Redline IS My Friend

You might think that my blog title this week is a bit strange, but let me explain. While some people see corrections as a bad thing, I put my writer’s hat on and say, “no way!”

Edits are actually a very GOOD thing. My editor sent back edits on the first book in my demon trilogy and while those red-line edits and comments might seemingly glare at you, they serve a purpose.

Besides the obvious purpose of catching typos and grammatical errors, edits can catch issues with flow, logic, plot holes, character issues, etc. You name it, a good editor can find it.

What I learned early on in this writing business was that I wanted to give the best possible story to my readers. To do that, I had to put away my ego and accept that having someone else help me just makes sense.

In this instance two heads are better than one. So when Misha’s story is finally released, it’s truly what everyone has been waiting for…

Less Words do NOT Mean Less Work

Did I get your attention with the title, my friends? You would think that the less words a writer has to write, the easier things would be, right?

I’m here to disagree. Sometimes the EASIEST thing to write is the novel itself. Thousands upon thousands of words that come out and develop into a story. What becomes difficult is when you are trying to write less to describe more.

What do I mean? There is the book blurb, also known as the back cover copy. A couple of paragraphs to reflect mood, plot, characters, etc. Not an easy task for sure and I have bemoaned blurb writing in past blogs. Today I am going to talk about something even shorter in the word department, but not easier.

What is it? Drum roll please …….

The Title

Yep, imagine writing a book and then sitting down and trying to determine in five words or less what you are going to call it. Many of my book titles are two words. Oh, the pain.

With my new trilogy, I have been having an extremely hard time finding titles that fit. That make me say “That’s it!”

First, I started with using the brothers’ names as titles. Then I decided that didn’t work and went on to two word titles – dozens and dozens of two word titles that I played with and that needed to coordinate since I have to come up with three titles.

Now I have graduated to titles that are phrases, and I’m finally close to finalizing them! A lot of work, for sure. But when I release these stories into the world, the title (or bow) has to top the wrapping (or cover).

How else will I entice people to rip it open, and dive inside?

A Different Kind Of Inspiration

As a writer, I spend a lot of time talking and thinking about inspiration for my books. Where am I going to get the next idea for a character, scene, story, novel, or series?

But today I want to talk about how I find inspiration to do what I do, be who I want to be? I think we lose sight of what inspires us in the world.

Recently, I received two inspirational reminders for me, the person. They always seem to come at the most opportune times, too. Kismet? Maybe. Or maybe at the times when I need a pick-me-up, is when I’m most open to seeing the “signs”.

So this past week, I received two bracelets from different people. Each with a saying that helps inspire me to keep moving forward.

The first bracelet’s saying was short and sweet and packed a wallop – “Celebrate Life.” We have a finite time on this earth and if we aren’t enjoying ourselves, our families, our loves, then we may want to rethink things. Find those simple things in life that we can enjoy.

The second bracelet had the following quote: “She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”

AMEN to that! A quote from Elizabeth Edwards, I think it works for all of us as we charter a path through life and often find that life isn’t smooth sailing. But sometimes, when we go in a different direction we find it’s where we were supposed to be all along.

So this week, I found inspiration which might not produce a new story, but may produce a better version of me. And that’s far more important in the grand scheme of things.

Dream a Little Dream

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a dreamer. I can’t remember a time where my imagination didn’t have me hatching stories in my head. It started as a child, reading stories and imagining what other things could happen to the characters. Then as I grew it morphed into TV shows and movies. I often wonder “what if”. What if the 90 minute movie continued on? What if the main character in my favorite show did this instead of what happened in the episode I just watched?

A lot of people are dreamers, what makes me different is that I’ve decided to write them down. Take the imagination that is churning most of the time in my head and give it a healthy outlet through my stories and characters. Characters that at certain moments I actually hear in my head.

Right now, with writing in Misha’s world, I am hearing a lot of Russian accents and belly laughs. In the very least my imagination provides comic relief.

There’s something necessary about dreaming of worlds were good defeats evil and love triumphs. Why not share those dreams with others?

Yep, I’m a dreamer. And I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

Spring Had Finally Sprung

In an hour, it will officially be the first day of spring in the states. And even though it might snow tomorrow in my part of the country, I am still looking forward to breaking out of a very long and cold winter.

It seemed appropriate that this weekend I finished the first rough draft of the second demon book I have been writing. My editor is in the process of editing book number one, and I am multi-tasking and working on the next one. I got quite a jump-start on this second book and now I need to read it through and start my edits before I send it to my beta readers.

Writing is a cyclical process much like the seasons. Ideas – writing – content edits – detailed edits – proofread – format – publish. Start all over again…

And when you are working on more than one book at a time, it’s like your seasons crash together – kind of like snow on the first day of spring…

(See how I tied that back to what I said in the beginning? Cool, right?)

A Robe & Slipper Kind of Day

This weekend I had a writing deadline which meant no time for distractions. It was just me and my laptop spending quality time together. By Sunday, I didn’t make it out of my robe and slippers all day. Instead, I concentrated on the story.

Normally my pj’s are for relaxing. But this time, I told myself not to get dressed so I didn’t find excuses to leave the house instead of writing. Reverse psychology, maybe. But it worked!

When I do relax, I don’t get much writing done. But what I do get are ideas – they filter up through my subconscious and help me create a new character or idea. They are also a great way to get me “unstuck” when I can’t move forward.

So I might not have made it out of my slippers, robe, or house much this weekend, but I did spend time in another world.

A Writer’s Spring Fever

Spring is coming in a few short weeks and I am so very excited. We had a LONG winter where I live, and the idea of flowers, green grass, and sunshine pushes away the winter blahs.

There is something invigorating about spring. It’s a fresh awakening. As a writer, that holds a special appeal. For me, there are several “spring-like” steps to my writing process.

Writing lets me delve into new worlds, new plots, new characters, new mysteries, new romances…something that I haven’t experienced or written before.

Right now I’m reading through my manuscript before I send it to my editor for detailed edits, and I realized that as I make tweaks to scenes, I am planting seeds. Making it the best it can be, before my editor gets a hold of it and REALLY cleans it up – I guess you could say she’ll be doing a spring cleaning on it 🙂  (sorry couldn’t help myself  with that one).

But I’m happy that sunshine is finally making its way into my little corner of the world. And if I’m lucky, I hope it continues to shine in my work as well.

Eye Opener

Once again I am a day behind on my Monday blog, but this time I have an excuse…honest. Last night I went to the eye doctor and she dilated my pupils. Then I came home and sat in semi-darkness thinking that my eyes would go back to normal real soon. Yeah, not so much.

So there was no spending time on the computer last night. But of course, the experience got me thinking. The reason why I sat in the dark was because those pupils let in way too much light. An overload of information, if you will.

There are times when a writer is overloaded with information. For me it happens with ideas. Ideas can be sweet and simple, but they can also evolve into huge, complicated animals. And that’s when the overload can happen. It’s not like I only get ideas when I’m not writing a story. Nope. I can be smack dab in the middle of a story and ideas pepper my psyche.

Which means not letting them distract me from the manuscript I’m writing. So I’ve decided to keep a small journal where I can jot down these ideas for another day. Some may never leave the confines of those lined pages, but others will grow into characters and stories that I’ll share with you all.

Stay tuned.





Sorry for the blog delay, my friends. For some reason, it slipped my mind yesterday to post my Monday Blog. So this week, you’re getting to spend time with me on Tuesday.

I’m in the process of working on a spin off of my Mind Sweeper series that revolves around my beloved character, Misha. And since Misha has two brothers, they have decided that their stories need to be told as well.

It’s interesting to write characters that are related. In some ways you need something to tie them together, but in other ways you want them to be individuals. In the case of my Russian demon brothers, they are all very different.

Misha is lovable, and loyal, and overprotective. Alexsei is honorable, bossy, and overprotective. Sergei is trying to find his way and overprotective. See? Commonalities, but oh so diverse at the same time.

So not only does each story have a different slant, but I also get to play the brothers off of each other. There’s going to be some “bro-angst” in the stories which will make them fun to write and fun to read as well.

And how can you not love big sexy demons brothers who need to be loved whether they realize it or not? Add in a feisty demon grandmother playing matchmaker, and you’ve got an interesting spin on things. And I’m all about the spin!

So stay tuned, and I’ll let you know how it goes as their stories unfold.

The Best Kind Of Fortune

This weekend I ordered Chinese food. With it came the obligatory fortune cookie. I always read the fortune even if I don’t finish the cookie. Most of the time, I forget the words that appear on the small rectangle of paper before I have even walked out of the restaurant.

Every so often, a special fortune comes along and I hold on to the slip of paper as a reminder. This one was a doozy.

“Romance stirs your heart – share it with others.”

Pretty appropriate for me, the romance author. Perfect you might say and timely – including the closeness to Valentine’s Day. It’s as if I get these little cosmic pushes telling me to keep writing and telling my stories. And that’s important. Sometimes you wonder if the writing is paying off, then you get a reminder of why you need to keep going.

If someone enjoys my romantic mysteries (or mysterious romances) and possibly escapes whatever is bothering them for a short time, then why wouldn’t I keep writing them?

Since we are two days shy of Valentine’s Day, I will say that romance is something that should be shared, and I hope to continue sharing it through my stories.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I can feel romance in the air…and in the pages of a book.