Category Archives: publishing
It’s that time again – Halloween is approaching. Here is a special treat for you this spooky season…
Diverse Reader Blog has a great author spotlight and giveaway going on with Halloween themed messages and over 40 prizes. Our own Lynn Michaels was fortunate enough to be able to play along and we’ve worked with her to put together a special Halloween Swag pack for our giveaway…
Now, head over to Diverse Reader and have some fun!!
New erotic writer Lynn Michaels. First release just out….
This is the first installment of the new M/M Paranormal Romance Series Universe from my publisher. Here’s a blurb and an Amazon link below. Share if you know anyone into it:
WARNING: Sexy m/m romance adventure with hot bounty hunter and dangerous elemental mages.
Party-boy mage Kelly O’Malley has a bounty on his head. Graham, the bounty hunter after him, is a hard rider that likes his women, booze, and his Harley. Picking up O’Malley changes him in ways he could never anticipate, changes his heart and changes the world…
“Think about the drive, not about that green-eyed, hot-bodied, trickster.” -Graham
Already has one 5-star review – so read it and leave a review if you like!
Support Rubicon Fiction!!
I like writing characters that are both strong and vulnerable. I like the juxtaposition of frailty and strength within the human psyche. A super strong main character (MC) can fight the battle and kick serious ass, then afterwards fall down and cry – not broken, but nearly. That makes them feel more real to me, more human (even if they aren’t completely).
We all know one of my fav’s is Gwin. As a vampire she had both qualities in spades… along with a little psycho. Since becoming human, she’s lost some of her psycho and straddled that line between strength and fragility. She wants desperately to be loved and cared for, but she has a momentous need to be seen as the tough, invincible bass ass that she is. I tried to show this in her history in Blood Pact (The prequels – out in September). Where she comes from and why she has these two conflicting characteristics are, hopefully, evident.
As much as I love to see this in a strong female role, I love it even more when the guys have it. The man is supposed to be all strength… maybe the females are supposed to be all vulnerable. But, crossing these lines is intriguing. I’m working on a new story line about a psychic demon-hunting detective and her male handler. These two MCs have the strength/vulnerability paradigm in spades. Pepper is a hardened ex-prostitute that has been trained to use her abilities to find and fight supernatural bad guys (a.k.a. demons). She is 95% bad ass. She’ll kill you and take your name afterward… but that extra 5% is ready to crumble at the tender touch of a compassionate lover. Her handler Brad is the son of a high ranking official in “The Company,” which is the organization they work for that is committed to keeping the earth dimension free of baddies – or are they? Brad is a softy… well 80% lovable and gentle… but he’s got some strength in the other 20% and that strength keeps him from going all gooey around Pepper. He learns quickly to put up his walls, because even though he loves her, he knows she’ll break his heart. Yes, I’m having a lot of fun with these two and hope you’ll be seeing them by year end! (Watch for the Adventures of Pepper Chance!)
I’ve seen a lot of this in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. She writes the biggest, hard-hitting, dangerous vampires that melt to nothing with horrible insecurity in the face of their women (shellans in BDB-speak). It’s inspiring, truly! If you haven’t read any this series – oh, you really should!! Here’s the link to Amazon (Dark Lover is the first book):
I mention J.R. Ward’s books because one of the best ways to learn about writing is to study the work of writers that you admire. I think I’ve learned a lot about foiling these characteristics from this book series. I also enjoyed reading them – some of them twice! My favorite MC from this series is Quinn. He has a lot of contradictory characteristics. His bravery and strength is commendable, yet he finds it impossible to show his true feelings to the point of making his life miserable. It isn’t until he finally allows himself that vulnerability that he finds he can have his HEA (Happy-ever-after). So – redemption through frailty, yet he never loses his strength (and bad-assidness) for a minute. That makes him so interesting to me.
I’m having fun with these ever shifting paradigms! Now back to work…
I’m finding different stages of writing novels, now that I have a few under my belt, that I like. I can sort of break it up by word count to describe what I mean.
When I first start a novel and I only have a couple thousand words in, the story is fresh and full of potential. I like that there’s still that blank page there. I need to get more down, more clay on the potter’s wheel. It is very much a new beginning.
I like it when I have 25,000 to 30,000 words in and the story is really starting to develop. I have a certain number of characters and the plot is pretty thick. The definition is starting to show. There’s movement. I know where the story is going because it’s come so far. Generally speaking it is about at the half way point. It’s like riding along the cliff. If I need to change something, this is the time to do it. I like that there’s still so much adrenaline in the project.
Then, when I’m approaching the 50,000 mark, it’s a different type of excitement, much like finishing a race. Not just any race either, this is a marathon. So, when I see the finish line, my heart is pumping! I know I have to wrap this bad boy up. I generally finish books between 45,000 and 60,000, ideally. They can be longer, but not much. I don’t like them too much shorter either. I think if a book is less than 45,000 words, it isn’t a full novel. So, when I’m approaching that big 5-0 I know it has to come to an end, or at least an end for now.
When I do actually finish the first draft, I feel relief, a huge sense of accomplishment, and fear. Yep, fear. Because what if I didn’t get everything I wanted in there? What if it isn’t good enough? What if I messed it up? I go through a lot of that type of thing. I have to just ignore the damn thing for a while. I need to work on something else, get my mind off of it. Then, when I do get back to it for my first edit, I have fresh eyes. I can see it better, from a distance. When I’m too close, I panic and wonder. The distance between first draft and first edit is a huge help.
Going through these stages is why I think writing novels is the biggest thrill I’ve ever had. To create worlds and people and manipulate them into interesting situations is fabulous. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this.
I think I’d like to be doing more book reviews and Beta reads. I like the idea of reading for free books… I spend way too much money on books anyway. The thing is that I think I’m pretty qualified for the job. I do have a Master’s degree in English/Creative Writing and I also write. You can read through my archives to see previous reviews. You can go on Amazon, too, but those are much shorter.
The other thing is that I hate giving bad reviews. I don’t have a problem writing constructive feedback for a Beta read, however. I think that’s the appropriate place for it. So, if I read your book and it wasn’t going to get a good review from me, I wouldn’t give it a review, I’d send it back to you as a Beta read – for your eyes only. If it was going to get a good review – I can plaster that bad boy around.
The other thing I have going is that I’ll read almost anything. Seriously! I’m really a book slut and though I have my favorite genres, I will read anything that has interesting characters, dialog, and a plat that moves. If you know me or follow any of my social media and blogs, you know I have my favorites, like paranormal romance, sci-fi, and other twisted shit, but really I’ll ready mystery, horror, adventure, and almost anything else (fiction). I choke a bit on historical romance (unless it has vampires), though….. Just a warning.
So, if you have a book you would like be to Beta/Review, send me a request with the genre and length through a direct message on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/sherri.asble
or Twitter @sljasble
I’ll get back with you right away!
It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about inspiration! Since I’m moving into a more production-centric period in my writing journey, perhaps it is a good time to dwell on the topic once again. I’ve recently released the second book of my vampire series, Fire Blood. I admit I really wrote this novel fast, and I feel it is very good – 10 times better than the first book – I think the reason for the quality and speed of writing was the inspiration.
I really felt compelled to write this book. The characters, especially Matthew, really came alive in my head. It still sounds weird, even to me, but they really talked to me and told me their story and I just wrote it down… The first book, Summer Blood, went a long way to introduce these guys and gals and give me a basis to work with. The second book really took it to the next level. There was a lot going on, from kidnappings, to fighting, to sex… yeah, they were a busy bunch! Tobia and Gwin focused on taking down what was left of the vampire network, and Matthew got his band Carolina Sky together for a tour. Myranta put herself forward as Matthew’s personal body guard, and Cytosha… well, she kind of went crazy! It was fun and exciting… but what was the inspiration?
Music was a huge factor. I had to hear Carolina Sky playing in my head. I listened to a lot of music… I made a huge play list (Kato’s playlist on Spotify if you’re interested – follow me!). Kato even wrote some new music and I included lyrics in the back of the book! That is a big inspiration for the next book as well. Kato and Wayne felt a bit left out and will be making a bigger splash in the next book of the series. They both have rock-star personalities and are very “in-your-face” so their minimal presence in the first two books has come to an end. They want front row billing in #3.
Another inspiration was other vampire books/tv/movies… especially True Blood. Not that my vampires are the same in any way (other than being vampires), but just getting to that vicious single mindedness they sometimes have was easier after being a little exposed to other vampire media. And photos! I’ve found and shared plenty of vamp-pics on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/summerbloodvampires)!
So, Gwin is another character that really came alive for me. She started out very snotty and spoiled, but eventually, she grew as a character and by the end of Fire Blood, she really has a lot of depth. I think that Matthew and Tobia both influenced her a lot. She’s still fun loving and mischievous, though. In September I’m releasing the prequel book, Blood Pact. Her story in this one is compelling and really gives the reader an even better sense of who she is. Sometimes, it felt like she was sitting beside me at the keyboard and pointing out where to make changes and what to add! She’s so pushy! I think she is that aggressive side of me that never gets to really come out, in part at least.
The beach was obviously an inspiration point. I have always loved the beach and every time I’m there I seem to have characters talking to me about what they’re doing at the beach or what they want to be doing. Particularly, for Summer Blood this was a serious kick off. My husband and I went to Flagler Beach on the East Coast of Florida for my birthday. We went to a cool bar and walked on the beach at night and at sunrise. I took tons of notes while we were there. The bar and the beach both stuck with me so much that when I got home, those parts begged to be written and that’s when I truly started focusing on Summer Blood… and came up with the name! The name of the bar in Summer Blood is Shark Fins, it shows up at the end of Chapter 2 when Tobia and Gwin are getting to know each other… if you want to see the real place. I did tell you exactly where it is… corner of A1A and 100 in Flagler.
Cytosha is another vivid character. This is a psychic motorcycle riding vampire hellion! She’s front and center in both books. I originally meant for her to be a minor character used just for Tetrick to find Gwin and Tobia. She had other plans. She not only stuck around in Summer Blood, she became the main Vamp in Fire Blood, and you will be able to find out more about her – where she came from – and where she’s going in Blood Pact. Of course, she’ll have a role in the #3 as well. I wanted her to be a tough-guy. She owned her vampire status. Unlike Tobia and Gwin, she loved being a vampire (more than she ever loved being human). She’s a modern girl and she likes to just kick ass and boss everyone around. I have no idea where she came from. When I started writing her, she just took over. I’m glad she did because I’ve had a ton of fun writing her!
I’m working on a lot of other projects outside of the vampire world. The inspirations have come from many different places. Perhaps one of my biggest influences is what I read. Whatever I’m reading at the time tends to make its way on to my page…. don’t misunderstand. I do not EVER copy… but tone and genre and the feel of a novel can be influential. Or smaller things. Sometimes I do put tiny tidbits in my writing as a homage to another author that I admire, though. Like, I might name a street something out of another book. Some of my biggest influences, particularly for vampires and demons, are Kim Harrison and the Hollows series, Laurel Hamilton and the Anita Blake series, and Kristie Haigwood’s Eternal Island (Reviewed this in an earlier blog – check my archives) series. Kristie is an independent author and worth checking out! I like her Save My Soul series as well.
I’m writing a new series called Adventures of Pepper Chance. She is a psychic detective charged with keeping demon activity under control. She started developing as I was reading the Hollows, but also the Dresden series and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. I wanted a hardnosed detective who had a troubled past. She’s been a very bad girl, but wants to make a decent life for herself. She’s not afraid to fall in love or kick demon ass or step up to whatever challenges I throw at her. You’ll see two short stories about her in my upcoming anthology, Brink. That’s due to go to the editors soon.
Some of the stories from Brink came from what I was writing during my Master’s degree. Inspiration for those stories came from specific assignments. They are very different than what I’ve put out there so far, yet still twisted and fun. One of the stories was featured in a vampire anthology:
I had to stories featured. Only one of them will be in Brink, so get the one above for the other…
Ultimately, I guess I have to say that inspiration comes from so many places… from media and real life to my own wild imaginations and even things inside me that I don’t want people to see. It all gets blended up in this strange thing called my brain… and tossed out like a salad onto the paper. Then, I just hope everyone likes my veggies!