Tag Archives: inspiration

What do you do at 3 am when you can’t sleep…

ImageWrite a new blog post!  So, here’s what I’m thinking about at 3 am while the house is quiet and I’m contemplating life because I can’t sleep.

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.

 

 

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New Inspiration!

ImageIt’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:

http://www.amazon.com/Vampires-Romance-Rippers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00FYZVEQK/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402946438&sr=8-2-fkmr1&keywords=vampires+romance+toe+to+rippers

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!

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What I’m Learning… Part 2

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know that it took me a long time to get to this Part 2!!  But, I did it! I wrote part 1 while I was still in school. Now that I’ve graduated, here is part 2…

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you also know I’ve been going to school at SNHU for my Masters in English and Creative Writing.  I’ve finally finished the degree!! WOOT!! April 1!

So, that means I’m finished learning right?!? HA! I don’t think so. I’m still writing and learning every day. I’m very thankful for the prescribed degree plan that led me through the education I needed and wanted. But, every day, I want to learn something more. Maybe that’s the best lesson that I could get?

In any event. My overall education at SNHU taught me a lot about details, editing, patience, persistence. I’ve learned that it takes a lot to get things just write. The balance of descriptions and dialogue are crucial. Finishing projects is paramount. Most important, I’ve learned that I better not give up on my dreams and believing in myself.

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I love my editor because….

I’ve been doing a lot more writing lately. It’s been so great! Part of my journey has been hooking up with a super editor who gets me and is great to work with. It has made a great difference in the quality of my writing – even at the rough draft stage… even at the idea generating stage! It’s quickly become a vital relationship for me! I think this is even more important for indie authors that self-publish like myself. I want to be able  to put out the best stories I possibly can.  I chose to go the self publish route primarily because I tend to be a bit anal and I feel like with my dual background (business vs. creative) that I could manage this more comfortably than letting a publishing house just take over everything. Plus, it is so much faster. I only have to wait for my own approval!  Ah… and that of my editor!

With that said, here are my reasons that I love my editor!  Thanks Kathleen – for making so much better!

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I LOVE MY EDITOR BECAUSE…

  • She knows what a ‘dirk’ is
  • She knows the significance between a creaky door and slamming it open
  • She is a living breathing Thesaurus
  • She deplores redundancy
  • She deplores redundancy (had to say it twice!)
  • She KNOWS her homophones
  • She is pushy when asking me to explain/describe more
  • She catches it when I use the wrong character name
  • She is never afraid to give me an opinion
  • She compliments my writing style and lets me be me
  • She questions my weirdest word choices
  • She helps me capture the right “attitude” in the words
  • She makes me think about what I’m writing
  • She makes my writing better
  • She digs my vampire bites – vv

 

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Livin’ on the Edge!

Okay folks – So, here’s the latest update on my writing journey!  I’ve been unemployed since January and I’ve been a bit off kilter trying to figure all of this out. I wanted to write full time SOOO BAD and now that I have the opportunity, I’m still not spending enough time writing.  I’m writing a lot more than before, but still not enough. I think it’s just that things haven’t been going as planned and I’m having difficulty keeping a schedule.

I was sick for about 3 weeks in February/March. It really through me off. I spent the entire time doing nothing and feeling like crap. Even when I started feeling better, I was a little depressed and didn’t want to get back to doing anything. So, it took a while to get moving again. I felt a little bit worthless, like I’d let myself down. Every day that went by was a little worse. Eventually, I had too much crap in my head and my characters started demanding that I get busy! I also thought a lot about the fact that while I was still working, all I wanted to do was write, and then when I found myself in the middle of the opportunity, I choked. I wasn’t writing.

So, now the last couple of weeks, I’ve been back to writing. I haven’t been forcing myself to do anything particular, but I’m getting some stuff done. I’m making sure that I put in a few hours every day, no matter what.  Usually, I write from 1 pm to 3 pm without fail. Then, sometimes I start earlier or I write later.  Sometimes, I write until dinner time and then I might come back in and write a little more after dinner.  I’m feeling a lot better about what I’m doing.

AND I’ve graduated!!! I now have a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing! Woot!! That means no more homework – more time for writing!

I may have to go back to the real world of work soon – have to pay the bills – but until then, I’m taking advantage of the time. I’m writing almost every day! Hopefully, there will be a lot more of my work out there. I think that’s the next step in my journey. I’m just focusing on getting things done and out there!

Thanks to everyone still watching my journey!

 

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Tattoo that line?!

Image Continue reading

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It’s about the Journey

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!

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839007.Sherri_Jordan_Asble

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Blood-Desolate-Incubus-ebook/dp/B00EH1WLHS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1379357414&sr=1-1&keywords=summer+blood

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