Friday, April 11, 2014

This week has not been a good week for the writer in me.  It was my kids' Spring Break, I worked, and Robert had a birthday.  I didn't do hardly any writing.  I don't know about other writers, but me personally, I get irritable when I don't get to write.  I have so much going on in my head that everything else is hard to focus on.  It should be the other way around, I know.  We did have a lot of fun though!  Saw Captain America.  Great Movie! The movie was action packed, it didn't lull at all.   I love that honor has so much meaning to Captain America.  He's always looking to do what's right, no matter what it might cost him.   

Since my last post, I have done quite a bit though.  I'm jumping around in my newest book, trying really hard not to get upset.  I can see the story so clearly, but getting it down on paper is proving difficult.  I don't have the option to give up, because I wake up in the morning thinking about this story.   I'm about half way through Story 13 and quite happy with it, and I can see the next book in that story pulling itself together.  The cover for Heart of the Emperor is almost finished!   I started reading through the hardcopy for The Shadow Dragon book 3 and I hate the beginning of Chapter 1 so much that I haven't looked at it since (I almost through it across the room).  I'm also trying to read a couple of books that are by other indie writers.  So far I like them.   

Despite all that I can't stop feeling as though more writing needs to done.  I need to print this picture a friend of mine sent me and put it everywhere: 

After all if the Avengers think I should, who am I (or my kids) to argue?  (I know I'm more of a DC girl, but a great job has been done making these hero's awesome, even in my eyes!)

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Covers

When I read a book, I love discovering how the cover ties into the book - where does the cover fit during the story.  When I design my covers it has everything to do with the story.  Each of my covers has a lot of thought behind it, it is never just thrown on there.  The cover is pulled from the story itself.   I decided that I would use this blog to talk through my covers.  My choices.  

Taken's covers were done by Tammy Boneburg, a very talented graphic artist.  We worked together on that cover.  It was a long process, because I partially knew what I wanted but didn't know how to translate, I didn't know what could be done.  She obviously worked with me (with lots of patience) until we found something that I loved.  I only really knew that the marks of the Satrii had to be on the cover.  She did her best to give it to me.  When she showed me the picture of the eye with the lines layered over it, I knew we had something to work with.  She had given me four other pictures, but the eye was perfect.  Especially since I knew that book 2 was going to be following right behind.  I knew I wanted to keep the eye on both so that the reader would know they were together.  I think she did a magnificent job understanding where I wanted the focus.  Not only did she keep focus on the eye for both books, but she also allowed for the focus to be on the blue lines for the first book and on the second book were the blades that contained a power of their own.

Solace was a bit more difficult because I knew exactly what I wanted, which wasn't the cover it has now.  I probably could go back and try again (and be more successful), but I love the new cover because it allows me to keep book 2 (and hopefully future books for this story) similar to the original book.  The swirling shades of grey, black, and white is actually a scene in the first book.  It also defines the title of Uncharted Territory.  A story where what has always been as clear as black and white to Karissa now becomes blurred into dizzying shades of grey.   Book 2's cover also has significance.  The purple swirl is a scene where Karissa is looking into swirling mist where large flashes of bright red bubble up just like Omatha's rage.  She is reminded of the times she saw the red enter Omatha's eyes and she knows that she does not want that for Jack.  The swirl once again symbolizing Karissa's confusion, how lost she has become.

The Shadow Dragon covers are also significant.  Even if I had the ability to manipulate the cover better than I can, I would still only put the orbs of fire on the black background.   The cover is pretty much self explanatory and at the same time mysterious.  I had asked Mike Kirsten to make the cover for book 2 because he is an extraordinary artist and I was in awe of what he could do.  I knew he could draw the dragon I wanted.  I wish the wings were bigger, but other than that it is perfect.  It shows the strength, the destructive ability, and that he is a dragon of death.  We kept the orbs of fire in the dragon, tying the two covers together.

Not Human came to me in my sleep.  My hope was that when the reader read the book they would comprehend the cover.  They would think, "Oh!  I get it."  They'd understand why the lines are not smooth, why she has silver circles on her skin, how she ended up with two gashes, why her hair was short.  They would also know that Rose's journey was not an easy road.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I have a working computer again!  YEAH!!!  This makes my writing life so much better!   So, I've been working on a few things over the last week.  Go figure, right?  I've spent time trying to understand photo editing so that I can improve upon the cover for Heart of the Emperor.  I'm a slow learner, but I am determined to figure it out.   I have a cover, but I'm not totally happy with it.  It will work, but I think it would look better with a couple of changes.  I'm hoping to get that out to you later this month.

Speaking of Heart of the Emperor.   I wanted to share why I really enjoyed writing this book.    For those of you familiar with my books, you know that my stories tend to keep you guessing.  Whether it's a character, how an event plays out, or how I get the story as a whole from beginning to end, I try to make it as intriguing as I can.  This book is no different.  In fact with this book, the bad guy was a surprise to me too.  As the end began to draw near, I couldn't wait to finish it.  Not because I was bored with writing it, but because I couldn't wait to see how it ended.  There were so many possibilities to who the bad guy was - it really could have been anyone.

 I'm still plucking away at my attempt at a story in 3rd person.  Who knew this could be such a challenging task.  The story is developing, but I know I've left so much out.  Up until this point I've been hand writing this book.  However my mom typed it up for me so I could  work on my other stories.  She told me that i really need to take another look at it.  Apparently I slipped into and out of 1st person.  I just shook my head.   I'm not giving up yet though - I always did like a good challenge.  Yesterday I began fixing the revisions for story13, which I am hoping will be ready to go to my editors when I'm done.   I've also added more to story 14.   Tomorrow I'm printing off The Shadow Dragon book 3.   I really want to get it done so I can  move on to book 4 and get those two books out to you.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another book! (and update)

I apologize for the lack of blogs.  I was stuck in an blah/not happy-type rut, that seemed impossible to get out of.  It's times like those that I can't find anything to say.  However, after several days of forcing myself to not let my mood control me, I am re-energized!   Now onto wonderful news. 

I am excited to announce that my next book Heart of the Emperor will be out June 21st!  It's about time, right? 

I have also finished The Shadow Dragon book 3.  I still need to add a few more details because of the new information that unfolded as I finished fixing the revisions.  I am happy that I was handed story 13 and told to read through it again to fix the large amount of stupid errors because more things came to light both in this book and for its sequel.   I have also started to play with a book that I am trying to write in third person.  I have started typing it, I'm still trying to see it through different eyes - as opposed to only the female protagonist.  This is turning out to be a bigger challenge than I had expected.  I read books written in third person and try to take notes, but I get sucked into the story and see it as first person.  So don't hold your breath yet, since I may not be able to do this.  Plus, I have started to work on Story 14 (the one that I hand wrote),  I am impatiently waiting to work on book 4 for The Shadow Dragon (my son laughed at me when I told him I was still working on book three, but really wanted to be working on book four), Story 3 is sitting on my desk patiently waiting for me to have time for it (but with story 14 and 15 demanding attention I probably won't get to that anytime soon). 

Friday, March 7, 2014

So this song is not what I normally listen to, but I heard it on the radio and I couldn't change the station. First I was like this is a strange song. However, as I continued to listen to it, images that I see while I'm writing moved through my mind - sort of like a trailer to my books. There is definitely something about this song that reaches into me and evokes the desire that my writing comes from. I'm kinda addicted to the song now.  ( I posted this among my friends on FB.  However the more I listen to this song the more mind has dwelled in the story Solace.  (Could be the words made their way into my brain.)
As usual the video doesn't move me at all, but I wanted to share this song with you.  It actually could be the overlay song to Solace.  While I'm listening to the song, I can visualize (in book 1) when Jack and Karissa first meet and they know that the other is dangerous, and cannot be left to live - but they do not get to make that decision.  I see them as they battle against one another.  Which then moves into the moment Jack realizes that Karissa is not the awful woman he had thought.  He sees her in the Kasstah and is taken aback by the brief moments of her kindness - even as she continues to call him Creature and act as though that is all he is (a creature).  As the clues begin to piece together (seeing her scars, sees her reaction to touch), he looks beyond himself and strives to be kind to her.  I see the brief moment whenhe realizes that maybe, just maybe, she could be a brighter light than the darkness that she has brought to so may others and he knows that he "needs to love..."   Throughout the song the second book makes itself shown as Karissa struggles with what to do with this man that she thinks is crazy for wanting to stay with her, when she knows she must keep him safe which means that he needs to be far away from her.   A glimpse of her tears as she understands that he is someone that she can trust, but knows that he will die if he continues to stay with her. Which is shown  when she injures him, but he still will not allow her to be what Omatha has forced her to be.  She watches Jack fall as the deadly woman in the lake assesses the situation.   Tears fill her eyes and she closes them, but when she opens them she is no longer afraid.  She looks upon Jack's face as she entwines her fingers with his, forcing their palms together.  It is "madness" but she understands that here in the end she needs it to not be too late. 
 The music pulls the emotion of the characters: their frustration, their anger, and yes, their love.  While at the same time (the music) strews together the different images of how the characters change throughout their journey, leaving no doubt in the mind that the characters feel very strongly for each other.  
That summary doesn't do justice to what I see, but it gives you a glimpse I hope.   Sometimes I think how cool would it be if there was a device that would allow me to show exactly what it is that I see and feel during these moments.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Story nine

Woo Hoo!  I finally have Story 9 back from my editors!  I've already begun to fix the revisions.  I am enjoying the story immensely.  I haven't read it since July so it's easy from me to forget that I wrote it.  I keep finding myself having to leave the library for one reason or another (kids, work, library closing) and not wanting to quit reading it.  I was up all night (literally, I slept an hour if I'm lucky) last night and now when I should be sleeping I'm here at the library because I couldn't wait to read more.   However, I can't start reading until I do everything else that I needed to do first.   Plus, knowing that this should be the last read through for Story 9 before it goes to copyright also adds to my excitement. 

When I'm not at the library, or being a mom, or teaching Tai Chi, I've been working on my newest book (story 14).  I wish I  could work on the computer with it, but first comes story 13 and The Shadow Dragon book 3.  Yesterday afternoon I started hand writing another story.  I know, finish what you've started, but the characters get impatient with me and it's hard to work on anything else.  The funny thing is, I've been going back and forth on buying a new laptop (or more to the point: how much money to spend on it), and part of me was concerned with what if I've written all my stories and then I have this awesome computer, but did I need to spend that much.  So when this new story began to consume my thoughts, I had to smile.  Of course, I'm not done yet.  This is what I love.   It's the insanity that keeps me sane.   I know, I know.   I am using the word sane very loosely. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Made it to the Library! Yeah!

I've finally spent some serious time at the library! I cannot describe how happy I am right now! Thursday I finally made it to the point in The Shadow Dragon Book 3 where I get to start writing again (the part I am most excited about).  Friday morning my mom tells me I need to take another look at Story 13, because "the writing was too raw for it to have been one of my finals.  Ugh.  When she showed me all the oopses (typos, places where I changed things and forgot to delete what I changed, strange sentences, and several other things), I was very embarrassed.  So I decided since that story is so much closer to done, I would fix that up first.  I was very annoyed with myself, but I figured it was a good punishment to have to put The Shadow Dragon aside. (Hopefully I won't do that ever again -  I know over-confidence is not a good thing)  However, re-reading Story 13 has given me an awesome feeling.  I'm re-reading the book, fixing the oopses, and saying: "I wrote this?!" (in a good way)  I read 56 pages of my manuscript on Friday alone! I was so into the story that I had to keep backing up because I forgot to fix my mistakes, and I did not want to leave the library.    I know I've said this before, but it's a wonderful feeling to read something I've written and just be in disbelief that I created it.  The other awesome thing that makes this all so exciting is it means I'll get back to The Shadow Dragon in a few more days (as long as I can get to the library).  I've also been brainstorming cover ideas for Story 14, all this snow is just so beautiful and inspiring!  Best Michigan winter in a long time!   Well that's everything for now!  I am loving the time and opportunity I've had this past week to work on my books!  Yeah!!!