Category Archives: success
Recently, I read The Touch by Louisa Albrect, and published by Hot Ink Press. I fell in love with the concept immediately and just had to read it. Admittedly, it advertised a few characteristics that I love to use in my own writing, such as music, musicians and magic. So, I was excited to get my hands on it! Oh, not to mention that it is an erotic novel, so yeah… that was exciting too! *snickers inappropriately*
On the whole, I did enjoy the story. The plot was well done and the characters likable. However, I was somewhat disappointed. I really wanted to love this story, and I didn’t. It’s been several days since I read it, and I’ve been stewing it over in the back of my mind ever since.
I did read it in one sitting, but that had more to do with how short it was rather than my love of it. In fact, it really was too short. There was barely enough time to develop such a complex plot and depth of character. It was sort of like this: Here are these cool people and their intricate problems. Now, let’s put them together and let sex fix everything. I wanted more in the middle. It gave me a beginning and an end and slushed right over the middle.
The main character is a singer named Benjamine. I loved this guy. But, I didn’t get enough of what made him tick. I expected more music. The descriptions that were there were fabulous, but they left me wanting more. The lead female similarly left me wanting more. After the coven finds her, she loses her memories, but the plot doesn’t really do anything with this, and leaves her feeling a little hollow. I wanted more about her discovering herself before she could help Benjamine.
The Touch had interesting side characters that were like the icing flowers on a cake; pretty and edible, but generally not necessary and completely interchangeable. Yet, there was the bud of something truly delicious sitting right there. A longer story line would allow the author to weave these extra characters into the story in a way that only that unique person could be there to make things happen. Plus, with more time, you could get to know what drives these others; how they view the main characters (for extra complexity); and what motivates them.
The final thing that had me squirming in my chair as I read was the huge amounts of grammatical errors and typos that imbued the novella. I swear this manuscript was never edited. In most self-published books and even in books published by small to medium presses, I generally do not have a problem overlooking a few errors. It is virtually impossible to get out every single one… you can find typos in books from major authors and publishing houses too. With that said, I could not keep continually overlooking the abundance of issues in this. It was too distracting.
I’m not trying to by hyper-critical. In fact, if I didn’t like the story, I wouldn’t have bothered putting these words on the page. I would have chalked it up to another disappointing failure. But, I did genuinely like this story. For only .99 it isn’t bad. However, Albrect has such a potentially beautiful story here. I wish she would take the time to develop it into a full-fledged (edited) novel.
Why I like working from home:
#10. No traffic jams on the commute.
#9. Totally avoided the Polar Vortex
#8. I can crank my music as loud as I want
#7. I can check and post on FaceBook and Twitter any time I want
#6. THE coolest boss in the world!
#5. There’s plenty of coffee!
#4. Obviously…. I get to set my own schedule, which means staying up late and sleeping until 10 am
#3. Longest lunches in the world!
#2. Sex breaks
And finally, the number 1 thing I like about working from home… One word:
I believe it is important to write things that are meaningful, that people can relate to and understand on an emotional level. I don’t think I am or rather I consider whether I’m doing just that in what I’m writing now. I’m focusing a lot on the “fun” aspects and what might be considered “cool” by my readers. But does it still mean more?
I started out at some point wanting to tell a story of those feelings one has that seem dripped in meaning and purpose – the “end all” emotions of the young, the naïve “I love this person with my whole being and there can never be anyone else for me” – that first deep love that we all desperately seek, and refuse to let go of when we have it. But, a more adult life altering theme of adaptation and survival of the heart emerged. The intensity of emotion in Summer Blood became the acclimatization of adulthood in Fire Blood (yeah me!)
My questions now become where the rest of the story is going and what is my emotional message. It feels like my plans for the next two novels have been slightly derailed by the cool and the fun. I’m not entirely sure what emotional depth I can add.
That leads to the other novel I’m writing for my Thesis in my Masters program. Where are these emotional questions in Discordia? Have I lost my initial themes – the good versus evil and the question of how we know which is which and how does a coming of age story deal with these topics? I think I must spend some time assessing the emotions as well as what’s happening in the story. The themes are intended to be subtle within the story; however, if they are too subtle, they’ll be missed.
I’ll be tackling this issue as I finish up my thesis and move further into my writing career. It’s important because readers need that extra depth in order to relate to the story and to the characters. It may be cool and fun, fast paced and exciting, but it won’t stick if there isn’t that emotional connection that we all look for.
This blog has always been about my journey as a writer. So, that’s specifically what this entry is going to be about. I’ve grown as a writer tremendously over the last few years and I’m starting to see the products of that growth. I’m about to start my thesis course for my Creative Writing degree and my first novel, Summer Blood, is out and is selling, albeit slowly. Now, I’m journeying into the next realm of being an independent author – promotions.
I’m learning a few things, and the first is that books will not sell without promotions. OK – honestly, I knew that going into it, but now I’m neck-deep and trying to figure it all out. I have some of it figured out, but not all of it. I’m particularly struggling with, how to get reviews. Without reviews, people may not want to buy the book even as a .99 kindle. There are millions of bloggers, and they are ALL inundated with books to read and blog about. I’m sure this is true because my own reading list is a mile long. However, I still need those reviews. Many readers will read the book, but it is a lot of trouble to go back and write a review, especially when they’re really only interested in the next book they’re going to read. So, I’m still smashing this one around, but seriously, if you read a book you really like, leave a review on Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads or B&N or wherever, because it is really important. If you are a writer it is especially important for you to do this… that way maybe someone else will leave you a review… You know the old Karma thing?!?
So, the book is out there and I’m getting my promotions on track, and I’m working on the sequel and next week starts my thesis (which I think is another novel). It’s a struggle, but the progress is going in the right direction, and the journey has been fun! In fact, the journey is the best part: writing, learning, growing, enjoying the story and the characters… all of it!
I was surprised to see how long it has been since I posted a blog! I knew it had been a while, but 6 months? Wow! Why so long? I’ve been wrapped up doing other things like writing, writing, and more writing. My classes have been more and more challenging, which is great, because I’m honing my skills! The drawback is that I have little time for other things. I have managed to finally publish Summer Blood to Kindle:
So, check it out – only .99!!
I’m working on the cover for the paperback to put that out also. I’d like to finish it before my next classes start at the end of September. I start the first part of my thesis then… Woo-hoo… as they say, “What a long strange trip it’s been!”
So, look for more posts soon friends!
This is one of the screenplays I wrote for class this term. I got an A so it can’t be too bad. Some of it is a bit vague, but I’m working on it. I’m thinking about turning this into a regular short story. What do ya’ll think?
The format is off for this because I’m copying out of a pdf… but you should get the jist of it:
EXT. CASTLE NIGHT
A massive castle reaches up into the darkening sky.
INT. KITCHEN NIGHT
A huge old fashioned kitchen is empty in the dark. The
floors and counters are stone and a huge chandelier hangs
above. There is a doorway on one side and an old wooden door
on the other. The door creaks open to a descending stair
case. PENELOPE slowly walks up the stairs to the kitchen and
looks around. She is wearing a long dress with a tight
bodice. Her hair is blond curls. She looks like a doll.
James? James? Where is my
CAMERON appears as a dark figure in the opposite doorway.
Then, his figure solidifies as he steps into the kitchen. He
is wearing riding boots that end at his knees and a buttoned
up shirt, open at the collar, tucked in to leather pants.
His eyes and hair are dark, and the look on his face is
angry and heated.
Cameron! How did you get here.
As Cameron becomes more visible and steps closer to
Penelope, blood can be seen on his face and hands.
Bastard! What did you to to James?
I’ve come for you, sister.
Penelope grabs a knife from a counter and lunges toward
Cameron. He dodges out of her way easily and grabs her.
Penelope fights him, but he throws her to the stone floor.
He is on top of her and then he leans up, baring fangs as if
he is going to bight her.
Penelope looks over his shoulder to the chandelier above. It
starts to shake, and then crashes on them. Penelope
immediately shoves Cameron off of her, the chandelier pieces
shatter on the floor. She struggles to her feet and runs
through the doorway he had come through.
Cameron stands up, brushing glass from his clothing and then
chases after her with a wicked smile on his face.
INT. BALL ROOM NIGHT
Penelope races into the ballroom. It is lit only with a few
candles posted around the room and in wall sconces. The
light of the moon shines in through windows at the top of
tall walls that stretch into an arching dome overhead. The
center of the room is a wooden dance floor. Along the edges
of the room, carpeted areas wrap around the floor. Chairs
line the outer edges of the room.
Penelope grabs one of the chairs and turns to slam it into
Cameron just as he is grabbing for her. Cameron barely
flinches, but the chair crumbles, leaving pieces of it in
her hands that now resemble stakes. Cameron steps back from
her, as Penelope swings the wildly at Cameron.
You are going to hurt yourself with
No, I’m going to kill you.
Penelope lunges in with a stake, stabbing at Cameron. She
manages to hit him with the stake, but it is far from a
crippling blow. Cameron grabs the stakes, throwing them away
and back hands Penelope. She flies across the room and into
This house and everything in it are
mine. That includes you, and you
know it. Why keep fighting it?
She shakes herself off and runs down another hallway.
Cameron again follows after her.
EXT. A LONG BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO SECTIONS OF THE CASTLE
The drop off from the bridge is massive. The moon is high
over head. Penelope is running across the bridge.
Stop. I mean it. The more you fight
me the harder this is going to
be… on you.
Penelope stops and turns to face Cameron. They are on either
side of the bridge.
Brother, evil posses you. Have you
no heart left? Why can’t you just
leave me alone. I’ll never serve
My heart? Evil? Morals and laws are
meant for lessor beings, sister.
The do not apply to me.
Penelope runs toward Cameron, faster than before, she’s
almost a blur. She slams her shoulder into him and he falls
back. She grabs him and shoves him over the side of the
bridge. The railing crumbles as she watches him fall. Her
shoulders and body visibly relax.
That’s way too much evil for one
Beneath the bridge, there is movement. Something dark is
swirling around. A massive cloud of bats flies up out of the
darkness. They have Cameron at their center. They swirl
around him, and he rises into the air, higher than the
bridge. Penelope watches, astonished, as Cameron and the
bats become one. His laughter rings out in the night, and
then he lands on the bridge, Penelope turns and watches. The
bats fly toward the moon and disappear into the night sky.
He is taller than before and his eyes are glowing red.
I am not so easily killed. I have
more power than you can imagine,
Penelope falls to her knees, her skirt wrapping around her
legs. She puts her hands on her lap, palms up.
I give up.
I knew you would. I knew you would
give in when you saw just how
powerful I am. You can’t run. You
can’t fight this. You’re mine now,
Yes. Yes, Cameron. I’m yours. You
Penelope lifts her arms slightly, inviting him to her.
Cameron takes the few steps to close the distance and grabs
her, lifting her to her feet. He leans in and kisses her. He
kisses down her neck, touching her hair. He is lost in her
for the moment.
Penelope bares fangs and sinks them into Cameron’s neck. He
screams, but she has a strong hold on him. As she drains
him, she becomes stronger and he becomes weaker until she is
holding him up. Blood is squirting out and down her dress.
She finally pulls back and looks at him. Cameron is now just
Yes. That is too much power for
someone as weak as you. You can’t
(barely able to speak)
I can handle it, because I know
that with that kind of power comes
responsibility. It is morals and laws that
keep us sane.
Penelope reaches out a hand and a long piece of wood appears
in it. She stabs Cameron in the chest. This time her aim is
perfect and he dissolves to dust.
Penelope slides back to the ground. Blood and tears cover