Thursday, January 26, 2017

Keeping My Muse Happy

Keeping my muse happy w/fireworks.
You may have heard writers talking about not being able to write when their muse is unhappy. Or that their muse has run off and abandoned them. Sometimes I feel like my muse ran off with the devil and they're both sitting somewhere mocking me as I fumble for just the right word, typing and deleting numerous time over the time frame of an hour. I've even done it here on the blog before giving up and deciding to try it again tomorrow.

A writer must keep her muse happy. How do I do that, you ask? Well, my muse is particularly enthralled with loud, raunchy music that has a deep booming beat. Anything with a lot of bass and preferably curse words. Oh, and a Diet Mountain Dew to go with it. She also likes hot tea and chocolate, but usually only one cup of tea a day. Sometimes my muse demands I take a break from writing entirely and recharge with a comedy or a good book. But usually, it's the raunchy music that works on a day to day basis.

Today, for example, we started out together with a mug of hot peach tea and listening to Ludacris, and ended our writing time with a Diet Mountain Dew, piece of Lindt Lindor chocolate, listening to 50 Cent. In the middle there was Meghan Trainer, 21 Pilots, Nicki Minaj, Stabbing Westward, and Pink. Plus many more. I work for no less than 3 hour stretches so I have to have a large music library.

Sometimes I think it would be fun to match my music choices with the character I'm writing, but then I realize that's just too much work. LOL! Sooooo, I just listen to all of it all the time.

If you have a question about what inspires my muse feel free to ask below or email me at and I'll do my best to answer it. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Survey Time

I've noticed a lot of authors I follow like to put excerpts, and even entire chapters of their new books in their newsletters. What are your opinions of this practice? Do you like to read chapter one in the newsletter, or just wait until the book comes out?

Create your own user feedback survey

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Writing a Book's Back Cover Blurb

For the days I'm drawing a blank, I have a list of blog ideas and it just so happens that today's activities coincided with one of the topics: Difficulties in Writing a Back Blurb.

Ack! Today, I'm doing just that for the upcoming first book of my Penny Montague series. How do you condense hundreds and hundreds of pages into only a few paragraphs for the back cover? I'll tell you right now it is NOT easy. It's hard to take this story you've been working on for months, or even years, and shrink it down into a snippet that's supposed to attract readers. You know the story inside and out, left and right, up and down, but you have to remember that your readers don't. This is their first introduction to the story and they're waiting on you to rile their interest enough to say, "Hm, that sounds interesting."

I usually go through several drafts of a back blurb before finally settling on the finished product. And even then I'll still second guess myself and want to change things. However, once it goes to the cover designer that's that. No more changes. Game over. Deal with it and move on.

My process usually consists of an ink pen and a legal pad pages, with numerous additions, words marked out, arrows pointing to different locations for certain paragraphs, and maybe even some frustrated scribbling. And even when I think I finally have it and I start typing it into my computer, I still change, add, and subtract things from it. Today was no different.

Penny's story is flowing well for me right now, but that doesn't mean her blurb would. It took me several hours to get this the way I wanted it, and even then I sent it off to a couple of my trusted readers for a double, triple, quadruple check before sending it to my cover designer, and ultimately sharing it with all of you.

So, without further adieu, here is the description for:

Penny Montague, Book 1

Witch and ex-military, Penny Montague is sick of her immortal life. Working as a phone sex operator to occupy her time and keep in touch with her humanity, she spends her days trying to find a way to end her long, lonely existence and her nights pretending to care about men with mommy issues, strange fantasies, and twisted imaginations.

Life wasn't always this bad though. When Penny's ninety-four year old son, Charlie, dies in her arms the crushing reality of her long life truly hits her. What else is there to live for without her son? She's ready to give it all up, and has tried multiple times, when her brother, Byron, shows up on her doorstep, trouble on his tail as always. It wasn't until armed guards burst into her home, drag her from her bed, and throw them both into the dungeons of Midnight Manor that Penny realizes this is much worse than Byron's normal scheming.

Midnight Manor is the control center of all immortals, run by an elite group called The Council. Nothing happens in the world without Midnight Manor having their fingers in the pot. They raise and educate immortal children from an early age and place them throughout the world in positions beneficial to their causes, both present and future. There isn't anything that happens, be it war, arms trades, or scientific achievement, that Midnight Manor doesn't influence.

Penny retired from the Midnight Manor military nearly a century before, but now, in order to save her brother from being tortured for the rest of his immortal life because he slept with the wrong man's wife, The Council gives Penny the choice to hunt down and return a runaway scientist or risk a fate worse than death and join her brother in the torture chambers for eternity.

Penny, with the help of a few people from her past, decides to at least attempt the retrieval. After all, according to The Council, the scientist is a danger to all immortals and his research must be returned. Tracking was her specialty during her time in the service. 

This should be an easy in and out kind of mission with only a couple of days of work involved. Right?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Writing Life: Where I Create Magic!

Well, I have a whole new place to create my magic these days than I had a few months ago. It used to be my bedroom, notebooks, Post-It notes, and my laptop spread across my desk, with a mug of hot tea or a glass of Diet Mountain Dew to the side somewhere. However, the hubby changed jobs and the new job is night shift. Ugh! That means he's taken over the bedroom during my optimum writing hours. And until I get one more kid off to college there isn't anywhere else for me to close myself off.

Sooooo, I get the dining room table. Yep, here's where I am for the time being. My laptop, notebooks, and drinks still work here, but now my Post-It notes are stuck inside my notebooks instead of plastered all over the wall. I keep everything in a neat pile when not in use so I can quickly scoop it all up if we have guests.

My second daughter will be heading off to college in the fall of 2018. When that happens I'll finally get my very own office. I'm looking forward to having a space of my own, with all my bookshelves, all my notebooks and ink pens (I have a big obsession with pens and paper), and all the quiet time I can stand. I'm excited at the prospect of creating my very own sanctuary to enjoy my characters. I'm already thinking of paint colors, what furnishings I want in my office, and where to put all my book shelves. I've even warned the hubby that he'll be building me at least one more book shelf to fit in a specific spot. All mine!  Woohoo!

In the meantime, I'll keep working at the dining room table, but be sure when the day comes that I get my office I'll be sharing pictures with all of you. :)