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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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Hot Vikings and Independent Women

Let me start this blog by saying that I do NOT read romance novels, and particularly NOT historical romance novels. (My MOM reads historical romance.) Although, I did love Wuthering Heights in High School, but that’s a secret, and so is Loki’s Daughters by Delle Jacobs.

http://www.amazon.com/Lokis-Daughters-ebook/dp/B0033WSKA4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320806449&sr=8-1

I do really like romance books that have some kind of paranormal twist, but Loki’s Daughters does not fit in that category.  It is about hot Vikings that invade Celtic land wanting to find a home of their own and, oh yeah, wives!  The main character Arienh is a strong independent woman and she is not about to let these invaders push her around. She never gives up, even if it costs her what she most desires.

Even though there were no demons, aliens, vampires, or other paranormal activity (except potentially one ghost scene), I really enjoyed this novel. It was not overwhelmingly stuffed with sex, but sex was used where it belonged within the story. Oh yeah, and some of it was really funny!  I always think that historical romance is going to be all sex and frail women being swept off their feet and probably ravaged on the moors of Scotland or something, but Loki’s Daughters did not fit that mold at all.  Well, there were hot Vikings ready to sweep women off their feet, but the women were having none of that! It made for a brilliant story.  And, you just can’t go wrong with HOT Vikings!

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I have sales!! Woot!

Woot! It really isn’t much, but the fact that I have sales is really exciting! It means that there are a few people out there that actually purchased my writing for the first time ever AND it is more than just my family! 

In this new journey to become a real author, I published a book of seven short stories called, Stories to Fight Demons By. These are twisted/surreal stories about different kinds of demons; perfect for Halloween! You can purchase this on Amazon or B&N.  I’ll include the links here:

http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Fight-Demons-ebook/dp/B004RH3T46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319329943&sr=8-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stories-to-fight-demons-by-sherri-jordan-asble/1030426408?ean=2940012183842&itm=1&usri=sherri%2bjordan-asble

I hope those that purchased the book liked it. I don’t have any reviews on Amazon or B&N yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get one. So, if you purchased the book and are reading this… hint, hint!

I also have a teaser for my first novel posted on my website and a plug for it in the back of  Stories. Website:

http://sjordanasble.com/Page_2.html

So, this is truly another awesome step forward in my writing journey. I hope that others will celebrate with me – go ahead, raise your hand in the air and give me a “Woot!”

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Legacy of Kings by C.S. Friedman

I’m finally reading the final book in this awesome trilogy! Yeah!

Friedman’s trilogy begins with Feast of Souls. The second book is Wings of Wrath.  Then, the final book is Legacy of Kings.  I had thought I was going to leave all my book reviews on my website, but this one is worth blogging about…

The Magister Trilogy by C. S. Friedman http://csfriedman.com/  is one of the best fantasy/speculative fiction novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Her characters are strong, yet flawed. They make mistakes, they learn, and they go on. They feel human.

Her plot is intricate with over-riding themes, and interesting unforeseen twists. I like my fiction unpredictable.  When you think the story is going in one direction, it jumps in another.  She keeps the pages turning!

So, what is the Magister Trilogy about?  Imagine a world where witchcraft exists, but there is a high price to wield it. The witches in this world pay for their craft with a little piece of their life force every time they cast a spell.  Then enters the Magisters. They steal the life force from others  for their magic, making them all-powerful… well, almost.  It turns out there are monsters invading the land, souleaters, and they will destroy humanity if left unchecked.  The heroes, the lyr, have to fight the beasts.  Woven throughout these overarching story lines are sinister plots and back stabbing traitors.  Who can be trusted? 

One thing I admire in Friedman’s writing is how she develops her character, Kamala.  She slowly unfolds depth throughout the three books. This is a young woman who learns to survive in a man’s world, and not always too successfully. She learns how to be human and how to care for others, even when they might not necessarily deserve it, as the reader learns about her.

The first two books were excellent, and now that I’m reading the long waited for third and final installment, I have to say I’m even more interested than I was when I first started reading the first book.  I think I need to go back and read the other two again!

Check this one out! A great read… 5 of 5 stars!

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Facing the Challenges

I started writing this blog to document and share my experiences with writing/publishing.  So, I thought I’d take a minute or two to hash out some of the challenges I’m dealing with at this stage…

One of the most difficult and challenging parts of writing fiction is coming up with the names for my characters. I want the names to be appropriate to the character. The name has to fit. If  I have the wrong name, it doesn’t work well. Sometimes it is very difficult. Sometimes it comes easy. It is also a lot of fun. It is part of creating that character. What is that person like? What are their idiosyncracies? What makes that person who that person is? There are times when that is really hard, especially when that person is an alien or is alien like. It is also difficult when you try to name someone within a historic context. If this character comes from ancient Ireland, they can’t be named Fred, right?!

The other big challenge hitting me right now is getting stuck on little things. I keep getting stopped flat by small things that might not even matter, but I get so hung up on them, that I can’t move forward.  This is what I was stuck on this week:

*A different word for canteen.
*Where did I put my notes on a different story entirely than the one I’m trying to work on.
*I needed to buy a new cushion for my chair in my office where I write

Seems like small things, but I’ve wasted a long of time on these things! Gave up on the thesaurus problem, finally found my notes, and bought a seat cushion (on sale at Kohls!) So, now I’m ready to write… what am I working on today?

I need to do some yoga and focus!!

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I’m so stuck…

I’ve been writing a lot this weekend, and it has really been going well… until today.  I keep getting stuck. Saturday, I flew on the keyboard and wrote 15 pages, today…5.

This will sound crazy, but I think my problem is that I’m trying to get my character to do things that she doesn’t want to do.  I wanted her to rebel and fight against her arranged marriage, and she decided she liked the guy… sheesh… you think you know someone.  I wanted her to go directly from point A to point B, and she wanted to hang around and find something else to do around the house.  I don’t think she liked what was coming at point B.  I want her to run away, and she wants to sit around waiting for her betrothed to come rescue her. So, now, I’m just going to have to kill someone! Probably the husband to be. She’s too attached to him, and she has other things to do.

See my problem!?!  I hate when characters get a mind of their own! 

I know that may seem like I just don’t have my story planned out enough, but really I have it planned well. Sometimes when I write, though, strange things happen. I think I actually like the chapter better this way. It feels like she is being more true to her character and reacting to what I throw at her, instead of causing the trouble.  (Don’t worry, she causes a lot more trouble later on.)  But, in the end I think it becomes more interesting than I originally planned, and still ends up where it needs to. 

That’s just a little peek inside my head for what I’ve been writing this weekend. I guess it is more interesting than what I had for breakfast, right!?>

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