Friday, March 30, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018
I have a few series going and at least two of them are paranormal. Now this isn't strange. I mean, I like paranormal stories and vampires are some of my favorites. I'd love to do nothing but write in those worlds. They're fun. Dark, passionate, sometimes naughty as heck...and I love them.
But with the march of time, I'm losing publishers. The Battle Scarred series was originally with Turquoise Morning Press. I loved the covers, the artists, the editors and the whole experience with them. But that publisher folded. Honestly, I think they wanted to move on to different things. I don't mind. It's life. It happens. I have no hard feelings. I loved them.
The problem was the series then wasn't available any longer. I'd had my hopes high the series would end up in print. Nope. So I shopped it around to new publishers. Loose Id picked up the series. I'm glad. I love the series. Love Loose Id. It was a learning experience working with them. They edits weren't easy, but I learned a lot. The covers rocked. I mean...rocked. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. But Loose Id is closing, too.
I had a whole 'nother book planned for the series. Hot, sexy and with vampires...but I'm not sure what to do with it. Some have said, self-publish it. That's a possibility. I don't mind self-publishing. It's rather nice to control the different aspects of getting the book out there. But I love the safety of a publisher. I do. I love having a place to land and someone to help with the art, the edits, the marketing. But this would be the third time around for this series. Would anyone want it? Do I want to make a third set of changes, go through a third complete set of edits...and obtain brand new art...again?
I'm not sure what I want to do. No clue. I've plotted out that book, though. It's in a notebook and waiting for me and the time to be right to go into the computer. I don't know when that'll be. Really, I don't.
But that's the fun of the publishing business. One day you feel comfortable and safe, then the next the bottom seems to fall out. It's scary, fun and I love my job. I just wish I had more answers. Grin. I'll admit it. I'm a little panicked, but I'll figure something out. I'm open to suggestion.
Speaking of the series, you can get the free story in the series, Chasing Sparks at Loose Id. It's free! Grab a copy! You might find you like the rest of the series. Snag 'em while they're still available. :-)
Chasing Sparks by Megan Slayer
Length: Fling (free short story)
Series: Battle Scarred
Genre: Vampires , LGBTTQ, Fantasy & Paranormal
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Prev Book: Battle Scarred 5: Never Give You Up
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
L. A. Kelley writes fantasy and science fiction adventures with humor, romance and a touch of sass. She is wanted by the Texas Rangers for keeping an unlicensed chupacabra. His name is Snuffles. Links to her books are on her Amazon Author Page.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
While on a working vacation two weeks ago in Arizona to sign at the Tucson Festival of Books (thank you, Elizabeth and Tell-Tale Publishing!), I had some early morning quiet time trying to get back in the swing of Daylight Savings Time before going home to Michigan, and decided to get reacquainted with the paranormal on my backburner in a glassed-in nook at 3:30 a.m., with strong coffee and a H.o.T. ("House of Terriot") hero. I'd been away from the story doing final edits and stumping for my Tell-Tale Regency-set romance, SWEET TEMPEST (written as Lauren Giddings - my very first book, re-released and pretty fit for 30 years old!). I hadn't expected the words and characters to feel so distant - probably miffed because I spent time with . . . other characters! But also because it's the fourth and final book in a series with a lot of loose ends to tie up.
A four book series with overlapping time lines (why was I thinking THAT would be fun?) is hard enough to manage. Add to that, these four books are a mini-continuation of my TEN book BY MOONLIGHT series with characters and plotlines from those books popping in and out, too. FUN just became a major headache. Just where in this convoluted world was I when I left off?
The care and feeding of a paranormal world can be a headache for a solo project, but when combining characters, events, and over-arcing scenes to make sense to someone reading them cold is like trying to whip up an Emerill-class meal from a frozen microwave dinner. Not only are the storylines cold and the minor characters kind of tasteless, half the creative time is spent trying to find the name of that walk through guy in the first series' Book 6, who had one line who's soon to become the main villain of your WIP. Did his kids have names? Had I given him a prime evil directive? Had I mentioned where he lived or if he had a mustache?
I've tried to keep things organized (ADD with OCD rising!) knowing that the storylines would continue. Five books in, I went back and jotted down the main plot points by chapter. They're on a couple of legal pads . . . I used to know where before I moved. Then I developed a sheet for each scene complete with who, what, where, when and how with pull quotes and excerpts tagged. Most of it fairly useless now that the books were trimmed down in final editing so the pages numbers mean next to nothing in Kindle or paper final format. Knowing there has to be a better way, I've been investigating Evernote which seems (on the placid surface) like it can do the organizing I desperately need without having to go back college to learn Scrivener. We'll see. If I ever have time to devote to the learning curve . . . Please tell me that it can find anything, categorizes and provides quick and easy access to plotlines and characters that span more than one book. And that it can keep up with the editing process? I feel like I'm back at school needing to take a semester off just to catch up.
The book is rolling along . . . with lots of ( )s to fill in when I find that need-to-know detail that will keep their eyes from changing color or stop me from having someone leave one place before they first arrive.
Who said writing was easy? Probably the same fool who said My World, My Rules. Oh, yeah. That was me. Welcome to my world.
Careful of the mess. Work in progress.
Friday, March 23, 2018
A Few Poems In Passing by Francesca Quarto
Fighting the Time Thief
He enters silently, leaving no trace of his having touched me while I slept.
He is without conscience in the damage he inflicts, his only concern is marking me, the next day, the next month, the next year.
Marked with the passage of his unseen hand, I am altered, moment by moment, until I become a stranger in the mirror.
Escape is impossible, Time will own me.
But a truce will be struck in this battle against the inevitable Thief stealing my youth, my vigor, my life.
I shall go gracefully, falling eventually to the winnowing floor.
I shall, however, go with my thumb in his eye when he winks me out of Time.
Could I do less?
Rich and Poor
If life was comprised only of the generous souls,
would our perceptions of kindness be diminished by its constant presence?
Perhaps we are hard-wired to expect the least amount of good in others
so that we can appreciate the gift, even in its paucity.
Sitting at a local book store
my own penned words on display
A woman looking over my books from the corner of her roving eye
Coming close enough now to inspect, but never to light
Not enough food for thought perhaps?
On Being A Writer
Writing is like a boat that you climb aboard
without knowing what your destination is
how long you'll be on the journey
or who's manning the wheel.
What an amazing trip!
How cruel, the hand of time
pushing us unresisting, into the arms of an unknown tomorrow
How unforgiving the pressure of decline
Twisting, bending, etching the very passage of our memories
upon the once pristine palates of our faces
But also, how kind the echoes of time
while it makes its journey
carrying us along like kites tied to long, colorful ribbon
floating forward and backwards
always gathering the beauty and shedding the weight of mortality
Remembering loves of yesterday and quickly renewed
by the power of their love having been ours.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
I got some great answers, so thought I'd start a list. That way when I get stuck or feel like I'm repeating myself, I've got a resource. So here we go, favorite ways to show chemistry:
- The moment when they're eyes meet and they connect for the first time.
- The way they avoid each other, even though they are attracted to one another, but still have to be in the same room or elevator.
- The first casual touch. It doesn't have to be sexual. (But not a handshake) It can be as innocent as a hand on the arm, or a hand on the lower back to guide them.
- Where you can tell they really, really want to kiss, but neither will make the first move. Then they're interrupted and the moment is gone, but they're both just SMOLDERING.
- That "will he/won't he" moment when you're hoping he will.
- When they're laughing and then the chemistry kicks in and they stop abruptly
- That shared joke or inside piece of information that no one else in the room knows about, but you see them connect over it.
- When they share a vulnerability, fear, or experience that builds intimacy and connection.
- When the other person sees more than everyone else.
- Becoming hyper-aware of each other. Both physical - the sweep of her neck, the way she blushes, his strong forearms, and personal - the way she's nice to everyone, how he defended her when he didn't need to.
- A feisty dialogue exchange where the underlying tension just screams through both words and actions
- Their inner thoughts reveal that they both WANT but can't HAVE, but still WANT
Sunday, March 18, 2018
|Nancy Gideon, Elizabeth Alsobrooks, and Rob Tucker|
at The Tucson Festival of Books, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Has your Muse helped you in a big way?
Saturday, March 10, 2018
My panelists are:
I’m Sandy Wright. I live in Arizona with my husband, a super-smart Border Collie/Aussie mix named Teak, and two huge black panther cats, Salem and Shadow Moon. Their daddy, Magick, was even bigger! He's featured in my debut novel, Song of the Ancients, the first book in my paranormal suspense series, Ancient Magic.
They say write what you know, so my debut novel involves witchcraft and Native American medicine magic. It's set in the energy-laden town of Sedona, Arizona. It was interesting to introduce the concept of witchcraft through the eyes of an ordinary, non-magical woman, and go through her reactions and disbelief along with her. While I did a lot of research for this book, most of the magical stuff I drew from my own Wiccan background and practice.
Sedona is but one earth "power site" in the world. The Ancient Magic series will take Samantha to Nicholas to adventures at other sacred sites, known and obscure. Book 2, tentatively titled Stones of the Ancients, will take us to ancient standing stones—and a true-life excavation-- in Scotland. I also researched my Campbell clan heritage while visiting the Scottish Isles last summer. The books then move to Hawaii to learn about Pele, the Goddess of fire and volcanos. The series concludes somewhere along the icy Neolithic bridge of the First People, maybe Alaska or Siberia.
Book One – Song of the Ancients is available now on Amazon, in both print and ebook.And please look for my upcoming Arizona suspense, Crescent Moon Crossing, releasing fall 2018!
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
It’s kind of nice to be able to take a breather, to not have a deadline looming. On the other hand, I don’t know what normal people do with their time. I’m pretty much doing nothing (other than the day job). I have time to read, finally…and I don’t know what I want to read.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had stories running constantly in the background of my mind, like a program that’s always running on your computer while you’re using other applications. It’s how I’ve always fallen asleep at night, dreaming up worlds and watching love stories play out in my head. And for the first time, I have no characters in there jostling for my attention. It’s quiet. And weird. Quite possibly, I'm depressed. But I don't really care. (Which is probably a sign that I'm depressed.)
You’d think all this existential contemplation would give me plenty of time to come up with entertaining content for blog posts, but, haha, joke’s on you.
Absent any productive ideas, I’ve been watching a lot of Murder, She Wrote. It’s different now, watching Jessica Fletcher deal with life as a published author. When I watched the show the first time around, it was my dream to be her. (I’m also much closer to Jessica’s age. Today, at Walgreens, the checker asked me if I qualified for the senior discount. Okay, so I‘ve been going gray since I was in my 30s, but at 51, I’m not ready for senior discounts yet, thanks. Or as the lovely lady on the Estroven commercial that plays constantly during my old-lady show, Murder, She Wrote, says, “I’m not ready for elastic waistbands!” Now, where was I? Oh, right; insisting that I’m not old. At any rate, I was buying this at the time, so you be the judge:
I also recently bought hair color to match. But that’s neither here nor there, I’ve been doing that for years.)
So me and the Peep (of course it's "the Peep and I," but I must admit, I like the sound of Me and the Peep; it’s a buddy cop show waiting to be written) are sitting here watching Jessica go to writers’ conferences and work on deadlines and snap at her best friend for interrupting her writing flow and put up with mansplaining dudes who belittle her genre, and I’m just nodding along. This is, in many ways, my life (minus the murders and the mad success). But I am, it seems, living the dream.
It isn’t exactly what I expected, but I edit for a steady paycheck by day and write fantastical romance by night that a few people read, and I think my teenage self would be pleased. Now if I could just snap out of this “four-poster dull torpor” and get back to making things up for strangers, that’d be grand.