When Passion Returns

When Passion Returns

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in News, Publishing, Writing | 6 comments

My books are in a few book stores in my province, but the local Chapters is easily where they are most popular. They’ve been kind enough to give me prime placement on a local authors shelf in the Teen section, and it’s amazing how much better a book sells with cover out on a eye-level shelf. I speak with the managers there from time to time, and occasionally I get to hear a story that really brightens my day. Recently, while a women tried to find a book her son might actually read (he doesn’t like to do so), my book was recommended. She was on the fence. Was this something he would read, or was it another novel that would get thrown into a pile gathering dust? A second customer interrupted the discussion to explain how her son, who absolutely hated reading, found my book and tore right through it. He read Exiled and Shift in a short amount of time, forcing them to drive in from out-of-town (an hour away) and pick up the next installment. Well, this is all that customer needed to hear to pick up one of my books. That’s the kind of stuff that changes my life. I wrote Exiled for the express purpose of entertaining readers, but more so, in hopes that I could produce a book that would show a young reader that reading can be awesome. I wanted something that could grab–and hold–their attention. To hear stories about how that is actually happening is an incredible thing, really. If you follow me on any social media sites, or check this blog from time to time, you know I haven’t published a book in two years. You also know that I’ve been working on new books off and on, but something has been missing. The truth is, After going through a difficult spell, I lost my passion for story telling. It’s not that I didn’t like writing anymore. I did. It’s that I no longer made it a priority. I had gone back to work full-time, my kids are getting older and with that means we are getting busier. I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore. Did I even want to publish? It’s a tough game. Sales spike and fall drastically, leaving you on the edge of seat and an eye on your bank account. Would I make it through the next month? With two little girls I had no choice. I had to make it work. I have others to take care of besides myself, and they have needs I won’t sacrifice like my own. I’ve written one book nearly three times in the past two years. I couldn’t get it right. Not to the point I was satisfied. I have a cover and a story, but the X factor is missing from it. I...

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Mystery Project

Mystery Project

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Author Advice, Publishing, Random, Writing | 2 comments

So as my last few posts outlined, Sacred Cities gave me a run for my money. I worked on it for a little over a year, although there were plenty of down times in between, and I finally threw in the towel…temporarily. I wrote 80k words in it, deleted 50k, then rewrote it up to 185k, had it finished, and partway through my first read through I knew something still wasn’t right. Not just one thing, but a lot of things. There was a decision to be made that wasn’t easy. I had to decide whether to tackle it again, tear it down and build it back up, or put it aside. The best decision I ever made was opting for the latter, for several different reasons. First, because I needed a break. I think Sacred Cities and I were too close. We were butting heads and I was trying to make it something it wasn’t. I didn’t realize it had a life of it’s own, and I was holding on too tight. I wasn’t happy about it, but I did it to myself, really, and it took me longer than it should have to realize it. The good that came out of it was I learned what it felt like to write against the grain. I forced it when I should have relaxed, and now I know what that feels like. That’s a good thing. Second, it gave me a chance to start a new book that had been tugging at my creative strings for a while. That is the mystery project, and to refrain from jinxing it, so to speak, it will remain that until I’m certain it’s ready. While Sacred Cities was the book I wanted to come back to the publishing world with, it wasn’t ready, and in all honesty, maybe I wasn’t either. The mystery project is taking me back to square one, a place I seemed to have forgotten: writing for fun. Writing what I want to read. Closing my eyes, letting go, and watching an action-packed adventure come to life. Over the past two weeks, that’s what I’ve been doing. I let the cursor on the blank page blink a few times and I started writing. It began as a paragraph outline that quickly expanded to a few pages. I created character outlines, back stories, and researched myths and legends and demons and all things that go bump in the night. It was fun again. I never finished the detailed chapter by chapter outline, and that too is a good thing. I felt too much excitement toward the story and needed to start, so I did. In a short time I racked up 26k words, and the story flowed with rapid excitement. Not only that, but I’m liking what I read when I review my chapters. It’s still exciting the second time through. I’m having fun,...

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2015 and the loss of 2014

2015 and the loss of 2014

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Author, Author Advice, Publishing, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 7 comments

2014 was a difficult year of evolution for me. It was better than 2013, which was a horrible experience for the most part,but 2014 did not shape up to be what I thought it would. It’s not all completely wasted, but I definitely expected a more powerful year. Instead, it was a year of growth and learning, which in all honesty, can be painful. At the end of 2013, I was ready for a new year. Boy, was I ready. I had published the final book in The Protector series, Endure, and I was moving on to bigger things after a year struggling through personal issues. Then 2014 came, and suddenly it was gone. I didn’t write as faithfully as I had in previous years. I can admit that much. My writing was sporadic at best. At first, and for most of the year, I thought it was me. I was recovering from major losses, my entire world had been changed, and I was trying to rediscover who I was and what I wanted out of life. I knew I wanted to keep writing, I just didn’t have it in me all the time. I thought one day I’d wake up and just be ready to get back at it. I wasn’t. Instead, I tried forcing it, regaining a little of my lost passion piece by piece, but even when I was sure I was ready, I still struggled. I wrote 80k words of Sacred Cities when I realized it wasn’t working. I probably realized it earlier, but I didn’t want to admit it. When I finally accepted it, I knew I had to do something drastic, something I’d never had to do before: I would delete a major chunk of the book and start again. 50k words to be exact. Even if you’re not a writer, surely you can understand how heartbreaking it is to delete that much of your work. I didn’t let it drag me down though, I grabbed the silver lining and told myself how much better the book would be because of it. I worked my butt off from that point on, and when it was done (again!) at a monstrous 183k words, I knew cutting those words was for the best. With my knew novel in rough draft  I was ready to start editing. The problem was, the 183k I’d written had been spread out over half the year. I didn’t realize what poor shape my story was in. Editing the book was painful. Very painful. I continued to tell myself I had to force my way through it to get back in the groove, but it wasn’t working. That’s when I realized that the book wasn’t done. Once again it wasn’t right, but this time I didn’t know why. I left it alone for a month, raking my brain over it. At this point,...

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A Darkness Survived

A Darkness Survived

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Random, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 2 comments

The lovely Christine Nolfi was kind enough to invite me to share a brief essay on her blog about the long road back from my writing break. It’s been a long and sometimes difficult process, especially as the publishing world changes so rapidly. Sometimes it’s overwhelming just looking at it all again, especially when you’ve been away so long. The road back from any break can be tough to handle, but if you stick to it, you can power through anything. If you have a chance, swing by Christine’s website and check out my guest post. Leave some thoughts if you have the time, and check out the many wonderful guest post’s she has. There are–and will be–some great...

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The Power of Ideas

The Power of Ideas

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in News, Publishing, Writing | 4 comments

As I’ve made progress through the first draft of Sacred Cities, I find myself encountering a new problem. It’s a problem I’ve seen many writers face over the years, but not one that I have had up until recently. That problem is an overwhelming supply of ideas, of which I’ve found the power to be intense. During the years I worked on The Protector series, I remained extremely focused. Sure, I had plenty of other ideas, but none that were in any form demanding. With Sacred Cities however, I’ve discovered a handful of stories that are not only screaming to be written, they’re tempting me away from my WIP. At this point in my writing venture, I haven’t given in. There have been times where I’ve taken writing breaks in order to write down brief scene outlines or ideas, but that is just to hush the voices…so to speak. Thus far that seems to be working, and I’ve made some impressive progress this last little while. When I tackle a project, I commit to it entirely, and because of that Sacred Cities is almost complete. This story has been a long time coming, and with a few major breakthroughs the last few days, it’s really exciting to be at this point in a story again. The first draft will be done before the end of August, and because I’ve been working on this project off and on for the entire year, there is no reason to give it time to breathe afterwards. I’ll be jumping directly into revisions, and I’m pushing to get this book completed as soon as possible. I’ll have a cover ready at the end of August, and as I work through revisions and coordinate schedules with my editors, this book will *hopefully* be out before the end of the year. That all depends on other people’s schedules and timelines, which I have to respect. I’ll admit it’s a much later date than I had hoped, but it took me longer than I anticipated to get back in the driver’s seat with my writing. The good news is there will not be nearly as long of a wait for the next book. I’ll begin writing it the day I send Sacred Cities to the editors. My goal is have Sacred Cities out this year, and have at least two new books for you in 2015. It’ll require a lot of commitment, even more hours, and a lot of creative energy, but I think I can handle it, and I know you deserve it for the long wait between books this time around. As I wind down on the first draft of this novel and begin revisions, I am excited to say that I’ll be putting out my first Newsletter with some teasers inside, so if you’re not signed up, make sure you do! I won’t be sending them out...

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I’m Still Here!

I’m Still Here!

Posted by on Jun 24, 2014 in Blog Events, News, Publishing, Random, Writing | 3 comments

Wow, okay, so it’s been over two months since I posted, and a month since I was able to add any wordage to Sacred Cities, but I’m back up and running. With a brand new computer glowing on my desk, I’m ready to go. It’s not that my other computer was broken or inoperable, it’s just that I hated it. I’d given a serious and honest effort to the Mac, but I just couldn’t do it. I’m back to PC and I’m loving it. Now, before all the Mac junkies come out and bite me, the computer itself was great. It’s incredibly fast, even after 18 months, but the OS just isn’t for me. It’s nothing against the Mac product, just that it isn’t what I am looking for. Now I’m sporting a new Toshiba all-in-one that makes my inner geek really happy, and I’m ready to get back to work. In the midst of my computer change, there was also a job change, and a trip to Seattle where I attended the Emerald City Author Event for my first group signing. Seattle was a really cool city. We did all the touristy things we could do, and I learned Seattle has quite the history, one that was shared with us by probably the coolest tour guide ever. But more on that later in a separate Seattle-only post. Right now is update time. The first draft of Sacred Cities is nearly complete. I’m hoping that by the end of next month I’ll be deep into revisions. I’m currently working with the incredible Parajunkee on the cover, and all-in-all I’m hoping to have it all available for you late this Fall. Much later than I had anticipated, of course, but the first book in the series requires a bit more attention to lay the groundwork for what’s to come. I apologize for the wait on the book, and the blog silence, but it’ll all be worth it! Now, what’s to come? I’m going to be revamping the blog design here in the next month or two, revealing the cover for Sacred Cities once I have it, posting some new short stories up on the website, and working on two different standalone novels as well. Aside from the short stories, the blog posts are going to change a little too. Right now they’re very much just updates, teasers, etc. I won’t tell you exactly how they’re going to change yet, but the changes are going to be awesome and take a big turn toward creative writing and sharing some different things with you! Prepare for the...

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