Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blog Hop

Hey everyone! I have the distinct honor of participating in this blog hop. I’m one of the aspiring authors who gets to take part in this, and I’m hoping it will be a great way to meet people and potentially start working on a base.
1. What’s the title of your book? I actually just changed this yesterday to ‘Devil’s Dilemma’

2. Where did the idea come from? Well, this is a toughy. I have been writing for about 15 years, and from the very start, most of what I wrote had some supernatural element. This came out of my enjoyment of those things, and evolved from there. I can’t ever pinpoint exactly what it was that made me write this. I have always tended to think of a character, or a scene, or even a sentence, and I can’t rest until I write the story. This was like that.

3. What genre does your book fall under? I’m told this is urban fantasy, but really, there is something in there for everyone. Elements of horror, a sprinkle of romance, strong female characters, a snarky Angel, y’know, a bit of everything. In all seriousness, I would classify it as supernatural fiction with a religious focus.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Oh my. I read this question on Adrian’s blog and I have been obsessing over who would play my characters ever since. I have very clear pictures of them in my head, but finding someone who could play them, well, that’s been a tall order! Here’s what I’ve got.
a. Griffin – Adrianne Palicki
b. Braxton – Chris Hemsworth
c. Alaria – Katie Cassidy as a brunette
d. Gabriel – Brad Pitt – longer hair and a goatee, but well groomed
e. Beelzebub – Gabriel Macht
f. Azazel – Hal Ozsan
g. Lilith-  Emily VanCamp
h. Sam – Rachael Taylor
i. Michael – Kevin Durand
j. Gage – Henry Cavill

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Griffin Javensen was born to die – for a world that destroyed her and a God that abandoned her.

6. Is your book published by an independent publisher? I wish! I am, as yet, unpublished, though I am looking actively for an agent or publisher, or for a referral from another author.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? This took me going on 5 years. But, there is a good reason. I had to write it twice. The first, I was scribbling in a notebook, which went up in flames during a house fire. It took two years for me to face rewriting what I’d already finished, and the second time around, it gave me fits. I wrote 15 chapters, then stopped for almost a year, then wrote 10 chapter and stopped for 8 months, then carved out the last 10 over the next 6. It took FOREVER! But it’s done now! And I’m working on the sequel, so new stuff! Yay!

8. What is in a name? Is there a significance to the names of characters in the book? Well, kind of. Given that this has religious elements, I wanted to stay true to Judeo-Christian views of Angels and demons. So I used some names that are familiar. Beelzebub, Gabriel, Michael, Azazel. Griffin and Braxton were just names I liked, Sam I picked because it sounded somewhat androgynous and she’s a tomboy character. Alaria, honestly, I made up because it sounded pretty evil bitchy to me.

9. What is your writing process? Sometimes I go a week without writing(I absolutely hate when this happens) and sometime I write 10,000 words in one day. My life is EXTREMELY busy. I say that sometimes my muse won’t let me write, and sometimes she won’t let me do anything else.

10. What are you working on now? I am working on a series stemming from Devil’s Dilemma. The first focuses on Greer and Damon, the second on Gage and Aradia, the third on Braxton and Alaria, and the final will focus on Amaya. Like Chosen, there is romance in these, but they are ensemble works in that all six of the characters are pretty much equally featured throughout all three of the books. I’m about 25% through the first, which I have not yet titled. I’m toying with having a theme, so the name I’m considering is ‘Devil’s Deliverance’

I did not realize until I was already done answering that only 5 questions were required, so you got all ten! Lucky you! If you have any questions, need to contact me, or want more information, please feel free to contact me. And please continue reading the blog hop. This is a great opportunity for a lot of new and aspiring authors.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the Beast that is Publishing

I want to be a published author. Like most people who write, my dream is to one day see my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble or one the Hot 100 list on Amazon. Like most, that will likely never happen. That's the tough reality that all of us face going into this adventure. Ultimately, I will never stop writing, even if I never get published because I write for the sake of writing, NOT for the sake of being published. If you're writing solely to get published, you're writing for the wrong reasons.

I'm more than halfway done with editing my first novel worth printing. It's a long, arduous process that has been a drain on me mentally. I'm pushing over 110,000 words right now, so my biggest concern is that it's getting too long. This isn't Harry Potter. 800 pages is too much. The next task is getting published. That requires either an agent, or a publisher. How does one get an agent? They must be published. How does one get published? They need an agent. I'm sure you can see the problem.

The in between is what are called indie publisher, new agents looking to get clients, and self-publishing. Self pub is most likely out for me. It seems self-indulgent and likely a waste of time as there are literally hundreds of thousands of self published CRAP on Amazon. So, that leaves the other two. Here's the issue: Each publisher and agent has DIFFERENT submission requirements, which means if I query 20, I may very well have to use 20 different letters, synopses, and chunks of pages. And the scariest part? Most actually think they can tell whether my book is good or not in 5-10 pages. Of a 400 page book. Scary.

Monday, March 25, 2013


As an aspiring author, I know how important it is to write every single day. Some authors treat it like a job, where they write eight hours, five days a week. For me, it's not a job, it's a passion. That might mean I don't write for a week, and the pound out 10k words in a single day(I've done it - my wrists ached for days). Sometimes I stare at the screen and think about what I could be writing, but don't have the energy to put my fingers on the keys.

Today, I wrote a thousand words. It's the first I've written on my new book in 9 days. Yesterday, I added 3k words to The Chosen, so it counts for something. But, it's hard to adjust to the way my life is right now.

I get up around 6, work out with my husband for 60-90 minutes, shower, pack our lunches and head to work, which depending on the day, is either internship, court, or school. I get in between 5:30-8:30, depending on the day. Noelle goes to bed at 8, and I lay down by 11. I'm lucky in that I can write at work sometimes, and in breaks at school. On a good day, I get 3-4 hours to write. On a bad day, I get nothing.

That's life. It's how it goes. A friend is editing her book right now, and I just offered to help. Not because I have the time-I don't really- but because she edits every chapter I produce, and if I can help, I want to. I'm not nearly as good at it as her, but I can do something, so I should.

Wednesday, I'm the featured author in the blog hop. I'm answering your questions about my finished novel. It's great fun, and will give a lot of information about what I'm doing and how I write. If I get some comments, I might even post an excerpt.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

On romance in a not romance novel....

Let me be honest here. I love a trashy beachy romance as much as the next girl. There's something so fun about reading a book where the only point is that two people fall in love. The literary equivalent of a rom com. You don't have to work too hard as a reader, you know the obstacles will be overcome, and there WILL BE A HAPPY ENDING!

Yeah, I'm totally not writing that book.

That being said, there is a romance in my novel. It's hot and torrid and tragic. I'm not writing a romance. My story is not a happy one, but I've been told by several people that it's also one you can't stop reading. I wanted to create a "real" world, where emotions are raw and exposed and everything is gritty and true to life. Guess what? Romance is true to life. If you put two people in a life or death situation and the only other person they have to rely on is each other, sex will happen. It's a human truism.

I've never been one to shy away from the blood and gore. I want to make you shudder and squirm. Murder isn't pretty. But the flipside of violence is sex, and I didn't feel you could have one without the other. Adrian, my editor, told me that she pegged the romance from chapter two, when it doesn't even start until chapter 16. But in the same breath, she'll insist, same as me, that this is NOT a romance.

Now, the downside of writing this way is that other people get to read it, and they inevitably have comments on it. Most awkward thing EVER: getting a sex scene edited and having a conversation about whether or not your character would use protection......

Friday, March 15, 2013


So I am going to get to take part in my first multi-person blogging event. My date is March 27th, and I'll be answering questions about what I'm working on, how I work, all sorts of things. But on March 20th, one of my fabulous editors, Adrian Smith, will take her turn at it. She's just released Forever Burn, a wonderful novel that everyone should go read. Her blog is and you should all check it out. She writes in the LGBTQ niche, and does so wonderfully. She also lets me pick her brain, makes sense out of my random weird typos and has alerted me to my sinful overuse of conjunctions. Oh, and she puts up with me really randomly messaging her on facebook to discuss a random scene or chapter I'm not happy with.

Next, I'll be letting y'all in on some of my struggles with my current work, so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Writing and Editing

This week on Facebook, a friend of mine posted a cute cartoon about the difference between writing and editing. When I sit down to write, I know what I want to have happen, I know what my characters think, feel, how they act, and what they say. When I edit, I realize that what I thought was genius in the moment does not translate a month removed from my thoughts.

I'm currently editing my first novel. Since beginning, I have added a chapter, deleted another chapter, completely rewritten two and rearranged the order of the chapters. And that's just in the first 13 chapters! I still have 20 left to go! Just last night, I went through almost 400 comments that my three editors had made and made about 300 changes. Most were little, like commas and tense, but others had me adding paragraphs, deleting scenes and moving things around.

I can honestly say, what I thought was an epic novel when I wrote it, was a pile of crap before editing. The chapters that have been edited are shiny and beautiful and so different from their original form that I don't even want to remember what they looked like before. But, and this is the most important thing, it's still MY story.

I had always heard horror stories of editors ripping a book apart and putting it back together so that even the author wouldn't recognize it when it was done. That's not how it should be. This process is about me making changes that make my world clearer, my characters more relate-able and my story easier to read. This is turning my book into what it was always meant to be, and at the end, it'll still be mine. But it will be the best version that it can be.

Now, trying to work on the sequel while editing is another topic for another day......

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The story thus far...

Okay, so, a blog. When it was recommended to me to start this, I wasn't sure how to do it, or what to say. Well, I've successfully managed the how. Unfortunately, I'm still not sure on the what. Honestly, I'm not that interesting. I go to school. I work. I parent. And I write. Which is why this exists.

I have written stories since elementary school. During middle school I wrote my original characters into Harry Potter, I became an X-man, I was an ice skater. During my Buffy and Angel years, I wrote characters who slayed vampires, most often substituting my characters into familiar scenarios.

I wrote fanfic for a while, in a LOT of areas. Buffy, Angel, Dark Angel, Twilight, Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls. I think that might be all, but I might have missed a couple. Finally, a few years ago, I got an idea worth writing down. An original idea.

I had been writing "books" for a while. Here is how it went: 1. Buy a Five-Star five subject college ruled notebook. 2. Carry it EVERYWHERE and write at all times. 3. Each chapter shall be precisely 5 pages front and back. 4. Each "book" shall have exactly twenty chapters.

It was my formula. I read a lot of Nora Roberts, in which people fell in love and had a happily ever after in 200 pages or less. I liked the stories, so that was the way I wrote. Eventually, I outgrew it. I wanted to write something worth reading. Something that made people want to keep turning the page and that would make them gawk at the end. I wanted to write one of the books that you can't stop thinking about.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm no literary artist, and I'm not writing the next Atlas Shrugged. What I have crafted is a religious thriller that will(I hope) bring your nightmares to life. And I think I've written an ending no one will see coming.

And because I want other people to read this, it was suggested that I start a blog to raise awareness and build an audience. So, I am. I'm sure I'll start with my friends, but hopefully they'll help spread the word, and eventually I'll catch the eye of an agent or a publisher. And hey, if anyone reading this happens to know one, feel free to send them here, too!