Thursday, July 30, 2009

Point of Views

I always write third person—usually with only two POV’s—the hero and the heroine (since I write romantic suspense). But every now and then I like to shake things up a bit so I’ll turn the killer loose. In Out of the Darkness and Silencing Evil the killer has his own POV. I think it’s more exciting this way—at least is for me. It’s like you’re watching a movie and you get to see what the killer is planning for his victim before the characters know it. And you’re on the edge of your seat thinking: Don’t go in there stupid, you’re fixing to get an axe to the back of your head or something along that line. The really fun part about writing a book like this (as a panster) you don’t know who the killer is until much later in the book. I’ve started a new project about a serial killer (which is why I thought of this post). Right now I’ve got three—maybe four possible’s, who could turn out to be the monster, and I don’t have a clue who it is. I know who I want it to be, but so far suspicions are leaning more toward the others. Someday I’d like to try writing one where all my characters have POV’s. But since most of my stories now are in the 65,000 to 80,000 word range, two or three max is all I can handle.

Believe it or not, this week I’ve seen my first sunrises in I don’t know how long. I’m a night owl, I go to bed anywhere between one and four am, so I’m usually not up before eight. This week though, I’ve been getting up at five-thirty every morning to go into the country and feed and water animals that belong to a friend who’s husband had heart surgery. It’s been a real treat. They have a huge brood—six dogs, seven cats and two horses—to care for. Since I love animals it’s been fun getting to know them all. And the sunrises have been spectacular. Especially this morning. As I was driving out there the pastures were covered with this mystic fog, just as the sun rose above the horizon. You can bet that’ll go in one of my stories. And yesterday, while I was out there, we had a light rain and on my way back to town I got to see a rainbow. It was almost a full rainbow, only the middle was missing. It was another one of those moments when I wished had brought the camera. I have a lot of those moments.

Hope all is well. Take care my friends!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Writing Habits

I enjoy visiting other author websites to learn their habits in the craft. Whether or not they write by the seat of their pants (like me) or if they plan everything out, and whether they edit as they go along or just write the story first and then go back and edit (like me). Personally—and I’m not too sure I should share this—I have an alter ego when I’m working on a project. In the zone, my niece calls it. Once I begin a story I’m consumed by it, all day, every day, until it’s told—I get so caught up in it that I sometimes forget to eat or sleep. When I’m ‘in the zone’ I’m in my own little world with the characters and they’re telling me who they are and what their pasts are. They don’t always share with me where they want to go with their story though, but that’s okay, that’s one of the exciting things about being a panster. Imagine riding a roller coaster blindfolded. Your heart feels like it’s going to explode in your chest. Beads of perspiration peppers your forehead. Adrenaline sours through your veins. You don’t know where the next turn is, and you’re terrified it’s going to derail any second. Sound exciting? It is. It’s why I love to write. And why I love writing suspense. Thankfully, my stories seldom derail. I think the reason being is that I often write scenes out of sequence. Often times I’ll have five to ten scenes catalogued before I even begin the first chapter. They come to me by dreams, pop into my head throughout the day—they come at me from all different directions. I know that sounds confusing and unorganized but it’s not really. My characters always tell me when it’s time to add them. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve completed a project and while editing it I find myself surprised by how it all fit together perfectly. There’s even been times when I come to a point in the story and stop and think, ‘did I really write that?’ and feel like I’m a puppet being manipulated by an unseen force. Every writer knows that unseen force. They have many names for it. Stephen King refers to it (him) as the little man in the corner. No matter what you call it it’s a force to be reckoned with. You can ignore it for years (like I did) but sooner or later it gets hold of you and you realize that you’re not complete without it. It’s a part of who you are. That’s why when people ask me why I write I say, ‘Because I have to’. Sure it would be nice to sign a three book deal with Random House or another big NY publisher but that isn’t what drives me from one project to another. It’s that unseen force that lies inside of me. The one that’s telling me right now to shut up and get to work—I better do as it says. Talk to ya later.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Camaraderie of Living in a Small Town

I was reminded of this today when a bad storm blew through downing trees and power lines and ripping roofs off of houses all over town. For almost an hour my street was like a deserted island, you couldn’t come or go because trees blocked the street in both directions. Soon after the storm I looked out and saw my neighbor lady across the street with her kids trying to clear a path toward my end of the street so she could get her car out to go to work. I went out to lend a hand and it wasn’t but a few seconds and half the block was pitching in to help clear what we could. There is still part of the street blocked by a huge tree the city will have to clear once a bucket truck is free. But there is so much damage through town it will take days maybe even weeks to clean up the mess. We were very fortunate though. It could have been a lot worse and thankfully no one was hurt. Since we don’t have electricity I’m not sure if it was micro bursts or straight line winds but it sure did a whole lot of damage in only a matter of minutes.

It was cool however how all the neighbors got out and helped one another cleanup each other’s yards. It has been awhile since I’ve seen that kind of camaraderie. I have to admit I’m a horrible neighbor. As a writer I’m very much a hermit. I know my neighbors on both sides of me but that’s it. Today changed that. And I was reminded that some good always comes out of the bad.

I do hope they get the electricity on soon—it is hot! And I’m having internet withdraw something fierce. I only turned on my laptop long enough to charge my MP3 player—I’ve gotta at least have my tunes.

Since I don’t have internet I won’t be posting this until—who knows—hopefully tomorrow. But since I didn’t have anything better to do I thought I’d run the battery down on my laptop. I’m down to about 10% so I guess I better shut up. It’s going to be a loooong night!

UPDATE: I have internet and TV at home now. YEAH! It’s been six days since the storm and clean up is well underway. Fortunately I was only without electricity a day and half but internet and cable was out until today. I’m counting my blessings though, my home didn’t sustain any damage—no apparent damage anyway—other than a huge limb on my roof. In town there are mostly trees down and damaged roofs; out in the county it was worse in some places. Yesterday, group of us from church went out to one of the farms that got hit bad and helped in the continuing cleanup. The damage they received was amazing. They had this one huge silo that had been cemented in the ground that is now lying on its side. And their barn was lifted completely from its foundation (nothing inside was disturbed) and the lumber and metal scattered all over the farm. Officially it hasn’t been classified as a tornado but it sure had the characteristics of one. Growing up in Tornado Alley in Oklahoma I’ve seen this type of damage many times—even worse. Thank God no one was hurt!

I received word that the official release date of Road to Redemption is September 15. I got the final edit from my editor on Friday and I’m making last minute changes this week. She passed on some wonderful comments about the book and only suggested a few minor changes so I won’t have any problem meeting my deadline. I was real impressed with her edits and am very pleased with the outcome. Hopefully the reviewers will enjoy it as much as my editor did.

The Sweetest Romance Chat with our friends over at Sweet and Sensual Romances was a hoot. I think we shocked them with our work. Just because we write G rated romance doesn’t mean our books are boring. Far from it.

Well I better get off here and get some work done. Take care friends.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Come chat with the authors of Sweet Romance

I'm very late in getting the word out about this but here it is. I hope you will come and join us.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Update on Escape from the Darkness

Escape from the Darkness has found a home! Excuse me while I do my little happy dance :>) I came home from a great weekend of camping and canoeing with family to learn the great news. The projected publication date is May 2010. And I get to keep the original title of OUT OF THE DARKNESS!!! (doing another happy dance)

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July weekend. Mine was wet but fun. The wetness came by rain and canoeing. Most people I know can go canoeing and never get wet—me—well I haven’t been yet that I haven’t ended up in the water at one point or another. But hey that’s half the fun of it (except when you stuff goes floating down the river that is). This weekend we were practicing for our big canoe trip we have planned in August. Sadly I found we need a lot more practice—either that or I’m going to have to stop laughing so much. Get me out of my writing zone and sometimes I get down right goofy. At least that’s what my niece tells me.

Unfortunately, Zoe wasn’t able to make the trip because my niece’s dog and Zoe didn’t get along. So Zoe ended up spending the weekend with my aunt and uncle who luckily came back from vacation early. She’s pretty much worn out from playing with Duke for the last two weeks so I’m guessing I won’t hear much out of her for a few days. She’s barely moved since I brought her home.

Hope everyone has a great week. Stay safe and be blessed my friends!