Friday, April 29, 2016

The Yikes Factor with @MeganSlayer

I'm about to complain about something that to some would be a terribly small problem, but I'm still going to grouse a bit.

Time management.

Now you might say, how is time management hard? You're a writer. You write. That's all you do.

Well, no, it's not ALL I do. I have a family and pets who think they're both human and my children. They are, don't get me wrong. But it's difficult when one of the cats thinks he's a person, another cat thinks he's a dog and the third cat is a boneless slug. Oh and the dogs? One has serious separation anxiety (from me), one thinks she's a person, too, and the third one still can't control his long legs - he's four and all goofy, clumsy leggy hound. They're all clingy and in desperate need of attention when I'm neck-deep in something important. I'm a mom and a wife, too. So yes, it's a little hectic around my house.

Now back to the issue at hand. Time management. I'm looking at my writing schedule - most all of it takes place at night after everyone has (mostly) settled down - and getting a little freaked out.

This is in one way a great problem to have. I've got work that wants to be done and stories dying to be told. I'm a panster for the most part and just write as the stories flow. Scheduling was never my thing, but I'm a sucker for a hard deadline. So you'd think I'd be happy. Stories coming left and right.

But that's where the rub is. Being that pantster I mentioned, sometimes the story isn't flowing. That's why I tend to have three or four stories going at one time, but still. If the deadline is fast approaching and the story isn't working... I tend to freak out. I like deadlines, but I NEED to have space. I can't write until the zero hour and have the story work. It doesn't.

So to help my issues out, I set up my calendar with reminders... is this story done? Have you started this one? Where are you on this one? I've got the reminders a few days out and a few weeks out from when things are due so hopefully I stay on track.

But it's still the YIKES! Factor. Yikes, how did I get myself into this? Yikes, I'm letting the characters run away with me. Yikes, how am I going to get this all done and correctly? Yikes, I'm in over my head...

What about you? Do you ever have those moments? How do you cope? Let me know. We can commiserate and help each other out.

In the mean time, here's a little bit about my latest release, You Complete Me

Battle Scarred 4: You Complete Me by Megan Slayer 

Paranormal, Contemporary
Loose Id
Art by Mina Carter
An AllRomance Ebooks Staff Pick!
I’ve got your back, if you’re willing to trust your enemy. 

Hagan Dean thought he was helping his friend. He was playing the role of saviorexcept he ended up left for dead in the sunshine. Vampires and sunshine dont mix. Even worse? A Hunterone of the sexiest women hes laid eyes onis ready to kill him. Hes got a lot to survive for and the odds are stacked against him, but he’s a fighter. Will the Hunter let him live another night? Or is this vampire destined to fry into a pile of soot?
Emily Cross is a born Hunter. Her life’s work is to keep the balance between the Supers and the Supers who have stepped out of line. She’s never been keen on the Rogues taking over the Hunters. She doesn’t want to kill all the Supers…she is one! When she finds a nearly charred vampire in the woods during one of the hunts, her thoughts turn from killing to keeping him alive.
Will these two opposites come together to find common ground in order to help end the war? Or will the passion crackling between them tear their worlds apart?
Available right now from Loose Id!

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Doctor Who?

One of my all-time scenes from Doctor Who is when the regenerated Doctor (David Tennant) burst through a door in a robe and pajamas into the middle of a major crisis and says, "Didja miss me?" That note of levity was typical of Tennant's Doctor. That question also applies to my missing my turn here last month. Sorry about that. No excuse. No reason, other than absentmindedness.

I'm sure my fellow Whovians have their favorite Doctor. Tennant is mine. I came late to the party. But if you have to come into an existing franchise, the best time is during a retrospective--like the 50th anniversary. I couldn't believe Doctor Who had been on the air for all that time and I never knew about it. I could up quickly with the anniversary specials, and I've now seen all the episodes in the new version, starting with Christopher Eccelston's Doctor. Wasn't too crazy about him, though. 

As I mentioned, Tennant's quirky humor endeared him to me. But he wasn't all fun and games. He could be tough when he needed to be. Remember his threat to bring down Harriet Jones' government with six words? Very clever, that man. Or is he a man? He's certainly not human. A Time Lord, who doesn't die but regenerates. The most poignant scene was with Rose on the beach when she knew she would never see him again. I was very disappointed when they wrote out Tennant.

I'm still ambivalent about Peter Capaldi's Doctor. Loved the interaction between him and the much younger Clara. The humor was still there, but then the series grew much more serious. And weird. I didn't want to see Clara leave. Even worse, the way she did, as well as the way the Doctor tried to hold onto her. The strangeness of the last episodes of the season left me wondering how they would ever return to the humor of previous seasons. I hope they will.

Don't get me wrong. Doctor Who has always made us think about our current events. That's what science fiction is good at--dealing with current crises in an oblique way. Gene Roddenberry did the same in Star Trek.  Watching aliens work through troubles is easier than being lectured at for polluting the atmosphere or racial relations.

So I'll keep watching, keep hoping. And enjoying good science fiction.

When Diane Burton isn't writing romantic suspense and mysteries, she's off to the frontier of space, the world of her Outer Rim series.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Five Wonderful Insights You Need to Know About Writers

The moment I sat my butt in the chair and my fingers to the keyboard, intent on writing a novel—I knew I had a lot to learn.

Okay, honestly, I had no idea what was involved in writing a novel. You just sit down and write, right? Preferably in long stretches in a secluded cabin. 

Well, over the last ten years I’ve learned a lot about writing, but the most surprising thing I discovered was about the elusive introverts tapping away on the keyboards—the writers. (The uninterrupted time and secluded cabin continue to elude me.)

1.    Writers might horde sticky notes, pens, and chocolate (or is that just me?) but there’s no hoarding of information

·      If I ask a question on a writer’s loop- multiple answers & suggestions appear like magic
·      I’ve gained critique partners, beta readers, new ideas, email addresses-I can’t even list how much I’ve benefited from making writer friends.

2.     Writers make sacrifices for their love of the written word. Things like sleeping, a social life and occasionally…their sanity.

·      Turns out, I’m not completely insane for getting up at the crack of dawn to write- so do a ton of other writers.
·      Writers are the only people who don’t raise a brow when I confess to not watching most of the popular television shows (or much TV at all without my laptop)

3.     Writers embrace the odd and unusual- I’ve found my peeps! I’m not alone!

·      A secret obsession of office products is expected. Yes!
·      They utilize a clandestine language in their writerly discussions — WIP, PR, dayjob, TBR, RWA, TSTL…

4.     Writers can become fast friends even if they’ve never met or spoke in person

·      Some of my writer friends know me better than the people I see everyday
·      Could be because the people I see everyday get a little nervous when I share too much of what’s going on in my mind when a story is percolating.

5.     Writer’s boost each other up – sure there might be a little of the green eyed monster now and then, but for the most part there are never too many stories.

·      I’ve never heard anyone say, “I just can’t read another book. Or I have no room for another author in my TBR pile.”

Writers- what insights would you like to add?
 Non-writers (i.e.: normal folk)- How do you envision your favorite authors?  (I was pretty sure 'my authors' lived in that cabin...still waiting on the invite...)