Monday, May 28, 2012

In Which I Talk About Some Things and Not Others

We'll start with what I'm NOT going to talk about. I'm not going to talk about the fact that after a month of querying, I'm starting to get a little neurotic (because I've done really well not being neurotic all this time, so hey, a girl can only last so long, right?). I'm also NOT going to talk about the fact that my laptop screen has started coming apart from the keyboard part and I'm going to have to buy a new one even though everything else is perfectly functional (It's a Dell, btw. My new one will most definitely not be).

What I AM going to talk about is characters and how much I love mine. Non-writers and readers would probably think it's nuts to become very fond of a fictional character. But since pretty much all of you are writers or at least readers, I know you feel me on this one. Anyone who follows a series has experienced that connection with a certain character, and you get to debate which ones are your faves. Like the fantastic Edward vs. Jacob fights, or the Harry Potter fan fiction where people have Hermione end up with Harry instead of Ron.

But when you're the writer, and you create these characters, it's even more awesome and that connection is so much stronger. Over the course of 300 or more pages, you get to know these creations really well. Lately I've been realizing I really miss Eva, Seth, Ambrose, Elspeth and the rest of my cast from Countless. I placed that book on the back burner to work on Martinis with the Devil, and it's been more than a year since I've touched it. Later this year I plan on rewriting the whole thing in first person, and I can't wait to get back into it. And now, as I'm querying Martinis with the Devil, I think about how awesome my MC Zyan is. And the whole point of querying is to find that agent that falls in love with your characters and your book as much as you do. So, here's hoping I can stay sane until I find that person.

What's one of your favorite characters that you've written? Anyone else looking for an agent love match right now?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Come into my web said the writer to the... other writers

I was originally going to blog just about Pinterest, and the fun inspiration boards I have for each of my books. But then I realized there are probably plenty of you I haven't connected with on Twitter and/or Goodreads, too! I sure am spread all over the tinterwebs like jam on bread (blackberry jam, in case you're wondering).

So, here's a brief description of why I love each of these internet playgrounds and my linkage for each:


A lot of people wonder what the heck Pinterest is all about. I think of it as a place to collect shiny, pretty things, like a raven's nest. Except organized. It's basically a huge collection of pictures, many of which have links to recipes, workout routines, and other cool stuff. You "pin" the pictures on pinboards you can name however you wish. Warning: it is insanely amazing and thus a dangerous time suck.

Land Without Dreams inspiration board (my MG fantasy)

Martinis with the Devil (nickname: Noir - adult urban fantasy)

Countless (adult urban fantasy)

I have a bunch of other boards, too, but those are my book boards.


Twitter is the perfect place to post random stuff in between blog posts. And I love random. You can have fun little conversations with people. And it's kind of liberating and challenging to have to limit each tweet to 140 characters.

Click here for my Twitter profile


I used to get overwhelmed trying to remember all the books I wanted to buy. And then came Goodreads! Now when I see an awesome book whilst not in the bookstore, or having already depleted my readerly funds, I just add it to my Goodreads list. I also had great fun initially setting it up and trying to remember all the influential books I've read throughout my life.

Click here for my Goodreads profile

So, how about you? Let me know what you're into other than blogging so I can hit you up.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Voice and First Drafts

Oh, voice. We hear so much about voice in all the advice offered up by agents and publishers and other industry professionals. And it's one of those potentially scary things about writing, because voice is not one of the technical aspects of writing you can practice at. Voice is partially your characters and partially your overall style as a writer. I think voice is one of the more hard to pin down qualities of writing, and it's a bit different for each story.

Those of you who know me well might recall that I wrote a novella for my son last year, a middle grade fantasy. It was something I wrote for fun, and he had a blast getting to give me input and direct in some ways where the story went. I struggled between a middle grade voice and a young adult voice with that one, and I'm finding the same issue with the book I'm writing now. I intended for it to be middle grade, but it just seems to have a more serious voice than a middle grade book.

I've written about 35 pages so far, and decided that I'm just going to let the story flow out, and then worry about it later. At least for me, if I try to analyze and correct too much in a first draft, it just won't come forth. So, I'm going to let the muse of this story do her thing, and think about possibly aging up my characters later.

On a side note, my son is still loving reading the chapters when I'm done, and often ends with a big grin on his face. It's fantastic. On a second side note, no new query news.

So, anyone else writing a first draft now? Do you always have ease with voice, or is it sometimes elusive?

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Soundtrack for Martinis with the Devil

A lot of you probably have a playlist for your different books. You may listen to it to get in the mood to write a certain scene, or just have a list of songs that you feel express your novel. I'll take it a step further, though - I tend to think of my novel playlist in terms of the soundtrack if my novel was made into a movie. I think it's because I think very visually, and I also love movies, and so it just kind of comes together.

So, here are some of the songs for my most recent book, Martinis with the Devil. Most of them are electronic dance mixes, which I've been obsessed with for a while. But even if you haven't listened to that kind of music, give it a shot - trust me, a year ago I never would have imagined I'd listen to this stuff. These are all on YouTube. I tried to pick ones without ads or weird videos.

Swedish House Mafia vs. Knife Party - Antidote

When I listen to this one, I envision one of the many fight scenes in the book. My MC Zyan has to kick a lot of demon butt since the minions of Hell are trying to take over Earth and all...

Nero - Innocence (Skrillex remix)
This song is for a scene when Zy and Eli, an angelic warrior, are trying to find someone they need to talk to in a dance club. Zy's an eternally damned witch/vampire, and she's starting to have feelings for Eli... don't want to give too much away, but basically, imagine strobe lights and lots of internal conflict.
Deadmau5 - Raise Your Weapon
This one's just a general song  representing more brooding over the romantic tension between Zy and Eli.

Dishwalla - Counting Blue Cars

This one is one of my faves from the 90s, but also ties in with the themes of the book because of its reference to God. My book focuses more on the angelic warriors than God, but it's just an interesting song.

Do you listen to electronic dance music? What are you listening to these days? Any novel soundtracks of your own?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Conversation with my Illustrious Illustrator

So, on Tuesday, when I quit procrastinating and started working on my new middle grade fantasy, my son decided to draw a picture of the pirate ship in my book. The conversation went something like this:

Little Dude: So, what kind of pirate ship is it?

Me: A crystal one. It's invisible.

Little Dude: Should it have a dragon cannon?

Me: Yep. Sounds good.

Little Dude: And Gatling guns?

Me: Heck yeah!

Little dude: Old-fashioned ones or new ones?

Me: Old fashioned.

Little dude shrugs, then: Those are harder, but okay. What should go on the prow?

Me: Haven't decided yet. You decide.

It ended up being a cool triangle diamond-head. And that conversation and others I have with him are the reason I started writing for a younger audience, in addition to my adult books. I love the pure magic that comes with it. I've let my son read the first two chapters, and it's so fun to share the world of books with him.

Who do you love to share books with?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Urban Fantasy Releases for May and Other Fun Stuff

Happy Monday! I sent out the May issue of my urban fantasy newsletter last week. For those of you who don't get it directly by email, here's a link. And here are some of the ones I think look extra cool:

You guys know I love True Blood, so this choice is obvious. I do need to catch up on a bunch of books in this series, though... this one is book 12. It seems Sookie and Bill are trying to solve a murder pinned on Eric.

I just love the title of this one. The little catch phrase on the front says: A novel of the good, the bad, and the enigmatic. Sounds fun to me!

This is the sequel to the hugely popular book, Divergent. Which I haven't read yet. And is very high on my TBR list. And the trailer for this rocked (click the link for my newsletter if you want to watch).

I am behind on this series, too. But I loved the first three.

This is about a girl obsessed with getting struck by lightning. Super cool premise.

I absolutely ADORE the cover art for this series. And the books are pretty good, too :) Well, I only read the first one, but it was good. Back to the covers - whoever designed these, can you please design the covers for my books when they come out? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Not that I have any control over that, but a girl can dream...

In other news: I got my first rejection for Martinis with the Devil last week. It's funny how much I've changed since I start querying Countless a couple years ago. I got that first rejection, and I cried (a LOT) and ate massive quantities of junk food. But now, with a lot more experience under my belt, the first one this time around barely phased me. So, that's cool in my book (pun not intended).

I also continue to procrastinate on starting my new middle grade fantasy. I think I'm afraid I won't get the voice right. I can tell I'm going to have to experiment with it a little. I am planning on locking myself away and starting on it tonight. I'll tweet everybody later if I succeed.

So, what new releases are you excited about? Who else is querying out there? And what about my fellow procrastinators?