Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Goodbye July, Hello August

 I spent July traveling across Michigan meeting readers. From Lansing, to Lake Orion, and then back to Grand Haven in West Michigan. Whew! It was a fun filled month of books, dragons, presenting writing panels, and even superhero wedding! 

Kogan Con - Grand Haven, MI

Michigan Medieval Faire - Lake Orion, MI
Capital City Comic Con - Lansing, MI

July was also Camp Nano, in which I plugged away at a book I'm writing for me at this point, wherein *spoiler alert* I'm killing people, crying about it, and processing the fact that they are dead. In theory, this may free me up to delve into other non-Narvan stand-alone books...like the pile of them on my hard drive glaring at me to be finished. As of the end of the month, I added 40,000 new words to the novel. Since my original goal was to add 20K, I'm calling that a definite win. Yes, Seeker is still the last book of the core series. If this tragic tale eventually gets to your eyes, it will be a companion novel like Minor Years.  

Oh, and dammit, I already have ideas where I could go after this. But no! No! Must, concentrate on stand-alone books for a while! 


I'm also still percolating on the last 2/3 of Frayed, which is slowly making its way through my local writing group chapter by chapter and finishing it is currently slated to be my project for NaNo 2022 unless I can make this Narvan book shut up and work on it before then. 

After such a busy July, I'll be spending August resting. Right? Ha. You're funny.

You can find me:

August 6 - Holland Art in the Park

August 13&14 - South Haven Blueberry Festival

August 27 & 28 Michiana Renaissance Faire 


If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
That brings us to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question:  When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

The first draft of everything I write is for me. Sorry, readers. But hey, I'm a reader too and I have to wait for the words to leech out of my fingers onto the page to enjoy them. Trust me, you're getting the far better end of the deal here. Once the story gets to you, it's a smooth ride (hopefully) and far more coherent (definitely). 

Readers get much more consideration once a draft enters editing. I often move things around or cut bits entirely to make the story flow better, faster, or be more engaging for everyone who is not in my twisted head.

As far as being original, I would think that's something we all strive for. Originality comes with adding your own voice to any story. All the plots may have been done before, but its what you do with them that makes them unique.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

How is it July already?

Yes, I'll be asking a similar question all year. When you stay busy, time flies by. 

June was full of fun with Laya the chicken. Laya is a naked neck silkie and the most laid back of all my chickens. Books and a chicken? Yep. She often comes with me to outdoor events to draw people over to my booth, and because hey, chickens are fun! Have you ever pet a chicken? Visit my booth and you can check that off your bucket list.

Taking a walk at the Lakeshore Art Festival

Sitting pretty at the White Lake Arts and Crafts Festival
Getting all the love at Magical Realms

I've been doing a little work in my garden as time allows. So many weeds to pull. The chickens love to eat them though so that give me some extra incentive to get weeds pulled beyond making the flower hill look nice. 

Have I been writing? The answer was supposed to be no, because I'm taking a break. However, Camp Nano got brought up in my local writing group and I did have an already started project I was mulling scenes over for...so yes, I am now writing. Sitting at 11K words so far for the month. I expect the fantastic pace will slow down now that my long holiday weekend is over.  

On the subject of taking a break, I have been reading and watching Netflix. Refilling the well, as it were.

Recently watched and finished: 

The Last Kingdom

Legacies

Bridgerton

The Ted Bundy Tapes

The Letter for the King

Cracow Monsters

Vikings Valhalla

The John Wayne Gacy Tapes


Recently Read:

Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

The Kingmakers Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Sometimes We Fall by Yong Takahashi

Year One by Nora Roberts

Patrick by Stephen Lawhead

29 by Vera West

Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams


Now that I've enticed you with Laya the chicken, I'm sorry to say that she won't be back with me until August when I'm at closer to home outdoor events. However, this month, you can find chickenless me at:

July 8-10  Capital City Comic Con - Lansing, MI

July 16 &17 Michigan Medieval Stroll - Lake Orion, MI

July 23 Kogan Con - Grand Haven, MI

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.

And now to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

I'd have to go with my own Narvan world because I know the rules and the people there, and most importantly, who to avoid in order to stay alive. Alive is good. 

That whole world (universe?) has been with me for so long I can't imagine living any where else outside of the real world. Plus, my characters have aged with me. They're not moving as quickly as they used to. They suffer from aches and the occasional bad back day. I could fit in there in some quiet little background character roll without having to get into the plot chaos with main characters, but maybe still be close enough to see some of the action from a safe distance. 

Where would you go?

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG: June Monthly update

Rolling into summer already. It wasn't the best of spring weather, that's for sure. Hopefully the heat holds off until my body can acclimate to something other than 38-65 in wild shifts and then throw a random 88 degree day in there. ugh.

In non-writing life, my youngest has moved out but the oldest still lives at home. I haven't weeded a thing. My pond still isn't up and running. The chickens and ducks are doing great. 

So what's up on the writing project list? I'm slowly toying with another companion novel for The Narvan and slowly editing Frayed. Mostly, I'm fried after releasing two books a week apart and everything that led up to that. So I'm taking it easy for awhile. No deadlines. Actually reading books and diving into the occasional Netflix binge. 

Up next on the book event list:

June 4 & 5 : Magical Realms Fantasy Faire

June 18 & 19 : White Lake Arts & Crafts 

June 25 & 26 : Lakeshore Art Festival


If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group Question is:

When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? 

This happens a lot for me when I'm about one third of the way into the book. I've introduced the characters, the world, the conflict and now I've got to start figuring out how to get from all the drama I've just created to a resolution. So yes, the other 2/3 of the book. Once I bridge that gap, I'm usually good to go. However, if I can't figure it out, the story stalls and it sits on my hard drive until a solution hits me or it gathers virtual dust forever. 

How do I keep that from happening?

#1: Stop writing and start making a rough outline to figure how what needs to happen.

#2: Write a short note of what needs to happen in the troublesome scene(s) and skip ahead to the next part.

#3: Try something different to get the words flowing again - such as switching POV or dive into some dialogue if its a narrative section.

#4: Give some thought as to why the story is being tough. Have I made the plot too convoluted? Are the characters not properly motivated? Do I need to set something on fire to spice things up?

#5: Am I having a burnt out moment and need to take a few days off to recharge?

Usually there's a reason and it's just a matter of having the patience to figure out what it is to keep myself writing. 

What's your solution?



Wednesday, May 25, 2022

New Release: Seeker - The Narvan Book 4

Guess what Narvan fans? Seeker is finally available! If you subscribe to my newsletter, you got an early start before the release date. *hint*

Book 4 closes out Vayen's story and I'm excited to share it with all of you. Without a doubt, he's been my favorite character to write. I'd say I'll miss him, except I'm toying with another companion novel that takes place after Seeker. It's not in his POV though, so I can say that his leading time in the series is over. Will any of you ever see that book? That's up for debate. I'm a third of the way in. See my next blog post as to what that means for a story.

Enough about that dangled tidbit, let's get to Seeker:

Political upheaval threatens to erupt into a war that will tear the Narvan apart. The alteration undergone by Vayen and his hunters may have saved everyone from the Arpex but it also created the possibility of bullet-proof soldiers. Vayen’s fellow advisors will do anything to get that prize for themselves.

Not only is Vayen’s daughter not speaking to him, he’s been stuck at home for weeks recovering from surgery and being smothered by Anastassia’s efforts to keep him safe and healthy. Attempting to advise three worlds from his home office has him on his last nerve.

Vayen slips out to search for a new bodyguard.  A few strong drinks later, he ends up on a distant colony,  busting up a slave operation. The adrenaline rush and possibility of having done something good to get back into his daughter’s favor offers a momentary release. He even has a host of well-trained bodyguard slaves to pick from. He’s also gained a new enemy, discovered his bond to Anastassia isn’t what it used to be, and reawakened his old drug addiction.

In spite of doing everything he can to be good, the public has labeled Vayen a mutant and a tyrant. To bring peace to the Narvan and beyond, he’ll need to become exactly what they say he is. 

Where can you get a copy? 

Find me at any of the events I do throughout Michigan and Indiana.

Click on the "Buy signed copies" tab above to get your own copy shipped from me to you (within the US)

Click the link to the left to go to Amazon.

Find it on any of your favorite online bookstores.

 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Book Release: Spindelkin

It's finally release day for Spindelkin! πŸŒ³πŸŒΈπŸ‚πŸ€

Get this YA fairytale from your favorite online bookstore in paperback or e-book.

In the heart of the beautiful city of Katra, princess Amira has spent all her eleven years confined to her room. Cursed with a spell, poison runs through her veins and must be drained away every day or she will die. Kept company by only a stream of temporary maids and the king and queen when they have time, she dreams of what lies outside the castle walls, a sibling to play with, and a future she will likely never live to see. As Amira’s strength wanes, the king thinks that her salvation may lay in the distant forest, but the Spindelskov is inhabited by the nightmarish Spindelkin. The king and queen are unwilling to face them, fearing the creatures will plunge all of Katra into ruin. When the queen gives birth to a prince, Amira begs her maid to help her sneak out to meet her brother. Born with a tail and golden scales, the queen declares the baby a monster and he is left to die. Not bothered by his appearance, Amira promises the tiny prince that she will help him. Gathering her remaining strength, Amira sets out on a journey through the Spindelskov, searching for answers that may save them both.

You can get signed copies of all my books shipped from me to you (within the US)
Or get a copy from your favorite online retailer:
And many more!

Tune in next Saturday for another book release!