Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hey, please join me for a book signing at Barnes and Noble in Grand Junction this Saturday, August 27th from 2 to 4. It’s been a year since my non-fiction book was published, and I’m slowly working on the promotion part of writing. My book Ouray was published by Arcadia publishers and is a photo journey that highlights the history of the city of Ouray. Maybe one of these days, all this research will morph into the setting for a historical novel?
I’m the kind of writer that likes that cup of coffee in a quiet place and days of solitude so it’s hard to make myself get out in public and put my book out there. A friend called from Denver and asked if I’d seen last Sunday’s Denver Post. Under an article headlined “Historic peeks into storied Colorado locales” was a review of my book Ouray. This week has been a reminder that I need to get myself more out of my everyday world of being on call for everyone and everything and schedule in more writing time.
So come by Barnes and Noble and meet me. I’d like to get out of my writing malaise and visit with other Western Colorado writers, Gail

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How Do You Get Your Mojo Back?

Today is a ho-hum day. The dog-days of August are almost over, the garden is pretty much doing its own thing now (thanks to my DH and his amazing weed-matting in the Spring), school starts (for us, anyway) tomorrow, and the summer family plans are all over.
Not the kind of day I write on.
Not the kind of day I do much of anything on.
It's a Mojo-Suck Day!
However, it struck me a few minutes ago... "The Fae Dragon Chronicles: Love Chosen" is soon to be published, the second book in that series, "Love Dared," is with Crescent Moon Press now for consideration, and I'd like to finish book three, "Love Desired," sometime before book two comes out (I'm being hopeful they'll pick it up, as well).
In order to, ya know, continue on with the whole writing business dream I have, I need to not let those ho-hum days suck my Mojo.
So this question is for anyone, writer and reader alike... What do you do to kick it in gear when it feels like life has kicked you in the pants?
My answer? Well, today I called my bestie, played a riveting game of Mario with my son, and then picked veggies from the garden with one of my daughters.
I think it worked...
Now I'm off to write something.
But what about you?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Real Heroes

I've started Book Three in "The Fae Dragon Chronicles," (meaning I'm profiling my characters, creating scene sketches, improving on my story bible...ya know...brainstorming). I've decided book three, "Love Desired," needs to be Queen Morgana's story (which everyone will understand once books 1 & 2 come out, lol).
I know Morgana, inside and out.
However, I do not know her hero, yet. I've met him once, briefly, but he's still a stranger.
In "Love Dared" (Book 2), I learned: this character is strong enough to lead the enemy's army, yet a gentle father-figure to a young boy. Until yesterday, I didn't even know his name.
But poor Morgana has a story and she desperately needs some love.
So, this has me thinking about heroes and what makes a great hero, a hero the reader doesn't forget, a hero we all want to take home and... let's go with cuddle up to...
I have a hero I took home, and I find bits and pieces of him in each of my stories.
My husband is my hero, and yesterday he reminded me of this several times:
He rushes to help damsels in distress: My brother (well he might be happily married with kids, but we always called him Josephina, which makes him a damsel to me) had broken down out of town. My DH didn't hesitate. He dropped his chores, because I asked, and saved my brother (and the car).
He romances the heroine in little ways: Out of the blue, my hero said and did the sweetest things, like he brought me a watermelon (because it is my absolute favorite fruit!), and he came up behind me and whispered, "have I told you how sexy I think you are?" as he walked by.
He romances the heroine in big ways and solves complex problems (which showcases his superior skills and big heart): (I know, I'm rolling two in one...) My hero installed my dishwasher. I know, you're probably wondering exactly how that's sexy; but, trust me, watching him install the beast and knowing he was making my life easier? Totally sexy!
The hero slays the dragon (or other totally monstrous beastie): At ten-thirty last night, we were all so tired. We'd worked on the yard, pulled potatoes from the garden, pulled weeds, saved my brother, installed the dishwasher, played with one of our grandsons, and did five thousand other things. So, at ten-thirty, I look out my window and what I call the 'Danger Will Robinson light' is flashing in red neon, lighting up the dark yard.
Oh poop.... "Um, Honey?" I say, a bit cautiously. But I'm wondering, if I close my eyes and tap my heels three times, will it shut off?
"Yeah?" He says.
"The light's on."
"What?" He's getting a bit exasperated.
"The light. The light, dear. It's flashing." I sound a bit disjointed, I know, but it's because I'm quite stressed out by now. How could this happen? Why now? I really just wanted to shower and go to bed, and now I can't.
He glances out the window and sighs, presses his lips together in a stiff line, and kind of stomps outside.
The door shuts quietly behind him.
Later, I'm holding a flashlight and he's up to his elbows in...well, we live in the country and when that light goes on it means something is wrong with the pump connecting us to the city sewer system. It's a pre-warning system, so our house doesn't flood with, well, everyone else's waste water (can you say, "ick?").
Some people hire a plumber (who would probably hire an electrician, since it's electrical), but my husband's an electrician so...
And as I'm holding his flashlight, and my honey is slaying my latest nasty, stinky dragon, I'm thinking I have an amazing hero, right here in real life. I think I tend to model my romance heroes after mine, in one form or another, when I write.
What about your heroes? Do you have preferences? Stories? Please share...
P.S.- It should be noted, however, I don't always feel quite so sweet and admiring toward my hero...we are married, after all, lol!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Character Kinks

    Yes, it's about exactly what it sounds like.

    Hey all, I’ve been really busy with...stuff and such. But, I’m here now and I think a short set-up for the blog topic is in order lest you think some untoward thoughts about me. Not that they couldn’t be true but I want to keep up appearances in case I ever want to run for public office. I just finished reading one of my crit partners subs. In it she, or rather, one of her characters refers to Spanx Shapewear. I wrote in the margin, (Spanx = Spanks. Is she Kinky?) From there my mind went hither and yon as anyone who knows me can imagine. So, lets get to it.

    Some of you may avoid putting kinks in your characters because you don’t want people to think you enjoy a good spanking yourself. Okay, that might be valid but I write female characters and nobody thinks I’m a woman. My reason for not putting them in is that I just hadn’t thought of it...yet. Oh sure, I’ve got Katerina who is a nut and a deviant of sorts, but that’s just her. I haven’t given any sane characters kinks and I’m rather disappointed with myself. How could I not have thought of that?

    Now, I’m not suggesting you start writing bondage erotica but if you have a sexual component in your work, put a little something different in it. Suppose your heroine is a bit of a sadist and she is attracted to your hero. That’s going to put a whole new level of tension in there: first, in her internals and second, in their interactions. Now, for a happy ending, he’s going to have to be a bit of a masochist whether he knew it before or not. But, what the hell, it’s fiction and it ought to be fun. And what’s more fun than kinky sex?

    Now, suppose this same heroine needs to get some information from a bad guy. Ha, she’s got a set of skills that the reader knows about and she can really show her stuff. I’m laughing just thinking about it. The hero is a little reluctant to use force and she just wades in and starts clamping stuff on. He, the hero, is incredulous and much to his surprise, a little turned on. Now we’ve got some fun stuff happening.

    And you can go the other way. A strong willed heroine likes to be spanked. She obsesses over his hands: their size, just right shape, how rough and rugged they are, perfect for spanking. Or, a determined hero has a foot fetish that distracts him. How fun would it be if the hero kept looking at the heroine’s feet, enough that she notices and says something. Freudian slips create awkward moments. Thoughts unbidden create distraction and attraction. I can hardly wait to start something new to work this in. And research. I’ll have to do research. What fun. I usually hate research but now I’m excited.

    But, don’t go overboard, I’m prone to that. Just put a little in. Unless you want to write bondage erotica, then go for it. I’m thinking of using it to round out the characters. And not every character and not in every story. Maybe even keep it within the character and never let it be known to the others. A festering kink yearning for expression could be worse that unrequited love.

    A kink will influence a character and that’s what I’m after.