Archive for January, 2013

And it’s not what you think I mean!

Before I get started, though, just a quick reminder that voting for Solstice Publishing’s 2012 Author of the Year is still open! I’m running a distant second to a wonderful author, Jessica Tornese, but there are a few who are closing in on me! If you’ve got a moment or two between now and Jan. 31st, please go to the link below and make your vote count. “Daughter of Hauk” is doing well for SciFi/Fantasy Book of the Year, but every vote matters.


Now, onto today’s topic!

The other day, I was talking with one of my writing buds (Tony Rudzki) and I was overanalyzing something I was trying to do with ‘Son of Corse’. I was stressing over just how long to draw out a certain event.

No, I’m not going to tell you. Too much of a spoiler ūüôā

By the end of the conversation, he told me I should just stop with the mental masturbation and write the scene. And he was right. It’s too easy for me to overthink things. My writing flows better if I just let the words come to me, not plan things to the minutest detail. I have to ignore the so-called ‘rules’, let my muse take hold, and relax.

Well, that and actually sit down to write! So many other distractions have come between me and writing over the last week or two it’s not funny. I had a lot of time yesterday where I couldv’e lost myself into my book. Did I? Nope. I relaxed with my family, took a nap, and played card games.

That’s the other problem with the mental masturbation trap. I spend more time thinking about my story than I do writing it. I play card games on my computer, check the poll results (yes, I get a little thrill out of seeing one more vote for me), and let other things take precedence because I’m afraid I haven’t gotten the scene I’m on ‘perfect’ yet.¬†

But, it will never be perfect until I get it out of my head and onto paper.

Excuse me, I need to go write now.



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Surprise! It’s a quick Tuesday blog post!¬†

The reason for this post is pretty straight forward. Solstice has changed the Author of the Year contest to include Book of the Year! That part of the contest/voting is divided into genres, which I think is awesome!

Please, even if you’ve voted in round 3 of ¬†Author of the Year, take a minute or two to glance through the books they’ve listed. There are some wonderful titles in there! I’ve already voted for my favorites!¬†

Psst….’Daughter of Hauk’ is in the SciFi/Fantasy genre.


Would I love votes for me and my book? Absolutely! But there are a LOT of talented authors and well written books up for the honor. So, click on the link and vote if you have time!


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The Ethics of Contests

First off, some big news! Solstice is doing a 2012 Author of the Year contest, and I’ve made it to Round 3, along with 10 other really awesome authors! Check it out, cast your vote (yes, I’d prefer it was for me but won’t get upset if you like someone else better), and keep checking back. Every new round is a new chance to vote and have your voice heard.

The ‘winning’ author is going to get a ton of promotional stuff during the year for their book(s), a special ‘sticker’ on their name/titles, etc. I’m in awe that I’ve made it this far, and would love it if any of my blog followers could help me out with their vote and/or helping to promote the contest.

OH! You might want the link!  LOL


When voting first began last week, there was an individual who stated publicly on my writing group that they didn’t participate in this kind of thing as they thought it was unethical to manipulate the votes in that manner. I’ll admit it, I was a bit insulted by their post. Not because they weren’t voting for me. But because I felt they were calling MY sense of ethics into question.

A contest like this is essentially a popularity contest. Authors promote their involvement to get votes, in hopes of winning. In a lot of ways, it’s not much different from high school homecoming court or ASB offices. While I don’t agree with their choice of words, I can admire them for sticking to their principles.

First off, you can only vote once per round. To manipulate the votes, it would have to be set up where people could vote multiple times. 

Secondly, I didn’t nominate myself. Initially, Solstice listed ALL the authors they have under contract. By Sunday evening, they had enough data to pare the list down to 14 and start a new round of voting. This morning, it was at round 3 and there were 11 of us.

I don’t believe in nominating myself or my work for awards, contests for best new novel, etc. I think it’s more honorable (and ethical) for me to have others decide my work is worthy of that sort of praise. Perhaps I’m naive about it.¬†

But I have no problem asking for votes once I have been nominated. A politician spends months campaigning for our votes. Why should I shy away from doing the same for my work? 

Being an author is so much more than writing a book and letting the publisher worry about getting the word out. Typically, I’ll spend 1-2 hours a day, 5 days a week, promoting ‘Daughter of Hauk’. I can’t rely on my publisher, or word of mouth, alone. I have to be willing to do the work as well.

On Saturday, I marked an anniversary of sorts. It was one year ago that I woke up to a cold house. Outside, there was some nasty weather. We’d had snow, a small thaw, then a freeze, a bit more snow, then freezing rain. Tree limbs were breaking all around us from the weight of the ice and snow. As I told one friend, it was as if an Ent army was marching our way! But that bitterly cold morning (we’d lost power about two hours earlier, and wouldn’t get it back for three more) was one of the best I’ve ever had. For it was the day I got the email with the contract offer from Solstice.

And here we are, a year later, and I’m in the running to be their Author of the Year. It’s been an amazing year. Winning the contest would be the cherry on top. So….

Would you, could you, vote for me? Share the link with your friends? 


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The Next Big Thing!

So, there’s this revolving game of blog tag happening among authors and I got pegged! It’s called The Next Big Thing. We each answer ten questions about our own work, then ‘tag’ other authors that we like to (hopefully) do the same on their blog. I’d like to thank Justin Robinson (www.captainsupermarket.com, @justinrobinson on Twitter) for tagging me!

Oh, and apologies for not posting yesterday on my customary day! I had an amazing trip out of town and spent the day recovering from it!  LOL

Onward to the questions and answers!

1) What is the title of your next book/work?

¬† ¬† ¬†I’m currently working on ‘Son of Corse’, the sequel to my 2012 debut novel, ‘Daughter of Hauk’. Before the end of the year, I submitted a stand alone novel, “Lily”, for consideration.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book/work?

¬† ¬† “Son of Corse” is a progression of the story in “Daughter of Hauk”, which was inspired by a Dungeons & Dragons game that ended badly. I didn’t like how it ended, so I decided to rework the story and what happened after the game.

¬† ¬† ¬†“Lily” began as a challenge piece. I’m part of an online fantasy writing group, and we have weekly challenges. A topic is thrown out, and anyone who gets inspired can write their take on the subject. I created the character of Lily for one of those challenges, and she just would not shut up until I wrote an entire adventure for her.

3) What genre does your book/work fall under?

¬† ¬† So far, I’ve written exclusively fantasy. “Lily” isn’t nearly as dark as “Daughter of Hauk” or “Son of Corse” and would be suitable for a YA audience, whereas the other two novels deal with more adult themes.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
¬† ¬† Wow. I came up with a ‘dream cast’ for a blog interview shortly after ‘Daughter of Hauk’ was released. I haven’t thought about ‘Son of Corse’ or ‘Lily’ that way yet, though most of the cast in ‘Daughter of Hauk’ do continue into the second book. Here’s what I had for ‘Daughter of Hauk’:

   Arwenna РAshley Green

   Joss РTaylor Kitsch

   Barek РJason Momoa

¬† ¬†Y’Durkie – Jennifer Garner

   Hauk РLiam Neeson

   Senyan РTom Felton

   Bohrs РJohnny Depp

   Lexi РEmma Watson

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

¬† ¬† If you were given the chance to undo the wrongs you’ve done, would you?

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

¬† ¬† Not at this time. I don’t have an agent, and I’m relatively clueless (though learning!) about marketing books. Solstice publishing has been incredibly helpful with that, and I’ll continue to submit to them first.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

¬† ¬† ¬†‘Lily’ took about 2 years, I think. ‘Son of Corse’ has been a work in progress for about 4 years now.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

¬† ¬†I can say that I tend to write in a high fantasy style, creating a world the reader can immerse themselves into. I can’t say it’s like any one other book. I love character driven, descriptive stories and so I tend to write that way.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

¬† ¬†I covered this above, but another force drove me to get published. I grew up with a lot of self doubt. So many around me would tell me that others would get the shot, that they’d be better than I was, so I might as well not even try. I didn’t want my daughters to grow up that way, and the best way for me to teach them it was worth the risk was to try for it myself. So, I guess you could say I’m inspired daily by my daughters. Along with my husband, they’re my biggest supporters.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader¬Ļs interest?

¬† ¬† ¬† I do a good deal of my writing with my eyes closed. It’s like a movie playing in my head. I let my fingers find the words to describe it.¬†


There you go! My answers to ‘The Next Big Thing’! Time for me to list the authors I’m tagging! They’re not all published, but they’re terrific writers who you should keep an eye open for!

Jessica Tornese Рhttp://www.jessicatornese.com, http://store.solsticepublishing.com/linked-through-time/, http://store.solsticepublishing.com/lost-through-time/

Todd Diel –¬†http://toddsshorts.blogspot.com/

Tony Rudzki –¬†http://writingsfromthefruitcellar.wordpress.com/


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Time Marches On

If there’s anything I’m really good at, it’s procrastinating. Here it is, a full week into 2013, and I’m not any farther along with ‘Son of Corse’ than I was at the end of 2012.

While it’s true that I’ve had stuff going on, there’s been time to write and I haven’t taken advantage of it. I’m hoping this is a bout of temporary insanity that was brought on with the holidays and family being around the house all day long.¬†

Today, I finish my retail job. I head out on Friday morning for a SCA event in Portland. I’ve now told myself I can’t pack for the trip until I’ve made progress on the book. My definition of that would be at least finishing the chapter I’m in.¬†

I’m closing in on the end. This chapter, the final one, and the epilogue. I *should* be able to at least finish this chapter by Thursday, possibly the final one. I just need to sit my backside into this chair, and do it.

I’m not sure why I’m taking my time finishing it up. Could it be that I’m not ready to let go of the characters? That’s possible. But, like everything in life, we all must move forward or be stuck forever in the past. I spent too much time letting insecurities from childhood keep me from moving forward as an adult. Time to move forward again.

Status update: Haven’t seen the review yet, though Mr. Henry’s given me hope that he’s enjoying it. No word yet on ‘Lily’, either, but the month is young.


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