Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Writing Process

I was invited to join this blog tour by the incredibly talented Jane Isaac. I loved her first thriller/mystery novel, An Unfamiliar Murder. I can't wait for the next on in the series, The Truth Will Out, set to be released in April.

I'm always interested to hear about the creative processes of others, so I'm glad Jane included me. I'm enjoying reading the other blogs in this tour.

What am I working on?

I really try to focus on one project at a time, but that isn't always the case. Right now I'm working on several books. The one I'm trying to focus on is the follow up to my historical western romance, The Rustler's Daughter. I meant it as a stand-alone book, but soon after its release, I received numerous messages asking for books about his two brothers. So, I'm currently working on Matthew's book, which I don't have a title for just yet.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Most of my work has been in the paranormal genre. That genre is saturated with great indie and traditional writers, so coming up with something original can be tough. I ran across my idea by accident. Generally, in paranormal books about vampires, they are all the same kind of vampire. They may have different abilities, but they are usually turned the same way and can be killed the same way. In my Díon series, I had a vampire from Scotland and one who was a Viking warrior, so when I started doing research on how they may be different, I found an overwhelming amount of information on creatures from all over the world. So I thought it might be fun to have each one be different. My vampire characters are created from the lore of the region they come from. It's been a lot of fun doing research.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what I love. I have always been fascinated with the paranormal, so it wasn't a surprise that I wanted to write about it. I'm also a big fan of romance. I want to write books I'd like to read.

How does my writing process work?

When I'm bored (or having trouble sleeping), I make up stories to keep my brain occupied. It might start out as a single scene that I keep playing in my head until I get it the way I want it, then I write it down, and it grows from there. I generally see the scenes in my head, like a movie, complete with dialogue. I often write scenes out of order. I always think it's going to be a nightmare when editing, but my brain must have some kind of overarching idea of where the story is going because it always works out.

Other times, I just have to write. There is no easy scene in my head. That's when the real work starts. I always say that my characters keep me on a need to know basis, which isn't a lot. Sometimes I start writing a chapter, and I have no know what's going to happen. It's both frustrating and exciting.

I never throw anything away. While I was writing the first two Díon books, I wrote two scenes that I thought I would be using in those books, but they both wound up in the third book.

I try to write every day, but with work and family demands, it's hard to find the time. I'm not as disciplined as I should be. I want writing to be fun not forced. I don't want it to be another responsibility that I have on my "to do" list.

Thanks for reading about my writing process. I nominate the following writers to share their own creative approaches with us next week:

Charity Parkerson has a ton of work published. She writes romance, paranormal romance, and erotica. I am a huge fan of her paranormal romance books. She has won numerous awards and has recently signed on with Ellora's Cave.

Roberta J Gordon is the author of Gemini Witching: Elements 101. In addition to writing, she is also deeply committed to helping new authors navigate the self publishing process.

Mireille Chester has published several books in the fantasy genre in both YA and adult. She loves to spend time immersed in worlds filled with magic. I love Mireille's writing style, and her books are full of the best characters.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New Self Publishing Services/Resources Company

As a self published author, I'm always looking for resources to share. I want to welcome Bobbie Faulkner, who will be talking about her company, Jules-Faulkner Publishing, LLC, and some of the services they offer. I checked out the website myself and immediately bookmarked it. I loved their "Things to know..." page. They offer a variety of services at affordable prices. Check it out!
Here's what Bobbie has to say about her new venture:

The brave new frontier authors face daily is self publishing.  If you’ve been on this adventure for more than thirty minutes you’ve realized there are a lot of choices out there.  You can literally spend days researching and still feel like you’re running in circles.  My very good friend Michelle Franco changed my world almost two years ago when she told me that publishing an E-book was FREE on Amazon. 
Since that time I’ve met so many awesome authors that I treasure as close friends now.  It’s like power networking any time we get together, chat on the phone or Skype.  We keep discussing the options and websites available to help and how can we help others that are in our similar shoes.
One adventure I had was obtaining my Copyright.  A friend was guiding me through the process because it was like extra tricky, or I was extremely dense.  While I’m not an IT whiz, I do play one for my daytime job and had had the experience of using  Using this website I was able to create a meeting, share my desktop with my friend and then she was able to guide me for the final stages of completing my quest.
Later I thought if I was having difficulty with the Copyright website maybe other people are too.  I extrapolated from that thought to pondering the chances of compiling a site to help other authors, using if needed.
I’ve had many hobbies over the years.  Photography, photo editing, book covers, book marks and logos, I've found it was therapy actually.   I discovered that many of my author friends are exceptionally talented in the area of editing. So…..jumping ten steps ahead of myself, I decided to try this new idea of combining all of these things together to help other authors.  That's where Jules-Faulkner Publishing was born.  We want to be a friendly voice for other authors, especially budding wordsmiths, that are about to face the same struggle in finding help.  If a friendly voice needs to be a helping hand we want to make that available as well.
Where traditional publishers offer these services in house, so to speak, we are offering editing, graphics, formatting, and consulting services ala cart, if that is what fits the need.  We are also compiling a list, a work in progress, of reference links that would help new authors.  Now while a few have raised their eyebrows over the fact that not only are we offering services, this list of reference links also directs you to other sites for some of the same services, trust me it’s intentional.  Knowledge is power, and it’s a journey that never ends.  I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned.  As varied as genres are, this process should not be viewed as the cookie cutter design to help everyone, but an avenue to promote well informed decisions.  While in the process if you run into trouble and need a hand, we are available to help.  Even if that help is just a friendly chat, know you are not alone in this journey. 
Drop by and visit our website at  Leave us a message, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  We look for any reason to grab a cup of coffee and pontificate the “what if’s” or “what’s next”, and we'd love to share it with you.

PS...If you've found links you found useful in your quest, drop us a line, and we will add it to the list.