Tuesday, June 20, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

WHEN RULES COLLIDE...

When to break the rules, once you know what the rules are and what they're for, is relatively easy. One of the things I've struggled with is what to do when two or more rules conflict with each other. Break one? Break the other? Break both?

Here's one of my worst.
RULE 1. No backstory for 30 pages.
RULE 2. Show, don't tell.

What if I have a past detail that needs to be embedded to make sense of the current action? Do I do a flashback so I'm not Ms. Exposition, or do I quick tell the fact?

Say the fact is that Sir Reginald is main character Tina's father.

I've found most non-author readers will cut you a little slack when it comes to simply spewing a few details. Try not to make it too obvious, like "Tina, of course you know Sir Reginald is your father..."

Readers will cut you a little less slack when it comes to flashbacks, but they'll still go along if it's entertaining and they know it's going to make the current action better. For example,
Sir Reginald held the little bundled form in his arms. "Tina, sweetheart, I'll be the best daddy I can."

But why not try to combine the two? Try to drop the info in as a SHOW into the current action? Better yet, add conflict. Like:
She picked up the picture of Sir Reginald holding the pink-blanket-wrapped bundle and shoved it in Tina's face. "He's your father. Deal with it!"

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2T Repeat Performance

In December, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. I thought you might be interested in seeing those posts now.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc
Just for Laughs—Favorites #7 Comics & Cartoons--originally posted July 23, 2014

Let's get to know each other!

In these first months as a Magical Musings blogger, I'm sharing my 10 favorite things and hope to hear about yours.

I love humor across the board, but my favorite type is the concentrated form known as the cartoon. It’s such an expressive medium, from subtle to over-the-top, but always bite sized.

To me, cartoons are the visual equivalent of poetry, but for humor :)

This is me. http://xkcd.com/1267/
This is sooo me.

When I start the day by checking out my favorite cartoons, I start the day with a smile. On Facebook I follow Garfield, Pearls Before Swine, and Zits. Online my faves are Freefall, Sinfest, User Friendly, and xkcd (pictured at right).

If novels are movies, comics are a camera's snapshot. They tell a story too, with setup and payoff but in just a few frames. I thoroughly admire the focus and clarity of thought and visualization the artist must have. The best, as with all art forms, shed light on the human condition. Which is probably why I tend toward the geeky ones. lol.

I miss some favorites. Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and Fox Trot, as well as the always perspective-shifting Far Side.
Nixie's lost her mojo!

Cartoons have had a huge influence on my writing, especially with some of the snarkier characters like five-foot-even punk rock musician Nixie. She's my version of a cartoon, tossing out one-liners as she observes her world from her unique perspective. Here's the warning from Murder at Chipmunk Lake, a new Nixie and Julian story coming July 30.

Nixie Emerson, punk rock musician and first-time mom-to-be, has a stalker!

Warning: contains a cranky pregnant lady trying to control her swearing, a master vampire appeasing his wife with food and creative sex, murder, mayhem and several arguments over what to name the baby.

Do you enjoy cartoons? What are your favorites?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1T Status Update

June! The windows here are finally open, at least until summer's heatwave closes them again, lol. Here's what I've been up to:
  • Night's Caress first round of edits is done. Seriously excited about this one!
  • Billionaire Ever After--preorder now and get some fun thank-you gifts!
  • Finishing up Hunt Mates (Pull of the Moon, When Gabriel Met Emma) for the March of Dimes charity anthology Haunted by Love. This set is wide 2 weeks only! Look for it August 1-15.
  • the peonies are blooming!
  • New musical group! This spring, my husband and I retired from the symphony we played with for decades, but we've joined the area American Legion Band. Yes, he's put aside his cello to play percussion, lol. Great group, great music!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

More on Title Creation (second most-hated two words for authors, following Blurb Writing).

Friend and awesome author Edie Ramer loaned me her copy of Save the Cat and I finally found time to read some of it.

The first chapter, actually. But even that little bit blew me away.

September 2015 I had a 3T Writing Tidbit on Title Creation. Now I'll add to that:

Irony.

I knew intuitively that titles and tags which have contradictory words that annealed into new meaning (the sum greater than the parts) was a better title. Biting Nixie. Nitro, meet glycerin.

But I didn't know the mechanism behind it. It's irony. Two or more words which, when put together, rub each other the wrong way.

But the title must also say what it is. I think that's why all the : () titles are so popular. At random, #5 in Werewolves & Shifters on Amazon (on May 20, 2016): Shifters in the Spring: Sixteen New Paranormal Romances of Secret Babies, Frisky Shifters, and Fertile Surprises.

Yeah. That.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New release! Heart Mates (2nd Edition) now available

Like hot alpha shifters? Magical mayhem? Mysterious, threatening prophecies? Lots of steamy love? Little poof dogs? Then Heart Mates (Pull of the Moon) is for you!

To survive, they’ll have to find the missing pieces—starting with their own.

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple | Kindle UK

Sophia Blue wishes the cute little doggie she’s found in her aunt’s abandoned magic shop could talk. Maybe he’d tell her if the old woman has wandered off on a walkabout, or if there’s foul magic afoot. Odd how the scruffy little fur ball seems to understand Sophia’s every word.

Just a few years ago, she might have cast a spell to translate the dog’s ear-piercing yaps. But her magic is out of her reach, locked away in penance for mistakenly helping an evil wizard.

Noah Blackwood was the last person to see Sophia’s aunt before she hit him with a spell gone sideways. By night he’s two-hundred pounds of authority, a respected local pack leader. By day? He’s twelve pounds of poof dog. A tasty morsel for the five anti-alpha wolves gunning for him.

The instant the sun goes down and Sophia’s eyes meet Noah’s, fire ignites between them in an incendiary kiss. But when the evil wizard reappears intent on murder, Sophia must break through killing layers of pain to find her magic. And Noah must reclaim all that he is—even defy the law—to claim the woman his heart knows is his mate.

Warning: Contains a sassy ex-witch princess who hasn’t picked up a wand in four years, and a rare alpha wolf who proves attitude knows no boundaries. A little drooling, a lot of panting, and a few nips in all the right places. Flea collar not included.

Previously published by Samhain Publishing, Heart Mates has been updated for this second edition.
**Night Owl Reviews Top Pick. Blurb by The Blurb Wizard; Cover by S.L. Carpenter.

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple | Kindle UK

Read the first chapter here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2T Repeat Performance

In December, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. I thought you might be interested in seeing those posts now.

My Favorite Things—#8 Food, Beer, Wine--originally posted June 25, 2014

Let's get to know each other! In these first months as a Magical Musings blogger, I'm sharing my 10 favorite things and hope to hear about yours.

One of my great delights in life is good food and drink. Or is that two delights? I'm not picky—I like everything from fine dining to hamburgers (though I'm quasi-vegetarian so it's veggie burgers for me). I delight equally in expensive wine, cheap beer, and clean, cold water.

Enchiladas, beans, and rice
Here's a picture of one of the best meals I've eaten, from a strip mall restaurant. Cheese and onion enchiladas, fluffy rice, and refried beans spiced to perfection and topped with guacamole. Mmm.

I enjoy tasty food and crisp, refreshing drink, so much that food and drink figure significantly in my writing. I didn't have to go far to find this example, from Bite My Fire, Biting Love Book 1.

"I" is Elena O'Rourke, a cop who has just found out vampires are real.
A clunk caught my attention. The Princess slid a thick plate in front of Gretchen, a raspberry scone dwarfing it. Icing flowed like a glacier over the scone and onto the plate. Another whipped-cream-topped mug appeared at my elbow.
Food and drink. Homey warmth. It made the creepy recede a bit.
Cake!Strangely, much as I love food and drink, except for lemon meringue pie, I'm not that great a cook. I'd rather be writing about it. lol.

Fortunately my family makes up for my lack.

Here's a cake my son made in chef school. What about you? Do you like food and drink? What's your favorite?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

1T Status Update--Biting Love BIG NEWS plus Cover Love

I'm thrilled to announce Entangled Publishing has bought the Biting Love series! I'm seriously looking forward to seeing how this amazing publisher brings the reissued series to new life. More info as I get it.
  • Heart Mates (2nd Edition) releases this month. Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Amazon UK
  • Passionate Hearts (Five Activist Romances for 99 pennies) released yesterday
  • Bad-Boy Billionaire's Lady has a cover plus is at the editor! Getting closer...
  • Billionaire Ever After is up for preorder! This bad boy is freaking awesome. Check it out!
    Kindle | iTunes | Kobo | Kindle UK
  • Night's Caress (next book with Elias, Nixie and Julian and the gang, introducing FBI agent and ancient vampire Seb and artist Brie Lark) edits coming this month.
  • When Gabriel Met Emma--I'm continuing to write this novella for a lovely March of Dimes charity box set
  • LAST CHANCE April Fools For Love box set (99 pennies, April Fools has never been so sinful...) disappears May 31 Kindle | Amazon UK
Cover love...