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Showing posts from July, 2008

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Grief in Storytelling

I'm hard at work on STEALING THUNDER. The number 2 book in the Darkness Paranormal series that I'm writing. As in STEALING DARKNESS, this book deals considerably with grief. It's a recurring theme for most of my work, mostly because of the truth of the emotion. InSTEALING DARKNESS, the grief is over an unseen loss and how it relates to her own inability to save someone. But in STEALING THUNDER, the grief has several avenues. The first is Graham's coming to terms with the loss of his mother, a loss he thought he dealt with long ago. For Grace, it's watching a friend slowing fading away. And for a little girl, it's dealing with the grief of watching her mother die and knowing there's no way to stop it.

People automatically think that grief is something that happens after death. But in fact, from the moment we realize the finality of a situation we are forced to deal with our own mortality, and the inevitability of loss. I've often heard people say that i…

Story Structure... Harmony in four parts?

At my very first regional RWA conference I went to a great workshop given my Patricia Grasso. Now, I admit to being very much a greenhorn at the time of that conference, but believe me when I tell you that the things I learned in that 45 minutes are tools that I've used in the fourteen years since. Basically, I learned to break down the book into sections. Some break them down into three parts. I do four. Each section represents a specific goal for the book. The first would be the introduction of characters and conflict. The second is building the relationship and escalating the conflict. The third section is where I twist the conflict and shift the focus of the relationship until it seems that they can't make it. And the fourth starts with the black moment and ends with the resolution. For me, I know that when I'm writing my books this is where I want to shoot for. Each one does not necessarily flow in the same way. But it works for me.

So, does anyone out there do three p…

In the name of research... family trips

In my research for the Nocturne Bite that I am writing I did a little digging into the past when it came to Cherokee. I knew that somewhere, buried beneath the mounds of pictures that I had stored away when my mom passed was one picture in particular that I wanted to represent this story. My daughter and I spent about an hour going through pictures until I found it.
I was 9 the summer of 1976 when we made our first trip to the Western Mountains of North Carolina as a family. (For those of you who are doing the math... STOP IT RIGHT NOW!)

Anyway, while we were there we made a trip from my aunt's house on the side of the mountain to the Cherokee Reservation. It was a long time ago, but I remember being fascinated by the dancers in full regalia (especially the ones that were my age) as they performed for the gathering spectators. Anyway, there was a few other thing that I remembered very strikingly... this moment.... Three things to be exact. One, the seventies were not fashion-kind t…

It's time for Blatant Shameless Promotion...

I'm very excited because I just got my copy of the Summer edition of Mystery Reader's Journaland my article is one of the many great articles in their Irish Mysteries edition. There are over 40 different stories and articles in the edition and the authors span the globe as they discuss Irish Mysteries and why we love them. My contribution is entitled "The Elusive Irishman" and I talk about my experience writing OBSIDIAN and the inspiration for the story. If you get a chance, check out the Mystery Reader's Journal website. Their journal is just one benefit of membership into Mystery Readers International, and according to their journal they are open to all readers, fans, critics, editors, publishers and writers. You can find their membership information there and find out how to order a copy of the Irish Mysteries Edition.

Organized thought process...

Do you keep track of your writing? On a daily basis? Page amounts? Any kind of process made on your writing?

Well, you should be. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just a simple accounting or notes or your work. The IRS likes notes when it comes to taxes, but there are other benefits as well. It's a reference at a glance for where you are with you work.

I keep an excel sheet that I list everything together. My sheet looks something like this...

04/05/08 Mooncusser Worked on redoing the chapter where he sees her mom again pages 7
04/06/08 Mooncusser added two pages and started off next chapter pages 2

I also add on here any kind of promo that I do, any queries sent, or even something as vague as brainstorming.

I call it a work log. You can call it whatever works. But I keep a shortcut icon for it on my desktop an that way I have very few reasons to avoid keeping my log.

What kind of things do you do to keep track of your writing?


One of the questions that I get asked the most is... Where do you get your inspiration for your books from? Now, sometimes, this is accompanied by a snide look or a bit of a lopsided leer. Especially when people find out that there is romance in my stories. But there are those who are genuinely interested in where my ideas come from. Frankly, I'm just as interested in knowing why the same ideas that run through my head are running through others. They are always with me and frankly, when I look back I can't remember a time when there weren't stories running through me. I was a bit of a loner as a preteen and teen and I turned to writing stories (mostly in my head) as a way to make a life that was more exciting then mine. Everynight as I would go to bed I would think about the story and push myself to continue on with it. Kind of creating my own serial romances and mysteries in my head. It really wasn't until I was pregnant with my daughter that I thought about actually…

In the name of research... or procrastination

Check out this list of what Yahoo Travel calls their Top 10 Places to Visit in the US Before You Die. I looked it over and while it has definite merit, I decided to come up with my own list of places I'd like to see.

1. St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Old City -Again, I've been close, but not there. I love the pictures of the lighthouse and the history of the old city.
2. Key West, Florida - And a margarita while I watch the sunset. Enough said.
3. Seattle, Washington - Mostly because it looks so darned beautiful.
4. Chicago, IL - I actually have a chance at seeing this one next year with my daughter's chorus trip. I've been a long time fan in awe of Frank Lloyd Wright and I also have always wanted to see the Great Lakes.
5. Tombstone, AZ - I loved the tales of the old west and gunfighters. I devoured all of the books in my grade school library on the subject when I was in first grade.
6. Savannah, GA - I got close. I got to the highway that passed the city, but I have a re…

New Project...

About a month ago I took on the task of writing a Nocturne Bite (a paranormal short ebook for submission to Harlequin). I liked the idea of writing something short, basically 40-60 pages and also taking the opportunity to combine the two genres that up until now I've been writing separately. Paranormal. Suspense. I won't go into great detail about it because... frankly, it still under submission at harlequin. But also, because the story is intensely personal to me. When I say paranormal I get a lot of people who think I write werewolves and vamps. Sorry, none of those in my stories. But there are characters who are having a hard time dealing with their own personal demons. Or in this case, they are dealing with the "gift" of pyschic abilities. I wrote the first story in less than 4 days. This is remarkable, even for me because I tend to write in rapid bursts that will accumulate quickly. When this happens I try to get as much as I can on the page (or screen) because …