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Showing posts from 2009

2009: a year in review

It is the last day of the year, and of the decade . . . Wow. How did that happen?

It has been an interesting year for me, and by and large, a very good one. As I am writing this post, it is hard to believe that this is the same year I was sitting at my desk at work reading about all the layoffs in publishing. I remember all the doom and gloom, of people saying no new writers would be published and only the already established bestsellers had a shot in this market. Not that there isn't a lot of darkness hanging over publishing right now, but I have always chosen to be cautiously optimistic, and well, this year, it certainly paid off.

Career-wise, here are my 2009 highlights:
ONCE BITTEN, my very first novel, was released.I signed a deal for five more books in the Haven series.I was offered representation by the absolutely amazingLucienne Diver with the The Knight Agency.Lucienne sent the first book in a new Urban Fantasy series to New York, and within two weeks we had an offer. …

TWICE DEAD EXCERPT

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I have now uploaded an except from Twice Dead. If you would like to read the first chapter, check it out HERE. Enjoy!

I'll upload the second chapter closer to the release date, so check back often. And remember, Twice Dead will be available in print and electronically February 2010!

Number 1?

I found out this morning that ONCE BITTEN is currently #1 on Amazon's Fantasy list and Horror list!!

Thank you everyone who took advantage of the Christmas special on the kindle edition of the book. I hope you enjoy the read, and be on the look out for the sequel, TWICE DEAD, which will be released in February!

Merry Christmas (and free books!)

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a joyful and safe holiday. As a special Christmas gift, my publisher has released my first book, ONCE BITTEN, free for kindle on Amazon. If you haven't had a chance to read the book yet (or you've read it but would like a kindle version) check it out HERE.

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

The Revision Game, Part three--4th drafts: Micro edits

In the second draft we made sure our story was all on the page. In the third draft, we made sure each individual scene carried that story along. So what is left for the fourth draft?

Micro edits.

The micro edit is where I really focus on the writing. I know, I know, all the stages are about writing, but in all the previous drafts I was focused on getting plot and characters and such on the page. Now I'm really focused on the actual words.

This is the stage where I pay special attention to which verbs I'm using, and I try to replace weak verbs for strong ones. This is the time to nix over used words and phrases, to tighten and polish until the sentences sing.

Tips from the trenches (because I am revising right now)
-Try reading it out loud. You can hear clunky phrasing.
-"Be" verbs do have their place (trust me, just try to write a story without any) BUT, do evaluate their use in your sentences. Can you use a stronger verb or rearrange the sentence to make it stro…

Delayed post

I didn't have a chance to write the post I planned for today because I didn't finish my writing goals in time. The real writing comes first. I'll try to get the last revision post up tomorrow.

Sorry about the delay.

The Revision Game, Part two--3rd drafts: Scene by Scene

Continuing on with our revision topic . . .

Now that the second draft is complete, I know that the manuscript tells a full story, I haven't dropped any plot lines, there are (hopefully) no huge logic flaws, my characters progress naturally, and the plot arc is in place. The big picture looks pretty good--just don't look too close because I haven't focused on the actual writing yet. The book is not ready to be seen by anyone but me, and there is a lot of work to be done before it can be taken to critique.

More than likely, at this stage, the dialogue meanders at times, there are a couple backstory dumps that need to be spread out, there is either too much or too little description, and the action doesn't quite work all the time. I know the story as a whole works, so now to break it down and focus on individual scenes.

I know some writers who break this stage down further and make one sweep (draft) just for dialogue, or just focused on making sure there are no large c…

The Revision Game, Part one--2nd drafts: The Big Picture

Last month Cher asked me to go into more specifics about how I revise novels. I didn't get a chance to post on the topic during the NaNo challenge, so I thought I'd delve into it now. In parts. Yes, I'm breaking it down that much.

Those of you who won NaNo last month are hopefully still racing toward those magical words "The End" (or maybe some of you have hit them already). But what do you do after you reach those words?

Personally, I close the file. Then I don't open it again for at least two weeks (if at all possible). During that down time I work on other projects, write a short story, talk to my neglected husband, read as many books as I can without my eyes rolling out of my head, whatever--the point is to let the dust settle on the story I just finished. (**Note: I highly recommend still writing something while letting a first draft sit. It takes about 3 weeks to form a habit, so if you slip out of the habit of writing, you have to force yourself to th…

We have winners!

We'll, I finally went through all the posts to pull out the entries for the month long NaNo contest held here on the blog.

If you need a refresher on what this contest involved, here are the pertinent facts:
-Everyone who participated on the blog and completed the 50k word challenge during NaNo will be listed in the acknowledgments page of my February release, TWICE DEAD.
-Of those writers, I picked a randomly generated 'grand prize winner' who will receive Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King as well as a copy of my up coming release.
-Also, everyone who participated on the blog, regardless of whether they completed the challenge, was entered to win a copy of TWICE DEAD.


Okay, without further ado, time to announce the drawing winners. (Remember, each progress comment earned one 'ticket' in the drawing. There were a total of 109 'tickets'.) The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of TWICE DEAD is:

Demon Hu…

Er, yeah, it's December . . .

Hey, sorry everyone. I didn't realize how much time it would take to tally up how many entries in the contest everyone has. As such, I didn't allot enough time to do it today.

So, winners will be announced tomorrow.

Stay tuned . . .

NaNo day 30: The End?

It is about to be midnight here on the east coast (some of you might have a couple hours yet). So, how did you do? Did you cross the finish line?

I scratched out the last words I needed to finish NaNo, but my book is not yet finished (very few genres accept 50k word books) so there is writing left to be done. Unfortunately, this shiny now has to take a complete backseat for revisions and contracted books, but I do plan to continue working on it in my spare time. How about you? Did the NaNo goal allow you to finish your first draft, or are there words left to be written before you reach the magical words "the end"?

I encourage you to celebrate the end of NaNo and the madness, but also to keep on writing. They say it takes three weeks to form a habit, so everyone is now in the habit of writing. Try to keep that habit in the coming months. Did you know that even if you write only 500 words a day (that is about two pages double spaced) you can write two 90k word first drafts in …

Cover Art for TWICE DEAD

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I'm thrilled to say that I have received permission to release the cover art for TWICE DEAD, book two in the Haven Series. I think my publisher did an amazing job with this cover, so I hope you like it just as much.

TWICE DEAD will be released in late February, so look for more updates soon!

NaNo day 29: Did you see the size of those ninjas?

Okay, I admit it, the title of this post has practically nothing to do with the content. A friend tweeted the saying to another Wrimo who is pushing toward the finish line, and it made me chuckle and think about how zany first drafts can be.

Have you noticed this month that sometimes, when you maybe have no idea what should be happening next and you just need something to happen, a plot ninja (meaning something totally unexpected and probably a little out there) sneaks on the page? And yeah, you might cut that craziness in the second draft, but maybe it leads you on a cool new path you would have never considered without the weird ninja. I've detailed my pre-plotting routine, and I am very much a plotter, but I have to tell you, I do love when a plot ninja shows up and gives me a new twist to work with.

Anyone finding an abundance of plot ninjas? Any really interesting plot ninjas?

Well, we are pushing toward the final moments of this challenge. I'm almost back on track, and s…

NaNo 26: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

I've never taken a picture of a turkey, but I tend to snap far too many pictures of big cats, so today, Lions will be representing Thanksgiving on this blog. ^_^

NaNo day 25: Thanks!

We are hours from Thanksgiving, (officially--sleep still needs to happen. LOL) and while I sometimes forget and mark the day down as a scary'food holiday', it really isn't. It is a day to remember our blessings and give thanks.

So, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone out there reading this blog. A lot of amazing things have happened this year, and I've been thrilled to be able to share them with you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this bit of the net with me.

I hope you are well blessed, have safe travels if you are visiting, and have a wonderful holiday!

I bet a couple of you Wrimos are so near the finish line that you can taste it. (Or maybe you crossed it already?) Let's see those word counts!

NaNo 24: Piracy

I like pirates. The fictional kind. You know, big hats, swords, and a penchant for rum. I really like sky pirates in their clockwork ships.

I don’t like internet pirates. Not at all. They make me sad.

Google alerted me this morning that someone made a copy of OB available for download. It was suggested that I should feel flattered that someone liked my book enough to give it away. I don’t feel flattered. I want to cry.

On average, authors make 8% of the cover price from books (that means, on your average 7.99 mass market book the author makes about 64 cent) but they make 0% on pirated downloads. Everything comes down to numbers in publishing, so not only do pirated downloads affect an author’s bottom line, but they can actually jeopardize her ability to convince publishers to purchase future books from her. Which translates to no sequels, and the author possibly having to use a pseudonym to sell another series.

Now, one little download site on my one little book isn’t the biggest co…

NaNo Day 22: Pay to play? No Way!

There has been a lot of internet chatter recently about a certain big press, Self-Publishing, and Vanity Publishing. I'm not going to go on a tirade here because other people have said it better, but I am going to hit the high points. So lets talk business.

In publishing:
Money should always flow toward the author.

Be wary of anyone who refers you to a service.

Do your research before you start querying.


Okay, I'll expand on each of those points in a moment, but first I guess I should explain why I'm thinking about this today. Earlier in the week, Harlequin announced their new vanity publishing venture. Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and Mystery Writers of America (probably the three largest and most influential writing organizations in the US) took a stand against Harlequin, and basically told them that if Harlequin was going to pee in the sand box, they weren't invited to play anymore.

Why would they do this? Because these o…

NaNo day 21: Boring scenes? And FIRE!

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I’m going to answer questions today, but first I want to talk a bit about, well, today.

Today was the annual lock-in. Every NaNo, my Co-ML and I host a day long write-in. The outcome of this event tends to be huge one day word gains (for me today that is about 5k words, but we’ve had two writers cross 10k for the day so far) as well as a lot of laughing and silliness because if you lock a dozen writers together for 14 hours, silliness occurs. The one thing we never get enough of at these events is exercise. So, abi showed up in the middle of the day with hoops to force the writers to move. He returned after dark for another exercise break (isn’t he awesome, and he’s leaving to run off to China) and this time he brought the fire hoop


Yes, if you are looking at the picture right now, that is me, on fire. Okay. No. I’m not on fire. The hoop is on fire. But still . . . It was just . . . amazing! This was my ‘virgin burn’ (which means this was the first time I’ve ever fire hooped) and wow…

NaNo day 19: Changing the routine

Today was a day of hard won words. The muse clearly gave me the finger and went her own way this morning. After a couple hours in front of the computer with a diminishing word count (I know, I know--no deleting in NaNo. Do as I say not as I do.) I decided it was time to switch things up, change the routine.

It is amazing how freeing it can be to do that. To step away from the pressure of the keyboard and write long hand for a while.

It helped. A lot. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to transcribe the words into the computer yet, so I haven't a clue my current word count.

So how was your day 19? We are about to be 2/3rds through the challenge. How is your story coming? Loving it? Hating it? Have you gotten stuck? Tried changing your routine, write somewhere else or with something else? Did it help? Let's see those word counts!

NaNo Day 18: The Process of writing a novel

Alright, back to answering questions. (Just one today, because this is a big one.)

Cher asked: What process to you go through during the writing of a novel? Also, something that keeps popping up is the use of scenes and sequels. I'm a little confused about the differences. I understand the functions but when I look at other's writing I can't point out which is which. Any suggestions or examples?

My answer: There are a couple different ways I could interpret this question, so if I don’t hit on what you are really asking for Cher, please let me know. (*Disclaimer* this is the process that works for me and I am not claiming it will work for everyone.)

Anyway, my process for writing a novel goes something like this:
I start out with brain storming sessions where I figure out my world and my characters. I tend to work with pen and paper in this stage, and the result is typically a mess. I rarely start with plot ideas, so this is truly just figuring out who I’m dealing with and …

Nano day 16: There are no sick days

Hey guys. No questions answered in this post. No impressive word count either--most of my gained words are from yesterday. Most, but not all.

Today I must admit to being sick. The coughing-headache-fever kind of sick.

ick.

Thank goodness for laptops. I did get a few words in today. Mostly I've been watching Buffy and sleeping. Fun.


So, short post.


22759 / 50000 words. 46% done!

I hope the rest of you are doing better than me. So how are those word counts coming? Good night everyone!

NaNo: Start of week three

Hey gang! Sorry I missed a couple days there. Go ahead and post your word count here, and I’ll add your name in the drawing for the days I didn’t post as well.
So, I asked for questions, and I’m very pleased to have received quite a few. I’ll answer them all in the next couple posts, so don’t worry if I don’t get to yours today.

Demon Hunter asked: “What's your word count goal every day? Does your daily goal vary depending on real life, or do you just make that goal every day no matters what happens?”

My answer: I have had all kinds of goals worked out in the past. At different times I’ve had daily page goals, word goals, and chapter goals. I’ll be honest, I prefer chapter/scene goals to word goals. If I’m tired and aiming for say 3k a day, I’m more likely to write filler-garbage just so that I feel better about hitting that number of words. If my goal is to write so many scenes (or specific scenes) or so many chapters, the writing tends to be of better quality, though at the end…

NaNo day 11: Another day, another blog post

I've been trying very hard to keep my daily NaNo blogs short but interesting. I'm accomplishing the first, but I'm not too sure about the second, and I doubt very much they are useful to you guys. So, I think that means this is a good time to open the floor for questions.

Anyone have questions for me? Maybe a writing topic you'd like me to blog about? Something about my process? About the publishing world? About my books in particular or the genre in general? Now's the time, let's hear those questions!

NaNo, the one third mark.

It is day 10 of NaNo and this marks the 1/3 point of the challenge. I covered a lot of ground today, and I'm very happy with my story progress, but, my word count is a little short of the one-third mark. Tomorrow will be my day, I can feel it. The plot is starting to come together now.

Word Count:

14091 / 50000 words. 28% done!

In other news, look what I found today: I'm on the RavenCon website! Of course, I've known I'll be a guest for a couple months now, but this is the first time I've seen my guest link. Very cool. If you will be in the Richmond, Virginia, area between April 9 - 11, you should definitely come out and see me.

So how are you doing? Several of you passed the 1/3rd mark days ago *huge cheers for you!* Others should be right on track to be hitting it tonight, and a couple, like me are dragging a little behind (don't worry, we'll catch up!) So, let's see those word counts!

NaNo Day Nine

Not much to report today. I ran off to the zoo and did a little writing, but mostly took pictures. If I were writing about gorillas, I would have fascinating new material because I spent a good bit of time chatting with a keeper, but alas, no gorillas. (Maybe I can create some shapeshifters in the Dark Haven series whose second form is that of a gorilla . . . )

Chugging along. Definitely not crossing the 15k mark tonight, but I'm not unhappy with the words I wrote.


11522 / 50000 words. 23% done!

Let's see those wordcounts. Anyone learn anything new and fascinating today?

NaNo: The start of a new week

Week one of NaNo is now behind us. While I decided I hated my shiny yesterday, I am once again very much in love with it. I am still plotting and fleshing out characters, but things are falling into place. I'm behind, no more than yesterday, but not significantly less either. I'll have to work on that.

In the mean time, I'm happy it is shiny to me again, and I am looking forward to working on it again tomorrow. I'm not sure if it was the plotting, or the fact I spent a little time out of my head read someone else's work, but I see the potential again.

Do you fall in and out of love with your words? How do you renew their vigor and gleam?

Current wordcount:

10017 / 50000 words. 20% done!

Nano Day 6: Belated

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Opps. I didn't post yesterday, so there will be two posts today. I am ashamed to say I have fallen a good bit behind. I didn't write on Thursday. No excuse except that I was very busy and very exhausted after the craziness of my final day at work. (Oh but look, here is a picture of the cake from the awesome farewell party they threw me.) I had grand plans for making up the missing wordcount on Friday, and maybe even pulling ahead. Two things got in my way:

1) I hit the point at which I had to admit I'm not a pantzer. There were no more scenes, and I had no map. eeks! So, I spent my writing hours yesterday working on plotting and outlining (actually, I spent most of today on that too.)

2) This is a big weekend for the Columbia Hoop Troop. We are hosting Lara from GA's Super Hoopers. She's in town to offer local hoopers free classes to spread the joy of hooping. Large chunks of yesterday were spent preparing for her arrival and getting the space for the classes re…

NaNo Day 5: News and a Poll

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Today was my very last day at the day job. It was a hectic one as I ran around trying to anticipate any issues I could preemptively fix, but now it is over. I had a lot of friends I'll miss and I hope to keep contact with. The department threw me an amazing farewell party, and my boss said the sweetest speech. I guess it was kind of like having a funeral--people say all the good stuff--but I was alive to hear it.

Well, this page of my life has now passed. Tomorrow is my first day as a full time writer. Guess that means I have to write an impressive amount tomorrow. X_X

In the mean time, I'm entering a contest the brilliant Faith Hunter is hosting, and I'm trying to decide which picture to use. What do you think?

Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

I hope you are all finding good words today! Write on!

NaNo Day 4

It has been a crazy busy day. At work I'm wrapping up everything I can and preparing things to be taken over by the new 'me' (whoever that turns out to be) so I ran around in crisis mode most the day, just trying to keep up. There were errands to take care of at lunch, so I lost my extremely important writing hour. Luckily, there was a write in tonight, and I pumped out some much needed words.

I would really like to be building a bit of a cushion right now so that I'm ahead when my revision notes hit, but currently, I'm just scrapping by with the minimum daily word count. I can deal with that.

I'm enjoying this story. Every scene I write leads me to new discoveries about my characters and plot. It is a lot of fun. But, I need to do some research at some point. I keep inserting words like "SHOES" which I intend to replace with a name brand. The thing is, unlike my character, I know absolutely nothing about big name fashion. Anyone out there know an…

NaNo Day 3: It's a plot!

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It's day three of NaNo, I'm almost 10% of the way through my word count, and I have now, finally, discovered my plot!

It's not a complete plot. It's more of a glimmer. A direction. But I'm happy to have it. (That pantzing thing is hard and totally not for me.) So, I am very excited today because I know where my shiny is going (and it's going great places!)

Obviously it is sill early in the day and there are many more productive writing hours to come, but I'll go ahead and splash up my word meter.

4476 / 50000 words. 9% done!

I have hooping tonight. Then I will buckle back in and take this shiny new plot idea for a ride. How is day three treating everyone else? Anyone discover something new about their story today?

Day 2: Logic in fantasy

It's day two of Nano, and I'm tripping over the fact this shiny has no prewriting work. World building is one of my favorite parts of writing, and I like to know (at the very least) the basic rules before I release my characters into a brand new story. Not this time. I'm writing blind. It is a fun in an experimental type of way, but writing blind also means my main character has to spend time figuring out what I, as the writer, should already know (which means the words won't last the second draft.)

Every new idea brings with it a mass of new and interesting questions. Want teenage vampires who are going to grow up to be adult vampires and not stuck at sixteen forever? How does that work? How can an unageing/immortal being age? If a character can walk through a shadow and end up in another shadow, what happens if light is brought to the shadow while he steps through? What type of portal is a shadow? Logic has to come into the answers of world building questions and &…

NaNo Day One

Day one of NaNoWriMo is finally here and the writing has started! We hosted our first write-in in my region this afternoon, and I have clocked my first 1700 words. The thing is, they are words in the wrong book.

Yup, you heard that right. Wrong book.

I had a plan. I had a plot. I even had a logical reason I needed to write what I'd intended. That all went out the window when I opened my laptop today.

I was supposed to start GW2 today. Instead I'm working on a shiny. My critique partners are ready to kill me, but I managed to convince myself the shiny was the more logical book to write. I know, I know. With six books in my que, there is no real logical reason to write something not contracted. But . . . I haven't received edits for GW1 yet, so major things could change that would possibly reshape the direction of the second book. (It sounded more convincing in my head.) I'm also probably going to get interrupted by two different revision notes this month, so working on…

NaNoWeen

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For the last few years, Halloween has become 'NaNoWeen' for me. There is still dressing up and giving out candy, but at the stroke of midnight, it is officially November and the writing begins.

My Co-Ml and I hosted the annual Kick-off party in our region today. We gave out cool (or at least, I thought they were cool) goody-bags and we played several 'games' like draw your inner editor in jail
(or in some way locked away where he/she can't bother you) and sealed plot ninja gifts (where everyone wrote a plot twist and sealed it in an envelope which were then randomly distributed for Wrimos in their darkest hour of writer's block.) We had a great turn out and a lot of fun. As you can see in the pictures, fellow Tri Mu Tori and NL Berger dressed up with me, but luckily we weren't the only ones (though we did get some interesting looks walking into B&N.)

Well, midnight is almost here. I can hardly wait! Are all of you out there participating in the chall…

A novel writing challenge: NaNoWriMo and the madness, plus PRIZES

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Every year around this time I start blogging about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and while I am obviously once again blogging about NaNo, I've decided to do something a little different this year. This year, instead of just blogging about how I am doing in the challenge (and it will be a challenging year as I am expecting revision notes for two different books any week now) I want to know how YOU are doing. Oh yeah, and there will be prizes(so read on!)

For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is a month long challenge where people all over the world attempt to write 50k words during the month of November. If you have ever wanted to write a book, this is a great time and a great challenge to get you noveling. I wrote THE END on my very first novel during NaNo 2005. That novel was ONCE BITTEN, which was released this past January. So, as you can guess, NaNo is a challenge I really believe in.

Officially, the 'prize' for participating in NaNo is typically…

Pictures from Moonlight and Magnolias

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This post is late (story of my life) as I returned from Moonlight and Magnolias over a week ago, but hey, better late than never, right?

Tori Pryer, NL Berger, Cera Daniels, and I attended M&M this year and among the four of us, brought home four requests for partials. As I sold a three book deal (on top of the 5 book deal I already have) a week before the conference, and I am neither suicidal nor a writing machine, I did not pitch. Now, if you're doing the math, that means one of my critique partners brought home multiple requests! (Congrats Cera!)

We had an absolutely fabulous time at the conference. There were workshops to attend, authors and industry professional's to chat with, a book signing (more on that in a moment), and, of course, the Maggies Award dinner and dance. As you can tell from the photos, I toted my hoop out onto the dance floor and introduced a whole gaggle of romance writers to hoop dancing. A hoop on the dance floor was clearly a first for a lot of …

Wish I could blame this on the pain meds, but all they gave me was Novocaine . . .

Dear Novel,

I appreciate your wish to remain lodged deeply in my mind and not be torn away, pressed into a manuscript, and then sent out into the world. It warms my heart that you like me so much, you are clinging to the shadows of my subconscious and refuse to be parted from me. That said, you need to take a deep breath, jump into words, and become a book.

I love you dearly, and because I think you are so 'wonderful', I wish to share you with others. Know that being read by other people will not tarnish you nor will it diminish you in any way. In fact, it is likely to do the opposite. It is my greatest wish that you to grow up to be a bound book people can buy and enjoy.

So, this is an official letter to inform you that you are being evicted. Understand that it is with greatest love I have made this decision. Now, please proceed in an orderly and climatic fashion down to my fingertips, into the keyboard, and onto the screen. Thank you.

With love,
your novelist.

A writing soundtrack

(X-posted at the Tri Mu blog.)

I know I've posted on the topic of music before, but well, I'm a massive consumer of music so I'm going to talk about it again. I'm not a fan silence (unless I'm trying to sleep) so if you run into me, you'll probably find I have wires running from my ipod to my brain ears.

Now, as a musicwhore consumer of music, it is a bit of an understatement to say I have a large music library. My tastes are diverse and I can get a little itunes happy once in a while, so I'm pretty sure if you hit shuffle on my library the auditory experience will be the equivalent of living inside a schizophrenic's brain. (Side rant: Shake to shuffle is NOT a feature on the ipod nano--it's a menace. Anyone know how to turn it off? /rant)

Recently I've been on a Darkwave/Industrial kick. I have a manuscript due, uh, tomorrow, and I have a good power mix playing that has been great for this last push of revisions. Here are a list of the band…

More News, More Books

So things have been really crazy recently, and the last week I've been rather quiet on twitter for fear I would get too excited and say too much, but I can finally release my news.

I am very happy to announce that I have signed with ROC/ACE for a brand new urban fantasy series!

The first book in the series (tentatively titled GRAVE WITCH) is about a broke magic-eye for hire whose case with a sexy reaper, a dark cop, and a ghost-silencing killer has more than her rent on the line - it may cost her soul.

I do not have information about release dates yet, but I promise to post more information as it comes available.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

(Now to go bury myself in revisions again. I have an October 1st deadline I'm racing.)

Remember to move

This is a busy time for me. I have deadlines approaching and side writing projects popping up here and there. I've been skipping a lot of activities recently just to stay caught up. A typical day currently consists of spending eight hours at work and then going home and writing for another seven hours. That adds up to a lot of time in a chair.

Certain things should be self evident, but everyone needs reminding sometimes, and this week, my reminder came from fellow Tri Mu, Tori. She messaged me to see how the writing was going. It was only about nine o'clock, but I was tired and feeling rather worn down. Her question:

"Have you gotten any exercise recently?"

No. No I hadn't. I'd skipped hooping all week, and for the most part, I only stood up and stretched when body parts started falling asleep. Under her advice, I took a break, turned the music up loud, grabbed my hoop, and just let go.

I only left my desk for about fifteen minutes, but I returned energized…

Exciting News

I've dropped hints that I've had news of late, and as I now have a signed contract in my hands, I'm finally ready to share. It is my pleasure to announce that I am being represented by the amazing Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency! She is currently shopping a new series for me, so hopefully I will have more exciting news to share with you soon.

In other news, I will be speaking at a local high school tomorrow on the importance/joy of reading. This will be a first for me, and I'm very excited. Now to be girly and waste massive amounts of time fretting over what to wear. ^_^

Switching gears again, I already announced this on the Tri Mu site, but I some how neglected to mention it here (I know, I know, my blog readers are supposed to get news first! Forgive me.) The title for the second book in my Dark Haven series has been approved. It will be called TWICE DEAD and will be released in February 2010. I have seen a mock-up of the cover, and the book is going to be g…

Want a signed bookmark?

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I mentioned in an earlier post that if I had any bookmarks left after Dragon*con, I would give away several on the blog. I did hold a couple back, so here is your chance to get a signed bookmark. I'm giving away ten (10) in total, and I'm willing to mail internationally. If you are interested click on the contact link on my webpage and send me a message with who you'd like the bookmark made out to and the shipping address where you'd like it mailed. There are no special rules to this give away, it is just first come first serve until I run out.

Have a great weekend everyone!

UPDATE: All bookmarks have now been claimed. Thank you everyone who entered. Look for more giveaways as the release of TWICE DEAD approaches.

Celebrating World Hoop Day 2009

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While I try to keep this blog focused primarily on my writing, I am diverging today to share my favorite hobby with you. If you follow my twitter feed, you probably know I started hoop dancing about eight months ago.

Well, today is World Hoop Day and the Columbia Hoop Troop gathered to draw attention to hooping. We had hoped to take hoops to the local children's home, but that plan fell through (and is in the process of being rescheduled on a weekend--World Hoop Day being on a Wednesday was the issue.) Instead, a group of about eight of us showed up at the State House in the middle of downtown, turned on some belly dancing music, and just had fun hooping on the green.

We got a lot of stares and a couple tourists snapping pictures of us, but we also talked some of the suits walking by to hoop with us. It brought a lot of smiles to faces, and there was a lot of laughter. All and all, it was a great way to spend my lunch hour.

If you are wondering about the draw of hooping, I can tel…