor, I thought maybe, just maybe someone would find my method helpful.  So if you don’t mind, I am going to share.

(Even if you do mind, it’s too late, I’ve already done it.)

My first draft of any book is almost completely pantser material (FYI a pantser isn’t a person who pulls down someone else’s pants. If you thought that, this might not be the post for you. A pantser is a writer who lets the characters dictate the action). All of my novels are originally written like this. I do not plot, but I do think ahead to a certain degree while I am writing; however, the story doesn’t necessarily go in the direction I anticipate it will and I follow it wherever it takes me. So many of my plans come to nothing.

However, come the revision rounds I turn into a hardcore plotter. I have a notebook in which I breakdown each chapter into: world count, characters in chapter, plot advancement (used for main plot and sub plots), and the hook to carry the reader to the next chapter. Once I go through the whole book in this manner it is easier to pinpoint where my story is weak or has holes or if I accidentally dropped a character. Then I make a three act chart to make sure my story has good flow.

For those of you who are scratching your head and about to open a new screen to google three act structure, let me save the time and explain what it is. This is the method of setting up a story that has been used pretty much since books have been written. In Act One you establish your characters, relationships, world, and an incident that pulls the main character (mc) into the action and leads to the inciting incident (aka why your character chooses to go down the path your story has set in front of him/her). Act Two is the longest act where the characters are developed and the action rises. And Act Three is the climax of the book and the resolution of the plots and subplots which hopefully ends with the characters achieving a new sense of who they are.

Mapping the structure of your books helps to find which of the plot points the story are weak and where your characters need growth.

After I complete all of this and fill out or rearrange my story as necessary, I give it one more read through then off to the editor it goes with the smooth realistic character reactions of a pantser, but the structure and completeness of a plotter. Hopefully. 
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