Proof Positive

My proofreading editor sent back FOR BETTER OR FOR WOLF to me today with the final proof edits. And as I go through them I think about all the steps that got me to this (somewhat) last edit.

Brainstorming that started back in the prior book of the series so I could set up the heroine for book four (I’m tricky like that), followed by writing and writing and did I mention writing?

Then it went to content edits, then regular edits, then final line edits before I sent it to proof. And in between all of these steps, I read and reread the book some more. Soon I will be sending it for formatting as well so that it can be sold as an ebook and a print book. (But not before another read through).

It’s a journey for sure, but it’s always amazing to me when I get to this point as I read through the book, that I created this world, this story, and these characters. It’s a part of me and I love to share it with my readers.

So as I finish my edits, I thought I would share the joy with you ­čÖé

An Author’s Sweet Treat

There is an amazing bakery in my town that I visit every Saturday. I walk in and study the case of goodies. The fascinating thing is that each week the desserts change. Different cakes, and cupcakes, and cookies grace the counter.

And I walk back and forth and ask about the different treats to see which one will be coming home with me this week. Some have an ooey-gooey center, some a crunchy outside, some a surprising mix of flavors.

I only buy one. I can justify one treat a week, especially when next week will be a chance for something new and exciting.

I think that the sweet treats at the bakery are similar to a good story. Each book I pick up offers a new world and characters for me to fall in love/hate with. Is there something ooey-gooey for my heart to enjoy, or a a new twist (flavor) to a plot for my curious mind?

If the story is good it’s a treat to savor. And unlike the bakery, I can’t stop with just one!

Why I Write

20170727_223659This past week I attended Romance Writers of America’s national convention. 2000 authors, editors, publishers, and other industry professionals under one (very large) roof talking the craft and business of writing. It is always an amazing experience to attend and spend time with people who get me the writer.

While the actual conference is exhausting, it is also rejuvenating as well. Spending time with others discussing writing and publishing is like my “spinach” if I was Popeye that is.

One of the fun things I got this week was a Do Not Disturb sign shoved under my hotel door from Harlequin. In the pic, the woman is reading a book as her hero carries her into the sunset. And while this is incredibly clever and came home with me to now reside on my office door, I came to an even bigger epiphany when I hung it there.

As a reader I am definitely carried away by the story, the scenery, the emotions, the characters, and anything else that moves me. But the same can be said as a writer. When my scenes are going well, I am IN THE STORY. I am living it and experiencing all that moves me. And that is a heady adventure. It can be emotionally draining sometimes, but more often that not, it is cathartic. To spend time creating worlds and characters who defeat the bad guy (since my books have mysteries too) and grow into beings that can love each other is the reason I keep writing.

So, if I could rework this picture a little bit, I might have the woman typing away on her keyboard since writers need time with their stories as well…

 

Your Choice: Savor or Devour


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This weekend, one of my writer friends showed up at my house with chocolate cake. Now, I am not going to turn that away, I mean her away. She brought a large piece so I ate a couple of yummy bites and then put it away for another time. I found myself savoring the cake over a couple of days and it got me thinking that eating a treat can be compared to reading a great book. Now stay with me, and I’ll explain what this is all about.

I have found that when a book is really good many readers do one of two things.

Savor – when a reader reads slowly to savor the story because they don’t want it to end

Devour – when a reader can’t put a book down because it is that good

I have a tendency to devour books. I read the last Harry Potter book in one day! With some of my favorite writers, I will read the book FAST, FAST, FAST and then go back and reread the story. If we take the cake analogy further, I would say I eat the frosting and then go back and eat the rest of the cake ­čÖé

As an author, I hope that readers enjoy my stories right down the the last sweet bite!

So what type of reader are you when you get that really GOOD book?

 

 

 

The Power of Word of Mouth

smile-191626_640A cute little marketing story to share with you…

Today I got a voicemail from my Dentist’s Office. Normally I get reminder calls before my cleanings, but I knew that I didn’t have one coming up anytime soon, so I was a little confused. Then I listened to the message…

The dental assistant called me. One of the patients she spoke to that day told her that she likes to read paranormal. The assistant thought of me immediately and told her that I write paranormal, but she couldn’t remember my pen name. So a quick call was made to ask me what my pen name was so that she could share it with her patient!

How wonderful it that! Word of mouth is a powerful tool (and yes, I know there’s pun potential there…dentist…mouth. Can’t help myself sometimes!)

Having people talk about your writing with others is a gift that I can never thank you all enough for.

So thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you…well, you get the idea ­čÖé

 

Alternate Reality

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I live in Ohio and you’ve heard me talk about the crazy weather we have here on more than one occasion. This past week was a perfect example of said craziness. On Friday, it snowed. Where I lived we got about three inches, although some areas of Ohio got double-digit snow. By Sunday it was 70 degrees.

People were outside in shorts and flip-flops and there was still snow on the ground. It kind of blows your mind when stuff like that happens, it’s as if the shift in reality happens too quickly and it takes awhile to catch up.

For me, writing can be a mind-blowing experience as well. When my writing is flowing, I’m in that world standing alongside my characters. Sometimes, I’m inside my characters’ bodies, feeling what they’re feeling and living through them. So imagine when it is time to pull out of that world?

Yep, reality shift multiplied by a thousand! And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that I write about paranormal!

 

 

Writer’s Recycling Guide

conservation-429700_640Did I get your attention with the blog title, my friends? Good. Let me explain. I have been having trouble writing the third book in my wedding planner series. I already told you that I reworked the beginning chapters several times and made the book better, however, I still was stalling out as I moved further into the story. Frustration ensued – big time. Until I realized something.

I was writing the wrong book.

Yep. I had a story line in this book which really didn’t belong there. So I stripped it out and increased the amperage of the other story line which was truly the crux for both the hero and heroine.

Changing the book, meant cutting scenes and most authors hate to cut things. But when I came to the revelation that I was writing the wrong book, I also realized that the story line I had to cut really belong in the NEXT book of the series! So those scenes will be tweaked and used again.

My idea of recycling – author style!

Keeping it Short & Sweet

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As authors, it is often very hard to offer a straightforward, simple answer. After all, we are prone to wax poetic on any number of items, most especially our books. My novels normally range in the 85,000-95,000 range, so I am guilty of this myself!

A few months ago, I decided to visit my Mind Sweeper world again. A number of you have asked if I am “done” with Kyle and the gang. My answer to that is an emphatic HECK NO. So I started playing with ideas in my head about where I wanted to go next in this series, and I came to the conclusion – I would go backwards.

What? You are probably thinking, but too polite to voice out loud.

That’s okay. I hear your questions loud and clear. So let me explain.

I decided to write what I call flashback stories. Fun little snippets of some great firsts for Kyle. When we met Kyle in Mind Sweeper, she had already been working with Misha and Jean Luc for ten years. So I wondered…

  • How did she learn that paranormal exist?
  • How did she meet Misha and Jean Luc?
  • How did she fit into this new world?

And so my flashback stories were born. Over the next few months, I’ll be releasing three stories┬áabout a young Kyle McKinley thrown into a new world. These short stories are perfect with a blanket, a cup of tea (or something stronger) on a cold winter’s night. And, added bonus, you get to spend time again with Kyle and her merry band of supernatural.

So something short and sweet will be coming your way. Stay tuned for more fun info!

In Sickness and In Elf Book Trailer

After having fun over the past two weeks with my paranormal wedding planner tips, it’s time to reveal the book trailer for In Sickness and in Elf. I hope you like it! The trailer has a different vibe than the irreverent wedding tips, but I think it fits the story.

For me, humor is a big part of my writing, but there is still conflict and growth. THAT’s the crux of the story. The reason (I hope) you come back for more!

And next week, will be the cover reveal for book two in my paranormal wedding planner series. Stay tuned!

Without further ado…watch out the trailer below or click HERE.

Birdie Has Left the Building

aviary-670878_640Yesterday I sent my second wedding planner manuscript┬áto my editor to start detailed edits. YAY! The birdie┬áhas left the building, if only for a little while.┬áSoon enough, it will be back squawking for attention. And that’s okay, because I’m still in nurturing mode with my manuscript.

I want to make sure that the characters, plot, scenes, and dialogue are sharp and entertaining. And let’s not forget about motivation and conflict!

For this part of the process, it’s about STORY and not word count, which I love.And speaking about love…I am in love with my hero in this book. He’s a southern boy who happens to be a sea nymph. Oh, did I mention he’s an ex Navy SEAL? Yep. Charlie is my newest “book boyfriend.” So I’m anxious to share the story with you all to find out what you think of him ­čÖé

For the next week, my super-duper editor is applying her magic to the pages of my story. Then it will come back to me. SQUAWK, SQUAWK, SQUAWK. But no worries, since I will be one step closer to pushing the birdie out of the nest and into your hands!